Saturday, December 17, 2011

Who Do You Believe?

My Right Word

Nathan Gutman writes in The Forward:

...Republican candidates [Gingrich; Bachmann; Santorum] have made the State Department a target of their attacks, portraying it as a bastion of pro-Arab sentiments in the U.S. government.

Current and former State Department officials forcefully reject the candidates’ accusations that the agency harbors an anti-Israel bias...Gingrich...told a candidates’ forum organized by the Republican Jewish Coalition that America is being “morally disarmed” by the State Department when trying to fight radical Islam...“Overhauling the State Department will be one of my first goals,” Gingrich said..
...The State Department issued a cautious response...“The department does not engage in the U.S. domestic political landscape,”...Retired diplomats...expressed their anger at the criticism being leveled by Republican candidates.

“It is a manifestation of self-hating Americans,” said Daniel Kurtzer...“This is dangerous stuff,” he said...“The idea that the State Department is run by ‘Arabists’ is a relic from the 1950s,” said Philip Wilcox, who formerly headed the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem. Wilcox, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace[!!!]...“The age of ‘Arabists’ is over,” he said.

Do you believe Kurtzer?

Do you believe Wilcox, who I know personally?

Do you believe the State Department spokeperson?

Doo you believe they believe they are telling the truth?


Note to Newt (Part I): Uninventing Palestinians


The Palestinians aspiration is not to establish a state of their own but to dismantle a state of others

I think there is an Arab nation. I do not think there is a Palestinian nation. I think it’s a colonialist invention... When were there any Palestinians? ...until the 19th century Palestine was the south of greater Syria. – Azmi Bishara, 1994

I think we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community. – Newt Gingrich, 2011

Newt Gingrich is to be warmly commended on his recent statement underscoring the lack of authenticity of Palestinian nationality.
It is rare that someone of such public stature has the courage to give facts precedence over political correctness in his public pronouncements. It certainly has set the proverbial cat among the pigeons, sending analysts and activists scurrying for their history books in feverish search for passages or interpretations of passages that reaffirm or refute Gingrich’s assertion, depending on their political predilections.

Coming from the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination it is a declaration that could have a profound impact, not only as a much needed clarification of Middle East history, but more important, as a vital signposting for Middle East policy in days to come.

For Gingrich is totally correct when he observes that “... there’s a lot to think about in terms of how fundamentally you want to change the terms of debate in the region.”

It is to be hoped his provocative and perceptive declaration will serve as a catalyst for a sorely overdue rethink of that debate’s fundamental issues.

Conditions for lasting impact
Whether or not his depiction of the Palestinians as an artificially “invented people” has a lasting effect depends on two conditions being met.

The first is to demonstrate that Gingrich’s assertion is not only historically accurate, but a policy-pertinent characteristic of the Palestinians today — not because pro-Israeli sources claim it is, but because pro-Palestinian sources concede it is.

The second condition is almost a corollary of the first. For if the Palestinians can be shown not only to be an artificial construct in a historical context, but an inauthentic national entity in the modern political context, then clearly this must strip the notion of a Palestinian state and the “two-state solution” of any validity. What would be the rationale for the establishment of a state for a bogus people?

But for this to translate into practical political action, one must be able to put forward a cogent, comprehensive alternative paradigm for dealing with the issue of the Palestinians Arabs.

For even if they were — and are — an invented people, some persuasive program must be advanced for addressing the fact of their physical existence. In the absence of such program being assertively promoted, inertia is likely leave the “two-states-for-two-people” option as the de facto default policy — even if one of those two peoples is a non-people.

Dividing the discussion
The potential ramifications of Gingrich’s bold diagnosis — for both discourse and policy prescription — are so far-ranging and significant that adequate discussion of them would exceed the limits of a single opinion column.

Accordingly, I will split this discussion into two parts.

This week, I will focus on showing that not only is the characterization of the Palestinians as an invented people historically true, but it continues to be politically valid today.

Next week, I will elaborate the components and rationale of a comprehensive alternative paradigm to the two-state principle to resolve the Palestinian issue, and to allow the pursuit of policy that recognizes the futility of establishing a state to accommodate an illusionary people.

These two complementary endeavors are aimed at meeting the previously mentioned conditions required to translate the potential created by Gingrich’s intrepid interview into practical and lasting policy initiatives, to replace conventional wisdom — which has been so regularly disproved but somehow never discredited.

Negation of ‘other’
Gingrich’s reference to “invented people” induced a flood of articles, analyzing the relevant periods of history and convincingly conveying the lack of historical depth for the any claim that the Palestinians constitute a genuinely cohesive national entity.

However, as others have pointed out, similar claims could be plausibly advanced for numerous other entities that emerged from the breakup of empires in general and of the Ottoman Empire in particular, and have — with varying degrees of success — coalesced into functioning nations.

But the case of the Palestinian collective is different.

It is defined not by what it is, but what is not; not by what it wishes to achieve, but what it wishes to prevent; not by what it wants to create, but by what it wants to eliminate.

It has no independent rationale – apart from the denial of Jewish nationhood — to sustain it. As such it is not an affirmation of national “self” but a negation of a national “other.”

Jordan’s King Hussein underscored precisely this when he remarked that the emergence of collective Palestinian identity was merely a ploy to counter Jewish claims to territory considered “Arab.”

At the Arab League meeting in Amman in November 1987, he said: “The appearance of the Palestinian national personality comes as an answer to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish.”

This is precisely the sentiment conveyed a decade earlier by the now oft-cited and largely uncontested remark by Zuhair Muhsin, former head of the PLO’s Military Department and an Executive Council member, in which he candidly conceded to a Dutch daily: “... the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.”

This is not the stuff that real nations are made of, or tenable nation-states founded on.

Historically fictitious, politically fraudulent
The usually dovish former Mossad head Efraim Halevy cast doubt on the Palestinians’ “capability of nationhood” in a 2009 interview with the Canadian weekly Maclean’s. He identified a lack of internal drive for nationhood, warning, “A nation has to be built from within... the Palestinians are not creating their own nation. The nation is being created from without. This... cannot succeed.”

In two recent columns, I addressed the nature and purpose of the Palestinians’ collective identity — on the basis of their own deeds, declarations and documents. These are some of the points made in them:

Even the Palestinians’ own “National Charter” reveals that they are not — and do not see themselves — as a genuinely distinct people or a cohesive nation, with a coherently defined homeland. Thus the Palestinians not only affirm that their national demands are bogus, but that they are merely a temporary ruse meant to annul what they term “the illegal 1947 partition of Palestine” (i.e. Israel in its entirety): “The Palestinian people are a part of the Arab Nation... [and] believe in Arab unity.... However, they must, at the present stage of their struggle, safeguard their Palestinian identity and develop their consciousness of that identity.”

How is any fair-minded person to avoid concluding that at a later stage there will be no need to preserve their identity or to develop consciousness thereof? How is one to avoid concluding that Palestinian identity is merely a short-term deception designed to achieve the political goal of eliminating the Jewish nation-state?

Significantly, the urge for Palestinian sovereignty only seems to arise in response to the manifestation of Jewish sovereignty. Thus the 1964 version of their National Charter unequivocally forswears Palestinian claims to “any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Gaza,” areas which are now stridently claimed to comprise their “ancient homeland.”

Palestinians did not object to almost two decades of Jordanian and Egyptian authority, nor does the solid Palestinian majority in Jordan today seem highly motivated to express its distinct “national identity.”

And while the possibility of a revolution in Jordan cannot be discounted, this would most likely be motivated by the same factors that precipitated revolutions in other parts of the Arab world – dissatisfaction with the regime rather than desire to throw off alien sovereignty.

We are thus compelled to concede that “Palestinian nationality” is devoid of any independent existence, but is fabricated only to counteract Jewish territorial claims.

Indeed, without such claims there would be no Palestinian nationality. As such it is a fictional derivative — an invention — precisely as claimed by Azmi Bishara, Zuhair Muhsin, King Hussein, the Palestinian National Charter — and of course by Newt Gingrich.

Contrived statelessness
If any further evidence of deception were needed, consider the issue of the “statelessness” of the Palestinians – one of the major themes played upon to invoke sympathy for their “cause” and fierce recriminations against Israel.

In reality, however, this state of “stateless” is not a result of callous Israeli malfeasance but of deliberate Arab malevolence.

For the Palestinians are stateless because the Arabs have either stripped them of citizenship they already had, or precluded them from acquiring citizenship they desire to have.

In the “West Bank,” for example, up until 1988, all Palestinians, including the refugees, held Jordanian citizenship. This was annulled by King Hussein when he relinquished his claim to this territory. This abrupt and brusque measure was described by Anis F. Kassim, a prominent Palestinian legal expert, in the following terms: “... more than 1.5 million Palestinians went to bed on 31 July 1988 as Jordanian citizens, and woke up on 1 August 1988 as stateless persons.”

But Palestinians have also been prohibited from acquiring citizenship in their countries of residence in the Arab world, where they have lived for over half a century. The Arab League has instructed its members to deny citizenship to Palestinian Arabs resident within their frontiers, “to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland.”

Thus Arab League spokesman Hisham Youssef conceded in an 2004 interview to the Los Angeles Times that Palestinians in the Arab world live “in very bad conditions,” but added that this official policy is meant “to preserve their Palestinian identity,” which apparently is incapable of existence without coercion. With breathtaking callousness, he went on to assert that “if every Palestinian who sought refuge in a certain country was integrated and accommodated into that country, there won’t be any reason for them to return to Palestine.” Indeed.

Clearly, Palestinian nationalism is being preserved and pursued with greater zeal by their Arab brethren than by the Palestinians themselves. How then can it be considered anything but an artificially contrived invention?

Embarrassing silence
Gingrich’s declaration has indeed opened up a chance to “fundamentally change the terms of debate in the region.”

Sadly, Israeli officialdom has not risen to the occasion. Overall, the response to the momentous opportunity that Gingrich has opened up has been met with an embarrassed silence.

This is a lamentable and embarrassing reflection on the state of Israeli diplomacy, which has apparently maneuvered itself into a position of such weakness that it cannot embrace support provided it by the leading Republican presidential candidate.

The captains of Israeli foreign policy would do well to heed his perceptive insight: “This is a propaganda war in which our side refuses to engage... We refuse to tell the truth when the other side lies.... You’re not going to win the long run if you’re afraid to stand firm and stand for the truth.” Precisely.

To have any hope of victory Israel must cease its complicity in Arab duplicity. The time has come for a concerted effort to uninvent the Palestinians.

Can this done? An observation by Daniel Pipes suggests that it may well be possible: “...the fact that this [Palestinian] identity is of such recent and expedient origins suggests that.... it could eventually come to an end, perhaps as quickly as it got started.”

Next week’s column will propose a strategy to pursue this objective.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yes, The Israelis are out of their minds.

Can you imagine any other nation on earth, at any time in history, doing this?

377 of 550 of Palestinians slated for release involved in shooting, bombing, trying to kill

Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA

“If you first don’t succeed try and try again” (Motto of Israeli released terrorists)

A review of the crimes carried out by the 550 Palestinian prisoners slated for release in the second round of releases in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit finds that 377 are serving time for shooting, planting and/or throwing bombs, attempting to kill or attempting to murder or being involved in an attempt to murder.

The median sentence for the 377 was 4 years and 4 months!!Israel Commentary

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Yes, The Israelis are out of their minds.

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Can you imagine any other nation on earth, at any time in history, doing this?

377 of 550 of Palestinians slated for release involved in shooting, bombing, trying to kill

Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA 14 December 2011

“If you first don’t succeed try and try again” (Motto of Israeli released terrorists)

A review of the crimes carried out by the 550 Palestinian prisoners slated for release in the second round of releases in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit finds that 377 are serving time for shooting, planting and/or throwing bombs, attempting to kill or attempting to murder or being involved in an attempt to murder.

The median sentence for the 377 was 4 years and 4 months!!

For list in English

For list in Hebrew

The English list does not include details of the crimes of the prisoners.
The Hebrew version includes details of the crimes. The prisoners being released in the exchange includes prisoners serving time for attempted murder and for trying to kill.

(Communicated by the Israel Prison Service Spokeswoman)

The list of prisoners designated for release in the second stage of the Gilad Shalit deal
has, this evening (Wednesday), 14.12.11, been uploaded to the Israel Prison Service (IPS) website. From the time it was posted, there are 48 hours in which motions may be filed.

Following are the IPS’ preparations for the second stage:

As of tomorrow morning (Thursday), 15.12.11, prisoners will be notified of their pending release. The preliminary identification and medical checks stage will begin. Afterwards, IPS personnel will escort the prisoners to either the Ayalon or Ofer prisons, where they will be concentrated. This is due to be completed by tomorrow night.

The release is expected to take place on Sunday, 18.12.11, tentatively in the evening hours, when prisoners at the Ofer and Ayalon prisons will leave for the Beituniya crossing and Gaza, respectively.

Additional information will be issued separately.

For additional details, please contact IPS Spokeswoman Sivan Weizman at 050-4062688.
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

(No, as far as I know, neither an AK47 rifle or packets of hand grenades will be issued to each prisoner at time of release nor will Eric Holder, Attorney General of the US Dept. of Justice, be consulted — although, he may have been already. Not sure) jsk

Haaretz: The Paper for Thinking People?

Efraim Karsh
Hudson New York
December 16, 2011

Of the countless threats of Arab violence in the run-up to the November 29, 1947 Partition Resolution and in its wake, none has resonated more widely than the warning by Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League's first secretary-general, that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to "a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades."

Unfortunately, the longstanding failure to trace the original document in which the threat was made has given rise to doubts regarding its veracity, and by implication - the murderous Arab intentions: not least since the historical truth has been erased from public memory by decades of relentless pro-Arab propaganda. Small wonder, therefore, that when the missing document was recently found, with an annotated full translation published in the Middle East Quarterly, which I edit, Haaretz columnist and self-styled "new historian" Tom Segev, who had spent a good part of the past two decades turning the saga of Israel's birth upside down, went out of his way to whitewash Azzam's threat and downplay its significance. "There is something pathetic about this hunt for historical quotes drawn from newspapers," he wrote, without disputing the threat's contents or authenticity. "Azzam used to talk a lot. On May 21, 1948, the Palestine Post offered this statement by him: 'Whatever the outcome, the Arabs will stick to their offer of equal citizenship for Jews in Arab Palestine and let them be as Jewish as they like.'" He then quotes Ben-Gurion's alleged description of the League's Secretary-General as "the most honest and humane among Arab leaders."

Azzam might have talked a lot, but there was no contradiction whatsoever between his public threats and private assertions. He privately told his Jewish interlocutors that their hopes of statehood would meet the same calamitous fate as the crusading state, and he reiterated this prognosis in the newly-discovered document. A week before the pan-Arab invasion of Israel on May 15, Azzam told Sir Alec Kirkbride, the powerful British ambassador to Amman: "It does not matter how many [Jews] there are. We will sweep them into the sea." Even the actual Palestine Post report, from which Segev chose to bring a misleadingly truncated quote, had Azzam describe the Arab-invaded State of Israel as "a bridgehead into Arab territory" (that is, a crusader-like alien implant) that must be fought and destroyed for "otherwise they will be fighting us here, in Transjordan, and elsewhere in the Arab State."

It is true that Azzam was prepared to allow survivors of the destroyed Jewish state to live as Dhimmis, or second-class citizens, in the "Arab Palestine" that would arise on its ruins (after all, his statement was made in a memo to the UN seeking to justify "the first armed aggression which the world had seen since the end of the [Second World] War," to use the words of first UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie). But this can hardly be considered an indication of moderation. If anything, it affords further proof, if such is at all needed, that the gap between "the most honest and humane among Arab leaders" and the basic Jewish aspiration for national-self determination was as unbridgeable in 1948 as it is now.

But the story doesn't end here. For Mr. Segev didn't content himself with distorting the contents and significance of a key historical document but also sought to besmirch those who brought it to public attention by claiming that they lifted it from Wikipedia, to which it had supposedly been uploaded by one Brendan McKay - a professor of computer science at the Australian National University in Canberra.

This claim is not only false but the complete inversion of the truth. There was no trace of the newly-found document in Azzam's Wikipedia entry at the time of the document's publication in the Middle East Quarterly. On the contrary, noting the long-misconceived May 14, 1948, as the threat's date - it was actually made on October 11, 1947, in the run-up to the partition resolution - the Wikipedia entry (accessed October 3) questioned its very existence:

One day after the State of Israel declared itself as an independent nation (May 14, 1948), Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Egyptian, and Transjordanian troops, supported by Saudi and Yemenite troops, attacked the nascent Jewish state, triggering the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. On that day, Azzam is said to have declared: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades". However, Joffe and Romirowsky report that this "cannot be confirmed from cited sources". Benny Morris, who had previously quoted it in his books, refrained from using it in his book 1948 "after discovering that its pedigree is dubious".

In other words, rather than upload Azzam's original threat to Wikipedia (or to any other publication for that matter) as falsely claimed by Segev, Mr. McKay, who on September 22, 2010 informed fellow Wikipedia discussants of having obtained a copy of the original interview in which the threat was made, failed to share his important discovery with the general public so as to keep Arab genocidal designs on the nascent Jewish state under wraps.

Why Mr. McKay agreed to pass a copy of the document to the evidently pro-Israel David Barnett, an American international politics student who had been chasing the document on his own, thus enabling it to see the light of day at long last - including, eventually, in Wikipedia - is not entirely clear: in a private communication, he declined my offer that his name be added as co-author as he didn't "have a good opinion of MEQ".

It is clear, however, that instead of minimizing Azzam's threat and patronizing him in the worst tradition of the "white man's burden" approach, Mr. Segev should have marveled at an important discovery that lays to rest one of the longest running debates on the 1948 war and helps his country reclaim the historical truth after decades of relentless distortion. But then, some journalists simply cannot handle the truth.

Nor, so it seems, can their editorial colleagues.

On October 24, three days after the publication of Segev's article, I emailed my response to Aluf Ben, Haaretz's editor-in-chief, and was informed that the paper's op-ed editor would be in touch. Yet it was only six weeks later (on December 5), after much haggling during which I agreed to cut the article's length by half, that a Hebrew translation was (almost invisibly) published in the inside pages of the op-ed section. When I kept insisting that the original English-language article be also published I received the following response on December 12:

I'm afraid that we will not be able to publish this piece due to space limitations in the English edition of the newspaper. Our paper is considerably smaller than the Hebrew edition and we give priority to pieces published on the main editorial page of the Hebrew paper, which is why you were passed over last week. I had hoped to find a spare slot this week, but this has not been possible.

I would be pleased to be in touch with you directly next time one of your pieces is published on our opinion pages, so that I can receive the original English version in time to consider it for the same day's newspaper.

It is doubtful whether the editors believe their own words. Not only are space limitations wholly irrelevant in the case of an online publication, which is what essentially is, but the editors have had my article for seven weeks, which should have given them more than ample opportunities for a timely publication.

Worse: the fact that Haaretz took the trouble to have Mr. Segev's Hebrew-written piece translated to English, and to have my response translated to Hebrew, while refusing to post an English-written article on its English-language website - where the main defamatory damage to my professional reputation was intended to be done - cannot but be seen as a blatant cover up of a professional misconduct by one of its most senior columnists.

While there is nothing new or surprising in a paper's refusal to own up to its misreporting or publish facts and analysis contradicting its political line, it is ironic that "the paper for thinking people," as Haaretz habitually flaunts itself, would engage in the shoddy business of truth suppression and mouth shutting at a time when it self-righteously fights an alleged attempt by the Israeli government to do precisely that.

Efraim Karsh is director of the Middle East Forum, research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College, and author, most recently, of Palestine Betrayed.

PA TV music video: "Boom out loud, oh voice of the machine gun... Oh AK-47, make sounds of joy"

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

A new Palestinian Authority TV music video honoring Arafat glorifies Fatah use of violence and venerates the rifle. Last month it was broadcast 7 times on official PA TV.

The song speaks of Arafat's life and idolizes him as a model of violence, revolution, and war. It celebrates through words and visuals the violence of the rifle: "Boom out loud, oh voice of the machine gun... Oh AK-47, make sounds of joy." The following is the full transcript of the song:

"Engrave on the rifle butt the symbol of Fatah's Al-Asifa [unit]
My trigger makes sounds of joy to the Elder (Arafat)
while the rifle sounds aloud
Boom out loud, oh voice of the machine gun,
Yasser [Arafat] lives inside us
[Despite] the day (of his death) on Nov. 11,
the [Palestinian] cause has not died
He is present inside us as an idea and as light,
a fire burning in [our] chest
He [Arafat] taught the whole world how to revolt.
Yasser - symbol of freedom
Oh Elder, I swear by [your] uniform and your keffiya
Oh bullets of the defiant, [your] shot fights 100 [men]
He lived and died in an atmosphere of war,
he crossed the world from east to west
Mahmoud Abbas is on the same path
when it comes to [our] state and identity
We fired the rifle, we faced the storm
We responded to the cannon with a pistol
Using stones, we ignited a revolution and wrote [history], oh Fatah men
On the rifle butt, we have engraved [Fatah's] symbol
On the grip, we have engraved "Arafat"
On the top cover we have inscribed the history of the free
On the barrel - the name of the homeland
The flash-suppressor ignited and burst
Here it is, oh rifle sight
The state is only a few meters away
Oh action-spring, receive and shoot [bullets] continuously
Change the magazine - there are hundreds [of them]
Load it into the chamber
Oh AK-47, make sounds of joy and salute the Elder (Arafat)"
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 16, 2011]

Click to view

Simon Wiesenthal Center Weighs in on Anti-Semitic Blogger Controversy

Martin Barillas

The Simon Wiesethal Center responded to attacks made upon it by liberal bloggers, referring to these as "dangerous political libels" that resemble "historic and toxic anti-Jewish prejudices." The blog entries were noted in a report published last week by Politico that highlighted how Center for American Progress and Media Matters seem to increasingly distance themselves from the traditionally centrist views of the Democratic Party as to Israel.

An article in Politico piece made mention of controversial statements made on Twitter and elsewhere by bloggers at CAP and Media Matters. Bloggers called supporters of Israel "Israel Firsters," among other epithets. while also accusing them of "dual loyalty." Here below is the Wiesenthal Center response in its entirety:

The Middle East is a dangerous place — and not merely for people who live there. Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly difficult in this country to take a position sympathetic to the Jewish state and in favor of the continuation of America’s historic strong alliance with Israel without being called “an Israel Firster” and charged with “dual loyalties.” A case in point: recent attacks on the Simon Wiesenthal Center by the Center for American Progress (CAP)-associated bloggers on “the far-right Simon Wiesenthal Center, which purports to promote tolerance, [but] basically called Obama a Nazi” for saying that Israel should return to the pre-1967 borders (Ben Armbruster). CAP blogger Eli Clifton joined Media Matters Senior Foreign Policy Fellow MJ Rosenberg in using Twitter to promote an article accusing the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance of pushing “Western groupthink that has for centuries justified wars and countless atrocities against the Arab world . . . [that’s] representative of the way many Americans feel toward Muslims and Arabs — that they are all terrorists.” Rosenberg himself has repeatedly smeared Jewish groups such the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as “Israel Firsters.” First, let’s admit to the terrible sins that we are indeed concerned about the future of Israel, about U.S. security interests in the Middle East, and about the threat posed to regional and even global peace by Iran’s nuclear program which, according to the International Atomic Energy Commission and other authorities, may be within six to nine months of putting an nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime committed to annihilating Israel.

When it comes to the charges of being “Israel Firsters” and having “dual loyalty,” we not only plead innocent but also counter-charge that these sponsored bloggers are guilty of dangerous political libels resonating with historic and toxic anti-Jewish prejudices.

These odious charges have been around since Henry Ford in 1920 said, “Wars are the Jews’ harvest,” Charles Lindbergh in 1940 condemned Jews for conspiring to plunge America into World War II, and “Jewish neocons” were charged with colluding with Israel to cause the 2003 Iraq War. Recently, University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer, co-author of The Israel Lobby and Foreign Policy, has descended to making the accusation that American Jews — unlike American Poles, Italians, Greeks, Turks, Chinese, Africans, etc., etc. — exercise a uniquely malevolent influence over American foreign policy. Now, he writes publicity blurbs for Gilad Atzmon’s genocidal broadside, The Wandering Who?, accusing the Jews of responsibility for bringing the Holocaust on themselves.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center since its founding in 1977 has always been a mainstream institution. It has never endorsed a political candidate or party in the United States, or anywhere else. It has adhered to the bipartisan consensus that the U.S. has a vital interest in maintaining an alliance with Israel, the Middle East’s only vibrant democracy and reliably pro-American nation. In the 1990s during the era of the Oslo Peace Accords, its senior officials attended the White House ceremony convened by President Clinton where then Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and Palestinian President Arafat shook hands. We had the honor to both visit King Hussein at his Royal Palace in Amman, and later host the late monarch at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. King Hussein was a proud, card-carrying member of our Museum of Tolerance, whose 5 million plus visitors learn about not only the Nazi Holocaust but also all manifestations of contemporary bigotry. Our respected Digital Terrorism and Hate Project, has for 14 years, chronicled the leveraging of Internet technologies by anti-Semites, terrorists, neo-Nazis and Islamophobes. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has repeatedly supported a two-state solution between Israel and a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state with borders to be determined by Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations — not imposed by outside parties.

Far from slandering Islam or demonizing moderate Muslims, we’ve seized every opportunity available for interfaith outreach by organizing and/or attending conferences and dialogues from Spain to Indonesia.

Eli Clifton, ThinkProgress’ National Security reporter, has also recently articulated the view that it is “factually inaccurate” to assume that “Iran has a nuclear weapons program”—and, in any case, that the danger posed by that program is exaggerated for political purposes. Is Clifton’s view in “the political mainstream” or is he guilty of being an “Iranian Firster” by virtue of a reflexive, automatic defenses of the mad mullahs’ regime? For his views do not jive with those of Iran’s Arab neighbors, including those articulated leaders in the Gulf with whom Simon Wiesenthal Center officials personally have met and who expressed their fear of the existential threat posed to them by the Iranian regime that stands quite apart from the threat posed to Israel.

Lastly, about President Obama, Ben Armbruster’s charge that we “basically called . . . [him] a Nazi” —is a low blow that should disqualify Armbruster from participating in future civil discourse. We don’t take partisan political positions, and have never leveled a personal criticism of the President who has an open invitation to visit our Museum of Tolerance, just as other high-ranking world leaders have. About calling him “a Nazi,” we condemned that odious label when it was applied to former President George W. Bush by extreme leftists, the same way we have condemned its application to President Obama by the rightist lunatic fringe.

The Center for American Progress ought to stick to fair-minded discussion of serious issues about the U.S’. future. It ought to disown immediately “Israel Laster” bloggers who take the low road and drag down policy debates into the gutter of individual and group defamation.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Samaria Leader: Blame Netanyahu for Attack on IDF

Netanyahu’s “is lying and playing dirty” and is to blame for the attack on an IDF base Monday night, says settlement leader Daniella Weiss.

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is lying and playing dirty” and is to blame for the attack on an IDF base Monday night, settlement leader Daniella Weiss told Israel National Radio talk show host Tamar Yonah Tuesday night.

“Netanyahu, who now is so brave attacking the settlers…is the cause of everything that happened” at the Ephraim military base near Kedumim she said. "The violence was “a result of the horrible partition of the Land of Israel. Netanyahu and [Defense Minister Ehud] are responsible for everything that is taking place."

Weiss previously has said that “price tag” violence against government policy is distracting nationalists from what she says is the proper way to act – erecting caravans and tents on hilltops throughout Judea and Samaria. She also dismissed the description of an “IDF base” being infiltrated by approximately 50 youth, who also vandalized vehicles.

Weiss said, “It was an army base [but has been] transformed into a camp from which military forces act to destroy settlements… You cannot call a base of destruction an army base. They [the youth] tried to prevent bulldozers from leaving what was a former army camp.”

Weiss, a former mayor of the city of Kedumim that is located next to the base, accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of psychologically dividing the country by creating a conflict between idealists and leaders of Judea and Samaria.

She declared, “This serves to create distortion of settlers to make it easier to demolish their homes.

“He is lying and is doing exactly what Sharon did,” referring to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who carried out the expulsion of more than 9,000 Jews in northern Samaria and Gaza, in direct opposition to his declared election platform to build up a Jewish presence in all of Israel.

Netanyahu is “lying and playing even dirtier because he is touching the heart of the Land of Israel,” Weiss asserted. “He was elected on the Greater Israel platform of the Likud party and spoke against it” in his Bar-Ilan University speech two years ago, when he declared that he supports dividing Israel by creating a Palestinian Authority state within Israel’s borders.

“The Prime Minister is cheating his own nation,” according to Weiss. “He is selling out his homeland.”

The Likud party platform states, "The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting."

Should we attack Iran?‏

Friends urged me to comment about the Iranian situation, here is a summary:

Six years ago I wrote my first assessment of the Iran nuclear danger. I pointed out then that the Iranians would not back up; they are determined to get the nuclear bomb, AND USE IT AGAINST ISRAEL- FIRST.

I also mentioned that the only non-military way to stop them is a united and concentrated international economic pressure and that is unlikely to happen. Russia and China have been against sanctioning Iran since they want the commercial benefits from Iran and are eager to cause trouble to the West, especially the US The long, imbecilic attempts by the US especially and other nations to talk first gave Iran the time to achieve their goal: They now have enough material to make several nuclear weapons, and have almost completed the long-range missile to use it. The interesting sabotage of Iran’s nuclear facilities and the explosion of their missile site just slowed them by a few months.

I have written again over the years that the danger is increasing since the religious fanaticism of the Iranian leadership is deep, dangerous, and beyond our grasp. The Iranian leadership are fanatic Shia, while the majority of the Muslim world (85%) is Sunni, and not so fanatic. The Sunnis are afraid of the Iranian drive to nuclear domination. To grasp Iran nuclear drive read in depth about the Twelve Imam that is supposed to return to earth to reestablish the Muslim Caliphate all over the world, and for him to return we must have global destruction. That is the core belief of most of the Iranian leadership.

Now I believe that the only way to stop them is a concentrated US military air attack on Iran’s military installations, not civilian centers. Only the US has the capability to inflict a serious damage that would curtail Iran military rebuilding in a short time. No occupation, no ground troops.

The retaliation by Iran would be directed mostly towards Israel, from Hezbollah and Hamas unstoppable rockets. The excellent Israeli unti- rocket system, Iron Dome, could handle a limited number of rockets, not a full scale war. Also the US fleet near Iran would be attacked. As we leave Iraq the danger to our troops there is minimal. However Iran will try to incite intensive sectarian massacres in Iraq, as before. But beside that the Iranians are weaker than we think.

Israel would suffer intensely, either from Iran nuclear attacks, and that could finish Israel as we know it, or from the Hamas/Hizbullah rockets mentioned above.

Between these two bad options I would rather take the risk of military destruction of Iran. Leaving Iran with the ability to use nuclear weapons is intolerable according to all experts. The US must destroy all possible military targets in Iran first. Israel should concentrate on massive attack on Hamas- Gaza and Lebanon- Hezbollah. Civilian casualties would be large on all sides, but not so much inside Iran.

The best option would be coordinated attacks by both US and Israel.

Note that we do not know at all what the US and Israel are actually planning. Note also that even if President Obama may criticize Israel verbally, it may be a cover for a more intense cooperation between the two military forces. I read that while President Obama publically denied the Israelis the previously promised massive, ground penetrating bombs, the US actually delivered them quietly.

There is no other way that I can see to stop Iran’s nuclear buildup but mass attacks while we still can. I wish we would not have to go in this military direction and Iran would collapse otherwise, but it is not likely. We can not take a chance of being wrong here.

Remember, it is not what your enemy says/think that matters, but what it is ABLE TO DO.

The Iranian leadership would rather die first than give up their desire for absolute power. It preoccupies all their existence – it is a deep religious obsession.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Government moves to classify settler extremists as terrorists

Decision in response to break-in at military base by hilltop youth • Defining price-tag violence as terror allows state to allocate more resources • Administrative arrest warrants and restraining orders to be issued against numerous right-wing activists.
Shlomo Cesana, Lilach Shoval, Yori AlIon and Mati Tuchfeld

Acting on a directive from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Wednesday held a meeting to look into formulating a list of legal measures to combat increasingly brazen extremist settler violence. The discussion focused on legal aspects of classifying so-called "price-tag" acts as terror. Other measures discussed included cooperation between different law enforcement bodies and the use of technology for surveillance and prevention purposes. On Tuesday, the government decided to enact a firm response to the break-in of an army base in Judea and Samaria by Jewish extremists overnight Monday. The attackers lit fires, vandalized vehicles and hit a senior Israel Defense Forces officer in the head with a rock, just hours after another group took over an abandoned building in a closed military zone on the border with Jordan.

The prime minister, along with key officials, decided to label the perpetrators of these offenses as terrorists, and to classify their crimes as terror attacks.

The shift in the government's attitude toward such crimes, seen more and more frequently in Israel and the West Bank in recent months, could be detected in remarks by Aharonovitch, who said Tuesday, "I've instructed the police to treat these vandals as they would treat terrorists."

Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday, attended by Aharonovitch and Neeman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz, GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, Police Commissioner Insp. Gen. Yohanan Danino, Shin Bet security agency chief Yoram Cohen and Deputy Attorney General Mike Balas.

Several measures of response were formulated in this meeting. It was decided to increase to 60 the number of administrative arrest warrants and restraining orders currently in place against 13 right-wing extremists.

The surveillance of two West Bank Jewish education institutions whose members are suspected of violence would also be increased.

Furthermore, the defense minister will issue a special order allowing the classification of violent right-wing activists as terrorist organizations and so-called "price tag" acts (a term coined by extremist settlers to describe acts meant as retribution for Palestinian offenses) as acts of terror. The change in the classification of these acts, currently classified as local crime, will allow law enforcement officials to allocate more resources to prevent these types of crime.

It was decided that Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch would be asked to instruct judges not to show perpetrators any leniency.

Police involvement was also to be increased, with more road blocks to be set up in efforts to apprehend vandals.

Aharonovitch was to present these measures to cabinet ministers for final approval.

Israel Says PA Flag-Waving at UNESCO Based on Science Fiction

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The Israeli ambassador to France said that Tuesday’s ceremony of raising the Palestinian Authority flag at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris was based on “science fiction.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas attended the event.

The United Nations agency’s full name is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, but Israel said the science is more like fiction concerning the organization’s acceptance of the Palestinian Authority as a member, the first U.N. agency to do so. Abbas last month failed to convene the United Nations Security Council to vote on his proposal for full membership to the United Nations. He backed off after falling one short of the necessary two-thirds majority to forward the motion to the General Assembly, where he is guaranteed a majority by the pro-Arab international body.

"Israel regrets that an organization responsible for education and science was at the heart of making a decision based on science fiction by integrating an entity that has no legal status as a state,” said the Israeli embassy in Paris.

Abbas has refused to compromise on his demands that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accept a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders, which were defined by the unification of Jerusalem and the restoration of the Judea and Samaria in the Six-Day War in 1967.

"This is truly a historic moment," Abbas said at the ceremony. "This admission is a first recognition of Palestine. I hope that this will be a good omen for Palestine's admission to other international organizations.”

UNESCO had granted the Palestinian Authority observer status on the body, but Abbas wanted full membership to create facts on the ground that the PA is a state in everything but name.

His unilateral move to gain membership in the United Nations and its agencies was a blatant violation of the Oslo Accords, which preclude both the Palestinian Authority and Israel from taking unilateral steps in the “diplomatic process” of creating a “two-state solution.”

The U.S. Congress reacted immediately by temporarily cutting off funds to the Palestinian Authority and suspending funding of UNESCO. Canada also has stopped its annual contribution to the agency, and Holland is considering the same action.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration and Western diplomats still pursue diplomatic talks between Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Invented People??

Melanie Phillips
US presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich (whose Lazarus-like trajectory to the Republican nomination I flagged up here a month ago) has recently demonstrated yet again Melanie's First Rule of Modern Political Discourse - the more obvious the truth that you utter, the more explosive and abusive the reaction.

For Gingrich said the Palestinian Arabs were 'an invented people' - and the world promptly started hurling execrations at him, as if such a statement proved beyond doubt that Gingrich was indeed a dangerously extreme individual who, when it came to political positioning, was just off the graph altogether.

So just what did he say? This:

' "Remember, there was no Palestine as a state - (it was) part of the Ottoman Empire. I think we have an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and historically part of the Arab community and they had the chance to go many places..." ' But of course, he is absolutely correct. As Elder of Ziyonpointed out, the Arabs who lived in Palestine were a disconnected bunch of tribes who had nothing in common with each other except that they were Arabs. They never were, are not and never will be a Palestinian people (the claim that they are now just because they say they are is risible and would be dismissed out of hand if applied to any other self-defined grouping). There is not and never has been any 'Palestinian' Arab culture, language, religion or national identity separate from that of the wider Arab nation.

'Palestinianism' was invented solely to destroy Israel. The one and only characteristic of this 'national' identity is the aim of destroying another -- authentic -- national identity.

The Arabs have themselves repeatedly admitted this over the years.Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, the Syrian Arab leader told the British Peel Commission in 1937:

"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it."

At the United Nations in 1956, the Saudi representative stated:

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria."

And after the 1967 war Zuheir Muhsin, then military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council, said helpfully:

"There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity... yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel."

The agenda of 'Palestinian rights' is, however, now so deeply rooted in western discourse and diplomacy - and even in Israeli leftist discourse - that Gingrich has found himself under attack for talking rubbish. But it is his attackers whose arguments are jaw-droppingly absurd.

For example, a Fatah Revolutionary Council member claimed that Gingrich was 'racist' and 'ignorant' because the Palestinians had descended from the 'Canaanite tribe of the Jebusites'. But as Elder of Ziyon comments in a further hilarious posting, there are one or two, ah, obstacles in the way of this particular claim:

'The only confirmed mention of the historic Jebusites is in the Hebrew Bible. That's the only source that says that the Jebusites lived around Jerusalem. This exact same source says that one of their leaders, Araunah, offered to give the Temple Mount to King David; David insisted that he pay for it, and he did - for the amount of fifty silver shekels. So if you believe that the Palestinian Arabs are actually Jebusites, you must believe that they sold the Temple Mount to the Jews in a legal transaction.

'... There is another problem, though. The Constitution of Palestine refers numerous times to the "Arab Palestinian people" and that "Palestine is part of the large Arab World, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab Nation." The PLO Charter similarly states "Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation."

'But Jebusites were not Arabs. They were not even Semites! No self-respecting Jebusite (if any had still existed) would identify with the Arab hordes who overran his homeland in the seventh century. He would probably want to behead the infidel invaders.

'Is the constitution and charter wrong? When they call themselves Arab, are they all lying? Perhaps "Palestine" should quit the Arab League and re-assert its nebulous Jebusite ancestry.'

Next, here was Israeli revisionist historian Tom Segev:

'"There is no intelligent person today who argues about the existence of the Palestinian people," Segev said. "Nations are created gradually. I don't think the Palestinians are less of a nation than the Americans," he added.'

There is no intelligent person today who would compare like with unlike in this shallow way. Americans became a nation solely because they created, lived in and governed America. The Jews were the nation who created, lived in and governed Israel. The Arabs were among waves of colonisers who took their national homeland away from them. The Americans did not base their entire claim to nationhood on the big lie that they were the original inhabitants of the land. The Palestinian Arabs do just that.

Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, rips the American analogy apart and goes on:

'Palestinian identity is just so much gibberish. The official definition of that identity encompasses only those parts of the Palestine Mandate which Israel holds today.
'The people who live on the parts of the Palestine Mandate that were turned into the Kingdom of Jordan in 1921 are not Palestinians. There is no call to incorporate them into a Palestinian state. The people who lived in the parts of Israel that were captured by Jordan and Egypt in 1948 weren't Palestinians, and there was no call to turn the land that today comprises the so-called "Occupied Territories" into a state. But in 1967 when Israel liberated those areas-- only then did they magically turn into Palestinians. How is anyone supposed to take this nonsense seriously?

'Suppose I were to tell you that there were an ancient people known as the Floridians whose land was seized from them to make resort hotels and orange groves. What would be your first clue that there was something wrong here? Florida is a Spanish name meaning flower. Palestine, which is a Latin name applied by its ancient conquerors, derived from the Greek, has the same problem.

'When the Jews rebuilt their country, they did not call it Palestine, that was the name used by European powers. They called it Israel. The local Arabs who had come with the wave of conquests that toppled Byzantine rule had no such history and no name for themselves. Instead they took the Latin name used by the European powers and began pretending that it was some ancient tribal identity, rather than a regional name that was used by the European powers to describe local Jews and Arabs.

'... This bloody circus has been going on for way too long. Enough that the Arab states and the local clan leaders have managed to turn out generations of children committed to killing in the name of a mythical identity for a state that they don't really want. The call for a Palestinian state was a cynical ploy for destroying Israel. It's why the negotiations never go anywhere, they're not meant to go anywhere.'

Exactly. Which is why Gingrich's remark goes to the very heart of the issue; and it is the fact that so many in the intellectual, political and diplomatic world - including in Israel itself - find what he said so outlandish that goes a long way to explain why there is still no peace in the Middle East.

Gosh - a presidential candidate who actually understands what's going on in the Middle East and speaks the truth about it! No wonder they're so desperate now to stop him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blanket condemnation of 'Jewish terrorism' against IDF

Right-wing extremists break into Ephraim Brigade HQ in Samaria, cause damage, wound soldiers • Second group of activists enter closed military zone, establish illegal outpost near Jordanian border • IDF: Don't call it "price tag," it's "terrorism."
Lilach Shoval and Efrat Forsher

The Israel Defense Forces, as well as senior Israeli ministers and members of Knesset on Tuesday classified Monday night's attacks on IDF soldiers and bases in Judea and Samaria as "Jewish terrorism," calling the acts totally unacceptable. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the violence and convened an emergency meeting of top security chiefs ordering them to bring those responsible to justice. IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has opened an investigation into Monday's incidents, and is continuing intensive discussions to deal with the issue. In the Knesset, even the right-wing's most ardent supporters condemned the violence against the IDF.

In an unprecedented incident, 50 right-wing extremists broke into the Ephraim Brigade Command base in Samaria late Monday night, where they damaged equipment, punctured and burned tires at the entrance to the base, and clashed with soldiers. At the same time, other extremists attacked the brigade commander’s vehicle on Road 55, near the Ramat Gilad illegal outpost, and hurled a rock at the officer, who was lightly wounded, according to a report on Israel Radio. Extremists also threw stones at Palestinian cars near Qalqilya, wounding three Palestinians, including a toddler, Palestinian news agencies reported. The incidents occurred hours after another group of activists broke into the closed military zone along the Jordanian border to establish an outpost. The attacks came in response to rumors that the IDF was about to carry out a court order to demolish illegal settler outposts.

Police arrived at the Ephraim Brigade base late Monday night, and together with soldiers expelled the attackers from the compound. As of Tuesday afternoon, no arrests had been announced.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai described the incidents as "extremely severe" and said, “This is in no way acceptable behavior." Mordechai said the brigade commander was slightly wounded as a result of a rock thrown at his vehicle, though he stressed that "the significant damage is that IDF forces had to be distracted from their important mission of defending Israel."

Mordechai said the incident was being investigated by Central Command GOC Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, and stressed that the IDF "expects community rabbis and the Yesha Council to denigrate and criticize the incident ... We will not allow such riots, and along with other security forces, we will locate those responsible and bring them to trial."

Mordechai said he thought the incursion next to the Jordanian border and the subsequent attack on the army base were connected, Reuters reported.

"I don't believe in coincidences. I think that to mobilize more than 100 people takes organization ... We will not allow such disturbances, with people taking the law into their own hands," he said.

Senior IDF officers told Israel Radio that they were no longer referring to such acts by extremist right-wing elements of the as "price-tag" incidents, but rather "Jewish terrorism." The officers said there was growing concern inside the IDF about the increasing frequency and nature of such attacks. The IDF said it expects senior Judea and Samaria rabbis and community leaders to condemn the attack on the Ephraim Brigade base. IDF officials told Israel Radio on Tuesday that instead of carrying out its primary mission -- the protection of Israeli civilians --- the army is being forced to deal with these sorts of attacks.

"The IDF regards acts directed against the army and its soldiers, which prevent it from focusing on its prime task of protecting Israeli civilians and residents, with great severity," an IDF statement said.

Homefront Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said: "The IDF takes orders from the political level and will continue to uphold the law in Judea and Samaria together with the police and Civil Administration, undaunted by violence directed at it. Those who attacked the IDF base are criminals, Jewish terrorists, who need to be dealt with harshly. I am waiting to hear senior rabbis condemn the incident."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday ordered the security forces to act aggressively against those who attack IDF soldiers and commanders. "This incident deserves all condemnation. The security forces need to concentrate on defending our citizens and not on such outrageous lawbreaking,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the incident an example of "homegrown terrorism," and the Defense Ministry issued a statement condemning the attacks.

“The Defense Minister views the string of violent activities carried out by criminal groups of extremists in Judea and Samaria with the utmost seriousness. These activities have the characteristic of homegrown terror and will not be tolerated,” the statement said. “The Defense Minister has instructed the IDF to act with resolve in all of its efforts to curb this worrying bout of activity. We will capture those involved, and they will stand trial.”

The statement continued: “The events included breaking through the perimeter fence, attacking the brigade commander and his deputy, breaking into an IDF base, throwing stones at Palestinians, attacking our security forces, and subsequently diverting the attention of the IDF away from their vital work of keeping the area secure. They endangered lives and their actions threaten to damage the delicate relations Israel has with its neighbors. The minister of defense is determined to uproot these phenomena and calls on the leaderships of the communities in Judea and Samaria -- and indeed society as a whole -- to condemn these nefarious actions that have no place in our civilized society.”

Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon, speaking on Tuesday, called the incident "an act of terrorism which undermines the sovereignty and security of the state."

The incidents occurred during a period of tension among the "hilltop youth" groups due to rumors of police and IDF intentions to remove several illegal outposts in coming days, in line with a ruling by the Supreme Court in August.

Earlier, 17 activists -- members of a faction known as "Jewish Towns" headed by "hilltop youth" activist Meir Bartler -- breached the security fence near the Arab Christian town of Qasr al-Yahud near Jericho and the Israel-Jordan border, entered a structure in a closed military area where baptisms are held, and announced the establishment of a new outpost.

The act was apparently a message to Jordan not to interfere in the Mughrabi Bridge issue. The Jerusalem municipal engineer has declared the temporary wooden bridge, which leads up to the Temple Mount from the Western Wall plaza, unfit for use, and it has been slated for replacement by a more permanent structure. Palestinians and others have criticized the plans to demolish the bridge.

"It is the right of the Jewish people to settle in any part of Israel. We intend to stay here and will not leave on our own," Bartler declared. Activists at the site said that the ruling Likud party had to return to its "original ideology" and named the new outpost "Ze'ev's Fortress," after Ze'ev Jabotinsky, who founded the pre-state Revisionist Zionist movement.

Large contingents of police and soldiers arrived at the site near the Jordanian border and demanded that the activists leave on their own. When they refused to do so, the forces prepared to evacuate them forcefully. "There was no breach of the international border or confrontation with Jordanians. But this was a severe incident," an IDF officer said.

According to Army Radio, the activists were evacuated before dawn on Tuesday, with some arrested during the evacuation.

Also on Monday night, more than 70 ultra-Orthodox men broke into Joseph's Tomb near Nablus. One Breslov Hasid was lightly wounded by Palestinian police gunfire when he tried to break into the holy Jewish site.

Holland to reconsider UNRWA funding‏

THE HAGUE (EJP)---Holland will "thoroughly review" its policy on the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal told the parliament in The Hague.

The Dutch ruling party called UNRWA’s definitions "worrisome." Holland is UNRWA’s 6th largest donor, with an annual contribution of roughly 30 million dollars.

Rosenthal announced the review in reply to a question by the speaker of his own faction, the Liberal VVD.

"UNRWA uses its own unique definition of refugees, different to the UN’s. The refugee issue is a big obstacle for peace. We therefore ask the government acknowledge this discrepancy, which leads to the third-generation Palestinian refugees," VVD speaker Hans Ten Broeke said. Minister Uri Rosenthal promised to "thoroughly review the subject and adopt a balanced resolution on it." He added: "I understand many involved parties regard UNRWA’s approach as highly important as it helps clarify matters and bring them into focus."

The minister’s position is expected to be submitted in the coming weeks in a letter to parliament.

UNRWA was set up in 1949 by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as an independent body entrusted with caring for Palestinian refugees who fled their homes in the years 1946-1949. Unlike UNHCR, UNRWA extends the definition of refugee also to descendants.

Additionally, UNRWA refugees keep their status after gaining citizenship. UNHCR is responsible for all refugees except Palestinians.

According to UNRWA, there are approximately five million Palestinian refugees worldwide.

Last year Canada stopped its core funding of roughly 10 million dollars annually for UNRWA. In 2011 UNRWA enjoyed a budget of 1.23 billion dollars, roughly half of it provided by the U.S and the European Commission – its two largest donors, followed by Sweden, Britain and Norway.

An Invented People Despite Some Doubters

David Horowitz
Dec 13th, 2011

The Father of Palestinian “Nationalism” and His Hero

Some conservatives, most notably Elliot Abrams, have criticized Newt Gingrich​’s observation that the Palestinians are an invented people by saying that even if they are — (and there is no real question but that they are) — they’ve been around long enough (50 years, or since the creation of the PLO in 1964) so that we need to deal with that fact — not. What makes anyone think this is a people even today? Last spring I spoke at Brooklyn College. My speech was attended and then obstructed by a sizeable contingent from the Brooklyn College “Palestinian Club” — at least fifty people, all ethnic Arabs claiming to be Palestinians. During my talk I referred to the Palestinian death cult, its admiration for Hitler, its determination to wipe the Jewish state from the face of the earth, its eagerness to kill any Jew and to blow up its own children in the process. I said it was a “sick, sick culture.” But when the members of the so-called Palestinian Club erupted at me, what they said was “Why do you want to lynch all Muslims?” (This is on video available on YouTube or on our site — under “Videos” — for anyone who wants to check. It comes in the Q&A period.) This does not sound like a nationalist movement. But the evidence is that Palestinians are a political fiction for a movement whose organizing desire is the destruction of the Jewish state and expulsion of the Jews is far stronger than this small incident. In 1948, 80% of the so-called “Palestine Mandate” had been given to the Hashemite minority in control of Jordan. The Jews were given half of the remaining 20% and the Arabs the other half. A nationalist movement would surely have accepted the partition and then laid claim to the 80% controlled by the Hashemites in Jordan. No such thing happened. Instead the Arab states including Jordan attacked the Jewish state with the intention of destroying it.

The upshot of that war was a Jewish victory in 1949. Whereupon Egypt annexed Gaza and Jordan annexed the West Bank — all the territory that had been offered to the so-called Palestinians and rejected by them. There was not a peep out of the Arab world — or out of the so-called Palestinians — over this rejection. Why? Because a Palestinian state was never their agenda. Their agenda was and is the destruction of the Jewish state and the expulsion of the Jews from the Middle East — or failing that, their absolute subjection as a hated minority without access to state power.

Hamas is not a national movement. It is a fanatical religious cult which seeks a Muslim Empire throughout the Middle East and — in so many words — the extermination of the Jews. That’s in their charter. Is there an objection to this Nazi agenda from Abbas and the “moderate” terrorists of the West Bank? Not at all. The PLO has declared it will not recognize a Jewish state, has said that Palestine will be Jew free, and has formed an alliance with the Hamas Nazis.

The agenda of the Arabs in the Middle East is not nationalist — that went out with the vile dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser​. The agenda is Islam — an Islam whose prophet calls for the extermination of the Jews and whose leaders call on their Arab brethren to finish the job that Hitler started.

Palestinians to Use UNESCO to Ban Jews From Tomb of the Patriarchs

The Palestinians were objectively unready to ascend to UNESCO. Palestinian schoolbooks, for instance, were checked by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) for compliance with UNESCO’s guidelines on “international standards on peace and tolerance.” Suffice to say that IMPACT-SE found fault with passages like “Muslim countries need urgently jihad and jihad fighters in order to liberate the robbed lands and to get rid of the robbing Jews from the robbed lands in Palestine and in the Levant.” But the Palestinians persisted and – because ostensibly objective international law is whatever anti-Israel partisans want it to be – they managed to easily join the UN body. Their tactical victory was described by the Associated Press under the meticulously objective headline “UNESCO Euphoria: Palestinians step up UN efforts/” It came over the objections of the U.S. and other Western countries, objections that were themselves described by Hezbollah as “racist” because Islamists long ago learned to couch their positions in soft multiculturalist language.

The actual vote count isn’t really important any more, but it’s worth noting that Czech theoretical physicist Lubos Motl​ was moved to suspend his cutting-edge string theory blogging so he could declare that “a majority of the educated, scientific, and cultural world has been against Palestine’s membership [but] this subtle fact cannot matter” because of the UN’s anti-Western majority. He also noted that “the Palestinians are optimizing the ways to radicalize and sacrifice their children for the cult of terror,” which is similarly tangential to the news below about the Tomb of the Patriarchs but is undeniably true.

Having overlooked the Palestinians’ pro-genocide textbooks, UNESCO spent the next few weeks complaining about Ha’aretz political cartoons and electing Syria to a human rights-related committee. That was a nice break from their usual and elaborate practice of conducting anti-Israel lawfare, but now they’re back in their wheelhouse:

There’s not much about the [Tomb of the Patriarchs] that’s in doubt, including what Palestinian officials aim to do with the property if they get control of it — stop Jews from praying there. The stated reason: The massive stone structure built atop the cave by King Herod, a Jew, and held for a time by Christian Crusaders, has since the 14th century been a Muslim house of worship. The Ibrahimi Mosque has minarets, rugs, washrooms for ablutions and anterooms lined with racks for storing shoes. “It’s a mosque!” says Khaled Osaily, the mayor of Hebron. “You don’t have to be an architect to see it! Will you allow me to pray in a synagogue or a church?”

There’s precedent for this move. Just last year UNESCO declared that Rachel’s Tomb, a Jewish holy site attested to by extra-Biblical references dating back to the 4th century AD, was now a mosque. Scholars believe that the tomb’s absence from pre-Crusade Muslim texts shows that it was unimportant to early Islam. but – like so much in the Holy Land – its importance to Jews seems to have sparked renewed veneration among Muslims.

Next up will be Jerusalem itself. During the summer, UNESCO made a halting gesture at the idea that Jews have some claim on the city. Hamas – which you’ll recall is very much not a UN member-state with the same rights and prerogatives and Israel – promptly and strongly objected, and then UNESCO rushed to take the whole thing back. Not a promising precedent.



Gingrich or the Palestinians; One of Them is Delusional

Camie Davis

Rick Moran wrote a blog for American Thinker entitled, "Are the Palestinian people really 'invented' as Gingrich claims?" Moran leads with Barry Rubin's fact check on ABC's fact check of Gingrich's statement. It's no surprise that ABC concluded that Gingrich's statement was false. Rubin, however, says that Gingrich was "basically correct" yet concludes that what matters most is that the Palestinian people believe that they are in fact a people
Moran seems to accept Rubin's assessment and ends his article by saying, "But Dr. Rubin has nailed it; it doesn't matter what we think as much as what the Palestinians themselves believe. You must deal with the world as it is, not as we would like it to be."

I respectfully disagree with Moran's take on this issue. If we accept that the Palestinians are a legitimate people just because they believe they are, where does this kind of logic end? What else should we accept just because the Palestinians believe it?

The Palestinians print maps of what people who know real history would call Israel. Yet, their maps are of a country that shows no evidence of Israel or Jews existence. I believe Israel exists. Palestinians believe Israel shouldn't exist. Do we apply Rubin's and Moran's logic of, "it doesn't matter what we think as much as what the Palestinians themselves believe," therefore Israel shouldn't exist?

The Palestinians believe that the Temple Mount has always been one of the holiest spots on earth to Muslims, and that the Jews have no historical connection to it. They also believe that Rachel's tomb is a mosque. Do we believe the same thing about these Jewish sites just because the Palestinians do?

If we must "deal with the world as it is," according to what Palestinians believe, then we'll quit mourning the tragedy of 9/11 and accept that what happened was America's fault. And we'll believe that terrorists in Israel are freedom fighters and that suicide bombers are merely expressing their frustration and hatred towards the apartheid state of Israel. Never mind the fact that Arabs have more freedom in Israel than any other Arab country in the world. That's not what Palestinians believe. The list could go on ad nauseum of the beliefs of Palestinians that are lies passed off as truth.

Gingrich had the guts, or as some would argue, the gall and stupidity, to finally shout what is equivalent to, "The emperor has on no clothes!" in a public forum. He said what so many of us know, yet don't have the stage to say it on; that the faux Palestinian narrative is based on revisionist history, i.e. fiction. It is absurd that the American government keeps basing its foreign policy on a delusional narrative and pushing Israel to base its security on that narrative. If history is written by the victors, then why is Israel's history and future being written by Arabs who have lost all the wars they have started against Israel? The Arabs are writing calculated fiction, and passing it off to the world as history via the liberal media, politicians and the U.N.

He has said outlandish things before. His narrative is easy to poke holes through right? Yet, it's a little harder to poke holes at him when he is merely repeating what Arabs said before the this-is-how-the-world-is Palestinian propaganda machine took off.

A one-time member of the PLO executive council, Zuhair Muhsin, once said, "There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity . . . yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel."

Syrian President Hafez Assad told Arafat, "You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, and there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, and Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore, it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people."

My hat goes off to Gingrich for calling things as they are, not as the Palestinians wish us to believe. Imagine if we had a presidential candidate who started calling things as they are in America and not as liberals and the mainstream media wish us to believe.

Read more:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Greece and Israel: Reluctant Allies

Joseph Puder
Dec 12th, 2011

The recent official state visit to Greece by Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon signified a drastic upturn in the relationship between Greece and Israel. And while neither Israel nor Greece considers Turkey officially as an enemy state, clearly the deterioration in the relationship between Ankara and Jerusalem provided the impetus for the tightening of relations between Greece and Israel. There is a universally accepted maxim in the Middle East: “Your enemy’s enemy is your friend.” For Israel that friend used to be Turkey – whose enemies were the Arabs. As Turkey Islamized under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it turned against Israel. As for the Greeks, the Turks have been their perennial enemies, albeit, they are both NATO members. The island of Cyprus, invaded by Turkey in 1974, was subsequently split between the Greeks and Turks and is a constant source of friction. Greece has supported the Greek majority in the south of the island, while Turkey supports the Turkish minority in the northern part of the island. It is under these circumstances that Israel and Greece have finally found common ground, and mutual interest in a strategic alliance.

Years of stagnation in Greek-Israeli relations was temporarily halted when the two countries signed a military agreement in December 1994; however both sides refrained from activating the agreement. Greece worried about alienating the Arab world, while Israel was concerned about upsetting Turkey. In 1997 Greece and Israel agreed on joint naval maneuvers; however the Greeks decided to postpone them at the last moment. The events of September 11, 2001, and the rise of Islamism in the Middle East and the Balkans made it imperative for Greece to consider a strategic partnership with Israel. Sharing intelligence with Israel would, by all accounts, increase Greece’s security.

Israel and Turkey had considerable trade exchanges for many years (most recently in 2009 with $1.5 billion in exports to Turkey and $1.8 billion in imports from Turkey) with along with maintaining strong military ties. In the meantime, Greece has been catering to Arab investors from Lebanon and the Gulf. Not only did Greece trade heavily with the Arab world, more often than not it voted with the Arabs as well. The foreign policy of the Socialist Prime Minister of Greece, Andreas Papandreou​ sought to cultivate ties with the Arabs, especially terrorist groups like the P.L.O. and terror sponsoring states like Syria and Libya. This, along with Israel’s close ties with Turkey, led to distrust between the two states. The escalation in Turkish-Israeli relations following the re-election of Erdogan as Turkey’s Prime Minister, and his Islamist agenda, which sought close relations and a leadership role in the Arab and Muslim world, laid the foundation to the new partnership between Greece and Israel.

Turkey’s growing influence in the independent states that were formerly Ottoman provinces worries the Greeks, while Turkey’s cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran concerns Israel. Both Greece and Israel have come to realize that Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus might become a base for Islamic penetration of Europe. Moreover, the newly discovered Israeli offshore gas fields offer another avenue of cooperation. Israel views Greece not only as a gas procurer, but also as a European hub, from which Israeli gas could be channeled and sold to Europe.

When Israel experienced one of its most devastating firestorms in the Carmel Mountains last year, Greece immediately sent special fire-extinguishing aircraft. The lifesaving skills of Israel Defense Forces rescue crews have proven themselves to Greece in their frequent fight against fires.

The loss of Turkish airspace for Israeli Air Force (IAF) training and maneuvers has now been replaced by Greece’s airspace. Greece’s further distance from Israel provides an excellent opportunity for the IAF to train against Iranian targets. In fact, three-years ago, joint exercises were conducted in Greece that involved scores of Greek and Israeli jets.
Israel and Greece also share a common interest in combating Islamist terror. Israeli security consultants helped the Greek security services prepare for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Furthermore, Israel has informed the Greeks of the presence of Hezbollah and Iranian operatives on Greek soil.

In economic terms Israel’s trade with Greece is relatively small compared to that with Turkey, but it is growing, In 2005 Israel’s exports to Greece amounted to $202M, in 2006 it grew to $245M, excluding services. Conversely, Israel provides the largest market for Greece’s exports in the Middle East. And with the Greek military budget being one of the highest in Europe at 3% of the GDP, the potential for Israeli arms sales to Greece is significant. Tourism from Israel to Greece has increased considerably as Turkey has become less hospitable to Israelis. Israeli tourists no longer limit their vacations to the Greek islands, but make its Greek cities like Athens and Salonika part of their tours. Approximately 250,000 Israeli tourists visited Greece in 2010, a 200% increase over the previous year.

In the first visit to Israel on July 23, 2010 by a Greek prime minister in decades, Prime Minister George Papandreou made a point of saying that “We too say never again!,” when referring to the Holocaust in which thousands of Greek Jews were murdered. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s spokesman declared that “Greece and Israel will undergo a major upgrade of relations.” In his reciprocal visit to Greece the following month PM Benjamin Netanyahu said “We need a peaceful region—a peaceful Middle East region…we also hope that this trip will be a first step to keep improving bilateral relations with Greece.” The host, PM Papandreou then stated that, “Good relations between Greece and Israel should be complementary and not competitive with relations between Turkey and Israel.”

During last month’s visit to Greece by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, his Greek counterpart Dimitris Dollis stated that Israel-Greece relations upgraded in 2010 would continue and strengthen in the near future. Dollis stressed that the ties between Greece and Israel would not be affected by change of governments in Greece. For his part, Ayalon stated that “Israel will defend Greek oil drilling in Cyprus” and added, “If anyone (Turkey or Hezbollah, JP) tries to challenge these drillings, we will meet those challenges.” It was agreed between the two deputy Foreign Ministers that Greece and Israel have common strategic interests in energy and energy security.

Considering the fact that Greece established diplomatic relations with Israel as late as 1992, the bilateral relations between these two Mediterranean nations has now matured enough to go a step further. Perhaps economic interests and strategic considerations will supersede the idiomatic phrase “One’s enemy’s enemy is one’s friend.” Their common Judeo-Christian history and the threat of Islam have opened the door for a genuine alliance between Greece and Israel. Their combined strength could change the region and history.

BBC reporter not quite sure why a terrorist was in prison

Elder of Ziyon

At the BBC website there is a video clip of reporter Jon Donnison speaking to one of the freed terrorists in Gaza, Ahmed Abu Taha.

Donnison starts the interview off by saying, "'You are 31 years old, 10 years in prison, serving a life sentence for being a member of Hamas, I mean, how do you feel today?" Was Taha serving a life sentence only for being a member of Hamas?

Well, it seems he was a bit more involved than that.

From the MFA site:

Ahmed Abd Al Karim Ali Abu Taha was born in 1980 and resides in Ramallah. Abu Taha was involved in preparing explosives for Hamas terrorists in Ramallah, including the car bomb that exploded in Giva'at Ze'ev in Jerusalem on 29 July 2001. A member of the Ibrahim Abu Rub and Ballal Baraguti organizations, he transported the suicide bomber Ra'ad Baraguti from Ramallah to Jerusalem, where he exploded on Hanevi'im Street on 4 September 2001 and injured 14 people. It is interesting to note that his father, Abd Al Karim Ali Mustafa Abu Taha, works in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Also, according to the list of prisoners given out by Israel, he was sentenced to 27 years, not life. He only intended to kill scores of people, but he wasn't successful.

But when the BBC gets such a great interview, with someone who actually knows English, why should they bother reporting those little inconvenient facts? It might insult Mr. Taha, and that wouldn't be polite.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

With pride and glory comes a warning about future education

The scientific community ridiculed him • Linus Pauling dubbed him a "quasi-scientist." • On Saturday, Schechtman was vindicated when the Swedish king awarded him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom's Correspondent in Stockholm and Israel Hayom Staff

STOCKHOLM -- For years the scientific establishment did battle against professor Dan Schechtman. The man who forced the chemistry world to concede that one of the fundamental principles passed down to millions of scientist for decades was simply not true got his just desserts on Saturday. At 6:10 p.m. he stood before King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and received the Nobel Prize. Just hours before the most important ceremony of his professional life, Schechtman appeared unruffled. "It's a personality thing," he said shortly after the dress rehearsal.

At the dress rehearsal, a commoner had stood in for the Swedish king. By the time Schechtman stood before the actual king of Sweden, even the man known for his unflappability was unable to conceal his emotion.

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Over the past several days, Sweden's capital had given Professor Schechtman a royal reception. It seemed the Swedes could not get enough of his lectures. In Israel too, every speech he delivered over the past several days was followed by an entire country excited about the 10th Nobel Prize awarded to an Israeli. "Thanks to you, an entire nation stands tall today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told him by telephone. "Your achievements are a badge of pride for the entire nation."

Shortly after receiving the Nobel Prize, Schechtman vowed to use his newfound fame to try to influence decision-makers, and by Sunday morning he was already making good on his promise.

In an interview with Israel Radio's Keren Neubach Sunday morning, Schechtman, like other Nobel laureates before him, spoke out about what he described as the alarming state of Israel's primary and secondary school systems. "A generation is growing up in Israel that does not know how to count," he said.

In a thinly veiled reference to ultra-Orthodox schools, he said that schools that refuse to teach core subjects, like math, science and English, should be denied government funding. "You can pray for God's charity, but it will not put bread on the table."

Without mincing words, he said that parents who do not give their children an education in core subjects should be subject to punishment by law. "In effect, they are abusing their children and turning them into street beggars," he said, adding that he had expressed these views with the prime minister and education minister, who share his concern, but that they need to be pressed to actually implement change.

Schechtman did praise the current government, which he said has invested more in higher education and in education in general, but he said more improvements are needed, mainly in primary education.

Schechtman's discoveries introduced quasicrystals to the world. These are chemical structures that, contrary to many years of accepted belief, are not arranged periodically. Schechtman's saga, therefore, is not just about the crystals but about the triumph of scientific truth.

"Your discovery of quasicrystals has created a new branch of science," said Professor Sven Lidin of the Swedish Academy, who presented Schechtman prior to his Nobel banquet speech. "This is in itself of great importance. It has also given us a reminder of how little we know and perhaps given us some humility. That is a truly great achievement."

The first scientific journal where Schechtman sought to publish the findings that ultimately won him the Nobel turned him down. The second journal did publish his article, but only six months after receiving it. The scientific community turned their backs on him. Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, cast doubt on Schectman's work at every turn.

In his Nobel lecture on Thursday, Schechtman said he had been a disgrace to his research group, but nevertheless refused to give up. He knew he would prevail, simply because he was right, he said, going on to quote to the distinguished audience in Stockholm Psalm 23: "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."

At a reception for the Nobel Laureate held by Israel's ambassador in Stockholm, Benny Dagan, Schechtman admitted that he does not intend to follow the example of Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israel's first Nobel Prize winner. Agnon, who won the prize for Literature in 1966, said in his speech that he had only left the state of Israel twice, once in his books and the second time to visit Sweden and Norway to receive the prize. "I plan to do a lot of travelling around the world to promote the importance of education, technological innovation and science," Schechtman said.

In addition to the Nobel medal, Schechtman received a prize of 10 million Swedish kronas, about $1.5 million.

Heightened security

Prior to the ceremony, Schechtman attended shaharit (morning) services at the Stockholm Great Synagogue. Swedish police deployed heavily for the event. Two police cars had been stationed near the synagogue since Friday afternoon and on Saturday morning, two helicopters circled the skies of Stockholm. The Swedish authorities understood clearly that an Israeli laureate necessitated heightened security. The kingdom of Sweden has not cut Israel much slack in recent years, but it appears that the language of science has the power to breach borders.

With Schechtman's prize, a small country has turned into a Nobel powerhouse. Much of this is thanks to the Technion, an academic institution that is gradually becoming one of the world's most prestigious, with several Nobel laureates working under its roof. It is no wonder that Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie was strolling around Stockholm on Saturday as if he himself had won the prize. On this day of triumph, who would think that he would soon return to the struggle of managing an institution that, while prestigious and successful, is running a deficit of NIS 50 million?

"I want to promote education, technological innovation and science"

"Our dad is the same dad as ever, despite the Nobel Prize," Tamar, Schechtman's oldest daughter, told Israel Hayom on Saturday. She was dining with the rest of the family at the Nobel banquet in Stockholm's City Hall, in the presence of Sweden's king and queen. I asked Schectman what was the most exciting day of his life: his wedding day, the day his first daughter was born, or today, winning the Nobel Prize.

"I was moved to tears at the birth of all four of my children," he said. "The Nobel pales in comparison."

Swedish television rebroadcast Schechtman's remarks on Saturday that "the Nobel Prize gives one access to decision-makers and I intend to take advantage of that."

"Do you really plan to take advantage of that?" Israel Hayom asked him.

"From now on I want to promote education, technological innovation and science. That is my goal."

When I caution Schechtman that if he persists in this goal, he may not have time to win a second Nobel Prize, he responds, "As I said, I have other plans."

"Did you believe this day would ever come?" I ask.

"I did not expect it this year, but I knew I was a candidate for many years. I feel lucky today, because everyone who gets the prize deserves it, but not everyone who deserves it gets the prize."