Saturday, April 14, 2012

Solomon’s Wisdom on Revolutionary Islamism and Terrorism

Barry Rubin

Hussein Solomon is a South African professor who is the leading expert on revolutionary Islamist terrorism in his own country and Africa generally. He has just finished a book, Global Jihad: The South African Front. Equally interesting, though, is the background to his work.

In the book he explains why he is so intent on this subject. Solomon describes how he was affected by an August 1998 terrorist attack on Planet Hollywood in Cape Town in which two people were killed and others injured or even crippled.

He writes:

The people who perpetrated such an act of barbarity called themselves Muslim and attempted to justify the act as a blow against the Great Satan–the United States of America. But, the political mandarins ofWashingtonwere not hurt by this outrage. It was ordinary men, women and children enjoying dinner and pleasant conversation who were now held in death’s unyielding grasp or maimed….

“I was both angry and sad. Angry that fellow Muslims would perpetrate such an atrocity and saddened that other Muslims would countenance such behavior. And then he had an experience even closer to home. In December 2006 he took his children to a park in Cape Town for an outing at a waterfront park only to hear, shortly after leaving, that an Islamist terrorist had been caught carrying three pipe bombs in his car on the way to bomb that very place. “As I watched my children play…realizing that I could have lost them that day I tried hard to fathom the loathing that drove a fellow Muslim to target such a place.”

While only a small number of radical Muslims “are prepared to kill, radical Islam as an ideology has increasingly penetrated mainstream Muslim society in South Africa” and, one might add, in many other places. “Violence and intimidation has become routine to silence moderate voices.” When he organized a conference to discuss these issues he was warned not to do so and “labeled in various quarters as a CIA/Mossad agent. Then anonymous callers threatened my life and the life of my children.”

Speakers were also pressured to withdraw but the conference eventually took place only under police protection.

“The really scary part for me is how ordinary South African Muslims find such intimidation acceptable.” Two years ago, while being interviewed at a Muslim radio station to call for “frank and open debate and discussion for the Muslim community” he mentioned that he had received death threats for hosting a Palestinian Authority official.

I was then interrupted by the interviewer and was told that the death threats were understandable since I should have hosted Hamas and not someone from Fatah viewed as more moderate. I was shocked that a journalist, a Muslim or any other, should show such disdain to free speech, which lies at the bedrock of his profession.

Other moderate Muslims and groups have also faced threats and intimidation, leading

Professor Yusuf da Costa to lament, “The West is full of Islamic scholars who have had to run for their lives from their countries of birth. What have we done to Islam that Muslims have to seek asylum under the Cross?”

“Under apartheid,” Hussein notes, “it was morally incumbent upon White South Africans to stand up…Similarly at this juncture of our history, it is morally incumbent upon Muslims to stand up and declare that Usama bin Laden and others of his ilk do not speak for us. If we do not do this, we are all complicit in our silence at the deaths of the innocent.”

The position often taken by the South African government and security services is that there is no terrorist threat in the country because South Africa hasn’t done anything aggressive toward Muslim-majority societies. Yet as several European countries have discovered, while

Legitimate grievances might well be exacerbating Islamist rage, however; it is certainly not the catalyst for it. Rather, Islamist terrorism is motivated by a worldview which expounds the position of world domination through the violent seizure of governments and the establishment of an autocratic state where dissent, political opposition and the proverbial other does not exist.

Only when more Muslims follow the wisdom of Solomon and more Westerners truly support and help true moderates will there be hope for dealing with this huge problem posed by revolutionary Islamism and terrorism.

Also read my article, “The Three Myths that Distort Every Discussion of Israel and the Middle East”

Friday, April 13, 2012

North Korea's Rogue Missile Launch

Mike Brownfield

April 13, 2012

In defiance of international pressure, North Korea last night launched a long range missile, underscoring the belligerent regime’s continuing threat to U.S. interests and regional stability in Asia.

The launch comes as the rogue nation is continuing its transition to new leadership under dictator Kim Jong-un, who replaced his father Kim Jong-il after his death in December. In addition to the missile test, it has been reported that North Korea may also be in the “final stages” of preparations for another nuclear test, leading to escalating tensions that could spur Jong-un to undertake more provocative military actions. This is despite promising on February 29 to agree to a “moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches, and uranium enrichment activity at Yongbyon and [would] allow the IAEA to monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment while productive dialogues continue.” The Obama Administration was criticized for accepting this vague statement as a bilateral agreement without insisting on a detailed joint document that clearly laid out both sides’ commitments. Today, we see the result as North Korea is claiming that its test did not violate the terms of the agreement.

North Korea’s missile reportedly failed shortly after launch, but nevertheless demands a strong U.S. response. Heritage’s Bruce Klingner writes of the growing danger under the country’s new leadership, warning that Jong-un “is more likely than his father Kim Jong-il to miscalculate during a crisis, unaware that Seoul is more likely to retaliate to a military clash than in the past.” Klingner also notes that President Obama has undermined America’s ability to confront the North Korean threat:

North Korea’s actions are taking place as the Obama Administration is failing to adequately resource its much-vaunted Asia pivot. Drawdowns in U.S. forces in Europe and Afghanistan are not shifting to address growing Asian threats–a case of robbing Peter to not pay Paul. The planned cuts to the U.S. military undercut Washington’s ability to fulfill its security commitments, even as North Korea and China are acting more assertively.

As South Korea calls for action at U.N. Security Council, Klingner says there are several steps the United States can and should take in response to North Korea’s actions. First and foremost, the United States should submit a new U.N. Security Council resolution requiring more extensive sanctions on North Korea and enabling naval ships to intercept North Korea ships suspected of transporting precluded nuclear, missile, and conventional arms, components, or technology. In addition, Klingner writes, the United States should demand that all U.N. member nations fully implement U.N. resolutions requirements to prevent North Korea’s procurement and export of missile-related and WMD-related items and technology, and freeze the financial assets of any involved North Korean or foreign person, company, or government entity.

There are more steps that Washington can take, such as independently imposing sanctions on any company, bank, or government agency complicit in North Korean proliferation, while calling leading other nations in efforts to do the same. Meanwhile, the United States should fully fund its defense requirements and maintain a robust presence in South Korea and Japan, while also continuing missile defense deployment and working with South Korea to deploy its own system.

North Korea’s missile launch is a severe violation of several U.N. resolutions, and a failure to hold it accountable would undermine international attempts to keep the country’s behavior in check. The Obama Administration must take action now to neutralize and diminish the North Korean threat.

Quick Hits:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a declaration on Thursday warning that all Americans should be “on guard” as the Obama administration threatens religious liberty. “We need … to speak frankly with each other when our freedoms are threatened. Now is such a time,” they wrote.
Though President Obama is attempting to slash the U.S. military’s budget, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) is planning on setting defense spending levels at a higher level, despite the President’s budget proposal and caps agreed to last year.
Ann Romney is defending her role as a stay-at-home mom after a Democratic strategist said she had “never worked a day in her life.” Romney took to Twitter for the first time and wrote, “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”
Iran is meeting today with the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany for talks on the country’s nuclear program. Iran is believed to be in pursuit nuclear weapons capabilities despite international opposition — a threat which has prompted Israel to hint at pre-emptive strikes to defend itself.
Lunchtime Web Chat: Join us today from 12 to 1 pm as we discuss Taxmageddon — the massive tax increases coming in 2013 — and President Obama’s “Buffett Rule.” Find out how these policies will affect you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

“Jew Flu”: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies

Ronn Torossian

Lenin called those who work against their own people’s best interests in support of their enemies “helpful idiots,” and I am sure that many in the Arab world feel the same way about entities like J Street and Peter Beinart . Throughout history – both ancient and modern, there has never been a shortage of people or groups from within and without the Jewish community who harm Jews – and the most effective stick for beating Israel over the head is a Jewish or Israeli stick. There are many terms that have been used to describe such people, including, self-hating Jews and sufferers of the “Jew flu” – and it is not a new phenomenon. From Nicholas Donin, who in 1240 helped establish a decree to publicly burn all available copies of the Talmud, to Karl Marx. Theodor Lessing authored the 1930 book Der Jüdische Selbsthass (“Jewish Self-hatred”), and Labor Zionist leader Berl Katznelson asked, “Is there another People on Earth so emotionally twisted that they consider everything their nation does despicable and hateful, while every murder, rape, robbery committed by their enemies fill their hearts with admiration and awe?”

Growing up in the ‘80’s & 90’s as a member of the Betar Movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, I remember in the cast as Michael Lerner, Shulamit Aloni, Abie Nathan and other fools. One wonders what these disproportionately loud critics of Israel and the Jewish communities think.

Jews who sympathize with our enemies represent a tiny portion of world Jewry – but the prominence they command in public discourse creates a tyranny of the minority. There is no shortage of Anti-Israel books, but media coverage of them soars when Jews are the authors. Newsweek hosts a far-left wing extremist blog by Peter Beinart providing a mainstream media dedicated platform for a viewpoint which is completely apart from the mainstream Jewish community’s way of thinking.
Journalist Uzi Silber coined the term “Jew Flu,” saying, “those infected with the virus wildly inflate Israeli sins real or imagined, while excusing or rationalizing Palestinian anti-Semitism and outrages against Jews.”
Kenneth Levin, a Harvard psychiatrist, says that Jewish self-hatred is in part a result of Stockholm syndrome, where “population segments under chronic siege commonly embrace the indictments of their besiegers however bigoted and outrageous.”
This was epitomized by Rosa Luxemburg, a prominent Bolshevik who said, “I have no room in my heart for Jewish suffering – Why do you pester me with Jewish troubles?”

Throughout history, Jewish self-haters have been influenced by a perversion of Judaism which says that universal social justice is the core Jewish mission. It’s simply not true that this is the central point of Judaism – and one wonders why these people ignore all of the other Jewish commandments. They seem to miss the point that if they and other Jewish enemies succeed in their collaboration, Israel won’t be a nation – and can’t be a “light unto the nations”.

In the year 2012, we must heed the words of Jabotinsky, “We were not created in order to teach morals and manners to our enemies.”

While Beinart and J-Street continue on with their self-hating and shameful behavior, they fail to note that the “Arab spring” hasn’t brought any Arab country closer to Israel – Arabs in Libya or Cairo haven’t been speaking up about the Jewish need to live in peace, or tweeting about the positive example of the Jewish democracy. These “helpful idiots” continue writing and issuing statements while there are no Arabs speaking up for Jewish causes. These liberal Jews speak out for the whole world – Tibet, Sudan – and of national rights for all people – except the Jews. They speak of a “humanity” that will divest the Jewish people of their humanity.

Harvard professor Ruth Wisse says, “the rapid demoralization of Jews in the face of anti-Zionism… shows the depth of the influence of the past, for many have yet to achieve the simple self-respect that has been eluding the Jews collectively since the dawn of modernity.”

As it says in the Talmud “Israel are the sons and daughters of Kings,” – We, the Jewish people, are sons and daughters of the first king and queen, Abraham and Sarah. These self-hating Jews have forgotten that Jews are the chosen people and descend from royalty – and we will continue to pray and work for the State of Israel and Jewish people.

Author of “For Immediate Release”, Ronn Torossian owns 5WPR, 1 of the largest US PR Firms, and is a Jewish philanthropist and board member of numerous Jewish organizations.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Poll: Nearly One-Half of Palestinians Support Terrorist Attacks Murdering Jews

A new poll has shown that nearly half of all Palestinians - 47.5% - support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians inside the 1949 armistice lines. The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) between 15-17 March 2012, also found that, if new presidential elections were to take place today, the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA)‘s Mahmoud Abbas would win 53% of the vote, while Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh would secure 42%. (Hamas, like Fatah, is not only a terrorist organization, but calls in its Charter for the worldwide murder of Jews). Also, 55% of Palestinians reject the proposal that, should a Palestinian state be established alongside Israel, there be mutual recognition encompassing recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, whereas only 43% accept this proposal. (Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (43), Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, April 3, 2012). Previous poll results showing Palestinians supporting terrorist attacks on Israelis:

July 2011: A Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCP) poll, sponsored by the Israel Project: An overwhelming 73% of Palestinians agree with the hadith [Islamic tradition ascribed to Muhammad), quoted by the terrorist group Hamas in its Charter, about the need to murder Jews. An even larger number of Palestinians – 80% - agree with the statement in the Hamas Charter calling for creation of Arab and Islamic battalions to fight the Jews (Gil Hoffman, ‘6 in 10 Palestinians reject 2-state solution, survey finds,’ Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2011).

October 2010: A Palestinian Survey (PSR) Research Unit poll (no. 37): 49% of Palestinians support suicide bombing attacks upon Israelis, while a virtually equal number (49.2%) oppose such attacks. 14% of Palestinians strongly favored such acts of terrorism, while only 6% of Palestinians strongly opposed them) (PSR Research Unit, ‘Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (37),’ October 24, 2010).

October 2010: Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll: 51% of Palestinians supported the murderous August 31 terror attacks by Hamas which killed 4 Israeli civilians near the Bani Nayim junction, with only 44% of Palestinians opposed (Chana Ya’ar, ‘Poll: Most PA Arabs Back Recent Murder of Israeli Civilians,’ Israel National News, October 5, 2010).

March 2009: Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) poll: 54% of Palestinians support terror attacks upon Israelis inside Israel, as opposed to only 42% who oppose such attacks (Press Release, ‘Joint Israeli-Palestinian Poll, March 2009,’ Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, March 15, 2009).

January 2009: Jerusalem Media & Communications Center poll: 55.4% of Palestinians support continued suicide bombings against Israel, as against 37.6% who oppose it. (Jerusalem Media & Communications Center, Poll No. 67, January 2009)

April 2008: Jerusalem Media & Communications Center (JMCC): 49.5% of Palestinians support “resistance operations” [i.e. terrorism], while 47% support suicide bombings (Khaled Abu Toameh, 'Palestinians' backing for terror rises,' Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2008).

March 2008: Palestinian Center for Policy & Survey Research: 64% of Palestinians support rocket attacks upon Israeli cities.

September 2006: Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the PCPSR: 57% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians.

September 2006: JMCC: Nearly half of all Palestinian Arabs (48%) support suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

September 2006: Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah University: 61.3% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians; 52.5% support rocket attacks upon Israeli population centers.

July 2006: JMCC: 60.4% support the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks upon Israel from northern Gaza.

June 2006: Palestinian Center for Policy & Survey Research: 56% of Palestinians support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians.

March 2006: Palestinian Center for Policy & Survey Research: 52% support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "It is often said that Palestinians no longer embrace a program for eliminating Israel, but merely wish to live in their own independent state within the territories Israel captured in 1967. As a result, many conclude that Israel has an obligation to negotiate a peaceful outcome with Palestinians. However, this poll and others show that the majority of Palestinians continue to support unreconstructed terror movements that do not accept Israel's existence as well as further suicide bombings and rocket attacks upon Israel. Tragically, this demonstrates that Palestinians continue to embrace Israel's elimination.”

'US won't free Pollard because CIA believes he wasn't alone'

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon tells Israel Hayom that American intelligence officials believe the convicted Israeli spy had an accomplice that Israel refuses to name, but that there is "no shred of evidence to support this belief" • Pollard supporters awaiting official response from U.S. President Obama to President Peres' request.

Shlomo Cesana, Yori Yalon, Yoni Hirsch and Israel Hayom Staff
Multiple U.S. administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have refused to release Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life term after being convicted in 1987 of spying for Israel. Former CIA director George Tenet threatened to resign in 1998 if Pollard were freed, while last year Vice President Joe Biden said, "over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time."

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Yisrael Beitenu), this ongoing intransigence stems from the "baseless" belief among the most senior U.S. officials that Pollard was not working alone when he spied for Israel while working as a civilian intelligence analyst. Top CIA officials believe that Pollard had an accomplice whom Israel has refused to name or acknowledge, Ayalon told Israel Hayom.

Ayalon believes American intelligence officials have demanded that Pollard remain in prison and that no U.S. president has been willing to override this request. In 1998, Tenet told President Bill Clinton he would resign if Pollard were freed, pointing to what some have said is the lingering anger U.S. intelligence agencies felt about Pollard's having passed top secret documents to the Israelis.

Ayalon formerly served as the Israeli ambassador to Washington, and has worked through various diplomatic channels to win Pollard's release, to no avail. Ayalon was also the first Israeli diplomat to visit the Israeli spy in prison.

Senior American officials, including the former head of the CIA have proposed this theory that Pollard had an accomplice and believed it, despite the fact "there is not a shred of evidence to support that claim," Ayalon said.

Tenet reportedly made his threat after learning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was also premier in 1998, had asked Clinton to free Pollard within the framework of the Wye River Memorandum between Israelis and Palestinians. The New York Times had reported at the time, according to senior American officials, that Netanyahu told Clinton Pollard's release would help win right-wing support for the peace agreement. Clinton ultimately refused the request, as did his successor George W. Bush and, until now, so has Barack Obama.

Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem surmised on Tuesday that a possible date for Pollard's release, if it were to happen, could be this June when President Shimon Peres travels to the U.S. to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama.

MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), a member of the Knesset lobby to free Pollard, on Tuesday urged Peres to "protest" the American position by declining the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S., and cancel his scheduled meeting with the American president.

Diplomatic officials across the board have said they are not optimistic about Pollard's release, saying they believe the Americans are trying to deter other U.S. Jews from spying for Israel by offering a constant reminder of the consequences of espionage – even for a "friendly" country.

The Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry have largely kept quiet since the latest push for Pollard's release got underway on Sunday when his wife, Esther Pollard, met with Peres and urged him to ask Obama to free her husband, saying she did not want to be a widow.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Monday that Pollard has been hospitalized at a prison medical center in Butner, North Carolina, since April 4.

Peres on Monday sent Obama a personal appeal to commute Pollard's life sentence, but National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said the administration's position regarding Pollard's release has not changed and that President Obama has no intention of freeing him.

Despite Vietor's comments, Pollard supporters and the Israeli media reported Tuesday that Obama has not yet responded to Peres' request, meaning he has not officially rejected it.

The Committee to Free Jonathan Pollard issued a statement Tuesday, saying that only the American president has the authority to commute a life sentence or to pardon a prisoner, and that any other statement by any other U.S. official is not the final word on the matter. "We are all waiting for an official response from President Obama in person to President Peres," the committee said in a statement. The committee also said it believes Obama would accept Peres' request in light of Pollard's ailing health.

Pollard supporters also cited remarks Tuesday from former Under Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, who said Pollard may be released soon. "Given Jonathan's deteriorating health they may consider clemency," Korb was quoted as saying, "There is a chance."

"There is no doubt he should be freed," Korb said, according to Arutz 7. "Even if he was healthy, he has served 27 years for a crime most people receive much shorter sentences for – providing information to a friendly country."

Effie Lahav, one of the leaders of the movement to free Pollard, said Tuesday that he believes Korb, a Democrat, has something to base his opinion on. "At the same time," Lahav said, "we are at an especially sensitive time and we have to do everything we can behind the scenes so that the decision is made to release Pollard from behind bars."

Meanwhile, Noam Schalit, father of former captive soldier Gilad Schalit, met with Pollard's wife, Esther, in her Jerusalem apartment on Tuesday.

"I came to support and strengthen Esther, despite the fact that the struggle to free Pollard is different from our struggle," Schalit said at the end of his visit. "I tried to advise her on the subject of prisoner releases."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

PA minister: Palestinian unity needed to destroy Israel

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

A Palestinian Authority minister stated last month that the Palestinians should unite in order to focus on the destruction of Israel.

At an event with the participation of three PA ministers, Minister of Social Affairs Majida Al-Masri called for Palestinian unity and reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas in order "to turn to the struggle for the liberation of Palestine - all of Palestine.'"

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that when the Palestinian Authority uses the expression "all of Palestine," they include all of Israel.
The following is the report on the event in the official PA daily:

"The women of Palestine marked March 8 with a central rally, attended by a group of released female prisoners from the various districts of the West Bank. Participating in the events were Minister for Women's Affairs, Rabiha Dhiab; Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Karake; Minister of Social Affairs, Majida Al-Masri... and representatives from the territories occupied in 1948
(e.g., Palestinian euphemism for "Israel")...
Al-Masri sharply condemned the Israel Prison Services for its violations against the [hunger striking] prisoner Shalabi... We demand of everyone to push ahead with reconciliation [between Fatah and Hamas] and to end the state of division, so that we will be able to stand against the occupation, to halt its activities against our prisoners, and to turn to the struggle for the liberation of Palestine - all of Palestine.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 9, 2012]

Palestine as a State in UNESCO - Fantasy and Folly

No member State has objected to the flag of 'Palestine' now flying above UNESCO headquarters in Paris alongside their State's respective flags.

David Singer

Recognition of the existence of 'Palestine' as a State was ostensibly given the international imprimatur on 31 October 2011 - when 107 countries voted to admit 'Palestine' as the 195th member state of UNESCO.

Palestine’s admission to UNESCO rested upon Article II (2) of UNESCO’s Constitution which states:

“Subject to the conditions of the Agreement between this Organization and the United Nations Organization, approved pursuant to Article X of this Constitution, states not members of the United Nations Organization may be admitted to membership of the Organization, upon recommendation of the Executive Board, by a two-thirds majority vote of the General Conference.” Palestine’s application would presumably have been vetted by UNESCO’s 58 member Executive Board - to make sure Palestine qualified as a state to entitle it to become a member of UNESCO - otherwise the application would have had to be ruled out of order.

Article II (2) above indeed makes clear that there had to be a recommendation by the Executive Board.

To try and find out how the Executive Board came to its conclusion - I asked UNESCO two questions - to which I received the following answers on 1 December 2011:

QUESTION: Did the Secretariat or any other division within UNESCO prepare a report on the status of “Palestine” to qualify as a “state” to be admitted to membership of UNESCO? If so could I please be sent a copy.

ANSWER: There was no document submitted to the General Conference by the Secretariat relating to the status of Palestine.

QUESTION: On what basis can Palestine qualify to be admitted as a member State of UNESCO when it does not possess the necessary qualifications to be recognized as a State in customary international law as codified in article 1 of the Montevideo Convention 1933?

ANSWER: This question would need to be addressed to the UNESCO Member States that voted in favor of admission.

Not satisfied with these answers - I wrote a further letter on 2 December 2011 drawing UNESCO’s attention to the following:

Article II.2 of the Constitution requires "a recommendation of the Executive Board" as a necessary pre-condition for the admission of any states to UNESCO that are not members of the United Nations.

Can you supply a copy of the recommendation of the Executive Board to the General Conference to admit Palestine to membership of UNESCO and any reports that formed part of that recommendation or were considered by the Executive Board prior to making that recommendation.

There was no reply - only an impenetrable wall of silence erected by UNESCO ever since.

Now those of you who have read my many articles over the past 5 months know that I consider Palestine’s admission to UNESCO to be unconstitutional - being in breach of Article II (2) above.

I have unsuccessfully urged UNESCO to seek an advisory ruling from the International Court on the meaning of Article II (2) and on other clauses in the Constitution that appear to be inconsistent with it.

UNESCO can approach the Court to resolve these issues under Article XIV (2) of the Constitution which states:

“Any question or dispute concerning the interpretation of this Constitution shall be referred for determination to the International Court of Justice or to an arbitral tribunal, as the General Conference may determine under its Rules of Procedure”

Not one of the 194 UNESCO member states seems remotely interested in pursuing this option. All have apparently accepted the fact that Palestine is a State.

No member State has objected to the flag of Palestine flying above UNESCO headquarters in Paris alongside their State's respective flags.

Under Article II (7) - each Member State is entitled to appoint a Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.

On 23 January 2012 - Mr. Elias Wadih Sanbar was appointed Permanent Delegate of the member state of Palestine - without demur or objection from any of the other member states.

Given the apparent acceptance of Palestine as a state on an equal par with all the other 194 member states of UNESCO - my questions to all of them are:

Why is the world not now celebrating the realisation of the two-state solution on 31 October 2011?

When will UNWRA be disbanded - now that the State of Palestine exists?

Why is the UN still carrying the following outdated material on its website:

“In late April the Security Council is due to hold its quarterly open debate on the Middle East. The focus of discussion will likely be whether the Quartet has been able to achieve sufficient impetus to break the stalemate in the Israel/Palestine peace process.

The Quartet—comprising the EU, Russia, the UN and the US—will next meet on 11 April in Washington, DC.”

Why waste the Security Council’s time with another debate on efforts to break the stalemate in the Middle East - when the stalemate was broken on 31 October 2011?

Isn’t it time the Quartet disbanded and announced the cancellation of its next meeting set for 11 April 2012? Has it any function now - following international recognition by the 194 member states of UNESCO that Palestine is a State?

Not one of the 195 member states of UNESCO ( including Palestine itself) can pinpoint the State of Palestine on a map or the boundaries which it encompasses.

This surely is testimony to the mess that the world has landed itself in because it has chosen to ignore international law and UNESCO‘s Constitution.

The world will have to live with its flight into fantasy and folly and bear the consequences of its unlawful decision.

You can't be half pregnant - nor can you be half a state. If you call yourself a State - represent yourself as a State when seeking entry to world organizations - and get accepted on the basis of being a State - then you are a State and should stop efforts in that regard.

Time to focus now on the claims of other groups with long standing demands for self determination - such as the Tibetans, the Kurds, the Basques and the Corsicans.

They should now all apply to join UNESCO - using Palestine as the precedent - confident in the knowledge that if UNESCO can miraculously turn fiction into fact by recognizing "Palestine" as a "State" - it can make the aspirations of these other long suffering people become a similar reality.

What is good for the goose must surely be good enough for the gander.

Monday, April 09, 2012

West Bank and Jordan: Human Rights Groups, U.S., Europe Support the Unacceptable Yet Again

Khaled Abu Toameh
April 9, 2012

This is how Arab despots fight those who dare to criticize them or demand democracy or freedom of expression. One of those arrested by Palestinian policemen – trained and funded by Americans and Europeans - Ismat Abdel Khalek, university lecturer, single mother of two, and in deteriorating health, is awaiting trial in solitary confinement. International human rights have refused to endorse her case out of fear of alienating the Palestinians leadership in the West Bank.

Both Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah have been clamping down on anyone suspected of daring to criticize His Excellency The President, or His Majesty The King -- or any Arab dictator – by making it a crime to "extend the tongue."

In Jordan, two young men were recently sentenced to prison for "extending their tongues" against King Abdullah; six other Jordanians are awaiting trial on the same charges.

The Jordanian authorities arrested all the men during demonstrations and rallies in support of reforms and democracy in the kingdom. One of the suspects was arrested for burning a picture of the monarch; the rest were accused of chanting slogans against the regime and in favor of democracy and reform.

In a separate case, an Arab citizen of Israel was arrested by the Jordanians after he was suspected of speaking ill of the king. The man was released following the intervention of the Israeli authorities.

The Palestinian Authority, not much different from other Arab dictatorships, has also been cracking down on Palestinians who dare raise their voices in favor of freedom of speech and democracy.

In the past two weeks, Palestinian Authority policemen -- who are trained and funded by Americans and Europeans -- arrested three journalists for allegedly "extending their tongues" against Abbas and Palestinian government officials.

One of those arrested is the journalist and blogger Ismat Abdel Khalik, a single mother of two from the West Bank.

Her crime was that she posted a comment on Facebook that denounced Abbas as a "traitor" and "fascist" and called for dismantling the Palestinian Authority.

Abdel Khalik, who is also a university lecturer, is now facing trial for "extending her tongue" against the Palestinian president. She is being held in solitary confinement in a Palestinian prison.

Abdel Khalik's relatives and friends said that she was hospitalized shortly after her arrest because of her deteriorating health.

Some of her colleagues complained that international human rights organizations have refused to endorse her case out of fear of alienating the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank.

Abdel Khalik would have been more fortunate had she been arrested by Israel. Then she would have been depicted by the Western media as a hero and the UN Human Rights Council would have held an emergency session to condemn Israel and call for her immediate release.

Palestinian journalist Tareq Khamis, who protested against her arrest by posting a critical comment on Facebook, quickly found himself being led to interrogation by agents belonging to Abbas's much-feared Preventive Security Service. He too was suspected of "extending his tongue" against the president.

In light of the clampdown, Jordanians and Palestinians have been advised to keep their tongues inside their mouths to avoid detention and prosecution. This is how Arab despots fight those who dare to criticize them or demand democracy and freedom of expression. Ironically, the crackdown on those who "extend their tongues" is being led by the two Arab leaders who are considered among the West's best allies in the Middle East: Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Obama's Passover Message: Remember Trayvon, Vote For Me!

Ben Shapiro

Today, President Obama released his annual Passover message – and, as usual, he used it as an opportunity for political grandstanding. Last year, Obama used his message to compare the Jewish exodus from Egypt with the Islamist Arab Spring. This year, Obama made no less than two veiled references to race – and one relatively clear one to racial profiling and by extension, Trayvon Martin.
Here’s the text:

The story of the Exodus is thousands of years old, but it remains as relevant as ever. Throughout our history, there are those who have targeted the Jewish people for harm - a fact we were so painfully reminded of just a few weeks ago in Toulouse. Just as throughout history, there have been those who have sought to oppress others because of their faith, ethnicity or color of their skin.

Aside from denying the unique nature of anti-Semitism, this paragraph is specifically designed to get to Obama’s main point: racial profiling happens! How we started at the exodus and moved to oppression based on color is anybody’s guess. But there can be little doubt that the timing of the Trayvon Martin case was on Obama’s mind here. The reference wasn’t coincidental. Just two paragraphs later, Obama said this:

Once we have passed from bondage to liberty, how do we make the most of all that God has given us? This question may never be resolved, but throughout the years, the search for answers has deepened the Jewish people's commitment to repairing the world, and inspired American Jews to help make our union more perfect. And the story of that first Exodus has also inspired those who are not Jewish with common hopes, and a common sense of obligation.

Get out your decoder ring. The key phrase here is “make our union more perfect.” Obama typically uses that phrase when discussing racial divisions in America. His famous race speech in 2008 in which he threw Jeremiah Wright under the bus, for example, was titled, “A More Perfect Union.”

So once again, Obama uses the opportunity of Passover to forward his narrative: America is racially divided, but working together, we can re-elect Barack Obama and fix things. In case you didn’t get that, the National Jewish Democratic Council ensures you understand – by rewriting the famous Four Questions of the Jewish Passover Haggadah to answer that troublesome Passover guest who thinks that Obama is bad for the Jews and Israel:

As Jews in the United States and around the world gather together to celebrate Passover, it is important that we reflect on the blessings and freedoms that we have as Jews living in a free society. One of those blessings is that we have a President deeply committed to the safety and security of Israel, and the welfare of all Americans—including the needy among us.

At many seders, the topic of politics will more than likely come up—often because one of the guests received one of the many false and malicious emails floating around the internet. That dinner guest should be replied to with these four questions …

Two of the questions, by the way, praise Obamacare. And the other two make no mention of Obama’s repeatedly undercutting Israel, including leaks from the Administration that prevent an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. As Jonathan Toobin observes over at Commentary, “Such things show no respect for Judaism by trivializing the Exodus as merely an excuse for political rhetoric.”

But here’s the good news: Obama likes matzo ball soup!

The Rise of Shaul Mofaz: Repercussions for the Palestinians

Pinhas Inbari, WJC

Former IDF Chief of Staff MK Shaul Mofaz won his party’s primary last week and replaced MK Tzipi Livni as the official leader of the opposition in Israel. Mofaz’ rise to the top of the Kadima party is largely viewed as a negative development by the PLO government in Ramallah. The Palestinian leadership sees Livni’s demise as the loss of a major strategic ally in Israel and a threat to their quest for a political solution along the 1967 borders.

With Livni’s fall, Ramallah rightly or wrongly feels that it is left without an insider friend in Israel. The newly minted leader of Israel’s Labor party, MK Shelly Yachimovich, has forsaken her party’s traditional accent on the peace process and has instead chosen to concentrate on Israel’s social agenda – its version of the Arab Spring. The only peace plan declaration Yachimovich has made was to state that she would support the resumption of President Clinton’s old principles.

Mofaz, however, published a peace plan that makes his potential relationship with Abbas more complex. The plan is based on the principle of “a state within interim borders”, which Ramallah has persistently rejected over the years, demanding instead to adhere to the recognition of the 1967 borders. Moreover, Ramallah has been irked by Mofaz’ relationship with Palestinian leader Muhammad Dahlan – Abbas’s bitter enemy and political rival. The Palestinians view Dahlan as Mofaz’ ally in fulfilling the “state within interim borders” plan. While Dahlan has not disputed the official PLO position of rejecting the notion of “a state within interim borders”, he has admitted in a rare truthful moment that it was a pity the idea was never seriously offered by the Israelis.

Accordingly, while the Labor party does not seem to be taking sides in internal Palestinian politics, Mofaz’ advent to power signals Dahlan’s potential comeback to Abbas and to the government in Ramallah.

To make matters worse, the Internet has been rife with rumors about a secret meeting that took place between Mofaz and Dahlan in Tel Aviv during which the two powwowed and prepared for the eventuality of Mofaz’ primary victory. It was claimed that the two agreed that once Mofaz revives his peace plan, Dahlan would lend it Palestinian support. Ramallah, however, took this move as evidence of Mofaz backing of Dahlan when he comes to power, and, implicitly, support for Abbas’ deposal. Thus, it is not surprising that Palestinian websites called the alleged secret meeting “the treason conspiracy”.

Upon his victory, Mofaz did not give a statement or commit to adhere to the Palestinian track. Instead, he vowed to be faithful to the requirements of the Israeli Spring. In Ramallah, the Palestinians are likely to assume that this does not only signal the loss of valuable allies like former Kadima leaders Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, but that the Palestinian agenda in its entirety has lost its appeal to the Israeli public.
Thanks Ted Belman