Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Interview with MK Eldad

Background Information:
Member of the Knesset (MK): Leading Israeli opposition figure Moledet Party which is part of the National Union Party.
Professor of Medicine: Head of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem; internationally recognized specialist in this field. In wake of the 1994 genocide and cholera epidemic in Rwanda, Dr. Eldad headed the IDF medical contingent to that region.
Brigadier General (reserves): was Surgeon General of the IDF Medical Corps.

MK Arieh Eldad is the second ranking member of his party and was hailed by the Israeli press including Ma'ariv and Yediot Achronot as a man of integrity, hardworking, and a dedicated lawmaker. He heads the Ethics Committee of the Knesset. Recently, he helped launch the Ami-Chai Youth Movement to advance Zionism and educate Israeli students about the rich history of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.

WRITING THE WRONGS (WTW) invited MK Eldad to share his thoughts and ideas regarding Israel today and we are most pleased to present his responses. The format includes not only direct comments by the Minister but a summary of some of his concerns.

WTW: Given that international law does give Israel authority within the disputed territories, do you think that the country or even the Diaspora has communicated this message effectively to the world community?

WTW: It seems that we failed if the whole world is speaking about the 'occupation' and the 'illegal settlements', 'illegal roadblocks' between the Palestinians; it seems that we failed the battle of propaganda, PR, if not in the real battle against terrorism.

WTW: How can we change the language in general that stigmatizes Israel - like 'occupation' instead of 'disputed'? Do you think there is something we can do?

MK: Yes, for example, many, many countries, even the United States, distinguish the attitude about east Jerusalem that we annexed in 1967 and what I call the West Bank which we didn’t annex. We can still change the attitude from an Israeli point of view-for example, Jordan occupied the West Bank for 19/20 years; we have occupied the area for 40 years and we gave it a chance. It seems we have failed all of these trials for peace; we have dead-end solutions and we shall seek other solutions. We will start it with annexation of Judea and Samaria to the state of Israel. Of course, the world will not recognize it; the world does not recognize Jerusalem is our capitol.

The way to change the world’s attitude about the 'occupation' is to first change our view of the occupation. If Israel thinks this is 'occupied' territory, there is no question that the world will think the same. Only if Israel will change its attitude toward this status, this is the only chance that other states in the world will change attitude toward it and their positions toward this territory. We will have to explain to the world what did change, the two-state solution is no longer part of our plan; we have taken the two-state solution off the table. We have to think of another solution. We have to take the step to explain to our coalition our position and then we should work toward the solution of the conflict as we see it. We must address the state of the refugees; this is a regional solution, we must say that Jordan is Palestine and then work toward the humanitarian problem of the people. Millions of dollars was poured into the refugee camps and they were taught to become terrorists. We must now undo the damage that was done all these years and teach them not to be terrorists and then communicate to the world the need to correct the mistakes that were done to these people.

WTW: What can we do?

MK: First, we must change the government. It failed; it is a non-functioning government. It is not only a failed government; it is a corrupt government. We must make sure that the next government is a pro-Zionist government. This is not a pro-Zionist government; it is a post-Zionist government. Once we are able to take this action, we can go to election, we will have to give Israelis the choice of a Zionist government and if we would be able to do that there is a chance that the next government will be able to turn things back, given we are on the edge of a catastrophe.

WTW: How can we get individuals to stand up and take such a position?

MK: It’s a difficult question because I do not know how to change someone like Bibi Netanyahu and make him a real leader. He is a politician that calculates all of his steps, by surveys and polls and not by ideology. If he would have a survey or public opinion poll that would say the majority of the people want him to speak to the Hamas, he will speak to the Hamas.

I’m trying to be realistic that we cannot change Bibi Netanyahu, but what we can do is create a situation in the political arena where even Bibi would have to create a coalition government based upon the concepts of the Right; the coalition would be strong enough to prevent him from slipping toward the Left or detouring toward a two-state solution.

WTW: Will you prioritize what you think are the urgent issues that Israel must address-now?

WTW Commentary: In response to this question MK Eldad was very clear-he indicated that security and corruption were the two most important issues Israel is facing today. He minced no words and indicated that corruption was pervasive across the spectrum of life here in Israel. He mentioned, but did not elaborate, that not only was there corruption throughout the government, he pointed fingers at banking, the Supreme Court, the judicial system, business , and even the military.

MK Eldad offered several examples, indicating that the Likud Party was corrupt during Sharon’s time in power. One of the outcomes of this was that respected Chief of Staff (COS) Moshe ”Bogie” Ya'alon (now retired was ousted because he disagreed vehemently with PM Sharon’s disengagement plan for Gaza. This did not fit PM Sharon’s plans and he looked for a 'yes-man'- thus, General Halutz became the COS. It was a political nomination that ensured PM Sharon of support for his plan.”

MK Eldad took this argument one step further and indicated that the generals of the northern, central, and southern commands had all at one time or another been secretaries to then PM Sharon. They owed their command appointments to Mr. Sharon and thus let us pick up MK Eldad’s further statements with regard to this issue:

MK: Corruption and the outcome of corruption even inside the IDF, the northern, central, and southern command leaders worked for the COS previously in the capacity of the right hand of Olmert so the military became political. People in the military see what this promoted in the military-the military must give the prime minister the truth, the arguments, the facts, the plans of the military are no longer the view of the military.
Let us look at Lebanon; any honest military man would agree that it is pure nonsense that the war could be won strictly by the air force, but this was the plan wanted by the politicians. There were not enough honest generals in the military to say, This is rubbish, it is not going to work. They knew once they said this, they would not be promoted by the leaders, so the military became corrupted in the same way as the Minister of Agriculture. Once the system is corrupted, the only way to protect the military is to clean the state of corruption. Once we do this, the natural forces will work.

WTW: Would you like to be part of this process and would you provide the leadership?

MK: I am trying to fight corruption in any means that I have. I'm trying first to present an example. My main message is not very popular. I do not try to get closer to rich people so they do not try to control my point of view nor am I trying to impress the media. I support looking out for ourselves. We need ideological leaders not people who will just "run the government".

WTW: Please complete the following sentence:
"Peace in the Middle East will occur when ..."

MK: … when the Arabs will realize we are here to stay to fulfill the mission of the Jewish People."

WTW Commentary: MK Eldad’s style has been to lead by example. According to those who serve with him, who know him professionally, he does indeed do what he says he will do. During our time before, during, and after the interview we found him to be forthcoming, calm, and unpretentious; never once did he try to impress us with his previous activities, honors, or services.

May 29, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Political Correctness is Killing Us -Part 3
GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
May 28,2007

An emerging body of evidence demonstrates not only political correctness in action but also should sound warning bells and lights about the intention of Islam today. The manipulation of certain freedoms found only in Western countries to create a different social sphere is the end game of PC. Here are some selective and instructive examples of this strategy at work:
· Airport adds foot basins for Muslim cabbies
Police worry about Kansas City 'catering' to Islamic rituals. The Kansas City International Airport has added several foot-washing basins in restrooms to accommodate a growing number of Muslim taxicab drivers who requested the facilities to prepare for daily Islamic prayer.1
· Christian British Airway employee to take legal action over suspension for wearing cross- The airline's uniform code states that staff must not wear visible jewelry or other 'adornments' while on duty without permission from management. It makes exceptions for Muslim and Sikh minorities by allowing them to wear hijabs and turbans.2
· A school in Amsterdam will no longer be teaching students about farm living, after Muslim pupils began trashing the classroom when the subject of pigs was introduced.3
· At Lewiston, ME Middle School, placing pork in the mere presence of Muslims is currently being called a hate crime. Note: Jews also believe pork is unclean but, there has never been any effort by the public school system to remove pork, in order to honor their religious beliefs.4
· “Schools are dropping controversial subjects from history lessons - such as the Holocaust and the Crusades - because teachers do not want to cause offence, Government research has discovered.”5 At the risk of offending someone, it is now educationally prudent to disregard history. Thus, if a person cannot handle facts, a school or institution of education should honor the feelings rather than honor the truth. The rationale provided by these teachers is usually wrapped within the following justification:” Some teachers dropped the Holocaust completely from lessons because of fears that Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic reactions.”5 Do you really think they were concerned for the Jewish students or might they be more concerned about subsequent Muslim student behavior? Ask yourself, if the teachers were so concerned about the Jews and their feelings, why did they choose not to teach about the Holocaust?

This final part 3 unmasks the tactics of those promoting PC and offers some alternatives for individuals who believe that this kind of thinking is killing us. Let’s begin with some assumptions:
· PC obscures clear thinking and damages the very people and causes they claim to benefit
· PC has been described as the cancer of society, a virus that spreads quickly - eating its way through established social standards and values
· PC is effective because we accept “makes me” language as truth and hold ourselves responsible for the thoughts, feelings and actions of others.5

Groups use PC as a weapon to defeat their opposition or enemy. Their common strategy is to wear down, erode and create dissension among members of groups of people with respect to thoughts, feelings and actions that are appropriate. The end game is to indicate that group A’s beliefs are superior to the beliefs of all other groups and, thus, socially engineer a change in attitudes and actions of people. One is expected to ultimately deny one’s own beliefs and set of values and acquiesce to the now dominant view of the world. The society is no longer based upon free speech and common sense; it is grounded in PC ideals and the West is at risk for this assault. Without firing a shot, without building a military machine, the fifth column of PC thinkers slowly, over time, help erode a nation’s will, moral clarity, and submission ultimately occurs. PC tactics have been applied within the world of education, politics, business, religion, and social groups.

The tactics used against us have been effective, efficient and inexpensive. Islamists (values contrary,VC Islamists)* recognized years ago that we in the West had fallen prey to political correctness. They knew then and know today that the very strengths of Western society are the beliefs and values that are dear to us. However, they also recognized that these were our social “Achilles Heel” as well. We are generally a compassionate group of citizens, kind-hearted, caring, respectful of others and their points of view. We are tolerant, supportive of the less fortunate and/or disadvantaged, and guardians of personal freedoms. Given our values and beliefs, the tactics are fundamentally working because we accept, agree, and engage in the “makes me structure” presented in the second part of this series. We believe people are responsible for making others to have feelings, thoughts, and ideas. Based upon this, we further believe there is an uncontrollable cause and effect with people then acting upon these same feelings and thoughts. Therefore we become responsible for the essence of other human beings. As stated previously this is not true!5 However, those who do not believe in our way of life capitalize upon this psychological construct and have imported their tactics to multiple facets of our lives. Only a few are to be now examined.

Notice that VC Islamists use guilt and group guilt control to discredit, demean and disarm those it disagrees with and they engage in the very behavior which they condemn in others of - using social and political force to subdue dissent. This plays particularly well with a group of people who operate from positions and beliefs of tolerance, caring, empathy, never wanting to 'offend'. The end result is that we have “learned” not to voice our opinions and our beliefs and thus back down to every comment made. The difficulty then becomes once a group backs down time after time, the OFFENDED group makes demands under the cloud of either expressed or inferred threats. Repeated often enough, you fill in the rest! This begins the erosion of beliefs and more importantly the degradation of our will to stand against those with an opposing point of view. The very foundation the USA was founded upon freedom of expression; it becomes unidirectional and marks the beginning of the end.

Another tactic the VC Islamists use, in an ever-increasing quantity, is to make demands in social, cultural, political behavior. In fear of OFFENDING them or fear of retribution in the form of name calling, physical harm, political and economic pressure (code for threats), we are willing to give away what we believe to be true, we abdicate our responsibilities to our families, our own social groups and our country and we “stand down”. This repeated over time leads to the degradation of a society, it impacts our will to support what we believe, our perseverance wanes and we make social and political decisions that enhance our enemy. We “fool” ourselves into believing that we can co-exist, that they also believe in personal freedom, we begin to listen for what we want to hear rather than listen for what is BEING said. We reduce the budget for our military and intelligence communities, we increase immigration with Muslim countries, we help fund Islamic education centers and other programs-we do so with public monies. At the same time a most interesting behavior emerges, we vote Islamic-centered politicians into office because we believe that tolerance and acceptance transform any enemy who disagrees with our values. We do all of this even though the data, the behavior, the VC Islamists themselves tell us what and how they intend to transform our country into an Islamic one. We turn our “proverbial cheek” to the following:

· Updating the item on Azerbaijan in yesterday’s dispatch - the aid workers yesterday. Azerbaijani journalist who criticized Islam along with his editor has been jailed for two months.
· Updating the items on Somalia in yesterday’s dispatch - Islamist officials yesterday arrested at least 100 people in Lower Shabelle province in Somalia because they were watching a movie. The new Islamic regime has banned movies. Those arrested included women and children who were watching an Indian film.
· The Red Cross today suspended its activities in the Gaza Strip until further notice after Palestinian gunmen kidnapped two of its Italian aid workers yesterday.
There are thousands of other examples; these serve only as reminders. What can we do? Is there still time? First, take some moments and clearly define for yourself what your core beliefs are. Second, clearly understand the “makes me believe” construct, begin to listen for it and realize you do have a choice when events, people, circumstances and feelings present themselves to you. Third, locate one other person who supports your new found position that no longer will political correctness deny you taking actions against those who want to impose their values upon us. It is fine if you are not politically correct. Fourth, consider the following points:

· Not being PC does not mean you are a racist, fascist or any other -ist

· Not being PC does not mean you are not concerned about the lives of others

· Not being PC does not make you mean spirited

· Not being PC does not mean you are insensitive to the plight of others

· Not being PC does not mean you have phobias with religions, lifestyle choices, or people

· Not being PC does come with responsibility:
1. Clarity of thought and intentions
2. Selection of language used to express thoughts, feelings and ideas
3. Taking a stand for your beliefs and values even in the face of dismissal, denial and degradation of one’s character by others


· It does not mean you have to give up your values

· It does not mean you cannot defend your way of life, what you believe in and how you choose to live your life

When PC seriously influences government policy development and implementation that places the advantage in our enemy’s hands, PC has literally killed us and will continue to do so until we as a people stand up for our way of life! Perhaps Ms. Nirenstein says it best with this assertion, "You cannot run away from reality indefinitely. Ultimately, you have to know what's right in terms of values, and be courageous about standing up for them."6

End Notes
1. Airport adds foot basins for Muslim cabbies Police worry about Kansas City 'catering' to Islamic rituals, April 28, 2007, WorldNetDaily.com
2. JANE MERRICK, Christian BA employee to take legal action over suspension for wearing cross”, 14th October 2006
3. School Scraps Nature Course As Pigs Enrage Muslim Pupils. AMSTERDAM, 27/04/07
4. Sher Zieve, “Muslims Call Ham Sandwich Hate Crime”, The Family Security Foundation, Inc., April 25, 2007
5. Morris, GS Don, “Political Correctness is Killing Us-Part Two”,http://writingtw.blogspot.com/, April 22,2007.
6. Fiamma Nirenstein,” Making the case for commonality”, in an article written by Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, May 9,2007.

Special thanks to my editor-Chana Givon-co-director of WTW

*”Values contrary” simply acknowledges that a group of Islamists hold life, religious and social values contrary to Western social and cultural values

Also posted on: http://docstalk.blogspot.com/
Fifty-Nine Years of Hate
By Salim Mansur
Western Standard

Fifty-nine years ago on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion read the declaration of independence proclaiming the establishment of Israel with little display of joy among those gathered together in the Tel Aviv Museum that afternoon. Ben-Gurion remarked, “I feel no gaiety in me, only deep anxiety, as on the 29th of November [1947, date of the UN resolution partitioning Palestine] when I was like a mourner at the feast.”

Nearly two thousand years after the Romans destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and dispersed Jews from their homeland, the rebirth of Israel offered a slim hope to people who barely survived Nazi Germany’s final solution for European Jewry. If Israel had come into being ten years earlier, a great many of those Jews who perished in the Holocaust would have survived. If Israel had been founded before Hitler launched his war in September 1939, the history of the region arguably might well have been different, and Britain’s “moment in the Middle East” (the phrase belongs to the historian Elizabeth Monroe) could eventually have drawn to a close without the acrimony and humiliation of 1956.

Britain sought to appease the Arabs. Instead of delivering the Jewish state that Britain promised by opening Palestine for a Jewish homeland as set forth in the Balfour Declaration of November 1917, London imposed restrictions in May 1939 on Jewish emigration into Palestine, when the opposite was most sorely needed. Appeasement failed in Europe and it failed in the Middle East as Britain’s Arab allies were overthrown in Egypt (1952) and Iraq (1958), or hemmed in (Jordan) by the anti-colonial nationalist tide in the region.

For Ben-Gurion’s generation, the writing was on the wall. Two millennia of anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in a war of extermination of the Jews, and in the hour of their greatest need as a people to survive, Jews found themselves abandoned. The UN partition of Palestine opened ever so slightly the possibility of the Jews acquiring statehood, in the process becoming politically a normal people, like others – the Arabs, for instance – with states of their own.

The Jewish Agency accepted the UN plan of two states, one Arab and one Jewish. The Arabs of Palestine rejected the UN plan and opted for war to deny the Jews a state of their own. Even as the world was barely beginning to recognize the magnitude of the Holocaust, the Jews in Palestine faced encirclement and annihilation. Six decades and several wars later, Ben-Gurion’s Israel has survived, grown stronger militarily and economically, and is the only free and open society in a region where dictatorships are the norm and tyranny in various disguises conspires against the human instinct for freedom.

Yet Israel remains encircled, and the threat of its annihilation is real and public. Even though Israel has signed peace agreements with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994), public hostility against the Jewish state in the Arab world remains deep and widespread. Since 1979, Iran under the rule of Shiite clerics has extended the radius of threat to Israel beyond the Arab Middle East.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is over a century old. In the opinion of many it is the most intractable conflict of our time. It is layered with opposing nationalisms and non-negotiable claims in the name of religions – Judaism and Islam – made by their adherents.

Israel’s treaties with Egypt and Jordan suggest neither Arab nationalism nor Islam represent insurmountable difficulties for peace between the Jews and the Arab Muslims. Then, it might be asked, what is it that has rendered the Arab-Israeli, or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so intractable for so long and at such cost, with no apparent solution at hand?

The answer is beguilingly simple. Elias Khoury, a Palestinian Christian writer, observed, “Palestine isn’t a country for it to have a flag. Palestine is a condition. Every Arab is a Palestinian . . . Palestine is the condition of us all.” In other words, Palestine is a mood, a rage, a rallying call of the tribe against its real and imagined enemies, and against which reason is disarmed. In this tribal framework of honour-shame culture, Jews are a people of another tribe who in the past of Arab Islamic history belonged to a lower social status under Muslim rule.
The Jewish ambition in Palestine to acquire a state, and then repeatedly defeating Arab efforts to score even a nominal victory against Israel, are an affront of such magnitude in the context of Arab tribal culture that the resulting shame could only be washed away by blood. It was not inevitable, however, that Jewish hopes for Palestine and the Arab response would become trapped in such a bloody embrace.
When Prince Feisal, son of Sharif Husayn of Mecca and an ally of Britain, wrote in 1919 to Felix Frankfurter attending the Paris Peace Conference, “We will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home,” he meant it. The princely sentiment represented an aspect of traditional Arab humanity, uncontaminated by the sort of nationalism that would soon inflame the tribal honour-shame culture.

There is nothing in Islam that can legitimate Arab denial of the Jews’ rights as a people. The Koran (5:20-21) expressly indicates God instructing Moses to take his people into the land designated as Palestine. And when Mohammed was instructed to pray in the direction of Mecca and not Jerusalem – resulting in Mecca becoming the holy centre of Islam – any religious-based Muslim claim on Jerusalem was taken away by the Koran.

Sadly, Prince Feisal’s gesture was lost in the emerging new politics of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini (1890s-1974) that became dominant between the two world wars. Haj Amin’s politics were demagogic and rabidly anti-Jewish. He collaborated with Hitler, destroyed any possibility of reasonable accommodation with the Jews and laid the template for Palestinian politics of self-destruction.
At any time during the past century Palestinian Arabs could have worked out a settlement with Jews. They could have adopted Prince Feisal’s gesture as their own while recognizing that the return of Jews to Palestine was consistent with God’s words as revealed in the Koran. But they opted instead to make war against the Jews and, consequently, they went to war against the Koran.

There is a lesson to be learned from this century-old conflict. Appeasement as a policy to settle conflicts peacefully does not work. What works is when parties in conflict discover the meaning and benefits of reasonableness. Jewish survival and progress despite the Holocaust is one of the noblest demonstrations of reasonableness at work in history. It is for the Palestinian Arabs to show their capacity to be reasonable after having amply demonstrated their capacity for self-destruction.

Posted May 24, 2007 Front Page Magazine

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Does Israeli policymaking work like American Idol?
By Arlene Kushner
May 24, 2007

On May 8, American pollster Stanley Greenberg spoke before the Israeli Knesset's Subcommittee on Foreign and Public Relations. In a subsequent statement to The Jerusalem Post he shared his message: "There is strong support for Israel in the United States. It is very important to remind people that Israel is committed to peace. That commitment is important to Americans viewing Israel as an ally, and for Europeans seeing Israel as a moderate country." This was not Greenberg's first meeting with the subcommittee. According to chair Amira Dotan, he "makes recommendations to the Knesset and Foreign Ministry" when he is in Israel. An American pollster making recommendations to the Knesset? One does not have to dig too deeply to see what is going on. Greenberg's poll was commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP). On its website TIP describes itself as: "an international [i.e., American and Israeli] non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency." That last sentence -- which I believe is a recent addition -- may be technically accurate, but only technically.

At the end of March, I read a report released by TIP entitled: "Israel seeks peace through two-state solution, Hamas continues to embrace terror." I saw this as misleading in two respects. Most significantly, the statement "Hamas continues to embrace terror" leads directly and inexorably to the conclusion that Fatah -- and Abbas -- do not embrace terror. But factually this is not the case, as an examination of Abbas's actions and his words in Arabic to his own people makes clear. What is more, it seemed to me inaccurate, as well, to say that "Israel seeks peace through two-state solution," for a significant portion of the populace is now exceedingly mistrustful of the idea of a Palestinian state.

It is the Olmert government, with disregard for public will, that promotes a "two-state solution." I saw the whitewash of Abbas in this report as serving the ideological goals of Olmert, while failing to address the reality of Fatah as a terror organization. This from an organization that purports to provide "accurate information." And so, I wrote to Calev Ben David, who is director of TIP's Jerusalem office. And I said, "The proper title for a report of yours would be 'Israel is prepared for peace negotiations when a true partner emerges.' "I know you're toeing the line of the Israeli government, but you are doing the people of Israel a disservice, in my opinion, by not being more forthright regarding the situation. We are at a critical juncture now?with regard to the long term security of Israel and concessions that may be demanded of us that put us at existential risk." In replying, Ben David wrote, "You are right: TIP is following after the policy of the democratically-elected government. "?If this government -- or the next one -- decides that Abbas is not a suitable figure to dialogue with, rest assured that we will be on the front line of explaining why he isn't." So it's clear where TIP is coming from. Ben David was describing the approach of the current government: As long as we intend to engage with Abbas, there's no need to explain why his terrorist connections make him an unsuitable candidate for dialogue. It is also clear where Greenberg is coming from.

In the fall of 2005, TIP held a press conference in Jerusalem featuring his most recently completed poll. Greenberg provided figures that purportedly demonstrated that the American public's approval of Israel increased after the (then) recently completed disengagement from Gaza. The implied message here was that the Sharon government had done a good thing to pull people out of Gush Katif, as it enhanced Israel's international standing. I was present, and may have been the only one there who caught the bias in Greenberg's polling technique. He explained that for purposes of the poll they sought persons knowledgeable about the issues -- people who read the NY Times or watch CNN. But these media sources are left-wing and obviously touted the disengagement as a good thing! Not a word about people who watch Fox news, or read the Washington Times, or the NY Sun. Not a word about striking a balance. A population skewed to the left had been polled. But in any event, the underlying premise was wrong: That the correctness of a policy can be determined by polling international public opinion. Which brings us to the current situation: Israel wages a constant uphill public relations battle. And so it is understandable that Israeli officials might be eager to secure favorable opinion ratings in the US. But the current practice of receiving "advice" on what would increase favorable opinion is a disaster. It promotes an approach that is precisely the inverse of what should be taking place.

An autonomous nation cannot responsibly determine its own most appropriate course of action by shaping it in accordance with what would please an international public. Yet this is what seems to be happening. Not only are we witnessing the phenomenon of a pollster "making recommendations" to Israel's legislators, we must keep in mind that this pollster, commissioned by TIP, has an agenda, as is perhaps inevitable. In delivering his message -- "It is very important to remind people that Israel is committed to peace" -- Greenberg is setting the ground for the Olmert approach to continued talks with Abbas. You want the world to like you? You must show good faith by doing this. It's what they are looking for. Imagine if Greenberg had done a very different poll and had come to tell the Knesset, for example, that the American public is afraid of Islamists and respects those who stand strong against them, or that a majority of Americans think Abbas is not a fit partner for peace. Perhaps these things are true. If Greenberg has polled Americans on these issues, he isn't telling us. And he certainly isn't delivering a message that strengthens Israel's resolve against terrorists.

A nation with a healthy respect for its own legitimate rights and needs, instead of attempting to devise policy to fit public opinion, would take a very different approach: Yes, we hope the world will like us, but first we must shape policies that are warranted and in the national best interest. Does this wipe away the need for a strong public relations effort? Not at all. Instead it assigns the appropriate ancillary role to public relations (and polling procedures). That role is an important one: Making the case for Israel and her policy decisions, and making certain that the message is being assimilated and properly understood. There is no lack of work to be done in this regard. The Western world simply does not get it, in good measure because it not being given the facts: - The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is existential and not about borders. - Fatah has terrorist connections. - A strong Israel advances American interests. - Iran already has influence with Palestinian groups in the West Bank. - Conciliation is interpreted by the Arabs as weakness. - If Israel is diminished, the Islamists will be emboldened. - Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not reduce tensions elsewhere in the Mid-East. These are messages that the Olmert government, for its own reasons, is not delivering. How different Israel's public relations situation might be if they were delivered.

Appeared first in Israel Insider

See Arlene's wesite: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info
The Second Lebanon War: Moshe Yaalon

Part 7

The deployment of thousands of international forces in Lebanon, in addition to 15,000 Lebanese troops, will encourage Iran to continue to penetrate the Palestinian Authority, where its increased influence will act as an enhanced terror lever against Israel and the West as Tehran pursues its nuclear ambitions.
Iran will also exploit its influence via Hizbullah and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza to encourage terror activities against conservative, pro-Western Sunni regimes in Egypt, Jordan and the PA's current Fatah leadership.

But threats against these regimes, stemming from both Iranian- and al-Qaeda-backed radical Islamic groups in Gaza and the West Bank, may also signal an important opportunity for new regional alliances to manage the destabilizing Jihadi threats. Egypt should now consider playing a much larger role in helping to stabilize Gaza's future, while the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan may, under certain conditions, help Abbas and other moderate leaders secure the West Bank from its current control by Jihadi groups, local warlords and armed militias. The two sides might also discuss deeper cooperation and even mutually acceptable future political arrangements.
Despite the temptation, the international community must be careful not to interpret every "smile" from the Hamas leadership as a sign of moderation and compromise. Hamas' diplomatic shrewdness indicates that it can and will exhibit tactical flexibility, which is part of its deception of negotiating a national unity government with Fatah and keeping its terror activities in temporary check while pursuing its long-term goal – the destruction of the State of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state from "the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River." In the short term, Hamas will likely continue to receive support from Iran and other Jihadis in targeting Americans in the region due to fury over the U.S. boycott of the radical Palestinian government.47 Despite the interest by some in international circles to try and "tame" or moderate Hamas, those same actors who failed to tame Arafat will not be able to transform Hamas into a viable peace partner and a constructive force for regional stability.

The international community should not fear the collapse of the PA. The experience of Israel's security operations in recent years shows that Palestinian society will not collapse – as the word is commonly interpreted – even under extreme conditions. Palestinian municipalities, for example, continued to operate and provide services even at the height of Israeli military actions against the PA following the Palestinian war of terror and particularly during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.
Iran is clearly the most ominous issue for the West. Operating under a nuclear umbrella, the Iranian regime's upgraded use of its international terror networks via Hizbullah and Palestinian Jihadi groups could threaten the region with "dirty," non-conventional weapons and more blatantly dare to attack Western targets. That is why Israel must maintain defensible borders in the West Bank and remind its Western allies that diplomatic pressure on Israel to withdraw to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines or to approximate borders would leave Israel's major cities and infrastructure vulnerable to rocket and mortar attacks from West Bank hilltops.
Israel is clearly not the only country on Iran's target list. There is no arguing the fact that Iran also threatens Europe. Hopefully, the United States and the international community will act determinedly against Iran, first by political and financial sanctions, and if necessary by decisive military action.

As U.S. Senator John McCain has said, there is only one option that is worse than using military force against Iran. That option is allowing Iran to achieve regional hegemony, and ultimately global power, under a nuclear umbrella. Only when Iran, Syria and their terrorist proxies are squarely defeated can both the Middle East and the West hope to achieve a more peaceful and stable future.