Saturday, June 07, 2008

Thomas Sowell on what's at stake in November

Thomas Sowell explains that it all comes down to Iran and the global jihad:

[...] While all sorts of gushing is going on in the media, and posturing is going on in politics, the biggest national sponsor of terrorism in the world-- Iran-- is moving step by step toward building a nuclear bomb.

The point when they get that bomb will be the point of no return. Iran's nuclear bomb will be the terrorists' nuclear bomb-- and they can make 9/11 look like child's play.All the options that are on the table right now will be swept off the table forever. Our choices will be to give in to whatever the terrorists demand-- however outrageous those demands might be-- or to risk seeing American cities start disappearing in radioactive mushroom clouds.

All the things we are preoccupied with today, from the price of gasoline to health care to global warming, will suddenly no longer matter.

Just as the Nazis did not find it enough to simply kill people in their concentration camps, but had to humiliate and dehumanize them first, so we can expect terrorists with nuclear weapons to both humiliate us and force us to humiliate ourselves, before they finally start killing us.

They have already telegraphed their punches with their sadistic beheadings of innocent civilians, and with the popularity of videotapes of those beheadings in the Middle East.

They have already telegraphed their intention to dictate to us with such things as Osama bin Laden's threats to target those places in America that did not vote the way he prescribed in the 2004 elections. He could not back up those threats then but he may be able to in a very few years.

The terrorists have given us as clear a picture of what they are all about as Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did during the 1930s-- and our "leaders" and intelligentsia have ignored the warning signs as resolutely as the "leaders" and intelligentsia of the 1930s downplayed the dangers of Hitler.

We are much like people drifting down the Niagara River, oblivious to the waterfalls up ahead. Once we go over those falls, we cannot come back up again.

What does this have to do with today's presidential candidates? It has everything to do with them.

One of these candidates will determine what we are going to do to stop Iran from going nuclear-- or whether we are going to do anything other than talk, as Western leaders talked in the 1930s.

There is one big difference between now and the 1930s. Although the West's lack of military preparedness and its political irresolution led to three solid years of devastating losses to Nazi Germany and imperial Japan, nevertheless when all the West's industrial and military forces were finally mobilized, the democracies were able to turn the tide and win decisively.

But you cannot lose a nuclear war for three years and then come back. You cannot even sustain the will to resist for three years when you are first broken down morally by threats and then devastated by nuclear bombs.

Our one window of opportunity to prevent this will occur within the term of whoever becomes President of the United States next January....

Israelis Are Wary, At Best, Of Obama

Gary Rosenblatt
Editor and Publisher

Jerusalem — It’s understandable why Israelis are keenly interested in the U.S. presidential elections this year. One could make the case that their lives depend on the outcome.

After all, Israel faces an existential threat from Iran, whose president threatens to destroy the Jewish state even as Tehran moves closer to developing nuclear weapons. How the successor to George W. Bush in the White House deals with this dilemma could affect Israelis more directly than it does Americans, and so far during my visit to Israel, I have yet to meet anyone supportive of Barack Obama.

On the contrary, some top Mideast experts here are voicing concern that the Democratic contender’s mix of foreign policy inexperience and what they consider to be naïveté in his approach to dealing with autocratic adversaries adds up to a very real danger for Israel.

Speaking on a panel at a conference at Bar-Ilan University last Thursday, sponsored by the university’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), Barry Rubin, a well-known and respected Mideast expert and academic, said an Obama victory would precipitate “the most dangerous crisis facing the world.”

After citing his own credentials as a former Washingtonian who worked for the campaigns of numerous Democratic presidential candidates, going back to John Kennedy in 1960, Rubin described Obama as “not the candidate of the [moderate] Arab states, but the candidate of the Islamists, whether he knows it or not.

“If elected, he will be the most anti-Israel president in American history,” asserted Rubin, who is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center at IDC, the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.

He said that while Obama speaks of his willingness to meet with autocratic leaders of countries like Iran and Syria, he only uses the carrot half of the carrot/stick equation.

“He never mentions what he would do if the talks fail, and he doesn’t talk about the need for the U.S. to show its strength.”

The other Israeli panelist, Eytan Gilboa of the sponsoring BESA Center, was not as critical as Rubin. But he said that Obama has the American Arab vote “in his pocket” and that his lack of experience and seeming eagerness to talk through any problem were “worrisome” traits.

Such sentiments were reflected in recent Jerusalem Post polls showing that Israelis strongly favored Hillary Clinton over John McCain, and that McCain, in turn, won handily over Obama.

Herb Keinon, a seasoned and thoughtful Post reporter, told me that Israelis do not buy into the false rumors that Obama is a Muslim or anti-Israel. But while they trust Clinton and are warm toward McCain, they just don’t know much about Obama.

President Bush is extremely popular with Israelis because he allowed Jerusalem to take the fight to the Arab militants during the intifada, and because they believe he has a special feeling about the Jewish state.

“Israelis feel that McCain understands Israel’s security needs, and they are comforted by the fact that [Sen. Joe] Lieberman is so close to him,” Keinon noted.

They are not sure if Obama has a special connection to the Jewish state, and according to Keinon, Israelis worry that “Obama’s learning curve” on the Mideast may take a year or two in office, and during that time Israel may be tested severely by adversaries like Iran and its surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Jeffrey Goldberg, the Atlantic Monthly national correspondent who interviewed Obama about Israel and Jewish issues several weeks ago, posted an interview with McCain on those topics this week (read it here). He noted that the differences between them are “stark,” with Obama viewing the key challenge in the Mideast to be the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while McCain says it is Islamic extremism. And Obama called Israel’s settlements “not helpful”; McCain did not criticize them, instead saying that rocket attacks on Sderot is the most urgent issue.

It’s true that Obama has high-profile supporters in the Jewish community but several were involved in fostering the Oslo peace process, which does not score many points for the Democrat here in Israel.

Others point out, though, that Israel is no closer to peace than it was under President Bush, for all his good feelings, and that maybe what Jerusalem needs is an administration that can bring negotiations to fruition.

That’s the basic divide in the American Jewish community: whether it’s best for Israel to have Washington sit back and let Israel handle its own conflicts, be they military or diplomatic, or have Washington assert itself more in peace talks “for Israel’s own good,” as some would insist.

The difference is that in Israel, the issues of national security are a lot closer to home, physically and existentially.

Israelis have proven that they are capable of changing their minds about American political leaders, and Hillary Clinton is a vivid example. After her encounter with Suha Arafat some years ago — the kiss seen ‘round the world — she was not a favorite here. But since becoming a senator from New York and making all the right moves when it comes to supporting and defending Israel, she has improved her stature immensely.

Whether or not Barack Obama can become the darling of Israelis remains to be seen, but for the moment that prospect is a long way off.

Gary Rosenblatt is in Israel for several weeks. His e-mail is

Friday, June 06, 2008

American Jews - equivalent of chickens voting for Shabbat?

Melanie Philips
First posted-Sunday June 1, 2008
from the Jewish Chronicle

Are American Jews the equivalent of chickens voting for Shabbat?

They have persuaded themselves that Barack Obama is a friend of the Jewish people, because Obama put his hand on his heart and swore undying friendship to the state of Israel.

The fact that for 20 years he belonged to a “black power” church whose pastor — and his own personal spiritual mentor — was an acolyte of the Jew-hating demagogue Louis Farrakhan, and who also supported Hamas as a resistance movement, is a detail that need not trouble the Jews of Los Angeles, Boca Raton or the Upper West Side. The fact that Obama has said “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people” needn’t detain them.

The fact that he says he would talk to the genocidal fanatics of Iran without preconditions (along with the dictators of North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela) needn’t bother them at all.

Because for them, there’s only one thing that matters about Obama. He’s not a Republican!

For the overwhelmingly Democrat-supporting American Jews, voting for a Republican is as unthinkable as eating a ham sandwich on Yom Kippur. Indeed, a number of them would rather eat a ham sandwich on Yom Kippur, because their conviction that religion is bunk and has nothing to do with being Jewish comes second only to their conviction that Republicans are the acme of evil.

That is because they think that to be Jewish is to be liberal in outlook. Therefore to be a Jew is to be a Democrat. End of story. Unlike their British counterparts, American Jews haven’t become more conservative as their prosperity has increased over the generations. (This is not true of the growing minority of mainly younger American Jews, who are markedly more Orthodox and thus, since they are rather more in tune with authentic Jewish ethics such as truth, justice and the difference between right and wrong, are indeed voting Republican; but let that pass.)

Being Jewish, think liberal American Jews, means showing that you are not prejudiced against minorities. That means adopting the core presumption of “victim culture” that minorities are never at fault. That means in turn that if an ethnic or religious minority is prejudiced against you, you can’t criticise it because to do so means you are prejudiced.

True, the fact that Obama belongs to a kooky church makes them uneasy. The fact that he associates with various mafia types and nut-jobs makes them twitch a bit. The fact that he would go cap in hand to Iran and Syria makes at least some of them suck their teeth.

But they know that he must be their friend because he is a Democrat and he is black. They know that he cannot be their enemy because they know that President Bush is their enemy.

The fact that Bush is arguably the greatest friend the Jewish people has ever had in the White House cannot possibly be true because Bush is a Republican and therefore can do no right.

Conversely, Obama can do no wrong. So American Jews ignore the fact that all Obama’s foreign-policy advisers are veteran Israel-haters. They ignore his long-standing friendship with Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi.

Khalidi has written that Israel has carried out the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians; that Israel should be replaced by a bi-national, cantonal system for Jews and Arabs; and that suicide bombings are a response to “Israeli aggression”. Obama has said he merely had “conversations” with Khalidi. But reports say the Khalidi and Obama families are long-standing friends. In 2000, Khalidi raised funds for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the US House of Representatives. And according to the Los Angeles Times, Obama said his talks with the Khalidis served as “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases… a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table”, but around “this entire world”.

No matter. All of this is simply erased from the gaze of America’s Jews in their own collective blind spot. As a result, as pro-Palestinian blogger Ali Abunimah let slip at The Electronic Intifada, Obama is playing them for suckers. Abunimah wrote that during his campaign for the US Senate, Obama told him: “‘Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more upfront.’

He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, ‘Keep up the good work!’”

So if, as is expected, Obama wins the Democratic presidential nomination, American Jews will vote for him and maintain their purity of soul.

Cluck cluck!

Arab Anger Forces Obama to Backtrack on Jerusalem

Hana Levi Julian

Within 24 hours of expressing his firm support for a united Jerusalem in a speech to a pro-Israel lobby organization, US Senator Barack Obama found himself forced to backtrack in the face of Arab anger on Thursday.

Obama had managed to enrage Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) with his first foreign policy speech since garnering enough delegates to win the nomination at the Democratic convention in Denver this summer. "Let me be clear," said Obama from the podium at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington on Wednesday, "Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive and that allows them to prosper. But any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish State, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided," he declared.

Responding to Obama's remarks, a livid Abbas told reporters, "This statement is totally rejected. The whole world knows that holy Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 and we will not accept a Palestinian state without having Jerusalem as the capital."

By Thursday Obama was quickly backpedaling, telling reporters "Well, obviously it's going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of those negotiations… As a practical matter, it would be very difficult to execute [a policy of the capital remaining undivided.]"

Obama went on to expressed the view that there must be a way in which "everyone has access to the extraordinary religious sites in Old Jerusalem, but that Israel has a legitimate claim on that city."

Israel has provided Christians and Muslims with free and complete access control of holy sites in Jerusalem since the Holy City was restored to the Jewish State in the 1967 Six-Day War. During the time the city was occupied by Jordan, from 1948 to 1967, Christians and Jews were prohibited from holy sites.

Jews Refuse to Give Up; Synagogue Rebuilt Outside Hevron

Hillel Fendel

The Hazon David synagogue outside Hevron was rebuilt for the 33rd time Tuesday night - as noted by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

IDF forces had destroyed the synagogue, located along Worshipers' Path between Kiryat Arba and Hevron, on Monday night. The government considers it an "unauthorized outpost."

Just a day later, on Tuesday evening, Jewish residents of the area rebuilt it - and this time even larger than before. One of the walls features a giant Jewish star (Magen David).

The synagogue was first built in mid-2001 following the terrorist murders of Chezi Mualem and David Cohen. It was allowed to stand for several days, after which the army razed it - beginning the destroy-rebuild pattern that has continued for no fewer than seven years. The last destruction was on the 41st anniversary of the liberation of Hevron by the IDF from Jordanian forces.

"Because of the army's insensitivity in razing a synagogue on the day we commemorate the liberation of Hevron," said one Kiryat Arba Jew, "we decided that we would build even bigger this time... The army is bothered by the fact that there are some 'rebels' here. They see that we are stubborn and firm, and that we are not willing to compromise."

Rice: Not Four, Just Three
As dusk approached, the city's Chief Rabbi Dov Lior and Mayor Tzvi Katzover gathered with the builders for the afternoon prayer. The particpants were treated to particular gratification, Yehudit Katzover later said, "when we were told by informed sources that Olmert told [US Secretary of State] Condoleeza [Rice], 'We destroyed four outposts,' and she answered, 'No, only three - Hazon David has been rebuilt.'"

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ken Blackwell - Columnist for the New York Sun

It's an amazing time to be alive in America . We're in a year of firsts in this presidential election: the first viable woman candidate; the first viable African-American candidate; and, a candidate who is the first front-running freedom fighter over 70. The next president of America will be a first. We won't truly be in an election of firsts, however, until we judge every candidate by where they stand. We won't arrive where we should be until we no longer talk about skin color or gender. Now that Barack Obama steps to the front of the Democratic field, we need to stop talking about his race, and start talking about his policies and his politics

The reality is this: Though the Democrats will not have a nominee until August, unless Hillary Clinton drops out, Mr. Obama is now the frontrunner, and its time America takes a closer and deeper look at him.

Some pundits are calling him the next John F. Kennedy. He's not. He's the next George McGovern. And it's time people learned the facts.

Because the truth is that Mr. Obama is the single most liberal senator in the entire U.S. Senate. He is more liberal than Ted Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, or Mrs. Clinton. Never in my life have I seen a presidential frontrunner whose rhetoric is so far removed from his record. Walter Mondale promised to raise our taxes, and he lost. George McGovern promised military weakness, and he lost. Michael Dukakis promised a liberal domestic agenda, and he lost.

Yet Mr. Obama is promising all those things, and he's not behind in the polls. Why? Because the press has dealt with him as if he were in a beauty pageant.. Mr. Obama talks about getting past party, getting past red and blue, to lead the United States of America . But let's look at the more defined strokes of who he is underneath this superficial "beauty."

Start with national security, since the president's most important duties are as commander-in-chief. Over the summer, Mr. Obama talked about invading Pakistan, a nation armed with nuclear weapons; meeting without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who vows to destroy Israel and create another Holocaust; and Kim Jong II, who is murdering and starving his people, but emphasized that the nuclear option was off the table against terrorists - something no president has ever taken off the table since we created nuclear weapons in the 1940s. Even Democrats who have worked in national security condemned all of those remarks. Mr. Obama is a foreign-policy novice who would put our national security at risk.

Next, consider economic policy. For all its faults, our health care system is the strongest in the world. And free trade agreements, created by Bill Clinton as well as President Bush, have made more goods more affordable so that even people of modest means can live a life that no one imagined a generation ago. Yet Mr. Obama promises to raise taxes on "the rich." How to fix Social Security? Raise taxes. How to fix Medicare? Raise taxes. Prescription drugs? Raise taxes. Free college? Raise taxes. Socialize medicine? Raise taxes. His solution to everything is to have government take it over. Big Brother on steroids, funded by your paycheck.

Finally, look at the social issues. Mr. Obama had the audacity to open a stadium rally by saying, "All praise and glory to God!" but says that Christian leaders speaking for life and marriage have "hijacked" - hijacked - Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing. His spiritual leaders endorse homosexual marriage, and he is moving in that direction. In Illinois, he refused to vote against a statewide ban - ban - on all handguns in the state. These are radical left, Hollywood and San Francisco va lues, not Middle America values.

The real Mr. Obama is an easy target for the general election. Mrs. Clinton is a far tougher opponent. But Mr. Obama could win if people don't start looking behind his veneer and flowery speeches. His vision of "bringing America together" means saying that those who disagree with his agenda for America are hijackers or warmongers. Uniting the country means adopting his liberal agenda and abandoning any conflicting beliefs.

But right now everyone is talking about how eloquent of a speaker he is and - yes - they're talking about his race. Those should never be the factors on which we base our choice for president. Mr. Obama's radical agenda sets him far outside the American mainstream, to the left of Mrs. Clinton.

It's time to talk about the real Barack Obama. In an election of firsts, let's first make sure we elect the person who is qualified to be our president in a nuclear age during a global civilizational war.
Subject: Kind of scary, wouldn't you think Remember--God is good, and is in time, on time every time

According to The Book of Revelations the anti-christ is:

The anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything.
Is it OBAMA??

I STRONGLY URGE each one of you to repost this as many times as you can! Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media it!
If you think I am crazy,. I'm sorry but I refuse to take a chance on the "unknown" candidate.

Lawyers File Suit Demanding Olmert Step Down

Hillel Fendel

A private lawsuit has been filed demanding that the Prime Minister suspend himself, and/or that his criminal investigation be limited in time.

Two lawyers, Kiryat Ono College Law Lecturer Barak Malchiya and Arik Harush, filed the suit on Wednesday in the Supreme Court. They say they wish to save the Israeli public the injustice of protracted legal proceedings. Olmert is currently under several police criminal investigations, most acutely and recently including the case known as the Talansky Envelopes scandal. US businessman and philanthropist Moshe Talansky testified last week that he had given Olmert, then the Mayor of Jerusalem, envelopes of cash totalling $150,000 or more. Though Talansky is apparently not suspected of having accepted anything in return, this does not exonerate Olmert from not reporting the cash gifts.

Attorneys Malchiya and Harush ask that Olmert be forced into suspension or resignation until the police investigation against him is concluded. At the same time, the two request that the Attorney General and the State Prosecutor set a limit of two months, within which time the investigation must be completed.

"At present, the Prime Minister simply cannot function," Atty. Malchiya told Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine, "and our suit comes to put an end to this situation. It is estimated that an indictment will be handed down only four or five months from now. On the one hand, he can't function, while on the other hand, we have no idea when it will end."

What Does the Law Say?
"The law once rendered a Prime Minister unfit to carry out his duties only when he was abroad or ill," Malchiya said, "but now it leaves more room for the Attorney General to decide. Our suit maintains that the Attorney General must rule that the current situation fits the criteria rendering the Prime Minister unfit to carry out his duties, given the fact that he is facing a heavy burden of police investigations."

"We are not taking a political stance," Malchiya emphasized. "We have nothing against the Prime Minister. It's just that the situation is an impossible one, and it is causing an administrative and political stand-still."

Politically Correct anti-Semitism

Israel Commentary
Neglected information and opinion relative to Israel, the Middle East and the immediate world.

Who are its advocates? What are its goals?

The Holocaust, in which over six million Jews were brutally murdered by the Nazis and their enthusiastic collaborators, happened over 60 years ago. So horrific were the events that — even today, about two generations later — nobody would wish to identify himself with them. Yet, a new anti-Semitism is now rearing its head. It is important to be aware of it.

What are the facts?

Who are the new anti-Semites? The new anti-Semites do not publicly proclaim their desire to bring about a second Holocaust or to subject the Jews to mass murder or annihilation. The hatred is aimed against the state of Israel, which, according to the new anti-Semites, represents all that is evil in the world and which is the main violator of human rights and guilty of virtually every other abuse that can be conceived. This poison is now so widespread that a poll taken in Europe not too long ago found Israel to be the greatest menace to the peace of the world — far ahead of such murderous regimes as those of Iran or of North Korea.

The leaders and instigators of this new anti-Semitism are concentrated on the political left, its most active and vocal spokesmen being found in our prestige universities. Such is the anti-Zionist (anti-Semitic) focus of the left that, almost incomprehensibly, it includes a fair number of Jewish professors and other “intellectuals,” not just here in the United States, but even in Israel itself.

Those on the extreme left call for the abolition of the State of Israel outright, although they do not tell us what they propose to do with the five million Israeli Jews. They would presumably be left to the tender mercies of the Arabs, who would of course, have no greater joy than to emulate or perhaps even to “improve” on the Nazi model and to give “final solution" to the Jewish problem” once and for all. That isn’t going to happen, of course, not because anybody in the world would lift a finger to prevent it, but because, fortunately, Israel is a very strong and most capable nation.

A Death Wish for Israel.

In deference to “world opinion" and to the wishes of the United States, Israel has allowed itself to be pressured into innumerable concessions to those who are sworn to destroy it. However, it seems clear that, when the chips are really down, a most decisive response on the part of Israel can be expected.

With the possible exception of Carthage during the Punic Wars, almost 2500 years ago, no country in the World, no country in recorded history, has ever been threatened with extinction Israel is the one exception. Fueled by the extreme left, the “legitimacy” of Israel is a constant topic of discussion. The abolition of the “Zionist entity” gets serious attention, even in the hallowed halls of the United Nations.

Iran feverishly pursues the Holy Grail of atomic weapons. Its president has publicly declared — not once, but repeatedly — that Israel is a “tumor” that must be excised and that it must be wiped off the map of the world. Medium-range missiles (so far, fortunately without atomic warheads) are being paraded through the streets of Teheran, with signs attached to them, shamelessly giving their destination as Jerusalem. A few eyebrows are being raised around the world, but otherwise nothing is being done about it.

Because the memory of the Nazi Holocaust still lingers after all these years, the new anti-Semitism is disguised as the socially more acceptable “anti-Zionism.” It is pursued and propagated by the radical left. Every leftist demonstration — be it about the war in Iraq, against globalization, for or against whatever else — does inevitably include appeals against “Israeli subjugation of the Palestinians,” the “occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel,” or simply asks for the elimination of Israel. Sadly, quite a few Jews, having been saturated with Leftism from their early years, participate in such demonstrations.

While the propagation of the new anti-Semitism by prestige universities started in Europe (mostly in England), it has found fertile ground among the universities of the United States. The active participation in the new anti-Semitism by the American clergy (beginning with the Presbyterians) is a scandalous reality.

Surely, not everybody who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite. The actions of Israel, just as the actions of any other country are subject to examination and criticism. But the viciousness, volume and consistency of this criticism against Israel is such that it cannot be considered as anything but anti -Semitism — the new anti -Semitism, disguised as anti-lsraelism or anti-Zonism.

The foolish professors and the hypocritical preachers are besotted by their Leftism and by their hatred against Israel and America. Overt vilification of America has to remain muted — it’s somewhat dangerous to be too outspoken about it — but Israel, perceived as the satrap and the handmaiden of the United States in the Middle East, is an easy target. Nobody should be fooled. Anti-Semitism is Jew-Hatred in whichever way it may be disguised.

Facts and Logic About the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359 San Francisco, CA 94159
Gerardo Joffe, President

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Case for Israeli Settlements

Ben Shapiro
June 04, 2008

On Sunday, June 1, Israel announced plans to build over 800 homes in Jerusalem. And the international community proceeded to go ballistic.

"Our position on the settlements is that we don't believe that any more settlements should be built," said White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. "And we know that it exacerbates the tension when it comes to the negotiations with the Palestinians." U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's office said that he was "deeply concerned" by Israel's plans. "The government of Israel's continued construction in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory is contrary to international law and to its commitments under the Road Map and the Annapolis Process," Ki-Moon's office stated.

What's the problem with Israel building homes in its capital city? The problem is that the homes will be built in two neighborhoods -- Pisgat Zeev and Har Homa -- which lie east of the so-called "Green Line," the pre-1967 Israeli border.

And the international community doesn't like that at all. According to the international community, Israel's decision to build constitutes a slap in the face to its Arab neighbors, particularly the Palestinian Arabs.

Here's the question: so what?

The world should be far less concerned about Israel's settlement policy than about the terroristic, fascistic nature of Israel's enemies. Supporters of the so-called two-state solution -- in reality, a piecemeal attempt to dismantle the state of Israel by making its borders indefensible -- assume a moral equivalence between Israel and her enemies. They argue against Israeli settlements as if Israel were America and its Arab neighbors Canada, as if the Arab-Israeli conflict were a simple border dispute. In reality, Israel shares Western values; its enemies share values with the mullahs. The Arab-Israeli conflict is a conflict between two contrasting worldviews: freedom and fascism.

Viewed in its starkest terms, the Arab-Israeli conflict may be accurately described as a war between darkness and light. Those who argue against Israeli settlements -- outposts of light in a dark territory -- argue for the continued victory of night. They argue for the dominance of the same terroristic population that elected Hamas. They argue for the appeasement of populations and leaderships who value murder at the expense of those who value life.

No standoff is possible between darkness and light. Where light fails, darkness engulfs. When Israel pulled its settlements from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Arab population immediately destroyed all semblances of civilization -- as they have wherever Israel has pulled out -- then elected Hamas. Hezbollah reacted to the Gaza withdrawal by initiating a war against Israel in Lebanon.

Israel is a single candle in a pitch-black room. Its rays are the settlements. As the candle burns more brightly, so too does its rays. The free world's true interest lies not in a truce between the darkness and the candle -- such a standoff means merely that the oxygen will eventually run out, extinguishing the flame -- but in providing energy for the candle, allowing it to continue shining forth. That means recognizing the right of liberty to overtake tyranny. It means acknowledging that the supposed right to self-determination must take a back seat to civilized behavior. It means supporting the right of free peoples to spread freedom.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Intel Official: Don’t Use ‘War on Terror’

The U.S. should stop using the term “war on terror” because it suggests to Muslims that the West is engaged in a “war on Islam,” a top intelligence official declared.

Charles Allen, the senior intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security, said the term creates “animus” in Islamic countries.

“It has nothing to do with political correctness,” Allen said in remarks reported by the Financial Times. It is interpreted in the Muslim world as a war on Islam and we don’t need this.”

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said “war on terror” is the “dumbest term you could use” and has urged Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, not to employ the phrase.

Hadley’s spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the White House understands that “the use of the word ‘Islamic’ before the word ‘terrorist’ can be heard by Muslims … as lacking nuance, which may incorrectly suggest that all Muslims are terrorists or that we are at war with Islam.”

But he added that the term “accurately describes the fight we are in.”

President Bush made “war on terror” a stock phrase following the 9/11 attacks. And Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff does not agree that the term is equated with a war on Islam, according to his spokesman Russ Knocke.

“We are at war with terrorism, and its underlying ideology — not Islam — and we’ve gone out of our way to make that point,” Knocke told the Times.

“In truth, war has been declared on us.”

Last week’s Insider Report disclosed that new U.S. government directives instruct individuals in the counter-terrorism and diplomatic communities not to use “jihadist,” “mujahideen,” “Islamo-fascism,” “al-Qaida movement” and several other terms because they convey an undesired message to the Muslim world.

Putin and the Palestinians

Editorial of The New York Sun
June 3, 2008

Displaying the icy analytic capability for which he is known, Prime Minister Putin gave an interview to Le Monde over the weekend in which he cautioned the Iranians against using nuclear weapons. "Using nuclear weapons in a region as small as the Middle East would be synonymous with suicide. Whose interests would it serve? The Palestinians? Hardly, the Palestinians would cease to exist," Mr. Putin has said.As Mr. Putin surely is aware, however, suicide isn't a dirty word to the Iranians or their allies, who fund Palestinian Arab suicide bombers who regularly go on missions to kill themselves and Israelis at the same time. Just yesterday the Danish embassy in Pakistan was bombed in what some press reports from Islamabad said appeared to have been a suicide attack.

And if Mr. Putin thought his words would deter the Iranians, he got his answer with President Ahmadinejad's promise yesterday that the Zionist regime "is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene." The prospect that the Palestinian Arabs and the Iranians themselves would be erased along with it, seems not to faze the Iranian leader, for whom, to paraphrase Bernard Lewis, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent but an inducement. As for the idea that Israel's enemies are motivated by genuine concern for the welfare of the Palestinian Arabs, let us just say we find it quaint.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tiny Iran

Obama's big learning curve.

By Anne Bayefsky

'It's terrorism, stupid." Nothing short of blunt talk will do in light of Sen. Barack Obama's comments this past week on Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. They are the most significant indication to date of the looming catastrophe for American national security posed by an Obama presidency.

Here is Obama in his own words, speaking in Pendleton, Oregon on Sunday night: "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union… In Iran they spend 1/100th of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance." How does one begin a course for a presidential candidate in Terrorism 101? Where has Obama been for the past three decades during which the greatest threats to peace and security have moved beyond the sphere of state actors operating alone? After 9/11, why doesn't Obama recognize the capacity of relatively small entities to wreak havoc, at comparatively little cost, on a nation as large and strong as America?

Despite Obama's claim to be a foreign-policy realist, his fancy foreign-policy footwork contains as much realpolitik as a dancing sugar-plum fairy. Obama is keen to explain his hankering for an early heart-to-heart with Iranian President Ahmadinejad — with whom he would "be willing to meet separately, without precondition during the first year of [his] administration" or his desire to engage in "direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions." His strategy so far has been to deny the undeniable transaction costs of an unconditioned presidential get-together: the undeserved legitimacy conferred on a would-be mass murderer, the time lost while a nuclear-weapons program continues in full swing, and the betrayal of brave local dissenters.

"Tiny" and not "serious" move us another step closer to the edge. The unfortunate reality is that Iran not only poses a serious threat already, but it does stand a chance of carrying out its dire program. Ahmadinejad, in addition to his professed affinity for genocide, is funding terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Gaza who believe they have started the job and are committed to finishing it. The message Obama sends in denying that Iran has "tried to pose a serious threat to us" is that a grave threat to the peace and security of Israel is not a threat to the peace and security of the United States. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, of "Israel Lobby" fame, would be proud. But even the anti-nuclear-anything activists in the Democratic party should begin to worry about a president who thinks the consequences of an Iranian nuclear strike on Israel can be confined to the locals.

Official U.S. policy holds Iran to be a state sponsor of terrorism, along with Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Not only has Iran tried, and is trying, to pose a serious threat to us, in some ways it is a greater threat than that posed by the Soviet Union. The terrorist organizations or non-state actors whom these rogue states sponsor are not subject to the same economic and political pressures that could be brought to bear on the Soviet Union. Madmen and religious fanatics driven by a belief in the imminent reappearance of the 12th Imam following worldwide chaos, or visions of virgins in post-suicidal heaven, or who just hate us more than they love their children, are not susceptible to the rational calculus of Mikhail Gorbachev.

But according to his recently reported conversation with New York Times columnist David Brooks, Obama believes the problem with Hamas and Hezbollah is that the poor things don't "understand that they're going down a blind alley with violence that weakens their legitimate claims." We need to hear more about where in the governing Hamas Charter (with its overt anti-Semitism and manifest dedication to the destruction of Israel), and Hezbollah's takeover plans for Lebanon, Obama finds legitimate claims. And the solution according to Obama? "The U.S. needs a foreign policy that looks at root causes of problems and dangers."

Hezbollah Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah couldn't have said it better himself. Oh, wait: He has said it himself. Remember Iranian proxy Nasrallah in Beirut on September 30, 2006, just after he sent 4,000 rockets into Israel: "This experience of the resistance, which must be transferred to the world, relies on faith, conviction, trust, and the moral and spiritual willingness to give sacrifices. Also, it depends on the thinking, planning, organizing, training and armament, and as is said: dealing with the root causes." Surely, Obama ought to know that invoking the language of "root causes" to illuminate the behavior of Hamas and Hezbollah plays into the nefarious strategy of these terrorist organizations and their sympathizers.

How about the tiny factor? On the one hand, we could all hum tip-toeing through the tulips along with Obama and Tiny Tim. On the other hand, we might cast our minds back to "tiny" anthrax envelopes or think about "tiny" suitcase bombs or "tiny" nanotechnology innovations in chemical and biological weapons. I also wonder how all those developing countries, allegedly ready to embrace us once again with a President Obama, will enjoy the big boy's view of their tiny status.

Coming from a man who aspires to bear the single greatest responsibility for the peace and security of the free world, the resemblance to "peace for our time" is the least of Obama's problems. The real problem is a book with a name like "Terrorism for Dummies" would have to become bedside reading at the White House.

— Anne Bayefsky is senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. She also serves as the director of the Touro Institute for Human Rights and the Holocaust and as the editor of

End of the Olmert regime

Isi Leibler

It could be weeks, or even months. But Ehud Olmert's political fate is sealed. Even if the nauseating revelations in Morris Talansky's testimony fail to result in a formal indictment, Olmert has passed the point of no return in the court of public opinion, which has determined that he must go.The displays of excessive venality and abuse of power were the final straw. Furious Israelis will not forgive the prime minister for accepting "gifts" of cash in envelopes, without receipts, in an obvious attempt to conceal how the money was spent. There is also an enormous upsurge of rage concerning his use of funds for personal gratification.

Israelis become infuriated when they hear that their politicians are exploiting their positions to obtain flamboyant perks such as upgrading from business to first-class air travel, or utilizing expensive hotels for luxurious family vacations.

Even if the funds were personal "gifts" from Talansky, that would not square with Olmert's assurance to the nation that the cash received was used exclusively for election purposes. Likewise, even if future cross-examination were to expose weaknesses in Talansky's testimony, Olmert could not survive politically.

Not that Talansky emerges as a noble reformer exposing corruption. There is an aura of sleaze about this man who has turned against his former friend - purportedly to promote the welfare of the Jewish people.

While most Israelis will welcome Olmert's impending departure, it is awful that the downfall of yet another political leader should be associated with the stench of corruption. Had he resigned after the debacle of the Second Lebanon War, he could at least have retained a semblance of dignity - sparing himself and the nation shame, disgrace and pain.

Let us not delude ourselves. The rot extends far beyond the person of the prime minister. Leaders of both Labor and Likud, either directly or via their acolytes, have brazenly indulged in illegal fundraising. Accepting "personal gifts" from both wealthy Diaspora Jews and Israelis has become the accepted norm. Even the late president Ezer Weizmann was obliged, in 2000, to resign for accepting gifts from friends.

Olmert's hedonistic inclinations and ostentatious consumerism are shared by many of his political peers and their predecessors. In fact, the allegations against Olmert pale when compared to the far more serious charges of embezzlement of millions directed against his former finance minister, Avraham Hirschson.

However, we should recall that in his early years, Olmert did command respect.

At 28 he was the youngest member of Knesset. He even, ironically enough, developed a reputation as a crusader against corruption and crime. He was a successful fundraiser and networker. His sociability and engaging personality made him the consummate politician, able to create unique political alliances. He was loyal to his supporters and always tried to help his mates - to the extent that it sometimes rebounded against him. He made a distinguished contribution as health minister.

Together with many others, I personally supported him when he stood for election as mayor of Jerusalem on the platform of a united Jerusalem.

His failure can be attributed to a lack of moral fiber and a penchant for crass political opportunism, exemplified by his fervent encouragement of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement, which enabled him to become prime minister - and also paved the way for his downward spiral, which reached in his nadir in the disastrous Lebanon War.

Unfortunately for Olmert, the public exposure of his hedonism takes place not only in the wake of his political failures but also at a time when the accumulation of resentment and rage against galloping corruption from the previous decade has reached a boiling point.

In retrospect, it is now clear that double standards were applied to Shas leader Aryeh Deri earlier, when he was sentenced to jail for breaches of the law that pale in significance compared to the recent exposures of corruption.

Questions are now also being raised as to why big fish like Ariel Sharon were not indicted in relation to the Greek Island affair. In contrast, small fry like Naomi Blumenthal received a draconian jail sentence (subsequently commuted) for merely having paid the overnight hotel bill for some of her supporters.

Only when Omri Sharon began serving time in jail did it finally dawn on politicians that the party was over.

The reality is that until recently, the dysfunctional political system encouraged many initially honest politicians to indulge in corrupt practices. When breaching the law to raise party funds became the norm, it was inevitable that some of the cash would ultimately find its way into the pockets of individuals.

Proportional representation denies electors the possibility of rewarding or punishing politicians. Likewise primaries - theoretically the most democratic means of choosing candidates - in practice encourage political aspirants to appeal to the lowest common denominator as well as engage in illegal fundraising to garner support from the vast number of voters needed.

The British system obliges ministers to take responsibility and resign when their professional civil servants fail. By contrast, in Israel, Olmert was able to resist the calls for his resignation even after the debacle of the Second Lebanon war.

The good tidings are that public corruption is today in retreat. It is a healthy sign when the highest officers of the land are aware that they will be judged more harshly than the average citizen. The positive fallout from this Olmert scandal is that it is highly unlikely that politicians will in future dare to illegally solicit or accept funds from wealthy Jews to promote their own political careers or satisfy their lust to emulate the mega-rich.

That Olmert has lost the confidence of the nation is beyond dispute. Like any citizen, he must be presumed legally innocent until convicted, and he is entitled to his day in court. But in the absence of focus or moral authority, his refusal to step down is unconscionable and reminiscent of former president Moshe Katzav, who was ultimately forced to back down.

But unlike Katzav, Olmert is engaged in delicate negotiations which have chilling life-and-death implications on five fronts - Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian, that of Hizbullah and that of Hamas. It is surrealistic to have a leader determining whether to go to war or cede national assets, when any initiative he undertakes is perceived as seeking to divert attention from his own problems. Indeed, his own political survival may directly conflict with the requirements of the nation.

It reflects on Olmert's mind-set that he fails to appreciate the obscenity of clinging to power under such circumstances.

The coalition, especially members of Kadima, cannot permit Ehud Olmert to continue conducting the affairs of state until the Talansky cross-examination. He could cause untold damage. It is scandalous that he is continuing to travel to Washington and carrying on business as usual.

They must demand that he step down or suspend himself immediately. Should he shamelessly refuse, they must throw him out, or they will bring upon themselves the wrath of voters on the day of reckoning - election day.

This article can also be read at

Monday, June 02, 2008

Want a ‘peace process’? Meet these conditions.


I’ve said on numerous occasions that the current “peace process” with the Palestinian Fatah faction can not lead to peace. You can read my arguments here in “The two-state fantasy“.

But continuing the charade can do a lot of damage. The process can be used to pressure Israel to make security concessions that will damage its ability to protect itself, it can be used as an excuse to create a Palestinian army that will ultimately be used against Israel, it can cause great disruption in Israeli society when settlements are evacuated, and it can lead to a situation in which Israel has made agreements with a Palestinian authority that shortly thereafter comes to be controlled by Hamas. All but the last have already happened. As I’ve mentioned, all American presidential candidates have said that they are committed to the process. McCain does not seem to be significantly different from Obama on this issue, and after all, the Annapolis meeting and the military aid and training given to the PA were initiatives of the supposedly Israel-friendly Bush administration.

Without closing the door on the possibility of a negotiated settlement with some Palestinian leadership someday, I think that there are some preconditions that Israel is entitled to demand for any process that would be more than simply a stopping place on the road to the elimination of the Jewish state. And we should demand acceptance of these principles by everyone — including American candidates — who calls for a ‘peace process’, because otherwise it will be some other kind of process.

1) Israel is not responsible for the creation of the Palestinian refugees, and especially not for the condition of their descendants. The international community and the Arab nations, who are responsible, will resettle and compensate them as necessary to permanently solve the problem. There is no “right of return” to Israel.

2) Official antisemitic incitement is absolutely unacceptable, and Israel is not required to negotiate with a Palestinian entity whose official organs promulgate hatred and racism. Period.

3) The 1967 boundaries are not sacrosanct. Why should they be? They represent areas that were illegally occupied by Jordan and Egypt in 1948, and occupied — legally, as a result of a defensive war — by Israel in 1967. Boundaries should be determined on the basis of population and on the basis of defensible borders, as called for by UN resolution 242.

4) There is no ‘legitimate right of resistance’ such as the Palestinians claim as a justification for terrorism. If there is going to be a diplomatic process that will lead to a Palestinian state, it must entirely replace terrorism as the means to this end. Israel is not required to make concessions of any kind while terrorism against Israelis continues.

5) Israel maintains her right of self-definition. Israel has the right to define herself as a Jewish state as well as the homeland of the Jewish people.

These conditions are necessary for fruitful negotiations — and also for Israel’s national self-respect.

Rev Wright vs. The Pseudo-Rabbi

Monday, June 2, 2008
Hillary's answer to Rev Wright

The whole world is talking about the "theological" crackpots with whom Barack Obama has long hung out. The worst of them, the "Reverend" Jeremiah Wright, is a vulgar Afrofascist, arguable worse than the Rev Al. As it turns out, Wright went to the same high school as me, an academic magnet school in Philadelphia that admitted lots of qualified black students long
before "affirmative action apartheid" dumbed down standards. Since Wright had such a nice generous start in life from Central High School, where he no doubt was treated wonderfully and with respect by the 70% of the student body that was Jewish, you might have expected better from him.And while Rev Wright is foaming at the mouth against Dem Joos and America, it is worth keeping in mind for balance that Hillary Clinton also has a long track record of hanging about with lunatic pseudo-theologians. We recall how in the first Clinton Administration, Hillary chose as her guru the pseudo-rabbi Michael Lerner, the Sixties fossilized pro-LSD editor of Tikkun Magazine and proponent of the silly "Politics of Meaning" form of pseudo-religion, in which all religion is transformed into pursuit of the political fads of the Left. Lerner of course is not a rabbi, and was never ordained by any terrestrial rabbinic seminary.

Would a President Hillary invite Mikey Lerner over to the Oval Office to blow dope with her?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ramon to Olmert: Expose Secret Deals With PA Before Your Fall

Hillel Fendel

Vice Premier Chaim Ramon has called on the Olmert government to publicize the details of the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, so as to avoid "wasting time" for the next government.

Ramon, a long-time friend of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, thus banged another nail into Olmert's political coffin by indicating that new elections are already a foregone conclusion. Ramon, speaking over the weekend at the Washington Institute in the United States, at a special session on the Middle East, also predicted "new elections in November, just like in the United States."

Olmert Progressing Towards PA State
Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiating teams, headed by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala), respectively, have been meeting for months with the goal of formulating a final status peace agreement, or at least the principles of such. Their goal is the creation of a Palestinian state on most or all of Judea and Samaria, which is currently populated by hundreds of thousands of Jews. Intermittent reports of various levels of progress have been reported, but without details.

Olmert has reportedly agreed to hand over more than 90% of Judea and Samaria, but the PA continues to insist on at least 98.5%.

Minister Ramon said that in order that the great amount of work invested by the sides not be wasted, the details of the negotiations - especially on the sensitive issues of borders, Arab refugees, and Jerusalem - should be publicized. If these details are made public, they are liable to obligate future Israeli governments.

Olmert and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas are set to meet privately this Monday, in keeping with their mutual commitment to meet frequently. No substantial progress is expected, however, given Olmert's precarious political situation.