Saturday, May 09, 2009

9 tips for the road

Eitan Haber offers Prime Minister Netanyahu some words of advice before trip to America

Eitan Haber
Israel Opinion

1. Every trip by a prime minister to the United States is characterized as “decisive,” “fateful,” and “historic.” It may very well turn out that this time it’s true. Your colleagues and you will discover in the near future, and perhaps as early as this visit, that you may have changed (and for the better, as many claim,) but so did the US (and for the worse, as some may tell you.) Prepare yourself for this change. Hey Bibi, this is not the America you used to know. 2. It will be very difficult for you, but in the time left before the trip try to forget what you learned from a young age at home. Remember only vaguely, and merely for internal purposes, Jabotinsky’s writings and theory, and do not repeat some of your diplomatic statements out loud. Everyone, ranging from the person who will open the car door for you when you arrive at the White house to the president himself, expects you to be “up to date” in respect to the wishes and dreams of the US president. They expect you to move closer to their positions. Despite your charm and amazing persuasion abilities, you have no chance of convincing them to change their views. Should you invent new terms in your Mideast policy, something like “they’ll get something if they give something and get nothing if they’ll give nothing,” Obama will pound the table (during your tête à tête) and say: Cut the bullshit, what exactly do you mean? Keep in mind that for them, “ambiguity” is a concept that is no longer relevant.
3. You will find a president who is completely different than his predecessors: He has minimal knowledge of Judaism and basic knowledge about Israel and the conflict. His election victory six month ago and his apparent re-election in another four years does not depend on the Jewish vote, and his right hand does not shake when the secretary tells him that he has a call from AIPAC’s president or from Malcolm Hoenlein. It is doubtful whether she would even put the call through.
4. If, nonetheless, you will try to come up with Jewish pressure levers against Obama, you have only two: Lester Crown and someone from the Pritzker family, both from Chicago. Regrettably, their views regarding our regional conflict are not similar to yours. Try not to require their assistance. If you will think, as was the case in the past, that you can utilize the “Conference of Presidents,” you are in for a major letdown.
5. The group of Jews that surrender Obama, headed by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, was not a part of your group of admirers. Keep in mind that this group served previous presidents on missions related to the Middle East conflict and they are hungry for achievements. All of them already wrote books about their disappointments and failures. Now they want success, and in their view success is not quite commensurate with your recipes for peace and security.
6. As a prime minister who has been briefed on the issue, you already know that Israel cannot eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat on its own. And after all, a long time ago you reached the conclusion (which is accurate in my view) that this is an existential threat. This implies that our fate is currently in America’s hands. Now you also know that what the journalists refer to as the “moment of truth” is truly, for you (and for us,) the moment of truth.
7. You may be able to postpone this moment by another month or two, or put it off to another visit, or call for more discussions or another committee or conference – yet this Obama character appears to be someone who does not like wise guys. He will apparently ask you for action on the ground, and quickly. With millions of unemployed in the US and trouble all over the world, he has no patience for you.

8. All of the above should not imply, heaven forbid, that this is what I want to materialize. As far as I’m concerned, everything can go on as it was during the term of presidents Johnson, Ford, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr.
9. Whoops! This is precisely your and our problem: Obama is looking at this list, and he is telling himself and those around him: I won’t be like them.

Germany goes after pro-Israel, anti-jihad blogger

Seems like old times: "Germans acting as henchmen for the new Nazis — who were the Germans’ henchmen in WWII." "Germany Goes After Pro-Israel Blogger," by Julia Gorin at Republican Riot, May 8:

One of the lone voices in Germany still exercising what’s left of European free speech is about to lose the last remnants of it. Anti-jihad, pro-Israel blogger Fred Alan Medforth, proprietor of the blogs Allah’s Willing Executioners and Jihad Watch Deutschland, is being sued by the German government. As he wrote me:

Mr. Medforth…offended [a] social-democratic member of the Bundestag, Nils Annen. Mr Annen is a German pro-Hamas and pro-Hizbollah politician. [But instead of] Mr. Annen suing Medforth…German justice sues Medforth [for] insulting Mr Annen… It is the German justice itself which wants a lawsuit against the German pro-Israel blogger.

That means it is a politically motivated court procedure. German justice states that [a photo published on the site] and its subtitle are insulting [to] Mr. Annen. The photo shows Hamas members presenting the Hitler salute. The text of the subtitle is : “One last greeting to Mr Annen.”

The lawsuit takes place on the 12th of May, 2009 in the district court of Gelsenkirchen.


Between this and the January incident in which German police took down an Israeli flag from the window of a private residence at the behest of a Muslim mob, what we have is a role reversal: Germans acting as henchmen for the new Nazis — who were the Germans’ henchmen in WWII. It’s nice to always have friends you can count on.
Thanks jihad Watch

Friday, May 08, 2009

Seven Existential Threats

Michael Oren
Commentary Mag

Rarely in modern history have nations faced genuine existential threats. Wars are waged to change regimes, alter borders, acquire resources, and impose ideologies, but almost never to eliminate another state and its people. This was certainly the case during World War II, in which the Allies sought to achieve the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan and to oust their odious leaders, but never to destroy the German and Japanese states or to annihilate their populations. In the infrequent cases in which modern states were threatened with their survival, the experience proved to be traumatic in the extreme. Military coups, popular uprisings, and civil strife are typical by-products of a state’s encounter with even a single existential threat.

The State of Israel copes not only with one but with at least seven existential threats on a daily basis. These threats are extraordinary not only for their number but also for their diversity. In addition to external military dangers from hostile regimes and organizations, the Jewish State is endangered by domestic opposition, demographic trends, and the erosion of core values. Indeed, it is difficult if not impossible to find an example of another state in the modern epic that has faced such a multiplicity and variety of concurrent existential threats.


The Loss of Jerusalem.

The preservation of Jerusalem as the political and spiritual capital of the Jewish state is vital to Israel’s existence. This fact was well understood by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, at the time of the state’s creation in 1948. Though Israel was attacked simultaneously on all fronts by six Arab armies, with large sections of the Galilee and the Negev already lost, Ben-Gurion devoted the bulk of Israel’s forces to breaking the siege of Jerusalem. The city, he knew, represented the raison d’être of the Jewish state, and without it Israel would be merely another miniature Mediterranean enclave not worth living in, much less defending.

Ben-Gurion’s axiom proved correct: For more than 60 years, Jerusalem has formed the nucleus of Israel’s national identity and cohesion. But now, for the first time since 1948, Israel is in danger of losing Jerusalem—not to Arab forces but to a combination of negligence and lack of interest.

Jerusalem no longer boasts a Zionist majority. Out of a total population of 800,000, there are 272,000 Arabs and 200,000 Haredim--ultra-Orthodox Jews who do not generally identify with the Zionist state. Recent years have seen the flight of thousands of secular Jews from the city, especially professionals and young couples. This exodus has severely eroded the city’s tax base, making Jerusalem Israel’s poorest city. Add this to the lack of industry and the prevalence of terrorist attacks and it is easy to see why Jerusalem is hardly a magnet for young Israelis. Indeed, virtually half of all Israelis under 18 have never even visited Jerusalem.

If this trend continues, Ben-Gurion’s nightmare will materialize and Israel will be rendered soulless, a country in which a great many Jews may not want to live or for which they may not be willing to give their lives.


The Arab Demographic Threat.

Estimates of the Arab growth rate, both within Israel and the West Bank and Gaza, vary widely. A maximalist school holds that the Palestinian population on both sides of the 1949 armistice lines is expanding far more rapidly than the Jewish sector and will surpass it in less than a decade. Countering this claim, a minimalist school insists that the Arab birthrate in Israel is declining and that the population of the territories, because of emigration, is also shrinking.

Even if the minimalist interpretation is largely correct, it cannot alter a situation in which Israeli Arabs currently constitute one-fifth of the country’s population—one-quarter of the population under age 19--and in which the West Bank now contains at least 2 million Arabs.

Israel, the Jewish State, is predicated on a decisive and stable Jewish majority of at least 70 percent. Any lower than that and Israel will have to decide between being a Jewish state and a democratic state. If it chooses democracy, then Israel as a Jewish state will cease to exist. If it remains officially Jewish, then the state will face an unprecedented level of international isolation, including sanctions, that might prove fatal.

Ideally, the remedy for this dilemma lies in separate states for Jews and Palestinian Arabs. The basic conditions for such a solution, however, are unrealizable for the foreseeable future. The creation of Palestinian government, even within the parameters of the deal proposed by President Clinton in 2000, would require the removal of at least 100,000 Israelis from their West Bank homes. The evacuation of a mere 8,100 Israelis from Gaza in 2005 required 55,000 IDF troops—the largest Israeli military operation since the 1973 Yom Kippur War—and was profoundly traumatic. And unlike the biblical heartland of Judaea and Samaria, which is now called the West Bank, Gaza has never been universally regarded as part of the historical Land of Israel.

On the Palestinian side there is no single leadership at all, and certainly not one ready to concede the demand for the repatriation of Palestinian refugees to Israel or to forfeit control of even part of the Temple Mount (a necessary precondition for a settlement that does not involve the division of Jerusalem). No Palestinian leader, even the most moderate, has recognized Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state or even the existence of a Jewish people.

In the absence of a realistic two-state paradigm, international pressure will grow to transform Israel into a binational state. This would spell the end of the Zionist project. Confronted with the lawlessness and violence endemic to other one-state situations in the Middle East such as Lebanon and Iraq, multitudes of Israeli Jews will emigrate.



Since the mid-1970s, Israel’s enemies have waged an increasingly successful campaign of delegitimizing Israel in world forums, intellectual and academic circles, and the press. The campaign has sought to depict Israel as a racist, colonialist state that proffers extraordinary rights to its Jewish citizens and denies fundamental freedoms to the Arabs. These accusations have found their way into standard textbooks on the Middle East and have become part of the daily discourse at the United Nations and other influential international organizations. Most recently, Israel has been depicted as an apartheid state, effectively comparing the Jewish State to South Africa under its former white supremacist regime. Many of Israel’s counterterrorism efforts are branded as war crimes, and Israeli generals are indicted by foreign courts.

Though the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza clearly contributed to the tarnishing of Israel’s image, increasingly the delegitimization campaign focuses not on Israel’s policy in the territories but on its essence as the Jewish national state.

Such calumny was, in the past, dismissed as harmless rhetoric. But as the delegitimization of Israel gained prominence, the basis was laid for international measures to isolate Israel and punish it with sanctions similar to those that brought down the South African regime. The academic campaigns to boycott Israeli universities and intellectuals are adumbrations of the type of strictures that could destroy Israel economically and deny it the ability to defend itself against the existential threats posed by terrorism and Iran.



Since the moment of its birth, Israel has been the target of attacks—bombings, ambushes, rocket fire—from Arab irregulars committed to its destruction. In the decade between 1957 and 1967, widely considered the most halcyon in the state’s history, hundreds of Israelis were killed in such assaults. Nevertheless, the Israeli security establishment viewed terror as a nuisance that, though at times tormenting, did not threaten the state’s survival.

This assessment changed, however, in the fall of 2000, when the Palestinians responded to an Israeli-American offer of statehood in the West Bank and Gaza with an onslaught of drive-by shootings and suicide bombings. Tourists and foreign capital fled the country as a result, and Israelis were literally locked inside their homes. The state was dying.

Israel eventually rallied and, in the spring of 2002, mounted a counteroffensive against terrorist strongholds in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) developed innovative techniques for patrolling Palestinian cities, coordinating special forces and intelligence units, and targeting terrorist leaders. Israel also built a separation barrier that impeded the ability of terrorists to infiltrate the state from the east.

These measures succeeded in virtually eliminating suicide bombers and restoring economic and social stability. Yet no sooner were these historic achievements gained than terrorists alit on a new tactic no less threatening to Israel’s existence.

Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah into northern Israel and Qassam rockets fired by Hamas in the south rendered life in large swaths of Israel emotionally untenable. Though Israeli ground and air operations may have succeeded in temporarily deterring such attacks, Israel has yet to devise a 21st-century remedy for these mid-20th century threats.

Moreover, Hezbollah’s and Hamas’s arsenals now contain rockets capable of hitting every Israeli city. If fired simultaneously, these rockets could knock out Israel’s airport, destroy its economy, spur a mass exodus from the country, and perhaps trigger a chain reaction in which some Israeli Arabs and several Middle Eastern states join in the assault. Israel’s attempts to defend itself, for example by invading Lebanon and Gaza, would be condemned internationally, and serve as pretext for delegitimizing the state. Israel’s survival would be threatened.


A Nuclear-Armed Iran.

The principal sponsor of Hamas and Hezbollah, Iran is inextricably linked to the terrorist threat. But when the Islamic Republic achieves nuclear weapons-capability—as early as this year, according to Israeli intelligence estimates—the threat will amplify manifold.

A nuclear-armed Iran creates not one but several existential threats. The most manifest emanates from Iran’s routinely declared desire to “wipe Israel off the map,” and from the fact that cold war calculi of nuclear deterrence through mutually assured destruction may not apply to Islamist radicals eager for martyrdom. Some Israeli experts predict that the Iranian leadership would be willing to sacrifice 50 percent of their countrymen in order to eradicate Israel.

Beyond the perils of an Iranian first-strike attack against Israel, the possibility exists that Iran will transfer its nuclear capabilities to terrorist groups, which will then unleash them on Israel via the country’s porous ports and border crossings.

A nuclear Iran will also deny Israel the ability to respond to terrorist attacks: in response to an Israeli retaliation against Hezbollah, for example, Iran would go on nuclear alert, causing widespread panic in Israel and the collapse of its economy. Finally, and most menacing, many Middle Eastern states have declared their intention to develop nuclear capabilities of their own once Iran acquires the bomb.

Israel will swiftly find itself in a profoundly unstable nuclear neighborhood prone to violent revolutions and miscalculations leading to war. As former Labor Party minister Efraim Sneh says, under such circumstances, all Israelis who can leave the country will.


The Hemorrhaging of Sovereignty.

Israel does not assert its sovereignty over large sections of its territory and over major sectors of its population. In East Jerusalem, a few hundred yards from where Israeli building codes are strictly enforced in West Jerusalem, Arabs have illegally built hundreds of houses, many of them in historic areas, with impunity. The situation is even worse in the Negev and throughout much of the Galilee, where vast tracts of land have been seized by illegal construction and squatters. Taxes are erratically collected in these areas and the police maintain, at best, a symbolic presence.

Israel fails to apply its laws not only to segments of its Arab population but to significant parts of its Jewish community as well. Over 100 outposts have been established illegally in the West Bank, and Jewish settler violence perpetrated against Palestinian civilians and Israeli security forces is now regarded as a major threat by the IDF.

Israel also balks at enforcing many of its statutes in the burgeoning Haredi community. (According to a recent report, by the year 2012, Haredim will account for one-third of all the Jewish elementary school students in Israel.) Though it is difficult to generalize about Israeli Haredim, the community overwhelmingly avoids military service and eschews the symbols of the state.

A significant percentage of Knesset members, Arabs and Jews, do not recognize the validity of the state they serve. Some actively call for its dissolution. Israel is, quite simply, hemorrhaging sovereignty and so threatening its continued existence as a state.



Recent years have witnessed the indictment of major Israeli leaders on charges of embezzlement, taking bribes, money laundering, sexual harassment, and even rape. Young Israelis shun politics, which are widely perceived as cutthroat; the Knesset, according to annual surveys, commands the lowest level of respect of any state institution. Charges of corruption have spread to areas of Israeli society, such as the army, once considered inviolate.

The breakdown of public morality, in my view, poses the greatest single existential threat to Israel. It is this threat that undermines Israel’s ability to cope with other threats; that saps the willingness of Israelis to fight, to govern themselves, and even to continue living within a sovereign Jewish state. It emboldens Israel’s enemies and sullies Israel’s international reputation. The fact that Israel is a world leader in drug and human trafficking, in money laundering, and in illicit weapons sales is not only unconscionable for a Jewish state, it also substantively reduces that state’s ability to survive.

Though seemingly overwhelming, the threats to Israel’s existence are not without solutions, either partial or complete.

Preserving Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state must become a policy priority for Israel. Immense resources must be invested in expanding the industrial and social infrastructure of the city and in encouraging young people to relocate there. Israeli school children must make biannual visits to Jerusalem; materials on Jerusalem’s centrality to Jewish history and national identity must be introduced into school curricula.

Similarly, to maintain Israel’s demographic integrity, measures must be taken to separate Israel from the densely populated areas of the West Bank. In the absence of effective Palestinian interlocutors, Israel may have to draw its eastern border unilaterally. The new borders should include the maximum number of Jews, of natural and strategic assets, and of Jewish holy places.

There is no absolute solution for terrorism, though terror attacks can be reduced to a manageable level through combined (air, ground, and intelligence) operations, physical obstacles, and advanced anti-ballistic systems. It is also essential that Israel adopt a zero-tolerance policy for terrorism, in which every rocket or mortar shell fired across its border precipitates an immediate and punishing response. There must be no immunity for terrorist leaders, military or political. Israel proved that suicide bombers can be virtually eliminated and that terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah can be deterred.

Israel cannot allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Israel should work in close tandem with the United States, supporting the current administration’s diplomatic efforts to dissuade the Iranians from going nuclear but warning American policymakers of the dangers of Iranian prevarication. Israel must also not allow its hands to be tied—it must remain free to initiate other, covert measures to impede Iran’s nuclear program, while continuing to develop the plans and intelligence necessary for a military operation.

There is no other option, if the state is to survive, than for Israel to assert its sovereignty fully and equitably over all of its territory and inhabitants. This means forbidding illegal construction in East Jerusalem, the Negev, and the Galilee. Major investments will have to be made to expand the security forces necessary for applying Israeli law uniformly throughout the state. In the specific case of Israeli Arabs, Israel must adopt a two-pronged policy of assuring total equality in the provision of social services and infrastructure while simultaneously insisting that Israeli Arabs demonstrate basic loyalty to the state. A system of national service—military and non-military—must be established and made obligatory for all Israelis, ending the destructive separation of Haredi youth from the responsibilities of citizenship.

Corruption must be addressed on both the institutional and the ideological levels. The first step in reducing political corruption is the radical reform of the coalition system, in which that corruption is organic. Young people must be encouraged to enter politics and grassroots movements dedicated to probity in public affairs fostered.

Most fundamental, though, corruption must be rooted out through a revival of Zionist and Jewish values. These should be inculcated, first, in the schools, then through the media and popular culture. The most pressing need is for leadership. Indeed, all of these threats can be surmounted with courageous, clear-sighted, and morally sound leaders of the caliber of David Ben-Gurion.

Though remedies exist for all of the monumental threats facing Israel, contemplating them can nevertheless prove dispiriting. A historical context can, however, be helpful. Israel has always grappled with mortal dangers, many more daunting than those of today, and yet managed to prevail. In 1948, a population half of the size of that of Washington, D.C., with no economy and no allies, armed with little more than handguns, held off six Arab armies. It built an economy, tripled its population in ten years, and developed a vibrant democracy and Hebrew culture.

Nineteen years later, in June 1967, Israel was surrounded by a million Arab soldiers clamoring for its obliteration. Its economy was collapsing and its only ally, France, switched sides. There was no assistance from the United States and only hatred from the Soviet bloc countries, China, and even India.

And look at Israel today: a nation of 7 million with a robust economy, six of the world’s leading universities, a pulsating youth culture, cutting-edge arts, and a military that, in its last two engagements, was able to mobilize more than 100 percent of its reserves. According to recent polls, Israelis are the second-most patriotic people in the world, after Americans, and the most willing to defend their country.

Israel in 2009 has treaties with Jordan and Egypt, excellent relations with Eastern Europe, China, and India, and a historic alliance with the United States. By virtually all criteria, Israel in 2009 is in an inestimably better position than at any other time in its 61 years of independence.

Though the severity of the threats jeopardizing Israel’s existence must never be underestimated, neither should Israel’s resilience and national will. That persistence reflects, at least in part, the success of the Jewish people to surmount similar dangers for well over 3,000 years. Together with Diaspora Jewry and millions of Israel supporters abroad, Israel can not only survive these perils but, as in the past, it can thrive.

Israel in peril

Richard Baehr
The Obama administration seems to want a linkage between progress on the Israeli Palestinian front and any stepped up American pressure on Iran. The way this works, is that if Israel decides it is uncomfortable with US pressure to make concessions to the Palestinians, and refuses to make them, it should not count on American support for dealing with Iran's nuclear program. In short, Rahm Emanuel told Israel and its American supporters at AIPAC: you better behave and play ball. Lovely. I recall the emails I got after Obama named his Cabinet and senior staff, which pointed out all the Jewish names, including Rahm's, and added, "This isn't a government, it's a minyan". How cute.

If there is one thing Jews who actually care about Israel should know, it is that being Jewish has little to do with one's support level for Israel. It may be highly correlated however with support for abortion rights, and voting for Democrats. Some Jews not only don't support Israel, they are working for the enemy. Here is evidence of their handiwork investing in some billboard displays in New Mexico.

James Taranto says our Arab allies are very concerned with Iran, and are nervous about US overtures to that country, which at the moment is busy destabilizing their regimes. These Arab countries are more interested in pressure on Iran, than on Israel. Please tell Rahm.

IBD had a terrific editorial on another new pressure tactic the US is using on Israel-publicly acknowledging its nuclear program, and suggesting Iran will be more amenable to negotiating away its nuclear program, if Israel were to disarm. The reality is, that the US seems increasingly unconcerned with Iran completing its nuclear program, and if Israel ever gave up its nukes, it would greatly increase the odds Iran would use its nukes against Israel. Why wouldn't it use them, if there were no Israeli deterrent of nuclear retaliation?

Page Printed from: at May 08, 2009 - 08:59:53 AM EDT

Pelosi proved a liar on torture - again

Allahpundit at Hot Air has lost count but he believes there are now three different sources that have contradicted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's contention that she didn't know what the CIA was doing as far as enhanced interrogation techniques: Remember, Madam Speaker's official story is that she was briefed merely on the White House's belief that waterboarding was legal, not that they ever planned to actually, you know, use it. I'm starting to lose count of how much evidence there is to the contrary at this point: First was this 2007 WaPo report on Pelosi being given a virtual tour of a CIA "black site" at which waterboarding would be used, then came Porter Goss's op-ed last week reminding her that he got the same briefings she got and he knew exactly what was going on,...

And now, a memo has surfaced from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA that shows "Truth Commission" Pelosi to be a towering hypocrite and a liar.

Paul Kane of the Washington Post has the details:

In a 10-page memo outlining an almost seven-year history of classified briefings, intelligence officials said that Pelosi and then-Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) were the first two members of Congress briefed on the tactics. Then the ranking member and chairman of the House intelligence committee, respectively, Pelosi and Goss were briefed Sept. 4, 2002, one week before the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The memo, issued to Capitol Hill by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency, notes that the Pelosi-Goss briefing covered "EITs including the use of EITs" on Abu Zubaida. EIT is an acronym for enhanced interrogation technique, and Abu Zubaida, whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, was one of the earliest valuable al-Qaeda members captured. He also was the first to have the controversial tactic of simulated drowning, or waterboarding, used against him.

The issue of what Pelosi knew and when she knew it has become a tussle on Capitol Hill. Republicans have accused her of knowing for years about the interrogation techniques CIA agents were using and of objecting only when the tactics became public and antiwar activists protested.

Caught dead to rights in a lie, what does Madam Speaker do? As any liar who refuses to own up to her transgression, she doubles down and lies some more:

"As this document shows, the speaker was briefed only once, in September 2002. The briefers described these techniques, said they were legal, but said that waterboarding had not yet been used," said Brendan Daly, Pelosi's spokesman.

When in doubt, ignore all evidence to the contrary and repeat the lie.

And Greg Miller of the Los Angeles Times points out that numerous other lawmakers were briefed by the CIA about the EIT:

Republican congressional officials familiar with the document and other still-classified records on congressional briefings said it would have been negligent for CIA briefers to fail to mention the use of waterboarding after Abu Zubaydah had been subjected to the method so extensively.

Overall, the chart describes 40 briefings over a seven-year period during which CIA and other U.S. intelligence officials described the agency's interrogation program to senior lawmakers.

The records were requested by congressional Republicans, who have accused Democrats on Capitol Hill of hypocrisy for expressing outrage in recent weeks over the CIA's use of harsh interrogation methods after the release of Justice Department memos describing them in detail.

By all means, let's have congressional hearings on torture now. And first in the dock, Nancy Pelosi where she will be questioned about why she approved interrogation techniques that she later denounced and then lied about having been briefed on them.

Should make for great television.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Page Printed from: at May 08, 2009 - 08:57:54 AM

The Obama Lexicon

David Harsanyi
Friday, May 08, 2009

Washington always has been a thermonuclear cliche generator. But the Obama administration, with all its super-smarts, has taken the exploitation of the euphemism to spectacular new heights.

This week, we learned a bit more about what the terms "sacrifice" (do what we want, you filthy, unpatriotic swine), "era of responsibility" (double the "sacrifice," half the prosperity) and "investments" (we squander money so you don't have to) really mean. "Transparency" is when Barack Obama promises that the enterprising citizen will be able to track "every dime" of the $787 billion forever-government stimulus bill via a nifty Web site, called (sic).

Reality is when that much-heralded site won't be complete until next spring, when half the stimulus money will have been wasted and … well, it probably won't be especially helpful.

Earl Devaney, the chairman of the "Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board" -- who, to absolutely no one's surprise, admitted this week that fraud is a distinct possibility -- claims the site won't be ready for five months because there isn't enough data storage capacity to hold it all.

"Stimulus": too big for cyberspace.

In the "new era of responsibility," Obama vowed during his campaign that his administration scrupulously would pore over the federal budget "line by line" to extract savings, eradicate waste and find inefficiencies.

After teeing up a record-breaking $3.4 trillion budget -- on top of bailouts, deficits, stimulus packages and other goodies for special friends -- we know that's bunk.

But watching Obama engage in his act of false heroics this week -- claiming that "we" were going to make tough budget cuts by trimming programs no one in this galaxy cares about in an effort to slice a subatomic fraction from the budget that no one will notice -- well, that was a special treat.

When it comes to "investments," the general idea is this: Every unproductive and superfluous job or project that an army of pencil pushers and special interest groups have conjured up needs someone to fund it. And because you won't do it voluntarily, the administration will do it for you in the name of "community."

After all, what other than a top-down economic model could sustain a place called the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, which is in Pennsylvania and services an average of 20 passengers a day?

An Investor's Business Daily analysis found that $154 million in stimulus funds were going to rural airports that hardly anyone uses -- many already receiving subsidies and tax breaks.

Why should taxpayers have an opportunity to buy things they value, go to airports they actually need, and grow the economy as they see fit when we have far smarter congressional Democrats and an extraordinary president to decide what is good for us ahead of time and invest "appropriately"?

Which bring us to "sacrifice." After investing billions of tax dollars in Chrysler -- your average return on this venture will be zero -- the failing company declared faux bankruptcy. The Obama administration then went ahead and made an offer to bondholders -- 33 cents on the dollar -- without allowing a judge to decide what the bonds were really worth.

Well, some of these selfish companies who hold Chrysler's debt (the ones who accepted TARP funding, a subsidiary of Obama Co., went along with the administration) want to head to court to determine the actual worth of the bonds in bankruptcy proceedings.

Obama responded that these firms were "hoping that everyone else would make sacrifices and they would have to make none."

No sacrifices? Everybody else?

So now those who take real risk, who invest real money, who refuse government welfare and create real jobs are selfish. They can be bullied by the president and have their legal contracts arbitrarily dismantled.

Well, at least we're getting a better sense of what Obama means when he speaks.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Papal visit bad for Israel

Giora Eiland says current pope no friend of Israel, should not have been welcomed here

Giora Eiland
Israel Opinion

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit Israel next week. It would have been better had this visit not taken place, and as opposed to common perception it presents diplomatic damage to Israel rather than benefits. The pope enrolled in the Hitler Youth and later joined the Wehrmacht. Even if we accept the claim that this was what many young Germans did during World War II, and that this does not necessarily attest to anti-Semitic positions, it nonetheless constitutes a significant stain. After all, nobody thoroughly examined his actions during that era, and the doubts persist.

The doubt regarding the pope’s positions in respect to the Jews was lifted in the wake of two decisions made by him – decisions that at best were a result of indifference and at worst were an expression of anti-Semitism.

In August 2008, Benedict XVI declared Pope Pius XII a “saint.” Pius XII served as pope throughout World War II. The most positive thing one can say about him is that he was completely indifferent to the fate of the Jews. Others, such as author John Cornell in his book Hitler’s Pope, describe his support for the Nazi regime.

There are dozens of documented reports of church representatives in Holland, Austria, and Ukraine who sent letters to the pope and reported the Nazi murders, including dates, locations, and number of victims. Yet Pius XII chose to ignore it.

Some senior Catholic figures asked him to clearly speak out, so that even if the Nazis won’t be deterred, at least their Catholic collaborators in Poland, Ukraine, and other countries would have doubts, yet the pope refused to do so. He did not lift a finger even on behalf of the Jews in his city, Rome, who were led to their death right under his nose.

The second act has to do with Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson, who claims that there was no deliberate killing of Jews during World War II, that the crematoria are an invention, and that the number of Jews who perished at the camps is 300,000 at most. Williamson was excommunicated by the Church in the past because of his statements. Yet Benedict XVI sought to reinstate and rehabilitate him.

The pope was not impressed by the (mostly Jewish) outcry, and attempted to justify his move in odd ways. He was forced to give in only after German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to him like “one German to another” and demanded that he change his mind.

Needless obsequiousness

There should be no doubt about it: The pope is not coming here for purposes of dialogue or reconciliation, or because of his desire to visit the State of Israel. He wants to arrive here because Christianity’s holiest sites “happen to be” under Israeli sovereignty, and just like his predecessors he cannot avoid a visit.

If he has any diplomatic intentions, they are not motivated by sympathy for us. The pope expressed his support for the Durban II conference. He also insisted on visiting a Palestinian refugee camp near the security fence, thereby making the Palestinian refugees and the fence a nice backdrop for his message regarding the injustices of Jewish occupation.

In the face of such anti-Israel attitude, the State of Israel is not only willing to host him in line with the regular pomp and circumstances but also to do much beyond it. This visit will cost NIS 43 million (roughly $10 million.) Beyond the regular hosting and security expenses that any head of state is entitled to, the State of Israel is also funding Christian ceremonies and events.

This obsequiousness is a harmful act, and as opposed to common perception it carries no diplomatic benefits. Similarly to how a needless confrontation can undermine a state’s status, needless sycophancy can do the same. Had we told the Vatican that “this isn’t the right time for a visit,” we would have done something that is right in Jewish terms and wise in diplomatic terms.


Israel’s Govt. Has Not Endorsed Creating Palestinian State

Fmr. IDF Chief Yaalon: “Palestinian state will lead to war.”

The ZOA has expressed deep concern that the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a leading pro-Israel lobby, has endorsed establishing a Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel’s longest border on the assumption that such a state will produce peace. In this year’s lobbying effort by AIPAC, AIPAC activists were instructed to ask their congressmen to sign on to letters addressed to Obama that explicitly promotes the need for a “viable Palestinian state.” ZOA is mystified that AIPAC is supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state despite the fact that Mahmoud Abbas refuses to accept Israel as a Jewish state and other PA leaders refuse to accept Israel at all.

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, last week displaying a map of all of Israel labeled as “Palestine”. Notice at top of map the word “Palestine” in English.

AIPAC has always said that it supports the policies of the Israeli government, but it now supports a Palestinian state while the Netanyahu government has taken no such position. This is untrue. On other occasions, it is also true that AIPAC has not supported Israel’s policies. For example, when Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir asked AIPAC to support the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria, AIPAC refused. In May 2002, Binyamin Netanyahu, in a major speech, clearly spelt out the dangers of a Palestinian Arab state and the reasons its creation under existing conditions had to be opposed:

“The biggest mistake that can be made is to promise [to the Palestinians] the establishment of their own independent state … it will demand all the powers of a state, such as controlling borders, bringing in weapons, control of airspace and the ability to knock down any Israeli plane that enters its area, the ability to sign peace treaties and military alliances with other countries. Once you give them a state, you give them all these things, even if there is an agreement to the contrary, for within a short time they will demand all these things, and they will assume these powers, and the world will stand by and do nothing - but it will stop us from trying to stop them ... We will thus have created with our own hands a threat to our very existence. On the day that we sign an agreement for a state with limited authorities, what will happen if the Palestinians do what the Germans did after World War I, when they nullified the demilitarized zone? The world did nothing then, and the world will do nothing now as well. Even now, the Palestinians are removing all the restrictions to which they agreed in Oslo – they are smuggling in arms, polluting the water sources, building an army, making military deals with Iran and others, and more… But when we try to take action against this, the world opposes us – and not them... Arafat said it best when talking to reporters the day he signed the Oslo Accords: ‘Since we can’t defeat Israel in war, we must do it in stages, we must take whatever area of Palestine we can get, establish sovereignty there, and then at the right time, we will have to convince the Arab nations to join us in dealing the final blow to Israel.’ Self-rule, yes. But a state with which to destroy the State of Israel – no ... We are told that the idea of a Palestinian state is just a vision for the future, not for right now. Well, our nation, too, has a vision for the future: ‘The wolf shall lie down with the lamb.’ When this vision is fulfilled in the Middle East, then we’ll convene this Committee again and re-consider the issue … On matters vital to our existence, we always took clear action, even if others didn’t agree with us. Because the bottom line is that saying ‘Yes’ to a Palestinian state means ‘No’ to a Jewish State, and vice-versa” (Hillel Fendel, ‘Netanyahu: Why We Must Oppose a Palestinian State,’ Israel National News, April 30, 2009)

However, today, AIPAC is supporting a Palestinian Arab state even though the Netanyahu government has not done so. The letters being circulated to law makers on Capitol Hill are especially troubling in that they promote Palestinian statehood while Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah (strongly supported by Palestinian opinion) refuse to accept Israel or even to depict the country on PA maps, atlases and the Fatah emblem; continue to permit incitement to hatred and murder against Jews and Israel in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps; do not arrest and jail terrorists or outlaw terrorist groups; retain the Fatah Constitution with its calls for terrorism and Israel’s destruction; and honors terrorists like George Habash and Samir Kuntar. Negotiating the creation of any Palestinian Arab state should be conditional on ending all these things and transforming Palestinian society. In the absence of this, ZOA has argued that this is no time to be endorsing or promoting the creation of a Palestinian state.

ZOA criticism is therefore two-fold: it opposes this move by AIPAC because supporting or promoting a Palestinian Arab state under prevailing conditions is seriously mistaken and because AIPAC is thereby supporting a major policy affecting Israel’s vital interests despite the fact that the Israeli government has not supported such a policy. As the Jerusalem Post report, “While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is refusing to explicitly endorse a two-state solution to resolve the Palestinian conflict, participants at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference will this week be urging their elected representatives to press President Barack Obama for precisely that” (Hilary Leila Krieger, ‘AIPAC delegates to lobby for two-state solution,’ Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2009).

Polls of both American Jews and Israelis show less than majority support for establishing a Palestinian state:

American Jews:

§ The 2007 American Jewish Committee poll showed that 55% of American Jews don’t believe that current negotiations can lead to peace, while only 36% were hopeful that it would; 58% of American Jews reject Israeli concessions on Jerusalem, even in context of permanent peace, with only 36% supporting the idea. It showed 81% of American Jews agree that “The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel.” Also, less than half (46%) support the creation of a Palestinian state.

§ A March 2007 McLaughlin & Associates poll shows that non-Jewish Americans as well, by a margin of 5 to 1, oppose Israel land concession to the Palestinian Arabs and by 2 to 1, believe that a Palestinian state will be a terrorist state, not a peaceful democracy.


§ February 2009: Israelis oppose 51 percent – 31 percent the creation of a Palestinian state, as opposed to merely 31 percent that favor its establishment; Israelis believe 52 percent – 22 percent that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria will lead to rocket fire on Jerusalem, Kfar Sava and other cities in central Israel. (‘Poll: Israelis oppose Palestinian State 51%:32% - 31% of Kadima voters would drop support if thought Kadima supports Pal State,’ Independent Media Review & Analysis, February 9, 2009).

§ July 2008: Jerusalem’s residents (including Israeli Arabs) oppose the division of the city with physical barriers 73 percent – 27 percent, (‘Polls: 73%:27% Jerusalem residents oppose physical separation in city in wake of attacks,’ Independent Media Review & Analysis, July 24, 2008).

§ An October 2007 Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research and the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution of Tel Aviv University poll has shown that a clear majority of Jewish Israelis – 59% to 33% – oppose, even in return for a peace agreement, Israel handing over to the PA various Arab neighborhoods in the eastern half of Jerusalem.

Moreover, the Palestinian leadership of Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas does not accept Israel’s existence, let alone as a Jewish state:

§ Mahmoud Abbas, PA president and Fatah chairman: “Alluding to the dispute over whether the Palestinian government should recognize Israel and abide by past Palestinian agreements, Abbas noted that ‘forces don’t need to accept what the government accepts, and we say that the government has to accept the international legitimacy.’” (‘Abbas calls for all-inclusive unity government,’ Ma’an News [Palestinian wire service], April 27, 2009); “I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will.” A smiling Abbas held up a large framed map of ‘Palestine’ covering the entire area of Israel, which was featured on the front page of both PA daily newspaper, with ‘Palestine’ printed in English (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, ‘Mahmoud Abbas: “I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will,” Palestinian Media Watch, April 28, 2009).

§ Abbas: “The Palestinians do not accept the formula that the state of Israel is a Jewish state.” (David Bedein, ‘Olmert reports to Israel Cabinet Meeting,’ Bulletin [Philadelphia], December 3, 2007).

§ Abbas: “Hamas is not required, Hamas is not required to recognize Israel... It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel, all right? The PLO, in 1993, recognized Israel ... But the government which will be formed, and which will function opposite the Israelis on a daily basis ... every hour and perhaps every second, there will be contact between Palestinian ministers and Israeli ministers ... [Abbas then gives an example of 500 million dollars in taxes intended for the Palestinians, but put on hold by Israelis. The Palestinian finance minister has to come to an agreement with the Israeli finance minister regarding the transfer of that money.] So how can he make an agreement with him if he does not recognize him? So I do not demand of Hamas nor any other [organizations] to recognize Israel. But from the government that works with Israelis in day to day life, yes” (Al-Arabiya [Dubai] and PA TV, October 3, 2006, Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook, ‘Abbas dupes US: “Recognition” is functional, not inherent,’ Palestinian Media Watch, October 5, 2006).

§ Senior Fatah commander, Muhammad Dahlan, former commander of Fatah forces in Gaza: “[Hamas says] that the Fatah movement wants Hamas to recognize Israel. This is a gross deception. And I want to say for the thousandth time, in my own name and in the name of all of my fellow members of the Fatah movement: We do not demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. On the contrary, we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today … We of the Fatah do not recognize Israel; we recognized [corrects himself] recognize that which the PLO recognized, but that does not obligate us as a Palestinian resistance faction. It is not being demanded of Hamas that it recognize Israel ... The entire Palestinian economy is dependent on Israel. The government’s role is to manage the day-to-day life of the Palestinian people. I cannot force my thinking and my position [non-recognition of Israel] on the government, and then [were I to do so] – should the Palestinian people pay the price for this position? … It’s not the political parties [that must recognize]; it’s required of the government and not of the parties. It’s required of the government but not of Hamas; it’s required of the government but not of the Fatah” (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, ‘Western funders misled: Fatah still refuses to recognize Israel, PA’s “recognition” only to receive international aid,’ Palestinian Media Watch, March 17, 2009)

§ Abu Ahmed, Fatah commander: ‘“The base of our Fatah movement keeps dreaming of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa and Acco. ...There is no change in our official position. Fatah as a movement never recognized Israel,” the terrorist, calling himself Abu Ahmed, explained. He went on to say that the Al-Aksa Brigades is ‘one and the same’ with the Fatah party.’ (David Bedein, ‘The American Sanitizing of a Terrorist Group,’ Israel National News, October 5, 2006).

Palestinian society opposes Israel’s existence and supports terrorism against Israel:

* January 2009 poll: Jerusalem Media & Communications Center poll that found that 55.4 percent of Palestinians support continued suicide bombings against Israel, as against 37.6 percent who oppose it. (Jerusalem Media & Communications Center, Poll No. 67, January 2009).
* March 2008 Poll: 83.5% of Palestinians approve of the March 6 terrorist attack on the Mercaz Harav seminary in Jerusalem in which 8 people, mainly teenagers, were murdered and a further 40 wounded; 63.6% support rocket attacks on Israeli towns, as against 32.6% who oppose it. (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll, March 2008).

§ February 2007 Poll: 75% of Palestinian Arabs do not think that Israel has a right to exist; 70% of Palestinian Arabs support a one-state solution in which Jews would be a minority, not a two-state solution with a Palestinian Arab state living peacefully alongside Israel (Near East Consulting (NEC) poll, February 12-15, 2007, ‘NEC 12-15 February Poll: 75% of Palestinians do not think that Israel has the right to exist,’ Independent Media Review Analysis, February 16, 2007).

§ September 2006 Poll: 57% of Palestinian Arabs support terrorist attacks upon Israeli civilians; 75% support the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in a bid to obtain the release of jailed Palestinians terrorists; 63% are inspired by the Lebanese Islamist terror group Hizballah and seek to emulate it (Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) poll, September 2006).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt, Executive Committee Chairman Dr. Alan Mazurek and Treasurer Henry Schwartz said, “We are perplexed and critical of the fact that a major pro-Israel organization like AIPAC has taken this step. It constitutes a major reward for Palestinian terrorism and non-acceptance of Israel when we should only be rewarding moderation and acceptance and fulfillment of written agreements of Oslo, Wye and the Roadmap. By doing this, AIPAC is sending a message to Palestinians that they need to do nothing but accept unilateral Israeli concessions, rather than extirpate their armed extremists and reform their society for peace with and acceptance of Israel.

“For an organization that prides itself as one that gives support to the democratically elected Israeli government of the day, AIPAC is helping to increase pressures on the Israeli government to accept creation of a Palestinian state at a time and under conditions in which creating a Palestinian state would mean giving birth to a new, unreconstructed terror state on Israel’s longest border.

“If a Palestinian Arab state were to be established next door to the U.S. in the near-certainty that it would be a corrupt, terror-promoting state which would also be beggar state, dependent on an infusion of billions of dollars, would Americans agree to this? Of course, not – yet that is the sort of idea that AIPAC is now urging upon Congress.

“Under prevailing conditions, there is no sound basis for working to create a Palestinian Arab state, which would become simply another terror state. It’s the height of naiveté to think that sovereignty will resolve this conflict. It would not cause Palestinians to moderate or their leaders to act like good neighbors. On the contrary, it would give Palestinians enhanced capacity to wage war against Israel and further their rejectionist agenda. Remember, Iran, North Korea and Syria are sovereign states. Has that made them peace-loving and moderate?

“There is a growing number of people who oppose the establishment of a Palestinian State, including military and intelligence figures who are speaking out on this issue. They include former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon; former head of the CIA, Jim Woolsey; Mideast scholar, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University, Bernard Lewis and Dr. Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum.

“Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, has observed that ‘the establishment of a Palestinian state will lead, at some stage, to war ... The idea that a Palestinian state will achieve stability is disconnected from reality and dangerous.’ Similarly, James Woolsey, CIA director under Bill Clinton, has argued that ‘the Palestinians should not be granted the right to statehood until they start to treat Israeli Jews who settle in the West Bank as fairly as Israel treats its Muslim citizens ... As long as Wahabbis are running Palestinian education, and little boys are taught to be suicide bombers, I don’t see any reasonable prospects for settlement.’

“Since the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established in 1994, Palestinian Arab society has been educated for terrorism, war and the destruction of Israel. Remember, Palestinians turned down offers of statehood in 1937, 1947 and 2000. If they truly desire statehood, they could obtain it by stopping terrorism. They haven’t, because they prefer to pursue Israel’s elimination.

“PA maps do not show a country called ‘Israel.’ Nor does Fatah’s 43rd anniversary emblem, which shows Israel labeled ‘Palestine’ and draped in a Palestinian headdress. Fatah’s Constitution, to this day calls for the “complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence” (Article 12) and for terrorism as “ a strategy and not a tactic … this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished” (Article 19). Fatah’s own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has murdered over 500 Israelis in eight years of suicide bombing, roadside attacks and shootings. Why is AIPAC supporting the creation of a Palestinian state when the Palestinian leadership and society as a whole does not accept Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state?

“Under such conditions, AIPAC should not be supporting the creating of a Palestinian state. In addition to being the wrong policy at this time, such support will increase pressures on Israel’s democratically elected government, which was approved by an electorate that voted overwhelmingly for right-of-center parties that oppose creating a Palestinian state under current conditions.”

“We urge AIPAC to stop promoting the establishment of what would be a Palestinian terrorist state in which Hamas and Iran would wield considerable power and influence. Such an outcome is in the interest of neither Israel nor the United States. In this scenario, Israel will be reduced to a narrow waist a mere 9 miles wide, which would render Israel indefensible – what Abba Eban used to call the ‘Auschwitz borders.’ It would also be a humanitarian disaster, as hundreds of thousands of Jews living beyond the pre-1967 lines may well be uprooted in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. There will surely be a demand for their forcible removal from their homes. Yet while AIPAC is presently telling Members of Congress how concerned they are about Palestinian suffering, they have said nothing about the 10,000 Jews forcibly removed from their thriving communities in Gaza. What will they then have to say about hundreds of thousands of Jews ousted from their homes to create a judenrein Palestinian state? We need to end terror states, not create new ones.”

Obama reinstating immigration program that has brought 24 suspected jihadists into the US

Jihd Watch

Here is today's Which-Side-Is-Obama-On Alert: "U.S. Importing Somali 'Pirate-Jihadists,'" by David A. Patten for Newsmax, May 6 (thanks to James): The Obama administration is preparing to reinstate a fraud-riddled immigration program that has brought over 36,000 Somalis into the United States under questionable circumstances, including two dozen Minneapolis men that the FBI fears may be planning a terrorist attack.

The FBI has launched an “aggressive” manhunt for the men, who have “gone to ground” and have mysteriously disappeared, terrorism experts tell Newsmax. Authorities fear the men may have been recruited by extremists to carry out suicide attacks inside the United States, or abroad.

Critics of the State Department programs that brought the Somalis to America express grave concerns about the practice of admitting refugees from failed nation-states known to harbor extremists. It can be difficult or impossible to verify a person’s identity in such a country, let alone obtain knowledge of their past associations, several experts tell Newsmax.

One Somali refugee who vanished in early November, Shirwa Ahmed, re-emerged in northern Somalia in February behind the wheel of a truck packed with explosives.

Ahmed, whose family immigrated to the Minneapolis area in the mid-1990s, drove his truck into a crowd and triggered a massive explosion that left some 30 persons dead. Ahmed’s case marked the first known suicide bombing conducted by an American citizen, according to FBI director Robert S. Mueller III.

“It appears that this individual was radicalized in his hometown in Minnesota,” Mueller told the Council on Foreign Relations, warning that in the past two years, about two dozen Somali men have disappeared from their residences near Minneapolis.

Authorities say the men may have been recruited by al-Shabab, a terrorist group believed to have ties to al-Qaida. There has been speculation the men were radicalized at mosques in the area....

Conservative foreign-policy expert Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the D.C.-based Center for Security Policy, is among those who perceives a definite link between Somali’s pirates and its violent Islamic extremists.

“Shariah-adherent Somali pirates are a threat to the world's shipping,” Gaffney tells Newsmax. “Their refugee counterparts being dumped into American communities are a threat to our country and its people. It adds insult to potentially enormous injury that, as the State Department has acknowledged, 80 percent of those refugees are here on the basis of fraudulent family-reunification grounds.”

Gaffney says the State Department “imports pirate/jihadist types into this country.”

One major concern: The pirates’ statements following the freeing of Phillips appeared to be couched in jihadist terms. They identified America as their “No. 1 enemy,” and one pirate leader told The Associated Press: “In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying.”...

There are three State Department programs that vet and process refugees for admittance:...

# The Priority Three (P-3) program awards refugee status specifically for the purpose of family reunification with other refugees already legally residing in the United States....

The P-3 program was suspended in October, after reports of fraud led the State Department and DHS to conduct DNA testing on 3,000 applicants. Those tests revealed that as many as 80 percent of the family-reunification claims were false and did not involve relatives....

Barnett tells Newsmax that the State Department is prepared to resume the troubled P-3 program in June. He also criticizes the P-1 program, due to U.N. refugee programs he describes as “one big long running fraud.” He adds: “The U.N. referral program itself has been subject to bribery and fraud.”

The State Department spokesman tells Newsmax it is unclear if the P-3 program will be reinstated by June, adding, “We do anticipate that the program will restart. A little later this year, we will have this program reinstated.”...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

"Pushing Along"

Arlene Kushner

There were transmission difficulties yesterday that were beyond both my comprehension and my control. Apparently, while many of you received my posting, "Hamas and More," some of you did not. My apologies.

The posting can be found at Hopefully today's message will go out without interference.

For the record one final time: The correct number for sending a fax to PM Netanyahu: 011-972-2-670-5369. fter meeting with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, PM Netanyahu today announced a ministerial committee to work on improving the economic situation and the quality of life for the Palestinians.

Members include Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Minister Silvan Shalom; Netanyahu himself will chair the committee. Shalom has been asked to begin with economic projects in Jenin and Jericho. Also, at the Qasr al-Yehud baptismal site, which is on the Jordan River, near Jericho, although I haven't a remote clue as to what sort of economic project would be initiated at a baptismal site.

The release about this emphasizes that the projects are in line with the economic track to peace that Netanyahu had announced earlier. May be. But I would describe this as the do-something-for-the-Palestinians-to-show-good intentions announcement that is traditionally a precursor to high level meetings between our officials and US officials.


Also announced was outreach by Netanyahu to Egyptian president Mubarak. Eager to stress Egypt's diplomatic importance, Netanyahu will be traveling to Sharm el Sheikh on Monday for a meeting. This will be his first trip abroad since assuming office.

Netanyahu wants to see greater involvement by the "moderate" states -- Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia -- in what is alluded to as "the peace process" -- whatever that entails at present -- which would be approached at a regional level. (Note: while Jordan and Egypt have peace treaties with Israel, Saudi Arabia is technically still at war with us.)


Just as important, if not more so, in Netanyahu's meeting with Mubarak is seeking Egyptian cooperation in thwarting Iran's nuclear goals.

Egypt is not a nation to be trusted, nor one that has ever exhibited good will towards Israel. But Sunni Egypt fears and hates Shiite Iran and will find a measure of common cause with Israel here. Of some concern, however, have been recent statements by Mubarak regarding the dangers of Israel as a nuclear power. (Mubarak's position is that the Middle East would be safer nuclear-free.)


Word had come in the last few days -- from anonymous Arab diplomatic sources -- that the Obama administration had requested of the Arab League that the Arab (Saudi) peace plan be adjusted in order to be more palatable to Israel. The Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper on Tuesday then indicated the Arabs were considering concessions, most specifically with regard to withdrawing the demand for the return of refugees and permitting UN control of the Old City of Jerusalem, where holy sites are situated.

But there has now been a rejection of the request in several quarters:

"It is not possible to amend the Arab peace initiative. ... I don't see any justification for amending this initiative," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told a press conference.

Similarly, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa has voiced his rejection.

And the PA news agency Maan has quoted PA president Mahmoud Abbas as saying that there will be "no new document," as all sides were in agreement regarding the soundness of the current proposal.


At the same time, it has been announced that Abbas will be asking prime minister Salem Fayyad to begin formation of a new government without inclusion of Hamas. He's tired of waiting on failed negotiations; he will attend one more meeting on May 16, where he expects nothing will be achieved.


And where does this leave Barack Obama and his grand plans to push ahead peace between Israel and the Palestinians?

It is clear that the Arabs are adamant -- as is their wont -- that there will be no compromise on right of return or control of all eastern Jerusalem.

And if there is no unity government, he's stuck with the problem of what happens with Hamas and Gaza.

One might hope that this dose of reality might set him back a bit, give him just a little pause, inject a note of humility into his assumption that he can succeed here. But that would be silly. He is Barack Obama. He is the president. And he is going to go ahead with his new plan.


In fact, not only is he going full steam ahead on this front, he is also pushing for us to negotiate with Syria. Jeffrey Feltman, the State Department's top Middle East envoy, and White House official Daniel Shapiro have gone to Damascus as part of the Obama plan to reach out to nations shunned by President Bush.

"We came here today as part of President Obama's commitment to use diplomacy, to use dialogue in order to try to see where we can move forward," said Feltman.

After a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, Feltman indicated that he had conveyed "President Obama's sincere commitment to pursue Arab-Israeli peace on all tracks including on the Syria-Israel track."


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has been tasked with overseeing "strategic dialogue" with the US. I'll have more definitive information on this in due course.

Additionally, he will be heading a ministerial committee to lead the Israeli struggle against lawsuits filed around the world against Israelis -- public figures, ministers, military and defense officials -- their goal being to foil these actions.

In a spate of highly politicized and deeply anti-Israel maneuvers, various parties are abusing universal jurisdiction laws that permit charges to be brought in courts in one country against parties in another, even if the country in which the charges are brought has nothing to do with the issue.

The committee will include Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Development Silvan Shalom, Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog, Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein and Minister Yossi Peled. They will call upon the services of experts in international law, PR, and more.

This is a serious matter -- just one more attempt to delegitimize and weaken Israel, and I applaud the seriousness with which the new government is approaching this.

The first issue to be addressed will be the reopening in Spanish court of the matter of the 2002 assassination of Hamas official Salah Shehadeh.


"The Good News Corner"

The news is so often grim, I've decided to make an effort to also share good news (largely non-political) with my readers from time to time.

--- Research by geneticist Prof. Karen Avraham of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine and Dr. Lilach Friedman and other post-doctoral researchers in her lab, has brought about a discovery that may lead to a cure for deafness, whether caused by genetics, disease, aging, or drugs.

Single-stranded RNA molecules, called MicroRNAs, regulate gene expression in cells and decide whether proteins will be produced. The research team has discovered for the first time that these molecules are vital to the development and survival of hair cells in the inner ear necessary for normal hearing.

Healthy babies are born with 15,000 sensory hair cells in each ear, which are responsible for translating sounds to electrical pulses. When these cells die off hearing disability results. Avraham believes that scientists now need to figure out how MicroRNAs regulate hair cell growth.

-- Scientists at the Weizmann Institute have been researching the nature of sea urchin teeth. While these animals dig themselves holes for shelter in underwater limestone, the sharp edge of their teeth never grows dull or blunt. Their teeth in the main are composed of the same calcite as the limestone, but they also contain crystals of magnesium calcite that are harder.

What is more, all the crystalline elements are aligned in two different arrays that are interlocked like the fingers of folded hands, just at the tip of the tooth. It is believed that this interlocking results in a notched, serrated ridge -- like that of a carpenter’s file -- that is self-sharpening. As the tooth is ground down, the crystalline layers break in such a way that the ridge always stays serrated.

It is hoped that the information being explored will lead to the development of ever-sharp tools and mechanical parts that do not go blunt.

-- A new archeological garden has been opened outside the Knesset, on display are some artifacts that are 2,000 years old.

see my website

Israel Outraged at 'Biased' UN Report on Gaza Operation

Hana Levi Julian

( The Foreign Ministry expressed outrage Tuesday in response to a United Nations report that accused the IDF of deliberately targeting United Nations buildings during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

The report was "unbalanced, biased and ignores the facts," Israel said in its rejection. It called on the U.N. to take a second look at the "complex reality in which a terror organization operates in proximity" to its facilities. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to submit his response to the report to the Security Council on Tuesday, when he will release the full report.

IDF Investigation Completed 2 Weeks Ago
Two weeks ago, Israel completed its own independent investigation into allegations that the IDF fired at a UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) compound during the war.

"The findings of these inquiries… proved beyond doubt that the IDF did not intentionally fire at the U.N. installations," said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

"One must wonder why the report assigns no blame to the Hamas organization, which placed its installations and dispatched its men to confront the IDF in proximity to the U.N. installations. It is very regrettable that this pattern, as well as the responsibility of Hamas for harming Israeli and Palestinian civilians, was disregarded by the [U.N.] investigators."

The Foreign Ministry noted that the IDF "took a series of measures meant to ensure international and U.N. facilities and vehicles were not harmed, including clearly marking them on operational maps and briefing officers and soldiers on the ground."

Report 'Ignores the Facts'
The report did not mention even once the circumstances that led to the counterterrorist operation – eight years of increasing rocket and missile attacks on civilians in southern Israel. Nor did it include any evidence provided by Israel that would have supported the IDF's claim that it had not deliberately targeted U.N. facilities.

It did, however, rely on evidence provided by Hamas, which used "violence and intimidation against citizens of Gaza as tools to prevent them from presenting the actual truth," the ministry reminded.

Israel "rejects the criticism in the committee's summary report, and determines that in both spirit and language, the report is tendentious, patently biased, and ignores the facts presented to the committee," said the ministry in a formal statement.

Ban is expected to note "the close cooperation accorded the inspection team by the Israeli authorities" and the "coordination between the IDF and the U.N. during Operation Cast Lead" in his response to the report Tuesday.

Israeli investigators provided "full cooperation" to U.N. investigators – unlike the Hamas terrorists – in the form of "intelligence materials, including videos, aerial photographs, eyewitness reports and other materials," said the ministry.

Nevertheless, "The committee has preferred the claims of Hamas, a murderous terror organization, and by doing so has misled the world."

The American appeaser

Shaul Rosenfeld
Israel Opinion

Part 2 of analysis

The appeasement equation has a complementary aspect which habitual appeasers seek to use in order to mitigate the anger of threatening wicked men. About 70 years ago, it appeared to British appeaser Chamberlain that the Sudetenland region would be a good enough lifesaver that would satisfy the hunger of a megalomaniac German dictator. At this time, it appears to the American appeaser that the Judea and Samaria region would be a good quality lifesaver even as a remedy to the Iranian nuclear threat.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “without peace there would be no support for Israel against Iran,” while the White House chief of staff stated that America’s ability to face up to Iran depends on the administration’s ability to show progress on the Palestinian front.

It appears that the unfounded link between “peace with the Palestinians” and the neutralization of the Iranian nuclear threat is becoming a top priority for Obama and his senior aides.

Indeed, what could be simpler than stripping Israel naked of its best territorial assets in Judea and Samaria and turning the evacuated area into a Hamas-land at first and ultimately into an Ahmadinejad-land, while these moves are supposed to provide real backwind to the effort to eliminate the Iranian nuclear program?

Even a rookie would realize that the likelihood that Obama’s pleasant ways (with Judea and Samaria or without it) would convince Iran to avert its quest for nuclear weapons is no greater than the likelihood that a repeat offender would return to the straight and narrow following a reprimand by an etiquette expert or a crash course on Kantian morality.

Indeed, Israel must make it clear to the new US administration that it has no urge to be like Czechoslovakia in the 1930s.

Similarly to Churchill’s speech about Chamberlin, the time has come perhaps to a begin drafting a speech that starts with the words “It fell to Barack Obama to be contradicted by events and to be deceived and cheated by wicked men.” However, it is much more important for Israel to unequivocally explain to the Americans that walking like lambs to the slaughter is not part of our plans.

Dr. Shaul Rosenfeld is a philosophy lecturer

Comment: It is past time that we educate and/or indoctrinate (as is Obama doing) that there is no cause and effect relationship between Iran's behavior and the so-called resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Do not stand or sit idly by and allow Obama's group to spew such nonsense-it is their mantra on the month-stand up and state the truth-Obama et al are blackmailing ?Israel-this means you and me-I will not stand for it-please join in the chorus of clarification! Doc

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Homeland Insecurity, American Style

John Perazzo | Wednesday, May 06, 2009

During her first few weeks on the job, the Secretary of America’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, has shown herself to be unqualified for her new post in a number of significant ways. she has proudly banished the word “terrorism” from the federal lexicon; she is ignorant of the most elementary facts regarding 9/11; she is eager to blame the United States for drug cartels violence in Mexico, without a shred of evidence; despite that violence, she is demonstrably averse to halting illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border; and she is inclined to smear American conservatives as potential “terrorists.” Because of her already dismal performance, some have begun to call for Napolitano’s resignation. Republican Congressman John Carter of Texas, for one, says that Napolitano “has no business serving in the position she’s in now” and “should be fired by the administration.” The conservative group Move America Forward is calling for Napolitano’s dismissal on grounds that she is “so ignorant” of a host of key facts that bear heavily on her ability to fulfill the duties of her office.

Although much commentary has focused on the recent report that brands conservatives as terrorists, the former Arizona governor still enjoys an undeserved reputation as a tough border governor. Consider Napolitano’s record vis à vis illegal immigration. As Arizona governor, she vetoed a bill that sought to eliminate voter fraud by requiring voters to present a valid driver’s license or two alternate forms of identification when casting their ballots. According to Napolitano, such a requirement would have disenfranchised “poor voters” who might not possess the requisite documents. She also supported a proposal to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants; she supported a Senate bill that would have granted amnesty to millions of illegals; she vetoed a state bill that would have required police to enforce federal immigration laws; she vetoed measures to cut illegal-alien welfare benefits and college-tuition discounts; she vetoed a proposal that would have allowed local police and federal immigration officials to work collaboratively on immigration cases; and she opposed legislation that would have officially barred the use of the easily forged Mexican Matricula Consular card as a valid form of identification.

During her stint at DHS, Napolitano already has called off a series of scheduled immigration raids at U.S. workplaces. When Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents busted dozens of illegal aliens at a Bellingham, Washington engine plant, a furious Napolitano chastised ICE supervisors and ordered an immediate investigation into the raid because it violated President Obama’s campaign pledge (to Hispanic lobby groups) that illegal aliens would not be arrested at their workplaces. Moreover, she supports a pathway to citizenship whereby illegals could, within a relatively short time, become naturalized.

It is difficult to see how Americans are made safer by Napolitano’s stance on immigration.

In an April interview with CNN’s John King, Napolitano casually dismissed Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s assertion that illegal aliens should be prosecuted and jailed. Said the DHS Secretary:

“Sheriff Joe … knows that there aren’t enough law-enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying. What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery. And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil.”

Contrary to Napolitano’s absurd claim, however, illegal immigration is indeed a criminal offense under United States law. Section 8, Title 1325 of the U.S. Code clearly states:

Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willfull concealment of a material fact shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Why doesn’t the head of DHS know that illegal immigration is a crime?

In a March 2009 speech to the Brookings Institution, Napolitano characterized U.S. efforts to protect its southern border as insensitive displays of jingoistic arrogance. “One of the things that we need to be sensitive to,” she said, “is the very real feelings among southern border states and in Mexico that if things are being done on the Mexican border, they should also be done on the Canadian border.” Absent from Napolitano’s logic was any recognition of the rapidly growing epidemic of violence, abductions, and murders near the Mexican border—a state of affairs that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the situation along the U.S.-Canada border. To make matters worse, in an April 20th interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Napolitano claimed, incorrectly, that some of the 9/11 hijackers had entered the U.S. through Canada.

Napolitano is exceedingly prone to prevarication. For instance, she claimed recently that “70 percent of the weapons in the hands of the [Mexican] drug cartels are coming from the U.S.” But in fact, more than two-thirds of the guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes are never even sent to the U.S. for tracing, because their markings make it obvious that they originated from somewhere else. Moreover, a large number of the recovered weapons lack serial numbers entirely and thus cannot be traced to any location. In the final analysis, a mere 17 percent of all the guns in question can actually be traced to America.

That is a far cry from Napolitano’s 70-percent fairytale.

One of Napolitano’s most controversial moves as DHS Secretary has been to break with the Department’s tradition of warning the American public about potential terrorist threats by Islamic extremists. Instead, she refers to such acts of terrorism as “man-caused disasters.” In an interview with Germany’s Spiegel Online, she was asked whether her avoidance of the term “terrorism” meant that “Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pos[es] a threat to your country.” She replied:

Of course it does [pose a threat]. I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word “terrorism,” I referred to “man-caused” disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.

It seems, however, that Napolitano’s aversion to the so-called “politics of fear” comes into play only with regard to Islamic terrorists. By contrast, unfounded smears implying that American conservatives represent a “terrorist” threat fall well within the bounds of legitimate political discourse, according to Napolitano.

You may recall that in April, Napolitano’s DHS released a report warning that “right-wing extremists” who were “hate-oriented” might be “gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues” such as “the economic downturn,” “the election of the first African American president,” and “the possible passage of new restrictions on firearms.” Particularly susceptible to recruitment, added the report, were: “anti-government” groups; people “dedicated to…opposition to abortion or immigration”; and military veterans (returning from Iraq and Afghanistan) who face “significant challenges reintegrating into their communities.”

Remarkably, the text of this DHS report was liberally peppered with explicit references to the otherwise forbidden word—“terrorism”—as the supposedly exclusive domain of “right-wingers.” The report said, for example, that its warnings would be “provided to…counterterrorism and law enforcement officials so they may effectively deter…terrorist attacks against the United States”; that DHS “has no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits”; that during the 1990s, “an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers…contributed to the growth in the number of domestic right-wing terrorist and extremist groups”; that “[t]he possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups”; that “the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years”; that “white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion, inter-racial crimes, and same-sex marriage…[have] contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups”; and that DHS “assesses that lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

So much for avoiding the word “terrorism.”

For actions such as this, the aforementioned Rep. John Carter says, “We shouldn’t even give [Napolitano] the respect of letting her resign. She should be fired by the administration for accusing honest, American citizens—because of their political beliefs—of being domestic terrorists.” The Texas Republican says he will “keep pounding” the issue “until we get rid of this woman.”

Congresswoman Mary Fallin, R-OK, declares that Napolitano is “out of touch with mainstream America” if she believes that returning war veterans and people who support the Second Amendment are predisposed to engage in “terrorism.” In addition, says Fallin, the DHS Secretary “insulted our friends in Canada by falsely claiming the 9/11 terrorists came from there.”

According to Move Forward America (MFA), Napolitano has demonstrated that she is “ignoran[t] about Islamic terrorism” and “has no clue about the details of what happened to America on September 11, 2001.” “Her outlook and priorities are exactly backward and plainly dangerous,” says MFA. “Napolitano is unfit to serve as secretary of Homeland Security and President Obama must fire her before she causes more damage to our country.”

Examining her belief system, damage is the most likely prognosis.
John Perazzo is the Managing Editor of DiscoverTheNetworks and is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at

"Hamas and More"

Arlene Kushner

Correction: Spell check doesn't pick up errors in numbers and this typo slipped by me. The correct fax number for PM Netanyahu, if dialed from the States is: 011-972-2-670-5369. I apologize for any inconvenience.

(The general rule for dialing from the States is to dial 011-972, then drop the 0 from the area code or from the beginning of a cell phone number and proceed with the rest of the number.) Yesterday Vice President Biden addressed the AIPAC conference, and he sang the very same administration song as we've been hearing in other quarters.

President Obama, he told the delegates gathered, is "strongly and personally committed to achieving what all have basically said is needed - a two-state solution..."

Then he made a link between Iran and a peace agreement with the Palestinians: "One of the most pressing reasons may be to deprive Iran of the ability to extend its destabilizing influence."

Well, he's got that absolutely backwards too. For the possibility to achieve peace with the Palestinians is far greater if we defang Iran first. In fact, there are statements from Netanyahu regarding the absolute impossibility of reaching peace here until the Iran issue is confronted. I've written extensively about Hamas -- the "elephant in the room" -- making a viable peace impossible. Hamas is funded and guided from Teheran.


And here we have it:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, after a meeting in Damascus yesterday, told journalists that they continue to support “Palestinian resistance.” The two were conducting meetings with the key Hamas officials in Damascus.


And with regard to Hamas...
I indicated yesterday that there will likely be a separate Hamas government in Gaza. If a final unity government agreement is not achieved at a May 16 meeting, they are likely to proceed. Apparently Ismail Haniyeh -- who was briefly the prime minister of a 2007 joint Fatah-Hamas government -- is slated to be prime minister.


But Hamas has also gone public in another venue, as politburo head in Damascus, Khaled Mashaal (newly elected to another term), has just given an interview to the NY Times.

What is obvious here is that Mashaal is playing to the Obama administration, which has not yet recognized this group as a negotiating partner (but is on its way to doing so should Hamas join a unity government). "His [Obama's] language is different and positive," he said.

Shouldn't we take note of the fact that a jihadist terror group sees Obama's language as positive??

"I promise the American administration and the international community that we will be part of the solution, period," he intoned.

But he was not going to recognize Israel, for "There is only one enemy in the region, and that is Israel."

In light of Hamas intentions to be "part of the solution," Mashaal says Hamas has stopped firing rockets at Israel for now.

"Not firing the rockets currently is part of an evaluation from the movement which serves the Palestinians' interest. After all, the firing is a method, not a goal. Resistance is a legitimate right, but practicing such a right comes under an evaluation by the movement's leaders."

This is what Hamas is proposing:

Israel must return to '67 lines (which includes leaving eastern Jerusalem), dismantle settlements, and permit the "right of return."

In exchange, Hamas would offer a 10 year truce. Not a final cessation of hostilities. Oh, no. For 10 years Hamas would not fire rockets on us, and but would reserve the right to do so again thereafter. To secure this, we would have to move into indefensible borders and permit ourselves to be overrun by hostile Arab so-called refugees.

Actually, as I think about it, the cessation of rocket fire might be permanent, because at the end of 10 years with this formulation, there'd be so little of Israel left that Hamas might not want to bother.

I note that there is nothing said about cessation of smuggling weapons during that period of truce. Nor was it said that there would be a renunciation of terrorism -- which means Hamas, while not shooting rockets, could covertly foster terror attacks from which it distanced itself.

All in all, quite a deal, is it not? Mark my words, there will comments somewhere indicating that Hamas is moderating.


Both Hamas and the PA have rejected Netanyahu's statements made by video to the AIPAC conference regarding readiness to enter talks without delay. This is no surprise, for he doesn't speak about a two-state solution.

What raises the blood pressure once again is this, however:

Tony Blair, envoy for the Quartet (i.e., the US, the UN, the EU, and Russia), has announced that the Quartet
will be unveiling a new peace plan in a few weeks. It is being devised by the "highest level of the American administration."

Another attempt to dictate terms from the outside.


According to Reuters, at a meeting of Non-Proliferation Treaty signatories yesterday, Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller was quoted as saying, "Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea...remains a fundamental objective of the United States."

Uh oh. Big time. This hits at our essential right to protect ourselves.

Dov Weisglass, a former Israeli strategist, told Army Radio that these comments were alarming:

"If these statements indicate a change in American policy on this issue, I believe this may be the most worrisome development for Israel's security in many years."

Today, however, Israel Radio quoted an Israeli Foreign Ministry official as saying there was no significant shift in US policy on this matter.

I hope so, but I don't know. I have the sense that the world is upside down and that we are besieged on all sides.


British journalist Melanie Phillips has my greatest respect and regard. I close today with excerpts from her latest piece, "Obama prepares to throw Israel under the bus."
"...It is of course, by any sane standard, quite fantastic [i.e., incredible] that America is behaving as if it is Israel which is holding up a peace settlement when Israel has made concession after concession: giving up Sinai, giving up Gaza, offering all the territories to the Arabs in return for peace in 1967, offering more than 90 per cent of them ditto in 2000, ditto again to Mahmoud Abbas in the past year -- only to be attacked in return by a Palestinian terrorist entity, backed in its continued aggression, let us not forget, by the countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which has made no concessions at all and is not being pressured to do so.

"It is not the aggressor here but the victim of aggression that America is now choosing to beat up. In any sane world, one might think the Americans would be piling the pressure on the Palestinians to renounce their genocidal ambitions against Israel, to stop teaching and training their children to hate and kill Jews, to adhere to the primary requirement in the Road Map that they must dismantle their infrastructure of violence as the first step in the peace process; one might think, indeed, that they would view Mahmoud Abbas's
repeated statements that the Palestinians will never accept Israel as a Jewish state to be the main impediment to peace.

"But no. The repeated professions that America will never jeopardise Israel's security are stomach churning when Obama is actually blaming Israel for measures it has taken to safeguard its security -- the settlements were always first and foremost a security measure, and the travel restrictions are there solely to
prevent more Israelis being murdered -- and trying to force it to abandon them. Today comes further news that Obama will also try to force Israel to give up its nuclear weapons -- which it only has as a last ditch insurance against the attempt to annihilate it to which several billion Arabs remain pledged.

"Of course Obama doesn't care that Hamas would run any Palestinian state. Of course he doesn't care that Israel would be unable to defend itself against such a terrorist state. Because he regards Israel as at best totally expendable, and at worst as a running sore on the world's body politic that has to be purged
altogether (see this bleak assessment by Sultan Knish). His administration is proceeding on the entirely false analysis that a state of Palestine is the solution to the Middle East impasse and the route to peace in the region. What that state will look like or do is something to which at best the administration's collective mind is shut and at worst makes it a potential cynical accomplice to the unconscionable. So Israel is to be forced out of the West Bank. Far from building a coalition against Iran, Obama is thus doing Iran's work for it.

"None of this, however, should come as the slightest surprise to anyone who paid any attention to Obama's background, associations and friendships before he became President and to the cabal of Israel-bashers, appeasers and Jew-haters he appointed to his administration, with a few useful idiots thrown in for
plausible deniability.

"...But the ordinary American people are a different matter. They do value and support Israel. They do understand that if Israel is thrown under that bus, the west is next. And it is they to whom Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu must now appeal, over the heads of the politicians and the media and certainly America's Jews and everyone else. He must tell the American people the terrible truth, that America is now run by a man who is intent on sacrificing Israel for a reckless and amoral political strategy which will put America and the rest of the free world at risk.

"This is shaping up to be the biggest crisis in relations between Israel and America since the foundation of Israel six decades ago. Those who hate Israel and the Jews will be gloating. This after all is precisely what they hoped Obama would do. To any decent person looking on aghast, this is where the moral sickness of the west reaches the critical care ward.(Emphasis added)

Phillips alludes to the "bleak assessment of Sultan Knish." She is referring to "Obama's plan to destroy Israel," written by NY- based, Israeli-born writer Daniel Greenfield , who posts as Sultan Knish:

see my website