Saturday, October 10, 2009

"From the Sublime to the Ridiculous"

Arlene Kushner

Today we celebrated Simchat Torah here in Israel, ending the holiday season. Outside of Israel, it will be celebrated tomorrow, and there are some of you who will not see this until tomorrow evening. But there is so very much to say, that I wanted to pick up, and at least begin. A very active week it was. Only hours ago, I danced with the Torah. This is the ultimate in sanity. Then, as the holiday ended, I turned to the ways of the world and confronted insanity on a number of fronts.

The "ridiculous" that I refer to here is the conferring upon Barack Obama of the Nobel Peace prize. My mailbox is full of comments about this "happening," but I could not pass without adding my own.

Almost universally the response has been "What?" What has he done to merit such a prize? The answer, of course, is nothing. In fact, even before this news broke (right before the beginning of Shabbat/Chag on Friday), I had been planning to write about Obama's total failure in achieving his goals. There has been mockery about the fact that he wasn't even able to convince the Olympics Committee to hold the competitions in Chicago. Never mind that as he courts Arab and Muslim states they defy his requests for cooperation and undoubtedly laugh behind his back, seeing themselves further empowered. The world is a more dangerous place -- in no way closer to peace -- since he has taken office.


What must be remembered is that this prize is totally politicized. How could anyone take it seriously, knowing that it was awarded to the unrepentant, Jew-hating terrorist Yasser Arafat because he signed his name to the Oslo Accords (which he failed to honor)?

Thus the only questions worth considering, I think, are political ones. How, if at all, will this impact Obama nationally and internationally?

Over a period of time now, Obama's domestic popularity has been dropping, and it has been my deep hope (shared with many, many others) that this would ultimately limit his ability to carry out goals that threaten to do damage -- that as his coat tails got shorter, members of Congress, eager for re-election, would balk. Will this award have a serious impact on this scenario? I'm not certain, at all. But it's worrisome.

Daniel Pipes, it should be noted, thinks that this award will work against Obama: "the absurdity of the prize decision will harm Obama politically in the United States, contrasting his role as international celebrity with his record devoid of accomplishments."

And internationally? Will the president of the United States curry more respect because of this? Could this be a good thing in terms of international leverage? Or could it motivate Obama to pressure us further? In many ways a truly weak America is a frightening prospect. (Nod to Debbie B. here.) The conundrum, of course, is that the president directly impacts how the US is seen. It's a trick to wish the US well (and oh! I do), while hoping that its chief executive is unable to succeed in advancing his dangerous goals on a variety of fronts.

Here, Pipes is cynical, seeing the Norwegian Nobel Committee as having lauded Obama for using dialogue in difficult situations -- with the political goal of making it harder for him to now use military force against Iran.


Just after I had finished my appeal a bit more than a week ago -- with regard to contacting elected officials to block the Goldstone Report from going to the UN -- and had gone to help finish decorating my children's sukkahs, there was a dramatic shift in the situation:

The Palestinians, under pressure from the Western nations and particularly the US (there are reports that Obama may have intervened personally), opted to withdraw until March a demand that the Goldstone Report be voted on.

The fallout from this has been enormous, however. Palestinians across the board are furious that Abbas had bowed to pressure. Not just the radicals, including Hamas, but Abbas's own Fatah party.

Wrote Khaled Abu Toameh in the Post yesterday:

"The phrase, 'Abbas and Fatah are finished' was uttered by almost every respected political analyst in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the past week."

Explaining that there is widespread perception that Abbas is a pawn of Israel and the US, Abu Toameh said:

"If there's truth to the PA claim that its decision to ditch the Goldstone Report was taken as a result of American pressure and threats, then the Obama administration has effectively undermined and discredited Abbas and Fatah...

"Thanks to the recent mistakes made by the Obama administration, not only has Hamas's power grown, but it would be difficult to find a Palestinian who would agree to purchase a second-hand car from Abbas, let alone accept a peace agreement he brokered with Israel."


It is important to mention this, which has the Israeli government furious:

During our military operation in Gaza, the PA encouraged us to take out Hamas, even providing information that led us to certain targets. But once the hostilities ceased, the PA reversed itself 180 degrees, charging us with horrendous war crimes for our actions in Gaza.

This playing both ends against the middle is very typical and should be noted well.


Abbas and his party are now attempting to redeem their position in different ways.

Abbas -- who is even being accused of treason -- ordered a "commission of inquiry" to find out what happened with regard to the PA withdrawal of its demands on the report. This is shtuyote, nonsense.

As one PA minister said:

"What's the president trying to tell us -- that he didn't take the decision to kill the resolution...?

"Well, if he didn't take the decision, we want to know who's running the Palestinian Authority."


Far, far more serious has been the PA participation in fomenting violence in Jerusalem during the course of this past week of Sukkot -- as many thousands of worshippers flock to the Kotel during this time. I've written many times about radical elements, such as the Islamic Movement, which have incited violence by telling people that the Jews are endangering the Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

But now, Abu Toameh tells us, PA/Fatah people were also involved -- telling Palestinians to save the Mosque from being "destroyed" or "captured" by Jewish "fanatics." The PA role here has been seen as an attempt to deflect attention from the Goldstone embarrassment.

Last Sunday there were clashes between police and Muslims throwing rocks and bottles, just outside the Old City. Additionally, stores of rocks were found stockpiled on the Mount, which overlooks the Kotel and the Jewish worshippers. That there was no major incident over the holiday week is due to the diligence of the police and IDF.

There has been concern that the violence in Jerusalem might lead to another "intifada" or war. I will return to this in a great deal more detail in due course. The ability of the PA to turn in a minute is well documented.


Lastly, there are now attempts by the PA to redeem itself by keeping the Goldstone Report alive, appealing to Arab and Muslim states in this regard. On Wednesday, the UN Security Council met in secret session at the instigation of Libya, which is a temporary member of the Council, to discuss holding a full Council meeting on the subject of the report. The decision was to hold that meeting this coming Wednesday.


Last Sunday, Hamas and Fatah representatives announced that they are about to sign a "reconciliation agreement" on October 22, following a conference to discuss "national unity."

Hamas has since expressed anger at Fatah over its position on the Goldstone Report, and hesitation about proceeding. It remains to be seen if Fatah will sufficiently redeem itself in Hamas's eyes for plans to continue.

The "reconciliation," such as it might be -- and it would be fragile, certainly -- would not represent a true coming together in unity of the two factions. This is simply impossible. What we're looking at is more of a coalition, forged for pragmatic reasons.

The implications here are enormous and bear close monitoring. Every time there is talk of reconciliation, Fatah shifts to a more radical stance.


Gilad Shalit is apparently alive. That was determined by our government a week ago Friday, when a video of Shalit -- studied carefully by various agencies -- was received from Hamas in return for the 20 women prisoners we released in exchange. The video was made in September; no intelligence could be gleaned from it.

And now? There are those (notably Hamas) who say, once again, that a deal is near, and others (notably Netanyahu's people) who caution this isn't necessarily so.

There is talk, which I cannot quite wrap my head around, that the right wing Netanyahu government might agree to Hamas terms that Olmert refused. That may or may not be. What is clear is that there is certainly another factor at work:

A Hamas-Fatah "unity" deal would include arrangements for elections early next year. It seems that Hamas is eager for an agreement on Shalit, with release of many hundreds of prisoners, before such elections take place. For bringing those prisoners home will enhance Hamas popularity and its chances at the polls.


This past week Obama voiced cautious satisfaction over Iran's apparently increased cooperation on nuclear issues. The Iranians have now agreed to allow inspectors into the recently revealed Qom site. But there were no discussions on halting uranium enrichment. Analysts are warning that what seems to be a more conciliatory approach by Iran is consistent with its leaders pattern of weaving between cooperation and resistance, while continuing with its nuclear program. In other words, smoke and mirrors.


"The Good News Corner"

The Nobel Peace Prize is highly politicized. The other prizes are based on very real achievements. This week, Israeli Professor Ada Yonath of the Weismann Institute won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on protein development in cells and links to bacteria resistant antibiotics.

Yonath is the 9th Israeli to win a Nobel prize since the founding of the modern state of Israel and the 171st Jew to win since the prizes were founded in 1901. In that time, Nobel prizes have been bestowed on Muslims, who constitute one-fifth of the world's population, nine times.

(Yonath is obviously brilliant in her scientific work, and a source of pride to Israel. But please, do not attend to any political comments she felt moved to make to journalists regarding the fact that we wouldn't have our soldiers kidnapped if we didn't hold any Palestinian prisoners. This is clearly not her expertise.)

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Hizballah top dog: Israel must cease to exist

Jihad Watch

But remember: they sincerely want peace! A stable, secure Palestinian state with contiguous borders will solve the problem forthwith!

"Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Al-Quds Day: 'Israel Must Be Wiped Out Of Existence,'" from MEMRI, October 8 (thanks to all who sent this in): In a televised address screened at the Sayyed Al-Shuhada complex in Dhahiya on International Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, September 18, 2009, Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah laid down the main tenets of his organization. He stated: 1) that the historical Palestine - from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan - belongs to the Palestinian people and to the entire Muslim nation; 2) that no one has the right to relinquish even a grain of Palestine's soil or a drop of its waters; 3) that the Israeli entity is an occupying, aggressive, cancerous body that contravenes religious law, and is therefore illegal; 4) that it is forbidden to recognize the Israeli entity or to acknowledge its legitimacy or existence; and 5) that it is forbidden to establish ties or to normalize relations with Israel. Nasrallah went on to state that Israel must cease to exist, that the next war would change the regional map, and that Hizbullah can destroy half of the Israeli army. [...]
"We say clearly and honestly and declare that the entire Palestinian territory is a possession of the Palestinian people. It belongs to them and to the entire Ummah. The Zionists own nothing and have no rights in this land. We are ready to discuss issues upon religious, historical, logical, reasonable, and legal basis and in reference to holy books - including the Old Testament which is well known to be adopted by the Jews of this age and earlier ages as to what we know from history.

"We assure that Palestine is the right of this nation and this Ummah and it is not a right for the Zionists at all. During the Holy Month of Ramadhan, Muslims read in the Holy Koran, trying to finish reciting it once and twice and maybe more. They try to study the meanings and lessons the Koran holds within its folds.

"The Holy Koran talks a lot about the people of 'Israel' and the prophets of these people - not only the Koran talks about them but so do the other holy books, especially the Torah. Based on the Koran and Islam, we accept that Allah, may He be praised and extolled, promised to Abraham that the Holy Land would be populated with his descendents. We do not deny this: it appears in our Koranic texts...

"However, Abraham's seed are not Jews nor Zionists - either as a political or religious stream, or as a tribe or a race. It is not only the children of Israel [who are Abraham's seed]... A great part of the Arabs are [also] Abraham's descendents. Abraham fathered Ishmael and Isaac. In the Torah, in the New Testament, in Zabour [David's book of psalms], and in the Koran it is stated that Allah had promised Abraham's descendents the Holy Land. [But] which 'seed'?! To the sane among them. To the believers among them. To the pure among them. To the god-fearing among them. To those who went after Abraham - that patriarch and prophet - and followed his religion. [2]

"As for the criminal and murderous limb of Abraham's progeny, who killed the prophets, spread corruption in the land, and committed atrocities and sins... these were not given any promises to start with... They were not given promises from the outset. It is found in the Old Testament and in history books, that after Moses brought the Israelites across to the blessed land of Palestine, they began to worship the calf and idols, disobeyed God, [and] hurt and conspired against his prophet and his brother Aaron. Consequently, God ordered them out to wander through the desert for 40 years, away from the reaches of their land.

"So, no promises were made to them.

"Forty years after the disobedient offsprings died out - the ungrateful progeny to God's blessings and offerings - God's prophet Joshua entered the blessed land with a faithful, pious, and devout progeny of the Israelite Abraham's descendants. But when they returned to corruption and killed the prophets again, God Almighty banished those who killed and destroyed, and scattered them across the earth - and there they are now rummaging under the foundations of Al-Aqsa Mosque looking for the ruins of a temple destroyed three thousand years ago by their criminal and corrupt deeds.

"No principle exists in the Torah, Bible, the Psalms, and Koran or in any holy book, except for only one principle, which says: The earth belongs to God; He bequeaths it to whomever He wishes of His faithful slaves. This land is God's promise to the virtuous among His slaves."

"No One in This World Is Entitled to Give Up a Grain of Soil from the Land of Palestine, Nor a Drop of Water from the Waters in Palestine, Nor a Single Character from the Name of Palestine"

"(Anyway, this is a prelude to the discussion, if we are to discuss Koran or religion.) During the month of fasting, I particularly address the Muslims who are fasting throughout the world. If you truly want to be actually fasting, today we accomplish one of the results of fasting: 'O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint' Holy Koran 2:183.

"The goal of fasting is to become pious. 'Piety' means not to offend God with words or deeds. 'Piety' means to keep what is true as truth and what is false as that; to be pious means not to turn righteousness into falsehood and vice versa, not because of fear or greed. Today, you and I who responded to the eternal call of Imam Khomeini (May God honor his soul), we announce from here at Sayyed Shuhada complex, the place that used to embrace the bodies of our martyrs of the resistance and still does, we declare our consistent unalterable principles:

"First: Historic Palestine, from the sea to the river belongs to the people of Palestine and to the whole nation.

"Second: It is impermissible for anyone, and no one has the right, whoever he may be, whether Palestinian, Arab, Muslim or Christian, no matter who it is, regardless of the claims of representation anyone makes, whether representation claims of historic legitimacy, revolutionary, popular, legal or constitutional, no one in this world is entitled to give up a grain of soil from the land of Palestine, nor a drop of water from the waters in Palestine, nor a single character from the name of Palestine.

"Third: the 'Israeli' entity currently existing on the land of Palestine is a usurper and occupation entity, aggressive, cancerous, illegitimate, and illegal presence.

"Fourth: It is impermissible for anyone, whoever they may be, to recognize this entity, grant it legitimacy, or recognize its existence.

"Fifth: Collaboration and normalization with 'Israel' are forbidden sins. All scholars, Islamic reference authorities are in consensus about this, and anyone who says otherwise, let him step forward and present his case.

"These principles and constants are unalterable by time, circumstances, conditions, strengths, or weaknesses at all."

"[We] Will Never Recognize 'Israel' [...] Even If the Whole World Recognizes It [...] [Israel] Must Be Wiped Out Of Existence"

"Brothers and sisters: When some people talk about helplessness - verily some of us may be for one reason or another unable to liberate Palestine and Al-Quds under the current circumstances, or may be unable to do anything at all, such as go to war, resist, or declare intifada - but we are not at all forced to admit, recognize, surrender, acquiesce or sign over to our enemy the legal title deed to possess or control our land, our holy places and resources.

"No one can impose this position on us. This is a psychological stand, a popular and nationwide stand. No one can force us to do otherwise. This is our nation. For more than 60 years, the whole world has been pressing us into recognizing 'Israel,' to collaborate and normalize relations with 'Israel' - yet none has been able to impose that upon us.

"[We] will never recognize 'Israel.' We will not work with 'Israel.' We will not normalize ties with 'Israel.' We will not surrender to 'Israel.' We will not accept 'Israel' even if the whole world recognizes it. Our faith, belief, and declaration will remain unchanged, that 'Israel' is an illegal presence [and] a cancerous gland, and must be wiped out of existence."

"We are not obliged to recognize, to normalize, or to concede even under difficult circumstances. Since Lebanon was established, it became a country that has lived difficult and tough circumstances with a complicated makeup, in a difficult situation, with humble resources... Since 1978 and 1982, and many wars and a civil war and sectarian divisions, lateral and horizontal divisions, and lineups... This is the many-problem-Lebanon, the many-ailment-Lebanon. To this very moment, Lebanon has never surrendered to 'Israel,' neither officially nor publicly. Lebanon has not surrendered a grain of soil nor a drop of water to 'Israel.'

"We are not obliged....even if our country is weak and our region is weak while 'Israel' is strong and the situation difficult. True, there was a sole attempt, by which I mean the May-17 agreement, but there exists a country and there exists a population determined not to surrender.... We don't want to fight or to enter [into] a regional war.

"Nevertheless, we will not let go of our rights. We will continue to demand our rights, and will not sign [peace agreements] or surrender. We might not wage a war to regain the Kafr Shuba heights and the Shaba' Farms, but will we leave it for the 'Israelis?' Never. We will continue to demand them and talk about them. This is the least we can do, and we are capable of it."

Syria's Actions "Must Be Recognized and Respected"

"Let's take a look at Syria: There are people that always [beat the drums of war], since 1967... then came the October War... and to this day... that is, transcending decades.

"Syria doesn't have an open front, true, and it is not fighting to this day due to its circumstances and answers... whether they are true or false is another debate.

"What should not be ignored is the fact that, for the past 30 or 40 years, both under the rule of President Hafez Assad or that of President Bashar Assad, [and] that despite the siege, international sanctions, isolation, conspiracies, and the toughest circumstances it has seen, particularly in the past few years after the occupation of Iraq and the transformations that have occurred on the international level and on the level of the Arab and Islamic world... in addition to everything that Syria has endured... It is remarked that the Syrian authority did not surrender a single grain of Syrian soil or a drop of Syrian water. This must be recognized and respected. In Syria there is a government.

"However, some argue that Hizbullah is a resistance movement, and that those in Palestine are resistance movements. They compare: That regime has an army, a government, an infrastructure, an economy, and relations... and it has endured... it didn't fight and it closed its front... That is true, but it didn't surrender, nor did it sell land or water.

"We can recall the Geneva summit which brought together President Hafez Assad and President Bill Clinton; the entire settlement fell apart due to a few meters of Tiberius Lake [i.e. the Sea of Galilee]. [This] proves that this is possible in the presence of an Arab regime, and not a resistance movement.

"This Arab regime [i.e. Syria] has economic, social, and political responsibilities as well as international relations. [It] is capable of withstanding because it relies on its right and the law, and when it has the willpower, it can continue to withstand.

"Therefore, sisters and brothers, the issue is not that we are placed between three choices: surrender - fight - withstand. The third choice is to withstand, hold out, and resist, and to work on gaining strength and power and to wait for change.

"This is our proposal on Al-Quds Day. Our choice is not that of surrender. We can withstand, we can hold out, and work on attaining points of strength and wait for change. This choice is reasonable, logical, and successful... as it has already succeeded."

"We Are Capable of Regaining Our Land Through Resistance - Based on the Fact That We Have Actually Regained Land in Lebanon and in Gaza... We Do Not Need to Open Fronts"

"Then, we must talk of our options today. We have the choice of negotiating. The course of the negotiation path has become, over the years, a futile option requiring no deduction. It has lead to ever more surrendering and squandering of rights, sometimes [in exchange for nothing]. Whoever has a different account can come forth.


"The other option I noted awhile ago is that of withstanding, of popular resistance... an option requiring much explanation, for you are its founders. In the history of the Zionist entity, from 1961 to this day, the hardest decade for 'Israel' has been the last 10 years. Because of what? Because of this option.

"There are Islamic and Arab countries that withstand and that reject surrender. And there is a resistance in Lebanon and in Palestine. To what end? The 'Israelis' have left Lebanon save for the Kafr Shuba Heights and the Shaba' Farms and Ghajar village. This has been a huge achievement and victory [for us] and a devastating defeat for 'Israel.'

"We all know what the 'Israeli' strategic experts said after their defeat in 2000. The year 2000 also witnessed the Aqsa Intifada (uprising) in occupied Palestine - a popular uprising and armed resistance that very clearly defeated the 'Israeli' entity, making the 'Israelis' losers and producing mass reverse migration...

"In 'Israel,' word has it that they have begun the second war of independence. This means that the 'Israelis' feel that their own existence is threatened, for the first time, due to the Aqsa Intifada and the sacrifices of our fellow Palestinians.

"Then came the retreat from Gaza and the defeat in Gaza, followed by the July 2006 war, which shook the basic foundation of the presence of the entity in relation to its army, morals, self-confidence, and abilities.

"Hence, this is the option I am discussing, and I'm not making theories here: In one instance, we may say this option is correct because it leads to this and that. I say to you, Arabs and Muslims, that this option is correct not because it leads to something, but because it actually has led to something. In other words, we are capable of regaining our land through resistance based on the fact that we have actually regained land in Lebanon and in Gaza.

"We are capable of neutralizing the enemy's objectives regardless of its might, based on the fact that we did thwart its objectives in July 2006 and that our brothers annulled them in the Gaza war. It is possible, and in effect I tell you, frankly, that we do not need to open fronts. There are people that have come out to theorize about opening fronts. We don't need to open fronts."

"You, the Arab Countries, Nation, Governments, and Peoples [...] You Don't Want to Support [the Palestinian People and Resistance]; So Be It - Iran Will Support [Them]"

"On Al-Quds Day, I declare the proper strategy to be the following, and if we want declare a correct strategy then it would be: We start from Lebanon. Preserve the resistance present in Lebanon. Well, if you don't want to preserve the resistance in Lebanon, then so be it. Just leave it alone. These words are not intended for the Lebanese, for most of them support and preserve the resistance, a matter proven over time. My words are intended for a few in Lebanon and some Arab countries that have committed what they committed in the July war, and committed what they committed before the July war, and committed what they committed after the July war.

"Second, support the Palestinian people and preserve your armies to protect your thrones. Congratulations. Simply support the people and resistance of Palestine, assist the Palestinians in staying on their land, raise the siege, don't give them weapons but allow them to pass weapons [through your soil], don't give them money but also don't cut the road on money on their way to them. Can there be more humbleness? You, the Arab countries, nation, governments, and don't want to support. So be it. Iran will support. 'Ahmadinejad is coming and he couldn't care less.' And now, let it be known.

"Support the Palestinian people and the resistance in Palestine, and raise the siege on Palestine... assist the Palestinians in unifying themselves, aid them in reconciliation and unifying their word, don't conspire against them, and don't incite one party against another, and don't buy arms for one party to kill others. In Palestine, what arrives is the weapons for incitement and internal conflict, yet the weapons for fighting the Zionists are confiscated.

"Is this not the truth??!! Don't tip off the 'Israelis' with information on the Palestinian resistance and its cells, weapons, capabilities, tunnels, arms-smuggling techniques... its leaders and their residences. In other words, let them be!

"As I said 'Let us be!' in the July war to the Arab rulers, I now say 'Let the Palestinian people be!' Either aid the Palestinians, or leave them alone.

"These are the days of fasting and of Ramadan... If the Palestinian people is left to do what it wants and the siege is raised, and it is supported and aided... the Palestinian people possesses the capabilities and leaderships, the men, women, and children, the courage and sincerity, the patience and perseverance, the willpower and dedication, and the spirit of Jihad and martyrdom... enough to regain the Holy Quds [Jerusalem] for all the nation, and does not need your armies and your fronts... nor do they need our front."

"Do Not Fear 'Israel'" - For It "Wails in Fear"

"This is the horizon, and this is the choice. Today some may say: Sayyed, you say this, but the circumstances are difficult, and the Arabs seem to have even more difficult conditions. It is true, for this is the reality. But I would also like to tell you that 'Israel' as well, in the present or the future, has ever more tough circumstances.

"'Israel' prior to 2000 is different from 'Israel' after its defeat in 2000. [Pre]-Gaza-defeated 'Israel' is unlike post-Gaza-defeated 'Israel.' [Pre]-July-defeated 'Israel' is nothing like post-July-defeated 'Israel.' Do not fear 'Israel,' for it is training, arming, maneuvering, and working day and night because it is afraid. It wails in fear.

"Yes, there is a horizon. I will lead you to the horizon as I have mentioned it over and over on many occasions. What I would like now is to clarify it a bit.

"We will go back in history, as it is essential to comprehend ancient and modern history: Many a big and strong state has withstood attack and won the battle. But at times it would send its army outside its borders to another state where it would be defeated and destroyed. That would be the end of that government and the end of that state. Are there no historic witnesses to this matter? In ancient and modern history?

"I will give you the prospect. Support the Palestinian people, allow it to be prepared, capable, and strong, and not busy with itself or its livelihood or housework or prisons or internal detainment etc... Give the resistance some space, and the day will come when the 'Israeli' who huffs and puffs....

"(On the margin) I do agree in principle that what is being circulated in Lebanon by some political authorities is undeniable, that 'Israel' might wage a war one day on Lebanon. We don't want this war. I am not talking theory here to say we want a war. No. We don't want this war. In 1982 did we want this war? Did the Palestinians in Lebanon at the time want the war? No.

"The' Israelis' used the excuse of the assassination of the 'Israeli' ambassador in London to wage a war on Lebanon and occupy Lebanon. I have no idea what their excuse is [today] to wage war on Lebanon. Nevertheless, what many Lebanese and Arabs see as a threat can be transformed, under the proper wise leadership, into an opportunity.

"I say to the Lebanese and Arabs: we don't want a war, but if 'Israel' attacks Lebanon, we must transform the threat into an opportunity. What opportunity? It is that which I noted previously. If they send us six or seven contingents, it means that over half the 'Israeli' army is outside Palestinian land. If the resistance is ready, then it can destroy and crush half the 'Israeli' army and dispel it."

"When I Declare That the Coming War Will Change the Face of the Region - Most Translated That as Me Having Nuclear Arms; By God, No, We Don't - It Is Impermissible to Own or Use Nuclear Arms"

"What future does 'Israel' have in the region in such a case? When I declare that the coming war will change the face of the region, most translated that as me having nuclear arms. By God, no, we don't. It is impermissible to own or use nuclear arms. What the Imam Khamenei says is legal-shari'i doctrine and not political discourse, as is the doctrine of our school of thought. Attaining such weapons or using such weapons is forbidden by doctrine (shari'a).

"The face of the region will change because 'Israel' is a state created for an army. If the army is defeated, and we shall do so God willing... if we crush the army, and we will crush it... if we destroy the army, and we will destroy it God willing in Lebanon...then what will be left of 'Israel?'

"I recall in the year 2000 we didn't need an army to reach Bint Jubeil. When the front lines fell in the occupied border band, we didn't need an army to reach Haasbayah, Bint Jubeil, and Naqura... How did we reach them? In buses and vans and cars...

"When the 'Israeli' army is defeated in Lebanon, it is possible that God will grant us success and we will reach Al-Quds in buses and vans.

"It is a logical, practical, and scientific option, not hypothesis nor slogans or 'Arabic prose' or 'Lebanese poetry'... These are facts and actualities and occurrences... as approved by present history and past."

"Ahmadinejad Said Nothing New" - He Only Revived Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Statement That "Israel Is a Cancer Gland That Must Be Removed from Existence"

"On Al-Quds day, I call on all Arab and Islamic governments and all Arab and Islamic nations to endorse the option of withstanding and resisting, and to support the resistance and reject surrendering and normalization and submissiveness, and to abandon emotions of weakness, incapacity, worthlessness, and inferiority... We, our people, are a great nation sent to people, not for our race or blood, but because we are the nation of calling for charity, and denouncing evil, and exercising jihad and charity and calling for the rights and wellbeing of people and humanity.


"Other headings still remain, but due to lack of time I will quickly and briefly cover them.

"One is that we are not alone along this course; in all frankness we are not alone. Here I wish to say a couple of words about Iran.

"Since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, it was fought because it adopted the key causes of this nation; let everyone investigate why the war was waged against Iran, why Iran was isolated and why it was blockaded; why most of the Arabs had been friends with Iran when the Shah had control of it; and why, when Iran was the policeman of the Gulf states, everyone was friends with it.

"All this is because this Iran severed its ties with 'Israel'; it cut off oil supplies to 'Israel' and turned the 'Israeli' Embassy into the Embassy of Palestine, and clearly and openly adopted the support of the Palestinian people and the resistance movements.

"Imam (Ayatollah Khomeini) was straightforward from day one when he said: 'This "Israel" is a cancer gland that must be removed from existence.' President Ahmadinejad said nothing new - he only revived what the late Imam Khomeini (May God honor his soul) said: '"Israel' must be removed from existence.'"

I Know Iran's "Leaders, People, and Stance - And I Tell You That It Is Impossible For Iran to Walk Away From the Peoples And the Resistance Movements of This Region"

"This America, and the entire West, considered that a threat; Iran, the great supporter of the Palestinian and Arab peoples, is blockaded, war is waged on it, all this pressure and isolation, and now it is [the target of] a major image distortion campaign by some Arab satellite channels and some Arab regimes.

"Iran's real fault is that it stands by the resistance, by the peoples of the region, and by Palestine - this is its real fault!

"Should Iran turn its back on Lebanon, Syria, and the Arabs, the entire world would be ready to hold ties with it right now, because Iran is not a small country, it has oil, gas, coal, a market, and much more... it is a powerful country that has been so historically. Iran is paying the price for its commitment to its principles, a fact that must be known to all the Lebanese, all Arabs and all Muslims.

"During recent events, the whole world gambled that Iran's system would fall, and of course there are those who participated in the war against their system - some of whom were from the official Arab governments and Arab media. But they failed, as they did in the July war, and in Gaza... they failed.

"This axis, to which we are honored and proud to belong, God willing, will not be defeated.

"This Iran came out today [Quds Day], in all its cities and streets, to tell the whole world, which has been awaiting its confusion, vulnerability, shakeup, and collapse - It came out into the streets to say, We are with Al-Quds, with Palestine, Lebanon and Gaza, and to say also that "'Israel' must be eliminated from existence."

"We saw the people, we heard the clear speeches by both the president and the Imam leading the Friday prayers, and the slogans of the demonstrations.

"I know Iran and its leader, the wise, courageous, good-manager and mastermind of Iran; I also know its leaders, people and its stance, and I tell you that it is impossible for Iran to walk away from the peoples and the resistance movements of this region...

"[As for] Iran and its leader, its leaders and people - the question of Palestine and Al-Quds is always in their [Ramadhan] prayers and fasting. It is why they stay awake at night. It is their faith and footing in the afterworld... Anyone betting on ousting Iran from this field and domain will be deluded and confused..."

"Today, I Extend My Sincerest Thanks on Behalf of All the Resistance Combatants [...] to [Iranian Supreme Leader] Ali Khamenei"

"Today, I extend my sincerest thanks on behalf of all the resistance combatants, the martyrs, the prisoners, those who sacrificed and believe in the option of resistance and steadfastness, to His Eminence the Grand Ayatollah Imam [Iranian Supreme Leader] Ali Khamenei (May He live long). To the brothers in the Iranian leadership and the Iranian people, many thanks for all the support and the backing, moral, political (in the past we used to get to this point and stop, but today we will continue), and material, financial backing and at every other level too.

"This is a source of pride for Iran before the whole world, even before the international community, as well as the U.N. Security Council, and His Eminence the leader Sayyed [Khamenei]? was clear about this during the Friday prayers. Hence, this nation is not alone; Lebanon is not alone; Syria and Palestine are not alone; nor are the peoples of our region; we therefore have a lot of elements of strength."

We Have Passed the Most Dangerous "Bush" Stage; "The Missile Defense Shield Story in Poland and the Czech Republic [Is a Lesson] to All Those Who Were Betting on the Americans"

"Brothers and sisters: The most dangerous stage we have been through is the [George W.] Bush phase. Today 'Israel' is in a bad situation, and so is the U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

"Today, we came to hear about the missile defense shield story in Poland and the Czech Republic. These two poor countries are lessons to all those who were betting on the Americans, because now the Americans abandon them after they started a dispute with the Russians!

"Why do the Americans scrap the missile defense shield now[?] Because they have a problem, a weakness and a financial problem - so they now claim to have discovered that Iran's missiles do not pose a threat!!!

"Amazing! Overnight you [Americans] discovered and altered this long course that once nearly caused an international crisis verging on a world war. Overnight they discovered that the Iranian missiles do not represent a threat and that they now have another way of dealing with these missiles...

"We have surmounted and surpassed the most difficult stage....


"On Al-Quds Day, I thank you for your presence, I know you are all fasting and tired [...] but this is part of your loyalty to Al-Quds and to the Imam. May God include us with the adherents of principles, constants, and justness; may we be granted success to pray together, God willing, in Al-Aqsa mosque in the Al-Quds Sanctuary.

"Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you all."

[1] The text is edited for clarity. Ellipses are in the original; added ellipses are in brackets.

[2] This paragraph did not appear in the English version and was translated by MEMRI from the original text in Arabic.

Iran: Decision to give Obama Nobel "Hasty"

Foreign Minster Mottaki says prize would be well-won if US changed its 'warmongering policies'


The Nobel committee made a "hasty and premature" decision in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki told the Mehr news agency. But he added that he would not to be opposed to such a choice if it could change the direction of US policy.

"If this prize acts as an encouragement for a practical rejection of the warmongering and unilateral policies of previous American administrations and create an approach based on just peace, we have no opposition to it," he said.

Mottaki added that it would have been more appropriate to award the prize to Obama once "American troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq".

"We hope it (the reward) will motivate them to take the path that will bring justice to the world", Ali Akbar Javanfekr, an aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told AFP earlier.

"We are not upset and we hope that after receiving this award he will begin to take concrete steps to putting an end to injustice in the world," he added.

Mr. Javanfekr said Obama could prove he deserved the award by relinquishing veto power in the UN Security Council.

Since first elected president in 2005, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the removal of veto power held by the United States and the four other permanent members of the council.

Mr Javanfekr said Obama also should tell the world "what he has done to reduce the gap between rich and poor in the United States and in nations under US influence".

The Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded Friday to President Barack Obama, who has strongly influenced Washington's foreign policy by opting for a more multilateral and consensual foreign policy and opting for dialogue with Iran.

Comment: This is classic example of we will like you, agree with you as long as you do it our way.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Ambassador Oren: The Goldstone Report Justifies Israel's Destruction

Clarice Feldman
In a powerful piece published in the October 6 edition of The new Republic, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren details why the UN's Goldstone Report is a justification for the annihilation of a UN member state, Israel, It is to these depths that organization has sunk:

Ahmadinejad does not stop short at merely deeming the Holocaust a "fairy tale;" rather, he portrays Israel as a Nazi state--guilty of perpetrating the very offenses against the Palestinians that the Nazis never did to the Jews. Where Ahmadinejad leaves off, the Goldstone Report, or, as it is officially called, the "United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict," persists. The U.N. mission purports to have investigated Israel's military action in Gaza last winter, an operation launched in response to the firing of more than 7,000 Hamas missiles at Israeli towns since Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Strip. But instead of probing Hamas's deliberate effort to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and its doctrine of hiding behind Palestinian human shields, the judges interviewed handpicked Hamas witnesses, several of them senior commanders disguised as civilians, and uncritically accepted their testimony. Inexorably, the report, which presumed Israel's guilt, condemned the Jewish state for crimes against humanity and for mounting a premeditated campaign against Gaza civilians.

The Goldstone Report goes further than Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews not only of the ability and the need but of the right to defend themselves. If a country can be pummeled by thousands of rockets and still not be justified in protecting its inhabitants, then at issue is not the methods by which that country survives but whether it can survive at all. But more insidiously, the report does not only hamstring Israel; it portrays the Jews as the deliberate murderers of innocents--as Nazis. And a Nazi state not only lacks the need and right to defend itself; it must rather be destroyed.

h/t:Robert Lieber

Page Printed from: at October 09, 2009 - 04:11:52 AM EDT

Palestinian FM urges UN to ease Jerusalem tension

Ahead of Friday prayers at Temple Mount, Malki calls for Ban's 'immediate intervention to prevent Israel from escalating situation in Jerusalem.' Jerusalem Police on high alert. High Court rejects petition demanding Jews be granted access to holy site over the weekend

Ynet reporters and AFP

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki called on UN chief Ban Ki-moon Thursday to intervene to prevent further escalation in Jerusalem. Malki told reporters he briefed Ban at the United Nations on "Israeli escalation measures against the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the actions the Israelis have been taking in recent days against al-Aqsa mosque."

He said he asked for Ban's "immediate intervention to prevent Israel from escalating the situation in Jerusalem."

Also Thursday, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition filed by the Temple Mount Human Rights group, headed by Yehuda Glick, who demanded that Jews receive access to the holy site on Friday and Saturday.

The judge said police were responsible for making the decision and that the court could not become involved.

Jerusalem Police plans to limit the entrance of Muslim worshippers to Temple Mount during Friday prayer services to males over the age of 50 who carry an Israeli ID. The access of female worshippers will not be limited.

In addition, police will deploy massive forces in the Old City and villages in the eastern part of the capital in an attempt to keep the peace and prevent riots.

"For the past five or six days Arab-Israeli leaders of all the factions, as well as religious leaders in Israel and abroad have been calling on their supporters to arrive at the Temple Mount and fight for al-Aqsa," said Israel Police Operations Branch Chief, Cmdr. Bentzi Sao.

"In the past such calls have led to severe incidents, and we are prepared to prevent any escalation," he said.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch held a special briefing Thursday with Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen, Foreign Ministry officials, and the State Prosecutors Office ahead of deployment for Friday prayers in Jerusalem.

The minister appealed to worshippers, Jewish and Muslim alike, to maintain restraint during the prayers on Friday.

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders once again urged worshippers to arrive at the Temple Mount Friday. Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, called on Muslims and Arabs worldwide to protest against Israel's conduct in the Old City.

Hamas and Fatah joined the call to rally against "Israeli aggression" in Jerusalem. The head of the Palestinian Sharia court, Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi urge Arab countries to take concrete measures in the face of Israel's plan to "Judaize the city."

Israeli police detained the leader of the Islamic Movement's northern branch on Tuesday on charges of incitement during recent days of tension in Jerusalem, raising fears of further violence.

Sheikh Raed Salah was arrested during clashes between Palestinians and police in the neighborhood of Wadi Joz in east Jerusalem on the third day of sporadic violence in and around the Holy City.

Tensions have run high since Sunday, after authorities closed the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City after local Arabs were urged to "protect al-Aqsa" amid rumors that a group of Jewish extremists planned on visiting the site.

On Tuesday, some 2,000 police officers deployed in strength across Jerusalem as an annual Jewish march took place with no reported incidents.

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Sukkot, with one group passing through the annexed Arab eastern sector.

Efrat Weiss, Ali Waked and Aviad Glickman contributed to the report

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Professors say Israel must invest in research

Heads of higher education system warn budget cuts in academia will make it difficult for Israelis to reach achievements like Prof. Ada Yonath's Noble Prize. 'Recent success is the fruit of past investments,' says Prof. Trajtenberg of Council for Higher Education

Yaheli Moran Zelikovich

Prof. Ada Yonath's Nobel Prize win has raised Israeli hopes for additional honors, but heads of the higher education system warn that ongoing budget cuts are shifting the Jewish state away from similar achievements in the future. Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, head of the Budget and Planning Committee of the Council for Higher Education, believes that the Israeli academic success in the world and the Nobel Prize win are "the fruits of past investments. Thirty years ago, the higher education system in Israel was the world's leader in scientific publications per capita, while today we are only in the fourth place. At the time there were few of us, and yet we reached amazing achievements."

International Honor
Israeli woman wins 2009 chemistry Nobel / Daniel Edelson
Ada Yonath is one of three winners of prestigious Swedish award for achievements in chemistry. 'The study was difficult to the point of impossible,' Yonath says. 'When I was told I was a leading candidate I thought it was a practical joke.' President Peres calls to congratulate her, says 'we are so proud of you'
Full story

In terms of resources, this appears to be true. From 2001 to this day, more than NIS 1 billion (about $267 million) have been cut from the higher education system's research and teaching budgets.

The cut was seen, for example, in the manpower field: Only one staff member has been admitted to academic institutions for every two that retired. Each staff member belonging to this system faces an average of 25 students, while in California – for the sake of comparison – the ratio stands at one staff member for every 20 students.

In the past two decades, the number of students in Israel has tripled, standing at 250,000 nowadays. Despite the impressive rise in the number of students, there has been no matching increase in the system's budgets. Moreover, some NIS 2 billion ($534 million) have been cut from its budgets in the past decade.

'Return money taken away'

Haifa University President Prof. Aharon Ben-Zeev, chairman of the University Heads Committee, believes that Prof. Yonath's achievement stresses the need to increase the support for the scientist of the future.

"The win strengthens the utmost importance of promoting research in particular and the higher education in general, and stresses the need to increase the resources dedicated to supporting the young generation of scientists in Israel, which is of high quality," he says.

Ben-Zeev urges the Israeli government to invest more in research and to guarantee the return of resources to the higher education system, which he says "is dealing in recent years with particularly difficult budgetary challenges."

After two years with no budget cuts in terms of research, this year is expected to see a NIS 90 million ($24 million) cut in budgets slated for this purpose.

The cutbacks in higher education have also made their mark on aging faculties. In the past year, only 104 new scientists were received into all the universities, and the lives of those 104 are not expected to be easy.

A scientist requires, among other things, a technical lab staff and the cost of maintaining one is not inexpensive. A scientist just starting out does not immediately receive research grants and must find alternative funding until a grant is found, most of which come from abroad.

Prof. Yonath. Another Nobel in near future? (Photo: AP)

Scientists complain that the Israel Science Foundation does not meet their needs. The Shochat Committee for reforms in the higher education system ruled that the foundation's value should be doubled and that NIS 100 million to NIS 200 milion (between $26.7 million and $53.5 million) should be added to its coffers every year.

The fund currently has NIS 270 million (about $72.3 million). The goal is to bring this number up to NIS 500 million (about $133.9 million). The foundation's budget has not seen any significant increase in recent years.

2005 laureate: Money isn't what determines prizes

The new Nobel laureate actually sounds less decisive. "The young people working today in the sciences in Israel are excellent, on a very high level," says Prof. Yonath. "It is hard for me to say whether it will be easier or harder for them to achieve than it was for me."

She agrees, however, that "if they receive appropriate budgeting, they can reach their own heights."

Prof. Yonath asserts that "budgets are very difficult. The cutbacks don't help. The fact that scientists must dedicate so much time to thinking about money crushes them. It is possible and necessary to improve this very significantly."

The previous Israeli to win a Nobel Prize, Prof. Israel Aumann, sounds more optimistic as well. "I think that there will be more Nobel laureates in the coming years," the 2005 Nobel laureate in economics declared. "There is a saying in English that goes, 'There is always room at the top.'"


Aumann does not belittle the importance of budget, but also give great credence to the Jewish mind. "The problem with cutbacks is not an issue of some prize or another, but of an entire infrastructure. Budgets are important, but this is not what ultimately matters. I do not think this will be a hurdle in the future," he predicts.

Aumann backs up his claims with past examples. "As Prof. Yonath started her research, there was less budget, fewer students, and fewer universities," he said. "Also when I started researching, these things did not exist. But, where there is a will, there is a way."

Yael Levy contributed to this report

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Hypocrisy of “Universal Jurisdiction”

Alan M. Dershowitz

Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak—the dovish former prime minister who offered the Palestinians a state on all of the Gaza Strip, 95 percent of the West Bank, and a capital in East Jerusalem—was arrested when he set foot in Great Britain.(He was quickly released on grounds of diplomatic immunity because he was an official visitor.) And now Moshe Yaalon, an Israeli government minister and former Army Chief of Staff, was forced to cancel a trip he was scheduled to make to London on behalf of a charity, for fear that he, too, would be arrested.

The charges against these two distinguished public officials is that they committed war crimes against Palestinian terrorists and civilians. Yaalon was accused in connection with the 2002 targeted killing of Salah Shehadeh, a notorious terrorist who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israeli civilians and was planning the murders of hundreds more. As a result of faulty intelligence, the rocket that killed Shehadeh also killed several civilians who were nearby, including members of his own family. Barak is being accused of war crimes in connection with Israel’s recent military effort to stop rockets from being fired at its civilians from the Gaza Strip.

The British government and British prosecutors have not supported the arrest of Barak and Yaalon. Those demanding the arrest of these Israelis are hard-left political activists who are seeking to invoke so-called “universal jurisdiction” against those they consider guilty of war crimes and genocide. They have absolutely zero interest in human rights, in the laws of war, or in preventing genocide.

Indeed, many of them supported the Cambodian genocide and have refused to condemn the Rwanda and Darfur genocides. They would never dream of demanding the arrest of Hamas murderers who target Israeli schoolchildren for suicide bombings or rocket attacks. They are willfully misusing these concepts—human rights, universal jurisdiction—to serve their anti-Israel and anti-Western ideology. What they are doing undercuts the neutrality and value of these protections.

If they were at all interested in human rights, they would be going after the worst first—those who murder innocent civilians as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing or genocide. But they are interested in Israel and Israel alone. That’s why they demand boycotts and divestment only from the Jewish state and not from real human rights violators. Indeed, most of them would fervently reject to sanctions against Iran, North Korea, Libya, Venezuela, China, Zimbabwe, Syria or Saudi Arabia.

It is disgraceful that Israeli leaders cannot walk the streets of London safely, while Hamas and Hezbollah leaders are honored and celebrated. The time has come for Israel to confront this issue directly and to take legal action to prevent radical Israel-haters from misusing decent laws to achieve indecent results.

Just imagine what a trial would look like, if it were conducted fairly and objectively. The Israelis would be able to prove that their campaign of targeted assassinations of terrorists has worked effectively to reduce terrorism against Israeli citizens and others. Israel has inadvertently killed some civilians, but the ratio of deaths has been reduced to 1 civilian for every 28 terrorists. This is the best ratio of any country in the world that is fighting asymmetrical warfare against terrorists who hide behind civilians. It is far better than the ratio achieved by Great Britain and the United States in Iraq or Afghanistan, where both nations employ targeted killings of terrorist leaders.

Recall that it was Great Britain that implemented a policy during the Second World War of targeting civilians in cities such as Dresden and that it was the United States that implemented the same policy in its firebombing of Tokyo. Indeed, it is fair to say that no country in modern history has ever been more protective of enemy civilians than Israel has been during its 75 year fight against terrorism.

As Richard Kemp put it during the Gaza War:

“[f]rom my knowledge of the IDF and from the extent to which I have been following the current operation, I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza.

…Hamas, the enemy they have been fighting, has been trained extensively by Iran and by Hezbollah, to fight among the people, to use the civilian population in Gaza as a human shield…Hamas factor in the uses of the population as a major part of their defensive plan. So even though as I say, Israel, the IDF, has taken enormous steps…to reduce civilian casualties, it is impossible, it is impossible to stop that happening when the enemy has been using civilians as human shields.”

Before Israel went into the Gaza Strip, nearly 10,000 rockets had been fired at its civilians from behind human shields. No nation is obliged, under international law, to accept the risks of catastrophic outcomes from these anti-personnel rockets.

So let there be a legal proceeding—a fair one in an objective forum—in which Israel’s policies are tested against those of other countries. The end result would be that Ehud Barak and Moshe Yaalon will be able to hold their heads up high and walk through the streets of any western city in the full knowledge that what they have done meets and indeed exceeds every standard of international law applicable to their conduct.

Sympathy for the Devil

Barry Rubin

Visiting Washington, I saw the small memorial to George Mason, one of America’s revolutionary founders and author of the Virginia Declaration of Human Rights. It is mainly a beautiful purple-flowered garden near the Jefferson Monument on the Potomac, along with a rather whimsical statue of Mason. Alongside, on the wall are inscribed words from the Declaration which read:

“The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained by despotick (sic) governments.”

But just a few days earlier, the U.S. government co-sponsored along with a despotick (sic) regime, Egypt, a UN resolution in the Human Rights Council (whose members are mostly governments that deny human rights) threatening the very basis of a free press and free speech generally.

The resolution urges states not just to condemn but to make into a criminal act: "Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence" as well as "negative stereotyping of religions and racial groups,"

This is in the context of a campaign by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and a huge number of other forces to stop criticism of any aspect of Islam or even of political Islamism. The best-known example was the right of publications to print cartoons from Denmark that Muslims didn’t like.

True, the Obama Aministration thinks that it "fixed" the resolution by making changes but it didn't, leaving in such languge as that the duty and responsibility of the media involves "taking action against anything meeting the description of `negative racial and religious stereotyping.'" Several delegates from Muslim majority states made it clear that they viewed this as applying to any criticism of Islam as such.

Either this is a case of the U.S. government seeking consensus and popularity at any cost or it really doesn't understand the mistake it has just made.

That the surrender of freedom of speech and of the press was a shocking departure for Western countries was buried under an avalanche of epithets like racism, Islamophobia, or hurting people’s feelings—seasoned with a spicy blend of death threats.

After publishing an op-ed recently by a radical Israeli professor urging a boycott of Israel, the Los Angeles Times editorial page editor, Jim Newton, said, “Had Hitler submitted an excerpt from Mein Kampf in the late 1930's [I would have published it] because the world would have benefitted from exposure to evil ideas."

I’ve discussed this behavior in an earlier article which you can read here.

Mr. Newton seems to sincerely believe in hard-hitting, unapologetic journalism only regarding certain targets. Following the op-ed mentioned above he ran a piece by a Palestinian writer, Daoud Kuttab, not about Palestinian Authority repression or extremism or support for terrorism but about what a darn good government it is. That’s media balance twenty-first century style.

Oh, and now he has published an op-ed by Hamas and Hizballah apologist Alistair Crooke about how these terrorist groups are just dandy organizations.

Newton seems to have adapted the famous old New York Times motto (All the news that’s fit to print) into: All evil ideas are fit to print….Often….And hardly ever contradicted.

I do not, however, favor censorship of the media regarding such materials, though I’m not sure any more how the Obama Administration stands on censoring what the world’s main purveyors of hatred deem to be unacceptable hatred. I just wish the media would spend a bit more time on points of view that don’t bash democratic societies, slander Israel, and praise terrorism.

And yes I still agree with Mason that the media “is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty.” I just wish they’d stop promoting so extensively those who want to destroy liberty.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, the Islamist-oriented regime has set a fine on the Dogan news group of $2.5 billion, more than the entire value of the company, in a harassment originating when the company's newspapers exposed government corruption. The ruling AK party has already raised its control over the media from 20 to 50 percent, with much of the rest--as I've witnessed personally--being intimidated.

Too bad the U.S. government is blind to the growing anti-American, Islamist, and dictatorial orientation of the Turkish government, which the Obama Administration seems to be holding up as some kind of good example of moderate, democratic political Islam.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan

Fatah official to 'Post': Violence may lead to 3rd intifada


Recent violence in the capital and the ongoing tensions surrounding the Temple Mount could trigger a third intifada, senior Fatah official Hatem Abdel Kader warned in a conversation with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. "It's a very sensitive situation," the former Palestinian Authority minister for Jerusalem affairs said as he stood outside a home in the city's Wadi Joz neighborhood.

Officials from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, including its leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, were among those who had congregated on the home's roof, in response to what they called "recent Israeli actions."

Salah was arrested at that same house in the evening, after police decided that comments he had made in recent days - including calling on Muslims to become "martyrs," if necessary, for the sake of the Aksa Mosque - constituted incitement. The Jerusalem Magistrates Court banished Salah from the capital for 30 days late Tuesday night.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch lauded the decision to arrest Salah. "I offer my full backing to the police. We will continue to enforce the law in an uncompromising manner," he said.

"The police will use all of the tools at its disposal to act against any element that incites others to violence and subversion against the state," Aharonovitch said.

Abdel Kader, who was arrested on Sunday for inciting violence and banned from entering the Old City for 15 days, blamed the police for the current round of tensions that have engulfed the capital's eastern neighborhoods.

"Israel's decisions so far have been very dangerous," he said. "And if they don't want things to escalate, the Israelis should back away from this issue. If not, we are afraid that the situation could lead to an explosion - it could lead to a third intifada."

Abdel Kader's comments came after an upswing in violence in recent days, which began on Sunday morning when some 150 Muslims threw rocks and bottles at police after being denied entry to the Temple Mount compound for morning prayers at the Aksa Mosque.

Security forces had decided to close off the compound after calls for Muslim men to come and "defend the mount" had circulated throughout east Jerusalem and Arab villages in northern Israel over the weekend.

In addition, a police patrol on the Temple Mount early Sunday morning had discovered wheelbarrows filled with rocks, which led security forces to believe that riots had been planned in advance of Sunday's prayers.

While police have been able to preserve a sense of calm inside the Old City since Sunday morning, violence has continued to flare up in the nearby east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan, Ras al-Amud, Isawiya and the Shuafat refugee camp.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Border Police were gearing up for the possibility that the violence would spread to other parts of the country, particularly to the West Bank. The IDF Central Command, military sources said, has drawn up plans in case the disturbances spread into Palestinian towns and cities.

"The fear is not of a third intifada but of the possibility that we will see massive demonstrations, including rock-throwing and mild violence in the West Bank," one source said.

According to intelligence obtained by Israel, Salah had been the main inciter behind the violence in Jerusalem. His motives are perceived to be twofold. First, he wants to posit himself as the leader of the entire Islamic Movement in Israel and second, he hopes that the publicity he creates for himself will draw donations from Arab countries throughout the Middle East.

Defense officials said that Friday morning's prayers on the Temple Mount would be the "real test" for the continuation of the rioting.

"It depends a lot on what happens on Friday," one official said. "If people are injured on Friday, then the violence may escalate, but if things are quiet then the violence may subside."

Since the Temple Mount was reopened to Muslim worshipers on Sunday afternoon, entry to the compound has been restricted to females and to men over the age of 50. All need to present the blue IDs held by Israeli citizens and most Arab Jerusalemites.

Abdel Kader's arrest on Sunday afternoon was also part of the police response to that day's riots, but the Fatah official was released on the condition that he remain at least 150 meters away from the Old City for 15 days.

"This house is the 150-meter mark," he said on Tuesday with a smile. "We're adhering to the restraining order."

Abdel Kader, who represents Fatah's "young guard," said all eyes were on Al-Aksa, and that Palestinians were deeply concerned over the tensions surrounding the site.

"All we want is Al-Aksa, without any restrictions," he said. "Tourists should be able to visit, but only with the cooperation of the Wakf [Islamic trust]."

Touching on unfounded rumors that Israeli authorities had planned to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount - a claim that set off similar riots near the Aksa Mosque just before Yom Kippur - Abdel Kader said that no other religious groups should be allowed to pray there.

"People must respect the site," he said. "It's a very important symbol for us, and [the current restrictions] are a violation of our freedom of religion. What would happen if they restricted access to the Kotel? Arabs aren't allowed to go there as it is now, but what if they restricted entry to the Kotel for Jews?"

Abdel Kader also said any outbreak of violence would threaten already-stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"If they make something happen in Al-Aksa, the entire peace process could explode," he said.

But residents of Wadi Joz portrayed a different point of view, as many said they were tired of the unrest and did not believe it would lead to a full-scale uprising.

"People are tired of the violence," said Basam, a mechanic whose shop sits at the entrance to the neighborhood. "Nobody here wants a third intifada - they see what the second intifada brought, and to be honest with you, things are worse."

While Basam said he was no dove, instead favoring the creation of an Islamic government in the region to "solve all of the problems facing us," he did concede that the current governments - Palestinian and Israeli alike - were making no progress.

"They're just stirring up trouble," he said. "And if they think that I'm going to take part in some sort of disturbance, I'll tell them that if I were to close my shop for one day, I'd be out NIS 1,500. Who's going to put bread on my table after that?"

Separately, a ground-breaking ceremony marking the expansion of a recently built Jewish neighborhood in southeast Jerusalem is set to be held on Wednesday, according to the organizers.

The ceremony in the Nof Zion residential complex - situated in the Arab neighborhood of Jebl Mukaber - will be attended by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Tel Aviv Chief rabbi Meir Lau, right-wing MKs and thousands of supporters, event organizers said.

Hundreds of residents have already moved into apartments in Nof Zion, many of them American Jews. Based next to the Shepherd Hotel, it is touted as a luxury development.

In the course of the ceremony, a new Torah scroll for the local synagogue will be brought in.

Yaakov Lappin and Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1254861885958&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Israelis Come Up With 2 New Ways to Produce Electricity

Hillel Fendel
A7 News

Two new Israeli methods for the production of electricity are on the table: Car-travel on highways, and a micro-turbine home system.

A group of investors succeeded on Monday in producing electricity from the travel of cars along a highway. The experiment was carried out on Route 4, between Haifa and Tel Aviv, and has already elicited great interest in the Israeli and international scientific communities. The investors have begun talks to install their technology on various highways throughout Israel. Prof. Chaim Abramovitch, chairman of the new company, told Army Radio that his system could provide the electricity needs of thousands of homes each year.

In addition, scientists from Ariel University in Samaria and a Russian research center in St. Petersburg have developed an environmentally-friendly home system that produces heat and electricity. The system is based on a ceramic gas micro-turbine. Israel’s Chief Scientist has dedicated a half-million dollars towards the project, which will be built and marketed by the CMT start-up company under the auspices of the LN Innovative Technologies Center in Haifa.

Metal turbines are limited in the amount of heat and electricity they can produce by the temperatures they can attain. The new turbine, fashioned out of ceramics and with a unique spiral canal structure inside the rotor, can reach higher temperatures than the metal one.

The turbine can be attached to a home’s existing gas and electric infrastructures, producing a free unit of electricity for every three units of heat. This enables the homeowner to receive both electricity and heat for the price of just the heat.

Riots in Jerusalem Guided by Global Jihad

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
A7 News

Amnon Lin, a former Knesset Member and authority on the Middle East, told Israel National News' Hebrew-language radio that a segment of the Arab-Israeli community is taking its orders from global jihadist organizations, such as Hizbullah and Hamas. "We need to get used to the idea that today, among Arab Israelis, there is a very extremist group - led by the Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, Kamal Khatib and others - who maintain very close relations with organizations in the Islamic movement outside Israel, be it Hamas, the Hizbullah or other elements, such as Ikhwan Al-Muslimoon - the Muslim Brotherhood. Israeli Arabs no longer live on an isolated island," Lin explained.

Connections between Israeli Arabs and Islamist groups worldwide, Lin said, are by way of the Internet, telephone, through the mass media, and more. This facilitates events such as the pre-planned rioting in Jerusalem this week, which can be essentially orchestrated from afar.

"Nowadays," Lin told Arutz Sheva, "Arab Israelis have many methods by which to receive guidance, and even orders and instructions, that 'you must do such-and-such' and thus place the struggle for Jerusalem - that is, the battle for the Temple Mount - at the center."

Asked by the interviewer if this constitutes, in effect, an operational arm within Israel of the global jihadist movements, Lin replied: "I am certain that [the Islamist leadership in Israe is an operational arm that acts in full coordination with the leadership of the Hamas groups or of Hizbullah. It is all networked by the extremist fundamentalist Islamic movement."

INN: "If so, then we have to treat it like a spy network, because we are a country that has to deal with existential threats."

Lin: "I don't think you or I need to encourage the security services. They do their job well."

Asked if he sees the justice system at fault for the growth of Islamic fundamentalist activity, Lin replied that, in his estimation, the legal penalties for terrorist activities are not sufficient to deter those who want to attack innocent Jews.

"The only thing that surprises me," added Lin, "is that we, Jews in the State of Israel, apparently have not yet learned, and are not investigating or aspiring to learn well, the sad truth that describes the situation among the Arab Israelis - [that they a not separate from the general Arab public or from the Islamic fundamentalist public in the Arab countries."

Amnon Lin, a graduate of the Shomer HaTza'ir Kibbutz movement in pre-state Israel, started his political career as in the mainstream socialist Mapai party led by David Ben-Gurion. Lin was responsible for Mapai party activities among the Israeli Arab sector in the 1950s and '60s. By the 1970s, Lin had switched parties and joined the Likud under Menachem Begin. Then, due to local political issues in his hometown of Haifa in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Lin rejoined the left-wing Labor party, Mapai's successor. His last term in the Knesset ended in 1988.

Lin has published several publications and many articles dealing with the Arab refugees of 1948, the Arab states, politics in the Arab Israeli community, as well as on the future of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Al-Arabiya network hopes Israel will fall within five years

Jihad Watch

Al-Arabiya broadcasts from modern, moderate Dubai, and is partly Saudi-owned. Yet for some odd reason it has never been a bastion of moderation -- a fact for which the prevailing paradigm has absolutely no explanation. "Will Israel fall in five years?," from Al-Arabiya, October 5 (thanks to Maxwell): Online reports of a study by the US Central Intelligence Agency cast doubt over the survival of Israel beyond the next two decades. Regardless of the validity of the report, with what is now known about the costs in blood and treasure that the U.S.-Israeli relationship has imposed on the U.S., its key ally, Israel could fall within five years

Hamas to Egypt: Postpone reconciliation meeting with Fatah

Request follows PA's support for deferral of UN vote on Goldstone Report. 'Palestinian people won't have mercy on us if we reconcile with those who failed to protect their rights,' Islamist group says

Ali Waked

Hamas has asked to delay a scheduled meeting with Fatah, during which the rival Palestinian groups are set to sign a reconciliation charter. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Monday that the meeting will take place in Cairo on October 25.

Senior Hamas figure Salah Bardawil said the request to postpone the meeting stems from the Palestinian Authority's decision to support the deferral of a UN Human Rights Council vote on the Goldstone Report, which accused Israel and Palestinian gunmen of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during their Dec. 27-Jan. 18 conflict in Gaza.

The UN council in Geneva was scheduled to vote last week on passing the report to the General Assembly for further action, but it decided instead to delay the decision until March, after what officials described as "intense diplomacy" from the United States.

During a session of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Bardawil blasted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying, "The people won't have mercy on us if we (reconcile) with those who failed to protect the nation's rights."

Halil al-Haya, another senior Hamas figure, called on the Palestinian parliament to investigate the decision regarding the Goldstone Report vote and find out who was responsible for it. He also called to dismiss and prosecute the Palestinian envoy to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraisha.

Hamas drove Abbas' forces out of Gaza in 2007, leaving him in control of only the West Bank. Repeated reconciliation efforts have failed, complicating peace efforts with Israel.

Egypt has been leading the mediation efforts.

AP contributed to the report

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition Shalom visits Hebron's Cave of Patriarchs

Oct. 6, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's nemesis, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, continued his recent shift to the Right on Monday when he visited the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Shalom was received warmly in Hebron, where Netanyahu withdrew IDF forces from most of the city when he was prime minister in 1997. In what was interpreted as an attack on Netanyahu, Shalom said he believed the settlements around Hebron were a bloc that must permanently remain under Israeli control.

He also criticized the government's handling of the ongoing Arab violence in Jerusalem. He said it was intolerable that even though the Temple Mount was under Israeli control, Israeli forces had to constantly work to protect Jews in the area.

"I have gone up to the Temple Mount in the past, and Jews have a right to go there," Shalom told a large crowd at the Cave of the Patriarchs.

"The events at the Temple Mount today must serve as a wake-up call for everyone. We are the sovereign over the Temple Mount and the Cave of the Patriarchs and that's what the government of Israel must broadcast. We are here forever and ever," he said.

Shalom also visited settlements outside Hebron, including Yatir and Sussiya. He promised to assist in upgrading the tourist site at Sussiya.

The vice premier was unaffected by a rock-throwing incident that damaged an Israeli bus outside the Arab city of Halhoul near Hebron.

Shalom's office said he took the same tour last year and he was not trying to make a political statement.

They said the areas around Hebron were part of the Negev and therefore in his jurisdiction as minister of Negev and Galilee development.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1254756250527&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

'Hall of Ages' uncovered within Western Wall tunnels Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

As police forces guarded the closed-off Temple Mount Monday, a group of visitors accompanied by a Jewish-Ukrainian philanthropist toured Jerusalem's Western Wall tunnels.

The affluent Ukrainian's donation to the archaeological project made possible the rehabilitation of a Second Temple-era hall which was recently unearthed in the bowels of the Old City. Although the new hall was originally discovered decades ago, it lay untouched for years due to fears that the ancient stones were not stable enough for excavation. A new technique was found to support the walls from crumbling, enabling workers to remove the rubble.

A new concrete roof was erected in the site, which is not yet open to the public, as was an iron support structure.

After digging six meters deep, workers on the site discovered historical artifacts from the First and Second Temple eras. The large room was aptly named the "Hall of Ages."

One man who took part in the excavation project told Channel Two that those visiting the room would step on low ground deep inside the tunnels and "suddenly comprehend the dimensions of Second Temple-era Jerusalem."

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz stressed that the new hall was not located underneath the Temple Mount and that no excavations were underway in that location, in accordance with halacha (Jewish law).

Work at the site is nearing completion, and the "Hall of Ages" will be opened to the public within a few months.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1254756248116&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Monday, October 05, 2009

Goldstone Report is Low on Law

October 5, 2009 | Eli E. Hertz

To finance, recruit, train, house, feed, transport, kidnap and murder innocent Jews, is a collective Palestinian Arab effort that demands a collectively responsible response from the international community. Israel is often portrayed in the media, by Western leaders, human rights activists and the many different organs of the United Nations, as inflicting disproportionate and collective punishment on many Palestinian Arabs for the deeds of a few terrorists [The Goldstone Report refers to Hamas as "Palestinian armed group"].

It is a denial of reality to assume that only a small "armed group" of terrorists could be involved in thousands of documented acts of terror in the past 12 years by Palestinian Arabs from all walks of life. It would be reckless to assume that these acts of terror are isolated, undertaken independently, without the direct involvement of the Palestinian Arab populace and the leadership they opt to elect.

In fact, poll after poll shows widespread collective support among the majority of the Palestinian Arab population for the destruction of Israel. In a poll released July 2006[1] the majority of Palestinian Arabs responded - 77.2% expressed support for the abduction of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and - 60.4% supported the continuation of indiscriminate firing of deadly Qassam rockets into Israeli towns.

Ironically, Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention [2] that deals with prohibition of imposing collective punishment on civilian population under occupation, should have been applied by the Goldstone Mission to protect over 1,000,000 innocent men, women, and children in the Israeli towns of Sderot, Ashkelon, and hundreds of smaller communities that are collectively punished day-in and day-out for offences they never personally committed.

Interestingly, the British in 1929 thought that collective punishment was a perfectly legitimate measure when inhabitants of Arab villages attacked the Jews. This collective punishment was not merely a single necessary step, but actually an existing ordinance of the British Mandate supported by the League of Nations, in dealing with Palestinian Arabs:

"The Collective Punishments Ordinances were applied to the [Arab] towns and villages whose inhabitants were guilty of participation in the concerted attacks on Jews at Hebron, Safad, Motza, Artuf, Beer-Tuvia, and heavy fines were inflicted." [3]

Throughout history, Jews have been law-abiding, peaceful people defending themselves against Arab aggression. In a 1946 Report, the Anglo-American Committee described its observation regarding Jews living in the land of Palestine:

"The Jew had to train himself for self-defence, and to accustom himself to the life of a pioneer in an armed stockade. Throughout the Arab rising, the Jews in the National Home, despite every provocation, obeyed the orders of their leaders and exercised a remarkable self-discipline. They shot, but only in self-defence; they rarely took reprisals on the Arab." [4]

Israel's reaction to Arab aggression is nothing more than a measured, fair response designed "to effectively terminate the attack [s]" by a conglomerate of Palestinian Arab terrorists, supported by Iran, in order to prevent its recurrence.[5]

Palestinian Arabs, by their first use of armed force against Israeli civilians and non-combatant Jews in contravention of the United Nations Charter, constituted prima facie [Latin: on its face] evidence of an act of aggression - aggression being defined by international law as "the most serious and dangerous form of illegal use of force." [6]

The rule of proportionality in this case of continuous Hamas aggression, needs to be met by Israeli acts that will 'induce' the wrongdoing aggressors to comply with its international obligations. A countermeasure need not be the exact equivalent of the breaching act. [7] Judge Schwebel, the former president of the International Court of Justice is quoted saying:

"In the case of action taken for the specific purpose of halting and repelling an armed attack, this does not mean that the action should be more or less commensurate with the attack." [8]
The perception among Palestinian Arabs that politically motivated violence is legitimate and effective - is nothing new. From a broader perspective, if the Palestinians are rewarded with political gains following their acts of aggression, it can be expected that other radical groups will also make use of the rockets and suicide bomber model. Israel will no longer be the main target of such tactics. No one will be immune.

[1] JMCC Poll no. 59 on Palestinian attitudes towards the abduction of the Israeli soldier and Firing of Rockets, 9 July 2006. See:
[2] See:
[3] From the report by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Palestine and Transjordan for the year 1929.
[4] Report of the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry regarding the problem of European Jewry and Palestine. Lausanne, 20th April, 1946.
[5] See Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy; 3/22/2002; Beard, Jack M.
[6] See UN GA Resolution 3314.
[7] United States Department of State, Draft Articles on State Responsibility, Comments of the Government of the United States of America,
March 1, 2001. See:
[8] Ibid.

The Absence of Strategic Thinking

HWhen media and political “talking heads” contended there was no “connection” between the recent spate of foiled terrorist plots on American soil, we were witnessing an absence of strategic thinking.

They simply weren’t analyzing the ideological force of jihadist Islam that IS the connection between the terrorist plots. When media and political “talking heads,” in concert with the Obama administration, assert that Russia can be persuaded to support significantly tougher sanctions against Iran, we are again witnessing an absence of strategic thinking.

In both cases, it is the failure to see events and understand motivations through a lens other than our own.

The Iranian “mullocracy” is motivated by a messianic ambition to usher in the 12th imam through creating global chaos and by a desire to assert itself as the focal point of worldwide Islam. How does the “infidel” West hope to negotiate with that?

Ralph Peters makes a good case below for why Vladimir Putin does not see imposing tougher sanctions as in Russia’s self-interest, self-interest defined as Russia’s drive to exert greater control of oil and natural gas. In other words, a drive for greater power.

Putin could care less about Iran’s theo-political motivations, and deep down Iran despises “infidel” Russia. But, as the saying goes, “politics makes for strange bedfellows.”

Updated: Thu., Oct. 1, 2009, 3:34 AM

Putin's Iran plan


Iran's traditional emblem has been the Persian lion. Russia's should be a vulture: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin intends to feed on the carcass left by any confrontation with Iran.

For Moscow, this crisis isn't about Tehran's acquisition of nukes. It's about Russia's acquisition of a stranglehold on global energy markets.

Putin's playing with fire -- but he's sure we'll be the ones burned.

As for the Obama administration's desperate (and stunningly naive) hope that economic sanctions can deter President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and his fellow thugs-for-Allah from pursuing nuclear weapons, forget it.

Even were Putin to permit his front-man, President Dmitri Medvedev, to agree to half-baked sanctions, Moscow would violate them before Obama could step out of Air Force One with a piece of paper in his hand guaranteeing peace in our time.

The current crisis is a win-win-win for Putin. But before laying out his plan, let's run the numbers:

The Persian Gulf's littoral states hold over 60 percent of the world's proven oil reserves and 40 percent of the natural gas. Russia has "just" 10 percent of the oil reserves and 35 percent of the world's natural gas.

Do the math: Iran and its neighbors, along with Russia, own two-thirds of the world's oil reserves and 70 percent of the natural gas. And the global economy still runs on oil and gas, folks.

Despite the State Department's compartmentalization mentality, Russia and Iran don't exist in separate worlds. It's less than a day's drive from Russia's southern border through Azerbaijan to Iran's northwestern border. I've driven it.

This is one macro-region for energy, the zone of ultimate control. Putin gets it, even if we don't. Here's Czar Vladimir's strategic trifecta:

* For now, Russia profits wonderfully from its trade, both legal and illicit, with Iran, while the West talks itself to death. Life is good.

* But life could get even better: If Iran's nuclear quest isn't blocked, a nuclear arsenal will give Iran de facto control of all Persian Gulf oil. Putin envisions a Moscow-Tehran axis, an energy cartel that dramatically increases the value of his oil and gas -- the only economic props keeping the corpse of Russia upright.

* If Israel's driven to a forlorn-hope attack on Iran's nuke program, Iran will respond by striking Gulf Arab oil fields and facilities, while closing the Strait of Hormuz. The US military will be in it, like it or not. Oil and gas prices will soar unimaginably -- and the bear will have its paws on the golden tap.

So the worst outcome for Putin -- more of the same -- is still good. A bad outcome for everybody else is even better in Putin's strategy to renew Russia's superpower status.

Why on earth would this guy help us stop Iran? When he hates us, anyway? (It isn't you, Barack. It's just business.)

For all his viciousness, Putin's a serious strategist. We don't have any high-level strategists. Not one. On either side of the Potomac.

In his first decade on the throne, Czar Vladimir focused on addicting Europe to Russian gas, while moving successfully to exert control over as many pipelines as possible. That was the constructive decade.

The second decade in the reign of Vladimir I is the energy-cartel-building phase. This will be the confrontational phase.

Energy's the only real power Putin has, so he's maximizing it.

It's no accident that a strategic triangle has emerged between Moscow, Tehran and Caracas -- home of the great Latin mischief-lover, Hugo Chavez, who thrives on his own nation's petro-wealth.

For us, the Iran crisis is about peace. For Putin, it's about power. Yet the self-deluding Obama administration really believes that Moscow's going to support us. After our president gave away our only serious bargaining chip, the missile-defense system promised to our European allies.

Putin thinks in 10-year-plans. We can't think past the next congressional roll-call vote.

The Obama administration's primary legacy to the world is going to be a nuclear-armed Iran.
Thanks Act for America