Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Forging On"

Arlene Kushner

Among the matters I had thought I would address tonight was the deeply disturbing issue of the disconnect from Israel of some (many) American Jews. I do hope I will find time to write about this before long. But this is a long-term matter that must be dealt with thoughtfully (and intensively) over time, and it seemed to me that other issues of greater urgency have precedence right now.
The matter of the Flotilla and world reaction to Israel is still front and center. But I begin with the latest satirical Latma piece produced by Caroline Glick, "The Three Terrors." It's a hoot:

Where ponderous words do not seem to be having effect, maybe this approach will make a difference.


Satire does seem to be the best response to world events. In fact, world events generate their own unintended satire.

Consider: Syrian president Bashar Assad, whose country has smuggled large quantities of weapons to Hezbollah in defiance of Security Council Resolution 1701, said on Wednesday that Syria has been working on preventing a regional war, but that war is now more likely because of the Flotilla incident; it shows, he declared, that the Israeli government is "pyromaniac.


I thank Yoram Ettinger for this material, which comes from his Jerusalem Cloakroom #236, "The Gaza Flotilla of Hypocrisy."

Ettinger pointed out that there are 400,000 residents of Uzbek who were made refugees in the course of riots in Kyrgyzstan from June 11-18, 2010, with 2,000 fatalities. But there have been no special UN sessions to deal with this.

Additionally, he cited Joel Brinkley, nationally-syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, who wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle, on June 13, 2010:

“On May 31, the day activists assaulted Israeli troops as they boarded the Mavi Marmara, prompting the Israelis to shoot and kill nine of them. In Lahor, Pakistan, that same day, gunmen stormed into a hospital, where they shot and killed 12 badly wounded patients...Those victims were survivors of murderous attacks on two mosques a few days earlier, when 93 worshipers were killed…Didn’t that warrant even a nodding acknowledgment? No, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said almost nothing about the dead Pakistanis, but did manage to declaim: ‘I unequivocally condemn what appears to be disproportionate use of force, resulting in the killing and wounding of so many people attempting to bring much needed aid to the people of Gaza…’

"The week before the aid-flotilla incident, international discussions centered on North Korea and its attack on a South Korean naval vessel. A torpedo sank the ship, killing 46 sailors. The UN Security Council was to begin discussion of possible action against North Korean. But then a few days ago, Council members made it clear they were going to drop the North Korea matter and take a resolution condemning Israel…”


So, the hypocrisy -- at the UN and its agencies and within a broad swath of the world's governments -- is enough to leave one breathless, but we see that we do have friends who tell it straight, such as Brinkley.

Then there is Rex Murphy, writing in the National Post of Canada, "UN condemns Israel first, investigates later":

"I don't suppose the world needs to remember Rwanda to note how sluggish in the face of imminent horror the UN is and can be. But on one subject, and toward one state, the UN acquires a strange and uniquely transformative power. Bring Israel under its gaze and the diplomatic sloths at UN headquarters morph into the swiftest of gazelles. Quite amazing, really. When the so-called 'freedom flotilla' roared into the headlines, the UN reacted at the diplomatic equivalent of the speed of light. The Security Council issued its 'condemnation,' and in a wonderful reversal of cause and effect also called for an investigation into what it had 'condemned.'

"When Israel is in the dock, protest rage goes epidemic. When Israel acts in its self-defense, the response is extravagantly 'disproportionate.' I truly do not know why this is so. Israel is a sanctuary state established after one almost successful attempt just two generations ago to rid all the world of Jews. And Israel is now in the shadow of a fundamentalist, ferociously anti-Israel theocracy which is about to equip itself with nuclear weapons. Yet somehow Israel is the rogue, the barbarian nation, the only state on earth that can energize the lethargic diplomats in the great tower of hypocrisy on the Hudson River."


You might also like to see the comments of Dvir Abramovich, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia:

"The speed and intensity by which the world recklessly rushed to blame Israel, and only Israel over the flotilla incident, and the scale and venom of the reaction, has left me speechless. I don't know how to depict a world that clamors to indict Israel while exonerating its enemies, that uses double standards in promoting false and baseless accusations, and that has forgotten history so as to use the language of the Holocaust to portray Israelis as the epitome of evil. I don't know what to make of a world that is silent when Israelis die in homicidal bombings or rocket attacks. But beyond the actual incident, the blistering demonization, and delegitimization of Israel, and the viciousness of such vilification by the media, and international governments who should know better, is mind-blowing.

"How man journalists have explained that both Israel and Egypt have imposed a naval blockade of Gaza, and that Israel did so to prevent the re-arming of the Iranian-backed Hamas? How many journalists have written about Gaza being used as a base for the launching of thousands of rockets into Israeli towns in a murderous and relentless war of attrition? How many journalists have alerted readers to the brutal Hamas regime in Gaza that violently puts down any political opponents and is slowly imposing fundamentalist Islamic law?"


I provide these pieces not only so that you might take heart from them, but also so that you might utilize and share them.

And then I provide this very good piece, "Shouldn't we all be Israelis now," by Kyle-Anne Shiver, a Catholic, writing in American Thinker. It is going to jolt many, but at this point a jolt is in order:

"...About a year ago, I shamelessly berated a dear Jewish friend for becoming paranoid about unfolding events -- not in Israel, but right here in America. She, naturally, sees things differently from how I do. She was noticing the telltales in American foreign policy under the new administration. She was calling my attention to signs I couldn't then read. Perhaps a part of me simply wanted to believe -- with all my heart and soul -- that nothing whatsoever similar to the Holocaust could ever happen again because we good Americans would never, ever, ever permit such a horror on our watch. I argued this point with my friend vehemently. For a while, we were so passionately at odds on the 'Jewish question' that we stopped corresponding and talking on the phone. Now I shake with guilt and shame over my callous insensitivity, and I wonder where I found such faith in the American people and such naive blindness about human evil.

"We have clearly elected an anti-Semitic president. I say this with due trepidation; I take the charge as seriously as any I know. Barack Obama's anti-Semitism is so transparent that I tremble to consider that it may not even be merely an intellectual Israel-vs.-Arab-nation prejudice, but may actually be racist, or even a soul-disordered hate for all things deigned by God."

How many other Americans who have been eager to give Obama a chance are ready to confront the inherent bias in how he treats us?

Shiver makes a potent case. Read the entire piece:

Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), a true friend, addresses a similar issue when he says, on the floor of Congress, that the American people are with Israel, and then asks, "Mr. President, whose side are you on?"


I cannot confirm this information, but as I have it from multiple sources, and have picked up similar material in the past, it seems to me solid enough, and certainly important enough, to share:

According to Hugh Tomlinson, writing in the Times of London just a week ago:

"Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defenses to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

"In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.

"To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.

“'The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,' said a US defence source in the area. 'They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.'

"Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. 'We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,' said one.


Aside from the significance of Saudi Arabia's alleged readiness to do this, I have a couple of other observations. One is that Saudi Arabia is apparently being more cooperative here than Obama. Absorb the full import of this, please. Obama, still hoping for some combination of outreach and sanctions to stop Iran's nuclear development, has thus far refused to signal that the US would give a go-ahead for Israel to fly over Iraq on the way to Iran.

Or so he is pretending, wanting perhaps to not "irritate" Iran by seeming to sanction an Israeli attack. If this sounds ludicrous, it's because it is -- and signals an obtuse unwillingness by Obama to understand deterrence. But it would be vintage Obama. He believes in carrots without sticks.

Consider as well that, according to this report, the State Department has sanctioned this position on the part of Saudi Arabia. This suggests several things, some of which would be purely speculative. What I'd like to ask here is how Obama -- knowing all of this -- can claim that there can be no cooperation with the Arab states on the matter of Iran, unless we make "peace" with the Palestinians. He full well knows what a crock this is.


Last September, Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, wrote:

"The leaders in all Arab countries know that the American 'engagement' of Iran is hopeless in stopping the nuclearization of Iran. During his August trip to Washington, Mubarak of Egypt tried to inject sense into the young American president. Moreover, Mubarak rejected Obama's offer for a nuclear umbrella. So did other pro-American Arab states. American promises to defend them are simply not credible if the US is reluctant to use military force to stop the Iranian nuclear threat.

"The impending American withdrawal from Iraq and the difficulties in 'fixing' Afghanistan contribute to the general sense of a decline in American influence in the Middle East."

Please note: this is one more case in point of what I've been saying for some time -- Obama's weakness has made the world a less safe place, with the US no longer trusted or depended upon by nations that were considered, broadly, American allies. No where is this more the case than in the Middle East. Obama has made our part of the world more dangerous. The Latma video, "The Three Terrors," makes this point, with a thank you extended to Obama for "playing dumb."

So, indeed, whose side is Obama on?


"The Good News Corner"

Lt. Aharon Karov, commander of a combat company in the Paratrooper Brigade, made news during Operation Cast Lead, the war in Gaza, when he was called up from his leave the day after his wedding. He subsequently was critically wounded in a booby-trapped house in Gaza, and then flown to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tivkah, where he underwent six operations on his head and chest in the course of 12 hours. Karov had hovered close to death. His morale was incredible and his recovery nothing short of miraculous.

Now it has been announced that his wife Tzivia has given birth to a baby girl. Mazel tov!

What a joy not only to share this good news, but to demonstrate, once again, the resilience of the Israeli people.


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