Saturday, April 10, 2010

WaPo, NYT spike coverage of Obama Admin Denunciation of Abbas, Palestinian Authority

Leo Rennert
In his press briefing on April 8, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the following:

"Regarding the Middle East, we are DISTURBED by comments of Palestinian Authority officials regarding reconstruction and refurbishing of Jewish sites in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.

"Remarks by the Palestinian ministry of Information denying Jewish heritage in and links to Jerusalem UNDERMINE THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE needed for substantive and productive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. "We also STRONGLY CONDEMN the GLORIFICATION OF TERRORISTS.. Honoring terrorists who have murdered innocent civilians either by official statements or by the dedication of public places HURTS PEACE EFFORTS and MUST END.

"We will continue to hold Palestinian leaders ACCOUNTABLE FOR INCITEMENT."

Not one word of Crowley's statement appeared in the April 9 editions of the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Yet, this official U.S. statement with its STRONG CONDEMNATION of Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, accusing it of HURTING PEACE EFFORTS and UNDERMINING U.S. efforts to restart peace negotiations was highly newsworthy for at least four compelling reasons:

1. It was the strongest slap yet at Abbas and the PA by the Obama administration. Yes, from time to time, Team Obama has criticized anti-Israel incitement by the Palestinian Authority, but mostly in a muted, non-specific way. In this instance, Crowley referred specifically to PA incitement against the reopening of the Hurva Synagogue, the most prominent of the Old City's Jewish houses of prayer, which was destroyed by Jordan in 1948. Crowley's statement linked the PA's denial of Israel's right to revive the Hurva Synagogue to a wider PA campaign of denial of historic and Jewish connections to Jersualem, which in turn has fostered violent Arab riots in the Old City Also the tone and substance of Crowley's condemnation of Abbas's PA was much harsher than the usual slaps on the wrist the administration has used to give an appearance of balance and even-handedness in its dealings with both sides.

2. Under the U.S.-drafted "road map" toward a Mideast peace deal, the Palestinians are obligated at the very outset to end all incitement against Israel. Abbas has been saying for months that the PA is in full compliance with this provision. Crowley's statement belies any such Abbas claim. Instead, it accuses him and the PA of harming the peace process by continued glorification of terrorists.

3. This is the first time the Obama administration has cited Jewish rights in Jerusalem's Old City based on historic and religious links. As far as Abbas and the PA are concerned, the Old City is "occupied" Palestinian territory because it was captured by Israel during the 1967 war. By siding with Israel on the Hurva Synagogue, the administration separates itself sharply from Abbas over Jewish rights and claims in the Old City.

4. Crowley's statement was not an ad-lib comment by a lower-level State Department official. Crowley read his statement at the top of the briefing. The statement has all the earmarks of careful preparaton and review at the highest level of the Obama administration.

The failure of the Times and the Post to cover the administration's strong condemnation of Abbas's PA points up a wider anti-Israel bias among the vast majority of reporters who cover the State Department and the White House -- especially in view of their meticulous and detailed reports of every jot and tittle of any administration slap at Israel.

White House and State Dept. reporters troll press briefings with great alacrity to find any morse of anti-Israel criticism, repeatedly pelting administration spokesmen with questions designed to elicit another slap at the Netanyahu government or to ratchet up Israeli-U.S. tensions. But they show absolutely no such fervent interest in pursuing angles that bear on Palestinian transgressions of the peace process, the grooming of future generations of Palestinians to venerate suicide bombers and Palestinian rejection of any practical concessions and compromises to move toward an end of the conflict.

That's one of the reasons Crowley came to the April 8 briefing with his prepared statement, knowing full well that he wouldn't get any questions from the assembled reporters that would allow him to make the same comments.

And with a press corps that includes full-time New York Times and Washington Post diplomatic correspondents, it's also quite revealing that, once Crowley made his statement at the top of the briefing, there was not a single follow-up question from reporters from the start to the end of the briefing.

Since they weren't going to write about his statement condemning Abbas and since their editors couldn't care less about the administration's hard knock on Abbas's PA, why waste time on follow-up questions like:

1. Has the State Department conveyed Crowley's comments to Abbas and the PA?

2. Given your statement, Mr. Crowley, is Abbas lying when he claims to have ended all incitement and has fully complied with the "road map"?

3. Did Secretary Clinton and Mideast envoy George Mitchell have a hand in the drafting of your statement?

4. Will President Obama himself bring up with Abbas the kinds of Palestinian incitement against Israel and Jewish historic links to Jerusalem, that are emphasized in your statement?

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Friday, April 09, 2010

"Bad to Worse"

Fervently do I wish I had only good news to carry into Shabbat. But this is not the case. Thank G-d for Shabbat, which gives us a break and provides a perspective. Without it, I think several of us (myself included) might go mad.


Let me begin with a link to a piece of mine that just went up on American Thinker. It addresses the horror of PA incitement and the degree to which Obama ignores it while coming down hard on us.

I just got word of the acceptance of this material now. I'll come back to this, and perhaps run the entire piece in my next posting. But please, see it now, and share it, with attribution to the American Thinker. This is important stuff that must be made public broadly: The sense I have is that Obama (whatever his motivation, which I choose not to analyze) is working to progressively weaken the US -- which means the free Western world, and certainly Israel, are peripherally affected, as well.

I have already mentioned the decision to remove terms such as "jihad" from the national security document -- which means the blinders Obama and members of his administration are wearing are about to become even larger than they already were, and the enemy will go unidentified.

But there are also recent decisions that Obama has made with regard to US nuclear deterrence. As the New York Times explained earlier this week:

"[Obama will be] revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons.

"Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age...

"It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack."

But nations contemplating use of biological or chemical weapons are deterred by the possibility of nuclear response. Obama has now made it more feasible for them to consider such attacks. The president says that deterrence can be maintained via “a series of graded options,” whatever this actually means. I am not convinced, nor are many of his critics.

He does say, and I mention here, that the US would respond to "outliers like North Korea and Iran" in different terms. And yet... America has just gotten a bit weaker.


For Israel, deterrence depends on that element of not knowing what weaponry we possess and what we would do with regard to our alleged nuclear weaponry if threatened or attacked. We need to keep our enemies off balance. That's a good part of what protects us here. Any move to increase the transparency of our intentions or to limit our ability to respond is very much bad news for us.

This coming Monday and Tuesday, there will be a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, to which 40 nations have been invited. At least in theory, the topic of discussion will be preventing nuclear weapons from getting into the hands of renegades and terrorists.

As of yesterday, it was the intention of Prime Minister Netanyahu to attend. Today's Jerusalem Post, written last night, says that Netanyahu had been reassured by the US administration that Israel's alleged nuclear capabilities would not be a "central issue" at the gathering, and he felt secure enough in this respect to proceed with plans to participate. This, even though it was clear that Arab states would bring up the issue, and even though not making it a "central issue" still leaves a lot of latitude for action.

But now it has been announced that Netanyahu will not be attending, but will send Intelligence Minister Dan Merridor (Likud) instead. The sudden change comes with information that "participating Arab countries led by Turkey and Egypt plan to use the summit to demand that Israel sign the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and allow its alleged nuclear capabilities to be placed under international inspection."

I ponder, but have no answers, regarding how this move makes it less possible for the Arab nations to proceed with their intended plans -- perhaps Merridor can defer on matters in situations where a prime minister could not. I'm glad for Netanyahu's reluctance to attend, as too often, eager to be a participating part of the world community, we end up trapped in a hostile international forum.


Please see Dr. Aaron Lerner's commentary on IMRA today: "Israel Must Reject American Nuclear Blackmail."


And what of the projected Obama plan for peace in the Middle East? My guess, a matter of educated intuition, is that this was either a proposal put forward by those eager to see this happen, or a trial balloon. What has transpired since the NYTimes article was released is that denials have come from the White House. It's possible that these denials have come because initial response was negative in too many quarters. Keep up the pressure here, please!


It's a scandal and a security nightmare of the worst order. Only now, as a blackout on this information is lifted is the full story being told.

Anat Kamm, a former member of the IDF who served at Central Command, who allegedly stole 2,000 sensitive IDF documents (making copies of them), is being charged with espionage. Currently she is under house arrest.

She is said to have turned the documents over to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau who published some articles based on the information they contain. He is currently in London and has been for some period of time. The Shin Bet has been negotiating with him for return of all documents, and some but not all have been secured. He is believed to still be in possession of hundreds of top-secret classified military documents, and he refuses to voluntarily return from London.

Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin says that as long as the whereabouts of these documents is unknown, there is a direct, ongoing threat to national security. "This pose[s] a direct and real threat to the lives of IDF soldiers and Israel citizens." The concern, of course, is what hands they will fall into. The material includes information on such matters as the steps Central Command would take in the event of a major military escalation.

It is when negotiations with Blau broke down that the gag order was lifted. The Shin Bet is working vigorously to secure return of all materials and now, I believe, regrets the time expended in "negotiating." Stronger techniques will now be utilized. Part of the problem has to do with the freedom of the press in a democracy.


There is a great deal more to say, about the above and many other issues. But Shabbat preparations call.

see my website

The Real Two-State Solution: Let the people choose
By Fred Leder
Published: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 1:06 PM EDT

Has there ever been a country whose very existence has been subject to more intense scrutiny than Israel? Other considerations aside, there is one thing that should be apparent to any objective observer: everything proposed over the past 60 years has not worked. The Arab world has rejected each and every proposal that includes a Jewish State between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Instead of acknowledging that very obvious truth, third parties close their eyes to it and insist on hopeless wishful thinking that is divorced from reality. Today's manifestation of that wishful thinking is the 'two state solution' and the only means of implementing it is by using force to impose it on the populations involved on both sides of the divide. Far better would be a solution that puts its faith in the strength and dignity of the individual by creating a single entity: one democratic state accepted by all those who want to be its citizens.

Israel is already a vibrant and functioning democracy. The method of their approval is well defined: they'd vote. The putative partner-state is a seething cauldron of grievance, animosity and violence. One has to believe that there are, however, residents in the non-Israel areas who would be amenable to a solution that allows them freedoms they now are deprived of. They can't embrace this proposal under the circumstance in which they live today but once free from the violent gangs that shape their world they'd be able to make choices that are now unavailable to them.

This kind of solution would be based on the realities that exist and not the wishful thinking. One democratic state between the Jordan and Mediterranean would provide a place where its citizens can live in freedom and peace because inclusion in it would be voluntary. If living in a democracy isn't acceptable to some of the population there now, for whatever reason, they can choose another way to live. Absent third party meddling, most would choose to be part of the new entity.

Here is what one state would look like. Judea and Samaria as well as the Golan Heights would be united with Israel. Gaza, which was never an integral part of the Jewish homeland, would be excluded.

Politically derived estimates of Arab population in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem run as high as 2.6 million, but the likely number of Arabs in this area is no more than two million. There are some estimates of the Arab population that are much smaller than even this number. In addition, Arabs in Judea and Samaria who don't feel they can live in a democracy besides Jews, Muslims and Christians would be offered cash incentives to leave.
There are 1.2 million Arabs who live in Israel proper now so that a new state would contain about three million (or fewer) Arabs. There are slightly over five million Jews in Israel today and once Israel's borders are secure, one might anticipate another million coming from Europe in the not too distant future. This would mean that the new state of Israel would have three million or so Arabs and six million Jews.

The character of a Jewish state can be maintained at that level especially since Jewish fertility rates are now about the same as the Arab's. The mantra projecting a demographic time bomb in Israel has always been refuted by the facts in every decade since 1948. However, there are constituencies that continue to promote this narrative and the myth persists.

The Arabs in Judea and Samaria would be offered full Israeli citizenship and would be granted all of the rights and responsibilities that come with being part of a democracy. A bill of rights for all citizens can be a valuable safeguard for Jews and non-Jews alike. Those who decline the privilege of citizenship and remain would be resident aliens with local autonomy over their own affairs but with none of the rights and obligations of a citizen.

Gaza would be considered a separate Arab state. The second state if you like. They are free to negotiate their southern border with Egypt if they feel the need to expand.

This path to this plan is short and could be put in place quickly. Its parameters, once outlined, should be clear so that individuals can choose their own way forward. The key to this proposition is that democracies function with the consent of the governed and if the nine million people of a newly constituted Israel consent to their governance, we could soon see Jews, Muslims and Christians living side by side in peace with mutual respect for each other's rights. There is no reason that the American model cannot be sustained in the land that gave the world the rule of law and has always championed the sacred uniqueness of every individual.

This solution is not the implementation of wishful thinking by force. It is the recognition of the realities of people finding their own way by living the life they choose for themselves and their families.

Frederic Leder, Ph.D. is a retired oil company executive now living in Westport. (Thanks to Ted Belman.)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Slent by Walid Shoebat, an Arab friend of the Jews‏

The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.

Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it.

Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman.

Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees.
But in the case of Israel , the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single one.

Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace.

Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world. Other nations, when they are defeated, survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed.

Had Nasser triumphed in June [1967], he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on.

There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Blacks are executed in Rhodesia.

But, when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one demonstrated against him.

The Swedes, who were ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we did in Vietnam , did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troops in Norway.

The Jews are alone in the world.

If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources.
Yet at this moment, Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally.

We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us.

And one has only to imagine what would have happened in the six day war [1967] had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war, to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.

I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us.

Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us all.

This was written by Eric Hoffer in the LA Times in 1968 -- 42 years ago! Some things never change!

Eric Hoffer was one of the most influential American philosophers and free thinkers of the 20th Century. His books are still widely read and quoted today. Acclaimed for his thoughts on mass movements and fanaticism, Hoffer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. Hopewell Publications awards the best in independent publishing across a wide range of categories, singling out the most thought provoking titles in books and short prose, on a yearly basis in honor of Eric Hoffer.

Journalist Stole 2,000 Classified Documents while Serving in IDF

A7 News

A top secret case involving national security that was kept under wraps by the IDF censor for a week but was published in the international media was authorized for publication this morning. It involved the theft of 2,000 secret IDF documents by a former soldier who worked as a journalist for the left wing Hebrew language news website, Walla. Some details still remain classified, as the investigation by police, Shabak (Israel Security Agency) and IDF Information Security Department continues.

Despite protests by the Israeli media over the past several days, the State Prosecution insisted that the investigation remain under a gag order, for two reasons: To exhaust all possibilities of recovering the documents, and in order to prevent interference with the ongoing investigation of what appear to be the very grave crimes committed in this case. Finally, under pressure from Israel Press Council Chairperson and former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner and others, and in light of developments in the case, the Prosecution has given in and withdrawn its demand for secrecy.

The State Prosecution says it was guided throughout the investigation by the overriding need to ensure that the secret documents not find their way into enemy hands.

The facts that are permitted for publication are as follows:

Journalist Anat Kam is accused of stealing over 2,000 IDF documents, many hundreds of which are termed “secret” and “top secret.” The alleged crimes occurred when she served as a soldier clerking in the IDF military - specifically, in the office of the Commander of the Central District - three years ago.

She allegedly handed over many of the “top secret” and “secret” documents to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau. Blau, who was abroad when the investigation started, has refused thus far to return to Israel for investigation. It is suspected that many of the classified papers are still in his possession – despite an offer made to him that the returned documents would not be used to prosecute him or his source, Anat Kam.

Kam, who was secretly arrested during the investigation, has been indicted in the Tel Aviv District Court. She stands accused of collecting secret information, giving it to unauthorized individuals, and attempting to harm state security.

Some of the documents include detailed plans for military operations, the deployment of IDF forces in routine and emergency situations, operations against terrorist leaders, evaluations, and more.

Comment: Hmm, wonder why the MSM has made this such a huge story re: freedom of speech? Is it not ironic that they frame this event in such a way yet the act of theft of secret documents is given a pass-ah, Left Wingers, you are what you are!

Tariq Ramadan: A Viper in Our Midst (Thanks to Hillary Clinton)

David Solway

Islamic scholar and stealth jihadist [1] Tariq Ramadan is on the move again, having been welcomed to our shores as an apostle of moderation and a harbinger of reconciliation between Islam and the West. Ramadan had been banned from the U.S. under the provisions of the Patriot Act for having contributed to the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic charity with ties to Hamas which is listed on the U.S. State Department calendar of Foreign Terrorist Organizations [2]. Under an exemption issued by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ramadan is now free to bring his message to the American people from within their own public institutions, addressing Cooper Union and CAIR-Chicago [3]. Later this month, Ramadan will be revisiting Canada, mounting his carefully calculated charm offensive in Montreal and Ottawa, explaining how Islam can be seamlessly integrated into Western culture. Ramadan is especially fond of Ottawa [4], Canada’s capital, a city with six [5] official mosques, another 22 [6] university and student mosques, and yet another four [7] mosque-building projects currently on the books. What’s not to like? But this is only a sign of what’s to come. Under cover of Ramadan’s glabrous rhetoric, the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign to subvert the West from within takes another giant step forward. And we are going along with it.

We have simply not understood — or stubbornly refuse to understand — that Islam is our “world-historical” antagonist. But it is also more than that. The welcome we extend to those who would subdue us is also an indication of what is wrong with us. How else to explain the warm reception we give to a crypto-Islamist like Tariq Ramadan, who passes himself off as a Muslim reformer but strongly implies in Western Muslims and the Future of Islam [8] that Islam will envelop and, so to speak, outperform Judaism and Christianity? How else to explain how the author of an arguably anti-Semitic tract entitled Critique des (nouveaux) intellectuels communautaires [9] can be celebrated by Time magazine [10] as an intellectual innovator and invited by Notre Dame University [11] to assume the Henry R. Luce chair in its International Peace Studies program? Ramadan has recently been appointed to the Sultan of Oman chair of Islamology at the University of Leiden, which does not appear to have objected to Ramadan’s presenting himself on the bookflap of his Radical Reform [12] as “teaching in the Faculty of Theology at Oxford University” — there is no such position in Islamic Studies in the Oxford Faculty of Divinity and Ramadan has no formal appointment there.

Ramadan believes that Islam can infiltrate and conquer the West by initially peaceful means, continuing immigration, and the “duty for Muslims … to take Islam from the periphery of European culture to the centre,” to cite from an interview [13] in the New Statesman. The warrant here is clearly Koran 9:33 in which Allah sends forth his apostle “to make the true faith supreme over all religions” — a mandate which may be dissembled but cannot be go unheeded. Ramadan coquettishly advances toward his goal of disarming resistance via the rhetoric of ethical harmony and doctrinal alignment between the various faith communities. He even goes so far as to refer to Islamic philosophers like Avicenna, Averroes, and Ibn Khaldun as “European Muslim thinkers … who … confidently [accepted] their European identity” — a proposition as staggering as it is absurd. A cursory perusal of Robert Spencer’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam [14], a kind of Islam for Dhimmis, would quickly torpedo Ramadan’s strange notion of cultural, religious, and jurisprudential consonance. (In her last book, The Force of Reason [15], Oriana Fallaci also calls attention to the new and concomitant Islamic “design based on gradual penetration rather than brutal and sudden aggression.”)

It is in this light that we should place Ramadan’s agitating in Western Muslims and The Future of Islam for unimpeded immigration: “Policies proposed to combat immigration are dreadful and assume that the ‘clandestine immigrant’ is a liar, a thief, even a bandit.” But why stop there? Such policies might also correctly assume that the “clandestine immigrant” is a misfit, a parasite, even a terrorist, as several Western nations are now beginning to learn. It is perhaps not without significance that Ramadan’s father Said, notwithstanding having received political asylum in Geneva, used the pages of his journal El Mouslimoun [16]to promote ideological warfare against the West [16]. In this regard, the son, playing the role of the “good cop,” is far more sophisticated than the father in the prosecution of their common goal, and Western academics have fallen for this tactical combover. It would be more appropriate to ask why Hassan al-Turabi, the Sudanese host of Osama bin Laden, proclaimed Tariq Ramadan “the future of Islam [17]” and why, for that matter, Ramadan continues to sit on the board of the Saudi-funded Geneva Islamic Center [18], which is directed by his brother Hari and which, according to reports, has come under suspicion by the Swiss Secret Service for connections to terrorist organizations and banks.

But there are moments when the mask drops. Ramadan wants Muslims who live in the West, as he writes in Western Muslims, to “become assured as people who know what they hold (a universal message)” and to bring into Western education “the overall philosophy of the Islamic message,” blithely claiming that “there is in fact no confusion between the restraining authority of the religious and the civic independence of the individual, between the realm of dogma and that of reason.” Islam, he continues, “is a Western religion in the full sense of the word” and that what should “be called into question” is not Islam in itself or the violence it is said to engender but “the immigration policies of Western countries and their social and urban policies,” which give “rise to vexatious, discriminatory, and unjust administrative measures.”

One may wonder whether Ramadan is living in the same world as the rest of us or is just being shrewdly disingenuous. The answer should be evident. His next move is an attempt to refute the well-known argument that the two realms of Church and State coalesce in Islam into a single entity. His contention that there is a “distinction” between the two spheres which “has not had to go as far as separation, even divorce, as in the Christian era” is simply not supported by the evidence pouring in from the international political arena or by the frequent legal suits against free expression mounted by Islamic organizations in our own societies. That a “distinction” between Church and State is as effective as a “separation” or a “divorce” — only subtler — or that it even exists, is a sophistry of the first order.

The argument for separation is developed by the honest and reputable Muslim thinker Amin Maalouf in his In the Name of Identity [19]: “It is not enough to separate Church and State: what has to do with religion must be kept apart from what has to do with identity.” But ultimately, as Patrick Sookdheo maintains in Understanding Islamic Terrorism [20], no matter what concessions we are disposed to make toward Islam and its apologists, “there will still remain reasons for Muslims to wage war, unless Islam itself can change.” Philosopher Roger Scruton agrees. “It is not possible,” he writes in The West and the Rest [21], “for a Muslim to believe that the conception of the good that is so clearly specified in all the intricate laws and maxims of the Koran is to be excluded from the social contract. On the contrary, in Muslim eyes this conception, and this alone, gives legitimacy to the political order.”

Curiously, Ramadan implicitly concurs. For when he goes on to develop his thesis on “the level of political involvement,” we find that Muslims are expected to take “their Islamic frame of reference as the starting point” before “deciding on … strategies that make it possible to be faithful to both the essential principles and ethics.” The “distinction” he has posited is not so subtle after all. And this is only the tip of the sand dune. Ramadan claims to be no Salafist or literalist (from Arabic salaf or “ancestor”), but his cassettes, made to appeal to Muslim youth, and some of his radio interviews suggest otherwise. These cassettes may be procured on the internet or in specialized bookstores, and his more direct, unguarded utterances have been carefully referenced by Caroline Fourest in her must-read Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan [22].

As Paul Berman says in an important New Republic essay, “Who’s Afraid of Tariq Ramadan [23],” “Ramadan invokes civil libertarian arguments in order to defend the autonomy of his reconstructed Muslim community.” And indeed, “the anti-globalist rhetoric of his left-wing allies” has proven brilliantly effective as well. Thomas Haidon, a member of the Qur’anist reform movement, goes even further, describing Ramadan [24] as a “false moderate”; false moderates, he continues, are “no better than al-Qaeda terrorists” and perhaps “far more dangerous.” Ramadan, however, is only following the counsels of his mentor, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood (founded by Ramadan’s maternal grandfather Hassan al-Banna), who maintains [25] that the Islamic reconquest of Europe will be achieved by “preaching and ideology.” Qaradawi and Ramadan appear to be well on the way toward realizing their program, not only in Europe but here in North America.

The argument that Ramadan and his acolytes are developing about the compatibility of Islam and the West seems on the surface plausible enough, especially considering Ramadan’s dulcet presentation of multiple factoids and the plangent tones he so persuasively commands. It strikes the unprepared observer as a rational analysis of a complex subject. But it is a false analysis, sort of like putting Descartes before the hearse, as shari’a, the Koran, and the hadith move covertly from the margins to the center behind an apparatus of ostensibly sober and judicious reasoning.

Tariq Ramadan is not only the future of Islam. If we are not minded to resist his tunneling rhetoric and the ideological sabotage he both furthers and represents by educating ourselves and taking a principled stand, he may also be the future of Western civilization.

Article printed from Pajamas Media:

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If Obama gets 20% of Jewish votes in 2012, it proves we can't defend ourselves
American Jewry’s deafening silence

When it came to protecting the right of the Libyan Ambassador to the UN living immediately next door to me in Englewood, my Democratic Congressman, Steve Rothman, found his voice, issuing a three page press release about a deal he had brokered with the State Department 27 years ago for the Libyans to bizarrely remain in a New Jersey suburb. But when I asked Rothman, who is Jewish, to comment on US President Barack Obama’s degrading treatment of Israel’s elected officials recently and the administration’s opposition to Jews building in all parts of Jerusalem, his chief of staff sent me an email that said the congressman was “away for the holidays so we won’t be able to provide you with a statement.” Attitudes like these on the part of influential Jewish members of the American establishment explain why Obama has been allowed to get away with his treatment of Israel. Yes, it is we Jews who allow it, afraid to take a stand against a president who is rapidly emerging as the new Jimmy Carter.

Don’t think Obama isn’t listening.

When it came to endorsing a recent Congressional vote to label the Turks’ slaughter of over one million Armenians during the first World War a genocide, Obama quickly broke a campaign pledge, and a moral duty, to do just that and publicly distanced himself from the term genocide in order not to offend the Turkish government. And when it came to hosting the Dalai Lama at the White House, the president quickly bowed to Chinese bullying, not only refusing to greet the great humanitarian publicly but sending him out through the service entrance of the White House where he was photographed surrounded by giant bags of garbage. But when it comes to treating America’s most reliable ally like a pariah nation, Obama has no fear of the American Jewish community because he’s convinced there will be no price to pay. The Jews are too timid to react.

HOW SAD that we Jews have become so politically pathetic. Although there were grave suspicions about Obama’s position on Israel before the campaign, greatly compounded by his having sat through 20 years of vitriol toward Israel from his own pastor, American Jewry gave Obama the benefit of the doubt. Nearly eighty percent of American Jews voted for him against a proven friend of Israel in John McCain.

But as they say, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Amid the Jewish propensity to blindly pull the Democrat lever in every vote without even thinking, if Obama gets anything more than twenty percent of the Jewish vote in 2012 it will be a manifestation of a community which simply doesn’t know how to stand up for itself and has contempt for its own interests.

And spare me the lectures on dual loyalty. If there is one thing the American people have learned it’s that the Israeli people are their canaries in the coalmine. Attacks that Israelis experience first just presage what Americans will later face.

Why? Because the Islamic nations hate Israel for the same reason they hate America. Israel is a bastion of freedom in a region of tyranny. The mullahs are religious, the Arab dictators mostly secular. But what they share in common is an absolute desire to rule absolutely. They hate Israel and America for its freedoms. They know that elections will knock them out of power and, like Saddam Hussein, they would face trial for crimes against humanity.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hates his own people even more than he hates Israel, brutalizing and slaughtering them in the streets whenever they stand up for themselves. The last thing the House of Saud wants is democracy, preferring to plunder their country’s oil wealth and concentrate it in the hands of princes of the blood, all of whom live like kings.The same hatred of liberty is harbored by all the other Arab potentates who have oppressed their people for decades, from Mubarak who has been in power for three decades, to Gaddafi and the Assads.

RATHER THAN pressuring Jews not to build condos in Jerusalem, Obama ought to pressure the Arabs to liberalize and democratize. He ought to use his considerable eloquence to state the obvious truth.That until such time as the Arabs allow their citizens to be free, there will never be peace in the Middle East.

Israel is the solution rather than the problem. The more Arab countries emulate its market economy and liberal democracy, the more our oppressed Islamic brothers and sisters will prosper. They will not need scapegoats, like Jews, to vent their understandable frustration at their wretched, impoverished lives, all brought about by clerics and dictators whose steal their money and their freedoms.

According to many estimates, Muammar Gaddafi is the richest man in the world, with a net worth of over $70 billion. That a thief and a murderer of that magnitude is allowed to own a tax-free mansion next door to me where we, honest and hard-working Americans, pay for his police protection and trash removal, is a travesty of truth and justice.

When American Jews stand up to the lie that Israeli intransigence is the reason for conflict in the Middle East, they end up helping their Arab brethren as well. Because the last thing the five hundred million Arabs who live under state censorship and political oppression need is their rulers and clerics finding a convenient scapegoat upon whom to place the blame for their people’s suffering.

And every time Obama falsely puts the blame on Israel for the region’s tensions, he puts another nail in the coffin of future Mideast freedom and Arab democracy and liberty.

The writer is founder of This World: The Values Network. His most recent book is The Blessing of Enough: Rejecting Material Greed, Embracing Spiritual Hunger. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

Did Swiss gov't okay Iran nuclear deal?

08/04/2010 01:07
Official backtracks after he says state gave permit for nuclear device delivery.

BERLIN- The nuclear devices provided to Iran for enriching uranium were not approved by the Swiss government, Inficon CEO Lukas Winkler told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, contradicting his earlier statement that the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) issued a permit to deliver nuclear equipment. The role of the Swiss government in the delivery of the devices is attracting intense media attention in Switzerland.

On Sunday, the online edition of 20 Minuten headlined its story “Swiss help Ahmadinejad” and asserted that “the Swiss authorities were informed and undertook no action” to stop the delivery of nuclear pressure gauges to Iran.

Winkler backtracked and told the Post that “we do not need a permit,” and denied securing approval from SECO.

In an e-mail on Wednesday to the Post, Rita Baldegger, a spokeswoman for SECO, wrote, “Swiss export control authorities have knowledge about this case since June 2009...The goods were not subject to an export license. The exporter was not aware that those goods were destined for Iran. Otherwise an approval of the Swiss export control authorities would have been necessary. Switzerland would not grant any license for the export of such transducers to Iran.”

Asked in the Post's press query if the trade deal endangered the the security of the European Union and Israel, Baldegger, the SECO spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Shlomit Sufa, an Israeli diplomatic spokeswoman in Bern, told the Post on Wednesday that the Israeli Embassy in Bern wished to not comment on Switzerland's involvement in facilitating the delivery of the nuclear pressure gauges to Teheran. A spokeswoman for the Swiss Embassy in Tel-Aviv, Renate Schrenk, told the Postthat Ambassador Walter Haffner was “very informed” about the Swiss nuclear equipment deal with Iran, but would not issue a statement.

Critics charge the Swiss with lax export control regulations and an energetic pro-Iran trade policy that jeopardizes the international effort to compel the Islamic republic to suspend its nuclear enrichment program.

In 2008, the Swiss Social Democratic Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey traveled to Teheran to help seal a massive $28 billion gas deal between the Swiss energy giant Elektrizitaets-Gesellschaft (EGL) Laufenburg and the state-owned National Iranian Gas Export Co. While euphorically embracing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the visit, Calmy-Rey donned a head-scarf.

Nuclear proliferation experts deemed Iran's acquisition of the Swiss nuclear gauges as a crucial step toward Iran's quest to attain nuclear weapons capability. David Albright, an American nuclear weapons expert and president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, D.C, told the Swiss paper SonntagsZeitung that the Swiss-Iran deal was a “ very important case and a disappointing defeat in the fight against Iran's atomic weapons program.”

Comment: Sanctions, what sanctions-follow the money! This is the same Calmy-Rey who came out in support of "Palestinians" regardless of the violence they used against civilians, and berated Israel without haste. Apparently, we see $28 billion reasons why she sold her soul.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Syrian Regime Never Makes Lasting Peace or Real Compromises, Still Claims Territory From Its New "Friend" Turkey

Barry Rubin

Ha! Syria now proclaims itself a good friend of Turkey and vice-versa. No problems, right? But go to the official website of the Syrian Ministry of Tourism and guess what? There's a map in which the Syrian government claims the Turkish territory of Alexendratta (Iskanderun), which was passed to Turkey back in the 1930s. At several points in recent times, the Syrian government told the Turks it was dropping the claim. But, of course, the Syrian regime never gives up on its goal of dominating the Arabic-speaking world and incorporting all of Lebanon, Israel, and Palestinian-ruled territories into its empire. When they are feeling in a good mood they sometimes throw in Jordan, as well as Iraq as a sphere of influence.

Meanwhile, the United States courts Syria, ignoring for all practical purposes its involvement in massive terrorism in Iraq and Lebanon. Yet the idea that Syria's regime is going to change its direction and become moderate is an illusion. They haven't even moderated in real terms toward their new friend, Turkey.

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). His new edited books include Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict and Crisis; Guide to Islamist Movements; Conflict and Insurgency in the Middle East; and The Muslim Brotherhood

Is Israel Facing War with Hizbullah and Syria?

David Schenker
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Vol. 9, No. 22 6 April 2010

Concerns about Israeli hostilities with Hizbullah are nothing new, but based
on recent pronouncements from Syria, if the situation degenerates, fighting
could take on a regional dimension not seen since 1973.

On February 26, Syrian President Bashar Assad hosted Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Damascus.
Afterward, Hizbullah's online magazine Al Intiqad suggested that war with
Israel was on the horizon. Raising tensions further are reports that Syria has provided Hizbullah with
the advanced, Russian-made, shoulder-fired, Igla-S anti-aircraft missile,
which could inhibit Israeli air operations over Lebanon in a future
conflict. The transfer of this equipment had previously been defined by
Israeli officials as a "red line."

In the summer of 2006, Syria sat on the sidelines as Hizbullah fought Israel
to a standstill. After the war, Assad, who during the fighting received
public assurances from then-Prime Minister Olmert that Syria would not be
targeted, took credit for the "divine victory."

Damascus' support for "resistance" was on full display at the Arab Summit in
Libya in late March 2010, where Assad urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
to abandon U.S.-supported negotiations and "take up arms against Israel."

After years of diplomatic isolation, Damascus has finally broken the code to
Europe, and appears to be on the verge of doing so with the Obama
administration as well. Currently, Syria appears to be in a position where
it can cultivate its ties with the West without sacrificing its support for

In February 2010, tensions spiked between Israel and its northern neighbors.
First, Syrian and Israeli officials engaged in a war of words, complete with
dueling threats of regime change and targeting civilian populations. Weeks
later, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah pledged to go toe-to-toe with
Israel in the next war.1 Then, toward the end of the month, Israel began
military maneuvers in the north. Finally, on February 26, Syrian President
Bashar Assad hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah for
an unprecedented dinner meeting in Damascus.

Concerns about Israeli hostilities with Hizbullah are nothing new, but based
on recent pronouncements from Damascus, if the situation degenerates,
fighting could take on a regional dimension not seen since 1973. In January
and February, Syrian officials indicated that, unlike during the 2006
fighting in Lebanon, Damascus would not "sit idly by" in the next war.2
While these statements may be bravado, it's not difficult to imagine Syria
being drawn into the conflict.

The Israeli government has taken steps to alleviate tensions, including,
most prominently, Prime Minister Netanyahu issuing a gag order forbidding
his ministers to discuss Syria.3 Still, the situation in the north remains
volatile. Within a three-day span in mid-March: the Lebanese Armed Forces
(LAF) fired at Israeli jets violating Lebanese airspace;4 four Lebanese
nationals were charged with spying for Israel against Hizbullah;5 and
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told the Knesset
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Shiite militia was "building
up its forces north of the Litani (river)." Currently, according to
Ashkenazi, the border was calm, "but this can change."6

It's easy to see how the situation could deteriorate. Hizbullah retaliation
against Israel for the 2008 assassination of its military leader Imad
Mugniyyeh could spark a war. So could Hizbullah firing missiles in
retribution for an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. The
transfer of sensitive Syrian technology to the Shiite militia could also
prompt an Israeli strike. Regrettably, even if Israel continues to try and
diffuse tensions in the north, given the central role Tehran has in
determining Hizbullah policy, a third Lebanon war may be inevitable.

Martyrs Month Pronouncements

In mid-February, Hizbullah held the annual commemoration for its pantheon of
heroes, a week of celebrations marking the organization's top three
martyrs - founding father Ragheb Harb, Secretary General Abbas Mussawi, and
military leader Imad Mugniyyeh. On February 16 - Martyred Leaders Day -
Nasrallah gave a speech where he defined a new, more aggressive posture
toward Israel, upping the ante in the militia's longstanding "balance of
terror" strategy. Promising parity with Israeli strikes on Lebanon,
Nasrallah threatened:

If you [Israel] bomb Rafik Hariri international airport in Beirut, we will
bomb Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. If you bomb our docks, we will bomb
your docks. If you bomb our oil refineries, we will bomb your oil
refineries. If you bomb our factories, we will bomb your factories. And if
you bomb our power plants, we will bomb your power plants.7
With current estimates suggesting that Hizbullah now possesses in excess of
40,000 missiles and rockets, Nasrallah's threats have some resonance.
Raising tensions further are reports that Syria has provided Hizbullah with
the advanced, Russian-made, shoulder-fired, Igla-S anti-aircraft missile,
which could inhibit Israeli air operations over Lebanon in a future
conflict.8 The transfer of this equipment had previously been defined by
Israeli officials as a "red line."9 It is unclear whether such a
transgression remains a casus belli.

In addition to laying out Hizbullah's new targeting strategy, Nasrallah also
discussed his yet unfulfilled pledge to retaliate against Israel for the
2008 killing of Mugniyyeh. Two years ago, immediately after the
assassination, Nasrallah declared an "open war" against Israel, swearing
vengeance for the group's martyred leader. However, to date, the militia's
attempts to strike Israeli targets - in Azerbaijan and Turkey - have
failed.10 During his speech, Nasrallah reiterated Hizbullah's commitment to
retaliate. "Our options are open and we have all the time in the world," he
said, adding, "What we want is a revenge that rises to the level of Imad

The Damascus "Resistance" Summit

In recent years, meetings between Assad and Ahmadinejad have been routine
occurrences. It has also been customary for senior Syrian and Iranian
officials to visit their respective capitals - and to sign defense or
economic agreements - immediately following meetings between the Assad
regime and U.S. officials. So it came as little surprise that Ahmadinejad
arrived in Damascus just days after Undersecretary of State William Burns
departed the Syrian capital. The surprising part about his visit was that
Hassan Nasrallah joined the presidents for dinner.

On the day before Nasrallah's visit, Assad and Ahmadinejad made great
efforts to demonstrate that Washington's transparent efforts to drive a
wedge between the thirty-year strategic allies had failed. In a press
conference on February 25, Assad famously mocked U.S. Secretary of State
Hilary Clinton and the administration's gambit to split Syria from Iran,
announced the end of visa requirements for travel between the two states,
and described "support for the resistance [a]s a moral and national duty in
every nation, and also a [religious] legal duty."12 He also said that he
discussed with his Iranian counterpart "how to confront Israeli terrorism."

While the Syria-Iran bilateral meeting and subsequent press conference was
described in some detail by Assad regime insider Ibrahim Humaydi in the
pan-Arab daily Al Hayat, far less is known about what Assad, Ahmadinejad,
and Nasrallah discussed during their dinner meeting the next day. According
to the account in Hizbullah's online magazine Al Intiqad, the meeting was
about "the escalating strategic response of the axis of the
confrontationist, rejectionist, and resistance states" to the U.S.-Israeli
threat.13 Significantly, this article also suggested that war with Israel
was on the horizon.

Resorting to the most extreme decision - that is, launching and setting a
war on its path - will decide the final results. In any case, if reasonable
calculations prevail, they will lead to producing comprehensive and specific
[Israeli] compromises or it will lead to postponing the war which still
waits for its most appropriate time for everyone.14

Based on its analysis of the trilateral summit in Damascus, this Hizbullah
organ seems to be suggesting that a war, while not imminent, is inevitable.

The Weak Link

In the summer of 2006, Syria sat on the sidelines as Hizbullah fought Israel
to a standstill. After the war, Assad, who during the fighting received
public assurances from then-Prime Minister Olmert that Syria would not be
targeted, took credit for the "divine victory."15 Since then, Syria has
upgraded its rhetorical and materiel support for the Shiite militia.16
Damascus has helped Hizbullah to fully rearm, reportedly providing the
militia with cutting-edge Russian weaponry from its own stocks. In this
context, Syrian officials have been increasingly trumpeting their support
for, and loyalty to, the resistance, so much so that the official
government-controlled Syrian press now proclaims that "Syrian foreign policy
depends on supporting the resistance."17

Damascus' support for "resistance" was on full display at the Arab Summit in
Libya in late March 2010. According to reports, at the meeting Assad urged
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to abandon U.S.-supported negotiations
and "take up arms against Israel," imparting his own experience that "the
price of resistance is not higher than the price of peace."18 During his
speech before his fellow Arab leaders, Assad was equally hard-line in his
prescriptions. At a minimum, he said, Arab states should cut off their
relations with Israel. The "maximum" - and presumably preferable - policy
option, he said, would be to support the resistance.19

Despite the rhetoric, however, it's not clear that Syria is presently
itching for a fight with Israel. After years of diplomatic isolation,
Damascus has finally broken the code to Europe, and appears to be on the
verge of doing so with the Obama administration, which recently announced
the posting of a new ambassador and indicated a willingness to revise
sanctions and modify U.S. economic pressures on Damascus.20 Currently, Syria
appears to be in a position where it can cultivate its ties with the West
without sacrificing its support for terrorism.

War would change this comfortable dynamic. In the event of an
Israel-Hizbullah conflagration, pressures on Syria to participate would be
intense. Furthermore, could Syria really watch an Israeli attack on Iran's
nuclear facilities without responding? After so much crowing about its
support for Hizbullah and its regional ilk, could Syria sit out yet another


While it's too early to predict the timing or the trigger, on Israel's
northern border there appears to be a growing sense that war is coming. Iran
may have an interest in maintaining Hizbullah's arsenal until an Israeli
strike. Likewise, for Hizbullah, which lately has been playing up its
Lebanese identity in an effort to improve its image at home, waging war on
Israel on behalf of Iran could be problematic. In any event, it is all but
assured that a war on Israel's northern front will be determined, at least
in part, by Tehran.

In early February, Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak told the IDF: "In
the absence of an arrangement with Syria, we are liable to enter a
belligerent clash with it that could reach the point of an all-out, regional
war."21 Regrettably, regardless of what happens between Syria and Israel in
the coming months, the decision of war or peace with Hizbullah may be out of
Israel's hands.

* * *


* The author would like to thank his research assistant Cole Bunzel for his
excellent assistance in the preparation of this article.
1. "Full Text of H.E. Sayyed Nasrallah Speech on Day of Martyred Leaders,"
2. "Syria Will Back Hizbullah Against IDF," Jerusalem Post, January 6, 2010.
Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem echoed this threat in February 2010; see
"Al-Mouallem at Press Conference with Moratinos," SANA, February 4, 2010.
3. Attila Somfalvi, "Bibi Tells Ministers to Keep Mum on Syria," Ynet,
February 4, 2010,,7340,L-3844619,00.html.
Netanyahu also reassured Syria that Israel remained interested in peace.
4. "Lebanese Army Fires on Israeli Warplanes," AFP, March 21, 2010,
5. "Lebanon Charges Four with Spying for Israel," Press TV, March 20, 2010,§ionid=351020203.
6. Amnon Meranda, "Ashkenazi: Hamas Doesn't Want a Flareup," Ynet, March 23,
7. "Nasrallah Speech on Day of Martyred Leaders."
8. See, for example, Barak Ravid, "Israel Warns Hizbullah: We Won't Tolerate
Arms Smuggling," Ha'aretz, October 12, 2008,
9. "Report: Hizbullah Trains on Missiles," UPI, January 17, 2010,
10. See Yossi Melman, "Hizbullah, Iran Plotted Bombing of Israeli Embassy in
Azerbaijan," Ha'aretz, May 31, 2009, Also Avi Isaacharoff,
"Turkish Forces Foil Attack on Israeli Target," Ha'aretz, December 9, 2009,
11. "Nasrallah Speech on Day of Martyred Leaders."
12. Ibrahim Humaydi, "Al Asad: Ta'ziz al-'alaqat bayna duwal al-mintaqa
tariq wahid li-l-qarar al mustaqill," Al Hayat, February 26, 2010,
13. "Qimmat Nejad-Al-Asad-Nasrallah: Ayy hisabat ba'daha?"
14. Ibid.
15. "Speech of Bashar Asad at Journalist Union 4th Conference," August 15,
16. In addition to the Igla-S anti-aircraft missile, some unconfirmed
reports indicate that Syria may have transferred some of its Scud-D
missiles - capable of delivering chemical warheads - to Hizbullah.
17. "Junblatt wa-l-Tariq ila Dimashq," Al Watan, March 10, 2010, That support for resistance is
central to Syrian foreign policy comes as little surprise: in 2009, Foreign
Minister Walid Mouallem volunteered to join Hizbullah. See "Muallem Says
He's Ready to Join Hizbullah," Gulf News, May 3, 2009,
18. "Arab Leaders Support Peace Plan," AP, March 28, 2010,
19. Ziyad Haydar, "Qimmat sirte infaddat 'ala 'ajal...wa bila za'al," As
Safir, March 29, 2010,
In an interview following the summit, Syrian advisor Buthaina Sha'ban
declared victory for the Syrian position, saying that "an agreement took
place among the Arab leaders in a closed session to support the resistance
and reject normalization" with Israel.
20. Ibrahim Humaydi, "Washington tarfa' mu'aradataha 'udwiyat Suriya fi
munazzimat al-tijara al-'alamiya," Al Hayat, February 24, 2010,.
21. Amos Harel, "Barak: Without Peace We Could Be Headed for All-Out War,"
Ha'aretz, February 2, 2010,

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"Holding Fast"

Arlene Kushner

Pesach ended here in Israel with dark last night, and will end tonight everywhere else.

Before I slip back into the political morass known as current events, I want to take the liberty of doing a bit of personal sharing.

Yesterday, on the seventh day of Pesach, I was with my daughter, who is active with a women's t'fillah (prayer) group. (For those who wonder -- yes, this is kosher, and, in this instance, sanctioned by an Orthodox rabbi who has provided guidance.) It was my great honor to stand next to her, as she read, from the Torah, Az Yashir, the song of thanksgiving sung by Moses and the children of Israel, after they had gone through the parted sea and the Egyptians pursing them had then been drowned. This is done in a special trop (melody), and my daughter rendered it powerfully and movingly. As always, I listen carefully to the words, and, as always, they mark me. But perhaps never more than this year. (Yes, I know these words are also found in the prayer service, but this reading has special power.)

"I will sing to the Almighty, for he is exalted, horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.

"The Almighty is my strength and song, and has become my salvation.

"This is my G-d...and the G-d of my father, and I will exalt him.

"The Almighty is a man of war..."

"The Almighty is a man of war." A literal translation from the ancient words -- ish ha-milkhama -- of the Hebrew text found in Shemot (Exodus) 15.


I look around at the state of the world, and I find it incomprehensible. I have come to understand, even as I remain convinced that we must stand strong and do our best, that it cannot be comprehended.

In the end, our salvation will come from Heaven.

It is understood by the Torah that there are times when war, in whatever form it may take, is necessarily part of that salvation. And so does it seem to be the case now.


A week has passed since I have written, and I closed before the holiday -- even as Pesach and its priority called to me -- with a sense of reluctance to be away from the happenings, and the postings. But now, some days later, it is altogether unclear to me what has transpired that is truly new. I am back to that feeling of going in frustrating and ugly circles.

And so, here I will note that I am back, and touch relatively briefly on a variety of subjects, as we go round about in that bewildering and reprehensible dance.


The articles keep coming with regard to the Obama administration's hostility to Israel. It's being denied, or papered over, in certain quarters, but it's there, without a doubt.

I am, quite frankly, sickened every time I read the description of how Obama left a meeting with Netanyahu to go have dinner with his family, while Netanyahu and his advisors were left unfed. Fervently do I wish that our prime minister, if he hadn't the courage to decline a meeting in the White House all together, had at least had the courage to tell his advisors, "Guys, pack your briefcases, we're out of here. We will not sit still for being demeaned this way."


Caroline Glick, in her column last Friday, says there's a bright side to this: If we are not being treated by the Obama administration as part of the team, then Israel is provided with a "rare opportunity to stop acceding to US policies that are bad for Israel and the US alike...if Israel can do no right in the eyes of the administration, then there is no point in bending to its will. Instead, Israel must simply do what it must to secure its interests."

If only...


We are still in a state of limbo, you see, with regard to how and when and if our government will bend to Obama's will. There are those same interminable rumors, and nothing solid. Certainly within the nation and the Likud party (and amongst a majority of the inner cabinet), there is strong support for Netanyahu to say "no."

Commentator Isi Liebler, writing in the JPost, says, "Prime Minister Netanyahu: Talk to us."

"If he fails to speak up soon, all Israelis will begin to question him...Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s reluctance to speak to the nation is encouraging the Obama administration to intensify pressure on Israel. He is creating uncertainty both in Israel and among its friends throughout the world."


It was in my opinion a very poor decision Netanyahu made when he refused a gift of 10,000 yellow friendship roses that American Christian friends wanted to send to him because they were so incensed by how Obama had treated him. Why did he refuse? So as not to upset Obama.

Come on!

I go on record here as saying that I appreciate the spirit of that intended gift.


One sign of how virulently anti-Israel is the tone in Washington these days is the report by Lauren Rozen in the Politico blog that at least one unnamed administration official had accused Middle East strategist Dennis Ross (a Jew) of what amounts to "dual loyalties." Ross had the temerity to suggest that Netanyahu could be pushed just so far, and that there has to be some understanding of his political constraints and the make-up of his coalition.

Said the unnamed official: “He [Ross] seems to be far more sensitive to Netanyahu's coalition politics than to U.S. interests. He doesn't seem to understand that this has become bigger than Jerusalem but is rather about the credibility of this administration."

One needs only to know something about Ross's political/diplomatic record to understand how ludicrous this is. After Ross completed his service to then president Clinton as special envoy for the Middle East, he wrote about how he knew that Arafat wasn't sincere, wouldn't honor his commitments and never relinquished the "terrorism card." And yet, during that time when he was already cognizant of this, he continued to push Israel to make ever more concessions. Protecting Israeli interests was clearly not high on his agenda. He was doing a job for the American president, and Israeli security be damned. I marked him then as no friend.

Even aside from "dual loyalty" charges, I am unsettled by the comment that whether we build in Jerusalem is about "the credibility of this administration." No, sir. It's about our integrity as a nation.


I would like to call your attention to an extremely interesting blog by Sultan Knish (Daniel Greenfield) who a week ago addressed the hypocrisy of Joe Biden, who was presumably terribly upset, that there was an announcement about our building in Ramat Shlomo, past the Green Line in Jerusalem, while he was here. An insult. A slap in the face.


"In 1995 Biden himself served as a co-sponsor of S. 1322, known as the Jerusalem Embassy Act" which included the policy statements that:

"(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;

"(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel;"

And before this, in 1992, Biden had co-sponsored the Senate Consecutive Resolution 113, which states that the Congress--

"(1) congratulates the residents of Jerusalem and the people of Israel on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reunification of that historic city;

"(2) strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected as they have been by Israel during the past twenty-five years; and

"(3) calls upon the President and the Secretary of State to issue an unequivocal statement in support of these principles."

And back in 1990, Biden had co-sponsored yet another similar resolution.

So, says Greenfield, "naturally, like any good politician, he was insulted by Israel taking him at his word. To argue that Biden was gravely insulted by Israel, is to argue that he was insulted by the policies he himself supported.

"Not just passively supported, but co-sponsored..."

(With thanks to Bud and Phyl for calling this to my attention.)


I want to mention here the juxtaposition of Obama and Pesach. For the third year running, he ran a seder. How ridiculous, how patently and transparently political. Could there actually be Jews who think this is neat?

I understand that he managed to complete the seder without "L'Shana haba'a b'Yerushalayim" -- next year in Jerusalem. Would we expect anything different from him?

Obama also delivered a message to Jews on Pesach that included this:

"The enduring story of the Exodus teaches us that, wherever we live, there is oppression to be fought and freedom to be won. In retelling this story from generation to generation, we are reminded of our ongoing responsibility to fight against all forms of suffering and discrimination, and we reaffirm the ties that bind us all."

He conveniently left out the entire thrust of Pesach (see Az Yashir, above), which is about G-d taking his people out of bondage with a strong hand, and bringing us to salvation in the land of Israel.

Jennifer Rubin, writing in the Commentary blog, called this "off-key, hyper-political, and condescending."

Would we expect anything different from him?


In a statement to the New York Times yesterday, Obama said that, "We know that they [the Iranians] have pursued nuclear weapons in the past, and that the current course they’re on would provide them with nuclear weapons capabilities."

He said he will continue to work to prevent this from happening. But this is shtuyote, nonsense, as nothing that is being advanced by him is going to stop Iran.

There are serious analysts who believe that this is a coded message signaling that Obama is prepared to accept a nuclear Iran, which will be "contained." This is what John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN, said a week ago. He believes Obama is trying to prevent Netanyahu from hitting Iran.

Obama's legacy is heading rapidly to shameful beyond words.

Our concern is what Netanyahu's legacy will be, and whether he will finally have the strength to order that hit on Iran -- Obama's wishes be damned. Netanyahu certainly knows that a nuclear Iran would be a disaster not only for us, but for the entire region, and, yes, for the US. G-d give him the courage to do what needs to be done.

Will we pay a price? Absolutely. Will there be repercussions? Without a doubt. But all of this fades in comparison to the prices to be paid, and the repercussions to be endured, if Iran were to go nuclear.

And the irony, which the Arab Gulf States know full well, is that we would be doing the world a favor. The world doesn't suffer favors from us gladly.


Please see a commentary by IMRA's Aaron Lerner, with regard to the admission made by key Fatah leader Nabil Shaath that an armed resistance is not possible because of the presence of the IDF. This must never be forgotten for a moment, as there is pressure from the US for the IDF to pull back.

see my website

Storm in a Teacup is Well-Orchestrated Campaign!

Steven Shamrak

Not long ago, the assassination of a renowned terrorist in Dubai , UAE, was big news for several weeks. Without any solid evidence, Israel was immediately accused and implicated in his death. As soon as newspapers and TV channels realized that the audience had become tired of this 'news', they calmed down about this issue and another anti-Israel tempest in a teacup was created. This time it is 'the best friend of Israel ' who is culprit and creator of the 'storm'. For some inexplicable reason, the Vise President of the United States made a big issue out of a routine announcement of construction approval in an Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Jerusalem. In spite of the unfortunate apology by the Israeli Prime Minister, which should not be made, and several explanations given, this well-orchestrated anti-Semitic campaign, as many others before it, has been run frantically by media outlets (who said that Jews own the press?) and continuously fuelled by invisible and skillful hands for a few weeks now.

Even if Ramat Shlomo was in East Jerusalem (see note below), Israel must say "get lost" to all anti-Semitic idiots or fake friends and do what is in the best interest of Jewish people! Our enemies, the Muslim and those traditional 'European' ones, will never be satisfied, regardless of what Jews do or refrain from doing. Genocide of Jewish people has always been and still is on their agenda! We must stop paying attention to their venomous attacks, as they are designed to weaken Israel and distract our attention from reaching our own national goal and we must start working seriously toward reunification of Eretz-Israel and removing of all enemies from Jewish land!

Note: "Let's get the facts straight. Ramat Shlomo is not in "east" Jerusalem as often reported, but in North Jerusalem. It is not a new settlement, but an existing, established neighbourhood. The planning request application has already taken years and will take at least another three for the first brick to be laid." - Ron Prosor, Israel's Ambassador to the UK.

Major Snub Raised No US Outrage or Media Screaming! Mrs Clinton made clear to Russia prior to her visit that the Obama administration was opposed to the timing of the nuclear plant's launch. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the plans as soon as Mrs Clinton arrived for a two-day visit. (Israel is the only country that is not allowed to conduct its own policies!)

Israel Need to Re-evaluate the 'Friendship' with Obama. For a head of state to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, was unheard of.

Hypocrisy of the Headlines and the US Policy:

Obama: Israel's Announcement of New Jerusalem Housing Not 'Helpful' - Nothing is helpful for Arabs, as far as Israel s existence is concerned! Must we care?

Say "Get lost" to Deceptive Idiots. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said it clearly to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in challenging her strong anti-united Jerusalem stand at American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting: "Jerusalem is not a settlement; it's our capital." Netanyahu spoke several hours after Secretary Clinton. (Anti-Israel bigots, like Clinton , should not be given stage at the Jewish meeting. The time of being nice to them has passed. We must be clear and unapologetic about our rights and goals!)

Who is the Real Villain in the 'Peace' Game. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, emboldened by U.S. President Barack Obama's tough talk on Israel, has rejected American-mediated talks with Israel . Abbas told the Arab League summit in Libya that Israel must make more concessions. (What concessions has the PA made?)

Another 'Honest Broker' and 'Friend' of Israel is Busted. The London Daily Telegraph and the London Daily Mail have published findings that former Prime Minister Tony Blair's, the Quartet (Russia, the U.S, the EU, and the UN) envoy to Middle East, has secret financial deals with Kuwait's royal family and an oil firm dealing with the Middle East .

Self-hating Traitors in Cahoots with the Friends . Eric Yoffie, president of the United States-based Union for Reform Judaism, is calling on the State of Israel to enact a construction ban for Jews in portions of Jerusalem liberated from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War.

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

We have done enough intellectual and analytical work about the behaviour of our enemies, Islamic and anti-Semitic thugs. It has taken too much of our time and effort, with no resolve. We must come up with an answer to the most important question: "How can we unite Jewish people behind our national goal - re-unification of Eretz-Israel?" The rest is easy!

The Quartet: Another Burking anti-Israel Dog. The Quartet called for a restarting of negotiations between Israel and the PA, and the establishment of a Palestinian state within two years, calling on Israel to freeze all construction in Judea and Samaria, including construction for natural increase. (Why don't they call for freeze on all construction by the PA at the same time?)

Saudi Arabia Seeks Strike on Iran. The German news magazine Der Spiegel has reported that Saudi Arabia is hoping Israel will strike Iran's nuclear facilities, and is even prepared to open its skies to Israeli warplanes to allow such an operation to take place.

Would He Arrive in Saudi Arabia on a Muslim Holiday? The UN Secretary General was deeply offended that there was no official reception other than a security detail when he arrived in Israel on Friday night. What a Chutzpah! He arrived in the Jewish State on Shabbat and expected Israel to break Jewish religious codes to greet him. (Even giving security protection to a bigot was too much!)

Idiocy Still Dominates in Israeli Courts. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court handed down a six-month suspended sentence to three young men for calling on Israelis to oppose the 'disengagement plan' by blocking roads. (Charges should have been dropped long ago!)

Obama is Pro-Arab, Americans are pro-Israel. Around 42 percent of Israelis view U.S. President Barack Obama as pro-Arab, and only seven percent see him as pro-Israel. Thirty-four percent of the respondents are reserving judgment with a neutral view, most likely because they are ashamed of the fact that they supported and were fooled by Obama. A recent poll in the United States has shown an 8 to 1 margin of Americans saying that their government should side with Israel in the conflict with the Palestinian Authority. (When the oil business and traditional anti-Jewish sentiments are involved, even in the great democracy like the US, public opinion is worth nothing!)

Quote of the Week: "In my country there are 170,000 Armenians; 70,000 of them are citizens. We tolerate 100,000 more. So, what am I going to do tomorrow? If necessary I will tell the 100,000: okay, time to go back to your country. Why? They are not my citizens. I am not obliged to keep them in my country." - Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey - Muslim and Arabs rulers are never concerned with or pay attention to international opinion. They speak their minds and intentions quite clearly. It is time for Israel to learn this useful trait!

Israel's Fifth Column. Arab MK (member of Knesset) Ibrahim Tzartzur said that Jews do not have any right to Jerusalem and called on "the Islamic nation" to liberate it from Israeli hands. (He was elected by and represents views of Arab-Israeli votes - the enemies within. All enemies must be removed from Jewish land!)

No Independence for Basques. French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that his government plans to crack down on Basque separatists. (Basque lands are still occupied by Spain and France. Their language is not even recognized as European by the EU. But Europeans and other 'friends' of Israel feel morally superior to lecture Israel, the country that for over 60 years, in spite of occupation of Jewish land by Arabs, has been trying to make peace with them.)

International Harassment is Working. The Jerusalem Municipal Building Committee approved the construction of housing units for Arabs but refused to grant permission for construction in the Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa. The move is likely due to fears that it would upset the Obama administration during Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to the U.S. (Israel must ignore international harassments. They will never end unless Jewish State will start to care about its own interest first!)

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Palestinians: Why Negotiate? The U.S. Will Extract Concessions For You

Mark Silverberg

When Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post attacks the White House’s outrage over the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee’s decision to approve the construction of 1,600 housing units in Ramat Shlomo (a post-1967 Jerusalem neighborhood) as “ideological and vindictive,” you know that the Obama administration has made a serious political blunder. The administration has apparently decided to provoke a diplomatic crisis with Israel over a construction project that was plainly in keeping with past U.S.-Israeli undertakings concerning East Jerusalem. Israel’s official position for the last 40 years has been that East Jerusalem’s status will not be negotiable in any future land-swap agreement with the Palestinians. This policy, however distasteful it may be to the Obama administration, did not prevent the conclusion of peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, nor did it preclude the Palestinians from negotiating with Israel for more than 15 years after the Oslo Accords of 1993. Now, suddenly, it has become a major issue with this administration, and an impediment to world peace. Apparently, a zoning dispute in Israel’s capital city is more important than addressing the nuclear threat posed by Iran.
This dispute has affected American credibility with Israel, our European and Asian allies, as well as the Arab and Iranian world. As Robert Kagan notes in the Washington Post: “The president has shown seemingly limitless patience with the Russians as they stall an arms-control deal that could have been done in December. He accepted a year of Iranian insults and refusal to negotiate before hesitantly moving toward sanctions. The administration continues to woo Syria without much sign of reciprocation in Damascus. Yet [the White House] angrily orders a near-rupture of relations with Israel for a minor infraction like the recent settlement dispute – and after the Israeli prime minister publicly apologized.”
For some unfathomable reason, the Obama administration sees Israel as obstructionist, defiant and intransigent. It is oblivious to the risks Israel has taken in withdrawing from Gaza, the continuous incitement taking place in Palestinian society through its mosques, media, schools, and government sponsored events, the missile attacks on Israel's civilian population centers, and the enormous concessions – rejected by Mahmoud Abbas – that the governments of Barak (2000) and Olmert (2008) were prepared to make on both Jerusalem and the West Bank prior to the Second Intifada, not to mention Israel’s continuing efforts to negotiate a durable and lasting peace. These events are rarely if ever mentioned by this administration.
Evidently, since the White House could not coerce Israel to acquiesce to its demands through quiet pressure, they have decided to bring such pressure into the public sphere by insisting upon demands to which no Israeli government can acquiesce – demands that include giving the U.S. a veto over any Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations. To enforce this demand, they ordered an embargo of the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) – the super bunker-buster bombs that he had earlier promised to Israel. These munitions have since been diverted to the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.
Nor is this the first time he has interfered with Israel’s qualitative military edge. A January 2010 Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) Report notes that “the White House has so far blocked key weapons projects and upgrades for Israel, rejecting requests for AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters while approving advanced F-16 multi-role fighters for Egypt …. Israel’s request for the six AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters was blocked by the Obama Administration in June – the same time the Egyptian sale was approved.”
The Israeli Prime Minister is also being exposed to diplomatic isolation – a taste of which he encountered during his recent humiliation at the White House. Dictators and tyrants have received better treatment. The administration also insists that Netanyahu must toe the line on U.S. foreign policy by demanding that Israel hand over areas adjacent to Jerusalem (specifically Abu-Dis, where Palestinian government institutions were previously established) to exclusive PA control; cease all Jewish construction in East Jerusalem; give serious consideration to releasing hundreds of convicted Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons “as a goodwill gesture;” establish a Palestinian state within the next two years (which would bring in U.S. forces thereby inhibiting Israeli counter-terrorism operations in Judea and Samaria); renew peace talks with Syria; agree to negotiate the partition of Jerusalem; withdraw from West Bank “settlements” (despite understandings that the large settlement blocs would remain in Israel proper in any negotiated final agreement); and agree to the “right of return” of hostile foreign Arabs to pre-1948 Israel.
Netanyahu’s acquiescence to a Palestinian state, a 10-month moratorium on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria that specifically excluded Jerusalem (a fact this Administration now dismisses), and the dismantling of hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks apparently means nothing to an administration whose long term strategy seems to demonstrate to America’s enemies that the U.S. is prepared to force a Czechoslovakian-type deal on Israel to concede everything, while giving the Palestinians a pass – including their dedication of tournaments, streets, marketplaces and a town square outside Ramallah to “martyrs” whose sole “accomplishments” have been slaughtering Israeli men, women and children. One explanation is the desire of this administration to demonstrate to our enemies that there is no length to which it will not go by betraying its friends in the name of “peace.”
Under such circumstances, why should the Palestinians agree to negotiate with Israel when they are content to watch a U.S. administration extract concessions significantly greater than any they could ever hope to achieve though bilateral talks? Diehl’s editorial in the Washington Post lays the blame for the current crisis squarely on the White House, which it accuses of treating Netanyahu “as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator, needed for strategic reasons, but conspicuously held at arms’ length.” Diehl goes on to say: “[The White House] picked a fight over something that virtually all Israelis agree on, and before serious discussions have even begun….A new Administration can be excused for making such a mistake in the treacherous and complex theater of Middle East diplomacy. That’s why Obama was given a pass by many when he made exactly the same mistake last year. The second time around, the president doesn’t look naive. He appears ideological - and vindictive.” And, according to Caroline Glick: “[The White House] has pocketed Netanyahu’s concessions and escalated his demands …… With the [White House] treating Israel like an enemy, the Palestinians have no reason to agree to sit down and negotiate.”
The fact is that neither George Mitchell nor Hillary Clinton nor Robert Gates, nor the president himself has obtained a single concession from the Palestinian Authority – not one. Since the Oslo Accords of 1993, 17 years of efforts under three presidents and six prime ministers have led nowhere. This administration has spent more time provoking our friends than they have challenging our enemies. Constant attempts to engage with Iran, Syria and Turkey combined with the delay in signing the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, suggest that they view developing U.S. relations with these anti-American regimes as his primary foreign policy goal. Given that each of these leaders has demanded that in exchange for better relations, the White House must abandon Israel as a U.S. ally, recent behavior can be explained in strategic terms rather than as pique over new apartment buildings in Jerusalem.
Seeing a potential break between Washington and Jerusalem, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have done everything possible to undermine the U.S.-Israeli relationship even more. Palestinian incitement and violence against Israel and Jews have increased as have missile attacks from Gaza and Arab riots across Israel and the West Bank. And why not? If the Obama administration is to adopt the policies of Israel’s enemies, how can Israel’s enemies be any less aggressive than the White House? As a result, the administration’s constant affirmations of its commitment to Israel’s security – from officials in Washington, to Mitchell and Biden in Israel, to Clinton at the AIPAC Conference last month are no longer credible. The Obama administration has jeopardized not Israel’s stature, but its own regional interests and its international credibility. It is no longer seen as a reliable ally by the Israelis, the Europeans, the Asians, and especially by the Arab/Persian world.
The Obama administration had best not delude itself: The Arab Street will never support America. When the U.S. distances itself from Israel, it does not win influence with the Arab world; it only earns their disdain and justifies the Arab world backing away from any peace settlement. The Obama administration considers establishing a Palestinian state central to their other regional goals, and believes that the Palestinians, led by Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad are ready to run a country. He is wrong on both counts. An Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will not solve America’s problems with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan or al-Qaeda contrary to statements issued by some administration officials. As Centcom commander Gen. David Petraeus said in his testimony before Congress recently: “Even if the U.S. were to announce a total military and economic boycott of Israel tomorrow, nothing would induce radical Islamists to lay down arms against America. Even if America joined the global jihad and offered to fight shoulder to shoulder with al Qaeda, the extremists would not accept the offer, and give up their attacks against U.S. targets. For extremist regimes like Iran, Israel is a secondary target. Their main problem is the Western world and its leader, the United States.”
The White House says Israel must prove that it is committed to peace. It is unfortunate that this administration is not making the same demands of the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Iranians. Israeli settlements are not the root of America’s woes. Contributing Editor Mark Silverberg is a foreign policy analyst for the Ariel Center for Policy Research (Israel), a Contributing Editor for Family Security Matters, Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) and the New Media Journal and is a member of Hadassah’s National Academic Advisory Board. His book “The Quartermasters of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad” and his articles have been archived under and This article was originally published by"

Comment on this article Persuade the Stupid or Alert the Intelligent?

Tariq Alhomayed
Asharq Alawsat

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said "unfortunately some of us always view everything that we undertake with suspicion, and this has brought us to defeatism in our thinking and [believing] we are not capable of doing something positive." He added "if the Jews acted in this manner they would not have a State." This statement is accurate, and is something that is confirmed by everything that we see with regards to the Palestinian Cause, the manner that this is being managed, as well as the management of the negotiations and the Arab involvement in this, and above all else the inter-Palestinian division and the administration of the Gaza Strip. Someone might say that there's nothing new in this, and that this has been the state of the Palestinian Cause for decades, and that is the real problem.

As Fayyad said, this defeatism has intensified, and the real and genuine hard work to establish a State of Palestine has been reduced to false slogans that are being used merely to gain power, rather than create a Palestinian State. This can also be seen in the case of Hamas, and this defeatism has intensified among some Arabs who facilitate the investment in Hamas's adventures, rather than genuinely helping to build a State on the ground, and turn this into a reality, and work politically to provide international momentum.

The simplest example here is what was put forward at the most recent Arab Summit, where there was talk about the possibility of withdrawing from the two-state solution project, and returning to one state that includes both the Israelis and Palestinians. In other words, throwing decades of conflict, bloodshed, and financing, into the sea, and starting once more from anew. This is less a political vision and more evidence of frustration, however politics, and particularly negotiations, does not recognize frustration, and instead is based upon the principles of "give and take."

At the same time that Salem Fayyad is talking about building institutions and organs for the Palestinian State, and imposing this as a reality through political work and peaceful public [action], we see that what is happening in Gaza is the complete opposite of this. It becomes clear day after day that there is division and confusion in the Hams ranks, and this comes at the same time that the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated movement is trying to extend its influence at the expense of the other Palestinian factions that want to launch rocket attacks on Israel. Israel Haniyeh said that his government is contacting the [Palestinian] factions in order to reach an internal consensus on the cessation of rocket fire and that this is in order to "protect our people and strengthen our unity" which is the same position announced by Khaled Mishal following his telephone conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister. However at the same time, there is another position, and Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said that Hamas is not backing away from the resistance, and he said that he considers the Fatah position that favors popular [peaceful] civil action to be a type of collusion with Israel. All of this comes at a time that Gaza is witnessing a media battle between Hamas and the other [Palestinian] factions in an attempt to implement what has been called the "Persuade the Stupid" operation that targets Israeli soldiers.

Away from the stupid, the question here is; are the intelligent paying attention to our region and the Palestinians?
Are they aware that what is happening in Gaza will overturn the Palestinian boat, and that the best thing to do today is to establish the Palestinian State as a reality on the ground, and take a decisive stand towards what is taking place in Gaza, rather than appeasing Hamas and remaining silent over what is happening?