Saturday, April 17, 2010

'For Jerusalem'

Leo Rennert

The Washington Post, in its April 16 edition, features a full-page ad by Elie Wiesel, titled: "For Jerusalem." While phrased in Wiesel's usual poetic utterances, it is a cry from the heart to Obama to forego a final peace deal that would re-divide Jerusalem and instead take a step-by-step approach of confidence-building measures until Israelis and Palestinians eventually may be ready to conclude a permanent peace agreement.

Wiesel's ad pulls no punches about Jewish historical and religious ties to Jerusalem that far surpass any Muslim claims to the city. It is also a reminder, a wake-up call to his co-religionists that the time again has come to stand up "For Jerusalem." Coming one day after a full-page ad in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal by Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, that also pressed Obama to change course in U.S. relations with Israel, it seems that at least some Jewish leaders are no longer content to remain on the sidelines.

With Lauder and Wiesel leading the charge, will other Jewish leaders now follow?

Here are some excerpts from Elie Wiesel's ad:

"Jerusalem is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture -- and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming.

"It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming.

"Since King David took Jerusalem as his capital, Jews have dwelled inside its walls with only two interruptions; when Roman invaders forbade them acces to the city and again, when under Jordanian occupation, Jews, regardless of nationality, were refused entry into the old Jewish quarter to meditate and pray at the Wall, the last vestige of Solomon's temple.

"It is important to remember: had Jordan not joined Egypt and Syria in the 1967 war against Israel, the old city of Jerusalem would still be Arab. Clearly, while Jews were ready to die for Jerusalem they would not kill for Jerusalem.

"Today, for the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city. The anguish over Jerusalem is not about real estate but about memory.

"What is the solution? Pressure will not produce a solution. Is there a solution? There must be, there will be. Why tackle the most complex and sensitive problem prematurely? Why not take first steps which will allow the Israeli and Palestinian communities to find ways to live together in an atmosphere of security. Why not leave the most difficult, the most sensitive issue, for such a time?

"Jerusalem must remain the world's Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope.

Page Printed from: at April 17, 2010 - 01:11:23 AM CDT

PRUDEN: Surrendering an ally is no strategy at all
Friday, April 16

By Wesley Pruden

Barack Obama has come up with an interesting strategy for dealing with the evildoers of the world. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Surrender your friends, if necessary.

He wants to make Israel, our oldest and only reliable friend in the Middle East, the guinea pig to see whether the strategy works. What appeared to be a minor flap between old friends only a fortnight ago now looks like an exploitable opportunity for the man who learned about who's evil in the world from a crazy Jew-baiting preacher in Chicago. The public scolding of Israel and the warning that it must make nice with those determined to "wipe it off the map" are now revealed to be tactics in the plan to make the Middle East over in a way to please the Islamic radicals. The observant among us have seen this coming. America's true friends - Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Norway and Poland in addition to Israel - have been getting the back of Mr. Obama's hand from the day he took his oath. The commitment to constitutional government and the ancient traditions of intellectual freedom that make up the cultural heritage of the West have been snubbed when not ignored, the natural allies of America lectured to when not insulted.

We're told that it's not nice, and maybe even racist, to notice that Michelle Obama, the elegant first lady who does so many things well, has cultivated her husband's talent for strategic snobbery. She once conceded that she only became proud of America when her husband got to the brink of the presidency, and in a remarkable video of a 2008 appearance that surfaced only this spring, she told of their visiting "his home country in Kenya." Unless she was conceding that she, too, is a "birther," she meant that Kenya is his ancestral and cultural home. This could explain a lot, and it certainly offers insights now into his determination to discard the Israelis in the affections of Americans and replace them with nations alien to the affections of most Americans. Why retain an emotional attachment to the sources of American law and literature when you could bow to the Saudi king and court the leaders of Iran, Syria and Venezuela?

Nothing would please the enemies and adversaries of America - the "outliers," in the trendy term of the moment - like putting the Jews in their place. Mr. Obama and some of his wise men, particularly in the State Department, which has traditionally looked for occasions to lend a hand to the Arab tormentors of Israel, now see their opportunity to impose a "settlement" of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. Mr. Obama finally put his game in play this week when he told a press conference that resolving the conflict was "a vital national security interest of the United States." Describing the conflict in these not-so-vague terms gives him the opportunity to prescribe any solution, however malignant or fanciful, just that way. The president, any president, must put the "vital national security interest" of the United States first and foremost. Who could argue with that?

Presidents before him, Democrat and Republican, have regarded Israel's right to survive as unquestioned and inviolate, bound up with America's own traditions of democratic government, and Mr. Obama continues to pay lip service to the American vow to defend Israel's right to survive. But lip service is not much defense against rockets, gunfire and suicide bombs and the contempt of the despots of the world. Conflicts like the continuing small-bore war in the Middle East end up, the president says, "costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure." Anyone can see where that argument goes.

This is of a piece with the remarks of Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, to Congress that "the lack of progress" in the Middle East creates a "hostile environment" for the United States. True enough, and the general's frustration is understandable (and shared). Wars have always been dangerous places to be, which is exactly why we send soldiers to such places. If only the Germans had not been so hostile, the Americans and the British could have had a day at the beach on D-Day. Alas, hostile the environment was, and there was no picnic. But the civilized world can be glad it never occurred to President Roosevelt to surrender France.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Holding On"

Good when there is the possibility of sharing some potentially positive information. And it is this that I will focus on today.

Ron Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress has made public a letter to President Obama that calls for an improvement in the US-Israel relations and a more serious focus on Iran.
I know full well that Lauder was an Obama supporter and has taken stands that might be seen as detrimental to Israel in the past. I know there is a letter to Lauder in this regard floating around.

But right now I do not care. He has made a transition and set a new tone.

What must happen next is that other major American Jewish organizations must send the same sort of message that Lauder now has.

I URGE you, if you are member of such an organization, to contact leadership -- both locally and nationally -- and push this. Suggest that your membership in this organization, and your financial support for it, might be affected by the readiness of leadership to stand for Israel, finally.

Most of the major American Jewish organizations are members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Here you have a link to the Conference members. This will help you to secure contact information.


In a couple of recent statements by Obama, as well as at least one by Clinton, it now appears likely that the US will not be advancing its own "peace plan" after all. At least not now. A solution, he has begun saying, cannot be imposed from the outside if the parties don't want it.

There is, I would guess, fear of looking foolish when it fails completely. Let us hope that this is where it sits. There is no certainty as to what tomorrow will bring.


Following similar action by the House, the Senate has now sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton urging a resolution of differences with Israel and reaffirmation of the strong ties that the US and Israel share. More than three-quarters of the Senate (76 Senators) signed on.

You can see the letter and those who signed it here:

If your Senators are on the list, please, thank them.


Minister Bennie Begin (Likud), speaking in Efrat in Gush Etzion (Judea) yesterday, said -- regarding the 10-month freeze on construction in Judea and Samaria and concern about a demand by Obama that the time be extended -- "I don't see any situation in which building won't resume."

Let us hope he knows whereof he speaks.


Meanwhile, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon (Likud) has made a statement to the JPost saying that there is no need ever to remove "settlements."

"If we are talking about coexistence and peace, why the [Palestinian Arab] insistence that the territory they receive be ethnically cleansed of Jews? Why do these areas have to be Judenrein? Don't Arabs live here, in the Negev and the Galilee [where there are Arab villages]? Why isn't that part of our public discussion? Why doesn't that scream to the heavens?"

Very good questions, indeed. Apartheid by Arabs is accepted.


I rather like this (yea, I count it as good news): The infamous Richard Goldstone, according to a South African paper, will not be attending his grandson's bar mitzvah next month, because of strong negative feelings toward him from members of the Johannesburg shul where the bar mitzvah will take place and the South African Zionist Organization. This was worked out with the family.


You might like to see an analysis by Herb Keinon in the JPost today.

Keinon points out that Netanyahu has skirted Obama demands following the meeting in Washington by simply doing nothing, thus, he says, has Netanyahu "succeeded in taking the sting out of the president's bite."

"If there is another blowup when the US doesn't like the responses coming from Jerusalem, then it might as well come as close to the US midterm elections as possible to deter, possibly, an overly sharp administration response."

And, indeed, there is the thought (not a certainty) that the very fact that Netanyahu hasn't respond means that he's not caving to Obama.


For the second time, this past week, I picked up news about construction in Jerusalem being "on the agenda." Now, putting it on the agenda is not the same as sending out the bulldozers, but there is a suggestion that there indeed will be construction in Jerusalem, over the Green Line (i.e., there is no de facto freeze).

Building projects that were supposed to be on the agenda of Jerusalem's Local Planning and Building Committee included a school and a synagogue in the Gilo neighborhood, and an extension to a synagogue in Pisgat Ze’ev.

We'll see.

It's also possible that these projects might be "discussed" now, with no bulldozers sent out until the time during which Obama has demanded a freeze is over.


Notice: Next Sunday, April 25, at 1:00 PM, there will be a show of solidarity for Israel in front of the Israeli Consulate in New York City, 2nd Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

If you are in the area, go out and show your support and encourage others to do the same. Additionally, using that Conference of American Presidents list, encourage organizations to which you belong to support this and bring out people.

For more information or perhaps if an organization wishes to be listed as a co-sponsor, contact:
Lori Lowenthal Marcus,


OK, enough good news for one day...

The disturbing news will in the main have to wait until after Shabbat (which is just as well).

Uppermost on the agenda -- absolutely critical! -- is the question of a nuclear Iran. A great deal to consider in this regard.

Then there is continuing violence from Gaza. And the fact that Syria has supplied Hezbollah with Scuds.

And some ugly scandals going on here (which I choose not to focus on unduly).


I receive links to so many videos about Islam. But this one is particularly powerful: Raising the issue of the enemy we face and our absolute reluctance to deal with the facts. It's succinct and to the point, and very clear. Also very frightening and non-politically correct. I urge you to see this and share it:

(Thanks Gil Z.)

see my website

62 Years Old Israel -Yom Ha'Atzmaut‏

Yesha Views

In 1948, miracles occurred. One of those was that of the unity amongst the Jewish People throughout the world. A result of that miracle was the rebirth of the Jewish homeland in the State of Israel. Against all odds and numbers and with the blessings from above, the Jewish People once again governed their own state. In the following years, our state was bombarded with numerous wars and constant attacks, yet we progressed as a country and a people beyond ours, and our enemy’s wildest dreams. Despite the massive acts of violence meant to destroy our country and throw our people out of our land, we continued to grow.In 1967, another miracle occurred as we returned to the heartland of Israel, the cradle of our heritage and history as a nation. With our return to this heartland, our strength grew, as did our connection to Israel and one another. Once again Jews from all over the world could show their children the places that are mentioned throughout the Torah and our other Holy books. For the first time in over 2,000 years “seeing was believing”, and believing was real.

All to often we take the luxury of freedom for granted. Today in Israel, I can take my family to Hevron, Shilo, Kever Rachel, and in the past, to Kever Yosef to name just a few. I can take them to our eternal connection to the Holy Temple that once stood in Jerusalem and pray at the Kotel HaMa’aravi. I can say to them, see, they are real.

Our memories are too short, it wasn’t that long ago that we couldn’t do that. That simple luxury of showing our families our history and our connection to this land of Israel is on the chopping block now.

We have just passed Holocaust Memorial Day followed shortly by our Memorial Day for our soldiers and victims of terror and then into Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. That holy order of events that has brought us to where we are today must be part of all of us. Especially today when we face the prospects of a nuclear Iran which wishes to wipe us off the face of this earth and the remaining Arabs salivate at the opportunity to “cleanse” us from our historic heartland before getting rid of us entirely.

The events, the attitudes and the goals of our enemies of the past have not changed, they have just been camouflaged with questionable rhetoric, readily swallowed by those who hate us and our own who know no better.

But today is different.

Every Yom Ha’atzmaut that comes around reminds them just how strong we are and can be and they know that we can, and G-d willing, will grow stronger. This year we must be even more vigilant as our enemies are growing and acquiring new friends.

In the past Jews around the world responded to pictures and scenes of horror and terror. Seeing clips of Jewish mothers wailing over their children’s graves, buses split in two like over-ripened watermelons, evoked real emotion and action from our people.

Organizations like Israel Bonds, Magen David Adom, UJA and the FIDF only had to show a presentation of a terror attack and an outcry was heard, the checks and funds poured in and action was taken. Our people, as usual, went above and beyond to help.

Today, I would like to propose a change in attitude and action.

No More Jewish Victims! This is not mere rhetoric – it needs to be the goal of every Jew throughout the world. We mustn’t wait for a horrible incident to occur before responding. We must prevent it from ever happening in the first place. We must learn from the past in order to brighten the future.

As responsible adults and parents we watch over our children and families to protect them, we make sure to take measures to insure their safety, before, not after they run into harm’s way. Similarly, we watch over our own health, we try to exercise and eat right and when something hurts, we take care of it before it turns serious.

That is the way it must be with Israel and the Jewish people. Israel is the greatest gift the Jewish people have at this point in our history - how can we put it in harm’s way? The signs of pain and danger are out there. Together, let’s prevent the problems from occurring, reoccurring or exacerbating.

· We must not wait until we read and watch the scenes of Hezbolah rockets raining down on Tel Aviv.

· We must not wait until we watch the news of the people in the South returning to the shelters from rocket attacks emanating from Gaza.

· We must not wait until we see pictures of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria attacking innocent civilians and our families living there.

· We must not wait to read the headlines of buses being blown up again.

The time to prepare is now and we must unify and do whatever is needed to protect and defend our rights as a free Jewish People in our own land. Together, we can ensure that the necessary security equipment is in place to prevent these atrocities from occurring. And we must provide the emergency medical equipment to minimize the damage from the inevitable escalation of violence.

Yom Ha’atzmaut is the celebration of this freedom – a freedom renewed for the Jewish People in our homeland 62 years ago - may it continue to be so.

I eagerly look forward to hearing from you so we can protect and save innocent lives together.

Chag Sameach!

Marc Prowisor

Marc Prowisor is the Director of Security Projects for One Israel Fund. Marc oversees all aspects of life saving security, first response and emergency medical projects throughout Judea and Samaria. One Israel Fund is working diligently to prepare and assist the security apparatus throughout Judea and Samaria. Through its many projects and close cooperation with the Security Chiefs and IDF command, it is the goal of One Israel Fund to achieve better results and to be ready to meet the new challenges that face these Jewish communities.

An economic bombshell

14/04/2010 23:39

What will happen in the future is being determined right now.

Israel’s economic/scientific potential seems extremely schizophrenic. There is no denying that this country is globally on the cutting edge of hi-tech research and development. In proportional terms we have far outstripped the rest of the world. But there is a dismal underside to this incontrovertible success story. Many of the soaring achievements we are witnessing today result from the educational and demographic circumstances of at least two decades back. What will happen in the future is being determined right now – and the portents are dire. Present conditions are unlikely to spawn a further upsurge in dazzling accomplishments; indeed they threaten to pull us down hard.

As the latest “State of the Nation Report: Society, Economy and Policy” by Jerusalem’s Taub Center for Social Policy Studies warns, growing segments of our society are ill-equipped to participate in modern economic processes. Being left behind doesn’t just impact them and play havoc with our national statistics. It also costs the productive members of society heavily, forcing a diminishing population segment to support those who don’t pull their weight.

We’re hit by a double whammy. Israel’s economy is denied the contribution of those who remain on its sidelines, and it also must deduct from its GDP what’s shelled out to nonproductive societal components by way of entitlements – money spent on social services. We may be fast approaching a situation in which we pay out more than is coming in. Less will consequently be left to encourage innovation, tempting the more enterprising, upwardly mobile but inordinately burdened among us to pull up stakes and relocate to greener pastures.

ABOUT ONE-THIRD of Israeli households nominally subsist under the poverty line, while almost 20 percent of men between the ages of 35-54 don’t work. The malaise, though, isn’t equally endemic in all social sectors. Its gravest concentrations are among Arabs and haredim. Unemployment figures for Arab men had soared from 15% in 1979 to 27% in 2008. Among haredi men it spiraled from 21% 30 years ago to a whopping 65%.

Making these numbers more alarming yet are school-enrollment trends. Should these continue, by 2040 78% of Israel’s youngsters would be educated in haredi or Arab schools, the very ones that notoriously ill-prepare their graduates for the modern workforce.

The Taub Center report concentrates on the need for educational overhauls under the auspices of a new apolitical framework. This, of course, assumes that an apolitical program is realistic and that target populations would readily cooperate. But experience raises critical doubts that Arabs and haredim would eagerly and voluntarily transform. Moreover, even avid reform-advocates must agree that investment in education is a long-term proposition.

Yet in the immediate context we are faced with pernicious patterns that perpetuate themselves. If these vicious cycles aren’t broken now, there will be no real prospect of long-term reform, however desirable.

The inescapable conclusion is that taxpayer largesse facilitates the gloomy cycle. So long as benefit-claimants can rely on generous handouts, they’ll have less incentive to work.

Among other negative trends, they’ll continue to relinquish available jobs to foreign illegals. Apart from caregivers and agricultural workers, Israel needs no foreign labor. There’s no reason Israelis can’t construct houses, paint apartments, staff factory shifts or even cook ethnic fare. Heavy taxation on employers of foreigners could help make such imported labor a less attractive and more expensive alternative. Low wages paid to illegals can be offset by levies – even fines and imprisonment for greedy employers who serially break the law. The odds can be evened in favor of fairly compensated homegrown labor.

There must also be a credible crackdown on cheats. Many of the haredim and Arabs who claim to be unemployed in fact earn incomes, which they fail to report so as to deceitfully qualify for welfare. The police and tax authorities rarely even try to penetrate haredi and Arab communities, to the detriment of the tax-paying populace.

As long as living off the toil of others is feasible and relatively comfortable, scant motivation will exist for change and/or educational reforms. Breaking vicious cycles, however, demands extraordinary political courage. It’s doubtful any conceivable current coalition can muster it. But where there’s no will, there’s no way – and, for the sake of Israel’s future, a way must be found.

I Blame You, Ron Lauder!

Shmuel Sackett
International Director, Manhigut Yehudit

April 15, 2010

Most of the Jewish world is applauding the bold and brave move by World Jewish Congress president, Ronald S. Lauder, who printed an open letter to US President Obama in today’s Wall St Journal and Washington Post. In this letter, Ron Lauder asked the president to end the public feud with Israel, to focus more attention on the Iranian nuclear threat and to commit to Israel’s security. While the letter sounds nice and defensive of Israel, it is actually nothing more than a hypocritical bunch of nonsense written by one of the main people responsible for the dangerous situation Israel finds herself in!

Allow me to explain – using the same style as Mr Lauder – only this time writing a hypothetical open letter from US President Obama to WJC President Lauder.

15 April 2010

Dear President Ronald S. Lauder,

I read your open letter today in the Washington Post and have the following reply.

By the time I was born, you already had a degree in International Business from the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of PA.

In 1984 you were appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO policy at the Pentagon.

In 1986 President Ronald Reagan appointed you as US Ambassador to Austria.

In 1989 you ran for mayor of NYC.

In 1998 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed you as his personal representative in peace negotiations with Syria. During your tenure at this position, you authored the work, “Treaty of Peace between Israel and Syria” which advocated Israeli surrender of significant amounts of land in exchange for peace.

I write all of this to show that – clearly – you are a man of the world. You are a trusted advisor to both Presidents of the United States and Prime Ministers of Israel. Many top leaders in both the USA and Israel consider you their personal friend.

Today, among your many other jobs and responsibilities, you are the president of the World Jewish Congress whose slogan is, “Representing Jewish communities throughout the world”.

Clearly, you are a leader in the Jewish world, and have been for many years.

When I became interested in politics, I realized that I had to learn from experts in the field. Those experts would help me shape my foreign policy, especially regarding the most volatile region in the world; the Middle East. While you may not know it, I chose you as one of my leading role models. You had the experience, the knowledge and the respect of exactly the kind of people I needed on my side. I therefore studied your policies very closely.

You, Ron Lauder, supported – and continue to support - the Oslo Peace Process which brought about the death of approximately 1,400 Israelis. In addition, over 250,000 Israelis have been seriously harmed either physically or emotionally because of this process. That number is growing as Jews in Sderot, Ashkelon, Beersheba and Ashdod live in constant fear of attack.

You, Ron Lauder, supported the destruction of Jewish homes, synagogues and businesses in the Gush Katif Gaza section of Israel. 10,000 Jews were forcibly dragged from their beach-front property, houses of study and kindergartens in a process that you said was necessary in order to achieve peace.

You, Ron Lauder, advocate forced removal of Jews from their homes, businesses and yeshivas in the beautiful Golan Heights as a method of achieving peace with Syria. You further support the digging up of Jewish graves in these areas as a gesture of goodwill to advance the peace process.

You, Ron Lauder, speak openly and publicly about the need to create a Palestinian State within the tiny country of Israel. In your open letter to me you actually used that expression, “tiny State of Israel” yet you support dividing that tiny state in half!

You, Ron Lauder, write about the need to focus on Iran and their threat to the region yet you ignore the far bigger combined threat to Israel by the PLO, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Egypt! These enemies border Israel and in some cases are inside Israel yet you ignore their threat as if they don’t exist. These enemies have tens of thousands of missiles that can reach every coffee shop in the country and can cause 10 times the damage of nuclear weapons. Your response to these threats is for Israel to try some more of the failed “Land for peace” recipe. And you accuse ME of appeasement?

President Lauder, I could go on for many pages but allow me to simply say that you were the one who convinced me, a simple African-American, that the land of Israel simply does not belong to the Jewish People. After all, if it was truly your inheritance – and given to you by God Himself – why would you so easily be willing to part with it?

As a matter of fact, NOT ONCE in your open letter to me did you write the word GOD. You wrote about “freedom” and “democracy” and “security” and “peace”. Never once did you mention that God gave this land to your father Abraham who passed it down an unbroken chain of 3,300 years directly to Ronald S. Lauder. Never once did you mention the Torah, the Bible, the Jewish tradition or state four very simple but awesome words: “This Is My Land!”

Until you – and every other Jewish leader in the world – can say those words, you have no business writing to me. Go and study your heritage. Go and study the one religion – YOURS - that taught the world about God and spirituality and then become a true and authentic Jewish leader. Until then, leave the Middle East to me… with what I learned from you!


Barack Obama


United States of America

Rob Muchnick, US Director
The Manhigut Yehudit website is

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Canada: A Case Study on Attitudes Toward Middle East Issues

Barry Rubin Toronto, Canada

Canada is a good laboratory for assessing attitudes toward Israel and Middle East issues today. With a political culture somewhere between Europe and the United States, this is a country that can tell us a lot regarding governmental policy, public opinion, media, and both pro- and anti-Israel activism.

I toured parts of the country during the supposed peak of anti-Israel activity called, revealingly enough, Israel Apartheid Week (IAW). On the governmental level, Canada can well be considered the country in the world most friendly to Israel. Prime Minister Steven Harper, a Conservative, is personally committed to supporting Israel as a fellow democracy. One should always remember that government policy is more important than what happens on campuses or in the media.

On public opinion, Canadians like to look at their international involvement as high-minded, even-handed, and morally based. This is a pattern seen in a number of countries whose direct national interest in different foreign issues, or at least in the Middle East, is low. More than two-thirds of Canadians in polls don’t take sides on Arab-Israeli questions. There is not a strong reaction among the public against Harper’s policy, though it would also be willing to accept a very different set of positions.

As in other Western countries, the media today may seem to be dominated generally by journalists and editors who hold left-wing ideas and a view of the world rather hostile toward Israel. Yet such a picture would be misleading regarding the English-language media. CanWest newspapers reach a large percentage of Canadian readers and provide them with a mostly pro-Israel editorial position, though this chain is under bankruptcy protection and may soon be sold. The Toronto Globe & Mail, the single most prestigious newspaper, has an editorial position generally supportive of Israel as does the Sun chain of newspapers. While the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) is often slanted against Israel, its main competitor, CTV, is more even-handed.

The really terrible situation, then, is on the campuses or at least many of them. And again, one should not overestimate their overall social and political importance. Yet this problem has an extremely important point to teach us, the implications of the decline of Arab nationalist activism and its replacement by a mix of Islamism from some Muslims allied with post-Marxist leftism from many professors (many of them Jews) and leftists who went into trade unions to inject their political agenda there.

It is by no means clear that the IAW movement, the main anti-Israel activity, represents the kind of people and ideologies most likely to win mass support among ordinary Canadians, and certainly not Canadian policymakers.

In the past, campus activists were Arab nationalists. They had a higher level of knowledge regarding the conflict and often used logical and detailed arguments. In more recent years, they also had the option of posing as moderates, their critique being that they really wanted peace and a two-state solution but Israel didn’t. As a result of all these characteristics, they could more easily build stronger sympathy and support from a far wider audience of “average” citizens.

A parallel evolution has happened with their leftist allies. In the past, they represented more coherent movements with systematic Marxist analyses. Their intellectual background and goal of winning over the “masses” made them self-conscious about developing marketable arguments.

Now, however, the movement is far more strident, extreme, and in a real sense anti-intellectual. The level of knowledge among activists is far lower. They are more interested in pleasing themselves or, in the case of the Islamists, their Middle East patrons (Iran, Hamas, Hizballah) than winning over local people. Consequently, their slogans are more emotional; their arguments incoherent.

In one respect, their approach is totally divorced from the Middle East and calculated to current thinking in the West: a reduction of all issues to “racism.” Yet in many cases rather than traditional leftism (which tried to win over the local masses) this approach portrays the audience as the villains. Thus, some of the leftists involved in IAW portray Canada itself (and the United States and European countries) as equally racist, colonial enterprises both at home and abroad.

Not stopping with hatred of Israel, the IAW activists often evince hatred of their own countries, a standpoint which, at least in North America and Australia, limits how many people you are going to convince. In Canada there is a special situation in Quebec where local Francophone nationalism, itself relatively hostile toward Israel, also does not take kindly to those who say that nationalism is evil

Their approach provides the IAW movement with three assets—intimidation, the persuasion of passion, and the ability to push the agenda from debate over a two-state solution to serious discussion of Israel’s destruction—but also isolates them from a larger constituency. The more closely mainstream people observe them, the more likely they are to be repelled or disinterested.

Another irony is that the anti-Israel activists have no ostensible interest in anything else that goes on in the Middle East. Not a word is spoken on behalf of the Palestinian Authority or to demand a two-state solution—the kind of thing that does appeal more to the politicians and media.

Nor are there demonstrations in favor of the Iranian opposition or Lebanon’s independence from Iranian-Syrian control, nor against repressive dictatorships. Consequently, given the movement’s generally Islamist orientation and lack of concern over repression and tyranny in the region, I met students who did not support the IAW movement but who were moderate Arab nationalist, Lebanese independence, or Iranian opposition people They may have their criticisms of Israel but do want real peace and appreciate that the main threat to their countries are revolutionary Islamists and Iran’s regime.

Moreover, the IAW movement’s stridency and obsessive hatred also makes it hard to form strong alliances with other Third World-oriented groups. If, say, Tamil activists over Sri Lanka won’t get help from a movement obsessed not with democracy or human rights but merely bashing Israel, why should they support anti-Israel activities?

Indeed, one of the ironies visible here is to what extent students are nowadays victims of the bad education they got from radical professors in which a knowledge of facts, as well as following logical processes and constructing rational arguments, is replaced by a very small number of slogans and epithets. That is also precisely why they have turned to intimidation—a measure of their extremist goals and weakness on talking about the substance of issues.

Given their single-minded and strident anti-Israel emphasis, the most vocal elements in the anti-Israel movement—especially but not exclusively the IAW--is not concerned with human rights’ or social justice but merely a hate-Israel movement based on hypocrisy, thinly veiled antisemitism, and hysteria. As a result, a lot of Muslim and Middle East immigrants who are more assimilated, moderate, and/or nationalist are left out and even antagonized. “Anti-racism” is merely a cover for the real goal: to install radical Islamist dictatorships that would oppress their own people, drive out Christians, repress women, murder gays, and wage wars of terrorism against their neighbors and the West

A lot of the money for this, apparently, comes from trade union and student activity funds meant for different purposes but making the movement a very well funded one.

But is it a widely supported one? This year, though, the Israel Apartheid Week was a dismal failure. For example, the kick-off event on one of the most radical campuses in the country drew only two dozen people, mainly the organizers. The very stridency of the movement alienates all but the already committed. Observers have also noted that some campuses—Concordia in Montreal being the most notable example—have periods of intense activism but as those involved graduate or students react against their universities being turned into places of hatred and intimidation, activity declines.

Equally or even more significant is the reaction against this behavior by the media—where there was significant criticism—and in Canadian politics. In Ontario, all the political parties represented in the parliament jointly passed a resolution condemning the week, a signal to just how little extreme anti-Israel views have become acceptable in Canadian politics, no matter how many have milder criticisms. In the national parliament, three of the four main parties—the New Democratic Party, a smaller left-wing grouping, refused though its branch in Ontario joined the others—supported an anti-IAW resolution.

This is not to deny that there is a negative impact. Most obviously there is intimidation. On two campuses where I met with faculty friendly to Israel the atmosphere felt semi-clandestine, like an underground cell in a dictatorship. At one of these schools, a student is under investigation for posting blogs urging that all Jews in Canada be killed. Teachers openly berate students who dissent from their anti-Israel indoctrination in class. While this didn’t prevent students at other places from being quite active, clearly many people are frightened into passivity knowing that speaking up will damage their careers, grades, or even put their life at risk. While the demonstrations and extremist speakers probably have little lasting effect, the real damage is done in the classrooms.

But there is also a readiness to go beyond mere words. In early April, ten men attacked two pro-Israel activists--one of them the vice-president of the students' association at Carleton University, who isn't Jewish--near the campus, shouting that they were Zionists and Jews. At least some of the men were also students and one of them used a machete in the assault.

Ironically, while extreme and false claims are made about Israeli aggression, the only violence, threats, and intimidation in Canada has been used by the anti-Israel forces. In theory, this should galvanize Canadian opinion, which prides itself on fair play and moderation, against the undemocratic extremists. This has not yet happened very much, however. Will it in future?

As for the classrooms, what was once unthinkable has now become routine, and it isn’t just about Israel. There is often an extraordinary politicization with professors and teaching assistants joining in to promote open indoctrination in which those who dissent or raise questions are also intimidated. A student who spoke up against female genital mutilation was scolded in class for daring to criticize another culture and was called—by the course’s teacher—a “Canadian imperialist.”

This combination of indoctrination on what to believe combined with intimidation on what not to think could destroy the university’s basic function. Yet in terms of activism if not classroom propaganda, temporary upsurges on specific campuses usually don't last, in part because other students become disgusted, at least in regard to how their school's bad reputation could harm the prestige of their degrees. Concordia in Montreal is a case in point, with massive disruptions over several years now followed by a period of quiet.

Perhaps the main difference in making things worse in Europe than in North America is that the latter lacks a critical mass of Islamists and leftists to make their intimidation stick on campus while the general public does not favor and is repelled by extremist views. In North America, at least, one should not overestimate the degree to which strong and long-lasting anti-Israel attitudes have gained hegemony.

Rivera, the Self-Described Zionist, Fools No One


Geraldo Rivera has repeatedly invoked his dubious Zionist credentials in order to launch verbal assaults on the Jewish state. The latest occasion was his March 26, 2010 appearance on "Fox and Friends," in which he accused an allegedly anti-peace, obstructionist Israel of focusing on the Iranian threat in order to divert attention from its own supposed intransigence. His tirade also included the baseless allegation that Israel is responsible for American difficulties vis-a-vis the entire Middle East and the Muslim world. Responding to a question about American-Israeli tension surrounding the Israeli announcement of plans for building 1600 additional residential units in the crowded north Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, Rivera claimed the whole incident is indicative of an Israeli offense more worrisome than the Iranian nuclear crisis:

I don't think Bibi Netanyahu has any intention of making a two state solution peace with the Palestinians. I think he has no intention of ever yielding east Jerusalem. I know it's very difficult for my fellow Zionists and lovers of Israel to get our arms around what is a clear cut agenda. I think what has been revealed by this snub of Joe Biden when he went over there is far more profound than people credit. I think that what has been revealed is the policy of the Netanyahu government never to make peace with the Palestinians based on a two-state solution, never to give up Jerusalem, never, ever ever and, you know, for them to go through the machinations or continue to point to the Iranian threat as their priority is just to divert attention from the fact that there will never be under a Netanyahu or a Likud government any kind of a two state ---

In actuality, the building of homes in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem over the Green Line, such as Ramat Shlomo, is not in violation of any peace accord, nor does it preclude any future peace settlements, including the division of Jerusalem according to Jewish and Arab neighborhoods (as was envisioned, for example, in the Clinton plan.)

In an effort to bolster his baseless argument that Israel works non-stop to block a two-state solution, Rivera erases more than a decade of withdrawals, difficult concessions and goodwill gestures on the part of the Israelis. He states:

Ever since Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, ever since the Oslo peace process went into hibernation, what moves has Israel done other than continuing to talk about getting together, to talk about it. . .

Steps for Peace: Withdrawals
Here, Rivera implies that the Oslo process died with Rabin in 1995, and that since then Israel has made no moves towards peace, merely engaging in fruitless talks. The TV host evidently has little interest in the facts. In reality, following Rabin's death, Netanyahu, in his first term (May 1996 to July 1999) implemented a series of West Bank withdrawals. In 1997 it was Netanyahu who implemented the Hebron withdrawal (New York Times, Jan. 15, 1997), and it was Netanyahu who carried out Phase 1 of the further withdrawal he negotiated during the Wye Accords (New York Times, Nov. 20, 1998), boosting full Palestinian control over territory in the West Bank (known as Area A in the Oslo process) from three percent to 10.1 percent. In other words, Netanyahu tripled the amount of West Bank land under full Palestinian control. After the Netanyahu withdrawals the Palestinian side also had civil control (Area B) over a further 18.6 percent of the West Bank. The Gaza airport was also opened during Netanyahu's term. Only in the face of massive Palestinian violations of the agreements did Netanyahu finally suspend further re‑deployments. Rivera's apparent amnesia concerning this series of withdrawals on Netanyahu's watch (post Rabin assassination) is inexcusable especially in light of the journalist's boast of "knowing him as well as I do." What's clear is he doesn't know the Prime Minister, his record or essential facts related to the US-Israel contretemps.

Steps for Peace: Prisoner Releases

Besides signing the Wye River Accord in 1998 and withdrawing from West Bank land, other steps that Netanyahu, whom Rivera paints as the archenemy of peace, took towards reconciliation during his first term includes the release of at least 281 Palestinian prisoners, some as goodwill gestures, some in compliance with the Wye River Accord. On Feb. 11, 1997, he released 30 Palestinian women (New York Times, "West Bank Town Hails Freed Prisoners,"> Feb. 13, 1997). On Oct. 1, 1997, Netanyahu released Hamas leader Sheik Amhed Yasin to Jordan (New York Times, "Israel Frees Ailing Hamas Founder to Jordan at Hussein's Request," Oct. 1, 1997). Finally, in November, 1998, as part of the Wye River Accords, Netanyahu released 250 Palestinian prisoners, including 150 common criminals and other offenders (New York Times, "Release of Criminals Elicits Dismay in Palestinians," Nov. 30, 1998)

Other prisoner releases that Israel undertook after Netanyahu left office in July 1999 include:

• Oct. 15, 1999: 109 Palestinian prisoners (and 42 inmates from other Arab countries) released as part of an interim peace deal

• Sept. 9, 1999: 199 prisoners released as part of an interim land‑for‑security deal

• Dec. 27, 2004: 159 prisoners released as a goodwill gesture to the new Palestinian leadership under Mahmoud Abbas

• Feb. 21, 2005: 500 prisoners released, the first part of Ariel Sharon's goodwill pledge to release 900 Palestinian prisoners

• June 2, 2005: 398 prisoners released as the second half of Ariel Sharon's February 2005 goodwill gesture

Step for Peace: Camp David Offer

Five years after Rabin's assassination, Prime Minister Ehud Barak made an unprecedented offer to Yasser Arafat at the Camp David negotiations, one that Arafat turned down without a counterproposal and answered with the second Palestinian terror war.

Step for Peace: Gaza Withdrawal

In perhaps the most painful step that Israel took to ease the conflict was the 2005 withdrawal of all of its soldiers and more than 8,500 civilians from the Gaza Strip as well as hundreds of residents from four settlements in the northern West Bank, uprooting a population from their homes and jobs which had sustained them for decades. This step was repaid with the escalation of rocket attacks on southern Israel, an ongoing assault on tens of thousands of Israeli civilians which continued until Operation Cast Lead last year.

Steps for Peace: West Bank Economy

In his current term, Benjamin Netanyahu adopted the policy of easing restrictions on movement in the West Bank and bolstering the Palestinian economy.

So while Rivera accuses Israel of talk and no action over the last 15 years, it is Rivera who engages in empty talk, about his commitment to Zionism and boasts about his supposed intimacy with Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Rivera assigns no responsibility or accountability to the Palestinian side, ignoring their repeated violations of bilateral agreements, their attacks from territory from which Israel has withdrawn, their genocidal incitement, the hardening of the conditions they will accept before they even begin negotiations, and the failure to soften their stance in the slightest concerning major issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, land and the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Having finished giving a completely erroneous picture of Israeli actions, Rivera than goes on to make the fallacious arguments that Israel endangers America, stating:

And the United States of America is in an extremely difficult position vis-a-vis the entire Middle East and the Muslim world because of Israeli intransigence over the West Bank and Gaza becoming an independent country. . .

Professor Alan Dershowitz succinctly decimated this false linkage, writing:

There is absolutely no correlation between Israeli actions and the safety of American troops ‑ none.

No one has ever shown any relationship between what Israel does and the rate of American casualties, because there is no such relationship -- none.

Consider two significant time periods. The first is the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001, when Israel offered the Palestinians virtually everything they could have wanted: a state on 100 percent of the Gaza Strip and 97% of the West Bank, a capital in a divided Jerusalem and a $35 billion reparation package for refugees. Virtually the entire Arab world urged Arafat to accept this generous offer, but he declined it. During the very months that Israel was doing everything possible to promote peace with the Palestinians, al‑Qaida was planning its devastating attack on the World Trade Center. No correlation between Israeli actions and American casualties.

Then consider the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 when Israel was engaged in Operation Cast Lead, which caused significant Palestinian casualties. During that difficult period, there was no increase in American casualties. Again, no correlation.

Those offering up this phony empirical argument have an obligation to present evidence in support of this fallacious correlation, or else to stop making this bigoted argument.

The reason there is no correlation is because extremist Muslims who kill American troops are not outraged at what Israel does, but rather at what Israel is ‑ a secular Jewish, democratic state. As long as Israel exists, there will be Islamic extremists who regard that fact as a provocation. The same is true of the United States: as long we continue to exist as a secular democracy with equal rights for women, Christians and Jews, the Osama Bin Ladens of the world will seek our destruction. Certainly as long as American troops remain in any part of the Arab world ‑ whether it be Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Afghanistan ‑ Muslim fanatics will try to kill our soldiers. Blame for the murder of American troops should be placed on those who kill them, rather than on those who stand for the same values of democracy and equality as America does.

Mischaracterizing the American Jewish Community

Having posited his theory that Netanyahu is fundamentally opposed to a two state solution, and it will never acquiesce to it under any conditions, Rivera then goes on to assert:

the Jewish community in the United States is far more right wing than even the Netanyahu government.

Rivera's misconceptions about the American Jewish community and its political leanings are striking, indeed. As a 2010 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion, just released by the American Jewish Committee, notes nearly half (48 percent, versus 45 percent opposed, and seven percent not sure) of American Jewish support the establishment of a Palestinian state despite the fact that 75 percent agree with the statement that "The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel." Moreover, beyond the distorted characterization of the views of American Jews is the tenor of his claims which is contemptuous and dismissive.

Justifying Violence

Recalling having travelled once with Palestinians in Israel (this must have been a long time ago, because since the two Palestinian terror wars most Palestinians cannot hop a bus from the West Bank to Ben Gurion airport), Rivera then goes on to justify Palestinian violence and indoctrination against Israel. "I remember traveling with Palestinians to Tel Aviv airport. Now, I go my way. They have travel restrictions. They have to wait for buses." Rivera then goes on to question "Fox and Friends" host Brian Kilmeade, asking him if he lived under 42 years of occupation (including travel restrictions and waiting for buses), "Would you be a moderate? Would you be a liberal or would you be someone who is going to protest and demonstrate and throw stones and teach your children to hate Israel?"
For someone who once likened a harmless Israeli procedure of numbering Palestinian prisoners to "what Hitler and those Nazi pigs inflicted on the Jewish race during the Second World War, he takes an awfully mild view of deadly Palestinian violence and hate indoctrination. So while Rivera may continue to talk about his so-called Zionism and the "beloved ally," he is fooling no one.

>Fox may want to consider limiting Rivera's reporting to topics and regions that don't trigger such irrational outbursts.

A full transcript follows:

Steve Doocy: Netanyahu met with Obama but he has been snubbed significantly. Obama would not pose for a picture with him.

Geraldo Rivera: Twice.

Doocy: Obama wants to get some concessions on settlements. You have known Bibi Netanyahu for many, many years.

Geraldo Rivera: Since 1972, I know him far better than I know the President. I've only met our President one time. Bibi and I have smoked cigars in this building together. We've hung out together in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv. I knew his family, his hero brother died in Entebbe.

Doocy: How embarrassed and humiliated is he by this?

Rivera: He's very humiliated. Although I haven't spoken to him, but I can project that knowing him as well as I do. But here's the dirty little secret folks and I think this is what has been revealed. I don't think Bibi Netanyahu has any intention of making a two state solution peace with the Palestinians. I think he has no intention of ever yielding east Jerusalem. I know it's very difficult for my fellow Zionists and lovers of Israel to get our arms around what is a clear cut agenda. I think what has been revealed by this snub of Joe Biden when he went over there is far more profound than people credit. I think that what has been revealed is the policy of the Netanyahu government never to make peace with the Palestinians based on a two-state solution, never to give up Jerusalem, never, ever ever and, you know, for them to go through the machinations or continue to point to the Iranian threat as their priority is just to divert attention from the fact that there will never be under a Netanyahu or a Likud government any kind of a two state ---

Gretchen Carlson: Some people see it exactly the opposite, Geraldo. They say that this administration has spent more time snubbing Israel and lessening sanctions for Iran.

Rivera: Well, you know, here's the deal, Gretchen. Ever since Yitzkah Rabin was assassinated, ever since the Oslo peace process went into hibernation, what moves has Israel done other than continuing to talk about getting together, to talk about it, and we have to recognize, the United States, and particularly the American Jewish community that our prime constituency is the United States of America. And the United States of America is in an extremely difficult position, vis-a-vis the entire Middle East and the Muslim world because of Israeli intransigence over the West Bank and Gaza becoming an independent country and the Jewish community in the United States is far more right wing even than the Netanyahu government. My father-in-law was a member of federation. The main lobbying group, the Anti-Defamation League, and they were so angry with me whenever I bring up, this is what I call truth, this is speaking truth to power. Israel doesn't want to make peace. The president has now exposed that desire to go as slow as they possibly can, deflect attention to the Iranian crisis and maintain this cauldron boiling where United States interests are negatively effected.

Brian Kilmeade: You walked the streets, you know the roads, you know the people.

Rivera: I know every street.

Kilmeade: But in the big picture, I hear and it's been reported that life in the West Bank for the Palestinians has never been better. They are beginning to thrive, peace is beginning to happen, coexistence.

Rivera: They have a functional government.

Kilmeade: On the other hand, Hamas runs Gaza like a prison.Rivera: That's true. Kilmeade: So therefore they marginalize those who want to kill them and they embrace those that want to live amongst them. What guilt could they possibly -- what could they be doing wrong? Rivera: For you to say that -- the life of a West Bank Palestinian, however superior it is to a Gaza Strip Palestinian is still the kind of life that -- I remember traveling with Palestinians to Tel Aviv airport. Now, I go my way. They have travel restrictions. They have to wait for buses. Their every movement through Israel -- and for good reason, because [unintelligible].

Kilmeade: Homicide bombers

Rivera:-- their life is horrible

Kilmeade: Their life is horrible.

Rivera: And it's very difficult to -- imagine if you were a Palestinian. Just imagine if you, at your age, Brian, your entire life, what year were you born?

Kilmeade: 64

Rivera: When you're three years old, your country gets occupied by a foreign power. It's 42 years ago, more or less. So 42 years you've been living under an occupational force. Would you be a moderate? Would you be a liberal or would you be someone who is going to protest and demonstrate and throw stones and raise your children to hate the Israelis? I think it's time for the United States to use pressure on our most beloved ally and get them to move on this two state solution. It's not enough. Ever since George Bush said it, George W. Bush, he said he wanted a two-state solution, let's really move toward it.

Kilmeade: Out of all our problems, I think Israel is the least of our problems.

Inside the Syrian Missile Crisis

Andrew J. Tabler
April 14, 2010

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak sent officials in Damascus and Washington scrambling when he claimed Tuesday that Syria is providing the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah with Scud missiles whose accuracy and range threaten more Israeli cities than ever before. His unexpected announcement, though vehemently denied by the Syrian regime, threatens to spark a new war between Israel and its antagonists in the region while further undermining U.S. President Barack Obama's efforts at engagement with Syria. The alleged missile transfer now looms over the Senate confirmation of Obama's ambassador-designate to Syria, Robert S. Ford, who is slated to be Washington's first emissary to Damascus in more than five years. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's apparent decision to transfer more accurate and longer-range weapons to Hezbollah is a disheartening development for U.S. officials, who had hoped Obama's diplomatic opening would lead the Syrian regime to moderate its behavior. As Damascus arms its Lebanese ally with an increasingly lethal array of weaponry, Syria's credibility as a peace partner for Israel is increasingly in doubt.

Weapons have been flowing from Syria to Lebanon for decades. However, in recent months, reports have indicated that the sophistication of the weapons systems provided to Hezbollah has grown. In October 2009, the British military magazine Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Syria had supplied Hezbollah with M-600 rockets, a Syrian variant of the Iranian Fatah 110, whose rudimentary guidance system can carry a 500-kilogram payload to a target 250 kilometers away.

In early March, the head of the research division of the Israel Defense Forces' Military Intelligence, Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz, told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that Syria had recently provided Hezbollah with the Igla-S man-portable air defense systems. The shoulder-fired weapon can bring down the Israeli drones, helicopter gunships, and low-flying fighter aircraft that routinely fly over Lebanon to gather intelligence.

Reports of increased weapons transfers surfaced again following Ford's nomination hearing on March 16. Rumors circulated around Capitol Hill that Syria had delivered Scud-D missiles to Lebanon. These reports did not specify whether the missiles were Russian Scud-Ds or Syrian varieties of Scud-Ds, which are upgraded versions of older Scud models that Syria reportedly began producing in mass quantities during the last year. Both missiles have a range of up to 700 kilometers, which means they could hit most, if not all, Israeli cities even if fired from northern Lebanon. Both can carry chemical or biological warheads.

Less than a week after a Feb. 17 visit by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns -- the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Damascus in more than five years -- Assad hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah at a banquet in Damascus. During the visit, Assad openly mocked U.S. efforts to distance Syria from Iran and stated that his government is "preparing ourselves for any Israeli aggression."

These weapons transfers appear to mark a continuation of Assad's belligerent stance. While Lebanon has long been the battlefield between Syria and Israel, the transfer of these weapons may indicate that the Syrian president is calculating that the next war with Israel could involve strikes on Syrian territory. Conversely, others have postulated that the transfers could also be designed to put pressure on the United States to get Israel back to the negotiating table -- a bizarre tactic that is clearly not working.

In trying to answer these questions, U.S. congressional leaders -- most notably Senator John Kerry -- have visited Damascus over the last few weeks and attempted to engage Assad directly on the issue. The results of the meetings have not been made public. Meanwhile in Beirut, the United States is said to have issued a number of diplomatic demarches to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri complaining about the transfers. Given that the Lebanese government exercises no control over the Syrian-Lebanese frontier, the demarches are likely to go unheeded.

These revelations have generated conflicting reactions in Washington regarding engagement with Syria. Skeptics say that the uncoordinated engagement by France, Saudi Arabia, the European Union -- and now the United States -- has fueled a bizarre outbreak of "Syrian triumphalism," causing Assad to throw caution to the wind. Syria's decision to send Scuds to Lebanon, they say, proves Damascus is unwilling to distance itself from Tehran. They argue that posting a U.S. ambassador to Syria under current circumstances would send the wrong signal to Damascus and only embolden Assad further.

Advocates of deeper engagement with Damascus argue that sending an ambassador will improve communication with the Syrian regime, thereby averting future crises. One unintended byproduct of Washington's policy of isolating Syria has been the elevation of the importance of Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha, who has proved to be an unhelpful interlocutor. The return of an ambassador to Damascus could provide channels to bypass Moustapha -- and also help avoid an "accident" that, in the atmosphere of rising Syrian-Israeli tensions, could spark a conflict.

The ability of U.S. diplomacy to avert a crisis now depends on the Scuds' current location. Reports citing U.S. and Israeli officials indicate that missiles have crossed the border, but it is unclear how many missiles possibly destined for Hezbollah still remain on Syrian soil. If fighting does break out, diplomats in Washington are concerned that the conflict could distract diplomatic attention from the more pressing U.S. national interest: efforts aimed at halting Iran's nuclear program. In the event of a regional war, Washington would no doubt be distracted from its task of marshaling international support for U.N. sanctions on Iran. By demonstrating that Hezbollah could not be neutralized without Syrian cooperation, the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war helped break the Assad regime's international isolation -- a lesson not lost on Tehran.

Israel has traditionally responded to threats such as these by bombing Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon. However, Israel has indicated privately over the last year that the next conflict could include strikes inside Syria as well, or perhaps target weapons convoys as they cross the porous Syrian-Lebanese border.

Although the risks of a Syrian counterstrike are great, some Israeli officials might see an advantage in striking at both Syria's and Lebanon's military hardware. Analysts say most decisions to go to war would be based on Israel's strategic calculations in the north. But there are regionwide calculations over Iran as well. If Israel destroys Hezbollah's weapons, it could provide a window of time in which Israeli cities are under a decreased threat of missile attack. This would give Israel a perfect opportunity to strike Iran without risking an immediate retaliation from Tehran's allies to its north. This scenario would not be cost-free for Israel, but given its overriding concern over Iran's possession of a nuclear weapon, Israeli leaders might judge it to be an acceptable level of risk. Given that an Israeli strike on Iran still seems out of the question for the time being, however, this may be one of the reasons why cooler heads have prevailed so far.

At the center of this unenviable situation sits ambassador-designate Robert Ford. The surprising escalation on the part of the Syrian regime represents yet another challenge to Obama's policy of engagement -- not to mention regional peace. Quiet diplomacy has so far managed to prevent the situation from disintegrating into an all-out war. However, if Israel locates the Scuds in Lebanon, this deceptive calm might not last for long.

Andrew J. Tabler is a Next Generation fellow in the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute.

World Jewish Congress: New Mideast Course for America?

Hana Levi Julian
A7 News

The World Jewish Congress has added its voice to the growing chorus of concern about the apparent White House hostility towards Israel. The organization sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, expressing the group's deepening concern over the U.S. foreign policy on the Jewish State, as well as the increasing Iranian nuclear threat to Israel and the world. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder told Obama in the letter released to the media Thursday, “Jews around the world are concerned today... about the nuclear ambitions of an Iranian regime that brags about its genocidal intentions against Israel... that the Jewish state is being isolated and de-legitimized... [and] about the dramatic deterioration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel.”

Lauder, heir to the mammoth international Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, also expressed American Jews' anguish at what appears to be escalating hostility towards Israel from the White House.

“Can it be true that America is no longer committed to a final status agreement that provides defensible borders for Israel?” he asked bluntly. “Is a new course being charted that would leave Israel with the indefensible borders that invited invasion prior to 1967?”

Lauder also asked about the country's strategic ambitions in context of the “broader Middle East,” noting that the Obama administration's “desire to improve relations with the Muslim world is well known."

"But,” Lauder added, “is friction with Israel part of this new strategy? Is it assumed worsening relations with Israel can improve relations with Muslims? History is clear on the matter: appeasement does not work. It can achieve the opposite of what is intended.”

McCain's Warning

U.S. Senator John McCain, meanwhile, contends that the United States has been backing away from a brewing fight with Iran, while that country moves ever closer to having nuclear weapons.

McCain opened a Senate hearing Wednesday by saying that Iran will succeed in obtaining an atomic bomb unless the United States acts more boldly. Speaking figuratively, the Arizona Republican said the U.S. keeps pointing a loaded gun at Iran but failing to “pull the trigger.”

Lauder echoed McCain's concern, asking, “What about the most dangerous player in the region? Shouldn't the United States remain focused on the single biggest threat that confronts the world today? That threat is a nuclear-armed Iran.”

His letter added that world Jewry embraces Obama's “sincerity” in his “quest to seek a lasting peace,” but urged the White House to “end our public feud with Israel and to confront the real challenges that we face together.”

The World Jewish Congress, founded in Geneva in 1936, is an international organization with headquarters in New York representing Jewish communities and organizations in 80 countries on six continents. According to the organization's mission statement, it seeks to “foster the unity and creative survival of the Jewish people while maintaining its spiritual, cultural and social heritage.” Due to its global status, WJC has special credentials and recognition at the United Nations, where it has a diplomatic seat and a presence within many of its institutions, commissions and sub-bodies.

Tale of Two Cities

In New York, Islamic states try to carve out an exception for killing Israeli and American civilians. In DC, they smile.
BY Anne Bayefsky
April 13, 2010 11:32 AM

At exactly the same time that President Obama’s anti-terrorism theatrics are going on in Washington at the nuclear security summit, a pro-terrorism party is going on in New York at UN Headquarters. The trouble is that the states play-acting in D.C. are swinging in New York in the opposite direction.

In Washington, the summit advertisement reads as follows: “Dedicated to nuclear security and the threat of nuclear terrorism.” In New York, the UN’s “ad-hoc committee on measures to eliminate international terrorism” is gathered to talk about drafting the world’s first comprehensive convention against terrorism. For the fourteenth time in ten years. In Washington, the image is of President Obama sitting on a chair beaming like a Cheshire cat, opposite some lucky head of state. The two are surrounded by smiling Obama appointees and everyone agrees that terrorism is bad. In New York, the very same states agree terrorism is naughty. It’s just that “resistance,” “armed struggle,” and “liberation” are not terrorism.

The major stumbling-block to the conclusion of a draft comprehensive convention against terrorism at the UN has been a concerted effort by Islamic states to carve out an exception for murdering civilians of their choosing. Israelis top the list, but Americans are not far behind.

The terrorism convention of the Organization of the Islamic States accordingly creates an exception to its phony denunciation of terrorism. Exempt from “terrorist crimes” are “peoples' struggle including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination.”

So let’s compare the simultaneous Washington and New York performances. In Washington, the president invited many “anti-terrorism” invitees from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) – Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Presumably, he decided to showcase his close ties with Muslim nations. In New York, OIC members chose Syria, nuclear arms wannabe and state sponsor of terrorism, to do their talking. Speaking on behalf of the OIC, therefore, Syria declared yesterday: “The group reiterates once again the need to make a distinction…between terrorism and the struggle for the right of self-determination by people under foreign occupation, and colonial or alien domination.”

In Washington, the president invited many additional “anti-terrorism” invitees from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) – such as China, India, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. At the UN, the 117 NAM members selected as their spokesperson for the drafting of an anti-terrorism convention none other than Iran. Iranian UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said the following on behalf of NAM states – almost half of Obama’s invitees coming from this group: “Terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination…for self-determination and national liberation.” (The issue of self-determination for the Iranian people was somehow not raised.)

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani wallowed in Obama’s attention in D.C. and declared that any nuclear terrorism fears arising from Pakistani actions or inactions were unjustified. Meanwhile, his UN representative was saying in New York: “My delegation aligns itself with the statements made by the distinguished representatives of Syria and Iran.”

The government of Algeria was especially pleased by Obama’s invitation. But a few hours before Foreign Affairs Minister Mourad Medelci dined in D.C. last night, his government told the UN: “Algeria endorses the statements made by Syria and Iran…International law should make sure that we avoid generalizations that Algeria has always denounced between terrorism and the armed struggle of people in supporting their right to self-determination and their liberation…”

And then there was Obama’s special friend Egypt, scene of the most obsequious speech ever delivered by a U.S. president to the Muslim world. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, together with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had planned to turn the international get-together in D.C. into another Israel-bashing session. With Netanyahu choosing to stay away rather than trust President Obama to keep the meeting on message, Egypt simply shifted gears. The Egyptian delegate urged UN members in New York on Monday “to emphasize the distinction between a terrorist act and the legal acts…carried out by national liberation movements…” He also “emphasized” Egypt’s primary interest in addressing terrorism’s “root causes” – not hate and intolerance, mind you – but “feelings of injustice and frustration.”

President Obama’s security summit takes grandstanding to a whole new level. The White House calls it “the largest gathering of countries hosted by an American President…since the conference in San Francisco around the United Nations” in 1945. Of course, back then the number meant most of the world’s states, while today it is less than a quarter.

True friends of America like the British and Israeli prime ministers have stayed away, while double-talking and double-dealing non-democrats have their run of the place. Shutting down Iran – the leading threat to nuclear security and state sponsor of terrorism – is not even on the table.

And half of the attendees at this anti-terrorism extravaganza can’t recognize terrorism when it stares them in the face.

Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poll: 91% against Obama imposing deal

14/04/2010 07:45

An IMRA poll finds that a landslide majority of Israelis are against a US imposed peace agreement dividing Jerusalem and ceding the Jordan valley.

A huge majority of Israelis would oppose an attempt by US President Barack Obama to impose a final-status agreement with the Palestinians, a poll sponsored by the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) organization found this week. Leading American newspapers reported last week that Obama was considering trying to impose a settlement if efforts to begin indirect proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians proved unsuccessful. The option was discussed in a meeting with current and former advisers to the White House.

Asked whether they would support Obama imposing a plan dividing Jerusalem and removing the Jordan Valley from Israeli control, 91 percent of Israelis who expressed an opinion said no and 9% said yes, according to the poll of 503 Israelis, which was taken by Ma’agar Mohot on Sunday and Monday and had a 4.5% margin of error.

Eighty-one percent said it was improper for Obama to try to force such a plan on the two sides, while 19% of those who expressed an opinion said it was proper.

The poll asked whether it would create enduring peace or enduring conflict should Jerusalem be divided, with Jewish neighborhoods remaining part of Israel and Arab neighborhoods becoming part of a Palestinian state. Eighty-four percent said conflict and 16% said peace.

The numbers were similar for the Jordan Valley, where 90% opposed relinquishing Israeli control and 10% were in favor.

Meanwhile, a poll of Palestinians conducted on April 8-10 by the Center of Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah University in Nablus asked Palestinians whether they would accept the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with a land exchange as a final solution for the Palestinian problem, and whether they would support or reject making Jerusalem a capital for two states.

The numbers on the two-state solution were 66.7% against, 28.3% in favor, and 5% who did not know or did not express an opinion. On the Jerusalem issue, 77.4 said they opposed such a plan, 20.8% were in favor, and 1.8% had no opinion or chose not to express it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Figuring Out What's What"

Arlene Kushner

This issue is so important, and so complex, that I just re-thought my decision to skip a day in posting, in order to address this.

Truth to tell, sometimes it's impossible to figure out what's what. The problem, however, is that rumors fly, and sometimes sources seem authoritative -- so that sincere people of good will trust them -- but turn out not to be.

There are stories that have been floating that I haven't mentioned precisely because I cannot determine with a satisfactory degree of certainty what is real. But here, very briefly, I'd like to touch upon a couple of them in order to do some clarification. It started with an article in Maariv, here in Israel and then floated widely -- with multiple versions sent to me by readers: Obama, we were told, has established a policy of blocking visas to Israeli nuclear scientists. This apparently was yet another manifestation of Obama's dissatisfaction with us, another way in which he could inhibit us.

WorldNetDaily, for example, has a piece by Roger Hedgecock that says: "Netanyahu canceled his participation in the conference, sending a lower level delegation to the conference instead. Obama retaliated by barring U.S. entry visas to all Israeli scientists even remotely connected to the Israel nuclear program."

I see...

The State Department has denied that there is such a policy, however. What to believe?

Now we have an answer: Roger L. Simon, who writes the blog Pajamas Media, had originally carried the Maariv report, but decided to do some checking -- for which he merits appreciation. He contacted the nuclear scientist, Dr. Zeev Alfasi, at Ben Gurion University in the Negev, who was the main scientist cited by Maariv. This is what Simon writes:

"Apparently, my report — and the newspaper’s — was inaccurate. The professor informed me that while it was extremely difficult for scientists who worked at Dimona to obtain U.S. visas, this was not a new policy of the Obama administration. This problem has been going on since 9/11.

"Alfassi explained that formerly he and other scientists were able to go through travel agents to obtain visas to the U.S. Now they have to go personally to the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. He knows of at least one case of a scientist who was not able to attend a conference in this country [the U.S.] because of this system."

So things may be a big tougher with the Obama administration, but we're looking at a policy in effect for almost nine years. I would say -- the article is not specific about this -- that what we're looking at is long term State Department hostility to Israel and not Obama's hostility. And, apparently while it's very difficult for scientists from Dimona to obtain U.S. visas, it's not impossible and it certainly is not the case that U.S. entry visas are denied "to all Israeli scientists even remotely connected to the Israel nuclear program."

(With thanks to Aaron Lerner, who called my attention to this when he put it up on IMRA.)


Another rumor making the rounds: Bowing quietly to Obama's demand, Netanyahu has de facto stopped all construction in Jerusalem even though there has been no official announcement about this.

The story first surfaced a month ago. Reportedly, Netanyahu was so overwhelmed by Clinton's forcefulness that he gave in and, according to Israel Insider, "instructed the relevant planning authorities to suspend all authorizations for new building - or even alterations such as balconies -- in Jerusalem suburbs of Ramot Eshkol, French Hill, Pisgat Zeev, Neve Yakov, Har Homah and Gilo."

Another version has it that Netanyahu temporarily halted all bureaucratic progress on Jerusalem construction so that the procedures could be reviewed and he would never again be surprised by an announcement, as he was when Biden was here.

I have attempted to secure the bottom line on this story. And I'm here to tell you that as of now I cannot. I am not absolving Netanyahu of pulling a fast one, but neither am I accusing him. It remains to be seen, and I simply caution drawing premature conclusions.

In fact, the latest I have is that Army Radio, as reported by Arutz Sheva, says that the Jerusalem Municipality is planning to approve the construction of a synagogue and other public buildings in the Gilo neighborhood.


With regard to that much-touted nuclear conference in Washington, I wish only to make a couple of comments here.

French president Nicholas Sarkozy, in a statement to CBS News, has declared that:

"I would not want the world to wake up to a conflict between Israel and Iran, quite simply because the international community has been incapable of acting.

"It [an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities] would be a disaster. I don't even want to think about that possibility. And the best way to avoid this disaster scenario is to take measures in order to get Israel to understand that we are determined to ensure its security."

My response to this: And so? And so??

There's only one way to ensure our security, and that's by making sure Iran does not go nuclear. Talk is cheap.

Sarkozy did concede that a nuclear Iran would be "dangerous and unacceptable," but then goes on to say that is time for sanctions. Is there any serious person anywhere that believes today that sanctions will be enacted by the world community that are serious enough to stop Iran?


Oh yes, true to form, Sarkozy made another statement, a corollary to the above: "And Israel, furthermore, must equally make the necessary effort in order to bring about a fair and lasting peace with their Palestinian neighbors.”

Once again the attempt to generate the impression of a linkage where, in fact, none exists.


Then there is the far worse statement of Russian president Medvedev, who, incidentally is part of the problem because he's only "lukewarm on sanctions."

Said he: "It [an Israeli strike on Iran] would be the worst possible scenario -- if a conflict of that kind happens, and a strike is performed, then you can expect anything, including use of nuclear weapons. And nuclear strikes in the Middle East, this means a global catastrophe."

What he fails to comprehend -- or chooses not to comprehend -- is that the Israeli strike would be done before Iran was nuclear: to preclude attainment and use of nuclear weapons by Iran and to avoid a global catastrophe.

What I'm seeing is that Israel is being painted the bad guy in this equation -- the nation that would disrupt quiet and cause nuclear conflagration -- because we have the audacity to suggest that we are considering a preemptive strike against a nation which is about to go nuclear and has threatened us with destruction.

Medvedev's concern is refugees fleeing Iran following an Israeli attack and flooding into Russia.


A note of explanation here: If Israel does hit Iran's nuclear development facilities, it would not be a prolonged operation but a speedy strike, aimed only at weakening, not totally eliminating (we cannot do that) Iran's capacity to go nuclear, setting it back some few years. This would not be a war against the nation of Iran.

It is understood that what would follow would be an Iranian military response, which would be roundly blamed on us. Ignored would be the fact that this military response would pale compared to (G-d forbid!) an Iranian nuclear strike.


Please see Anne Bayefsky's important piece in The Weekly Standard :

She provides a comparison between what's going on in Washington at the Nuclear Summit and, at the same time, at the UN, where an “ad-hoc committee on measures to eliminate international terrorism” is meeting. This committee "is gathered to talk about drafting the world’s first comprehensive convention against terrorism. For the fourteenth time in ten years."

In Washington, Obama is speaking about terrorists who might acquire nuclear weapons. The ad hoc committee agrees that terrorism is a really bad thing, but, "It’s just that 'resistance,' 'armed struggle,' and 'liberation' are not terrorism. According to the Organization of Islamic States terrorism convention, exempt from “terrorist crimes” are “peoples' struggle including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination.”

No wonder the committee has tried 14 times in 10 years to come to a conclusion.

One more farce in a very farcical world.


Everything is so heavy. Let me end here with something light -- both figuratively and literally: Aqua Creations is an Israeli company that sculpts light, designing signed and numbered art pieces that are also exotic light fixtures shown in museums and featured in hotels.

See the video from Israel21C:


see my website

Syria snubbed request for talks

13/04/2010 00:05

'Post’ learns J'lem sought mechanism for trilateral negotiations.

Amid concern over the possibility that Syria has transferred Scud missiles to Hizbullah, The Jerusalem Post has learned that Israel recently asked Syria to set up a mechanism for trilateral talks via the United Nations force deployed in the Golan Heights, UNDOF, which could be used to neutralize points of friction along the border. Diplomatic sources said Monday that the idea for the establishment of such a mechanism with Syria had been floated four years ago, after the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

According to the sources, no one at the time really believed the Syrians would go for the idea, but it was brought up with UN officials. It was not a formal Israeli request, and the idea – apparently because of a lack of Syrian interest – went nowhere.

Several months ago, though, the IDF again raised the idea and asked the outgoing commander of UNDOF, Gen. Wolfgang Jilke, to propose it to the Syrians, who rejected the invitation.

The IDF, via UNIFIL, holds monthly talks with the Lebanese Army focusing on border-related issues, primarily Israel’s continued presence in Ghajar.

According to a report in the Kuwait-based Al-Rai newspaper on Monday, Syria has transferred Scud missiles to Hizbullah. However, the missiles were recently transferred to Lebanon, prompting a stern Israeli warning that it would consider attacking both Syrian and Lebanese targets in response.

As a result, and in an effort to prevent a new conflict, the US State Department summoned the Syrian ambassador in Washington, Imad Mustafa, and warned him that war could break out if the weapons shipments were not stopped.

At the same time, according to the Wall Street Journal, the IDF came very close recently to attacking a convoy carrying weapons from Syria to Lebanon, but at the last moment decided against it.

The possibility that Syria would transfer Scud missiles to Hizbullah is not a new fear in the Israeli defense establishment.

According to the Kuwaiti daily, Israel sent warnings to Syria through Turkey and Qatar that it would “bomb Lebanese and Syrian targets in case the missiles crossed the border and reached Hizbullah.”

In related news, Col. Ronen Cohen, former head of the Northern Front in Military Intelligence and the current chief intelligence officer for the IDF’s Central Command, said in a research paper that an Israeli bombing of Lebanese national infrastructure would likely unite the Lebanese people behind Hizbullah and its leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

Cohen wrote the document several months ago as part of his university studies and it was published by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. It comes after Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, have warned that infrastructure would be targeted in a future conflict with Hizbullah.

“Hizbullah is not our target. Our target will be the state of Lebanon,” Barak said in late November.

Cohen, on the other hand, warned in his paper that attacking infrastructure during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 would have united the Lebanese people against Israel and behind Hizbullah. During the war in 2006, the IDF recommended attacking Lebanese infrastructure, but the government ruled against it.

“The decision of Israel’s government (which opposed that of the military) not to attack Lebanon state infrastructure (e.g. electricity) led to friction in the foundations of the national Lebanese unity and solidarity pillar, which Nasrallah had struggled to maintain,” Cohen wrote. “It is plausible that attacking infrastructure would have been a catalyst to national unity and positioned Hizbullah and its opposition from home‚ on the same side of the political map.”

The Incongruity of American Jewish Opinion

The data reported here are taken from the 2010 Annual Survey of American
Jewish Opinion, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The 2010 survey was conducted for AJC by Synovate (formerly Market Facts), a leading research organization. Respondents were interviewed by telephone between March 2 - March 23, 2010. The sample consisted of 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents selected from the Synovate consumer mail panel. The margin of error for the sample as a whole is plus or minus 3 percentage
points. Data listed below from publication compiled by

Additional commentary by Jerome S. Kaufman

Date: April 11, 2010

In the survey American Jews answered as follows:

10. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "The goal of the
Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction
of Israel.‰" Agree 75 Disagree 20 Not Sure 5

If they already realize this - the rest of their answers obviously fail to correlate with this conclusion or "connect the dots" relative to the other questions in the survey. Then again - the Americans are not alone. There are many Israelis who fail to connect the dots.

A. Obama Administration:

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job
as President? Approve 57% Disaprove 38% Not sure 6%

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling each of
the following?

A. The economy: Approve 55 Disapprove 42 Not sure 3

B. Health care: Approve 50 Disapprove 48 Not sure 3

C. Homeland security Approve 62 Disapprove 33 Not sure 5

3. How would you characterize relations between Israel and the United States
today? Are they very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very
negative? Very positive 10, Somewhat positive 63 (?!), Somewhat negative 22 Very negative 4 Not sure 1

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of
U.S.-Israel relations? Approve 55% (?!), Disaprove 37% Not sure 8%

(How could 55% of American Jews approve of Obama when he, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, et al, demand the relinquishing of virtually all of Judea and Samaria and won't even allow new housing in Jerusalem proper?) jsk

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the Netanyahu government's handling of
Israel-U.S. relations? Approve 57% Disaprove 30% Not sure 12%

6. As compared with one year ago, are you more optimistic about the chance
for a lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs, less optimistic, or do you
think the chance for a lasting peace is about the same as it was one year
ago? More optimistic 6 Less optimistic 22 Same as one year ago 72(?!) Not sure 1

7. In the current situation, do you favor or oppose the establishment of a
Palestinian state? Favor 48% Oppose 45% Not sure 7%

(How could anyone who believes the Arab ultimate goal is to destroy Israel, allow the Arabs the huge advantage, the huge leg up on the accomplishment of this goal by allowing them a PA state that will only become a hotbed for terrorism and Israel destruction?) jsk

8. In the framework of a permanent peace with the Palestinians, should
Israel be willing to compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city
under Israeli jurisdiction? Yes 35 No 61 Not Sure 4

(What "permanent peace" are they talking about - Have the Arabs made even one gesture suggesting that they are interested in a "permanent peace") jsk

9. As part of a permanent settlement with the Palestinians, should Israel be
willing to dismantle all, some, or none of the Jewish settlements in the
West Bank? All 8 Some 56 None 34 Not sure 2

(Again - "dismantle settlements" in order to help the Arabs in their ultimate goal?" Who are the 56% confused ones that agree to dismantle "some" settlements?) jsk

10. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The goal of the
Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction
of Israel. Agree 75 Disagree 20 Not Sure 5

11. Do you think that Israel can or cannot achieve peace with a Hamas-led
Palestinian government? Can 16 Cannot 80 Not Sure 4

(Nu? If 80% say peace with Hamas not possible, why allow a PA state or give up one inch of territory? Who do these Americans believe will govern this PA state?) jsk

12. Should the Palestinians be required or not be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement? Required 94 Not required 3 Not sure 1

(The weakness of those Jews that would even answer such an outrageous, brazen question is a source of painful embarrassment to me personally. We have to ask for the "recognition" by the Arabs or anyone else in this world after having been here for over 3000 years with our G-d and our Bible being the foundation of Western Civilization? How dare they such chutzpa and how stupid of us to even respond!) jsk

(The answers to most of the rest of the questions below simply further confirm the obvious inconsistency and lack of rational logic of the respondents. I can only wish good luck to the Israelis, the Jews and the rest of the world, that have to deal with such uninformed, obtuse and delusional views) jsk

D. International Issues

13. Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of
the Iran nuclear issue? Approve 47% Disaprove 42% Not sure 11%

14. How much of a chance do you think there is that a combination of
diplomacy and sanctions can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons? Is
there a good chance, some chance, little chance, or no chance? Good chance 5
Some chance 27 Little chance 45 No chance 23 Not sure 1

15. Would you support or oppose the United States taking military action
against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons?
Support 53 Oppose 42 Not sure 4

16. Would you support or oppose Israel taking military action against Iran
to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons? Support 62 Oppose 33 Not sure 5

17. Barack Obama has approved the deployment of an additional 30,000 U.S.
troops in Afghanistan. Do you agree or disagree with this decision? Agree 62
Disagree 35 Not Sure 4

18. I would like you to rate your feelings towards some countries, with one
hundred meaning a very warm, favorable feeling, zero meaning a very cold,
unfavorable feeling, and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. You
can use any number from zero to one hundred. How would you rate your
feelings toward . . . a. Russia 54 b. India 64 c. Venezuela 42 d. Jordan 47
e. Turkey 52 f. China 49 g. Egypt 49 h. United States 88 i. Saudi Arabia 34
j. Germany 57

E. Anti-Semitism

19. Do you think anti-Semitism in the United States is currently a very
serious problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem at all?
Very serious problem 25 Somewhat of a problem 66 Not a problem at all 9
Not sure 0

20. Do you think anti-Semitism in Europe is currently a very serious problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem at all? Very serious problem 51
Somewhat of a problem 44 Not a problem at all 3 Not sure 2

21. Do you think anti-Semitism in the Muslim world is currently a very
serious problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem at all?
Very serious problem 87 Somewhat of a problem 11 Not a problem at all 1
Not Sure 1

22. Looking ahead over the next several years, do you think that anti-Semitism around the world will increase greatly, increase somewhat, remain the same, decrease somewhat, or decrease greatly? Increase greatly 14 Increase somewhat 36 Remain the same 41 Decrease somewhat 7 Decrease greatly 1

F. Background Factors

23. In politics as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent? Republican 15 Democrat 50 Independent 32 Not sure 2

24. Do you think of yourself as . . .Orthodox 10 Conservative 24 Reconstructionist 2 Reform 26 Just Jewish 37 Not sure 1

25. How important would you say being Jewish is in your own life?
Very important 51 Fairly important 34 Not very important 15 Not sure 0

26. How close do you feel to Israel? Very close 30 Fairly close 44 Fairly distant 20 Very distant 5 Not sure 0

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis