Saturday, June 12, 2010

Turks keep making themselves look foolish

Gul likens Israel to al-Qaeda

Turkish president says flotilla raid 'crime' closer to act of terror group than of sovereign state, adds Israel must offer compensation if it wants forgiveness

Israel News

Israel must make amends to be forgiven for a commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, including apologizing and paying compensation, Turkish President Abdullah Gul told the French daily Le Monde. Gul added that if Israel made no move to heal the rift, then Turkey could even decide to break diplomatic relations.

In an interview published on Friday, Gul said the Israeli raid at the end of May, which killed nine activists, was a "crime" which might have been carried out by the likes of al-Qaeda rather than a sovereign state.

Flotilla Raid
Erdogan to Assad: Israel will pay for flotilla raid / Ali Waked
During press conference in Istanbul, Turkish PM calls on Israel to 'put an end to occupation of Arab lands.' Syrian president says those who died during commando takeover of Gaza-bound ship 'shahids in heaven'
Full Story

"It seems impossible to me to forgive or forget, unless there are some initiatives which could change the situation," Gul was quoted as saying by Le Monde.

Asked what these might be, he said: "Firstly, to ask pardon and to establish some sort of compensation." He added that he also wanted to see an independent inquiry into the botched raid and a discussion on lifting Israel's blockade of Gaza.

Asked if Turkey might break relations with Israel if they did nothing, Gul said: "Anything is possible."

Once a close ally of Israel, Turkey recalled its ambassador following the flotilla incident, cancelled joint military exercises and said trade and defense deals worth billions of dollars would be reduced to a minimum.

Separately, Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial executions, said any inquiry set up by Israel to investigate the Gaza flotilla incident "must be given a genuine capacity to find the facts" or it would not be credible.

To comply with international standards, he said, such an inquiry would have to be independent of the government and have full legal authority to obtain direct access to all relevant evidence, including the military personnel involved.

Israel has fended off a UN demand for an international investigation, instead accepting a US proposal for an Israeli inquiry with the participation of outside observers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Syrian Dictator Asad to Turks: Enter the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Shed Your Blood for Us

Barry Rubin

Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad (known as "the giraffe" among his people when they think no secret police are listening) was in Turkey recently and had a proposition for that country.

"Turkish blood and Arabic blood is the same," he told the Turkish prime minister. "Israel has to be kept in quarantine not to spread its disease. From now on the Turkish flag will remain in the coasts of Palestine,till the Palestinian nation will reach all their rights." Remember that for Assad that means wiping Israel off the map.

So that's what Iran's chief Arab ally has to offer Turkey, involvement in a decades'-long conflict, the abandonment of Turkish nationalism, unity with the Arabs (and Iranians), conflict with the West, battle with Israel and...the ultimate triumph of Iranian ambitions and Islam. Not so attractive compared to Turkey's record of almost 80 years of peace, relative prosperity, social progress, and links to the West. Up until now, Turkey has wanted to be more like Europe, does it now want to be more like Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria?

Even the revered Fatiullah Gulen, a popular but controversial figure who many Westerners considered a moderate Muslim and many Turkish seculariss view as a wolf in sheep's clothing, has been viciously attacked by the IHH and the militant Islamists for having "saved" Israel. He made a general statement against violence in English which people in the West see as proof of moderation and followers in Turkey say is being misinterpreted. Still, the attempt to intimidate such a powerful figure--who has lots of money, his own media, and an entire school system, plus great influence in the Turkish police--may not be taken lightly by Gulen's followers.

Now the regime has taken another step against its NATO allies and the West by voting no on relatively minor sanctions against Iran that even Russia and China supported.

So, which road for Turkey: That of Kemal Ataturk or that of Ruhollah Khomeini?

Last year, speaking in Gaza at a Hamas rally, Bülent Yildirim, the Turkish chief organizer of the Gaza flotilla, said something more about that vision: "I wish we could take you away from here to Istanbul, and bring Istanbul here to be hit by the bombs instead of you." Yes, if you want to be a martyr and a pawn for Iran, Syria, and revolutionary Islamists, entering the Middle East's bloody conflicts and instability is a good idea. Otherwise, not.

Report: Obama Nixed Anti-Riot Gear on Flotilla

Maayana Miskin

Israeli troops avoided the use of non-lethal riot gear against passengers on last week's Gaza-bound flotilla in order to appease United States President Barack Obama, according to the World Tribune. Quoting “diplomatic sources,” the paper said Obama nixed the use of equipment such as tear gas to stop the flotilla and demanded that Israel “exercise extreme caution and restraint.”. The White House has not commented on the report.

The report claimed that Defense Minister Ehud Barak accepted Obama's demand, possibly due to his hopes that America will agree to sell advanced weapons to Israel.

It says that the American demand was made despite Israeli intelligence reports indicating possible danger aboard one ship, the Mavi Marmara, which carried primarily Turkish citizens, many of them members of the pro-terrorist IHH organization. Intelligence agents had found that many of the Turkish passengers were trained in weapons use and hand-to-hand combat; their assessments were relayed to the White House.

Ultimately, soldiers boarded the ships with paintball guns and pistols instead of traditional anti-riot gear such as tear gas and rubber bullets. They were quickly overpowered by passengers on the Mavi Marmara, who were armed with clubs and knives. After two soldiers were critically wounded and dragged below deck, a commando opened fire , killing nine passengers and successfully ending the attack.

Obama did not condemn the IDF response, but since the flotilla incident, he has sought to ease tension with Turkey, and has called on Israel to ease its blockade on Gaza.
Comment on this story

How Israel Can Win the PR War: Ambassador Oren on Colbert

by Ryan Mauro

Last night, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren went on The Colbert Report. This was a risky move—Colbert’s wit is unmatched and his ability to pose a tough question in the form of a joke is enough to make anyone sweat. But, Ambassador Oren came out on top, introduced facts about the flotilla controversy that I’m sure many members of Colbert’s audience weren’t aware of.Watch the video below:
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Formidable Opponent – Michael Oren
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

Israel needs to do more of this. They need to have people proactively reaching out to colleges and individual clubs on campuses to have speakers like Oren. They need to immediately pitch segments to radio and T.V. producers when an incident like this happens. Often, Israel waits too long to gather the facts and by then, the other side has written the narrative. This time, Israel did a bit better by releasing several videos of the clash and the finding of weapons onboard. They were also helped by the presence of open-source information about the IHH, the Turkish Islamist group closely tied to Hamas.

One of the points Israel needs to push harder to make is the nature of the blockade and how they went about searching the ship. Colbert apparently believes the Israelis acted too aggressively and put the women and children onboard the ship unnecessarily in harm’s way.

Israel needs to mention how much aid it allows to go to Gaza, and that this isn’t a World War Two-style blockade meant to starve the population into submission. They need to explain how the Israelis just wanted to conduct a search and were first attacked, some of which only had paintball guns. It would be absolutely insane for Israel not to search ships that could (and in this case, did) carry weapons for Hamas.

This wasn’t an Israeli attack. It was a safe, reasonable security procedure that should be accepted just like how we accept that airport security must search our bags. This was an ambush, pure and simple.

Oklahoma City Stands With Israel

Margy Pezdirtz lives in Oklahoma. Margy Pezdirtz loves Israel. Margy Pezdirtz is willing to stand up for Israel. Here's how Margy describes events in Oklahoma City last Friday afternoon:

" It was a quiet Friday, one in which I wanted to study and prepare for the coming Shabbat, when my phone rang. Renee said, "Did you get the flyer? The one about the anti-Israel rally this afternoon at 4:30? I thought you might want to do something about it."
 "No, I didn’t get the flyer. What’s happening."

And thus began the end of a quiet afternoon.
 CAIR - The Council on American-Islamic Relations - was sponsoring a rally from 4:30 p.m to 6:00 p.m to "to decry Israel’s attack on humanitarian aid ship share. Probably the last thing in the world I wanted to do on this very hot June
afternoon was to stand on a street corner and protest the protestors. I thought about it for a moment. Could I, in all honesty and integrity, sit back in my comfortable, air conditioned home and do nothing? And what about my ten-year-old granddaughter who was with me until her parents got off work. Should I take her to a rally like this that could conceivably turn
 I thought about it for a moment and knew I had to act. If not me, then who?
 If not now, then when?

I quickly forwarded the article on to my email list
 asking anyone and everyone that could to join me at 4:00 p.m at the
 intersection. I called people whom I knew wouldn’t receive the e-mail prior
 to getting home and told them of our intentions and asked them to call as
 many people as they could and to please join us.

My sister was across town with her daughter who is due to have a baby any
 day now. I called her and said, "Is the baby coming?" "No," she responded.
 "Then I have something more important for you to do." I gave her
 instructions and was happy when she said, "OK." I wasn’t sure I would leave my daughter in that situation, but she is as committed to Israel as I am and she knew I wouldn’t be calling if it wasn’t significant.

I grabbed a box of Israeli window flags from my garage and threw them in the car along with a generous supply of ice water. I donned white pants and my blue tee that showed crossed Israeli and America flags and said, "United We Stand...Divided We Fall" and backed out of the driveway. My heart and head were racing, and I wondered if I was walking into trouble. My granddaughter and I prayed as we drove towards the site of the rally where my son would pick her up. Rushing toward the freeway, I explained words to her like ‘flotilla’, ‘humanitarian’ and once again, "God’s love for the land and
people of Israel."

In the beginning, my friend Renee and I were the only ones at the intersection where the rally was supposed to be held. We took our stand across the street from the anti-Israel bunch and began waving Israeli flags at passers by.

At her suggestion, I called the local talk radio show, a conservative station, and told host Lee Matthews what we were doing. He put it on the air and soon, cars were passing by and honking in agreement with the two of us. I had told Lee that I had Israeli flags I would give out to anyone who pulled over and asked for one.

A man in a white pickup truck was stopped at the traffic light going in the
opposite direction. He sat watching us as he waited for the light and I
 hollered, "Would you like a flag?" He nodded yes and I ran one across two
 traffic lanes to him. He took the flag and said, "I’m going to park and come
help you." His name was David.

Every fifteen minutes, the radio station called for a report on what was happening. I was delighted to tell them people were listening and responding
to us. He wanted to know how many there were at the CAIR site and I told him I could see seven, which later turned to eleven. As we talked on the radio, I continued to wave flags and smile at people.

Others came and joined us. One couple, Mike and Betty, said they were sitting on their porch in El Reno - a town approximately thirty miles away,
 when they heard on the radio about the anti-anti-Israel rally. Mike looked at his wife and said, "We better get down there."
 Another couple heard about it on the radio as they were driving home from
work and they detoured to our location to join us.

A beautifully dressed young woman who lives in Northwest Oklahoma City heard about it on the radio, pulled into the Walgreen’s parking lot across the street and waited for the very long light to change so she could literally
 run across the street to join us. She grabbed a flag and began standing
 watch with us. And they continued to come. They were individuals. They were couples. Some were on their way home from work. Some were just driving by. Others heard about it on the radio and were moved to action.

They were Christians and they knew this was late on a Friday afternoon when Jews were preparing for Shabbat and most likely wouldn’t be able to come join in the rally, so they responded to the invitation and stood on the hot corner, waving flags and
 shouting "support Israel."

My spirits were lifted. I was thrilled to see the response and to hear the conversations of the people who joined us. They cheerfully pulled flags out of the bag and started waving them and giving them out and when we ran out, I ran back to the car and brought all I had.

We had a sign that said, "Honk for Israel" and people put the flags on their car windows and drove around the block two, three and four times honking for Israel. When the anti-Israel CAIR bunch mimicked our sign with one that said, "honk for Islam," people on our side of the street honked even louder and longer.

Our group had grown considerably. There were suddenly twelve and then twenty and more came as some left. One woman, riding on a large motorbike flying an American flag pulled into the intersection, parked the bike and said, "I came to join you." I laughed and said, "Welcome, Biker Babe" and we continued to wave flags, hold up signs supporting Israel. I couldn’t help but give praise to God that the response from those joining us and those passing by with honking horns, were so supportive.

The CAIR group watched us and even sent someone over, dressed in
intimidating black, with an camera to take our pictures from all angles. I made sure he got excellent pictures of us – what his rationale was didn’t
 matter. What mattered was that they, the CAIR people, saw that not everyone bought their story of Israel’s unfairness to so-called humanitarian ships.

The hour and a half passed quickly and our spirits continued in spite of the hot sun. We were tired and thirsty but we shouted with the greatest of joy when one of Oklahoma City’s beautiful, large fire engines drove by and
tapped out a tune of support to us on their air horn. We heard it loud and clear and I’m sure the CAIR people did as well, but there was no doubt whom the firefighters were supporting.

The rally was supposed to be over at 6:00 p.m. The hour came and went and the CAIR people stayed on. We were determined that we would win this
 demonstration by sheer will power, if nothing else, and we continued to
 stand on the corner, waving flags, shouting for Israel and laughing.

Finally, at 6:30, the CAIR crowd had diminished to one person against our dozen or so remaining. We waited and watched as they packed up their last
 person, their signs and flags into a vehicle and drove off. Only then, did
 we call an end to our rally. One person in our group was determined to stay on the corner until he had given out his last flag and we left him there
waving his flag and showing determination to all, reaffirming his – and our – solidarity with Israel."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

David Frankfurter ([info]dfrankfurter) wrote,
@ 2010-06-10 21:32:00

I received all these in today’s batch of emails.

Read these:
1. Abbas tells U.S. Jews: I would never deny Jewish right to the land of Israel

2. Palestinian President repeats acceptance of Jews' claim to the land of Israel, citing the Koran.
THEN watch this video
3. Abbas rejects Israel as Jewish state

THEN read this:
4. Abbas not truthful to Obama; denies PA incitement

Who is this man trying to fool?

Lebanese Threaten Mass March on Israeli Border

Hillel Fendel
A7 News

The anti-Israel flotilla has turned the tide of world opinion against Israel, Fatah leaders in Lebanon say, and the time is ripe for a mass civilian charge against Israel’s border. Mounir Al-Makdah, a leading Fatah leader in Lebanon, says plans are being made for a mass charge against Israel’s northern border. “What can Israel do,” he asks, “kill the entire Palestinian nation [sic]?”

“And even if they kill all those who take part in the march, the number of remaining Palestinians will still be more than all the Jews in the world.”

Al-Makdah told the Lebanese newspaper Al-Sapir that the plans for the march are being made via letters to thousands of “Palestinians” living around the world inviting them to take part. “It could be that they will just break through the border, with their children and their elderly. What will Israel be able to do?”

“A wind of change has begun to blow,” he said, “and Israel has begun to be a yoke not only for the Palestinian nation, but for the whole world.”

“The freedom flotilla brings a message of the beginning of the end of Israel,” Al-Makdah said.

He made similar remarks to a French news agency earlier this week, saying that such marches should take place from all areas that border on Israel – Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Judea/Samaria. He said he hopes the Lebanese government, of which Hizbullah is a part, will soon grant a permit for the mass march.

Comment: The next media event-tomorrow, Friday. Note several items: the organizers are willing to use elderly, women and children in the front end charge as human shields. Fatah is leading this and anyone who dares tell me this is a moderate group I'll know you are blind, ignorant, stupid or agenda driven. All of this is driven from Iran-the international community has taken its collective eyes off the emerging nuclear bomb development-no reporter brave enough to merge the two stories. Finally, this is one testing the Israeli IDF, to see how we will respond-it is part of the greater attack coming soon.Israel will shoot first, this is THE point of all of this-never mind it is self-preservation! Tell me, if your neighbor had been provoking you for years, lobbing bombs into your yard, placing devices on your fence-line and threatening you every day-you would be concerned? How about if this same neighbor got hundreds of his "friends" to gather and then storm your property-what would you do? Folks we can't call the police, what would you do?

Obama: US to Pour $400 Million into PA

Hillel Fendel
A7 News

“The situation in Gaza is unsustainable – [as is] the status quo in the entire Middle East.” So said U.S. President Barack Obama after meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Washington on Wednesday. See video below. Obama repeated several times that a new solution other than a maritime blockade on Gaza must be found to address “Israel’s legitimate security needs.”

The President also mentioned, once, the need for “more progress on both security as well as incitement issues” – to which Abbas responded, “I say in front of you, Mr. President, that we have nothing to do with incitement against Israel, and we’re not doing that.”

In actuality, however, the most recent report by Palestinian Media Watch shows that “the Palestinian Authority, the Fatah leaders and the Abbas-controlled official PA media continue to deny Israel’s existence, deny Israel’s right to exist, define the conflict with Israel as an uncompromising religious war for Allah, promote hatred through demonization, slander and libel, and glorify terror and violence.”

PMW states that the PA and Fatah leaders make moderate statements to Western powers in English, in contrast to what they tell their own people in Arabic. The full PMW report may be seen here. [article continues below]

Obama: Two-State Solution
Obama reiterated that “a lot of work… remains to be done so that we can create a two-state solution in the Middle East in which we have an Israel that is secure and fully accepted by its neighbors, and a Palestinian people that have their own state, self-determination, and the ability to chart their own destiny.”

Regarding the flotilla and the blockade on Gaza, Obama said that he and Abbas discussed how they could promote “a better approach to Gaza.” Obama acknowledged that Israel “should not have missiles flying out of Gaza into its territories,” and even noted that “I think President Abbas agrees with this.” However, he said, “we also think that it is important for us to explore new mechanisms so that we can have goods and services, and economic development…” in Gaza. “And so we are going to be working hand in hand to make sure that we come up with a better approach.”

Questions on Obama's Proposal
“It seems to us,” Obama later explained, “that there should be ways of focusing narrowly on arms shipments, rather than focusing in a blanket way on stopping everything and then in a piecemeal way allowing things into Gaza.” He did not elaborate on how “focusing narrowly on arms shipments” would stop arms arriving as hidden contraband smuggled in among food and medicine supplies.

In the meantime, Obama said, the United States “is going to be announcing an additional $400 million in assistance for housing, school construction, business development -- not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank, because we think it’s important for us to reaffirm once again our commitment to improving the day-to-day lives of ordinary Palestinians.”

Asked how the distribution of the money will be overseen, given the “problems” – others have accused PA leaders of downright corruption – in this area in the past, Obama said only, “”I’ll let my team give you the details in terms of how that will be administered and how the money will begin to flow.”


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

All Aboard: Muslim Clerics Organize Flotilla to Gaza

Hillel Fendel
A7 News

The idea of flotillas to Gaza is catching on. Following the notorious terrorist activists’ flotilla of last week, and then one for Gilad Shalit, and another that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan wants to join, now comes the idea for a “Muslim religious leaders” flotilla to Gaza. Kuwait’s Al-Watan newspaper reports that wanted terrorist Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is behind the efforts to organize what is being called the “Freedom Flotilla.” Qaradawi heads the Union of Muslim Religious Sages, and he has invited its members to take part in the anti-Israel initiative, scheduled for next month.

Qaradawi himself, however, will not take part – for fear that Israel will arrest him. Wanted by Israel for years, he has issued religious decrees encouraging suicide attacks against Israeli and American civilians. He is banned from entering the United States and Great Britain.

Al-Qaradwi also heads the Union of Good, an umbrella organization of more than 50 Islamic funds and foundations around the globe that channels money into Hamas institutions in the PA-controlled territories. In January 2008, Israel outlawed 36 associations belonging to the Union of Good - including Turkey’s IHH, which organized the recent terror-activist flotilla to Gaza.

Regarding Erdogan’s declaration of intent to take part in a flotilla to Gaza, former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan says that such an act should be considered an act of war. “If he boards a ship on its way to Gaza,” Dayan said, “Israel must treat his ship the same way it treated the Marmari.”

Jews in Oz: How Did We Get Here, Dorothy?

by Mike Lumish

If people had told me a year or two ago that I would be participating on a blog associated with David Horowitz, I would have told them that they were out of their bleeding minds. I’m a liberal, for chrissake. I just spent almost the last ten years hatin’ on the Bush administration, marching against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, phone banking for, donating money to the Gore campaign, the Kerry campaign, the Obama campaign. I am in favor of a woman’s right to choose, in favor of Gay rights, in favor of governmental regulation of polluting industries, and would prefer to see a more equitable distribution of wealth via the tax code. Heck, I even live in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, the bluest neighborhood in the bluest city of a dominantly blue state.

And, yet, here I am. The reason for this is actually very simple and straightforward. The Left has betrayed the Jews. Yikes! Those may be stark terms, but there is simply no two ways about it. The Left is absolutely up to its proverbial neck in anti-Zionism and Israel Hatred. For years I was a member of Daily Kos, otherwise known as the Great Orange Satan, and the more I saw of the “progressive” base of the Democratic party the more horrified I became. Day after day after day, participants on the Left blogs kick the holy crap out of the Jewish state and demonize and demean anyone who comes to its defense. They make apologies for suicide bombers and rocket attacks against innocent Israeli civilians and large numbers of them are entirely opposed to Jewish self-determination and self-defense.

They want to see the Jewish people on our collective knees and they do so… get this… in the name of “human rights.
” For two-thousand years Jews have gotten their asses kicked in one country after another. Pogroms. Expulsions. Persecutions. All culminating in that romping good time that we had in Europe in the middle of the twentieth century, and these people believe that as a matter of human rights the Jewish state should not even exist?

What a bunch of cards.

The truth of the matter, of course, is that they do not honestly care about human rights. If they cared about human rights they would care about the human rights of people who do not happen to live in Ramallah or Gaza City. They don’t. I did a tag search of Daily Kos a few months back in order to compare the attention given to the Israel-Palestine conflict versus the attention given to China-Tibet. I found that over the course of about fourteen months there were 1,242 diaries concerning Israel, the vast majority of which were anti-Israel smear jobs, and a grand total of 18 concerning Tibet. So, while they claim to care about the poor, suffering Palestinians they definitely don’t care about the poor, suffering Tibetans. Nor do they care about the poor, suffering Darfurans, Congolese, or Chechens.

I may still be a liberal with many friends in the Democratic party, but the Left is dead to me.

{Cross-Posted at Lord of the Karmafishes.}

Minister Ya'alon says Navy raid a failure

Strategic affairs minister, who served as acting PM during deadly takeover of Gaza-bound vessel, praises commandos, but says 'someone failed to prepare a standard operating procedure.' Senior state official: Ya'alon preparing alibi ahead of investigation. Kadima: Soldiers' senders have no shame

Attila Somfalvi
Israel News Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon admitted on Tuesday that last week's deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla was a failure, saying that "in a place where citations should have been given, someone failed to prepare a standard operating procedure."

Speaking during a meeting with council heads from the Likud party, Ya'alon said that "the decision was right, but there is room for improvement –and I am not going to elaborate."

Ya'alon, who served as acting prime minister at the time of the operation due to the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on an official visit to Canada, praised the commandos who took over the Gaza-bound flotilla. "The fighting on the deck was heroic and took place under impossible conditions," he said, while adding that "there were some malfunctions during the planning and operational stages."

"I warned of this before the incident," the minister said.

'Ya'alon responsible for SOP'

A senior IDF official said in response to the remarks that "since Ya'alon was the acting prime minister at the time of the incident, he is responsible.

"If there wasn't a standard operating procedure, why didn't he make sure there was one? Why didn't he hold a consultation several hours after the flotilla incident and send the ministers to give interviews to the press? He was the acting prime minister and it was his responsibility.

The official added, "Ya'alon could have ensured what the army had and what it didn't have before the operation, and his remarks are an attempt to shirk responsibility ahead of the commission of inquiry.

A senior state official was unsatisfied with the remarks as well, saying that "Ya'alon must have forgotten who was the acting prime minister at the time and who should have dealt with all the details of the operation. He is beginning to prepare the ground for the commission of inquiry and is preparing an alibi for himself ahead of the investigation."

During Tuesday's meeting with Ya'alon, Ma'aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel complained that council heads were not being utilized in Israel's PR efforts. "We are in contact with Jewish organizations all over the world, and we have all the necessary documentation. It's a shame were are not being put to work," he said.

Kadima MK: PM should fire Ya'alon

The Kadima opposition party interpreted Ya'alon's remarks as holding the IDF accountable, although others saw them as an attack on Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Knesset Member Yoel Hasson, chairman of the State Control Committee, said in response: "It appears that someone has not been acting according to a standing operating procedure, because those who sent the IDF's soldiers on a mission which was doomed to fail, without any proper decision making procedure, are not ashamed to hold the Navy heroes responsible."

Kadima Faction Chairwoman Dalia Itzik said she was considering submitting a no-confidence motion against the government following the minister's remarks. Itzik told Ynet that Ya'alon was "preparing an alibi for the commission of inquiry."

MK Ze'ev Boim said, "We would expect Minister Ya'alon, a former chief of staff, to be a bit more modest – especially in light of the IDF's problematic performance in the Second Lebanon war, which illustrated the army's faulty preparedness during his term. Ya'alon should wait patiently for the professional investigations to be completed."

MK Majalli Whbee joined the criticism, saying that "Bogie Ya'alon is just the symptom of an arrogant government, which will never admit a mistake and is a champion in rolling the responsibility to its subordinates.

"Those who are to blame for the failures are Ya'alon and the members of the seven dwarves' forum, who didn't ask questions, and today are trying to shirk responsibility and accuse the Navy fighters, who did all they could to emerge from the jam Ya'alon and his friends put them in."

MK Shlomo Molla said Ya'alon should be dismissed over his remarks. "Minister Ya'alon is trying to avoid a commission of inquiry, and instead of taking responsibility is trying to hold the IDF's soldiers accountable.

"The IDF does not outline a policy – it follows orders, and the political echelon must face the accusations and explain without throwing mud at the IDF. I call on the prime minister to fire Minister Ya'alon in order to save the IDF."

On Monday IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi ordered a formal, external inquiry into the naval raid.

The probe, meant to derive operational conclusions from the deadly events which took place aboard the Marmara – the sail's lead vessel – will be conducted by a panel of experts headed by Maj-Gen (ret.) Giora Eiland.

Joining Eiland will be Brigadier-General Aviv Kohavi, who once headed the Operations Directorate, former Chief Intelligence Officer Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yuval Halamish and Colonel (res.) Ben Zion Da'abul, who held senior posts in the Navy and the defense establishment.

The panel is expected to submit its findings by July.

Amnon Meranda contributed to this report

Obama to offer Gaza aid to Abbas in flotilla aftermath

In effort to contain fallout over Israel Navy raid, US president expected to offer Palestinian president fresh US aid for Gaza during Abbas' visit to Washington

Israel News

President Barack Obama on Wednesday is expected to offer Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fresh US aid for Gaza as Washington seeks to contain the fallout over Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. Hosting Abbas at the White House, Obama will also try to ensure that heightened Middle East tensions over last week's deadly Israeli commando operation do not derail sputtering US-led peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.

He will face a difficult balancing act.

Obama is likely to assure Abbas he will press Israel to loosen its Gaza blockade and allow in more humanitarian supplies, but at the same time the US leader wants to avoid further strains between Washington and the Jewish state.

Abbas' visit comes amid an international backlash against close US ally Israel after its forces boarded a Turkish aid ship bound for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on May 31 and nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.

The Obama administration has deemed "unsustainable" the three-year-old blockade, which Israel says is needed to stop weapons smuggling and Palestinians call collective punishment.

Expectations for a major breakthrough are low when the two leaders meet. But having pledged to help ease Gaza's plight, Obama will not send Abbas home empty-handed.

"The president and President Abbas will discuss steps to improve life for the people of Gaza, including US support for specific projects to promote economic development and greater quality of life," a senior Obama administration official said.

Obama's pledge will include a "long-term strategy for progress that we will advance through consultations with the Palestinians, Israelis, Egyptians and other partners."

Keeping funds out of Hamas hands

There were no immediate details on the amount and type of US aid to be offered for the impoverished coastal enclave, which since 2007 has been run by Hamas Islamists who seized control from Abbas's Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority.

But any fresh infusion of funds would come with strings attached to keep it out of the hands of Hamas, which is on the US list of terrorist organizations.

In recent years, US aid to the Palestinians has been sent mostly to the West Bank, where Abbas governs, or funneled to Gaza through international agencies. Washington pledged $900 million for the Palestinians at a donors conference in 2009.

Seeking to boost Abbas's standing with his people, reporters will be allowed into the Oval Office to see the leaders together. Press coverage was barred during a tense visit in November by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which Israeli media widely interpreted as a snub.

Despite heightened regional tensions, the Obama administration hopes to keep alive indirect US-brokered talks that have made little headway since starting in early May.

"We look forward to engaging with President Abbas to move the process forward so that we can get to direct talks to address all the final status issues, and to ensure neither side take provocative steps," the administration official said.

Obama's Middle East diplomacy, central to his outreach to Muslim world, has been complicated by the flotilla incident.

Abbas's meeting with Obama will take place a week after Netanyahu canceled talks in Washington and rushed home from Canada to deal with the crisis sparked by the flotilla raid.

Netanyahu's visit had been billed as a fence-mending session to move beyond discord over Jewish settlement construction on occupied land.

Abbas is expected to appeal to Obama, who has been more measured in his response to the flotilla raid than the broader international community, to take a tougher line with Israel.

Obama has little room to maneuver. With US congressional elections looming in November, he must be mindful that Israel is popular with US lawmakers and voters.

Abbas also backs a UN proposal for an international probe, but the White House leans toward Israel's insistence on its own inquiry with a role for foreign experts or observers.

Abbas will arrive from Turkey, a US ally that has condemned Israel's action and curtailed ties with it. Abbas called the raid a "massacre." Israel said its commandos defended themselves when attacked during the boarding.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sen. Schumer Demands Probe of IHH-Terror Links. EJC Wants More.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
A7 News

New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer has added his voice to growing cries for an investigation of terrorist links with IHH, the Turkish-based organization that sponsored last week’s flotilla that included Turkish terror activists.

The United Nations immediately condemned Israel for the violence on the Mavi Mamara flotilla ship last week, but no mention was made of links between terrorist groups and IHH.
Nine Turks aboard the Mavi Mamara ship were killed after they brutally assaulted Israeli Navy commandos who boarded the vessel without standard counterterrorist weapons and after the flotilla refused to answer calls to change course from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Senator Schumer asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “immediately conduct an investigation to determine if the IHH is currently – or has in the past – provided financial, logistical or material support to any terrorist organizations listed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.”

Former Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams wrote on the Weekly Standard website that the Israelis “understand that no one is going to investigate Turkey and its role, nor investigate the pro-terror groups on board those ships — not if the United States fails to insist on it.”

Interviewed on CNN, Abrams maintained, “Israel interfered, thank God…with a group of armed Turks who came prepared for a fight with iron bars, night vision devices, ceramic vests, despite what, frankly, are the lies that the Turkish foreign minister” stated the same day on CNN.

B'nai Brith Canada Executive Vice President Frank Dimant said, "We have contacted both Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper and the Leader of the Opposition to call on them to act against IHH without delay. IHH…has a long history of involvement with and links to Islamist terrorist organizations which clearly justify its inclusion of the list of designated terrorist entities. Designating the IHH as a terrorist entity would clearly fit with the Harper administration's public safety platform.”

The IHH openly sympathizes with Hamas, which is designated by the United States as an outlawed terrorist group. U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley told reporters last week that the IHH is not on the list of terrorist groups but added, “Based on statements from U.S. State Department officials, IHH representatives have met with senior Hamas officials in Turkey, Syria, and Gaza over the past three years.”

He also referred to IHH’s “clear, long-standing ties to terrorism and jihad” and said the Obama administration is "concerned” about IHH ties with terrorist groups.

A Washington Post editorial on Saturday also questioned the activities of the IHH. “The relationship between Mr. [Tayip Recep] Erdogan's government and the IHH ought to be one focus of any international investigation into the incident,” the newspaper stated. “The foundation is a member of the ’Union of Good,’ a coalition that was formed to provide material support to Hamas.”

New York Post columnist Ralph Peters, Zvi Mazel, Israel's former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), and the European Jewish Congress also have demanded a probe of IHH. The EJC also called for putting it on the EU terrorist group list, calling on Spanish Foreign Minister Angel Miguel Moratinos - whose country currently chairs the European Union - and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton to “immediately proscribe the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, otherwise known as the IHH and other similar terrorist front organizations.

“According to a report issued in 2006 by the Danish Institute for International Studies, during the 1990s the IHH maintained links with al-Qaeda and a number of ‘global jihad networks.” After an investigation on reports that the IHH bought weapons, the Turkish government raided IHH offices in Istanbul and found weapons, explosives, and instructions for bomb-making.

The EJC cited a French intelligence report that "in the mid-1990s IHH leader B’ulent Yildirim recruited soldiers for jihad activities in a number of Muslim countries and that the IHH transferred money, firearms, and explosives to jihadists in said countries.”

Newsweek magazine reported that officials in the Obama administration question whether the IHH is a terrorist group. “IHH is sympathetic to Hamas,” one of the officials told Newsweek. “[But] that by itself does not make them terrorists.” Two other counterterrorism officials admitted there is evidence of previous contacts between IHH and radical Muslim groups.

Seven Reasons Why Israel Will Never Get a Fair Shake

John Hawkins
Tuesday, June 08, 2010

"Never again." It's what the world said after the Holocaust. Fast forward sixty five years and the only thing standing between seven million Jews in Israel and a 2nd Holocaust is their ability to fight for their own survival and the increasingly inconsistent support of the United States. It doesn't matter that Israel is a beacon of Western civilization surrounded by terrorist-supporting nations, dictators, and rogue states. It doesn't matter that Israel could obliterate the Palestinians and take their land in a few weeks’ time if they so desired. It doesn't even matter that the Israelis are engaged in a low level defensive war with what could fairly be called the most depraved and despicable society on earth. No matter how grave the provocation or how clearly Israel is in the right, the world's judgment is always against Israel. Why? Anti-Semitism: During World War II, with a few exceptions, nations all over Europe couldn't wait to ship their Jewish population off to the gas chamber and undoubtedly, many a Jew-hater today, particularly in Europe, learned it sitting on his grandpa's knee. That's doubly true in the Muslim world, where anti-Semitism and Islam seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Nazis may have been reduced to groups of laughable misfits, but their views of Jews have gone mainstream across much of the Middle East and Europe.

The Have-Nots vs. the Haves: To many people on the Left, the actual facts on the ground are of secondary importance to the identities of the combatants. You see, there's an assumption oftentimes made by the Left that in a conflict between "haves" and "have-nots," the "have-nots" are always right simply by virtue of the fact that they're "have-nots." The Israelis are a civilized, prosperous, educated, Western pro-American nation with a modern military up against poor, ignorant, uncivilized savages who hate America and fight by killing women and children, throwing rocks, and blowing themselves up. Therefore, no matter what the Palestinians say or do, to many people on the Left, the Palestinians simply have to be in the right by virtue of who they are.

Israel's Situation Outside of People's Reality: Most people, especially most Westerners, cannot truly imagine what it's like to be in Israel's position. Despite their fantastic military, Israel is an isolated, postage-stamp-size nation that's only 8 miles across at one point. They are surrounded by enemies, all of whom would like to kill them down to the last child -- and they will if the Israelis ever become weak or drop their guard. Additionally, the Israelis are locked in an eternal struggle with genocidal Palestinians who have the support of the world, despite the fact that they have no interest in peace today, tomorrow, or ever if it means living next to Israelis.

When civilized people surrounded by sane neighbors -- whose nations have been safe and secure since they were born, who are used to successfully talking their problems out -- try to fathom the daily reality Israelis have to live with, it's difficult for them to even conceive of it.

Colonialism: Today, there's still a deep sense of guilt in Europe about colonialism. They look back at conquering, subjugating, and ruling other nations for profit as a terrible chapter in their history. So, when Western European nations look at Israel, they see it with different eyes than, say the United States, which doesn't consider itself to be a colonialist nation. When many Americans look at Israel, they see a bastion of Western civilization fighting for survival against people who want to finish the job the Nazis started while people from Western Europe look at the same facts and see a dark echo of what they believe was one of the most shameful times in their nation's history.

Fear of Islam: The West has been completely intimidated by Islam. Images of Muhammad? The press is terrified to show them. In Britain, even Catholics are calling for Muslim prayer rooms in Catholic schools. Here in the U.S., we're building a mosque at Ground Zero, which is like building a tribute to the Japanese military. What it all comes down to is that if most Muslims hate and despise Jews -- and let's be honest, they do -- then many completely emasculated Westerners are going to be too intimidated to go against them.

Geopolitics: Yes, Israel is prosperous for its size, but it’s a teeny, tiny isolated nation. The simple reality is that if another country has to choose between having a good relationship with Israel and having a good relationship with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and the rest of its hostile neighbors, it's much more economically rewarding to stand against Israel. Israel isn't going to be a major market for goods. Israel can't supply your nation with oil. So, for the leaders of many nations, condemning Israel is a dollars and cents decision.

The Blame Game: Failing nations around the world often try to gin up anger at scapegoats to distract their citizens from the poor job their rulers are doing. The United States plays this role for many nations. To a lesser extent, so do the British. Unfortunately for the Israelis, they are surrounded by failing, dictatorial states run by religious fanatics who'd much rather have their people raging at the Israelis rather than wondering why the country they're living in is so backwards. Do you think the Saudi royal family would rather have people talking about the Palestinians or why that country is still run by a monarchy in the 21st century? Do you think Iran wants people talking about the Palestinians or the fact that their economy is in shambles and the people are ready to revolt? Even if there wasn't a single Middle Eastern leader who was a raving anti-Semite, there would STILL be every incentive to gin up hatred against the Jews.

Sinister Aim of 'Aid Flotilla'.

Youssef Ibrahim

The emergence of Turkey in a leading position against Israel is developing as the most significant aspect of the efforts of an "aid flotilla" to run the blockade of Gaza that is maintained by both Egypt and Israel. Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and which aspires to join the European Union, ranks as chief instigator, leader, and organizer of the so-called Gaza aid flotilla of boats arrested overnight by Israeli commandoes. Inevitably the clash resulted in several dead and wounded, the latter including Israeli navy personnel, as well as condemnation of Israel, some via anti-Semitic rhetoric, from both Western Europe and the Arab world.

Yet there was nothing accidental about this collision. Videos show demonstrators on the boat attacking Israeli navy personnel with knives and live fire and seizing at least one of the soldiers' weapons. Training, preparations and the loud propaganda preceded the flotilla, all earmarked to shed blood and launch another "hate the Jews" campaign.

Turkey and Hamas, the Islamist group governing Gaza since 2007, teamed up overtly to engineer the exercise for weeks. It was out there to see for all on Al Jazeera. So-called non-governmental aid groups included Turkish militants trained to fight and prepared to shed blood. The charade was meticulously watched over by the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan whose Islamist Justice and Development Party spared no effort inveighing anti-Israel sentiments in the greater Middle East region ever since it emerged in 2002.

The "Hate the Jews" campaign will undoubtedly follow its course to the United Nations where the Security Council will fashion yet one more anti-Israeli resolution within days. The White House issued a statement today "regretting" loss of life but failing to offer any support for the beleaguered Jewish state.

There is nothing new about blockades. Britain imposed a blockade in 1982 on the Falkland Islands and levied a 74 days long war, in which 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers perished, to protect its sovereignty over these far-flung territories occupied by Argentina . Egypt has blockaded Gaza since 2007, reinforced with an 18-feet-deep steel wall to prevent tunnels to Gaza. (Instead of blaming Israel for the incident, the United State and European countries must reassess the validity of Turkish membership of NATO and realize that this 'moderate' Islamic country has no place in the European Union! At the same time, Israel needs to end the pretence that Turkey is a friendly Muslim country.)

NOTES: 1) IHH, the Turkish group which organized the armada to Gaza which was intercepted by the Israeli navy, had ties in the 1990s to the Al-Qaeda terror network and World Jihad, according to a 2006 study by the Danish Institute for International Studies.

2) The Gaza flotilla ships held at least 40 professional mercenaries, some affiliated with Al Qaeda, apparently hired to engage IDF soldiers in combat. The Turkish media has revealed that three of the four Turkish victims of the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla had previously expressed their desire to be Muslim suicide martyrs.

3) Israeli navy commandos with paint ball rifles (I assume to reduce the risk of civilian casualties) were descending from a helicopter into a Moslem mob. They were separated from the unit, then beaten, stabbed and assaulted with flying objects. Some were pushed down into the hold and stripped of their anti-flak vests first. The soldiers reported they barely escaped lynching or possibly being taken hostage.

4) Flotilla is a Smoke Screen - transfer of humanitarian assistance was not the top priority of the flotilla's organizers: the 25-odd truckloads of equipment offloaded from the ships is roughly a quarter of the amount Israel transported into the Gaza strip every day. According to the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, 100 truckloads of assorted goods are transferred into Gaza daily.

5) There were materials on the ships specifically banned by the Israeli authorities, such as cement and metal rods, which Israel fears may be used by Hamas and other terrorist organizations to build bunkers and weapons.

Close-Up Footage of Attack on IDF Soldiers:

Flotilla Organizers Wanted Blood to be Shed. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke out on Monday evening regarding Israel's interception of boats trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza , saying that "The aim of the terror activists was the spilling of blood and not any humanitarian aid in Gaza." He continued, "Everything proves that it was a group of terrorists who want to promote terror and cooperate with terror." Lieberman rejected claims about Israel acting in international waters, explaining, "It's every state's right to check ships entering its territory. Action in international waters was in accordance with all accepted international law."

Hamas Refuses Flotilla Aid. The IDF Spokesman's Office reports that Israel has loaded 20 trucks with various types of aid found onboard the flotilla but the Hamas is refusing to accept it. "Unfortunately, the Hamas terror organization is unwilling to accept the cargo and the trucks filled with humanitarian aid have not been allowed to enter the Gaza Strip. It appears that Hamas is in fact stopping the transfer of the humanitarian aid." (This is another proof that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the Flotilla was just another anti-Israel publicity stunt in support of terrorists of Hamas!)

Obama is not a Friend. The flotilla violence caught Netanyahu in the midst of a diplomatic trip to North America. He was in the Canadian capital of Ottawa at the time, about to leave for Washington for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. Netanyahu announced immediately after the flotilla news broke that he would remain in North America and would meet with Obama as scheduled. However, Obama told him to leave because he didn't want Netanyahu to use the White House as a stage on which to present Israel's side of the story. (Obama is another puppet of Saudi Arabia and the oil companies! Sometimes fake friends of Israel are worse than enemies. Netanyahu must demand an apology from Obama and not rush to visit Washington next time.)

Support from a True Friend. President of the Czech Senate, Dr. Farmisal Subotka, visited the Knesset on Wednesday and expressed unprecedented support for Israel regarding the Gaza flotilla. Subotka said it was a planned provocation against Israel: "Many in Europe agree with me but are afraid to voice their opinion,"

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Even if Israel had performed the interception of the flotilla without any casualties and executed it perfectly, the enemies of Israel would have portrayed it as a "fiasco" anyway and would carried out a well prepared, rehearsed and executed anti-Israel spin. This fake humanitarian flotilla was a smoke-screen, with perfect timing, to take the focus of the international community from the Iranian nuclear program and raise the Islamic status of Turkey and bring it closer to an unholy Islamic alliance!

Kurds to Send Flotilla against Turkish Occupation. The Free Kurdistan Movement, human rights group, says it is planning the first international flotilla and motor convoy to reach Turkish-occupied Kurdistan: "We want to break the siege and raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of Kurdistan. We hope to pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for the continued Turkish occupation". (I doubt that it will work - Kurds are not 'Palestinians' and Turkey is not the Jewish state! After all, the international community is still indifferent and silent about the genocide of Armenians committed by Turkey in 1915.)

Only Hamas May Demolish Palestinian Illegal Structures. On May 16 Hamas police dragged a family with eight children out of their squat cement house and pummelled them with wooden batons as bulldozers razed the building along with nearly 20 other homes. Khalil Shahin, of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), said the demolitions were part of a larger project targeting some 180 houses. Two of the houses that were destroyed were made of mud bricks and had been hailed by Hamas as a feat of Palestinian ingenuity in enduring the siege.

Quote of the Week: "If indeed it were a humanitarian mission, it would have accepted, weeks ago during the planning stages, the offer by the Israeli authorities to transfer the aid through to the port of Ashdod to Gaza through the existing overland crossing, in accordance with established procedures." - Daniel Carmon, Israel's deputy permanent U.N. representative - Egypt has made a similar offer.

Internet Opinions about a 'Humanitarian' flotilla:

- Since when did these people care about the truth?

- Israel must but Hamas commits terror and the EU say OK!

- The EU supports terrorism against Israel/Jews!

- What would China and Russia have done?

- World is never in "shock" when missiles fall on Israel!

- Who has ever heard of a 'humanitarian' org armed with knives?


(The negative publicity and humiliation of Israel was not enough for the organisers of this 'humanitarian aid'. They were looking for blood and martyrdom to amplify their anti-Israel stunt!)

Targeting Killings of Al-Qaida Terrorists. Sheik Said al-Masri - Al-Qaida third-most senior commander and the financial brains behind the 9/11 attacks and a foiled plot to bomb the New York subway - was killed in a suspected drone strike almost a week ago, along with his wife, three daughters and a grandchild. (When Israel used the same tactic, minus the killing of innocent children, against the Hamas and PLO terrorist leadership it was widely denounced by the international anti-Semitic hypocrisy!)

Hizbullah in Syrian - Getting Ready for War. Hizbullah terrorists are running weapons to Lebanon from secret arms depots in Syria, situated near the town of Adra, where the terrorists have been accorded their own living quarters, arms storage site and a fleet of trucks. This is the first proof of Hizbullah guerillas encamping on Syrian soil. IDF Intelligence Officer, Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, told the Knesset recently that even without the Scud transfers, which he called the 'tip of the iceberg', Hizbullah's arsenal contains rockets of all kinds in numbers that exceed by far their arsenal before the last war with Israel. Weapons transfers from Syria had passed the stage of 'smuggling' and were 'organized and official'.

While all Pressure is on Israel . Syria has informed the United Nations about nuclear testing it conducted in the past according to a secret report by the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) obtained by Reuters. The report adds that, since 2008, the Damascus government has not given permission to inspectors to examine the Dir Az-Zour nuclear site which Israel bombed in 2007. (Syria and Iran are Ratified members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - NO pressure on them! India and Pakistan have recently developed nuclear weapons - NO pressure on them! Israel is the only country international hypocrites do care about!)

Turkey is Proud Genocide Denier. The prime minister of Turkey cancelled a two-day visit to Argentina to protest the annulment of an event honouring Turkey's late leader, under pressure by Armenian activists.

Thanks Steven Shamrak

Israel to pay UN compensation of US $10m


Israel will pay US $10m in compensation for damage caused to United Nations buildings in Gaza during the assault a year ago, officials have said. This will be the first compensation paid by Israel for damage caused during the Gaza offensive.

UN storehouses, school buildings, offices and vehicles were damaged or destroyed during the conflict.

Israel insists UN sites were not targeted during the offensive and says the payout is for collateral damage.

Israel also says that Hamas fighters operated in or near UN-protected buildings during the offensive.

The payout is a result of several months negotiation. A UN inquiry in May last year found that Israeli forces had, on seven occasions, "breached the inviolability of United Nations premises" and were responsible for deaths and injuries.

At the time UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said he would seek more than $11m compensation from Israel for damage to UN property.

Israeli officials say that the settlement should be viewed as a good-will gesture and says it has a good working relationship with the UN.

Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak personally notified Ban Ki-Moon of the decision, reports say.

In a statement released last month Mr Ban said he was, "deeply concerned that neither the issues that led to this conflict nor its worrying aftermath are being addressed".

Operation Cast Lead lasted three weeks. Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups say about 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the offensive, although Israel puts the figure at 1,166. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, died.

According to the United Nations, the offensive left more than 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties and 200 schools damaged or destroyed, as well as 39 mosques and two churches.

Monday, June 07, 2010

PA TV broadcast kids singing anti-Israel war song to terrorist who aided suicide bomber

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
PA TV chose to honor the female Palestinian terrorist Sanaa Shehadeh by visiting her home, interviewing her family and broadcasting her two young nieces dedicating an anti-Israel war song to her. Sanaa Shehadeh is serving 3 life sentences in an Israeli prison for transporting a suicide terrorist to Jerusalem in 2002. Three civilians were killed and dozens wounded in the attack on King George Street. The hate song chosen by the girls, which they knew by heart, included the words, "I want to carry a machine gun and a rifle," and, "We shall strike Israel."

The girls were filmed outside the terrorist's home and appeared in a prerecorded feature on official Palestinian Authority TV about Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Click here to view the young girls singing the anti-Israel war song on PA TV.

The following are the words of the song dedicated to the terrorist on PA TV:

Prisoner's niece 1:
"I want to recite a song for you [Palestinian prisoner Sanaa Shehadeh]:
What am I doing here while my enemy is on my ancestors' land?
I want to defend, I want to fight,
I want to carry a machine gun and a rifle."
Prisoner's nieces 1 and 2:
"And tomorrow, when the war starts,
I won't care about you [my enemy], or about the West.
And tomorrow when the war starts,
I won't care about you [my enemy], or about the West.
And we shall strike Israel, we shall strike Israel,
And return you [to us], land of my ancestors;
And return you [to us], land of my ancestors."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 28, 2010]

Comment: Where are the child protection groups-peace now folks or the "we care about people" groups? Oh, they look away! Preparing the next generation of haters and until the international community stands up, with a firm spine, and demands this cease, there is no hope for peace!

Leading Journalist: Israeli Media Dropped the Ball

Hillel Fendel
A7 News

Yoni Ben-Menachem, veteran journalist and five-year Director of Voice of Israel, says that better Israeli media coverage before the flotilla arrived could have prevented the ambush.

“It is likely that professional and accurate coverage of the preparations for the flotilla,” Ben-Menachem wrote at the end of last week, “would have helped reveal the ambush that the IHH activists planned for the Israeli commando forces above the ship.” Though the press is considered the “watchdog of democracy,” it’s time to admit the truth, Ben-Menachem writes: “In this story, the Israeli press fell asleep on the watch – and after it woke up, it re-entered the same conception in which Israel’s defense establishment was mired.”

Specifically, Ben-Menachem rails against the fact that though PA and Turkish media had been talking about it for three months, “the Israeli media did not see fit to cover the preparations for the flotilla – even when the PA media publicized widely the fact that Hamas planned to send 100 boats with children from Gaza to greet it. The Israeli press simply went into a deep coma, while the Turkish, Arab and Hamas media continued to deal with it extensively.

Ben-Menachem also feels that the Israeli government decisions regarding how to deal with the flotilla once it arrived could have been influenced for the better had the media paid more attention: “The Israeli media also barely covered the governmental discussions on the flotilla that was about to arrive. The mini-Cabinet made a decision to keep the story on low-profile, and it succeeded in this very well.”

He further noted that though Israeli journalists with foreign passports occasionally enter Arab countries and return with in-depth, daring stories, "How did it happen that not one Israeli journalist reported from within Turkey on the send-off of the Marmara ship? Nor did any Israelis manage to penetrate the IHH and report back about the organization and its members? And the biggest question: How could it be that not one Israeli media person was able to penetrate the ship with 600 passengers, even with a false identity?”

Nor did any of the Israeli journalists think to challenge the official estimates as to the level of violence: “When the IDF briefed the reporters on its evaluations that the worst violence that could be expected would be ‘spitting’ on soldiers, why did not one journalist think to ask, ‘And what will happen if there is worse violence? Is the IDF prepared?’ The words of the IDF officers were received as if they were Torah from Sinai.”

Furthermore, Ben-Menachem asks, why was there no coverage of the PR efforts under the auspices of Minister Yuli Edelstein’s office, and its ties – or lack thereof – with other governmental advocacy bodies? “The media is now preparing its knives for all those responsible for the 'mistaken' action – but what about its own mistakes, and possibly even cooperation with the political and security echelons in keeping the story on a low flame?”

“It is very likely,” Ben-Menachem concludes, “that if the Israeli media had carried out their job properly, with a series of investigative pieces and reports from the field before the flotilla, they could have revealed who the IHH really is, and who really were the ‘activists’ on board the Marmara. They could have thus exposed the ambush in advance, and possibly even helped Israel’s PR efforts about the real role played by the Turkish government in supporting the flotilla.”

INN, however, it should be noted, was not the focus of his criticism. It covered the planned arrival of the flotilla and profiled the terrorists who appeared at the sendoff immediately, as well as exposing IHH days before other Israeli news sources.

Israel looks to 'reveal truth about Gaza flotilla'

French President Sarkozy urges Netanyahu to accept international inquiry into commando raid on Gaza-bound ship. PM tells foreign leaders Israel acted 'just as any country attacked by thousands of rockets would'

Associated Press
Israel News

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office says he has urged Israel's prime minister to accept an international inquiry into the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. Sarkozy and Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone Sunday. A statement from Sarkozy's office says he offered France's help in such a probe, sought by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Israel's ambassador to the US has said Israel rejects the idea.

The statement also says Sarkozy stressed the "urgent need" for a solution to end Israel's blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza in a way that would also "guarantee Israel's security." Sarkozy has also urged the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians based on the two-state solution.

Meanwhile, the "forum of seven ministers" convened Sunday night to discuss the global calls to investigate the flotilla raid, but did not reach any operational decisions.

The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement saying that the forum "discussed ways to make the truth about the Gaza flotilla known amid the international criticism leveled at Israel, while protecting the IDF soldiers from interrogations."

Apart from Sarkozy, Netanyahu spoke with former British PM Tony Blair, US Vice President Joe Biden and the prime ministers of Canada, Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece. The Israeli premier told the leaders that Israel conducted itself "just as any other country that is attacked with thousands of rockets would."

Earlier on Sunday Netanyahu rejected UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's recommendation to establish an international commission of inquiry into Israel's raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

"I told the UN chief that establishing the facts must be conducted responsibly and objectively. I am looking into other possibilities," Netanyahu told a meeting of Likud ministers.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein recommended the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry which would meet international demands.

Reuters and Roni Sofer contributed to this report

Sunday, June 06, 2010

If They Don't Fool You They Can't Defeat You


Note: Several readers urged me to publish this article which I originally wrote in March 2008. It does seem to apply rather well to the current situation without a single change.

Especially relevant is the third point which was, among other things, also used effectively to turn much of Western opinion against sanctions on Saddam Hussein's Iraq whose regime, we now know, was using money meant for humanitarian purposes in order to buy military equipment.

By Barry Rubin

Radical forces in the Middle East have rewritten the international rulebook in a way designed so "they can't lose." That is, there's no easy response to their behavior and strategies.

What's even more worrisome is the widespread failure in the West even to realize this is happening. Hamas and Hizballah fire from among civilians and use civilian homes for military purposes; Syria or Iran deploy disinformation, radical regimes pretend moderation, and there are plenty of suckers to take the bait. Extremism makes many believe that kind words and concessions can transform them; intransigence produces a response that if they won't give up we must do so.

Here are some new rules in which "we" represents such disparate forces as Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, Iraqi insurgents, al-Qaida, Syria, the Taliban, and others including radical Arab nationalists. These forces are not all alike or allied but do often follow a parallel set of rules quite different from how international affairs have generally been conducted.

--We'll never give up. No matter what you do, we will continue fighting. No matter what you offer we will keep attacking you. Since you can't win you should give up.

--We're indifferent to pressure you put on us. We will turn this pressure against you. Against us, deterrence does not exist; diplomacy does not convince. Neither does the carrot buy us off, nor does the stick make us yield. There are no solutions that can end the conflict. You cannot win militarily nor make peace through diplomacy.

--If you set economic sanctions we'll say you are starving our people in an act of "collective punishment." Moreover, sanctions will cost you money and generate opposition among those who lose profits.

--In response to military operations we'll attack your civilians. Casualties will undermine your internal support. We will try to force you to kill civilians accidentally. We won't care but will use this to persuade many that you are evil. Thus, we will simultaneously murder your civilians and get you condemned as human rights' violators.

--If you try to isolate us we will use your own media and intellectuals against you. At times, we'll hint at moderation and make promises of change. We won't do so enough to alienate our own followers but enough to subvert yours. They will demand you engage us, which means you making concessions for nothing real in exchange.

--Talking to our own people, we foment hatred and demonize you. Speaking to the West, we will accuse you of fomenting hatred. We will hypocritically turn against you all the concepts you developed: racism, imperialism, failure to understand the "other," and so on. These, of course, are our ideas but your feelings of guilt, ignorance about us, and indifference to ideology will make you not notice that fact.

--We will claim to be victims and "underdogs." Because you are the stronger and more "advanced" that means you are the villains. We're not held responsible for our deeds or expected to live up to the same standards. There is no shortage of, to quote Lenin, "useful idiots" who will echo our propaganda.

--Since our societies are weak, undemocratic, and have few real moderates, you will have to make deals with phoney moderates and dictatorial regimes weakened by corruption and incompetence.

--Even the less radical regimes, often our immediate adversaries, partly play into our hands. Due to popular pressure--plus their desire to mobilize support and distract attention from their own shortcomings--they trumpet Arab and Islamic solidarity. They denounce the West, blame all problems on Israel, and revile America, even as they accept your aid. They glorify interpretations of Islam not too far from ours. They cheer Iraqi insurgents, Hizballah, and Hamas. They don't struggle against Iran getting nuclear weapons. They lay the basis for our mass support and recruits, as Lenin said selling us the rope to hang them as well as you.

--There's no diplomatic solution for you, though you yearn to find one. There's no military solution for you, whether you try that or not. You love life, we love death; you are divided, we are united; you want to get back to material satisfaction, we are dedicated revolutionaries. We will outlast you.

--Finally, our greatest weapon is that you truly don't understand all the points made above. You are taught, informed, and often led by people who simply don't comprehend what an alternative, highly ideological, revolutionary worldview means. In effect, we will try, and often succeed, toturn your "best and brightest" into the worst and dimmest who think you can persuade us, blame you for the conflicts, or expect that we will alter our course, and we will use those mistakes against you.

The above analysis seems pessimistic but actually is the opposite. Most of this strategy's power is based on spreading illusions, depending on gullibility. Much of the rest relies on their enemies' psychological weaknesses.

In a sustained conflict, the radicals' technological and organizational weaknesses, along with their mistaken assessments and unrealistic ideology, will bring inevitable defeat. They will lose even if they never surrender.

They can kill people but not overcome societies determined to grow, prosper, and survive. The keys to a successful response are steadfastness and understanding. To paraphrase Francis Bacon and Franklin Roosevelt, there is nothing to fear but fear--and gullibility--itself.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His new edited books include Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict and Crisis; Guide to Islamist Movements; Conflict and Insurgency in the Middle East; The West and the Middle East (four volumes); and The Muslim Brotherhood

Israel, Disarmed

Charles Krauthammer

If even a blockade, the most passive and benign of defenses, is impermissible, what defenses does Israel have left?

The world is outraged at Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers. But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel — a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.

In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded (“quarantined”) Cuba. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.

Oh, but weren’t the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel’s offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiél, and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza — as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.

Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel’s inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.

Israel has already twice intercepted weapons-laden ships from Iran destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?

But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because blockade is Israel’s fallback as the world systematically delegitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself — forward and active defense.

1. Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense — fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai peninsula and Golan Heights) rather than its own.

Where possible (Sinai, for example), Israel has traded territory for peace. But where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southern Lebanon to protect the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza rather than expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks.

But under overwhelming outside pressure, Israel gave it up. The Israelis were told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel insurgencies — and therefore withdrawal, by removing the cause, would bring peace.

Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land — evacuating southern Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. What did it get? An intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks, and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting rocket attack.

2. Active defense: Israel then had to switch to active defense — military action to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat (to borrow President Obama’s description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda) the newly armed terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew.

The result? The Lebanon war of 2006 and the Gaza operation of 2008–09. They were met with yet another avalanche of opprobrium and calumny by the same international community that had demanded the land-for-peace Israeli withdrawals in the first place. Worse, the U.N.’s Goldstone report, which essentially criminalized Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza while whitewashing the casus belli — the preceding and unprovoked Hamas rocket war — effectively delegitimized any active Israeli defense against its self-declared terror enemies.

3. Passive defense: Without forward or active defense, Israel is left with but the most passive and benign of all defenses — a blockade to simply prevent enemy rearmament. Yet, as we speak, this too is headed for international delegitimization.

But, if none of these are permissible, what’s left?

Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.

The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized, and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution.

— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010, The Washington Post Writers Group.

Anger toward Israel misplaced

Jerry Philipson

The anger towards Israel for it's interception of the flotilla and the ensuing deaths is entirely misplaced. Israel was absolutely justified in halting the ships and inspecting their cargo and the Israeli commandos were absolutely justified in defending themselves as well. Those are not the issues, not to anyone with a knowledgeable, unbiased, rational view of the situation in Gaza and the Middle East in general anyway. People were hurt and killed because the activists on board responded violently to the commandos, leaving them no choice but to react in kind. The activists chose to attack the Israelis instead of acquiescing peacefully and making their political points without anyone being injured. The violence and death could have been avoided if they wanted...the fact is the activists wanted violence to occur and initiated it to enhance the points they were trying to make.

That is callous and reprehensible and the world should be very angry at them, not at the Israelis who are really the victims in this whole sorry affair. It should also condemn them for getting people hurt and killed in an exercise that was never anything more than political theater and had nothing to do with delivering aid.

Anger and condemnation should also be directed towards the activists enablers and apologists, who are every bit as responsible as they are.

Page Printed from: at June 05, 2010 - 10:22:53 PM CDT

Comment: It is most convenient for those critical of humans protecting themselves when attacked to leave out the statements made by many aboard this fateful ship:"I want to be a martyr" Do you not understand what this means when it comes to attacking another? Who is responsible, really?