Saturday, January 08, 2011

Leftist Israeli Traitors

Ted Belman

Laura: Leftist “peace” and “human rights” NGO’s receive foreign funding, lie, invent statistics to falsely accuse the IDF of deliberately targeting Arab civilians and collaborate with “palestinians” to stage incidents framing “settlers” for violent attacks against Arabs and their property. All of this is done in order to damage Israel’s image and undermine her cause on the world stage. Why aren’t these groups considered enemies of the state?

When Israeli leftists turn against their country with horrendous lies, the world media is only happy to disseminate them

By Caroline B. Glick, Jewish World Review

A recap of recent claims by “human rights” groups and exposing of their proven lies | On Sunday December 19, the self-proclaimed “Israeli human rights” group B’tselem disseminated a shocking story to the local and international media. B’tselem claimed that the previous day Palestinian shepherd Samir Bani Fadel was peacefully herding his sheep when he was set upon by a mob of Israeli settlers. He alleged that these kippah-clad Israelis drove up in a car and chased him away. Then they torched the pasture and burned 12 pregnant ewes alive and badly burned five others. B’tselem furnished reporters with graphic photos of the dead sheep. While the media published the account without a shred of suspicion, the police found Fadel’s account hard to believe. Observant Jews neither drive nor light fires on Saturdays.

And indeed, when questioned by police investigators, Fadel admitted he made the whole attack up. He accidentally killed his herd himself when he set fire to a pile of bramble. Too embarrassed to admit his mistake, he decided to blame the Jews and become a local hero. B’tselem was only too happy to spread his lies.

On January 3, Channel 2 aired a video produced by B’tselem. The video purported to show residents of Yitzhar — a community in Samaria — throwing rocks at Palestinians from the neighboring village Bureen for no reason whatsoever. Channel 2 presented the footage as further proof — if anyone needed it — that the Israelis who live in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem are a bunch of lawless, hate-filled, violent fanatics.

Unfortunately for B’tselem and Channel 2, Yitzhar residents also own a video camera. And they also filmed the event. The Samaria Regional Council released the video to the media on Tuesday.

The Yitzhar video exposes the B’tselem video as a complete fraud. As it happened, on Monday afternoon a group of Palestinians joined by Israelis and/or foreigners descended on Yitzhar and attacked its residents with bricks and rocks of all sizes. Among the assailants was the cameraman who shot the footage presented on Channel 2. Not only did the videographer — who has blond hair — participate in the violent assault on Yitzhar. He staged the incident by alternately throwing rocks, filming, and directing his fellow attackers where to throw their rocks.

The Jews of Yitzhar only began throwing rocks to fend off their attackers.

This past Saturday the Palestinians’ invented what has all the trappings of a new blood libel against Israel

To read more click here

Friday, January 07, 2011

Mubarak Warns Netanyahu: No New Gaza Incursion

Gil Ronen
A7 News

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday against "any new assault" on Gaza, CNN quoted state-run Nile TV as reporting. Mubarak and Netanyahu met in Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Egypt's state press said that Mubarak emphasized to Netanyahu "the necessity for Israel to reconsider its position and policies, and to take the initiative and conduct procedures that will build trust with the national Palestinian authorities."

A statement on the Prime Minister's website said that "Netanyahu reiterated that he believes that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is possible provided that the latter are willing to end the conflict." Netanyahu "asked President Mubarak to act to persuade the Palestinians to move to direct, intensive and serious negotiations -- in which all core issues will be raised -- forthwith."

The PM's Office added that "Netanyahu said that Israel is committed to aggressively fighting terrorist elements in Gaza that endanger its security and peace."

Congressman Allen West Joins Armed Services Committee; Understands Sharia Threat

Andrew G. Bostom

A previous blog of mine featured Allen West’s candid remarks about the living legacy of jihad during a forum in early 2010. Below are extracts from an interview West gave with Frank Gaffney, subsequently, after his election to Congress, this past November 2, 2010. These statements demonstrate that the Congressman-elect clearly understands the full ideological spectrum of the jihadist threat we face—non-violent as well as violent—rooted in the Sharia. West’s reality-based understanding far transcends that of many conservative see-no-Sharia voices. Allen West’s appointment to the Armed Services Committee bodes well for an honest re-evaluation of our current delusional policies. West has indicated his desire, specifically, to review our self-destructive COIN-based rules of engagement—which ignore the jihadist enemy’s Sharia-based threat doctrine. Perhaps that conversation will now extend to the domestic threat as well, under the aegis of Congressman Peter King, who claims to want to examine the sources of “Muslim radicalization” in America. Hope springs eternal!

ALLEN WEST: So there are many different ways we need to understand this 21st century battlefield, how we can leverage all elements of our nation’s power against — and like I said we need to get away from this nation building focus. I think that is economically hurting us.

GAFFNEY: In terms of understanding our enemy, and I think you’ve done as much as any congressional candidate to help expand the awareness for not only your constituents but others. I count on you to be carrying that on in your new capacity. What is your sense of the willingness of this new Congress to take on Sharia as the enemy threat doctrine?

WEST: Well, I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with all of the new members, giving all the new members of the freshmen class a phone call to talk to them. I think one of the critical things that we must come together is that there is an infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization. So we must be willing to recognize that enemy. We cannot have a national security strategy that does not recognize it in specific and understand its goals and objectives. So once again, we can tailor you know our internal goals and objectives as far as our security systems, our political systems, economic systems, our cultural and educational systems, so that we can thwart this. And it comes back to one of those strategic goals that you mentioned, reducing the sphere of influence of this Sharia you know ideology that is tied into Islam. But I think that is our most threatening part, is the Sharia philosophy.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Jonathan Spyer's The Transforming Fire: The Best Book on Israel in Thirty Years

Barry Rubin

In my opinion, this is probably the best book on Israel to be published in 30 years. But it is even more than that, since it is also the story of the rise of revolutionary Islamism--and the struggle against it--as the most important issue in the Middle East and very possibly the world.

Dr. Spyer's participation in the 2006 war with Hizballah as a tank driver, intimate experience with Israeli society, role as a researcher, and participation in international diplomacy has given him a viewpoint unmatched by any other analyst.

Trust me on this one--as several friends already have and agreed with my assessment--this is a book you will want to read and be better for having read.

Published by Continuum (ISBN: 9781441166630), 240 Pages, hardcover $29.95

For a time, the Arab-Israeli conflict seemed a fight over real-estate and recognition, but in recent years it has transformed into an existential battle between Israel and radical Islamism. Today, Israel faces a rising force that is committed to its demise. Spyer provides a vivid account of what can now be called the Israel-Islamist conflict, outlining the issues at stake and gauging each side’s relative strengths and weaknesses. Israel faces not one united Islamist movement, but an array of states and organizations that share a wish to destroy Jewish sovereignty. Combining narrative and argument, Spyer uses first-person accounts of key moments in the conflict to highlight the human impact of this battle of wills. A thought-provoking, balanced work, The Transforming
Fire provides a new understanding of a particular aspect of the larger conflict between radical Islam and the West, which may well become the key foreign policy challenge of the 21st century.

Table of Contents
Prologue. "Not all of us will be coming back"
1. History's Resurrection
2. Muqawama: Islamism's rise
3. A New Jerusalem
4. The Middle East Cold War
5. Conversations in the Season of Remembrance
6. Broken Borders
7. A Grave Missed Opportunity
8. The Verdict of Deir Mimas
9. The Transforming Fire

Jonathan Spyer immigrated to Israel from Britain in 1991. He is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel, and a columnist at the Jerusalem Post newspaper. Spyer holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Masters' Degree in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He served in a front-line unit of the Israel Defense Forces in 1992-3, and fought in the war in Lebanon in summer 2006. Between
1996 and 2000, Spyer was an employee of the Israel Prime Minister's Office. His articles have also appeared in the Guardian, Haaretz, London Times, Washington Times,Toronto Globe and Mail, the Australian, British Journal of Middle East Studies, Israel Affairs and Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.

"West Bank, "Settlers", "Territorial Dispute" - Sound Familiar?

My Right Word

This story has it all: "settlers", "west bank", "land", "militia", "dispute", "colony", "pioneers", "territory", "hostilities", "territorial dispute" but it's not about Zionism.

When Gov. Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire chartered the nine Bennington County towns that will mark their 250th anniversaries in 2011, he was busily creating a dispute that could only be resolved by the king of England.
The nine towns he chartered in 1761 are Arlington, Sunderland, Manchester, Sandgate, Dorset, Glastenbury, Shaftsbury, Rupert, and Peru.

Wentworth had been appointed governor of the colony of New Hampshire by the king, but so had Gov. George Clinton of the royal colony of New York, whose eastern boundary was set at the west bank of the Connecticut River. So when pioneers began to arrive on land they had purchased in good faith from the governor of New Hampshire, they were treading on the same territory that was claimed by New York.

Ultimately, this was the reason the Green Mountain Boys formed as an informal militia unit, led by Ethan Allen, to protect the farms they had purchased. A different economic philosophy was at stake as well. Settlers on the New Hampshire Grants farmed their own plots of land, whereas farmers in New York generally rented from large baronial land owners.

After chartering Bennington in 1749 as the first town in "the Grants," Wentworth went on to charter Halifax in 1750; Wilmington and Marlborough in 1751; Westminster and Rockingham in 1752; Stamford, Woodford, Townshend, Newfane, Brattleboro, Fulham (later Dummerston), and Putney in 1753; and Chester, Guilford, and Tomlinson (Grafton) in 1754. Then he waited a few years until the end of hostilities that had resumed between England and France, and then the fall of Montreal, to return to his profitable project. He chartered Pownal in 1760 and soon discovered the benefits of mass production during 1761, the year of interest here.

Because Wentworth realized that only the king of England could resolve the territorial dispute he had created, he took actions which, if adjudicated, would be likely to tip the balance in his favor. Known for enjoying schemes that combined patriotism, religion, expanded jurisdiction, and monetary gain, Wentworth made sure each town he chartered in the Grants had acreage set aside for the so-called Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, for the first settled minister, plus plenty of land for himself.

To give proper attention to politics, he carefully named each town for a prominent political figure who was favored by the king...

It's about America.

UN Nixes Lebanese Attempt to Stop Israeli Offshore Drilling

Chana Ya'ar
A7 News

The United Nations has rejected an attempt by Lebanon to stop Israel from drilling for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean.

U.N. Spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday that the mandate of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) “does not include delineating maritime lines. We are talking about two different things: coastal waters and a disputed boundary.” Nesirky added that the U.N. position was “what UNIFIL said.” Lebanon submitted its request to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the wake of last week's news that confirmed preliminary estimates of gas reserves in the massive energy field discovered beneath the Jewish State's northern coastal waters.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Shami sent a letter Tuesday, asking Ban to “do everything possible to ensure Israel does not exploit Lebanon's hydrocarbon resources, which fall within Lebanon's economic zone and delineated in the maps the foreign ministry submitted to the United Nations in 2010,” Shami wrote.

Shami added that Israel's exploration for energy in the Mediterranean “is a flagrant violation of international law and an attack on Lebanese sovereignty.” Lebanon and Hizbullah claim that the fields extend into waters off the Lebanese coast.

Last week, the U.S.-based Noble Energy firm announced the Leviathan gas field, located northwest off the Haifa shoreline, holds some 16 trillion cubic feet (450 billion cubic meters) of natural gas.

The discovery far surpasses an earlier find, the Tamar gas field, also located off Haifa's northern port, and positions the Jewish State to become an exporter of the natural resource.

Confirmation of the estimated reserves in the Leviathan gas field and several other newly-discovered gas and oil fields in the Mediterranean in recent years has raised new tensions between the two nations as Lebanon accuses Israel of encroaching upon its territory.

Israel for its part has asserted that the discoveries of this and several previous gas fields were made well within its borders and has warned it will do what it must to protect its natural resources.

Since no formally-marked maritime borders exist between the two nations, Lebanese Energy Minister Gebran Bassil told the AFP news agency Tuesday that Beirut plans to map what it considers to be its sea borders. The country will then auction off the rights to explore its potential natural gas and oil reserves sometime in 2012, he said.

There was no mention of any negotiation process with Israel over the maritime borders.

The Lebanese government plans to submit its claim under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), according to energy expert Roudi Baroudi.

He told The Daily Star that Lebanon must turn to the U.N. to delineate any offshore exclusive economic zone, adding that Lebanon has been party to UNCLOS since 1995. Israel is not a member.

“Diplomacy offers the most logical solutions for any potential problems in this area, and we should exhaust this option before considering any other options,” he said, adding that the Leviathan field “could well straddle our maritime borders with Israel – and possibly Cyprus too.

“Disputes over oil and gas fields are not new; they exist all around the globe, and there will be more disputes to come... we should use every diplomatic tool at our disposal, assisted by our major allies in the Arab world, in Europe, and even the United States to define our maritime boundary and to force the Israelis to respect UNCLOS even if they aren't members of it.”

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

As in, "Does it ever end?"

Arlene Kushner

The Shin Bet released information on Sunday regarding plans by two Jerusalem Arabs to fire an anti-tank missile into Jerusalem's main stadium -- Teddy Stadium, which has a capacity of 21,000 -- during the course of a soccer game.

Two friends, Nusa Hamada, possessing Jerusalem residency papers and living in the Sur Baher neighborhood, and Bassem Omed, a full Israeli citizen living in Beit Safafa, had visited a number of nearby hilltops to determine the best launching site for the attack. They had bought several handguns and attempted to secure other weapons (or, according to one source, had secured them for others involved). Hamada had visited Saudi Arabia several times in recent years, where he met with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was provided with money for weapons and asked to gather intelligence on Jerusalem's strategic sites.

Ultimately, the plan to bomb the stadium was dropped because it was "too complicated."


Sur Baher was in the news today for another -- not unrelated -- reason that makes it clear that Hamada's terrorist inclinations hardly arose in a vacuum.

On December 10, 2010, Palestinian Media Watch picked up a documentary broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV, run by Hamas. This documentary, entitled "The Shahid's (Martyr's) Wedding," showed how children in Sur Baher's Islamic Riyad (Gardens of) Al-Aqsa School were taught to sing:

"May the glory of our religion return, and may our blood be shed."

As well as, "How precious is the land of Al-Aqsa. I shall give up my life for its sake."

You can see it here:

Fine and good to say Arab schools in eastern Jerusalem can teach Arab culture. But that monitoring is so non-existent -- or indifference so great -- that this can go on inside our city? Some hard questions must be asked.


At the same time that the stadium plot was revealed, the Shin Bet released information on a growing Hamas presence in Jerusalem: Hamas, which is attempting to establish a foothold on Har Habayit (the Temple Mount), is funding maintenance in the Islamic complex there and sponsoring school trips.


It must be mentioned, as well, that both Jerusalem Arabs were employees at the UK consulate in eastern Jerusalem. Although as maintenance men they did not have security clearance, this does raise questions about the vetting procedure at the consulate.


While visiting an army base in the south today, Defense Minister Barak said Israel has an obligation to do everything in its power to "reignite" the "peace process."

This definitely merits a "sigh" for its foolish approach. Barak puts the onus on Israel for something that is impossible.

And what does he say? "The international community tends to adopt the Palestinian point of view..."

Well, good morning!


Meanwhile, Netanyahu and Abbas have been at it, in an exchange of accusations regarding who is at fault for the lack of negotiations. Another sigh.

On Saturday, Abbas gave an interview on Palestinian TV in which he said that a peace treaty could be signed in two months if Netanyahu showed "good will."

To which Netanyahu replied on Sunday that "I'm willing to immediately sit privately for direct, continuous negotiations with,,,[Abbas] until white smoke emerges." (The white smoke is an allusion to the process for selecting a new pope.) "...we will know very quickly if it is possible to reach an agreement."

Needless to say, Abbas did not take Netanyahu up on his offer. And so, by yesterday, in addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, our prime minister referred to the Palestinian Arabs' new "three nos": no to recognition of Israel as the Jewish state; no to dropping the demand for "right of return;" and no to agreed-upon security arrangements. (This is a reference to the infamous Khartoum declaration of the Arab League in 1967, regarding "no peace with Israel; no recognition of Israel; and no negotiations with Israel.")

All of which leaves us nowhere with nothing -- except for a bunch of words and some historical allusions.


Bil'in is an Arab village not far from Ramallah, where PA headquarters are located; with many employed by the PA living there, it has been described as an "ideological stronghold" of Fatah. It sits adjacent to the Israeli security fence (with Modi'in Illit not far away on the other side). For five and one-half years now, the people of Bil'in -- assisted by activists from such exploitive and reprehensible groups as the International Solidarity Movement -- have held weekly anti-security fence demonstrations.

One such demonstration was held this past Friday. As was not uncommon, the demonstration was accompanied by some crowd violence at the fence, and utilization of tear gas by the IDF.

Subsequently, the PA announced that one demonstrator, Jawaher Abu Rahma, 35, had died from "respiratory failure after gas inhalation."

According to Jawaher's mother, Subhiye, she complained of chest pains and difficulty in breathing at the demonstration. She allegedly left, but collapsed on the way home and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Yet in spite of intensive care treatment, she then died.

The PA, however, at first refused to turn the medical records over to the IDF, and declined to cooperate with the IDF on an investigation. That was the first sign that something was amiss.

Said Subhiye: "It is painful, but we are continuing on this road to have freedom for all our lands and to get rid of the wall from all our lands."

"We hope to have peace," she maintained, but admitted she didn't see how this was possible when Israel was killing Palestinians and taking their land.


By yesterday, the IDF had secured Jawaher's medical records, which did not definitively state a cause of death. The closer the Israelis looked, the more they confronted inconsistencies. There had been no post mortem performed and burial was accomplished with unusual haste. Her brother Samir said that she had had dizzy spells and headaches for several weeks, and had undergone a brain scan just four days before she died. But this was not mentioned in the medical records given to the IDF.

At this point, not only is it not clear that she died of inhalation of tear gas from the demonstration, it is not even a certainty that she was actually at the demonstration. Needless to say, the statements of activists there may be lacking in necessary veracity.

This would hardly be the first instance in which the death of an Arab from causes quite separate from Israeli involvement was subsequently blamed on Israel.


And here we have another sigh.

MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) said about Jawaher Abu Rahma's death: "She was killed by the poisonous gases of the racism military.

"Resisting the occupation is not only the right of people under an occupation, but also their duty. Popular resistance is a must and Bil'in is a symbol of the resistance that we all salute."

I know, I speech and all that. But I would love to see this member of the Knesset shipped to the other side of the security fence, where he rightly belongs.


With all this, it's possible to end with promising news. We've been waiting for a couple of weeks:

Tonight, Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was in the Knesset for a debate on his administration, informed those present that he had received a letter from Jonathan Pollard requesting that he intervene publicly with the president, and seek his release.

After detailing the efforts made for Pollard over time, he said:

"After 25 years that Jonathan has spent in jail and after 15 years of failed efforts to release him, I have decided to grant this request and I do this openly, here, from the Knesset podium in a step that represents and unites all the people of Israel."

Then he read the letter that has been sent to President Obama. In short order I imagine the entire text of the letter will be available, but what I present here is a summary:

Netanyahu accepted Israeli culpability for what transpired with regard to Pollard, and expressed on-going regret. He said he had discussed the situation with US officials and many support Pollard's release.

Pollard has served more time in prison than any other person convicted in the US on charges of passing classified information to an ally, Netanyahu wrote, and he is currently in very poor health.

"Since Jonathan Pollard has now spent 25 years in prison, I believe that a new request for clemency is highly appropriate. I know that the United States is a country based on fairness, justice and mercy. For all these reasons, I respectfully ask that you favorably consider this request for clemency. The people of Israel will be eternally grateful."


Word via a French news agency is that senior US administration officials have said that Obama will review the letter. There is some reason to assume that Netanyahu would not have gone this route, had he not received some assurances that there is reasonable likelihood that it might be successful.

It is not only possible, but very likely, that Netanyahu worked with experts in protocol and the fine points of diplomatic language with regard to the drafting of this letter. We must assume that every point -- the admission of culpability, the expression of regret -- was honed for maximum effectiveness. The allusion to the US as a nation of fairness, justice and mercy strikes a positive tone, as well.

Perhaps, too, an expression of eternal gratitude on the part of Israel was thought to be necessary. Cynic (or realist?) that I am, however, I cannot help but wonder if Obama will expect to call in a quid pro quo, should he release Pollard. And, what is more, if the expression of eternal gratitude was Netanyahu's veiled way of offering that quid pro quo.

There is nothing to do at this point but pray that the letter is positively received. Then we'll see what comes down the road and handle it as we must.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution .

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Disney Theme Park Coming to Israel!

The Muqata

NIS 600m Disney theme park planned for Israel!

Globes Reports:

New Lineo Cinemas (2006) Ltd., owned by the Edery family and Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) investment arm Shamrock Holdings, will build a NIS 600 million 25-screen multiplex and Disney amusement park at the Check Post exit from the Carmel Tunnel in Haifa. New Lineo owns the Cinema City Ltd. multiplexes in Ramat Hasharon and Rishon LeZion.

The entertainment complex will be built on an 80-dunam (20-acre) site and will include 50,000 square meters of cinemas and shops and a 30,000-square meter Disney amusement park. The land is owned by a local family.
The new complex will be near the Cinemall, which has stores and a 23-screen Yes Planet multiplex.

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav said, "This plan expresses confidence in our plans to turn Haifa Bay in a thriving business area. The plan began with the municipality's assistance in the building of Cinemall and the upgrade of the mall, previously known as the Lev Hamifratz Mall, and the building of the transport hub for the cable car, which carries passengers up to the Technion and Haifa University."


I wonder if Israeli Arabs will visit -- in light of the Fatwa against Mickey Mouse.

YNET reported this 2 years ago...

In an interview with Al-Majd Television, sheikh Muhammad Al-Munajid, a former diplomat who once served in the Saudi embassy in Washington, condemned cartoons that endear rodents to their viewers.

Islamic law, he said, sees the mouse as "a repulsive, corrupting creature" while children today see mice as loveable and "awesome" because of animated shows like Tom and Jerry, and Disney staple Mickey Mouse.

"Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases," Al-Munajid tells the interviewer.

"The shari'a refers to the mouse as 'little corrupter,' and says it is permissible to kill it in all cases. It says that mice set fire to the house, and are steered by Satan. The mouse is one of Satan's soldiers," he goes on to say.

J Street AND Ground Zero Mosque Corrupt? Imagine That!

Barry Rubin

Hey, boys and girls! Notice how we keep finding out more and more about the corruption of the Ground Zero mosque project and its chief sponsors? Well, now we discover that the whole thing received a lot of secret help from NY City's mayor and government to ensure it was approved even though--on purely legal and financial grounds--that was a questionable decision.

The mayor's office says that the project received only normal help. Wow, I'll bet a lot of New York developers would be amazed at that statement. But let's never forget that this project, budgeted at far over $100 million, has no serious money raised!

I have a totally different view on this issue that is drenched with irony. The first irony is that the mayor's office and other city agencies pushed for a project that would never otherwise have been approved (given zoning issues, the bad record of the promoters, the fact that they didn't even own the property, etc). This brought the second irony: the city government's leaning over double-backwards to show extra-special privileges for an Islamic institution--supposedly to fight "Islamophobia" and to prove how "tolerant" they are--raised antagonisms and set off a huge national controversy that otherwise never would have happened!

How can people keep debating this issue without noting that whether they are for or against it the odds of this mosque/community center ever being built is low? Again, even if no voice had ever been raised against this community center/mosque plan, it is never going to exist. And if people had not been so blinded by fear of being thought "Islamophobic" that they would ignore ever other completely non-political factor involved, no one would ever have heard of the Ground Zero Mosque at all.

By the way, while we are on the subject of New York, that state just released its hate crimes report for 2009 (hey, it's a government so it isn't very efficient). They found 683 such events including 251 hate crimes against Jews; 11 against Muslims. But, of course, reportedly 242 mosques have already been built in New York state without a single significant protest against any of them. So much for rampant "Islamophobia."

Back to corruption and lying. We discover two more new examples of it on the part of J Street.

First, veteran anti-Israel lobbyist (pretending to be a pro-Israel lobbyist) Jeremy Ben-Ami founded a consulting firm that received tens of thousands of dollars of J Street money. Ben-Ami claims he did not benefit financially but merely chose the best-qualified company.

Since he and his colleagues have already lied about so much I suspect there is more to discover here.

J Street is a truly amazing phenomenon. The smallest amount of serious research reveals that it is an anti-Israel organization; it has lied about funding; it has undertaken no pro-Israel actions virtually ever; its leader was an anti-Israel lobbyist, and yet since the mass media and even much of the Jewish media don’t publish this material there are many people totally unaware of this information.

Second, J Street has opened an office in Israel headed by someone named Drew Cohen. But in the age of the Internet an intrepid researcher has dug out his record which includes Cohen:

--Explaining that he can’t be comfortable unless he’s “with people who I am certain do not espouse Zionism or any form of oppression.”

--Describing Israel’s handling of the Gaza flotilla confrontation as “a heinous brutality” and saying that Gaza is only a “mythic threat” to Israel.

--Calling Operation Cast Lead (remember that one? How Israel defended itself when that "mythic threat" started firing hundreds of mortar shells and rockets at its civilians?) as an “unjust and even criminal” act.

Truly the right man to head J Street’s Jerusalem office! How many J Street supporters will ever hear about these things? For full documentation and also here's more:
But guess what! In a recent speech in Pittsburgh, when someone asked Ben-Ami about Drew Cohen, the anti-Israel activist claimed that Cohen was just an intern. Funny, a few hours earlier J Street had issued a press release trumpeting what a great guy he is and how he is the head of J Street's new Israel office. (Perhaps the office should be located in the Gaza Strip so that Drew doesn't have to come into contact with those evil Zionists.)

When will people who still support this group wake up and understand (as almost all members of Congress already do) that it is NOT a dovish, constructively critical group led by friends of Israel but a front group whose mission is to destroy American Jewish support for Israel?

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). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports,

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Palestinian Authority is like Europe says visiting journalist from Dubai on PA TV

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

"I felt like I was in Europe," said a news reader from Dubai to PA TV, describing her surprise at the quality of life during her visit to the Palestinian Authority city of Ramallah. She explained that her incorrect impressions were because the news reporting likes to focus on bad news: "Bad news is good news," for the media, and "if someone dies, or something is destroyed, then that's newsworthy," she said. Having been witness to only negative reporting about life in the Palestinian areas, the Palestinian journalist who has been living in Dubai added: "I didn't expect to find you alive." But she found life in the PA to be different from the media image and felt as if in Europe. Maisun Azzam, a journalist from Al-Arabiya TV in Dubai, was interviewed on the PA TV talk show, Palestine this morning.

The following is an excerpt from the interview:
PA TV host asks Maisun Azzam: "What is your picture of Palestine?"
Azzam: "Look, the main picture is the picture we see on TV since, unfortunately, in the media bad news is good news for us [journalists]."
PA TV Host: "That's the prominent news."
Azzam: "Yes, the prominent, main news, because if there's different news, we say it's not newsworthy. But if someone dies, or something is destroyed, then that's newsworthy. So, as a Palestinian, I didn't expect to get here, I didn't expect to find you alive, and I said that [also] at Bir-Zeit University. I looked and said, 'You're alive!' I went to the Stones restaurant [in Ramallah] to do an advertising campaign for our director, Nadal Hassan; I felt like I was in Europe."

[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 29, 2010]

"The Rise of the Islamic-Israel Conflict"

Arlene Kushner

This was the title of the talk delivered by Dr. Jonathan Spyer -- Senior Research Fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center -- at the Great Synagogue here in Jerusalem, on Motzei Shabbat (Saturday night). He provided a very cogent and insightful overview of the current situation and today I want to share highlights.


The "peace process" -- going back more than 30 years-- was the product of US hegemony in the Middle East:

Camp David Accords with Egypt were possible because Sadat made the decision to move from the Soviet to the US side. US domination was even more obvious with the Oslo Accords, which was made possible after the collapse of the Soviet Union. People during this period believed that a period of peace and liberalization was inevitable.

Oslo ran aground in the late 1990s, however, when it became apparent that what Israel could offer was less than the Palestinian Arabs wanted. War (incorrectly referred to as the second intifada) followed.


Today US influence in the area is under challenge by:

-- The elite that has arisen in Iran
-- Islamization of the regional conflict

This is THE central challenge to the region and to Israel.


In Iran, Ahmadinejad represents a particular generational group whose formative experiences were the Iranian revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. Now they are at the pinnacle of the revolution they helped create and they see it as a failure: The regime is massively unpopular, corrupt and ineffectual.

They want to revive the original fire of the 1979 revolution. This is bound to fail, but the effort can do a great deal of damage.

The regime is not going to fall as a result of challenge from the street because they are willing to go to the limit in utilizing violence to stay in control.


This represents a problem for the entire region because Iran wants to be the hegemonic power of the Middle East.

To that end, they are drawing on Iranian patriotism and utilizing their foreign policy.

Their major problem is that they are neither Arab (they are Persian) nor Sunni (they are Shia), as are most Muslim states.

To move past these problems, Iran wants to grab the banner of the Palestinian cause and to promote Islamization of Middle East politics.

The entire region has now become so Islamicized that if elections were held across the region, Islamic parties would win. This is true even in Jordan and Egypt.

The Israeli-Arab conflict had actually been winding down. It's been a quarter of a century since Israel has been arrayed against Arab forces. But the Islamization of the region is partially revising this process and firing the conflict.

There are two hot fronts: Gaza and Lebanon. Both receive Iranian and popular Islamic support.


Hezbollah is a direct creation of Iran.

In 1982, Iranian revolutionary offices were opened in the Bekka valley of Lebanon to develop forces to take on Israel. This is the hottest front of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Lebanon is essentially a colony of Iran.

Hamas is Sunni, with financial roots in Saudi Arabia. But Gaza, its major asset, is maintained via Iranian money, support and guns.


Iran and the Islamist bloc believe in the end they will prevail. They have a strategic conception, and are convinced that over decades they will achieve victory.

Their conceptualization is of Israel as an artificial country that may appear strong but is internally weak and can ultimately be defeated. The plan is to maintain pressure on Israel at all levels -- demonstrating to Jews that peace is impossible and encouraging them to leave.


With all of this, there is what Spyer refers to as the Silver Lining:

Weakening of Israel is merely a tactical approach for the Islamists. Their geo-strategic goals include the entire Gulf area: The US (which has a Gulf presence) and its allies, especially Jordan and Egypt, and the Arabic-speaking world more generally.

Now, for the first time, Israel is on the same side as the majority of Arab states:

During Cast Lead (our operation in Gaza, at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009), Egypt kept the southern exit from Gaza shut, so there could be no massive fleeing into the Sinai. This was done because Hamas represents a threat to Egypt, not because Egypt wants to help Israel. But the net result was that this assisted Israel in achieving a major victory in Gaza.

(Spyer says that while the PR may have been a disaster, the military victory was considerable. After all of Hamas's considerable pre-war bravado, they lost some 700 fighters to about 14 that we lost.)

There are reports, as well (which you've read about here), regarding Saudi willingness to open its air space to Israel if Israel decides to strike Iran. Saudi Arabia is the most anti-Semitic of countries, but it is terrified of Iran.


This entire situation is transforming Israel. The Israeli left is "obliterated" as dreams of the peace process have failed. (Note: polls show that Labor would go way down if there were an election today.) The Israeli polity, and the Israeli right, are re-adjusting to this new political situation.

Spyer believes that we are likely to move beyond an ideological cold war to a new hot conflict. But the anti-Iranian alliance, as varied as it is, will win in the end. While the Islamists promote violence and call on the service of their young men, they will not be able to achieve sustained battle victories. (This is not to say that we won't incur damage to our populace during a war that will be waged at least partially on our turf.)


Perhaps even more significantly, the Islamists severely underestimate the strength of Israel society, which to a considerable degree shares basic values. The Iranian ideology is thin and does not promote viable societies.

(Whether we count the PA as being fully within the Islamic sphere or not, this critique applies to them, as well: The Palestinians are more interested in Israel's destruction -- e.g., via ugly incitement and insistence on "return" of refugees -- than on building the positive values of a constructive society.)

Says Spyer, Arab nationalism faded and Islamism will do the same.

There is evidence that the Iranian society is being undermined in a variety of way, such as via the assistance to Iranian Kurds -- who are quick to sabotage the Iranian regime as they can, in the service of a Kurdish state.


There are several comments I would like to make here before closing:

First, is the whole issue of the need for American strength in the Middle East in light of the current dynamic. I've written about it often enough, but always seek to reinforce the message. If Iran seeks hegemony in the Middle East, a weak America that seeks to appease and be "friends" with Iran simply feeds the Islamist goal. American muscle-flexing and demonstration of deterrent strength is badly needed, and very lacking.

I do not expect Obama to reverse his policy, but my hope is that more and more the American polity will understand the destructive folly of his approach. A stronger US might have kept King Abdullah from reaching out to Iran, and might have discouraged the Syrian tilt towards Iran.


Then there is the whole matter of the "peace process." When this broader context is understood, it becomes clear why the very notion of trying to reach an accord with the PLO/PA now is nonsense. Even if Abbas were inclined to engage in negotiations and make compromises for peace (he's not), he would find it impossible in the current political climate. Hamas sets the tone of Palestinian Arab political discourse, and to be less "tough" than the Islamists is to invite charges of betrayal, and worse (like having your throat slit). Spyer said it: ME politics have been Islamicized.

The PA was once referred to as a nationalist secular movement. Now, more and more there is Islamist influence within. In that sense the Islamists are co-opting the PA. Hamas is also waiting to physically take over the PA, and will miss no opportunity to do so. (Withdrawal of the IDF as part of "peace" would provide such an opportunity.)

So it's futile, futile, futile. All this nonsensical time spent discussing about whether Israel should build Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria -- as if this were the key to the matter. All the talk about the specific parameters of a Palestinian state.

If only the US would table its promotion of a negotiated accord and focus exclusively on taking on the Islamist influence in the Middle East.

It's crazy talk, and nothing less, to say that a Palestinian-Israeli accord would help bring peace to the entire region and help the US take on Iran. In point of fact, just the opposite is true. Only when Islamist ideology is defeated will peace be possible here. (Movement towards a peace agreement only motivates the Islamists to be more disruptive.)

If a peace process was possible thirty years ago because of US hegemony in the region, that necessary condition certainly also holds today.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution .

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Watch Your Step At J Street

My Right Word

You never know what can happen to you if you go to J Street:-

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A teen fell to his death just before ringing in the New Year after slipping off a bridge, according to authorities.

The 19-year-old victim was walking with his family to the Old Sacramento fireworks show when he tried to hop from the I Street Bridge to the J Street off ramp near southbound Interstate 5 just before midnight. he man apparently did not see the gap between the two bridges and fell between the roadways, falling all the way to the ground.

“There doesn’t seem to be any alcohol involved,” said Lt. Mike Bray of the Sacramento Police Department.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

If he had been Jewish, the story permutations could have been endless.