Saturday, May 07, 2011

U.S. Policy Toward Palestinian Authority-Hamas Deal: Any Change Coming?

Barry Rubin

Here’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Hamas-Palestinian Authority deal:

“We obviously are aware of the announcement in Cairo yesterday. There are many steps that have yet to be undertaken in order to implement the agreement. And we are going to be carefully assessing what this actually means, because there are a number of different potential meanings to it, both on paper and in practice.

“We’ve made it very clear that we cannot support any government that consists of Hamas unless and until Hamas adopts the Quartet principles….So we’re going to wait and make our assessment as we actually see what unfolds from this moment on.”

Translation of paragraph one: I’d rather not deal with it now because we can hope the deal will fall through and then we won’t have to do anything at all. Translation of paragraph two: This is badly worded by her since the phrase “government that consists of Hamas” makes no sense. Presumably she meant a government that includes Hamas. Having said this, she warns that the U.S. government won’t support such a coalition regime unless Hamas renounces violence and recognizes Israel. That change in U.S. policy would be a major development.

But note two parallel situations:

–Egypt, President Barack Obama has said he would support the Muslim Brotherhood in the government.

–Lebanon, the Obama Administration has apparently accepted Hizballah as part of Lebanon’s government with minor reservations like not meeting with Hizballah ministers.

So why is Hamas different? Partly it is only the result of pro-Israel congressional and public opinion that restrains the administration.

I predict that it won’t get to the point of a coalition government. This deal is just propaganda for presenting a unilateral declaration to the UN from a united Palestinian front. Neither side wants free elections to be held, according to the agreement, in May 2012.

Yet while Clinton’s statement has generally been reported as a strong stance that’s not exactly so. If, for example, Hamas nominates ministers who are not proven members of the group (which is what they are saying they’ll do) or cooperates with the Palestinian Authority in anything short of an actual coalition government, Clinton’s warning would not be triggered. The same is true if Hamas finds some language that pretends to accept the Quartet conditions.

Clinton also signals a hesitation to act now by talking about waiting to see what happens. This stance leaves loopholes in which Hamas can be strengthened and legitimized while the United States does nothing. In short, this is not at all a strong U.S. stance but actually means little. The PA can easily believe that it would lose nothing in terms of U.S. or European support by partnering with Hamas.

But if there is a coalition regime and the U.S. government backs down, accepts it, continues aid, makes fostering talks with Israel a top priority, and putting the main onus on Israel for a lack of progress, that would be a very profound betrayal.

Israeli Scientists Discover Obesity Protein

Hana Levi Julian, MSW, LCSW-R

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute have discovered a protein in the brain that contributes to obesity, in a study whose findings appeared this week in the journal Cell Metabolism

The protein primarily affected females, rather than males, according to Professor Ari Elson and his team of researchers at the Institute's Molecular Genetics Department.

Without it, female mice became slim and healthy. Males were unaffected. The protein, tyrosine phosphatase epsilon (PTPe), blocks the messages from a hormone called leptin, a key player in body mass regulation.

PTPe responds to the leptin signal in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that takes in assorted stimuli, including a wide variety of hormones, and which sends out messages of its own in the form of new hormones and nerve signals.

The hypothalamus also plays a vital role in regulating body mass – a complex balancing act that involves, among other things, the control of appetite and physical activity.

Leptin reduces appetite and increases physical activity – but people who are obese often have too much leptin circulating in their blood. According to the scientists, this happens because although the body produces the hormone at a normal level, cells in obese people become resistant to the hormone's effects – and more leptin is then generated to compensate.

The new research shows that PTPe plays a role in this resistance. Mice that were lacking the protein were highly sensitive to leptin.

“Interestingly enough,” said Elson, “the effect seems to be gender-specific. Male mice hardly benefited at all from the lack of PTPe, compared with the female mice.”

He added the finding could open up “whole new lines of inquiry in obesity studies.”

Friday, May 06, 2011

Thoughts for Israel's Independence Day

by Hillel Fendel
A7 News

A compendium of inspiration for Israel’s upcoming 63rd Independence Day - Part One

Rabbi Marc D. Angel, New York:

…Yes, Israel. This tiny country--surrounded by enemies, threatened constantly by terrorism and war, subject to an Arab economic boycott, frequently maligned by the media, torn within by ethnic and religious strife--is [tied for 8th place] among the world's happiest countries [according to a Gallup World Poll]! …

Given its many problems, why is Israel so happy? Why is it among the happiest, most thriving, most creative countries of the world? I believe the answer is: the grand human spirit of the people of Israel. Israelis--in spite of many differences among themselves--recognize that they are part of an incredible, dynamic adventure. Israel is the only example in the history of humanity of an ancient nation exiled from its land, forced to live (often under horrific conditions) as a minority group scattered throughout the world--who after nearly 2000 years returned to its ancestral land, revived its ancient language, and re-established its historic culture. Israelis--and all members of the Jewish people--understand that we are living in a unique period of history. Israelis are happy not only because they are thriving intellectually, culturally, scientifically, militarily; but because they understand that their lives mean something, that they are pioneers in restoring the honor and strength of the Jewish people after centuries of powerlessness and disgrace…

Rabbi Avraham Yisrael Sylvetsky, Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook:

…But we are still in the midst of the process. He "Who gathers Israel from the four corners of the world" has not yet restored our "judges as of yore", and the [resulting] "sadness and sorrow" have not yet been removed [quotes based on the 11th and 12th blessings of the Amidah prayer - ed.]. The legal establishment, our shame, is still a patchwork of British law and Turkish law, while the true justice of Torah law is abandoned by the wayside… Corruption, too, has spread in various parts of the government, where there is no Torah and the heart is not directed heavenward.

It appears that precisely this low point that we have reached is leading the Nation of Israel to recognize the need to build a new foundation of government and justice according to Torah, ‘whose ways are pleasant and whose paths are wholly peace.’ …

The State has already been established – the Jewish body is recovering from its sickness, the wounds of the Exile are healing, the limbs are getting stronger – and it is well on its way, with G-d’s help, to reaching complete health.

Rabbi Shmuel Yaniv, Givat Shmuel:

The State of Israel was established in the year 5708 to the Creation of the World – and the 5,708th verse in the Torah reads, “And G-d will bring you to the Land inherited by your forefathers, and you will take possession of it, and He will do good to you…” (Deut. 30,5)

Rabbi Beryl Wein, Jerusalem:

The Prophet Ezekiel warned the Jewish people 2,500 years ago not to think that they are like other nations. Independence Day of the State of Israel is not like Bastille Day in France, Canada Day, or the 4th of July. If our Independence Day takes on the same status as other Independence Days around the world, it loses its spiritual and emotional significance.

Germany Warns Against Unilateral Recognition of Palestinian State

German chancellor pushes for an 'urgent' return to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians after meeting with Palestinian President Abbas, who said peace process will continue despite Palestinian reconciliation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state during talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin on Thursday.

"We do not think that unilateral steps are helpful," the chancellor said, while encouraging an "urgent" return to peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"Given the very changed situation across the entire North African region, I think a peaceful solution is even more urgent ... than it has been for a long time," Merkel said.

Following Wednesday's reconciliation between Abbas's Fatah and Islamist Hamas, Merkel warned that the Palestinian authorities must respect three criteria - the recognition of Israel's right to exist, a rejection of violence and a commitment to the negotiation process. Abbas insisted that he remained the president of all Palestinian people - including Hamas - and would continue to conduct the political process on all their behalf.

"Signing the reconciliation between the Palestinians will have no effect on the peace process, quite the opposite," Abbas said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier told French daily l'Express, "If the peace process is still virtually dead in September, France will take its responsibility on the issue of recognizing the Palestinian state."

More than 110 states have recognized an independent Palestinian state, including several eastern EU members as well as Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa.

Should the United Nations Security Council veto a request for recognition, Abbas plans to put the question to the UN General Assembly in September.

"We cannot tell the United Nations, 'You have to accept this.'," Abbas said.

"We are telling the world, this is the situation. We want to be an independent state, what do you think? Can you accept that the Palestinian people remain occupied? That is the question."

Staying Calm is Hard to Do‏

(My original title today was: "There Goes the Blood Pressure," But it was bounced back from so many on my list that I figured it triggered some sort of institutional alarm. Is it the word blood? And so I've changed it.)


It's quite a challenge to read the news with equanimity, is it not?

Today it's British Prime Minister David Cameron. Prime Minister Netanyahu has just been to see him in order to discourage support for that Fatah-Hamas unity government.

And, according to The Guardian, what did Cameron say?

"Britain would consider supporting a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians if Israel fails to join substantive peace talks to create a two-state solution." "If Israel fails to join"... If we don't sit with the terrorists who are dedicated to our destruction and don't recognize our right to exist...

What "two-state solution"?

A diplomat cited by the Guardian elaborated: "The more Israel engages seriously in a meaningful peace process... "

I used the word "insane" yesterday, did I not? But then, this is Britain we're speaking about, so what could I expect?


Apparently President Sarkozy of France is not far behind in this thinking.

But here we have an interesting insight provided, perhaps inadvertently, by L'Express: Sarkozy commented, "Europe will not remain a political dwarf in this matter." Sarkozy, having seen Obama's failure, is moving in for what he envisions to be a piece of the political pie (however that may be construed). Sometimes, however, when heads of state vie for influence, the opportunity to wield power becomes more significant than the issues at stake.

What I see is a Europe -- totally lost, totally sold out -- that is at bottom prepared to accept this new "unity" as legitimate, and push it as a negotiating partner for Israel.

They should all live so long!


At least Tony Blair, the Quartet envoy, is making some demands of the planned new unity government: It must recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce violence. He's waiting to see who the new Palestinian prime minister will be, he told AP, but Hamas must have a "change of heart."

A step in the right direction, but I have one observation. If they're smart, they'll put up a non-controversial figure as prime minister, a front, and sustain their positions.


This is what Prime Minister Netanyahu said to Cameron:

Israel will not negotiate with a "Palestinian version of al-Qaeda...Declaring statehood in September is a dictate - and you don't achieve peace through dictates. It's a very bad idea.

"When Abu Mazen [Abbas] embraces Hamas - an organization committed to our destruction - it is a tremendous setback for peace and an advance for terror. We are talking about a Palestinian government in which half the members call for destruction of Israel and fire rockets on our cities."

The real issue, he explained, is not the question of a Palestinian state, but rather of a Jewish state. "The refusal of the Palestinian Arabs to accept our country is at the root of the conflict."


So, my friends, please respond to this by contacting Prime Minister Netanyahu. He may be on the road, but his staff will note messages. Tell him, very briefly, that you're with him, that he is absolutely on the right track in refusing to deal with the new unity government and that it is essential he stay very strong.

As always, I ask that you avoid speeches and long explanations. Getting a brief message to him is better.

Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)



I am, I must add, considerably uneasy about the announcement that Netanyahu will be meeting with Obama a couple of days before he addresses Congress, later this month.


There are some thoughts about Obama and his approval of the operation to take out Bin Laden that are worth sharing here. Many people made the same point, but I think Daniel Greenfield, writing as Sultan Knish, says it best:

"The man who came into office promising multilateral engagement, no more torture and a civilian justice system for terrorists, now has only accomplishment to his name. A unilateral invasion and assassination based on intelligence gained through enhanced interrogation, carried out by men whom his supporters had once condemned as a secret assassination squad. What a failure Obama is that even the one success to his name is a testament to the failure of his own ideas.

"...Smart power? Try stupid power. Obama wasn't willing to set aside his ideals for the sake of national security. Instead he did it because his ideals were too unpopular. The man who wouldn't sacrifice his politics for the sake of American lives, sacrificed them for his own popularity. It's not just that Obama suffers from the wrong ideas, but that he values his ideas more than America, but less than himself.

"It wasn't smart power that took down Bin Laden. It wasn't the multilateral cooperation that Obama turned into his trademark when running for office. Instead it was an old fashioned unilateral operation that didn't even notify the Pakistanis ahead of time and even jammed their radar. An operation that assumed we couldn't trust our Muslim allies because they sympathize more with Al-Qaeda than they do with us. A unilateral assault that Pakistan would never have approved and that could even be considered an act of war.

"Torture, Gitmo, Rendition and all those dirty words that stood for the dumb old war. The one where we grabbed terrorists and shook the truth out of them. Where we seized them wherever they were, without regard for jurisdiction or civil rights, got them into a room and dunked their heads until they talked. Where brave men went out into the night to get things done and it was best not to ask too many questions about how it got done or count the collateral damage when they were finished. That dumb old war is the one that scored a victory here.

"...Obama inherited a War on Terror that he never wanted, and after doing his best to scuttle it, he was forced to carry it on anyway. His administration has sabotaged terrorist prosecutions, but it was forced to back away from civilian trials or closing Gitmo. And by virtue of having his ass in the chair at the right time, he now takes credit for a victory that belongs to the men who were fighting and dying in the field, while he was yawning his way through Illinois State Senate sessions.

"...The Bush Administration did the heavy lifting here, and the Obama Administration is taking the credit...."


The questions to be drawn from this, most directly, are whether this will bring about any permanent change in Obama policy, and whether it will affect how the world sees Israel's self-defense.


Well, the more things change, the more... as we know. And here it's the Palestinian Arabs we're looking at.

They just signed a unity agreement (which you can see here: They are scheduled to start negotiations on matters such as putting together their government.

And they're bickering. Hamas says the PA is arresting their supporters in Judea and Samaria. And the PA says Hamas has prevented some of their people from leaving the Gaza Strip.

Anyone taking bets on how long this deal will last?

Let me just state this now: If this agreement does fall apart, it does not mean that the PA is "OK," kosher, and can be dealt with as if nothing had happened. The motivation of a group willing to conspire with Hamas is suspect no matter what transpires. The lack of PA commitment -- to peace, to accepting Israel, etc. etc. -- (which many of us were already aware of) has been exposed, and that would best not be forgotten.


© 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.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Blair: Palestinians Must Recognize Israel

JERUSALEM — Mideast envoy Tony Blair says the international community supports Palestinian reconciliation but will demand that the new unity government recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce violence.

Wednesday's announcement could signal trouble for the new alliance between the Islamic militant group Hamas and the Western-backed Fatah movement. Hamas says it will never recognize Israel.

Blair represents the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.S., the EU, U.N. and Russia. He told The Associated Press the Quartet wants to see who is chosen Palestinian prime minister before passing judgment, but Hamas must have "a change of heart" for the government to succeed.

Similar Quartet demands four years ago led to the collapse of a previous unity government THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CAIRO (AP) — Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas on Wednesday proclaimed a landmark, Egyptian-mediated reconciliation pact aimed at ending their bitter four-year rift. The Palestinian president seized the occasion to deliver a scathing criticism of Israel, saying he would not succumb to its blackmail over the future of Mideast peacemaking.

"We forever turn the black page of division," the Western-backed Mahmoud Abbas said at the declaration ceremony in the Egyptian capital Cairo, promising to "soon" visit Hamas-held Gaza Strip.

The pact, long in the making, provides for the creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government ahead of national elections next year but leaves key issues unresolved, such as who will control the Palestinian security forces, and makes no mention of relations with Israel.

Israel had denounced the pact in advance of the Cairo ceremony because of the militant Hamas' long history of deadly attacks against Israeli targets. It also equated the deal with a renunciation of peacemaking.

Like the U.S. and the European Union, Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization and says it will not negotiate with a future Palestinian government that includes the Iranian- and Syrian-backed group.

Abbas rejected Israel's opposition to the pact, saying the reconciliation with the militant Islamic group was an internal Palestinian affair.

"They are our brothers and family. We may differ, and we often do, but we still arrive at a minimum level of understanding," Abbas said of Hamas.

In a message to Israel, Abbas added: "We reject blackmail and it is no longer possible for us to accept the occupation of Palestinian land."

Abbas said Israel cannot continue to act as "a state above the law" and called for an end to the construction of new Jewish settlements on lands the Palestinians want for a future state.

"Mr. Netanyahu, you must chose between settlements and peace," he said, addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Abbas also reasserted his intention to win recognition of an independent Palestinian state in the U.N. General Assembly in September.

Hamas leader Kahled Mashaal also addressed the ceremony, saying his group was prepared to do anything to "translate the text of the pact to facts on the ground. Our battle is with the Israeli enemy and not with Palestinian factions."

Egypt's intelligence chief Murad Mewafi asserted the right of the Palestinians to have their own state. "The pact opens the way, not only for re-arranging the domestic Palestinian home, but also for a just peace," he said.

It's not clear whether Western powers would deal with the new government that is to emerge from the unity deal. So far, they've said they are waiting to see its composition.

The Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.S., the EU, the United Nations and Russia — has long demanded that Hamas renounce violence and recognize the principle of Israel's right to exist.

But Abbas aide Nabil Shaath told Israel Radio ahead of Wednesday's ceremony that these demands "are unfair, unworkable and do not make sense."

The only thing the Quartet needs to know, he said, is that Hamas "would refrain from any violence ... and be interested in the peace process."

Hamas and other Palestinian militant factions in Gaza have agreed to abide by an unofficial truce with Israel, largely in place since Israel's January 2009 war in the territory. But it is unclear how long that truce will last, and Hamas has consistently rejected negotiations with Israel.

The reconciliation deal is designed to unify the dueling Palestinian governments that emerged after Hamas violently wrested control of Gaza from security forces loyal to Abbas in June 2007 and left his Fatah controlling only the West Bank.

In a symbolic step, Hamas allowed Fatah-controlled Palestine TV to broadcast from Gaza for the first time since the 2007 takeover. The station's Gaza correspondent, Adel Zaanoun, discussed the excitement that Gazans felt about unity and invited Ismail Radwan, a Hamas leader, onto the program.

"Today we end a dark chapter in our recent history," Radwan said. "It's time now to work together ... With the support of our people and the Arab brothers, we will make this agreement work."

Also for the first time, Hamas permitted Gaza residents to wave yellow Fatah banners along with the green Hamas flags. Fatah displays had been banned by Hamas police in the past.

Some Gazans greeted the impending deal with a mixture of hope and caution, the last failed attempt at unity fresh in their minds.

"Hope is all we have. We have suffered a lot from the political split," said Yousef Ali, a 22-year-old law student in Gaza. "But fear is there. Failure is possible and this is something we need to keep in mind ... I think the people will not show mercy this time for anyone who will try to sabotage this unity."

Ibrahim Qassem, a 45-year-old driver, said he did not trust the Palestinian leaders. "I saw the same atmosphere in 2007. What's the difference now?"


Associated Press Writers Amy Teibel in Jerusalem and Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bin Laden versus Yassin

Op-ed: Hypocritical world that slammed killing of Hamas’ Yassin now
lauds bin Laden hit
Manfred Gerstenfeld

The flurry of international reactions to the killing of Osama bin
Laden by the American army provides Israel with a great opportunity to
demonstrate the double standards applied against it by so many in the
Western world and elsewhere. All one has to do is compare the
reactions of major institutions and leaders with those after the death
of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. This leader of the Hamas terrorist
organization was killed by Israel in 2004. He was directly responsible
for many lethal attacks on Israeli civilians including suicide
bombings. On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters that "the
death of Osama bin Laden, announced by President (Barack) Obama last
night, is a watershed moment in our common global fight against
terrorism." Yet after the killing of Sheikh Yassin, then-UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan said "I do condemn the targeted assassination of
Sheikh Yassin and the others who died with him. Such actions are not
only contrary to international law, but they do not do anything to
help the search for a peaceful solution.”

The now-defunct UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the tragic
death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in contravention of the Hague Convention
IV of 1907.” At the Security Council, the US had to use its veto power
to prevent condemnation of Israel.

After the bin Laden killing, the leaders of the European Council and
European Commission stated that his death made the world a safer place
and showed that terrorist attacks do not remain unpunished. Following
the Yassin killing, then-EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said,
"This type of action does not contribute at all to create the
conditions of peace. This is very, very bad news for the peace
process. The policy of the European Union has been consistently
condemnation of extra-judicial killing."
British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated President Obama on
the success of the bin Laden assassination. Cameron considered it a
massive step forward in the fight against extremist terrorism. Former
Prime Minister Tony Blair also welcomed bin Laden’s demise.

However, the killing of Sheikh Yassin was called by the then-British
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw “unacceptable” and “unjustified.” The
official spokesman of then-Prime Minister Blair condemned the
“unlawful attack“ and observed: "We have repeatedly made clear our
opposition to Israel's use of targeted killings and assassinations.”

A case of anti-Semitism?
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed Bin Laden’s killing as a
coup in the fight against terrorism. He called President Obama,
praised his determination and courage and all others who had pursued
the head of al-Qaeda for 10 years. Sarkozy added that the two heads of
state had agreed to continue the just and necessary fight against
terrorist barbarity and those who support it.

Yet after Sheikh Yassin’s death, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman,
Herve Ladsous, said, “France condemns the action taken against Sheikh
Yassin, just as it has always condemned the principle of any
extra-judicial execution as contrary to international law.” Foreign
Minister Dominique de Villepin declared that “such acts can only feed
the spiral of violence.”

German Chancellor Angel Merkel said at a recent press conference, “I’m
glad that killing bin Laden was successful.” She also called it “good
news.” Then Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer had stated after the
killing of Sheikh Yassin that “the German government is deeply
concerned about the development.”

Russia released a statement regarding bin Laden which the Voice of
America quoted as saying that retribution inevitably reaches all
terrorists and that Russia is ready to “step up” its coordination in
the international fight against global terrorism.” After the Yassin
assassination, a foreign ministry spokesman said that Moscow was
deeply concerned about the situation.

President Abdullah Gul of Turkey declared that the killing of bin
Laden was a message for terrorist organizations all around the world.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called the killing of
Yassin “a terrorist act” and said that “the assassination was not

This comparison gets even more meaningful when seen in the context of
the definition of anti-Semitism as regularly used in the European
Union. It was prepared by one of the EU agencies. It gives examples of
the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the
State of Israel, including the following: “Applying double standards
by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other
democratic nation.”

Israel could considerably improve its public diplomacy by using the
comparison of the two killings and other comparisons of events which
occur with great frequency to stress such double standards. This is
one of the many ways that Israel can fend off at least part of the
unjust criticism against it.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 19 books, several of these deal
with anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism


Arlene Kushner

Actually, I should say, "more insane than normal."

This will be a short posting. I've been working non-stop on a report concerning US funding for PA "security forces" -- an exceedingly pertinent subject, and a report that I'll be referring to now and again.

If it weren't for the signing today of the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas, I would have waited another day. But hey...


So...PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas head of the politburo Khaled Masha'al went to Cairo for the signing...and promptly got into a fight about who would sit where (reportedly Abbas did not want Masha'al next to him). Delayed that signing by a couple of hours, although it ultimately did take place. The tensions between the parties are likely a window on what's really going on. Yuval Diskin, who leaves his post as head of Shin Bet next week, sees this "unity" agreement as:

"...mostly for the sake of appearances, in an attempt to show unity. From here on, there are many things both sides don't know how to apply in theory, let alone on the ground.

"These kinds of attempts have been around for a long time. Hamas is still conflicted… and has opted for a tactical move rather than a strategic one."

I sure wouldn't argue, and we're going to have to watch and see how this plays out over the next weeks, and months, and if it lasts that long, the next year or two.


But the key issue from where I sit is the management of "security forces." And it's on this issue that Diskin loses me. He says Israel should continue security arrangements with the PA.

It's not just that I disagree, it's that I genuinely cannot imagine what's in his head. Yes, as of today there is no joint Fatah-Hamas management of security forces. The PA is still in charge of its own forces in Judea and Samaria (just as Hamas has forces in Gaza). But the security arrangements between Israel and Fatah have had to do with combating terrorism -- notably Hamas. And now Fatah is officially in bed with Hamas. What sort of security arrangements would these be??

Says Diskin: “As long as the [PA] security forces do not change their policies and action on the ground there is no reason for us to change our policy.”

Not change their policies of cooperating with Israel in seeking out Hamas terrorists? In his Cairo speech today, Abbas said, “we will not accept pluralism of the security forces, only one authority, one weapon and one political authority.”

As for action, just today I picked up from a highly reliable source information that, “Things are beginning to heat up now” -- there have been reports in the Tulkarem area of PA forces taking shots at Israeli troops. There may not be Fatah-Hamas cooperation in managing security forces, but the message from Hamas to Fatah is almost certain to be one that severely discourages cooperation with the IDF.

That report I alluded above is designed to try to convince Congress that there should be no more US support for PA security forces.


Three Arab MKs attending the signing: Talab El-Sana (Ra'am-Ta'al), Ahmad Tibi (Ra'am Ta'al), and Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) -- declaring the event "historic." I hate to remind them that this is not the first Fatah-Hamas unity government. There was one briefly before the Hamas coup in Gaza. As to historic, I'd like to see history made as they are tossed out of the Knesset for attending the event of a sworn enemy of Israel.


It seems to me that there is a way in which Hamas is doing our work for us. They have consented to play the game with regard to "unity" with Fatah, but they won't deign to play the game with regard to being conciliatory on the issue of Israel.

Nope, they've been very proudly, defiantly up front with regard to their intentions. There are some parties who might have gone along with the unity arrangement who will find it more difficult to do, in light of Hamas's positions.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar, for example, said today that Palestine is "hallowed ground" and that Hamas will never recognize Israel -- or as he put it, the rule of "Poles and Ethiopians." Nice guy.

But, no surprise, Fatah is itself sounding more like Hamas, with Nabil Sha'ath saying that the Quartet principles are irrelevant: "Stop asking Hamas to recognize Israel."

Then there's Jimmy Carter. He thinks this unity arrangement will lead to peace and stability. Good old Jimmy is always on top of these matters.


Prime Minister Netanyahu is in London, first stop of several in which he will be lobbying against support for the new unity government. That unity deal, he says, is a blow to peace, and a victory for terrorism.

Abbas, he points out, in signing with Hamas, has "embraced" an organization that lamented the death of bin Laden, calling him a "martyr."

A careful choice of words, I think. This very fact -- which thoroughly infuriated Obama -- is going to make it harder (though not impossible) for the president and certain others to approach the unity government with anything resembling good will.

For the time being, at least, we can safely assume that there will be no more "peace initiatives" with pressure applied to Israel to make more concessions for "peace." Netanyahu has made it clear we will not negotiate with this unity government. Although Secretary of State Clinton has still been making unsettling noises about the continuing US relationship with the PA.


© 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.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

My Kingdom for a Hoax

Emmanuel Navon

To post a comment, click here:

A specter is haunting Israel. As the Palestinian Authority is threatening to declare statehood in September with UN recognition, many Israelis seem to believe that the Apocalypse is near. What is approaching, however, is not a Big Bang but a Big Flop.

The creation of a Palestinian state has already been proclaimed, and the admission of this “state” to the UN has already been recommended by the General Assembly. On November 15, 1988, Yasser Arafat proclaimed in Algiers the establishment of “The State of Palestine” with Jerusalem as its capital and Arafat as its President. One month later, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that acknowledged “the proclamation of the State of Palestine” and that replaced the PLO with “Palestine” at the UN. One hundred and four states voted in favor of the resolution, forty-four abstained, and two (the US and Israel) voted against. Since then, the UN General Assembly has passed many resolutions supporting Palestinian statehood. UN General Assembly resolutions, however, are not binding (as opposed to Security Council resolutions). They are mere recommendations. The General Assembly does not and cannot establish states. Contrary to a widespread misconception, the UN did not establish the State of Israel. On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly only approved the recommendation of UNSCOP (the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine) to divide the British Mandate between a Jewish state and an Arab state. This approval was a non-binding opinion. What established the State of Israel were seven decades of labor and a war of Independence in which the Jews fought by themselves without any help from the UN (though with the military backing of a Soviet satellite –Czechoslovakia).

Nor can the General Assembly admit new members at the UN without the approval of the Security Council. If one of the five permanent members of the Security Council puts its veto, the “State of Palestine” will not be accepted to UN (Kosovo is not a UN member because of Russia’s veto). Hence the diplomatic efforts deployed by Israel and by the PA to lobby the Security Council’s two wavering veto-holders (Britain and France).

The difference between 1988 and 2011, of course, is that the PLO and Hamas partially control the West Bank and Gaza. Back then, the PLO was operating from Tunis and Hamas was in its infancy. Territorial control, even a partial one, makes the Palestinian “declaration of independence” more potent. The 1933 Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States lays down the most widely accepted formulation of the criteria of statehood in international law: 1. A permanent population; 2. A defined territory; 3. A government; 4. A capacity to enter into relations with other states. The PA fits the bill, but with two caveats that will nurture the upcoming diplomatic struggle between Israel and the Palestinians.

Until last week, the Palestinians had two governments: a Fatah government in the West Bank and a Hamas government in Gaza. While the recent Hamas-Fatah deal officially puts an end to this duality, the new Palestinian government is made up of a terrorist organization recognized as such by the US, the EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Israel. The Palestinians will try to obtain the “moral laundering” of Hamas (they can count on the support of countries such as Russia, Turkey, Norway, and Switzerland), while Israel will try and convince the EU not to remove Hamas from its black list.

The second caveat has to do with territory. The “Palestinian territory” is not defined. It is disputed. Hamas openly claims all of Palestine, while Fatah will officially do with the entirety of the West Bank, of Gaza, and of East Jerusalem (a review of PA schoolbooks, TV programs, and public speeches in Arabic suggests otherwise). Mahmud Abbas’ claim that the entire West Bank “belongs” to the Palestinians lacks both historical and legal basis. The 1949 “Green Line” was a temporary armistice line between Israel and its Arab aggressors. UN Security Council Resolution 242 does not require an Israeli withdrawal to those lines. The West Bank was ruled (and annexed) by Jordan between 1949 and 1967; there never was a Palestinian state there in the past. The Palestinians are trying to obliterate these facts by arguing that their territorial claims are backed by international law. They are not. But most countries endorse the Palestinians’ territorial claims. As for the Obama Administration, it has neither endorsed nor repudiated President Bush’s letter to Ariel Sharon (from April 14, 2004), which stated inter alia that “it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

The true purpose of the September vote is not to declare and recognize a state that has already been declared and recognized in the past. Its true purpose is to obtain three things from the international community: 1. To abandon the demand that the Palestinians renounce their claim about the “right of return” as a condition for statehood; 2. To grant legitimacy to Hamas; 3. To de-legitimize any Jewish presence beyond the “green line” (including in Jerusalem’s Old City).

While the September vote at the UN General Assembly will be legally meaningless, it will implicitly recognize the “right of return” and whitewash Hamas’ hideous ideology and crimes. As we Israelis are about to celebrate 63 years of independence, our struggle for it is far from being over.

Emmanuel Navon, 6 May 2011.

Civil Administration Aids German-Funded Building of Medical Clinic in Jordan Valley

IDF Spokesperson

Officers from the Civil Administration toured the Palestinian village of Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley on Thursday (April 28th) , accompanied by representatives from the Civil Administration’s Planning and Archaeology Departments, officials from the German Consulate, members of GIZ, a German organization working towards international sustainable development, and the head of the Jiftlik village council, Mr. Abed Kassab. The tour was intended to survey progress in the nearby archaeological digging sites, where a clinic for the village residents is set to be built by GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation). Following the German consulate’s request to build the clinic, the Civil Administration evaluated the allocation of land. During initial evaluations, archaeological ruins were discovered on the site of the proposed clinic (located on Area C). The Civil Administration decided to contribute 150,000 NIS (approx. 44,200 USD) to fund the archaeological excavations, after which the site would be eligible for construction.

During the excavations, archaeologists unearthed buildings from the ancient Roman and Byzantine periods, as well as ceramic shards, basalt tools, a preserved furnace and 40 historical coins. The coins were transferred to the Head of the Archaeological Department in the Civil Administration, who will determine their origins and help clean and preserve them before presenting the historical artifacts to the public.

The Civil Administration is committed to working to establish the Jiftlik medical clinic, thus improving the medical treatment received by thousands of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley. As such, the Civil Administration is also dedicated to exploring and preserving historical remains in areas of its responsibility. It works closely with Palestinian locals, foreign governments, and aid organizations to achieve these goals.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Necessity of Israel

David Solway

As everyone knows, Israel is the one nation on earth whose right to exist is being constantly questioned and challenged. It is the disproportionate target of the United Nations Human Rights Council which devotes the majority of its sessions to attacking the Jewish state while giving the world’s most egregious Human Rights violators a Get Out of Jail Free card. Israel is subject to a worldwide BDS campaign and to the vicious defamation of Israel Apartheid Weeks hosted on our morally debased university campuses. The ideology of the left demonizes Israel as a racist and conquistador nation that must be delegitimized, launching books, blogs, resolutions and flotillas against its very existence. Meanwhile, its Muslim neighbors have vowed to physically erase it from the map of the world, killing indiscriminately, firing rockets at its civil centers with the regularity of a metronome, and preparing for its version of the Final Solution. Why should this be so? Are we witnessing the geographic displacement of a millennial prejudice from the diaspora to the nation, with Israel as the collective incarnation of the “international Jew”? Is the current assault on Israel merely the contemporary form of the age-old pogrom? Has the West embarked on a political and economic entente with the petro-tyrannies of the Muslim Middle East, selling its soul in the process to a triumphalist Islam, as Bat Ye’or has persuasively argued in Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis and Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide? The answer to such rhetorical questions is self-evident.

But bigotry and baseless aspersion are never openly admitted. Rather, for antisemites and anti-Zionists, Israel is regarded as a geopolitical irritant, a historical mistake, an artificial construct that should never have been established, however validly and legally. For the Quartet negotiators (the UN, The EU, the United States and Russia), and particularly for Britain, France and Germany, it is as if UN Resolution 242, guaranteeing “secure and recognized boundaries,” has no legitimate force. For Islam, Israel is an interloper in the region, despite the indisputable historical fact that Israel and Judea predate the Arab occupation of the Holy Land by more than a thousand years. For the so-called “realist” school of international relations, Israel is a political liability and therefore ultimately dispensable.

Moreover, Israel is by no means a great power. It is by normal census standards sparsely populated, and it covers about as much territory as Wales or New Jersey—as former mayor of New York Ed Koch says, one “might need a magnifying glass to see Israel” in a World Atlas since it could easily “disappear in the crease of a page.” In the larger scheme of things, presumably, its absence would scarcely be noticed.

Monday, May 02, 2011

"Yom HaShoah"

Arlene Kushner

In Israel, it's Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day -- because we must remember those Jews who fought back against their Nazi torturers, as well as those whom the Nazis destroyed.

At 10:00 AM this morning, the siren sounded and the nation stood still. Remembering, thinking...


Inevitably, Yom HaShoah becomes -- both literally and figuratively -- more distant with time, as the number of direct witnesses who are still alive diminishes.

But we must never forget.

With the remembering comes our cry, "Never again!"

With the remembering comes the understanding that there is such a thing as consummate, unmitigated evil in this world, and that it must be recognized and fought without respite.

Unfortunately, the world does not remotely understand this. (Yet?) A Holocaust memorial video. Unbearable, and yet we must remember. The song, rendered quite beautifully, is "Ani Ma'amin" -- I believe with perfect faith... A miracle, that we are still here.


I rather like the three statements regarding the Shoah that Liat Collins shared in her JPost column yesterday:

1) "Elie Wiesel: 'The Shoah wasn’t a crime against humanity, but a crime against the Jews.'”

Today the terms and images specific to the Shoah are borrowed freely by many protesting violent offenses of one sort or another. But when everything becomes like everything else, then the historical realities are blurred or misunderstood or forgotten.

2) "Writer Haim Guri: 'Israel was created not because of the Shoah but in spite of it.'"

This is an extremely important point. The mythology in many quarters -- fostered by the Arabs -- is that Israel exists only because after the Shoah Jews had no other place to go. The Arab version has it that they are now suffering at Jewish hands because of the Holocaust; many Europeans, in particular, have bought this. This is, as well as being a libel, a denial of our intrinsic rights.

The reality is that our claim to this land is more than 3,000 years old, and our modern legal rights were established decades before the Shoah.

3) Unattributed: "Had there been a Jewish state in the 1930s, the Holocaust might not have happened at all, or would have been on a much-reduced scale."

A stark reminder, in particular, to those Jewish members of the younger generation who imagine it's OK to dissociate themselves from Israel because they're doing just fine where they are. The younger generation is without memory. If they are doing just fine they had best look to the role that Israel has played in their lives by conveying messages of Jewish power. Every Yom HaShoah, we hear from the IDF that it considers itself responsible for Jews everywhere.


See this video of a Yad V'Shem (Israeli Holocaust Memorial) ceremony at Auschwitz that includes the fly-over of Israeli Air Force planes. It makes the point regarding the need for Israel's power stunningly:


Please, also see this article of mine that went up on American Thinker a couple of days ago:

It shares basic facts -- truths that must be known and of which too few are aware:

After you have seen it, please then share the URL with others, including your elected representatives in Congress.

It's a certainty that there are many Congresspersons and Senators who are unaware of the events described in the article. And right now, that's not a situation that we can ignore. In a pinch, their understanding will make a difference:

For your Congresspersons:

For your Senators:


The US got bin Laden at last. This is good, although it hardly signals the demise of radical Islam in that part of the world, as some would have it. His capture and murder should have considerable psychological impact, but the battle against al-Qaeda and its ilk will go on.

The palace in Pakistan where he was located puts the lie to the notion that terrorists are enraged because they are poverty stricken. This terrorist was anything but...


Hamas is mourning the killing of this "Arab holy warrior," and condemns the US action.

Think the world will take notice? Nah...


© 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.

Bin Laden Dead

Heritage Foundation

Justice has been done. Nearly 10 years since the 9/11 attacks that left more than 3,000 Americans dead, Osama bin Laden was killed by a small team of U.S. military personnel operating under the authority of the Central Intelligence Agency. We first want to congratulate the men and women of our military and intelligence communities, past and present, who worked tirelessly across three Administrations to bring ultimate justice to the man who killed so many. The war on terror, though, is not over.

Bin Laden’s death is the most significant victory in the war on terror since the 9/11 attacks, more important than the arrest of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006. Bin Laden’s elimination vindicates U.S. strategy in the region, started under President George W. Bush, and it will be seen as a major success for the United States, showing the world that America will remain committed to hunting down its enemies as long it takes.But while America should take great satisfaction in this tremendous achievement, the United States must remain vigilant against a terrorist threat that is not yet vanquished. Terrorists are trying to attack us both at home and abroad; with 38 terrorist plots foiled since 9/11, these attempts will certainly continue, if not get worse.

With bin Laden’s death, which came by way of a small, covert strike force, there will be an impulse to believe that this action validates that covert operations are a cheap and simple answer to the most vexing national security problems. They are not. They are just one tool in the tool box. Among those tools, too, is the strategic and lawful interrogation of detainees, including those at Guantanamo Bay. President Obama and Congress should not use bin Laden’s death as an excuse to turn back the clock on the counterterrorism tools we need, like the PATRIOT Act.

That full range of tools must be applied to the United States’ continued efforts against terrorism in Afghanistan and around the world. Bin Laden’s death is a demoralizing blow against al-Qaeda that could be followed up by additional strikes against other al-Qaeda leaders. But though this is a significant achievement, much work remains. First and foremost, the United States must finish the job in Afghanistan and not relent in defeating the Taliban.

The operation also highlights that Pakistan is truly at the epicenter of global terrorism. The fact that the world’s most-wanted terrorist was captured in a major Pakistani city 150 kilometers from the nation’s capital should silence those Pakistanis who rejected the idea that bin Laden was hiding in their country as a Western conspiracy. It should also strengthen President Obama’s hand in pushing the Pakistanis to continue to take action against other terrorists on their soil.

The details on Pakistan’s involvement in the operation are still unclear. If Pakistani intelligence played a substantial role in locating bin Laden, it would generate a deep reservoir of American goodwill for Pakistan. If, on the other hand, it was largely a U.S. unilateral operation, the positive impact on relations would be more short-lived.

Ayman al-Zawahiri will almost certainly take over as al-Qaeda’s new chief. Zawahiri had in recent years become both the public voice and operational planner of al-Qaeda. However, since bin Laden was the founder and spiritual head of al-Qaeda, his death will demoralize the ranks of the organization and thus will likely be a major strategic setback for the movement. Zawahiri does not carry the same mythical aura as bin Laden and thus the organization will likely lose its luster among young recruits.

But threats remain. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is responsible for three terror plots here in the last 18 months, something that the organization’s core could not accomplish. And, likewise, the Taliban just last weekend launched a new offensive against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Those are facts the U.S. government must bear in mind as the debate begins over the defense budget. There is no “peace dividend” with bin Laden’s death — our military is underfunded, and we must not shortchange our military men and women who are fighting to protect America.

Though al-Qaeda suffered a significant blow last night, it was not a fatal one. It is worth stating again: the war on terrorism is not over, and the war in Afghanistan is not won. America must remain vigilant and continue its global fight against terrorism.

Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D.
President, The Heritage Foundation

Quick Hits:

* Following news of bin Laden’s death, spontaneous celebrations erupted at Ground Zero, where thousands sang the National Anthem. Others gathered at Times Square and on the streets outside the White House.
* President George W. Bush said of bin Laden’s death, “This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”
* Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said today, “The operation shows those who commit acts of terror against the innocent will be brought to justice, however long it takes.”
* Front pages of newspapers from around the country were scrapped last night in anticipation of the breaking news from the White House. This morning they carried news of bin Laden’s death.
* Read about the next steps to winning the long war against terrorism.

Distorting the Holocaust

Op-ed: Comparison of current-day events, Israeli actions to Nazis has gone mainstream

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Published: 05.01.11

For several decades now, the Holocaust has been the symbol of absolute evil in Western society.Both mention and distortion of the Shoah regularly resurface in the public sphere.

Holocaust education is a centerpiece of remembrance and, one would hope, a prevention of the repetition of genocide. There are, however, strong indications that in today’s Western world Shoah distortion also creates a major impact. Many think of Holocaust denial in this context. Far more frequent however, is another extremely dangerous distortion of the Shoah’s memory, the inversion of the Holocaust – that is, considering Jews and in particular Israelis as Nazis. This perception has now become a mainstream view in both Western and Eastern Europe. A recent study in several countries by the University of Bielefeld on behalf of the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation shows its permeation into European societies. The study found that 63% of Poles think that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. The lowest figures in the study are from the Italians and the Dutch respectively, with 38% and 39%.

In Hungary, Great Britain, Germany and Portugal, between 40% and 50% think this. The study shows that, almost unnoticed, a new Europe with a widespread criminal worldview has emerged.

Some subjects concerning the Holocaust come to the fore every year. One is the way Pope Pius XII’s wartime history is remembered. There are continuous Catholic efforts to embellish it. In November 2010, Italian Jewish leaders sharply criticized a documentary that showed how Pope Pius XII made a major effort to save the Jews of Rome during the Holocaust. Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, called the mini-series “junk.”

In December, The Guardian revealed that the Vatican had wanted to join the International Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (ITF). However, a US diplomatic cable from October 200 said the Vatican had backed out of it - perhaps due to its desire to avoid declassifying records from the war during the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII.
Berlusconi’s jokes

Another regularly returning issue concerns the memory of Anne Frank. In August, 2010 the chestnut tree that Anne had seen from her hiding place in the heart of Amsterdam was felled during a storm. This story became one of the most publicized issues concerning the Holocaust in the past year. Hundreds of media from all over the world showed photos of the fallen tree, or reported on it. Saplings were taken to be planted in the US, Israel and other countries so that the tree would live on. It was announced that blocks of the fallen tree would be placed in museums in various countries.

There was more “news” related to Anne Frank. Earlier this month a new book revealed that Karl Joseph Silberbauer, the Austrian SS officer who arrested the Frank family, was one of hundreds of Nazis employed by the German post-war intelligence service.

The diversity of “Holocaust issues” is great. One that was widely reported was of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi telling youths at a rally a joke whereby Adolf Hitler was asked by his supporters to take power again after they discovered that he was still alive. Hitler answered, according to Berlusconi: “I’ll come back, but only on one condition – next time I’m going to be evil.” On his birthday a month later, Berlusconi told another joke, making fun of a Jew hiding another Jew during the Holocaust.

The idea of Holocaust equivalence, i.e., that some people currently behave like Nazis, also comes up regularly. In September 2010, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro accused France of carrying out a “racial holocaust” against the Roma, of which 1,000 had been expelled from the country in the preceding weeks. Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, considered the French treatment of Roma as a disgrace that reminded her of the Second World War roundups of gypsies and Jews.

At the same time, the commemoration of the Shoah also gets new impetus. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno announced the creation of the first Italian Shoah Museum. It will open in 2013 in Rome. Athens was the last European capital to establish a Holocaust memorial. And in March, Israel and UNESCO signed an agreement to promote Holocaust education and to fight its denial.

The battle for maintaining a correct memory of the Holocaust and the fighting of distortions will become more difficult as the last generation of survivors passes away. This battle has to consist of many actions. They include, besides Holocaust education, the continual recording of survivors’ testimonies, activities by the second generation of survivors, public debate, research, activities in museums, remembrance ceremonies, legislation and many more such efforts.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 19 books, including The Abuse of Holocaust Memory: Distortions and Responses

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A Conversation About Anti-Semitism

William R. Mann

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” Ayn Rand

This is an article about anti-Semitism, though the reader might think it wanders a bit. It springs from a correspondence I recently shared with my friend, Joan Swirsky, who encouraged me to submit it for publication.

I have been wondering, lately, how it is that racism is seen lurking behind every utterance and act of the Obama opponents. Contrast this with the actions and statements of the opponents of Israel in this country, who are legion in deed if not in word. Do they not consider the very survival of Israel the larger problem today with the Middle East exploding? Is the US still committed to defending Israel? What happens if America does not? Have we simply altered U.S. National Interests, or has creeping and growing anti-Semitism in the Middle East and elsewhere taken root in America as well? Are we edging closer to betraying our best ally in the Middle East? We hear a lot about cultural racism. I think the big problem today is an insidious, cultural anti-Semitism being played out daily in the White House and being cloaked as U.S. Foreign Policy. So, what is there to learn about anti-Semitism? As portrayed in the 1947 film, “Gentleman’s Agreement,” this very pernicious form of bigotry goes beyond skin color, epithets, and ethnicity. That classic film stars Gregory Peck, a writer who poses as a Jew in order to find out about anti-Semitism. He learns more it than he expects. He learns that his secretary hides her Jewish identity by changing her name. Other Jews simply go along to get along. He notices commonly held attitudes that are incredibly hateful. Even the high-minded Liberal folks who hired him turn out to be bigots within the hush-hush of their private conversations. These attitudes persisted in 1947 despite the Holocaust of WWII. For perspective consider that the Nuremberg criminal trials for the major Nazi conspirators had just finished in 1946. Incredible! Do you see, similarly, how easy it is for a national conscience to renege on promises? So it is today as the Obama White House deals with their “Jewish problem.” The White House plan to “throw Israel under the bus” must be executed piecemeal so as not to alarm anyone. They must be discrete: Death to Israel by a thousand paper cuts. Shush! ...Quiet ... Let’s not talk about it.
Contrast this to racial problems in “post-racial” America

Contrast this to racial problems in “post-racial” America. There is always a big deal made about even a whiff of racial bigotry in Obama’s “post-racial” America. Every utterance of disagreement with Obama is dissected and called racism by the Mainstream Media. And, while they’re at it they capriciously add any number of adjectival enhancements: redneck, Republican, Conservative, Southern, bigot, homophobe and others. In their minds, it all fits together. How dangerous is the media’s path? If this kind of journalism is acceptable, then what chance do practicing Jews have in the world today when identified with the now-vilified Israel? In the foreign press today, Jews are frequently described as racist, murderous, treacherous, etc. Not an eyebrow is raised in the Liberal-collectivist worldview when Hamas launches missiles against Israel. The murder of an Israeli family barely makes a headline! Consider this incredible rising tolerance for Islamic barbarism; Jews, religious or not, are at risk worldwide. Christians will readily note that persecutions of Christian believers are way up as well. A Jew’s odds of religious and cultural persecution and attack are far worse than practicing Christians. It is a serious problem.

It is easy, popular and dramatic in the MSM for race-baiters to throw around racist epithets and accusations against individuals, Fox News, and conservative Talk Radio hosts. It gets Obama sympathy points in polls. But it should also tweak our conscience and inspire us to oppose it every time race cards are played. Fox News hosts and Talk Radio folks like Sean Hannity go so far as to invite accusers onto their shows so they can make their case. The race-baiters usually make their charges and accusations with absolutely no evidence, and wind up looking as blindly ignorant as their ideology. To them, those who disagree with their premises are the real racists, the new Klan in blue pinstripe suits.

Have you not heard? President Obama has replaced Reverend Jeremiah Wright with Reverend Jim Wallis of Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. This man gets away with making objectionable statements about race, Israel and our governmental structure from the pulpit to his flock without raising eyebrows. I don’t wonder what his position is on Israel—he speaks against Israel. And President Obama does not see anything odd about this man’s rhetoric? What does that say about Obama? The Reverend Jim Wallis is also a member of President Obama’s “faith council.” Did you know that? He has been variously described as a spiritual adviser to the President, a liberal theologian, a socialist activist, and a supporter of collectivist causes that parade as “social justice.” Social Justice, in case you did not know, is code for Marxist Liberation Theology. Pope John Paul II roundly denounced Liberation Theology as being decidedly un-Christian. Reverend Wallis has described the U.S. as “the great captor and destroyer of human life.” If he thinks about Jews, like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan do, I wonder what influence he has on the President’s thinking. Considering Obama’s recent missives against Franklin Graham, I think I can guess.

Because of the MSM’s lack of scrutiny, aided by an army of sycophant supporters, Wallis [like Wright, Jackson, Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan] fan the flames of separatism while claiming to want a post-racial society. They engage in personal destruction of their opponents by appealing to baser instincts. All the while, they blame the Jews and the white race. They purposely reignite old controversies and reopen old wounds by saying that the old scores were never settled. In my thinking they have become what they claim to be fighting against. What deceivers! Trying to form a Judeo-Christian conscience from such beliefs is simply unhinged and incoherent. These Pastors claim to be Christian, yet espouse erstwhile support and sympathies for the radical Islamic causes, for Palestinian Intifada, for Hamas, Hezbollah, and the deconstruction of Israel and the US Alliance with Israel. In short, one may legitimately ask whether these men are anti-Semites. This is the second of this coin. This form of anti-Semitism is particularly virulent because it carries with it the seeds of genocide. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe. It is also on the rise in America. A check of multiple sources on the Internet easily verifies this. I have discovered in my lifetime that anti-Semitism is not monolithic. It comes in many flavors.
Rise of Black anti-Semitism

So whither the rise of the rise of Black anti-Semitism? Is the jealousy, resentment, and hatred of Jews by many Blacks different from White anti-Semitism? The Black experience in America has been a difficult one. Indeed, Lincoln himself wondered whether America, post slavery, could adapt after this dark chapter of American History. But, I believe that most American Blacks have chosen to move on, claiming full citizenship, and work at integrating into society like every other group of Americans. [There were many slaves and indentured servants of other races as well, many of them in the North.] Some, like many white folks, reject educational and self-improvement opportunities and don’t seem to want to move forward. Still others choose to side with the likes of Wright and Farrakhan and Wallace and espouse a very different vision of America. This latter group very carefully disguises their hatred, they resentment, and complaints against the American system that gives them this freedom to speak. Our President also falls into this latter category despite his statements to the contrary. Modern Black anti-Semitism seems to me to be a virulent mix of old stereotypes and newer Arab ones that blame America and Israel for their backwardness and poverty. If the Whites are oppressors and the Jews [in their eyes] run the banks and industry, then it is easy to believe the Big Satan-Little Satan nonsense.

White anti-Semitism is born of the lies of those who came from Europe where 19 centuries of anti-Jewish enculturation runs deep. Indeed, Christian culture for centuries highlighted the complicity of Jewish politicians who colluded with the Romans to kill their Jesus. Well, the Romans died out after 500 years, but the Europeans still had the Jews to kick around [... just like the Democrats do their bogeymen, Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon, only far more visceral]. The European Continent, perhaps more than the British, display this deep seated resentment, if not outright hatred. Despite the Holocaust of WWII, Europeans are returning in large numbers to this vomit of anti-Semitism. In America, the constant drumbeat against Israel and the self-interested positions of many Left-Liberal, pro-Arab Jews has cause a real problem for the Truth!

But for the Jew in America and around the world, the views are divergent and different. Most Christian leaning Americans have no problems, but many still harbor resentments. Allow me to explain my own limited observations. I, as a Gentile and a Catholic, have heard and seen anti-Semitism all of my life in America and it has not gone away. It has not progressed in a positive direction like race relations had before Obama. I hear the comments and see the attitudes. In reaction to this, I think many American Jews live in a strange denial. They deny their heritage trying to make the problem go away; but it won’t, not in this way. Others betray their own people like quislings, accommodating and siding with those who would destroy them as if the Jews were the ones at fault. Some, perhaps searching for salvation or sanity go to Israel as a Pilgrim; but find little solace and sometimes a different form of discrimination in Israel itself, where the Israeli Left is as virulent as our own leftists. Then there are those who sound off against anti-Semitism bravely. I may have missed a faction or two, but suffice it to say that American Jews are as factionalized as the Gentile population, yet still there is this nagging anti-Semitism.
American anti-Semitism grows in America

American anti-Semitism grows in America because too many Americans see Jewish people who look and talk like them, but somehow strangely have some key to survival and success that they don’t have. They do not understand the culture, the drive, the hard work ethic, but instead resort to lazy anti-Semitic stereotypes. It is not so much hatred as it is, “Why are Jews so special?” or “Why do Jews always seem to get the breaks?” or “Why can’t I have some of what you Jews have?”

Ironically, Americans did once upon a time have everything that the Jews have and know. Over the last Century many have simply given themselves over to the god of modernity and to the evil spiritual forces of gain, envy and jealousy. Gentiles, by and large, do not understand either the nature of Judaism or the exclusiveness of its foundation and survival. Jews, themselves, do little or nothing to remedy this insufficiency on the part of Gentiles, so the problems remain widespread. Confident and erudite Christians, I think, get it. What that means, to “get it” is a different discussion.

As discussed, there are some supposedly Christian sects that are hostile to Judaism. There are also select Christian sects who see the salvation of the Jews a necessary “conversion challenge,” or see Israel only as a necessary entity required to be present for the coming final apocalyptic struggle with Satan and his minions. I also know of certain Protestant Pastors and Catholic Priests who have more than a wee smidgen of theologically anti-Semitic views. I think these views are not unlike those views that say that America and the Constitution are evil because we once tolerated slavery, or killed the Indians, or had a Manifest Destiny, or that we are a Shining City on a Hill.

Obama wants Israel out of the Big Picture. He likely has deep Muslim influences and roots due to his Indonesian upbringing and his associations with Wright, Farrakhan, et al. I believe this despite his protestations that he is a Christian. Americans are in broad disagreement with these ideas and plans, but for other reasons. Jews have bled and died for this country as have Christians, Native Americans, Asians, Mexicans, and others who joined our Armies as a path to citizenship, and other non-religious Gentile groups. The Muslims have scant such history in America that I can discover. The Muslims, have not wanted to integrate and be part of the freest country ever. They, like Obama want to transform it. Suspicions of Muslim leanings and anti-Semitism are of his own making. Judging from Passover and Christian Holy Week comments, Obama certainly knows more about Islam and less about either Christianity or Judaism. President Obama thinks: Passover recalls the bondage and suffering of Jews in Egypt and the miracle of the Exodus, but Obama says its message is seen in Muslim uprisings. Huh? And regarding the Resurrection of Christ Obama said, “Nothing beats scripture and the reminder of the eternal.” Double Huh?

I clearly see Jewish frustration about what Obama and his circle of associates are trying to do to Israel. American Jews must focus and educate others about the contributions Jews have brought to America from its very inception. American Gentiles must be taught and learn the history of the Jewish People. Americans Gentiles must be taught and learn the importance of Israel to history and to the world. All else in this frustrating process seems to me to be dross. Education about modern Israel can overcome this onslaught of Islamic propaganda. But it must join with a broader strategy by all of us to identify with the total process of righting the sinking American ship of state. These goals, it seems to me, are tied together. Why? Because Judeo-Christian theology believes in life, not death, and the individual, not the collective.

The real problem is Islamo-Fascism and it determination to isolate and wipe out the individual in order to create their collective. Islam is a collective. To achieve this, you must first wipe out Judaism, Christianity, and other free thinkers. Focus on survival. The Jewish People have much to teach and to share. I am but a rude and crude soldier and officer with a thin veneer of manners and civility. But I support the oath I swore to our Constitution to defend freedom and the country we love. I hope Jewish and Christian Americans are united and making ready for what is headed our way.

William R. Mann Most recent columns

William R. Mann, is a retired Lt. Colonel, US Army. He is a now a political observer, analyst, activist and writer for Conservative causes. He was educated at West Point [Bachelor of Science, 1971 ]and the Naval Postgraduate School [Masters, National Security Affairs, 1982]. He currently resides with his wife in Pensacola, Florida. William can be reached at:

No Return to the 1967 Borders

Eli E. Hertz

In an interview with the German news paper Der Spiegel, the late Israeli diplomat Abba Eban, described Israel's pre-Six-Day War borders as "Auschwitz" lines.

Eban, a lifetime dove, vowed:

"With Syrians on the mountain and we in the valley, with the Jordanian army in sight of the sea, with the Egyptians ... hold[ing] our throat in their hands in Gaza. This is a situation which will never be repeated in history." [emphasis added] In the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, after three Arab armies converged on Israel's nightmarish borders, even the United Nations was forced to recognize that Israel's pre-1967 Six-Day War borders invited repeated aggression. Thus, UN Resolution 242 - which formed the conceptual foundation for a peace settlement - declares that all states in the region should be guaranteed "safe and secure borders."

President Lyndon B. Johnson, in an address on September 10, 1968, declared:

"We [The United States] are not the ones to say where other nations should draw the lines between them that will assure each the greatest security."

"It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967, will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders." [emphasis added]

(59 Department of State Bulletin 348 [1968] )

Comment: Of course there are no 1967 borders even though the media, some in academia and our enemy choose to intentionally misrepresent the legal facts.