Saturday, July 09, 2011

A defense of Nonie Darwish‏

David Horowitz

Tablet Magazine has published a bizarre attack by Jeremy Seth Davis on an incredibly brave Arab defender of Israel and the Jews. Nonie Darwish is the daughter of an Egyptian general who was chief of intelligence for Gamel Abdel Nasser when Gaza was part of Egypt and the West Bank had been annexed by Jordan and nobody referred to Arabs as “Palestinians.” Darwish’s family lived in Gaza, and her father created the Fedayeen, the first terrorist organization dedicated to the murder of Jews and the destruction of the Jewish state. Her father was responsible for the murder of numerous Israeli civilians before he was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces in a targeted assassination. At the time, Nonie was 8 years old. n her memoir Now They Call Me Infidel, Darwish describes how she was brought up in a Muslim Arab culture of hate, which was directed against Jews, and how she gradually freed herself from this culture and came to understand that it was the very hatred she had been taught, which was unjustly directed against the Jews, that had killed her father. A particularly compelling incident she relates concerns her brother’s decision to check himself into an Israeli hospital to be treated for a burst appendix rather than go to a Arab hospital in Gaza, where they lived. Even though he was the son of a terrorist whom the Israelis had killed, her brother trusted his life with the Jews rather than with his fellow Arabs. This decision taught his younger sister that the demonic image of the Jews that had been instilled in her as a small child was false—a travesty of the reality. This is what led her to turn against the Muslim/Arab culture of hate and to found an organization she called Arabs for Israel, dedicated to defending the Jews from the genocidal campaign that her own people were waging.

For this sin, Jeremy Seth Davis has attacked her as a renegade and an “apostate” comparable to those Jews in the Middle Ages who converted to Christianity to join in the attack on their fellow Jews. Merely to state Davis’ thesis is to refute it. The Jews of the Middle Ages were tiny minorities, forced to live in hostile Christian societies that regarded them as God-killers. They were burned at the stake for refusing to convert to Christianity, and entire communities were expelled from countries they had resided in for centuries on the grounds they were a poisonous presence who could no longer be tolerated. There are a million and a half Arabs who are Israeli citizens with more rights as Israelis than Arabs enjoy in 22 Arab states. There are 300 million Arabs living in those states, and 1.5 billion Muslims living in 57 Muslim states in the world today. Jews are a tiny minority occupying .02 percent of the land mass of the Middle East. They are among the most isolated and persecuted peoples on the face of the earth. Even in America the number of official hate crimes against Jews is nearly 10 times greater than hate crimes against Muslims.

In the Middle East, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran has called for the extermination of the Jews, a sentiment met with no noticeable dissent by the leaders of any other Muslim state. In Gaza, the leader of Hamas has warned Jews “you are headed for annihilation,” and in Lebanon, the leader of Hezbollah has expressed his hope that Jews will all gather in Israel so he won’t have to hunt them down globally. On its official TV programs and in its public schools, the Palestinian Authority lionizes terrorists who have murdered innocent women and children merely because they are Jews. Leaders of the Palestinian Authority—not to mention Hamas—publicly call for the “liberation” of Palestine “from the river to the sea”—which is today’s code for the original Arab war cry: “Push the Jews into the sea.”

In the context of this genocidal campaign to solve the Jewish problem by getting rid of the Jews, Nonie Darwish travels to college campuses to defend the Jews and to warn others about the dangers of Muslim and Arab Jew-hatred. When she arrives she is verbally attacked and physically threatened by members of the campus left and most venomously by members of the Muslim Students Association, which is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and the sponsor of campus outrages that libel Israel as an “apartheid state” that has allegedly “stolen” the land of a (fictional) Palestinian state. (Like Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, Israel was created on land that had belonged to the Turks, who are not Arabs let alone Palestinians, for 400 years before the creation of the Jewish state.)

Davis finds admirable these assaults on a middle-aged Arab woman for having the temerity to defend the Jews. In his rendering they are an understandable response to her “apostasy”—as though she were a religious heretic when in fact she is merely someone who has the decency and the courage to be outraged by the fanatical Jew hatred publicly expressed by her Muslim and Arab compatriots.

If Davis wants a parallel to the Jewish defenders of Jew-hating Christians in the Middle Ages, it is those Jews who have joined the genocidal coalition of Arabs and Muslims intent on destroying the Jewish state. These are the Jews who have joined the flotilla to Gaza organized by the Muslim Brotherhood to break the blockade against arms shipments to the Hamas terrorists who have sworn to “obliterate” Israel and to “annihilate” the Jews. These are the Jews who join the Muslim Brotherhood organizations on college campuses in obstructing the speeches and threatening the safety of speakers like Darwish, who are defenders of the Jewish state. They are also, it happens, opponents of the oppression of women and gays and other minorities in Islamic states, which is why writers like Davis refer to them as “anti-Muslim.”

Jeremy Seth Davis writes as though it was a negative commentary on Nonie that she is supported by conservatives or that her defense of free speech, women’s rights, gay rights, and Jews in the face of Muslim attacks mirrors comments made by conservatives. A better question to ask is why aren’t liberals and progressives supporting Nonie, and defending these victims of Muslim attacks?

David Horowitz, the president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is the author, most recently, of A Cracking of the Heart.

Memo to kibitzers and kvetchers

Sarah Honig

Israel’s ambassador to Washington is the guest at a prestigious nationally televised interview series, but is soon set upon by his particularly pugnacious host. The strikingly prosecutorial interviewer homes in on “the charge that Israel threatens world peace with a policy of territorial expansion.”

He quotes “a major Arab spokesman” who asserts that “the area of the territories held by Israel today exceeds by about 40 percent the area of the territories given Israel by the United Nations. Most of this added area… was taken by force, and should therefore be relinquished by Israel.” Ho hum. So what’s the big deal? Aren’t we habitually painted as insatiable gobblers of Arab land, and aren’t we just as routinely required to cede our “ill-gotten” gains?

True, this could all have been a colossal bore, were it not for the date of the above face-off. It took place on April 12, 1958, shortly before Israel’s 10th birthday. And that makes Abba Eban’s appearance on The Mike Wallace Interview program supremely important.

Almost every demonizing and delegitimizing canard to which we have by now grown so inured had already manifested itself back then. It’s almost as if nothing has changed except incidental names of protagonists and the fact that Eban’s suave wit and unflappable poise are no more. Otherwise, what was thrown at Eban by Wallace (born Myron Leon Wallechinsky to Jewish parents) sounds garden-variety familiar more than 53 years later.

But most of our opinion-molders prefer we not develop a sense of historical continuity. They have a vested interest in keeping us from recognizing our travails as a single ongoing saga. Chopping our past into small, disconnected segments helps distort the big picture and warp it to fit political agendas.

This can work because we’re a peculiar folk.

We’re a nation of inveterate kibitzers (meddlesome dispensers of unsolicited and often irrelevant advice). We’re a nation doggedly hankering after indistinct idealized times-that-were. We’re a nation of chronic bellyachers, forever bemoaning the present and bullyragging whoever we put in charge (but who, obviously, has less sense than the least among us does).

We’re experts at being argumentative and contrary, which is perhaps why we already gave our first leader – Moses – such a hard time, why we could never (thankfully) kowtow to a dictator, or even unite behind a cohesive religious authority. Any scholarly rabbinical viewpoint invariably sparks raging debate.

Given our idiosyncratic predilections, it’s no wonder our national pastime is kvetching about how much better things used to be.

For Tzipi Livni, happy days were relatively recent – just before her nemesis Binyamin Netanyahu defeated her. With verbal hocus-pocus, it’s easy to erase the bad memories of Ehud Olmert’s failed premiership, in which she played a starring role.

Further to her left, the good times ended on June 4, 1967, before we won the Six Day War. Israel’s angst-filled peaceniks yearn for that tiny, imperiled, hemmed-in Israel, which they tell us was universally loved and admired. Why? Because we were diminutive, not an ogre empire, not an interloping conquistador, not an oppressive occupier.

As such, nobody could resist our untainted, wholesome charms.

This is seductive. We all wax nostalgic, which is why we can all fall for the fable. Hence it’s imperative that we consider whether we were ever – even as a renascent pioneering people – the darlings of the civilized world.

Once we make allowances for cumulative historical processes and the propaganda-amplifying potential of new technologies (like the World Wide Web), it becomes obvious that the differences we perceive are mostly in detail rather than substance. The bare essence was uncannily the same back-in-the-day.

Just get a load of Wallace’s opening salvo: “In its 10 years as a state, Israel has been involved in repeated violence, major border incidents and two open wars.” The subtext is that there’s something unsavory and belligerent about Israel, that it’s a troublemaker.

But then Wallace pulled out bigger guns – the Arab refugees: “Such men as historian Arnold Toynbee have said this: ‘The evil deeds committed by the Zionist Jews against the Arabs are comparable to crimes committed against the Jews by the Nazis.’”

Are we shocked? What can be more perversely prevalent in our existence than Nazi epithets hurled at the country that resisted annihilation merely three years after the Holocaust?

But perhaps we should all memorize Eban’s timeless retort. He accused Toynbee of “monstrous blasphemy. Here he takes the massacre of millions of our men, women and children, and compares it to the plight of Arab refugees alive, on their kindred soil, suffering certain anguish, but of course possessed of the supreme gift of life. The refugee problem is the result of an Arab policy which created the problem by the invasion of Israel, which perpetuates it… and which refuses to solve the problem which they have the full capacity to solve.”

Just as worthy of recall is Eban’s comment about Israel’s alleged expansionism. He advised everyone “not to lose any sleep at night worrying about whether the State of Israel is too big. Really there is nothing more grotesque or eccentric in the international life of our times than the doctrine that little Israel, 8,000 square miles in area, should become even smaller in order that the vast Arab Empire should still further expand.”

Wallace escalated his provocation: “Mr. Ambassador, do you… foresee further territorial expansion by Israel?” In gentlemanly tones Eban objected: “I don’t like the word ‘further,’ Mr. Wallace… I wonder whether the issue isn’t one of Arab expansion.”

Wallace wouldn’t let go: “Israel benefited territorially from a war, from armed violence.”

Eban was unfazed: “Yes, I’m glad to say that I hope that whenever countries wage a war of aggression, as the Arab States did, they should be the losers.”

Unswayed, Wallace pressed on: “As a member of the Judaic faith, which cherishes social justice and morality, do you believe that any country should profit territorially from violence?”

The entire exchange reveals the pervasiveness of anti-Israel mainstream-media bias long before the Six Day War. Although the Arabs controlled all the territories which Palestinians currently claim for their state, Israel was portrayed, already then, as an occupier – because it successfully fended off a concerted attack by seven Arab armies on the day of its birth.

Eban, it needs stressing, was an out-and-out dove. Yet it was he who on November 5, 1969, told Der Spiegel: “We have openly said that the map will never again be the same as on June 4, 1967. For us, this is a matter of security and of principles. The June map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger.

“I do not exaggerate when I say that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz.

“We shudder when we think of what would have awaited us in the circumstances of June 1967, if we had been defeated… This is a situation which will never be repeated in history.”

What was true then remains true still.

Friday, July 08, 2011

"The Muslim Brotherhood"

Arlene Kushner

I've decided to devote what time I have before Shabbat to this one subject:

There's a great deal of concern in the US and here in Israel -- and rightly so! -- regarding an outreach by the Obama administration to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

See, first, Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islam and the director of Jihad Watch, on this:

"The Obama administration is set to begin formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group dedicated in its own words to 'eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house.' "This news came in a Reuters report...quoting a 'senior U.S. official...' ...Barack Obama has never made a secret of his solicitude for the Muslim Brotherhood. Even though the Brotherhood was still outlawed in Egypt at that time, he made a point of inviting leaders of the group to attend his speech to the Islamic world in Cairo on June 4, 2009.

"Not only that. Obama included the leader of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked group that had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case among the clerics giving a prayer during his inauguration ceremonies: Ingrid Mattson, then-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA...

"[The senior official] may have been mindful of how poorly this would play among those aware of the Brotherhood's pro-Sharia anti-Israel, anti-American agenda, and so he played up the pragmatic, realpolitik aspects of the decision: 'The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing,' he noted. 'It is in our interests to engage with all the parties that are competing for Parliament of the presidency.'

"The official added that the Obama administration would... 'continue to emphasize the importance of support for democratic principles and a commitment to nonviolence, and respect for minority and women’s rights in conversations with all groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.'

"Good luck with that. The Muslim dedicated to establishing an Islamic state in Egypt and implementing the Islamic law that has no room for democratic principles, uses violence against dissenters and miscreants, and tramples upon minority rights and women’s rights. Then there is the movement’s inveterate anti-Semitism: not only does the jihad terrorist group Hamas style itself as the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, but recently the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie said: 'Allah has warned us the tricks of the Jews, and their role in igniting the fire of wars… and they labor hard to spread corruption on earth: and Allah does not love the spreaders of corruption.' (emphasis added)

"The spiritual father of the Muslim Brotherhood, the 84-year-old Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, recently returned to Cairo to be greeted by huge and rapturous crowds after the end of his fifty-year exile from the country. In January 2009, during a Friday sermon broadcast on Al-Jazeera, he prayed that Allah would kill all the Jews..."


Next, see Andrew McCarthy incisive comments on this subject:

"...Reuters reports that the Obama administration has established a policy of formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood.

"The Brotherhood is the world’s most important Islamist organization. It is openly, unabashedly committed to the destruction of the United States and the West. In typical Obama fashion, this disastrous decision to engage America’s avowed enemies has been couched as the mere continuation of prior policy: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is reported to have confirmed that the U.S. would 'resume' contacts which had 'occurred in recent years.' But make no mistake about it, this is a new policy. (emphasis added)

"The contacts that have occurred in recent years have been outside of U.S. policy — at the urging of leftists in the State Department, the intelligence community, the commentariat, and, in particular, the Obama White House. They have long campaigned for a policy of 'engagement' with the Muslim Brotherhood (including Hamas, the terrorist organization that is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch). They’ve needed to do this campaigning because it was American policy not to deal with the Brotherhood — dealing with the Brothers empowers them, bolstering their status as leaders of mainstream Islam and legitimizing their agenda, which calls for Islamicizing societies, ultimately establishing a global caliphate, destroying Israel, and incrementally expanding sharia throughout the West.(emphasis added)

"This day has been coming since President Obama’s first day in office" (emphasis added)


Khaled Abu Toameh, writing for Hudson-NY, has weighed in with regard to the effect of the new Obama policy on moderate Muslims:

"The United States administration's recent decision to establish contacts with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood organization is a severe blow to moderate, secular Muslims who are trying to achieve democracy and prosperity in their countries. (emphasis added)

"...If the Obama administration is going to talk to the Muslim Brotherhood, there is no reason why it should not also launch dialogue with Hamas, the Taliban, Hezbollah, and even al-Qaeda. Engaging Muslim extremists, without demanding that they abandon their dangerous policies and violence, is a huge mistake." (Emphasis added)


Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I call your attention to the comments of Frank Gaffney, who heads the Center for Security Policy. He refers to what Obama has now done as a tipping point:

"The Obama administration chose the eve of the holiday marking our Nation's birth to acknowledge publicly behavior in which it has long been stealthily engaged to the United States' extreme detriment: Its officials now admit that they are embracing the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan in Arabic).

"...Team Obama's official, open legitimation of the Brotherhood marks a dramatic break from the U.S. government's historical refusal to deal formally with the Ikhwan."

Gaffney then proceeds to provide data -- documenting precisely why Obama's embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood "is so ominous." While this material is too extensive to replicate here, I urge you to read it in Gaffney's article.
"In short," he explains, "the Muslim Brotherhood is deadly serious about waging what it calls 'civilization jihad' against the United States and other freedom-loving nations in order to secure their submission to the Islamic totalitarian political-military-legal doctrine called shariah. The MB's goal in this country is to replace our Constitution with theirs, namely the Koran. And they regard this task as one commanded by none other than Allah..the MB's senior official, Supreme Guide Muhammad Badi, has effectively declared war on the United States. (emphasis added)

The MB, says Gaffney, will walk away with legitimacy -- and again he provides documentation for this.

"Unfortunately," he continues, "the U.S. government's dangerous outreach to the Ikhwan is not confined to Egypt but is systematically practiced inside the United States, as well. And again, there are examples -- hair-raising examples -- that demonstrate that this is the case.

Concludes Gaffney:

"It seems a safe bet that, as Team Obama legitimates Muslim Brotherhood organizations and groups overseas, it will feel ever less constrained about further empowering their counterparts in the United States. If so, the MB will come to exercise even greater influence over what our government does and does not do about the threat posed by shariah, both abroad and here. (emphasis added)

"The absolutely predictable effect will be to undermine U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East and further catalyze the Brotherhood's campaign to insinuate shariah in the United States and, ultimately, to supplant the Constitution with Islamic law. Consequently, the Obama administration's efforts to 'engage' the Muslim Brotherhood are not just reckless. They are wholly incompatible with the President's oath to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States' and the similar commitment made by his subordinates. (emphasis added)

"These officials' now-open embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood constitutes a geo-strategic tipping point, one that must catalyze an urgent national debate on this question: Does such conduct violate their oath of office by endangering the Constitution they have undertaken to uphold?" (emphasis added)

My question then, is whether some solid percentage of the American people is now ready to take seriously the threat of what Obama is doing. Or will they cluck their tongues, while sitting on their rears, and allow what is taking place to continue.

I can only write about this from here in Jerusalem. It is in the US that action must proceed.

You know the routine: share this broadly, post it everywhere, call talk shows, write letters to the editor, contact elected officials, demand answers. Coalescing groups to respond is also a good idea. Be leaders and activists. Follow through with the urgent debate that Gaffney suggests.

This is in the hands of the American people.

© 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, July 07, 2011

Egypt Gas Pipeline to Israel Sabotaged Again: A Consequence of Egypt's Revolution

Barry Rubin

For the third time since February, terrorists have blown up the gas pipeline from Egypt that provides 45 percent of Israel’s natural gas. As I predicted, this pipeline will never function normally again. This serious economic disruption is the first material cost to Israel of Egypt’s revolution. The Obama Administration’s help in bringing down a stable (yes, a dictatorial regime but prepare for much worse) has already damaged Israel’s economy and security. And this is not the end of the story by a long shot. See:

Comment: These are the consequences of actions taken by an Administration that is intentionally diminishing Israel. This support for Mubarak's removal was not a naive action, to the contrary it was a well conceived plan that is unfolding in an ugly manner for us here in Israel.

"Never Ending"

Arlene Kushner

It gets a bit better, or a bit worse, but the situations Israel must cope with are unending. In a way, it's a sign that we're out there and going strong.

Preparations are being set in place now for the 500 to 700 "visitors" who intend to arrive in Ben Gurion airport on Friday, seeking, they claim, the opportunity to go as "tourists" to PA areas to show solidarity with the people. Calling their operation "Welcome to Palestine," activists speak of a plan to spend time with Palestinian families.

They will come unarmed, and hope to make create provocations that make Israel look bad in the international media. Those who are identified by Israel -- via security watch lists -- as provocateurs will not be permitted into Israel; anyone being sent back who opts to riot or carry on will be arrested. The activists will be coming in the main from Europe. A number of European nations and airlines have received alerts from Israel regarding the situation.

A special operations room will be set up in the airport on Thursday night, and continue as long as necessary. From there, representatives from the Foreign Ministry, the Aviation Authority, the Internal Security Ministry, the police, the Prime Minister's Office will oversee what is happening -- mentoring airport employees and intervening as necessary.

As I write, the police are evaluating intelligence on what is likely to transpire in the next few days. Said Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beitenu), "Israel won't allow...hooligans to infiltrate by air. We will not host law-breakers."


Meanwhile a French vessel -- a yacht called "Dignity," carrying eight passengers -- has set sail in the Mediterranean, presumably headed for Gaza. It apparently departed from somewhere in Greece, although no port has been indicated, and one source said "near Greece."

And after meeting with extensive delays, a second ship, the Juliano, flying the Swedish flag, has left Athens with 20 passengers on board, and will be joining the "Dignity."

The most disturbing factor with regard to the Juliano is that a major spokesman for this vessel is a former Israeli, Dror Feiler. Shameless is the adjective that comes first to my mind. "We are at sea," he has declared. "All roads lead to Gaza. It will be a small but high-quality flotilla."

High quality? This would not seem to be a major threat, but the Israeli navy is preparing to stop these vessels, in any event.

On Monday, Greece stopped a second ship -- the "Tahrir" -- sailing under the Canadian flag and carrying 50 passengers.


There is evidence of growing international support for Israel's position with regard to stopping the ships attempting to break the naval blockade of Gaza. Bundestag MP Philip Missfelder, who serves as the foreign policy spokesman for the single largest bloc in the German parliament, said yesterday that the Flotilla activists "endanger peace efforts. [Their action] is part of the asymmetrical warfare against Israel."

"This is not about humanitarian help, rather a confrontation with Israel....I welcome that the Greek authorities have decisively intervened..."

What particularly caught my eye was the phrase, "asymmetrical warfare against Israel." Acknowledgement, at long last, that this is not a case of big bad Israel picking on poor defenseless Palestinian Arabs.


Then this interesting note on the Flotilla situation:

According to Haaretz, a Swiss company, Interbulk, had sold 3,000 tons of cement to a Swedish delegation involved with the Flotilla ship "Free Mediterranean." The cement was scheduled to be transferred to the ship, but Interbulk -- citing a force majeure -- has withdrawn from the deal and will be returning the price of 25,000 Euros, which had been raised in Sweden over the past year.

Force majeure -- which means a superior force -- is in the nature of a legal term that implies "it's out of our hands" and can exempt a party from fulfilling a contract. Cited were such things as a letter from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discouraging nations from cooperating with the Flotilla.

Actually, two things are worth note here. One, is that, indeed, the tide seems to be shifting.

The other is the implication with regard to the concrete. It never would have made it to Gaza, in any event. For ostensibly "humanitarian" materials on the Flotilla ships -- which would have been unloaded in Ashdod once the ships were stopped -- would have been checked by Israeli authorities before being sent through the land crossings into Gaza. The concrete, I am quite certain, would have been blocked as "dual use" material. The activists might well have claimed that the concrete was for housing. But Hamas also uses concrete for rocket bunkers. The only time Israel allows concrete, in controlled quantities, through the crossings is in conjunction with carefully delineated and approved projects, such as an UNRWA school.

And here we have concrete (forgive the awful pun) evidence of why there must be a blockade.


For the record: according to YNet, the Juliano, mentioned above, was supposed to carry concrete, but the Greek company that had contracted to provide the material reneged, saying it had been pressured. It's difficult to say if we're looking at two versions of the same incident, or if, indeed, two ships were scheduled to carry concrete.


In his latest piece -- "An Obama peace plan?" -- Barry Rubin takes a very jaundiced look at what the plan entails. Focus has been on the suggestion that negotiations be based on the '67 lines with agreed-upon swaps. However, says Rubin, there's a whole lot more than this that is problematic:

"The false assumption on which the 1990s peace process was based is precisely the same as Obama’s flawed premise: The Palestinians are eager to get a state of their own; consequently they are willing to make concessions, they will live up to their commitments, and international security guarantees can be relied upon as a fail-safe. Let’s take these one at a time:

"• Palestinians eager? They aren’t eager. Many Palestinian leaders frequently say that it is it’s worth decades of not getting a state and continuing to fight in order to get everything in the end. They also say the current generation has no right to close the door to total victory and Israel’s destruction by future generations. They mistakenly believe time is on their side; indeed, Obama tells them so.

"• Consequently are they willing to make concessions? Neither Palestinian public opinion nor the political balance of forces allows for the more moderate sector of the leadership (which is very small) to make the needed concessions and compromises.

"• They will live up to their commitments? Let’s look at the commitments: Systematically stopping and punishing terrorism? No. Preparing their people for peace? No. Ending incitement against Israel? No. Refraining from violence? No.

"• International guarantees? Worthless. There is a long list of examples, including most recently the failure to stop Hezbollah’s return to southern Lebanon and the end to Syrian-Iranian arms smuggling to the group, as pledged by the US and UN after 2006. The Obama administration is particularly unreliable..."

It's well worth reading the entire article:


You might also want to see an extensive briefing that Pinchas Inbari, a seasoned journalist and Arabic-speaker, has done for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on the question, "What Are the Palestinians Planning after September?"

Inbari's answer is that they are planning the Third Intifada, but of a sort that is different from the previous two. Can the Palestinian Arabs carry out their extensive plans? he asks rhetorically.

"Probably not." he concludes. "The plans are too large and presumptuous for them. Nevertheless, it is crucial to be aware of this far-reaching scheme."

This "far reaching scheme" involves pushing Israel back to the 1947 (Resolution 181) partition lines and then lobbying for return of refugees, so that Israel is destroyed.

One of the more interesting points Inbari makes is that the PA will not go along with "agreed upon swaps" because this would entail transferring areas in Israel where Palestinian Arabs with Israeli citizenship live to the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state. But they prefer to retain these Israeli Arabs in their current status as a fifth column.

See this, inform yourself about Palestinian Arab thinking, but do not become unduly alarmed. The briefing is featured on the JCPA website:


At the same time, then, you might do well to familiarize yourself with the arguments of Ruth Gavison (Israel Prize winner and law professor); Yaffa Zilbershats (authority on international and constitutional law); and Nimra Goren-Amitai (research scholar) regarding the fact that "There's no right of return":

This authoritative backgrounder will prove exceedingly helpful as we see the Palestinian Arabs attempting to push for that "right."


Prime Minister Netanyahu is on a trip to Romania and Bulgaria to make the case against unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. In Bucharest, Romanian prime minister Emil Bloc said in a statement after meeting Netanyahu that he opposed such a unilateral declaration.


I love this: PA prime minister Salam Fayyad has now declared that the severe financial difficulties of the PA does not mean it is not ready for statehood.

It's all because pledges to the PA for assistance have not been fulfilled, you see.

Obviously, the financial problems of the PA cannot in any way be connected -- perish the thought! -- to what has just been charged by the chair of the PA workers' union, Bassam Zakarneh. In an interview in Al Quds Al-Arabi (London) Zakarneh said:

"We've discovered that some ministers and officials are receiving financial aid in their wives’ names. Most of the aid authorized by Fayyad to the ministers and officials is in the context of support for the poor and families of martyrs. The money is paid to the wives [of the ministers and officials]. Fayyad is continuing to give financial aid to all those who are close to him. He’s doing so under the pretext of social aid.”

Additionally Zakarneh charged that Fayyad maintains control over public funds, sharing information with only one or two others, and that Fayyad refuses to dismiss ministers who have been involved in corruption scandals.

Understand, please, that Fayyad is the darling of the Western world because he's said to be clean and have integrity.


Yesterday was, in a manner of speaking, my birthday. My tenth. It is just ten years ago that I made aliyah, and not once, but twice, as I was sharing this fact with native Israelis yesterday, they said, then it's your yom holedet -- your birthday. That struck me as right, because I have become someone different here in Israel. And it is with unmitigated joy -- the numerous frustrations and difficulties not withstanding -- that I celebrate. I am home.

With this, I share a very moving video of an interview with Uzi Narkiss, who was a commander in 1967, talking about how Israel took the Old City. Beautiful:

(With thanks to my friend Malka)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

If Hamas money is behind the 'humanitarians', what do the 'activists' of the flotilla actually stand for?

Frimet/Arnold Roth
This Ongoing War

Three Qassam rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza so far this week [source] with the barest of murmurs (standard practice) from the world's media. (Were they reported where you live?)

That's partly why we're trying not to devote too much space to the 'humanitarians' of the Gaza-bound flotilla. We find it tasteless and offensive that they're being depicted far and wide as peace activists who cry, literally cry, for the suffering of the Gazan Palestinian Arab population.

But when you take a look at who they are, dig into who's behind them and what they are really doing as opposed to what they claim to be doing, you get to quite different conclusions, and it's enraging. Take for instance Amin Abou Rashed. Not a household name unless you're focused (as we are) on the ways in which Hamas manipulates pretensions to charity and good deeds to mask the nasty reality of its deep devotion to terrorism. Abou Rashed took an active role in the 2010 flotilla that ended with the violence on the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara.

Abou Rashed, like most of the people behind the 2011 edition of Gaza or Bust, comes with some history. A front-organization called Holy Land Foundation was prosecuted by law enforcement officials in the US government starting in 2007. Far from a mere side show, this was America's largest Islamic charity. It was based in Richardson, Texas and originally operated under the name The Occupied Land Fund before its operators got smart to how Americans think. But not smart enough because its assets ended up being frozen by the European Union and U.S. governments. Determining that it was a front for channeling money into the huge maw of the terrorists of Hamas, the authorities outlawed it. AFP at the time (2008) called this the "largest terrorism financing prosecution in American history"[source]. The Foundation's founders were sentenced to life imprisonment [source].

During the Holy Land trial, the authorities produced a letter from Mr Abou Rashed to one of the directors of Holy Land Foundation, Akram Mishaal, a clansman of the current head of Hamas, the Damascus-resident Khalid Mashaal. In his letter, Abou Rashed - today's Flotilla promoter - states names, addresses and bank numbers of what are euphemistically termed “charitable organizations working for Palestine in Europe”. Abou Rashed wrote as a representative of Al-Aqsa Foundation. The American government, via its Department of Treasury, lifted the mask of this "Foundation" revealing it to be a channel for the financing of terror and calling it “a critical part of Hamas’ terrorist support infrastructure.” The allegedly “charitable organizations” cited in Abou Rashed’s document were found by Treasury to be funding terrorism, principally Hamas terrorism, and and permanent court orders were issued to freeze their assets.

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf this past Thursday termed Abou Rashed "the brains behind the Gaza flotilla". The article makes clear that even if he lacks brains, he certainly provided the funding, causing several Dutch journalists and activists to walk off the Dutch flotilla ship citing a betrayal of their non-violent principles. A year earlier, the same paper called Abou Rashed the head of Hamas activities in the Netherlands, so surprised the 'activists' cannot plausibly claim to have been.

That it's incontrovertibly connected to the overt terrorism [source] and intentional child-murderers of Hamas ought to have been a showstopper for the humanitarians giving their support to the Flotilla. But it's plainly not. We find the chorus of highly public support for this faux humanitarianism nauseating.
Whatever they may claim to stand for, knowing who is organizing this means the participants in this fleet of fools are revealed as hypocrites who ought to bear full criminal responsibility for the consequences of their vanity.

In the Heart of Israel, Jew Hatred Is on Full Display

Jonathan Spyer

JERUSALEM — Entering the bookshop at the American Colony Hotel recently, I noted a prominently placed display of four books directly facing the entrance. The books were the first thing seen by any visitor to the shop. They were evidently intended to give a representative sample of the kind of fare available there. They succeeded in this, and in something more.

The American Colony is one of the best hotels in the city, a favored place for European diplomats, journalists, peace processors, and others in the colorful array that the city attracts. While sometimes described as “neutral ground,” it may more accurately be seen as the main stronghold of the international pro-Palestinian presence and sentiment in Jerusalem. It is therefore as good a place as any for assessing that sector of opinion.

The choice of books displayed at the bookshop’s entrance sums up elegantly the main components of the disturbing ethos among supporters of the Palestinians in the West. The books on display were The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, by Roger Garaudy; Married to another Man: Israel’s dilemma in Palestine, by Ghada Karmi; I Shall Not Hate, by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish; and The Palestine Papers – the end of the Road?, by Clayton Swisher. Come with me on a brief tour through them. And let’s speak plainly, as the time requires.

Roger Garaudy is a veteran French Communist who later converted to Islam. His book combines Holocaust denial with calls for the destruction of Israel. He marshals the “evidence” assembled by Holocaust deniers over the years to dispute the existence of gas chambers in Nazi death camps. The Holocaust, Garaudy thinks, was a myth intended to create sympathy for the theft of Palestine by the Jews. Hitler’s main enemies were Communists, says Garaudy, and he had no plan for the destruction of the Jews. Garaudy’s book is a straightforward example of Jew hatred of the most vitriolic and extreme type.

Ghada Karmi’s book seeks to refute the idea of Jewish peoplehood. She repeats a number of myths recently revived by anti-Zionist propagandists in the current battle to delegitimize Israel. The claim that Ashkenazi Jews are descended in the main from Turkic “Khazars” is re-aired. This claim, a favorite of anti-Israel propaganda recently restated by Professor Shlomo Sand, is intended to disprove the notion that Ashkenazi Jews descend from Jewish communities originating in ancient Israel. Karmi blithely dismisses as “open to question” recent evidence deriving from thousands of DNA studies that refute these claims. She believes, as she has stated elsewhere, that the Israelis and Palestinians are heading for an apocalyptic “cataclysm,” out of which a Palestinian Arab state will emerge.

Clayton Swisher’s contribution is to argue that there is no basis for a peace process that includes accepting the continued existence of any Jewish state. He argues that recent leaks from the offices of PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat mark the final demise of the “two state solution.” Swisher argues that it is all Israel’s fault, despite the fact that the leaks show many examples of the opposite. For example, the leaks showed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressing willingness for concessions including the redivision of Jerusalem and the ceding of 98.7% of the West Bank. Swisher, as he has said elsewhere, favors those Arabs “committed to liberating all of historic Palestine.”

Dr. Abuelaish’s book is a work by a Gaza physician whose three daughters were tragically killed during Operation Cast Lead. They died as IDF troops battled Hamas snipers and mortar teams in the area of Beit Lahiya. There is no reason to believe that Abuelaish shares any of the opinions contained in the other three volumes. But given the overall display, it is reasonable to assume that the store’s goal is to stress Israel as committing war crimes rather than Abuelaish favoring conciliation. Certainly, and unsurprisingly, one would search in vain for any volumes discussing similar losses of civilian life among Israeli Jews.

Here, then, is the display that greets European diplomats, salaried peace processors, and elegant locals meeting in the courtyard and coffee shop, passing or entering the bookshop of the beautiful and peaceful American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem.

Four volumes. One of which, though written by a man of conscience, serves the purpose of describing an instance of Israeli killing of civilians. The other three are united in calling for the destruction of Israel. One of them denies the Holocaust. All of them, in great detail, set about seeking to deny the most basic facts of Jewish history, to ridicule all Jewish concerns deriving from that history, and to make of the Jews a non-people, not to be included in the general mass of humanity but rather to be uniquely singled out in illegitimacy.

This is the ideology behind the flotillas, boycotts, and furious demonstrations against Israel in the year 2011, decades after the Palestinians supposedly accepted Israel’s existence and turned toward seeking a two-state solution. This is the idea behind which Islamists and “progressives” can happily unite. This is the channel through which the familiar and foul substance of antisemitism is going to flow right back into the Western mainstream. Unless it is prevented from doing so.
Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, and a columnist at the Jerusalem Post. His book The Transforming Fire: the rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict is published by Continuum.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Hague condemns 'settlement building'

Israel Matsav

British Foreign Secretary Hague has condemned Israel's decision to build some 900 housing units in the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo, calling that decision and earlier decisions to build in five Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria 'illegal under international law. I condemn Israel’s decision to approve more than 900 settlement units in the East Jerusalem suburb of Gilo and the retrospective approval which has been given for construction in five West Bank settlements. This is not disputed territory. It is occupied Palestinian territory and ongoing settlement expansion is illegal under international law, an obstacle to peace and a threat to a two state solution. We call on the Israeli authorities to reconsider this decision, which undermines the prospects for peace. All those who support a secure future for Israel and a future Palestinian state should be working urgently to restart peace negotiations, not taking steps which make this more difficult.

Now condemn sounds like an awfully strong word. I decided to run a Google search and see what else Mr. Hague has condemned recently. Here's what I found (in reverse chronological order).

April 2, 2011 - Hague condemns mob killings at UN compound in Afghanistan.

March 24, 2011 - Hague condemns bus bombing in Jerusalem.

February 19, 2011 - Hague condemns violence in Libya (in more than 100 were killed).

November 23, 2010 - Hague says UK condemns unprovoked North Korean attack on South Korea.

October 6, 2010 - Hague condemns a rocket attack on a car carrying the Deputy British Ambassador to Yemen.

Do you notice a pattern here? In only one instance does Hague condemn (or say that the UK condemns) something that doesn't constitute a murder or an attempt to murder someone: Israeli construction of housing units. Hague equates Israeli construction of housing units to murder.

The guy seriously needs his head examined.

What the Obama White House has condemned

Elder of Ziyon

One of the strongest terms in the diplomatic arsenal is the word "condemn." It is used sparingly, to show extreme displeasure, usually for heinous acts of terror and mass murder.

Elder Brother of Ziyon asked me what international incidents the Obama White House has condemned since taking office.
Here's what I could find:

Terrorist bombings on the Moscow Metro
May 2009 fatal terror attacks in Iran
Murder of three employees of US Consulate in Mexico
Violence against civilians in Iran
Terrorist bombings in Iraq
Terrorist bombings in Jakarta
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest in Burma
Al Qaeda attack on Saudi Arabia’s Assistant Minister of Interior
Brutal murders and rapes in Guinea
Iran's executions of pro-democracy advocates
North Korean nuclear test

and, of course...

Israel's announcing plans to build houses for ordinary citizens in its own capital

Both Robert Gibbs and Joe Biden used the term "condemn" in terms of Israeli building within Jerusalem.

As far as I can tell, the current administration has never condemned Hamas nor the PA. Not for fatal rocket attacks, not for constant incitement for terror, not for the lionization of terrorists.

The Palestinian Arab narrative is that, somehow, Jews building houses in a land that Jews have identified with for millennia is a crime that is on par with mass murder. This meme has only one, very bigoted purpose - to make the Middle East free of any non-Arab control.

Yet its repetition over the decades has turned this lie, founded on other lies and supported by a myriad of further lies, into accepted truth by most of the world.

And this lie, based on pure bigotry, is now accepted as a fact in the mind of the world's most powerful person.

Monday, July 04, 2011

The churches against Israel

Christian blood libels revived, with Israel being painted as evil, having no right to exist

Giulio Meotti

A few days ago UK researchers announced that 17 skeletons belonged to Jews were found at the bottom of a medieval well in Norwich, England. The Jews were murdered in a pogrom or had been forced to commit suicide rather than submit to demands for conversion to Christianity. The bodies date back to the 12th or 13th Centuries, at a time when Jewish people faced killings, banishment and persecution throughout all Europe. Those 17 Jews were killed because of "replacement theology," the most ancient Christian calumny arguing that because of their denial of the divinity of Christ, the Jews have forfeited God’s promises to them which have been transferred to the Church.

Some 10 centuries later, global Christian forums are reviving this theological demonology against the heirs of those 17 Jews: the Jews of the State of Israel. The World Council of Churches, an ecumenical Christian body based in Genève and boasting 590 million worshippers, just ended a four-day conference in the Greek city of Volos. Not a single word of criticism was uttered there against the Islamists who are persecuting Arabs who believe Jesus.

Lutherans arrived to Volos from the United States, Catholics and Protestants from Bethlehem and Nazareth, Orthodox Christians from Greece and Russia, lecturers from Beirut and Copts from Egypt. The conference declared the Jewish State "a sin" and "occupying power," accused Israelis of "dehumanizing" the Palestinians, theologically dismantled the "choseness" of the Jewish people and called for "resistance" as a Christian duty.

The conference denied 3,000 years of Jewish life in the land stretching between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, took sides against the very presence of Israel, likened the defensive barrier that has blocked terrorism to "apartheid," attacked Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria invoking the name of God and conceptually dismissed the Jewish state, imagining it to be a mixture - Islamic, Christian and perhaps a bit Jewish. It even legitimized terrorism when it talked about the "thousands of prisoners who languish in Israeli jails," proclaiming that "resistance to the evil of occupation is a Christian's right and duty."
Copying Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric

In the last few months we have seen a radical and dangerous increase of attacks on Israel by the Protestant and Catholic churches. While the US is home to many Christian supporters of Israel, the groups more closely linked to global public opinion, European bureaucracy, the media industry, the United Nations and various legal forums are all violently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. They are paving the way for a new Jewish bloodbath by the theological exclusion of Israel's Jews from the family of nations.

The patriarch of the Antioch Church, the Catholic Melkite Gregory III Laham, proclaimed that there is a "Zionist conspiracy against Islam," reviving old conspiracy theories that led to infamous pogroms. In Antwerp, once called "the Belgian Jerusalem," a highly respected and government-funded Catholic school, the College of the Sacred Heart, just hosted a "Palestine Day" replete with anti-Semitic references and activities for youngsters. One stall at the event was titled "Throw the soldiers into the sea," allowing children to throw replicas of Jewish and Israeli soldiers into two large tanks.

The most influential international Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, just promoted a boycott of Israel's goods "in the name of love." The most hated Israeli product includes Ahava, the famous Israeli cosmetics company, whose shop in Covent Garden, London, has just been closed by the company after years of demonstrations. Strangely, Ahava body lotion tubes have been chosen as a satanic symbol of Jewish colonialism.

Today, most of the divestment campaign against Israel is driven by Christian groups such as the Dutch Interchurch Organization and the Irish Catholic group Troicaré, both funded by the EU. The United Church of Canada, a very popular and mainstream Christian denomination, just voted to boycott six companies (Caterpillar, Motorola, Ahava, Veolia, Elbit Systems and Chapters/Indigo) and South African bishop Desmond Tutu convinced the University of Johannesburg to severe all its links with Israeli fellows.

Last year the Methodist Church of Britain voted to boycott Israeli-produced goods and services from Judea and Samaria. The catholic Pax Christi is also leading the campaign glorifying Mordechai Vanunu, Israel's nuclear whistleblower who had converted to Christianity.

La Civiltà Cattolica, the Vatican magazine reviewed by the Holy See secretary of state before publication, in January opened with a shocking editorial on Palestinian refugees. Adopting the Islamist propagandist word "Nakba," just recently invoked by Arab mobs to breach Israel's borders, the paper declared that the refugees are a consequence of "ethnic cleansing" by Israel and that "the Zionists were cleverly able to exploit the Western sense of guilt for the Shoah to lay the foundations of their own state." Indeed, Ahmadinejad's rhetoric is alarmingly similar.
Israel a ‘foreign implant’

Israel’s relationship with the Vatican is different from Jerusalem’s relationship with Albania or Luxembourg for example, because the Catholic Church has more than one billion adherents and a global moral authority. At the Rome synod, Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros, a cleric chosen by Pope Ratzinger to draft the synod’s 44 final propositions, denied the Jewish people’s biblical right to the Promised Land. "We Christians cannot speak about the Promised Land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people", Bustros said, reviving the "replacement theology."

Edmond Farhat, a Maronite Apostolic Nuncio, who is a sort of Vatican's ambassador, described Israel’s place in the Middle East in terms of a rejected "foreign implant" that which has no specialists "capable of healing it."

Elsewhere, the current Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, named by Pope Ratzinger to represent the Catholic community in Israel and the West Bank, is sponsoring an appeal against the "Judaization of Jerusalem." Indeed, at this time, new anti-Israel policies by the most powerful Christian groups are breathing new life into Medieval doctrine that demonized Jews for hundreds of years.

The latest excavations in England suggest the Jews were thrown down the well together, head first, the kids after the parents. Five of them had a DNA sequence suggesting they were likely to be members of a single Jewish family. Some 10 centuries later, five Jews from the same Israeli family, the Fogels of Itamar, were slaughtered in their own beds. A famous Italian priest, Mario Cornioli, wrote immediately after the massacre in a subliminal justification of the killings: "What is Itamar? An illegal Israeli colony built on stolen land.”

The replacement calumny has changed its language, yet it still marks a death sentence for the Jewish people: Israelis, like Lucifer, were God's chosen but were cast out for their rebellious and evil ways, and now deserve to be obliterated from the so-called "Holy Land,” the argument goes. From Norwich to Itamar, the Jewish martyrs are an everlasting and heroic stain in this horrible, theological blood libel.

Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism

"Delegitimization and Defense"

Arlene Kushner

The queries/comments of a couple of readers has motivated me to return to the whole issue of delegitimization and how Israel handles herself. A clarification is in order:

We must stand for what we know is right for us -- what most properly reflects our rights -- without backing down in the face of world criticism.

The key example right now: Some countries think the poor Gazans are suffering and that we should let those "humanitarian" ships of the Flotilla get to Gaza to unload their goods. Do we back off in the face of this criticism? Most certainly not. Our prime minister has put out the word: Do what must be done (while avoiding loss of life when possible) in order to insure that those ships do NOT break the blockade. If some of the "participants" on the ships end up dead, so be it -- and if the world disapproves, that's the way it goes. We will be doing what international law permits, and what our security requires.

But this is not to say that we have no concern about what the world thinks. There definitely is concern, and, I believe, properly so. The flip side of doing what we have a right to do, what we must do for ourselves, is making certain that the world at large understands all the parameters. It's a question of making our case within the international community as effectively as we possibly can. Historically, this has been Israel's weak point.

So now we're putting out material on improvement in the conditions in Gaza, and on our legal rights to sustain a naval blockade against an enemy. We're sending emissaries to visit various capitals to explain, and to seek assistance. And we're preparing now to make our case after the fact -- with journalists on board the Israeli ships who will be able to instantly transmit what transpires, so that there cannot be misrepresentation and false accusation. This is wise.


Rely on history, on legal precedent and calls for protection of Jewish rights. Make it clear to the world -- to whatever degree the world is ready to see it -- what Israel's legitimate position is.


I can hear the moans, even as I write this: Yea, sure, like the world will care what Israel's legitimate position is.

And yes...

There are those nations so caught into anti-Semitic viewpoints, or so beholden politically or economically to our enemies, that they will never see. But there are some that can be convinced when a solid and cogent case is made. And it's our job to make it.


The question, then, is why the understanding of the nations of the world should matter to us in the slightest. There are those who believe that we need court no friends, no understanding. But this is a bit naive in today's world.

Via boycotts, sanctions and divestment, there are nations of the world that can make things quite tough for us: It does matter if we are read out of economic agreements, or our scientists are barred from conferences where important information is shared.

It matters in terms of votes in international forums, and in a host of other ways -- such as logistical support for blocking the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.


Right now something is going on that demonstrates in real terms what happens when our relationship with another country is good.

Friday night, the "Audacity of Hope" carrying 36 American passengers, four crew members, and a handful of members of the media, tried to set sail from the port of Perama, near Athens. But Greek coast guard speedboats stopped the ship, and took the captain into custody. He will face a court hearing on charges of trying to leave port without permission and of endangering the lives of the boat's passengers (I believe because the vessel was not sea-worthy).

It did my heart considerable good to see a video of armed officials -- Greek armed officials, not Israeli -- boarding this ship to arrest the captain.


And why is this happening? Menachem Gantz -- in "Our new friend, Greece" -- gives a splendid overview:

"For a whole year, organizers of the second 'freedom flotilla' to Gaza have been preparing for the climax: A media-covered confrontation, violent or not, with IDF soldiers at sea. For a long year they were engaged in eliciting millions of Euros for the purchase of vessels, recruitment of a crew, the organization of activists, ties with the media and the setting up of an international operation.

"...Yet...the flotilla is stuck in Athens and it’s unclear when it would be able to set sail...

"Every day, more journalists quit, key figures such as parliament members become impatient, and the flotilla becomes less interesting.

"It appears that organizers did not take one thing into account: Greece’s attitude to the flotilla and that dramatic change this year in Israel-Greece ties. Similarly to Turkey, Greece was considered fertile ground for planning and executing the flotilla. The moment Turkey announced that it was withdrawing its support, Greece became the more natural default option. The country was always considered a pro-Arabic state and an enthused supporter of the Palestinians...

"However, this year Greece’s prime minister decided to reshuffle the deck...

"In the current crisis, Greece is a greater believer in American power and in the influence of American Jewry. Last year, Greece’s prime minister visited in Jerusalem, and PM Netanyahu headed to Greece immediately after that, thereby marking a fundamental change in the ties between the two countries. Mutual visits by ministers led to frequent trips by officials and journalists, strategic ties developed considerably, and hundreds of thousands of Israelis headed for vacations in the Greek islands.

"Officials in Jerusalem are now seeing the results of this change. Every day that passes without the flotilla setting sail marks yet another Greek reward for the State of Israel. Thus far, the Greeks did everything in their power to prevent the flotilla from heading out...

"If last year flotilla organizers managed to surprise Israel and the IDF, this year it was Greece that surprised the organizers. The Greek determination to stop an American vessel, as happened Friday, is unprecedented. The Greeks intend to go as far as they can: Greek officials already expressed doubts whether the flotilla will be setting sail in the coming days.",7340,L-4090505,00.html


So international understanding and support can make a difference.

And there's more: Yesterday the Quartet -- the US, the EU, the UN, and Russia -- released a statement indicating that while there was still concern about "unsustainable conditions" in Gaza, there has been a marked increase in the quantity and nature of goods being permitted into Gaza. And, said the Quartet statement, Israel "has legitimate security concerns that must continue to be safeguarded."

Really now? This is a bit of a switch.

The Quartet urges parties wishing to deliver goods to the people of Gaza to do so through "established channels so that their cargo can be inspected and transferred via established land crossings."

And it "...calls on all governments concerned to use their influence to discourage additional flotillas."

Seems a turning in the tide of international opinion, does it not?


All to the good, if the international community acts so that the Israeli navy may not have to.

And it's worth noting that the same Quartet statement yesterday called for an end to the "deplorable five-year detention of Gilad Shalit."


What may be the imminent demise of the Flotilla 2 venture had other causes as well. The Israeli government has done a superb job in garnering intelligence on the operation.

And Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, has worked tirelessly to put up stumbling blocks to the Flotilla via legal efforts. Perhaps most recently, a civil suit was filed against the global satellite company Inmarsat, alleging that it was providing communication services to ships used by suspected terror organizations in the Gaza flotilla.

Previously, Shurat HaDin had submitted a complaint to the Greek Coast Guard suggesting that seven of the ships planning to join the Flotilla might be lacking insurance or were improperly registered. This was after the Law Center had contacted some 30 maritime insurance providers to warn that insuring the vessels may leave the companies open to prosecution for aiding a terrorist organization. Several insurance companies, including Lloyds of London, subsequently said they would not insure the ships.


And so, as I write, the whole "Flotilla" venture is looking a bit doubtful.

But those determined to give Israel a difficult time, and a black eye, are already gearing up for their next gambit. A "Welcome to Palestine" Facebook page that was set up a couple of months ago is now urging "activists" associated with 40 different groups to fly into Ben Gurion airport on July 8.

The plan is to have these people -- some estimates say as many as 700 -- then travel to places such as Ramallah and Bethlehem for tours and visits. The international community, meanwhile (here we go again), is being urged "to recognize the Palestinians' basic right to host visitors from overseas."

The goal here, of course, is not to break the Gaza blockade, but rather to cause an uproar that will embarrass Israel and attract international attention. The Foreign Ministry of Israel, therefore, is taking this seriously and making appropriate preparations.

But there is hardly panic. Said Ministry spokesman:

"We don’t think such internet initiatives can be dismissed. The activists are motivated, and buying an airline ticket is easier than arriving by boat. This has to be taken seriously.

"There are known groups who are trying to stage 'organized embarrassments' for Israel, especially in illegal manners. Those who fail at sea are doomed to fail here, too."

One report indicates that visitors, on arriving, will declare "Palestine" as their destination. They will be deported.

© 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.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Flotilla II Seeks Provocation, Poses Threat to Israel


The 2011 Gaza flotilla organizers have improved upon their formula, posing a greater threat to the Israel Navy than they did during their attempt last year to break Israel’s lawfully imposed naval blockade on Gaza. Hamas and its European counterparts are using the flotilla to deliberately delegitimize Israel and its right to defend itself.

Organizers of the 2011 Gaza flotilla have a provocation-seeking agenda: Deliberately provoke and humiliate Israeli soldiers. For example, organizers trained boat passengers on how to defiantly rebuff Israel Navy attempts to peacefully board the boats.The 2011 Gaza flotilla, at ten ships, is nearly double the size of last year’s (which consisted of six vessels). This factor will make it more challenging for the Israel Navy to board all vessels that attempt to break Israel’s lawfully enforced naval blockade. In addition, the size of the 2011 Gaza flotilla does not allow Israel the option of towing the vessels into Israel’s Ashdod port.

The flotilla is estimated to contain only 3,000 tons of goods and materials–half the daily amount transferred by Israel to the Gaza Strip. While lacking in items, the 2011 Gaza flotilla will carry celebrities and media personalities such as American poet and Pulitzer Prize-winner Alice Walker, Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell and several European parliamentarians.

Egypt, Tunisia to get Billions in Aid

Maayana Miskin

The United States, Qatar and the World Bank each pledged to give billions of dollars in aid to Egypt this week, in order to help the country boost its economy following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. U.S. President Barack Obama has promised to relieve Egypt of $1 billion in debt, and has offered an additional $1 billion in loans to improve infrastructure and create new jobs.

The Wold Bank pledged to provide $4.5 billion over the next 24 months, including at least $1 billion in budget support this year and $1 billion next year “dependent on progress.” The other $2.5 billion will be invested in development projects.

Saudi Arabia has pledged $4 billion in aid, and Qatar is considering projects worth more than $10 billion.

The International Monetary Fund sent a delegation to Cairo this week to discuss the possibility of a loan. Egypt is seeking up to $4 billion from the IMF. Once an IMF agreement is signed, the European Union will decide how much aid to give. EU officials are currently considering giving several hundred million euros.

The G8 is expected to approve a package including billions of dollars in aid and debt swaps.

Tunisia will get $1.5 billion from the World Bank, including budget support and money for investments.

The World Bank said in a statement, “Approximately 50-75 million jobs are needed over the next decade to absorb new labor market entrants and to bring down unemployment” in the Mideast and northern Africa. The World Bank warned, “Only 48 million jobs will be created if countries continue to grow as they did over the past decade.”

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the goal is “to try to stabilize and then modernize the economies of the region.”

The World Bank lowered its economic growth forecast for northern Africa and the Middle East to 3.6% from 5% this week, but has expressed hope that the overthrow of long-term authoritarian rulers in Egypt and Tunisia will lead to economic integration similar to that in eastern Europe in the 1990s.


Comment: And what is required of this aide by these countries? Important to understand that strict requests are placed upon the aide dollars given to Israel by USA.

Israel - Reclaiming the Narrative

Barry Shaw

'ISRAEL - RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE is a prosecution of Israel's enemies.
This book is suggested as a valuable resource for Israel's fight back against the lies and deceit of the Palestinian camp that has succeeded in capturing the high ground in the information war that is an integral part of the Middle East conflict.

This prosecution is an attempt to assist Israel regain its rightful place on the right side of public opinion."

"Am I hostile to revolutionary Marxism? You bet I am. Am I hostile to radical Islam? You got it! Aren't you? Or don't you care?
If you don't care, close this book and read something else, something shallow and meaningless. If you are neutral you have no reason to be reading this book. Put it down and buy another one."
The BDS Movement's venom is aimed exclusively at Israel. If the principles that it applies solely against Israel were honest why are they not aimed at Turkey, for example? Here is a country that is guilty of genocide against the Armenians and is carrying out a war of oppression and genocide against the Kurds. If occupation is a cause for a boycott then why isn't the BDS Movement boycotting Turkey for their occupation not only of Kurdish territory but also northern Cyprus?
If building an illegal wall is reason for a boycott why isn't the BDS Movement boycotting Turkey for the illegal divide between their occupied part of Cyprus and the rest of the island?

If ethnic cleansing is a reason for a boycott why isn't the BDS Movement boycotting Turkey for the ethnic cleansing of the Greek Cypriots that they murdered or drove out of their homes in the occupied north of the island?

If it is legitimate to boycott Israel for being racist by calling themselves the Jewish state why isn't the BDS Movement boycotting the forty member states of the United Nations that formally include "Muslim" or "Islamic" in their countries names?

It is worth mentioning the methodist, Protestant, and Anglican churches. Why are they not divesting from Turkey, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority for that matter, who are killing and tormenting their fellow Christians and desecrating their churches?"
"An academic boycott is the nadir of intellectual property. It is the pivotal moment when reason becomes dogma. It is the time when enlightenment becomes creed. It is the closing of the mind. When the brain refuses to tolerate opposing thought it is no longer academia."
"I hate war but there are circumstances when it is necessary, even inevitable. War in inevitable when your country is attacked not once but ten thousand times as Hamas and Hizbollah did with rockets and mortars against Israel.

When the international community is called upon, a community that pumps billions of dollars into a regime, to stop that regime from launching deadly attacks and it does not do so, war is an inevitable result."
"It is frightening to Israelis how the Western world made a legend out of a villain.

Yasser Arafat was a White House guest more often (President Clinton met him twenty four times in an eight year period) than any other international figure.
To commemorate his death the United Nations flew its flag at half mast, something it did not do when President Reagan died a few months earlier, and despite the fact that no state of Palestine existed."

ISRAEL - RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE is an indispensable guide to why Israel is under attack by those promoting a false narrative and dangerous agenda against the Jewish state.

The book exposes the real intent of those who hide their violent ambitions behind a cloak of human rights and liberties as they seek to deny those values to Israel and Israelis.

The book lists the history of distress caused by Arab and Palestinian leaders to their own people while blaming Israel for their woes.
It details the official indoctrination within Palestinian society that rejects a peaceful "Two States for Two Peoples" solution, promotes a fantasy history, glorifies terrorism, and rejects all hope of a pragmatic resolution to the conflict.

ISRAEL - RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE attacks the Palestinian activists whose world view does not allow for reconciliation. It exposes their attack against Western values of free speech and academic freedoms and how it endangers civil liberties. It highlights their deception of language that appeals and seduces mainstream society while hacking away at the freedoms and liberties that they espouse for their cause.

ISRAEL - RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE call upon notable voices, including Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson and Melanie Phillips, who eloquently challenge those who employ boycotts, including academic boycotts, to further their political objectives. They ring the warning bell for open societies to protect themselves against the dark forces that infiltrate via academia, the media, trades unions, and religious groups to further their aims that leave free societies damaged in their wake.

ISRAEL - RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE gives a personal account of the tide of events and describes how Israeli society is affected and is changed by the ongoing campaign against the Jewish state.

The book details the conflict within the Christian world that is split over the Israel-Palestinian issue. The author points to a replacement theology that brings many Christian leaders into an unholy alliance with Islamists against Israel, while millions are bonded with the Jewish state as Christian Zionists.

ISRAEL - RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE is a prosecution against those who promote a malevolent and false campaign against Israel. It calls on leading witnesses to state the case against those who demonise and delegitimise the one true democratic state in the Middle East where freedom rings loud and clear and where human rights are valued and preserved as in no other regime in the region.