Saturday, July 30, 2011

Israeli Arab Children Taught to 'Guard Temple Mount'

Maayana Miskin

Thousands of Israeli Arab youth are being taught to defend Muslim dominance on the Temple Mount, under programs sponsored by the Islamic Movement, the Israel-based branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“This generation will be the generation of victory, the generation that defends the place from which the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven,” according to Dr. Hikmat Namna of the Organization to Develop Al-Aksa, which has played a part in the educational program.

An estimated 6,000 Israeli Muslim children from 33 Arab towns in Israel have taken part in the program, which includes a tour of the Temple Mount. Children are also given pamphlets with stories about Mohammed and the Al-Aksa mosque.

The northern branch of the Islamic Movement is lead by Sheikh Raed Salah, a Hamas supporter and open enemy of Israel who was recently jailed in Britain for violating a travel ban. Salah has previously stated that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are exclusively Muslim, and has led attempts to boost the Muslim presence in the area.

The Al-Aksa Organization has released incitement regarding the Temple Mount as well, including accusations of Israeli attempts to damage the Al Aksa mosque and defile the area.

This is but one example of the behavior of our "neighbors" the international community demands we make "peace". Do you know and understand the significance of the Temple mount? Really? Then if your answer is correct and genuine, how can you support their position rather than ours? How could you possibly believe that it is possible to make "peace" with such behavior?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Time is Running in Israel's Favor

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #155
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought"
July 29, 2011

1. Time is running in Israel's favor, as evidenced by the "global economic walk" and irrespective of the "global political talk."
In 1948, Israel had no significant export. In 2010, Bank of Israel documented a $6.7BN current account (mostly trade balance) surplus, featuring the US, Europe, India and Turkey as the chief trading partners. The NY-based "Trading Economics" reported a $1BN Israeli current account surplus in the 1st quarter of 2011. Israel is a global leader in medical, telecommunications, software and defense industries. 2. Israel is NOT isolated or boycotted: 3.45MN tourists visited Israel during 2010 - proportionally equal to 138MN tourists visiting the USA (60MN tourists visited the USA in 2010, an all time record).

3. Israel-Turkey trade volume surged 140% since the Islamic party, AKP, assumed power in 2002: $3.45BN in 2010 compared with $1.4BN in 2002. The 1st quarter of 2011 features a 40% increase over the 1st quarter of 2010 (Hurriyet Daily News, May 30, 2011 and Oct. 31, 2009).

4. A game changer: From a nearly total reliance on imported energy, Israel will become – by 2014 - a major exporter of natural gas.

5. Silicon Israel: In 1992 there was no venture capital activity in Israel. In 2011 Israel's high tech attracts the leading global companies (e.g. Microsoft, GE, Intel, Siemens, IBM), VC funds (Sequoia, Greylock, OrbiMed, Accel), investment banks (e.g. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley) and private investors (e.g. Warren Buffett, Eric Schmidt) in the world. 2nd quarter 2011 investment in Israel's high tech grew 19% over the 1st quarter and 66% over the 2nd quarter of 2010.

6. In defiance of geopolitical constraints, limited natural resources and global economic turbulence, Israel sustains growth: 5.2% GDP, 3% (of GDP) budget deficit, 5.7% unemployment, 2.7% inflation, 3.25% interest rate, stable currency (the Shekel is one of the 14 globally-traded currencies), $75BN foreign exchange reserves. War and terrorism have been bumps on the road of an impressive growth.

7. Gallup wellbeing poll, April 19, 2011: Israel is rated 7th, following Denmark, Sweden, Canada, Australia and Finland, ahead of New Zealand, Holland, Ireland, USA, Austria, Brazil, Britain, Mexico, etc.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Israel's Socio-Economic Revolt

Yisrael Ne'eman

In Israel this summer the sounds of domestic rebellion over housing prices increase daily. It began with the "cottage cheese" revolt a month ago, quickly spread to the dairy industry in general and is now focused on housing – the most painful issue for young middle class Israelis. And just as an aside we are in the middle of a doctors' strike/slowdown going on for months. Thousands are living in tent encampments from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Beersheva in the south with Tel Aviv supplying us with the largest most activist of all protests with 20,000 – 30,000 joining last Saturday night's demo which in part turned violent. And no, this is not similar in any way to what is happening in the Arab world, but rather here we have a mass civil protest in a democratic society. Although there are some down and outers, generally we are speaking of Israel's young middle class Jewish population, often professionals or tradespersons where both parents work to support a family of four or five. Government housing no longer exists yet did so into the 1990s. The Likud, as well as the previous Kadima government believe in capital incentive market societies, call it Reaganomics or Thatcherism of 1980s vintage – here in Israel it is the vision of the Likud ideological father Zeev Jabotinsky. So far the only government intervention is the Land Authority reform with the promise to make more government properties available for sale to private interests and "ensure" construction. Few truly believe such a move will drive prices down, but rather that the public will still find housing unaffordable. Contractors will build expensive apartments and the public will have no choice but to buy or remain without a property.

Netanyahu and the conservatives discount the government as a player in the game. Yet government is elected to govern or "intervene", it always being a question of degree. For instance the American "Fanny" and "Freddie" mortgage insanity of almost giving away real estate in some cases (in the short term) is an example of what not to do. No one is entitled to own a home. However working people who pay their taxes and serve in the army deserve a roof over their heads, a roof that does not bankrupt them. Ben Gurion and the Laborites understood this very well, one can say that the Likud's Menachem Begin did as well (remember "Project Renewal"?). What these two great Zionist leaders, yet bitter political enemies understood is that Israel is for all Jews, not just wealthy ones. And taking the analogy further into the democratic sphere, all of Israel's working law abiding citizens, Jewish or not, deserve adequate housing, even if dependent on reasonable rentals and rent control. According to the protesters nowadays the middle class must spend up to half its earnings on housing.

The government does not deny the complaint, but rather points out that there is cheaper housing well outside of the Tel Aviv metro region. The government also claims they built more housing units in 2010 than in any previous years from the time Kadima was in power (2006-09). This is correct, however 56% of all housing went to the ultra-orthodox (haredim), most of whom do not work, pay taxes or do military service. Haredi housing is part of the government agreements with Shas and United Torah Judaism – this reported by Nadav Eyal on Channel 10. The government is correct concerning the outlying regions, but job opportunities are limited in the northern Galilee/Golan and southern Negev regions. And let's face it the protests in Kiryat Shmona in the far north on the Lebanese border undercut all government claims that the periphery is the ultimate answer.

As everyone knows the problems did not begin with Netanyahu's present government. Serious capitalization began in the mid nineties during the Rabin/Peres Labor coalition as part of the Oslo Accords accompanying "peace dividend" but was accelerated from 1996 onwards when Netanyahu took office. For the past 15 years market driven capitalism dominates Israel's economy and the socio-economic gap is now the largest in the Western World and among OECD members. In these times of economic crisis in the US and Europe many on the right such as Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman claim these housing and economic issues to be trifling, and ridicule the well educated potentially middle class tent dwellers, the future backbone of Israeli society. They are labeled "spoiled children" whose "problems are those of the rich."

For sure no one has the "right" to live in a gentrifying Tel Aviv – families can move to the suburbs if prices are too high. Yet students do need dorms and affordable housing off campus at Tel Aviv University. Downtown Tel Aviv does not have moderately priced housing and it is true that one can move to the close by towns like Rishon LeTzion, Herzliya or Ramat Gan. The answer is two fold – government housing outside of the immediate Tel Aviv metro region such as Lod, Ramle, Netanya, Bet Shemesh, Modiin, Ashdod and Ashkelon with the accompanying necessary excellent public transportation exemplified by trains arriving every ten to fifteen minutes during rush hour, but such rail service is only a dream. Unfortunately there are many safety problems with the train, it arrives twice an hour in these towns and the light rail system to be built in Tel Aviv never happened because the billionaire tycoon who won the contract Lev Leviyev failed to make the investment. Some things responsible governments cannot leave to market forces, such as infrastructure for essential services. After they are built, and functioning, it can be decided whether to sell them off or not.

Israel's growth rate is a steady 5% or so for several years now, unemployment last month stood at 5.7% and there were $77.4 billion in foreign currency reserves at the end of June as reported by Israel's leading financial newspaper Globes. These figures however are misleading. Unemployment is down because many people have half time (or even less) jobs making minimum wage and are not considered on the welfare roles and the growth rate is heavily impacted by the growth of the technology sector. Israel has a foreign debt worth about the same as its foreign currency reserves, but less that half of the overall GDP (Wikipedia – Economy of Israel). The Governor of the Bank of Israel (Federal Reserve) Stanley Fischer has done a fine job and is recognized as among the best in the world.

However it falls to the government to decide on socio-economic priorities. There is far too much indirect taxation through Value Added Tax and the like. Income tax is constantly shrinking, especially for the wealthy. Another problem with such a small economy is that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few extended families often called the "oligarchs" and whether there are five, ten or twenty, does not really matter. The promised "trickle down" is dysfunctional. These billionaires are connected to the political powers that be, in particular on the economic right including the Likud, Yisrael Betainu, Kadima and Ehud Barak's breakaway (from Labor) Independence list. And what of the left or social democrats? They barely exist: eight seats for Labor and three for Meretz totaling eleven – less than 10% of the electorate.

The Likud and Kadima are capitalist parties and no one knows what Ehud Barak's Independence party represents (He doesn't know either). But Labor is not to be let off the hook, let's recall they were part of the coalition from 2006-09 and ceded the economic portfolios to Ehud Olmert's Kadima faction. Party chairman Amir Peretz, the former Histadrut labor union secretary general became defense minister instead of insisting on the treasury or the industry/commerce/employment portfolio. He failed as defense minister (remember the Second Lebanon War 2006) while Kadima Finance Minister Avraham Hirshzon continued a full capital incentive policy until he ended up in jail on corruption charges. As finance minister Netanyahu's market policies were greatly welcomed in 2003 when Israel was in the doldrums suffering from the Palestinian Low Intensity Conflict. By 2009 when he became prime minister it was time to reconsider the middle class – in particular as said before - those who work, pay taxes and serve in the security forces, these are the citizens who form the backbone of the Israeli State and to whom the government officials and apparatus owe their existence. 2011 may be the wake-up call for those politicians who forgot the very people who make the state possible.

Israel is in desperate need of a long term, permanent multi-billion dollar government project of affordable housing and mass transit especially on the periphery of the Tel Aviv metro region. Government involvement needs to be limited and flexible, playing a minimal, yet crucial role. When the free market system does not respond to the needs of the people the government is obligated to step in as a player and at time that means major government investment.

In a country overwhelmed by external threats, the last thing we need is an unbridgeable class gap and the even remote possibility of internal disintegration as a result of major socio-economic disparities. The danger is even more blatant when the well educated, up and coming middle class are alienated, many believing they have a diminishing stake in Israel's future. Such a scenario is at least as dangerous as Hezbollah or Hamas. It is time to build a balanced and flexible mixed economy.

U.S. must end funding of terrorist propaganda in Palestinian camps

The Daily Tribune

When you examine the websites about the United Nations Relief and Work Agency, you get glowing reports of its wonderful humanitarian work.

You're told of an agency that is helping care for an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians in refugee camps.

The pictures are inspiring and heartwarming. It's impossible not to feel sympathy for the refugees.

But the sanguine picture painted on the Web is, in many respects, just a facade.

Israeli investigative journalist David Bedein has looked underneath the surface and has found some very sinister activity. Bedein, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the Israel Resource News Agency, has raised many questions about the refugee camps and the U.N. agency supporting them.

Bedein has discovered that the camps are funded by donations from individuals and countries from throughout the world. As might be expected, the United States is one of the largest contributors, providing more than 30 percent of the funds.

Americans are told that their money supports social services, nutrition and educational programs. But we're not told about the biased indoctrination that maybe be provided under the guise of education.

Bedein said while the U.N. agency is responsible for the camps, administration of them and the money obtained is done by Hamas, the terrorist organization that has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. Hamas is not too fond of the United States either.

He notes that unlike other refugee camps, where efforts are made to relocate the inhabitants, no such work is being conducted for the Palestinians.

As Bedein notes "Palestinian refugees are staying refugees. The U.N. is not making an effort to resettle them, but instead is financing what appears to be an Hamas-administered population that is being taught that they will stay refugees until they return to their 1948 homes in Israel.

"Those homes obviously don't exist anymore, and it would mean displacing Israelis. In fact, they're not against killing Jews."

The United States says it supports Israel, yet through its donations to the refugee camps, it is figuratively providing guns to terrorists. In this case, the "guns" are in the form of hateful propaganda, but the damage can be just as severe. Bedein said hundreds of thousands of refugees are being brainwashed and taught to despise Israel and accept nothing but its complete destruction.

All of this is going on under what has been termed "Right to Return" policy, which says refugees have a right to return to their native countries.

However, if their native countries no longer exist, how long should they be housed - or imprisoned - in refugee camps?

As Bedein notes, the Palestinian camps are the only ones sponsored by the U.N. that do not make an effort to relocate their inhabitants.
There are numerous Arab countries where these poor souls could find kindred spirits and be relocated.

But there's no such effort. Instead, the extremists in the Middle East are using them as pawns in their fight against Israel.

There is some hope. In recent news reports, congressional Republicans and Democrats have said the U.S. aid to the Palestinians is in jeopardy if Hamas' direct involvement in the camps continues.

Obviously, our leaders must be aware of the situation. We just hope they have the courage to follow through and stop the aid. Whatever good it is doing is being negated by the hateful messages it supports.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tangled Up in Washington's Red Tape

Mike Brownfield

July 27, 2011

For months, Washington has focused on solving its uncontrolled addiction to spending. But while Congress and the White House use one hand to reach into your back pocket to take and spend your hard-earned dollars, they’re using another hand to wreak a different kind of nefarious harm—the proliferation of regulations, rules, and red tape, all of which impose heavy costs on America.

In the just-released “Red Tape Rising: A 2011 Mid-Year Report,” The Heritage Foundation’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz explain the pervasiveness of government’s intrusive regulatory hand (that oftentimes goes go well beyond ensuring product safety) and how it controls nearly every facet of your daily life. Do you heat your home? Light your rooms? Buy and cook food? Watch TV? If the answer is “yes,” then you’ve fallen under federal regulation. And you’re paying for it, too. Gattuso and Katz explain how every product imaginable costs more because of regulations:

The costs of regulation are inevitably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and limited product choices.
Basic items, such as toilets, showerheads, light bulbs, mattresses, washing machines, dryers, cars, ovens, refrigerators, television sets, and bicycles all cost significantly more because of government decrees on energy use, product labeling, and performance standards that go well beyond safety—as well as hundreds of millions of hours of testing and paperwork to document compliance.

The annual cost of regulation—$1.75 trillion by one frequently cited estimate—represents twice the amount of individual income taxes collected last year.
Overall, from the beginning of the Obama Administration to mid-fiscal year (FY) 2011, regulators have imposed $38 billion in new costs on the American people, more than any comparable period on record. Consider Washington’s red tape to be a hidden tax.

The mountain of regulations didn’t begin under the Obama Administration. Under the Administration of George W. Bush, for example, $60 billion in additional annual regulatory costs were imposed on Americans. But as Katz and Gattuso write, the rate at which burdens are growing has accelerated under the Obama Administration:

During its first 26 months—from taking office to mid-FY 2011—the Obama Administration has imposed 75 new major regulations with reported costs to the private sector exceeding $40 billion. During the same period, six major rulemaking proceedings reduced regulatory burdens by an estimated $1.5 billion, still leaving a net increase of more than $38 billion.

The actual cost of the new regulations is almost certainly higher due to under-estimation, agencies’ failures to analyze costs, and the fact that “non-major” rules aren’t even calculated. Amid the overwhelming weight of the evidence that government regulations are weighing down the American economy (consider how the economic recovery stalled after Obamacare was enacted), President Obama issued an executive order calling for an agency-by-agency review of existing regulations.

But Gattuso and Katz say it’s too early for Americans to rest easy. The changes the Obama Administration has identified, if implemented, could reduce regulatory costs by about $1 billion per year—just a fraction of the new costs imposed every year.

Meanwhile, American businesses and the American people continue to suffer under the regulatory burden, all while the government workforce keeps expanding and the number of regulations keep growing, with 2,785 rules in the pipeline.

There are things Congress can do to protect Americans and the economy against the regulatory tide: require congressional approval of new major rules promulgated by agencies, create a Congressional Office of Regulatory Analysis to review proposed and existing rules independently, and establish a sunset date for federal regulations.

Despite Obama’s pledge to eliminate burdensome regulation, his Administration has in the first half of FY 2011 created 15 new major regulations imposing $5.8 billion in additional annual costs and $6.5 billion in one-time implementation costs. All the while, the U.S. economy continues to drag forward with a 9.2 percent unemployment rate, adding only 18,000 new jobs in June. Perhaps Washington should stop growing the size of government and regulations and allow the U.S. economy to grow instead.

Quick Hits:

House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) is re-rewriting his debt ceiling plan following a report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting it would save less than the $1.2 trillion initially projected.
The United Kingdom has expelled diplomats from Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi’s regime and will recognize the Libyan rebel council as the “sole governmental authority,” joining the U.S. and France, which have made similar moves.
A suicide bomber killed the mayor of Afghanistan’s Kandahar city on Wednesday. The attack follows the assassination of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother as well as other Karzai allies.
Seeing the nanny state writing on the wall, McDonald’s has bowed to pressure from health and children’s advocacy groups and will change the contents of its popular Happy Meals, reducing the number of French fries and increasing the amount of fruit.
A former special agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms told a House committee yesterday that the agency had, in fact, allowed firearms bought in the United States to be transported to Mexico as part of the investigation of Mexican drug cartels.

PA observer breaks down during UN debate

Riyad Mansour bursts into tears discussing Palestinian statehood in last Security Council debate before General Assembly meeting in September. Israel's Ron Prosor says, 'On behalf of whom will you present a resolution in September? Abbas or Hamas?'

Yitzhak Benhorin
Israel News

WASHINGTON – A routine Security Council debate on the Middle East and Palestine became Israel's and the Palestinian Authority's dress rehearsal for September's General Assembly conference where the Palestinians will seek UN recognition.

Palestinian observer Riyad Mansour called on the UN to recognize a Palestinian state. It's time to end the occupation, he said before bursting into tears. Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor warned that the Palestinian way of bypassing peace talks will lead to frustration and violence. He later addressed Mansour and asked him: "On behalf of whom will you present a resolution in September? Mr. Abbas or Hamas?" He called on the Palestinians to embrace "a road of solutions not resolutions; dialogue not monologue; and direct negotiations not unilateral declarations."

Prosor continued: "There is much uncertainty about the future Palestinian government: its acceptance of the Quartet conditions, the peace process, control of its security forces, and many other questions… on these issues Israel and the international community must have clarity. For Israel, this so-called unity has only brought continued impunity for the terrorists that fire rockets into our cities."

He noted that "even the most basic condition for statehood does not exist. The Palestinian Authority does not maintain effective control of all its territory nor does it hold a monopoly on the use of force."

Addressing the Security Council members states, Prosor stressed: "Unilateral actions will not bring peace to our region. The Palestinian initiatives at the United Nations may be superficially attractive to some. Yet, they distract from the true path to peace. There are no shortcuts to statehood. You cannot bypass the only path to peace. The Palestinians will have to get off the bandwagon of unilateralism – and back to the hard work of direct peacemaking."

US committed to talks

Mansour, on his part, accused the Israeli government of sabotaging peace efforts and defended the Palestinian bid as logical, just and in keeping with Security Council resolutions. He noted that the PA remains committed to September 2011, which he said could create the necessary dynamic for a breakthrough.

He said that the need for a resolution stems from Israel's failure to end the occupation and illegal settlement enterprise over the past 20 years. Mansour stressed this was not a unilateral action but rather one that will force Israel to abandon its own unilateralism in the settlements.

US Ambassador to the UN Rosemary A. DiCarlo said that Washington was committed to a just solution and stated that core issues could only be resolved through negotiations and not in the UN. She added that an effort to isolate Israel in the General Assembly will not promote a Palestinian state.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hamas also faces financial crunch, hasn't paid salaries


PA prime minister Fayyad arrives in Cairo for emergency Arab League meeting over PA's own financial issues.

Hamas also seems to be facing a financial crisis and, like the Palestinian Authority, has not been able to pay full salaries to its civil servants in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas legislator Yahya Musa called on the Hamas government to “be frank with the people and tell them the truth about the financial situation.” Musa expressed concern over the Hamas government’s failure to pay full salaries to its employees for the last few months.

“If there’s a financial crisis, then the government should say so,” Musa said. “And if there isn’t a crisis, the government should quickly pay full salaries to all its workers.”

Sources in the Gaza Strip said that because of the financial crisis, the Hamas government has in recent months paid only half salaries to its employees.

Ismail Mahfouz, a senior official with the Hamas-run Ministry of Finance, denied that his government was facing a financial crisis. He said that the delay in paying the salaries was due to lack of cash in the hands of the government.

Mahfouz promised that the Hamas government would pay all its debts to the civil servants by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad arrived in Cairo on Tuesday to attend an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss the financial crisis in the PA.

The meeting is being held at the request of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who has urged the Arab countries to fulfill their financial pledges to the Palestinians.

The Fayyad government has paid only half salaries to its 150,000 civil servants for June after complaining that Western donors and most of the Arab countries have failed to transfer promised funds to the PA’s coffers.

Fayyad told the Arab League representatives that his government was in need of $300m. to overcome the current crisis.

He said that since the beginning of the year the PA received only $331m. $79m. of them from the Arab countries.

At the end of the meeting, the Arab League representatives urged the Arab countries to meet their financial commitments to the PA to help it overcome the crisis.

Also Tuesday, Abbas discussed the financial crisis in the PA with Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

What's wrong with this picture?

Israel Matzav

Haaretz reports on a tour by six former Israeli diplomats and senior IDF officers who are claiming that the 1949 armistice lines, which were called the 'borders of Auschwitz' by Leftist Foreign Minister Abba Eban, are 'defensible.' What Haaretz doesn't mention, because it would be enough to arouse suspicion in most Israelis, is that the tour is being sponsored by J Street, the group that is trying to bring about the next Holocaust (God forbid) so long as it gets Barack Hussein Obama re-elected. The group visited the White House on Monday and met with the National Security Council Director for Middle East and North Africa Steven Simon, and were to have meetings later in the evening with acting Middle East envoy David Hale and officials at the Pentagon.

Among the group participants were Major General (Ret.) Natan Sharoni, a battery commander in the Sinai Campaign and a battalion commander during the Six Day War who later became Head of Planning for the IDF and Ambassador Alon Pinkas, who served as Consul General of Israel in New York.

Joining the two was Ambassador Ilan Baruch, who served with the Israeli Foreign Ministry for more than thirty years and stirred a public debate in Israel when, upon his resignation, he penned an open letter critical of Israeli government policies.

Others in the group include Colonel (Ret.) Shaul Arieli, who was Commander of the Northern Brigade in Gaza, and was responsible for the evacuation and transfer of the Gaza Strip to Palestinian control in 1994 and distinguished soldier Brigadier General (Ret.) Nehemiah Dagan.

Major General (Ret.) Shlomo Gazit, who was head of the Assessment Department in IDF Intelligence and later became Coordinator of Israeli Government Operations in the Administered Territories and Attorney Gilead Sher, the legal representative for the Shalit family also joined the group.

“We are here because we feel that we are running out of time, and there is no actual status quo,” Sharoni told Haaretz Monday. “The dynamic is such that we must act quickly so that we don’t find ourselves facing actions that cannot be corrected.”

“We are here because we are concerned that the Jewish state won't remain Jewish and democratic. Thirty years from now, Jews will be one-third of the population from Jordan to the Mediterranean. And the culture that is developing in Israel these days suggests that the one-third will control the two-thirds,” he said.

The second issue that concerns the group is that no credible critics have dared to counter Prime Minister Netanyahu's claim that the 1967 borders are “indefensible”.

“It has already entered the Israeli political lexicon as an axiom”, Sharoni said. “We think it's misleading. The 1967 borders are defensible, we just need to define – defensible against what? It's true they are indefensible against rockets from Iran, but so is all the territory of Israel.”

The problem isn't rockets from Iran; the problem is rockets and hand-held anti-aircraft missiles from Hamas and Fatah. But I'm sure that all of my favorite Leftists will be contemptuous as to how I could dismiss such 'senior officers' and Alon Pinkas (who is rumored to be trying to take revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu for not appointing him UN Ambassador). Please.

So why do these people think that Israel is defensible without all the high ground to the East?

“They are indefensible against terror and Hezbollah rockets,” he added. “But to say that the strategic depth of the Jordan Valley will save Israel, that is a deception.”

Against what ARE they defensible? Do tell us.

Sharoni said that what has traditionally constituted the ‘Eastern front’ against Israel is now non-existent.

“Iraq doesn't have the capacity to send ground divisions against us; we have peace with Jordan, and Syria won't go to war against Israel by herself. I am sure the prime minister knows it – but he probably doesn't want to make any use of this information,” Sharoni said.

And if there's a coup in Jordan next week and they abrogate the treaty (as Egypt may yet do)? And if Iraq - which is coming to be dominated by Iran - decides that what it really wants to do in life is to send millions of martyrs to Jerusalem? And if Assad wins in Syria - or even if he loses - and then decides he's going to attack Israel? 'He won't attack alone'? That's a basis for defense policy?

Sharoni responded to a question from Haaretz concerning a possible threat emerging on the Eastern front ten years in the future, dismissing the supposed necessity of maintaining sovereignty over a part of the West Bank to act as a buffer zone in the event of an attack.

“Do we actually need to control the Jordan Valley to confront these threats? To move one or two IDF divisions to seize control of the Valley takes up to 36 hours. With our deterrence and mobility, there is no problem with it. If it will be a demilitarized zone – if something happens, there is enough time to get there.”

IF it will be a demilitarized zone. That's an awfully big IF, isn't it? Who's going to enforce that? The Europeans who fled from Gaza? UNIFIL and UNDOF, who did nothing to stop the Naqba Day attacks? And just how are those IDF divisions going to get over the Samarian high ground to get to the Jordan Valley and at what cost?

But what's most outrageous about this is that this group of old men who may all be long gone in 20 years (except for Pinkas, who is younger) got an audience at the White House and the National Security Council, where they were able to undermine the position of Israel's elected government. Logan Act anyone? (No, we don't have one, but we definitely need one). When the current session of Congress goes into recess, I think we should invite all the Republican leaders over here to discuss the US's foreign affairs budget and see how Hussein Obama reacts. Disgusting.

Samaria Head: Homes 'R Us!

Build in Yesha to solve the housing crises.-Ted Belman

If political hamstringing ceases, Samaria can provide 35,000 units this year alone, says Regional Authority head.

by Gil Ronen

Thirty-five thousand new housing units can be built in Samaria this year alone, according to research conducted by the Strategic Department of the Samaria Regional Authority. Officials in the authority say homes not built in three years of a housing shortage in the coastal plain can be built in one year in Samaria alone.

The construction of 100,000 units in Samaria over three years “will cause many young people to prefer to move out of the crowded Tel Aviv / central area and rent an apartment 20-30 minutes away for 1,000-2,000 shekels,” they explained.

Samaria Regional Authority head Gershon Mesika presented Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Housing Minister Ariel Atias with a special plan Monday for solving the construction woes through massive construction in Samaria.

The research by Michael and Yehuda Fuah as well as the Samaria local authority shows that apartment prices rose nominally by 43 percent in 2008-2010, and rent went up 22 percent on average.

Mesika suggests duplicating the success of the city of Modiin, west of Jerusalem, in Samaria.

Israel meanwhile said it would issue tenders for 336 new homes in two communities in Judea and Samaria, a minimal beginning, a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing told AFP on Monday.

"We will very shortly issue tenders for the construction of 336 houses for Jews in Judea and Samaria" Ariel Rosenberg said. "In total, 294 homes are planned for Beitar-Illit, and 42 others in Karnei Shomron," said Rosenberg.

Beitar Illit is south of Jerusalem, while Karnei Shomron lies 15 kilometers (nine miles) west of Shechem.

"Zig and Zag"

Arlene Kushner

Before I touch on this theme, I want to return just for a moment to the issue of perks for terrorists in our prisons. It made the news a few days ago that Marwan Barghouti -- who is in the Hadarim prison, west of Netanya -- called for a million-person march of Palestinian Arabs when the UN vote on a state was taking place. I pondered then -- and a reader wrote to ask the same question -- how it was that he could get out the word this way and make headlines. Barghouti is serving five life sentences and should never be heard from again. t has subsequently been reported by the Israeli Prison Service that during a routine search of prisoners' cells (to be certain no one is hiding knives, contraband, etc.), a cell phone was discovered in Barghouti's possession. He was sent for a disciplinary hearing and sentenced to two weeks in isolation.

Perhaps the situation truly is shifting with regard to taking a tougher stance with terrorists. Or maybe the Prison Service is simply now publicizing what would have gone unnoticed previously. It is noteworthy that the phone was reported as having been discovered during a "routine" search, and not because a search was done specifically in response to Barghouti having made the news.

Barghouti, it should be noted, is with Fatah, not Hamas.


The zig-zagging I refer to has to do with the Palestinian Authority. Last week Nabil Amr, a member of the PLO Central Committee, became the first senior PLO official to publicly state opposition to plans to go to the UN in September. In an interview in Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London) he expressed fears that the US and major European countries will be alienated and that this will rebound badly on the PA:

"The council will discuss the September issue and the intention to go to the UN.
“I personally will advise the leadership to delay the UN bid by another year so that we would be able to make better preparations than what has been done until now.”

According to Khaled Abu Toameh and Herb Keinon, who reported on this in the JPost, several other PA leaders are also opposed to the UN bid, but have refrained from saying so publicly.


However, at the very same time, PA negotiator Nabil Sha'ath has declared, "We are serious about going to the UN and won't backtrack..."

And, according to Abu Toameh, Fatah and Hamas have decided to try again to come to terms on the details of the reconciliation accord. This follows a phone call between Azzam al-Ahmed, who has headed the Fatah delegation for negotiations, and Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the Hamas polit bureau.

The effort by Fatah to achieve reconciliation is understood to be an expression of its desire to go to the UN presenting one government that represents all the people.

On the other hand, if it were not for Fatah insistence on retaining Salam Fayyad as prime minister, something that Hamas adamantly opposes, the issue might have been resolved by now.

Zig zag. A reflection not only of indecision, but also diverse opinions within the PA.


Meanwhile, Abbas is putting his own spin on matters.

The decision to go to the UN, he has now declared, does not constitute a unilateral act. The UN vote, after all, will not prevent the Palestinian Arabs from returning to the table: "there are issues that won't be solved through the UN, but only through negotiations."

What the UN vote will do, you see, will enable them to enter negotiations with Israel as "equal partners." Then, once there is a Palestinian state, it can sit down with Israel and "discuss sticking issues, including borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, water and security."

This is his have-his-humus-and-eat-it-too approach.


And speaking of Israel's borders, Danny Ayalon has hit home with his six-minute historical narrative video, "The Truth About the West Bank."

Saeb Erekat, calling the video "offensive," says, “Now, the international community knows the Israeli government is committed to denying the Palestinian people their inalienable right to self-determination and on continuing their illegal and colonial enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territory."

Not quite. Now the international community has been presented with truths that combat the PA lies, and the PA does not like it, not one little bit. Right on!

Ayalon has challenged Erekat to a debate. Seriously doubt his challenge will be accepted.

I share the link here for the second time. If you haven't seen it, please do, if you haven't shared it, I encourage this, as well.


Some four months ago, the Knesset passed what is known as the Nakba bill.

As most of my readers know, nakba means catastrophe in Arabic and refers to the founding of the state of Israel -- Israeli independence day is viewed as a day of mourning for the Arabs.

The bill, advanced by Yisrael Beiteinu, requires the state to fine local authorities and other state-funded bodies for holding events marking the Palestinian Nakba Day by supporting armed resistance or racism against Israel, or desecrating the state flag or national symbols.

These fines are to be deducted from the operating budget of the state-funded groups that hold such events, with the deductions amounting to three times the cost of funding the objectionable event. The finance minister is charged with deciding when to withdraw funds from various groups, after consultation with the attorney general and a designated team comprised of members of the ministries of finance and justice.


Sure sounds logical -- and appropriate -- to me. It is one of those measures that was long over due and indicates a strengthening of a nationalist sense in this country.


But here nothing is simple, and it was to be expected that there would be objections to this from Israeli Arabs and their supporters on the left. They never miss an opportunity to claim, in the name of democracy and "human rights," that Israel must be denied expression as a Jewish state. The Arab-Israeli NGO Adalah, for example, objects to a Jewish star on the Israeli flag.

And so... MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al), attempted to submit a bill to the Knesset that would empower the minister of finance to cut state funding for organizations that "deny publicly that Nakba Day was a historical, real event that constitutes a disaster for the Palestinian people."

Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin refused to accept it because it rejects the State of Israel as a Jewish state.

Said Rivlin:

"'s place is not on the Knesset's table.

"This bill says the State of Israel is the reason for the Palestinian tragedy. If the nakba is a tragedy, then the establishment of the State of Israel is a tragedy. The Palestinian experience is a catastrophe that was brought on by their leaders, but the establishment of the State of Israel is not the reason for it."


Tibi, declaring the rejection of his bill "a dark day for democracy," claims he had submitted it in an effort to convince MKs that the Nakba Bill was "an injustice to the Palestinian minority in Israel."

I hasten to point out that Israeli-Arab mourning of the nakba was not criminalized by this bill: people who participate in ceremonies or events that express sadness for Israel's founding will not be charged or fined. It simply says that the State of Israel should have no part in funding such events. You want to mourn the founding of the State of Israel? Don't ask the State of Israel to pay for it. In fact, it actually says, don't ask the State of Israel to pay for it if you are planning on desecrating the flag, or showing support for armed resistance against Israel.

Now Tibi has submitted a petition to the High Court against Rivlin because he rejected the bill. I personally will spit if the Court takes this seriously.


This seems a small story, but it is not, because it is emblematic of the struggle for Israel's soul.

Ahmed Tibi -- an Israeli citizen by virtue of his place of birth -- describes himself as an Arab Palestinian. He was an advisor to Yasser Arafat for years and represented the Palestinian Authority at the Wye River negotiations of 1998. In 2002, during Tisha B'Av (when the destruction of the Temple is mourned), he led a large group of Arabs chanting "With blood and fire will we redeem Palestine," while blocking the way of a group of Jews attempting to ascend to the Temple Mount.

Attempts by members of right wing Israeli parties to ban Tibi's right to hold office in the Knesset because of his support for Israel's enemies were overturned by the High Court in 2003. Tibi is a member of the Knesset. What is more -- I kid you not -- he is a Deputy Speaker of the Knesset.

In spite all of this, Ahmed Tibi, who does not believe there should be a Jewish Israel, would gladly subvert the State of Israel. The question of how much in the way of rights should be accorded those who would work from within to destroy our essence is a serious one.

Accusations of "apartheid" and "racism" leveled at Israel should be considered within this broader context -- although those ready to believe such accusations are most likely not interested in context. And when persons such as Tibi level charges that we deny human rights and democracy, the source of those charges should be examined.

As -- please G-d -- our Knesset is increasingly prepared to assert itself with nationalist positions, we can expect other such incidents to arise.


The UN has postponed release of the Palmer Report on the Mavi Mavara incident for a month, to give Israel and Turkey additional time to achieve reconciliation and resume full diplomatic relations.

The prospects of this happening, however, seem as dim as ever. The Turkish have declared they will "never forget" the nine men "massacred" by the IDF on the Mavara. Additionally, Prime Minister Erdogan has just called the Gaza blockade "illegal and inhuman" and has declared solidarity with the Palestinians. Let us say that Israeli officials are noting an absence of goodwill on the subject of reconciliation among their Turkish counterparts.


Floating in the air, still, is the prospect of a limited apology by Israel. Turkey is considering a downgrade in its diplomatic staff in Israel, if no apology is forthcoming.

As it turns out, it's not simply a question of a disagreement on the issue among members of the Israeli Security Cabinet -- with Security Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Minister w/o Portfolio Bennie Begin said to be opposed, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor in favor, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu undecided.

According to the latest reports, the Obama administration -- eager to see good diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey -- is (surprise!) putting pressure on our prime minister to go along with a proposed formula for resolving the dispute: Israel would apologize for "operational mishaps" and pay compensation via a fund set up by the Turkish, while Turkey would consider the matter closed and make no legal claims either against Israel or individual soldiers (the last point presumably addressing Israeli concerns on the matter).

Were this proposed agreement accepted, it would obviate need for the release of the Palmer Report.

Netanyahu knew how to assert himself against Obama's demands when he was in Washington, and splendidly so. We must hope that his backbone is still in place. An apology is not the way to go.


"The Good News Corner"

This is fantastic.

A tiny golden bell, thought to be 2,000 years old, has been found in the course of excavations in Ir David -- the City of David -- south of the Old City walls.

Photo: Vladimir Neichin

The excavations were taking place in a drainage tunnel that runs from the Shiloah Pool beneath the City of David to near the Western Wall. In the region of the excavation, during the Second Temple period, there was a main road above the channel, which was linked with a bridge, known today as Robinson’s Arch, that led up to the Temple Mount.

According to an Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) press release, the rare gold bell, which has a small loop on its end, is presumed to have come from the edge of a garment.

In Shemot (Exodus) 28:33-4, the robe of the high priest Aaron is described: “You shall make on its hem pomegranates of turquoise, purple, and scarlet wool, on its hem all around, and gold bells between them all around. A gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around.”

Says the IAA, there is no way to know that this bell came from a high priest, but the possibility cannot be discounted. It certainly seems to have come from the garment of a high official: “apparently, the high official was walking in the Jerusalem street in the vicinity of Robinson’s Arch and lost the gold bell that fell from his garment into the drainage channel beneath the road.”

At the request of Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA, a recording of the bell has been provided by Udi Ragones, Ir David Foundation spokesman. And so we can hear what the bell, last heard some 2,000 years ago, sounds like:


© 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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The nightmare of international guarantees

Barry Rubin

History has taught us that on security matters we can only trust ourselves

Israel is constantly urged to put its trust in the international community – an idea that hasn’t worked out too well in the past. Now the UN special envoy for Lebanon has given another reason Israel shouldn’t take risks based on the hope of support from international guarantees.

While he did about the best he could given his situation, Michael Williams, the British diplomat who holds this job, has said the UN-sponsored cease-fire that ended the Hezbollah-Israel war in 2006 is holding up “very well.”
Technically, this is quite true. There hasn’t been a new war or cross-border attacks. But that’s merely because Hezbollah has been too busy taking over Lebanon and preparing for the next war. As Williams admits, arms have flowed to Hezbollah – from Syria, though he doesn’t say that. He only says that Lebanon’s borders are “porous” – a wonderful diplomatic euphemism for state-sponsored arms smuggling.

The Gaza Strip’s borders with Egypt, by the way, have recently become ‘porous’ in the same way.

Hezbollah has also moved back into southern Lebanon – something the UN was supposed to prevent – and has rebuilt its system of tunnels and military strongholds. In five years, the UN force has never interfered with such Hezbollah activities – not once.

NOW IMAGINE, if you will, how UN and international guarantees would work with a Palestinian state.

Would the General Assembly vote to condemn Palestine for breaking its commitments? Would any foreign force that was there as part of a peace deal ever act to stop weapons or terrorists from crossing the border into Palestine? Would they fight to stop terrorists from crossing the border from Palestine into Israel? Of course not. Yet that point is not taken into account by any Western government, academic study or mass media. But it is taken into account by Israel.

Otherwise we will someday read about the UN special envoy for Israel-Palestine peacekeeping talking about how well things are going while as incitement, terrorism and violations of the agreement take place daily.

But here’s an example of what can be expected: When you arrive at the Palestine in the Eyes of the Children of Martyrs (Shahids) Summer Camp, you are assigned to one of four groups, as Palestinian Media Watch reports, translating the story from a PA-connected newspaper – a Dalal Mughrabi group (In 1978 she led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, in which 37 civilians were killed, 12 of them children).

A Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad) group (He was the head of the Black September terror group. He planned many terror attacks, including the murder of two American diplomats in Sudan, as well as the murder of 11 Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics.) An Abu Ali Mustafa group: (General secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, he planned numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians.) A Yasser Arafat group (He was the boss of all of the others.) This was not done by Hamas, but by the Palestinian Authority, and not just by the PA, but under the sponsorship of everyone’s favorite Palestinian moderate, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who visited the camp to participate in the closing ceremonies, which he also sponsored.

NOW, DO keep in mind that the PA could easily name these groups after, say, Palestinian doctors and educators, or even politicians who weren’t directly involved in anti-civilian terrorism. Arafat is a name much used (though he was a disaster for the Palestinians, as even many PA people admit privately), but Mughrabi has become Fatah’s iconic terrorist and hero. The real message being sent to Palestinians is not, “We can get an independent state and raise living standards,” but rather, “We can kill more Israelis than Hamas can.”

Good news, though. If the PA is admitted to the UN as a member, it can join UNICEF and receive UN money for sending kids to summer camp.

The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center (

He is also a featured columnist at PJM ( and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.

What Did the Norwegian Murderer Think?

Phyllis Chesler
Israel National News
July 25, 2011

The author strongly condemns the murder, but challenges the grieving Norwegian government and intelligentsia to do something effective about their own failed multi-cultural policies.

I condemn mass murder and the slaughter of unarmed civilian innocents.

Therefore, I condemn the shocking Norwegian-on-Norwegian, infidel-on-infidel, mainly Caucasian-on-Caucasian massacres carried out by Anders Behring Breivik—just as I have condemned the mass murders of Jewish, Israeli, Hindu, European, and American civilians carried out by Muslim Islamist terrorists. Please note: Breivik may have feared and despised the refusal of first, second, and third generation Muslim-Norwegian immigrants to become Europeans, to embrace Enlightenment values—but he killed the children of those Norwegians who, in his opinion, were enabling Muslims to set up separatist and hostile enclaves in Norway.

Will this terrify the multi-culturalists as much as Islamism has? Will Breivik's dastardly, dreadful action lead to policies which will finally begin to deal with issues such as female genital mutilation, polygamy, forced marriage, and honor killings on Norwegian soil? His constitutes only one terrorist attack and perhaps the first of its kind.

We must remember that in the name of Islam, Muslim Islamists have perpetrated thousands of terrorist attacks, both on their own people and on civilian infidels.

My esteemed colleague, Barry Rubin, writes that "There have been over 10,000 Islamist terrorist attacks, many of them against Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and others. The number of such attacks against Muslims in the West or indeed in the world is perhaps one percent of that number."

Also, historically, in the name of Islam, jihadists have colonized vast territories in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and India. They have persecuted, enslaved, exiled, or murdered the indigenous infidels who once lived there and either destroyed their holy sites or transformed them into grand and gracious mosques.

Nevertheless, Western political leaders, the media, and the professoriate have focused only on Western imperialism, racism, and historical slavery and have absolutely refused to focus on Muslim imperialism, racism and historical and contemporary slavery.

Meanwhile, the steady penetration of Islamic gender and religious apartheid continues apace in the West, especially in Europe, including in Norway.

The left-leaning multi-culturalists and "progressives" in Norway have refused to help endangered Muslim girls and women in their midst; the Norwegian government has refused to limit forced marriages to illiterate home country cousins, nor have they effectively intervened in matters of domestic violence when the perpetrator was Muslim as was his victims.

The fearless Hege Storhaug, has written an excellent book, now (2011) in English, on this very subject. It is titled "But The Greatest of These is Freedom. The Consequences of Immigration in Europe." Together with Rita Karlsson, Storhaug runs Human Rights Service an online website and think tank.

The kinds of leftists and multi-culturalists whose children Breivik fiendishly chose to massacre, are the kinds of leftists who persuaded the Norwegian government to stop funding this excellent website. They were accused of being…"Islamophobic." Storhaug and Karlsson are feminists, the sane kind. They want to extend the rights of freedom to every citizen of Europe and Norway but their own politically correct government and intelligentsia tried to defeat them by de-funding their efforts.

Storhaug paints a bleak but accurate picture.

The majority of Muslim immigrants to Norway are Pakistanis. In general, Muslim immigrants often outnumber native Norwegian children in school. She writes:

"In a typical classroom, a grand total of five Norwegian pupils may be expected to do the job of integrating no fewer than fifteen immigrant children – a virtually impossible task. Many grandchildren of immigrants start their first day of school without the slightest knowledge of the Norwegian language or Norwegian culture."

Native Norwegians have learned to live cautiously. Gay couples dare not hold hands in public in parts of Oslo. Since the 2006 bombing of Norwegian embassies (due to a Norwegian publication of the Mohammed cartoons), Norwegians have not dared to "say anything critical or negative about Islam…such comments are reserved for safe, private conversations."

In Storhaug's view, "marriage is at the heart of the immigration policy challenge, because marriage is the main route to Norway." It is the way to immigrate and to obtain Norwegian citizenship as well. About 75 percent of all those who immigrate to Norway come through "so-called reunification with persons in Norway." And, about 75 percent of the first-generation (and second-generation!) Pakistani-Norwegian immigrants "married in Pakistan." And, between 30-60 percent of these marriages are between cousins. The cost to the European and Norwegian state is considerable. She refers to a British study which indicated

"a high rate of deformities among newborn babies of Pakistanis. The Pakistani population accounts for 3.4 percent of the country's births, but fully 30 percent of the birth defects among newborns occur in children of parents with Pakistani origins."

Honor killings of Muslim girls and women are epidemic in Europe as is polygamy. Storhaug mentions a pattern in which Norwegian-Pakistani men immigrate with multiple wives whom they subsequently divorce under Norwegian law after which they marry new wives and bring them over from Pakistan. Again, Norway serves as the "financial base" for such human rights violations.

Storhaug describes the customarily heartless way in which Muslim Pakistani women are treated by their families. For example:

"Mina was…given a 'choice' among three cousins was pressured to choose a particular one – the one who had the weakest position on the marriage market, because he hadn't been to school and was darker than most people in a region where dark skin is equated with low status and ugliness. This young man, according to Ahmed, was the one who most desperately needed a visa to the West. In the end, therefore, he was the one who got Mina – a human being reduced to the status of a living visa."

Storhaug analyzes the normalized paranoia that characterizes many Pakistani Muslim families. There is no privacy—privacy, which might lead to forbidden thoughts or acts, is viewed suspiciously. The slightest disobedience might lead to a beating or an honor killing.

Storhaug cites a similar problem in Denmark where "fewer than half of the non-Western immigrants…had jobs. Non-Western immigrants accounted for about five percent of Denmark's population, but received just under 40 percent of its social budget." Storhaug quotes Poul C. Matthiessen, Danish professor of demography:

"istorically, this is the first time that Denmark has experienced a wave of immigration by people who are explicitly antagonistic to Danish values and norms…all earlier immigrant groups…right up to the mid 1970s, had adjusted quickly to Danish norms and values. This included Dutch farmers in the 1500s, French Huguenots in the 1600s, Swedish and Polish workers in the 1800s, Jewish refugees from Russia around the year 1900, and Chileans in the 1970s."

According to Storhaug, "government officials who are supposed to help immigrant women enter the work force have instead formed an 'unholy alliance' with those women's husbands. The husbands want the women to stay home, keep house, and raise children; and the employment counselors don't want to harass the women by trying to push them into jobs, since their chances of finding employment are poor anyway. So instead they arrange for the women to take hobby-like courses in subjects like food preparation and needlework. Far from bringing them closer to the work force, these courses ensure that they won't neglect their domestic duties. The government, in short, has made a compromise; it keeps Muslim women busy within their husbands' strict boundaries and ignores their need to develop into skilled workers – and active citizens."

Storhaug, like myself and a handful of other feminists, are all haunted by the Western feminist silence about Islamic gender apartheid in the West. She explains that silence succinctly and accurately.

"The feminists are obsessed with their own ethnic Norwegian causes: longer maternity leave, shorter work days for the same pay – in short, everything that can give them a better life, materially and socially. At the same time, many of the classical feminists appear to be old socialists blinded by the multicultural dream – a dream, alas, that has led them to accept the oppression of women in sizable segments of the population."

Some radical Islamists and their enablers are now blaming the Israeli Mossad for Breivik's actions. Others are blaming the anti-jihadist websites and thinkers whom Breivik apparently read. Will they now blame those feminists who have exposed the penetration of Islamic gender and religious apartheid into the West, especially into Norway?

Allow me to repeat myself: I condemn the mass murder of innocent and unarmed civilians no matter what the cause.

But I hereby challenge the grieving Norwegian government and intelligentsia to do something effective about their own failed multi-cultural policies and not use the tragic event as yet another opportunity to silence legitimate discourse and dissent.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Youths discussed Palestine

Forty-eight hours before Friday massacre, teens participating in ruling party youth camp met with Norwegian foreign minister. Some called for boycott of Israel

Published: 07.24.11, 08:23 / Israel News

The teenagers who took part in Norway's ruling party youth camp in the island of Utoya met with Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and demanded he recognize Palestine on Wednesday, two days before the deadly terror attack which left many of them dead.

Gahr Stoere told the youths that the Palestinians deserve a country of their own and that the occupation must end, Norwegian website Politisk reported. Several of the youths waved signs reading: "Boycott Israel."

Earlier this week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Norway and was told that Oslo will recognize Palestine, but not just yet. The Norwegian FM told the youths Oslo is waiting for the official Palestinian proposal to be submitted to the UN in September.

Eskil Pedersen, leader of the Workers' Youth League said that the movement endorses a financial embargo on Israel.

He said that they will pursue a more active policy in the Middle East and expressed support for the resumption of peace talks. Gahr Stoere agreed, but said a boycott was not the way, explaining it will turn the dialogue into a monologue.

Comment: I post this story realizing the nutcases will now say, "See, we told you that Israel was behind this" or they will say"See what right-wing extremism coupled with zionism does to innocent people"-wait, the nuts will be opened. A larger question should be who is behind this Norwegian youth group anti-Israel action and who funds their programs?

A Chameleon, Nevertheless

Efraim Karsh
American Thinker
July 24, 2011

While I am relieved to hear that Benny Morris is not entertaining any flip flops in the near future, his rebuttal to my American Thinker article fails to answer the central question I posed: How can he in good conscience (not to mention the minimum academic or intellectual integrity) espouse the views he presently claims to uphold without retracting his previous writings on the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Since the outbreak of the Palestinian war of terror in September 2000, Morris has been playing an intricate game of Jekyll-and-Hyde. In press articles and media appearances, he blames the Palestinians for initiating and perpetuating the conflict since the 1920s and 1930s. In his books, he casts Israel in the role of the regional villain, as he has done for decades. The 2001 paperback edition of his history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Righteous Victims, opens with a famous quote by the poet W.H. Auden - "Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return" - that leaves no doubt as to which side is the aggressor and which is the victim. Zionism, he explains therein, is a "colonizing and expansionist ideology and movement... intent on politically, or even physically, dispossessing and supplanting the Arabs."

Three years later, in the revised edition of his influential book, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, he added a special chapter peddling the longstanding Arab canard that "the displacement of Arabs from Palestine... was inherent in Zionist ideology" and can be traced back to the father of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl.

How can this possibly square with his present day public statements squarely putting blame for the conflict on "the instinctive rejectionism that runs like a dark thread through Palestinian history"?

Morris would have us believe that this decade-long doublespeak has never existed; that his simultaneous articulation of pro-Israel rhetoric and anti-Israel propaganda, masqueraded as meticulously researched historiography, is but a figment of imagination of "a febrile and obsessive mind." To which one can only respond with one of his favorite words: balderdash.

Consider, for example, Morris's emphatic oath of allegiance to the Zionist ideal - "the establishment and perpetuation of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, the historic patrimony of the Jewish people" (a definition readers will be hard pressed to find in his books) - and its simultaneous derision as a "colonizing and expansionist ideology and movement."

Keenly aware that the latter libel - the standard Arab depiction of the Jewish national cause since the early 1920s - might not wash well with his present cohort of Israel sympathizers, yet reluctant to disown anything he ever wrote, Morris performs his trademark textual acrobatics in an attempt to square this impossible circle. "Zionism was never, as the Arabs charged, a 'colonialist' or 'imperialist' movement," he argues, "but it did proceed by establishing colonies (moshavot) in Palestine and expanding from them outward, to encompass as much of Palestine as possible."

So it has all been a matter of misunderstood semantics. Zionism is not a colonialist movement à la the Arabs, only a movement establishing and expanding colonies. But if the Land of Israel is the historic patrimony of the Jewish people, as Morris now admits, there is surely nothing wrong in the existence of Jewish localities there. Why then should communal villages, agricultural settlements, and rural communities (as moshavot would be translated in non-archaic Hebrew) be described as colonies? By this reckoning, the 1909 establishment of Tel Aviv would also qualify as such.

The truth, of course, is that in describing Zionism as "a colonizing and expansionist ideology and movement" Morris meant precisely that: an offshoot of European imperialism at its most rapacious, which, as he put it a couple of pages later, "managed to avoid 'seeing' the Arabs, of whom there were about half a million in the country around 1880, about seven hundred thousand in 1914, and 1.25 million in 1947," in line with "the routine European colonist's mental obliteration of the 'natives'."

But Morris doesn't stop here. Having stigmatized the Zionist founding fathers as quintessential European-type colonialists, he would not discard the other part of this Arab canard, which he has been peddling for decades, namely, that they were also unreconstructed ethnic cleansers "intent on politically, or even physically, dispossessing and supplanting the Arabs."

I have been battling this defamation of Zionism's very essence for quite some time, showing time and again the extraordinary lengths to which Morris would go by way of fabricating Israeli history (see here, here, here, here, and here). I will therefore confine myself to one telling example of his professional misconduct.

In an October 1937 letter to his son David Ben-Gurion said: "We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their place. All our aspiration is built on the assumption - proven throughout all our activity - that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs." In The Birth Morris represents Ben-Gurion as saying precisely the opposite: "We must expel Arabs and take their places."

(Tellingly, in his Hebrew language writings, Morris rendered Ben-Gurion's words accurately, perhaps because he knew his readers could check the original for themselves.)

Over the years Morris was forced to concede that his "treatment of transfer thinking before 1948 was, indeed, superficial," and that he had "stretched" evidence to make his point. He even removed this quote for the revised addition of The Birth in an implicit acknowledgment of its inaccuracy, and rendered it correctly in Righteous Victims. Yet this doesn't prevent him from reiterating the ethnic cleansing canard in his American Thinker article. Only now he is not only sympathetic to this (supposed) Zionist grand design but he also argues that "had all of Palestine's Arabs crossed the Jordan River eastward in 1948 and established their own state in Transjordan, alongside a Jewish state west of the Jordan, the history of Israeli-Arab relations would have been more tranquil."

This, of course, is a euphemism for the comprehensive ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs, who obviously had no reason whatsoever to leave their homes and "cross the Jordan river eastward," where they had no chance of establishing their own state given that this territory was already an existing state: the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (latterly Jordan).

Yet this is emblematic of Morris's chameleon-like doublespeak of the past decade. Acknowledging (in his public statements) Zionism's longstanding acceptance of coexistence with the Arabs in a partitioned Palestine, yet reluctant to disown his defamation of this movement as intrinsically disposed to ethnic-cleansing, he squared these contradictory ideas in a novel manner: by condoning the practice so long as it is born of dire necessity. "[W]hen the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide - the annihilation of your people - I prefer ethnic cleansing," he explained in an infamous interview a few years ago.

You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands... Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.

Morris is, of course, perfectly entitled to express such Darwinist views, but to project this outlook onto Zionism's founding fathers, whose value system and worldview were the complete opposite, is absurd and thoroughly dishonest.

Alongside his distortion of Jewish actions during the 1948 war, Morris now whitewashes the Palestinian/Arab assault on the nascent state of Israel. He no longer speaks about "genocide" and "annihilation" as the attack's goal, but rather about a war "which the Jews believed aimed at their annihilation" and for which the Palestinians "suffered the consequences." Never mind that the entire Arab world - from Hajj Amin Husseini, leader of the Palestinian Arabs, and his top henchmen (Jamal and Abdel Qader Husseini), to Saudi King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, to the Syrian, Lebanese, and Iraqi heads of state - were openly frank about their intention to obliterate the Jewish national cause; not to mention the infamous threat by Arab League Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Azzam (on October 11, 1947) that the establishment of a Jewish state would unleash "a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades."

How is one to interpret this whitewashing? As an indication of an imminent flip flop, or as yet another customary piece of doublespeak? Be that as it may, this euphemism is far less ostentatious than the extraordinary claim that Israel colluded with the invading Arab states to prevent the birth of a Palestinian Arab state.

In his American Thinker article Morris emphatically denies that he has ever written any such thing, or that he has ever dismissed the Zionist acceptance of the November 1947 partition resolution as a ruse. Let his text speak for itself:

The acceptance of partition, in the mid-1930s as in 1947, was tactical, not a change in the Zionist dream [of "Greater Israel"] (1948 and After, p. 9)

What ensued, once Israel declared its independence on 14 May 1948 and the Arab states invaded on 15 May, was "a general land grab," with everyone - Israel, Transjordan, Syria, Egypt, and even Lebanon - bent on preventing the birth of a Palestinian Arab state and carving out chunks of Palestine for themselves. (1948 and After, p.11)

Morris is equally untruthful with his readers regarding the untold damage done by his books to the Jewish state. "Both Arabs and Jews were able, by cherry picking, to buttress their positions by selectively quoting this or that passage," he writes in his rebuttal, but his aim as a historian is ostensibly "to illuminate what happened, and let the chips fall where they may."

This self-righteous pretence couldn't be further from the truth. One would be hard pressed to find Jews cherry picking from The Birth to buttress their position, save for those who are eager to defame their own country and/or people. For why should any Jew in the right state of mind wish to cherry pick Morris's systematic defamation of the Jewish national movement and the creation of the Jewish state? As for the Arabs and their worldwide supporters - they need not cherry pick but can easily truckload scores if not hundreds of Morris (mis)quotes buttressing their cause.

In one point, however, Morris is right on spot: his historiographical fabrications continue to be massively used by Israel's enemies, and none more so than his fabricated Ben-Gurion quote "We must expel Arabs" - splashed over countless websites and twits (see, for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). To Morris, apparently, this means getting the story right.

Morris has temerity to bemoan his supposed longstanding persecution by Israel's academic and political establishments, apparently oblivious to the irony of landing a professorship at the university named after the person whose reputation he has most systematically maligned - the Ben-Gurion family, not surprisingly, protested the appointment. Nor does he seem to be perturbed by the scandalous irregularity attending his instatement - with the country's head of state riding roughshod over proper academic procedures. Most academics would welcome such "persecution."

Indeed, so deeply is Morris's self-righteous victimization complex ingrained that any doubt of his theatrical embellishments is taken as an act of war. "To me, the most offensive part of Karsh's article pertains to what happened on the main thoroughfare of Kingsway, London, on my way to a lecture last month at the LSE," he laments. "Karsh wrote that instead of 'debating' with the thugs in the street, I made my way 'like a criminal,' unresponsively, to the LSE lecture."

I wrote no such thing. Rather, I quoted the account of one of the activists who confronted Morris on the street before attending his lecture, published on a London-based pro-Palestinian website, to which I provided the relevant link. This, however, is an integral, indeed elementary part of accurate reporting. Since the incident was not relayed by an independent source of information but only by Morris himself, I had to weigh his account against that of his (admittedly politicized) critics. My familiarity with campus life in the UK and Morris's tenuous relationship with facts leads me to doubt his version of events, not least since his lecture, by his own account (it was videotaped, hence its description had to conform to reality to a greater extent) passed smoothly - despite the presence in the audience of some of the "Muslim thugs" accosting him in the street who took part in the "lengthy Q and A" that followed the lecture. As one of them described:

Morris took questions in blocks of three for about an hour. This enabled him to evade many questions altogether, or give only part replies... As time went on Morris seemed to become more flippant with his responses - wrongly playing to what he thought the audience wanted. This clearly angered many in the audience; and shouts of "Answer the Question" became frequent and loud. At one point Morris referred to the Palestine Papers and dismissed these as US diplomatic cables; he repeated again they were US diplomatic cables which caused huge laughter and anger in equal proportions from the audience. Audience members pointed out loudly that the Palestine Papers were internal documents of the Palestinian Authority and [had] nothing to do with US diplomatic cables. Not for the first time during the evening Morris's factual foundations were found to be rotten.

It is true that Morris was called racist (a fact readily admitted by his critics, who handed out flyers containing a string of his more damning quotes), perhaps even a fascist. But these have been standard pejoratives on western campuses for decades. Israeli students use the F word in their political exchanges as a matter of course; Israeli academics routinely badmouth right-of-center politicians and peers as fascists; leftist students at Ben-Gurion University, Morris's home institution, were photographed giving Heil Hitler Nazi salutes to pro-Zionist students at a campus rally. Morris himself has repeatedly defamed Ben-Gurion (among other Zionist leaders) as an unreconstructed ethnic cleanser - a far harsher indictment than fascist. Surely he can take a few drops of his own medicine without evoking Nazi metaphors or prophesying the looming end of British and West European way of life.

The Book of Proverbs famously quips that "He that hideth his sins, shall not prosper: but he that shall confess, and forsake them, shall obtain mercy." Morris has neither confessed nor forsaken his anti-Israel writings and has, moreover, hidden them behind a smoke screen of simultaneous pro-Israel rhetoric. Yet he has prospered, big time. As another biblical verse puts it: "Eyes have they, but they see not."

Efraim Karsh is research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King's College London, director of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia), and author, most recently, of Palestine Betrayed.

"Slow Progress"

Arlene Kushner

Before discussing news tonight, I want to share information about a group in Jerusalem called "Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech" which is dedicated to sharing information about the importance of a Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty.

The group offers eye-opening tours of eastern Jerusalem which I strongly recommend if you're visiting here. You'll learn a great deal and very likely come away with a brand-new perspective.Four-hour tours will be offered on August 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 22, 24, 29 -- and possibly other times, as there is a demand. For more complete information write or call Russell (0)50 238 7260 (drop the first 0 outside of Israel). A 100 shekel donation will be recommended, and it is well worth it.


The progress? I am seeing it on several fronts, along with the routine quota of frustration and disgust.

First, more signs that we are not alone.

This past week, in the words of Anne Bayefsky of Eye on the UN, the UN "quietly circulated a draft of the final declaration that will be adopted at the conclusion of Durban III. Although the writing had been on the wall for a very long time, the alarm bells could no longer be ignored. The 'political declaration' focuses particularly on what it calls 'victims of racism.' And the Durban Declaration emanating from South Africa names only one state victimizer – Israel. The Palestinian people are listed as victims of racism."

You can read Bayefsky's full description of what's going on with regard to Durban III at:

But the net result, and a key point of her piece, is that, "The Czech Republic rightly decided they’d had enough." The Czechs pulled out. Only Canada, Israel and the US had done so until this point.


Now we learn from Eye on the UN that Italy and the Netherlands have also pulled out. Apparently this happened just today. The Dutch had specifically requested that Durban III include a statement that "all participating states emphatically distance themselves from the linking of subjects that have nothing to do with the fight against racism." This was ignored.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has stated that “The [Durban] Process has been transformed … into a tribunal for accusations against Israel.”

Let's hope this snowballs.


Another small step in the right direction, this time in terms of Israel's domestic political situation, is this:

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) has put forth a bill that would allow museums in Judea and Samaria to apply for government funding. This sounds like a small matter, but it is not.

Judea and Samaria are not part of Israel proper, never having been annexed or had Israeli civil law applied. These areas are under military jurisdiction and in all cases rules and laws that apply within the Green Line do not necessarily apply in Judea and Samaria.

This is a small and very conscious step towards making the laws the same, at least in Jewish areas, on both sides of the Green Line.

MK Ariel says he has come to believe that the best way to advance the notion of full annexation of Judea and Samaria is via these small steps. And so, to initiate the process, he began with this legislation on museums. It has received government backing and the explicit approval of Limor Livnat, Minister of Culture and Sports, and passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset by 51 to 9. It still has several hoops to jump through before becoming a law

MK Ariel says that every week a legislator will propose an amendment to existing laws that do not apply to Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, so that in the end they would be applicable.

Right on!


A brief comment here -- this is something I will return to in greater detail several times, without a doubt.

There is now a movement towards annexation of Judea and Samaria -- something I applaud. In fact, I deeply regret that this wasn't done in 1967.

But it is my own opinion that, at this juncture, the ultimate form that this will take has yet to be fully thought through. There are differing opinions here, different ways we might move, and there is a great deal of examination and exploration that needs to go into final decision making.

Among the possibilities is the annexation of the areas where Jewish communities are located, possibly with further annexation to follow; annexation of all of Area C as specified under Oslo -- which is area fully under Israeli control; or all of Judea and Samaria. If it is everything from the river to the sea, then the question is how the Arabs living in these areas would be handled -- full citizenship, local autonomy, enfranchisement via Jordan. There are several proposals.

What matters now is that the Israeli electorate (yes, there are Israeli citizens who are oblivious) and the world at large should start to understand Israeli rights in this area and to see Israeli sovereignty -- in precisely whatever form it ultimately takes -- as not only viable, but the best possible solution. Then it becomes time to examine the various options, while doing education.


As to frustrations and disgust:

There has been flip-flopping with regard to the business of Israel doing some sort of truncated apology to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident. A news report indicating that the government was giving this consideration is what I wrote about the other day. It was followed by a statement to journalists by Minister of Security Affairs Moshe Ya'alon, who said he did not see the possibility of reconciliation with Turkey and did not believe that Israel should comply with Turkish demands.

Thank goodness! I thought. A bit of sanity.

But, I was premature. While Ya'alon said that Israel was not ready to apologize (i.e., no decision to do so had been made) he indicated that he had voiced his own opinion, and that debate on this might still take place in the government.



But if the above would be called frustrating, what follows here falls more in the "disgusting" category:

It wasn't so long ago that Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that the party was over and privileges for terrorist prisoners would be cut in the face of Hamas intransigence with regard to Gilad Shalit. That announcement, long over due, was most welcome.

But now a Prison Service representative has reported to the Knesset that most privileges are still being enjoyed by the terrorists. The only thing that has been taken away is the right to secure a degree while in prison. They apparently still have TV in their rooms, access to Internet and cell phones, etc. etc.

This was always an unacceptable situation, but is doubly so now.

What seems to be the case is the fear of prison riots. And if this indeed is so, it is deplorable. We have to be afraid of them? Unfortunately, fear of Arab violence influences government decisions not infrequently.


I refer above to the issue of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Recently I reported in some detail on a mini-conference on this subject held in Jerusalem. Now videos of the talks of three of the four speakers of that evening -- Caroline Glick, Danny Dayan and Mordecai Kedar -- have been made available by the Center for Security Policy.

(With thanks to Daled Amos for this information.)

I note here that this past week a mini-conference on the same issue was held in Hevron. I was not at that gathering; if I secure information I will be delighted to share it.


A great deal more will follow tomorrow.


© 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.