Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Case for a United Jerusalem

Ted Belman

I also responded to the Seidemann article referred to below by writing If I Forget Thee O Jerusalem…

By Nathan Diament, THE ATLANTIC

Dividing the holy city as part of a final-status agreement between Israelis and Palestinians ignores key realities on the ground

Proponents of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict often insist that the only way to resolve competing claims over the holy city of Jerusalem is to divide it, with each half respectively serving as the capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state. Those who advocate this approach often try to make it more palatable by asserting, as Terrestrial Jerusalem founder Daniel Seidemann recently wrote in The Atlantic, that while many Israelis speak of Jerusalem being a “united” city since its eastern half came under Israeli sovereignty in 1967, such a perception is a “myth” because, in fact, Jerusalem is divided between largely homogeneous and internally contiguous Jewish and Arab neighborhoods across which the two groups rarely venture. Thus, they argue, a border could be drawn relatively easily along demographic lines, re-dividing the city between the two states. 9-11 Ten Years Later
The reality, however, is that Jerusalem today is a demographically intertwined city. To be sure, there are neighborhoods, particularly east of the security barrier, where Jews seldom venter. But modern-day Jerusalem is far more an interwoven checkerboard of Jewish and Palestinian enclaves. The Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa, for example, lies between the Jewish neighborhoods of Talpiot and Gilo, while the Arab neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah lies between the Old City and the Jewish neighborhood of French Hill. Separating these neighborhoods between two countries would create an unwieldy and unsustainable border. While creative solutions have been proposed to ensure that a re-divided Jerusalem would remain interconnected, as any urban center must to thrive, experience shows that divided cities, such as Berlin and Baghdad, are fragile at best and combustible at worst.

One significant reason against dividing Jerusalem is that many of the Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem wish to remain under Israeli sovereignty. Recent polling indicates that, despite the fact that municipal resources and services have not been evenly allocated between Jewish and Arab Jerusalem segments of the city, a plurality of Palestinians residing in eastern sections of Jerusalem would move from Palestinian Jerusalem to Israeli Jerusalem, if given the opportunity, should the city be re-divided. According to one of the pollsters:

For most Palestinians who said they wanted to be citizens of Israel, approximately 35 percent said it was practical issues that dominate — freedom of movement, higher income, health insurance, job opportunities, prosperity, more shops…

People were concerned that if they became a citizen of Palestine, they had significant worries about losing employment in Israel, free movement in Israel, Israeli health care, and reduction in city services. …

Three-quarters of east Jerusalem Arabs are at least a little concerned, and more than half are more than a little concerned, that they would lose their ability to write and speak freely if they became citizens of a Palestinian state rather than remaining under Israeli control.

But more contentious than the fate of Jerusalem’s residential neighborhoods is the debate over the fate of the Old City – home to Judaism’s holiest sites and among Islam’s holiest sites. On a practical level, dividing the Old City along demographic lines would put Jewish holy sites on the Palestinian side and Muslim holy sites on the Israeli side. Israelis are understandably cautious about putting these sites solely under Arab control; when Arabs last controlled the Old City, from 1948 to 1967, Jews were barred from access.

To address this concern, numerous groups have proposed “special arrangements,” such as international or joint Israeli-Palestinian administration over the Old City, to ensure protection of and access to these sites. But these proposals rely on international community support and enforcement to guarantee security and access, which Israel has legitimate grounds to doubt given the lackluster performance of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Sinai (who evacuated their posts in the lead-up to the June 1967 War) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) along Israel’s northern border (who have failed in their mandate to prevent the re-arming of Hezbollah). Furthermore, the international community has consistently shown little regard for the Jewish attachment to holy sites, most recently seen in UNESCO’s 2010 declaration that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is “an integral part of the Palestinian territories.”

An additional problem with “special arrangement” proposals is that they tend to require more intimate and extensive cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians rather than granting the “divorce” from one another that both sides seem to be seeking through a peace deal. And this cooperation must succeed in the most sensitive of all locations.

Unlike these untested proposals, Israel has proven over the past four decades that its authority over all of Jerusalem can ensure protection of and access to holy sites. Since Jerusalem was reunited in 1967, pilgrims of all faiths have generally been allowed to visit the holy places of all religions. Muslim mosques, even those built atop the mount where Judaism’s Holy Temple once stood, operate relatively freely – and under Islamic religious oversight. While some might contest that Israel does periodically place security restrictions upon entrance to holy sites, free access is the default policy under Israeli rule.

But resolving the status of the Old City of Jerusalem is not just about geography nor about the practicalities of access to a single site; it is deeply intertwined with questions of national identity, history, and theology. Proposals for joint sovereignty, deferred sovereignty, or even divine sovereignty ignore the deep-rooted significance of the holy city. The search for a “split the difference” compromise also ignores the fact that the Old City of Jerusalem has been the national capital of the Jewish people for the past 3000 years and is Judaism’s holiest site, while it is Mecca that plays that role for Muslims. The international community would never expect the Islamic world to cede sovereignty over Mecca; the Jewish people ought to be accorded no less respect with regard to the Old City of Jerusalem.

One reason peace in the Middle East has not yet been possible is because most efforts to achieve it have been aspirational but untethered from reality. It is clear that re-dividing Jerusalem is neither feasible nor prudent. The international community must take off the table the option of dividing Jerusalem, in the same way that they have ended the debate over a “right of return” to Israel for Palestinian refugees. A sustainable peace can only be achieved with the entirety of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Germany's New Islamic Centers

Soeren Kern

One of the oldest universities in Germany has opened the country's first taxpayer-funded department of Islamic theology.

The Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Tübingen was inaugurated on January 16 and is the first of four planned Islamic university centers in Germany.

The German government claims that by controlling the curriculum, the school, which is to train Muslim imams and Islamic religion teachers, will function as an antidote to "hate preachers."

Most imams currently in Germany are from Turkey and many of them do not speak German.

German Education Minister Annette Schavan, who attended the opening ceremony, said the Islamic center was a "milestone for integration" for the 4.3 million Muslims who now live in Germany.

But the idea has been fiercely criticized by those who worry the school will become a gateway for Islamists who will introduce a hardline brand of Islam into the German university system. The three professors who will be teaching at the department (eventually there will be six full professorships) had to satisfy an Islamic advisory council that they were devout Muslims.

One of the professors is Omar Hamdan, a Sunni Muslim, says that critical analysis into whether the Islamic Koran was actually written by God is "completely out of the question." Pointing to double standards, some of those opposed to the center say there should be critical distance between text and interpreter, as when Christianity is taught in German universities.

Critics also fear that conservative Islamic organizations will exert their influence over teaching and research at the center. There are only two independent experts on the advisory board of the Tübingen center. The other five individuals belong to groups such as the Turkish-Islamic Union for Islamic Affairs (DITIB), which is a branch of the Turkish government.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses DITIB to control over 900 mosques in Germany -- to prevent Turkish immigrants from integrating into German society.

During a trip to Germany in November 2011, Erdogan said that Berlin's insistence that immigrants who want to live in Germany must integrate and learn the German language is "against human rights."

In February 2011, Erdogan told a crowd of more than 10,000 Turkish immigrants: "We are against assimilation. No one should be able to rip us away from our culture and civilization." In 2008, he also said, "assimilation is a crime against humanity" and urged the Turkish immigrants there to resist assimilation into the West.

In March 2010, Erdogan called on Germany open Turkish-language grade schools and high schools, presumably to be controlled by DITIB.

Previously, Erdogan had said: "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers..." -- a declaration many interpreted as a call for the Islamization of Europe.

Aside from the center in Tübingen, Islamic theology departments are also set to open in 2012 in Münster/Osnabrück, Erlangen/Nürnberg and Frankfurt/Gießen.

The German government will pay the salaries for professors and other staff at all four Islamic centers for the next five years, at a total cost of €20 million ($25 million).

According to the Education Ministry, over the next few years Germany will have a demand for more than 2,000 teachers of Islam, who will be needed to instruct more than 700,000 Muslim children.

Germany is opening its doors to Islam at a time when its government is also cracking down on those who criticize Muslim immigration and the Islamization of Europe.

Less than a week before the Tübingen Islamic center was inaugurated, it came to light that the German domestic intelligence agency -- the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) -- is looking into whether German citizens who criticize Muslims and Islam are fomenting hate and are thus criminally guilty of "breaching" the German constitution.

The BfV's move marks a significant setback for the exercise of free speech in Germany.

The issue has become part of the larger debate over the question of Muslim immigration and the establishment of a parallel Islamic society in Germany.

In November 2011, the German Federal Ministry of the Family released a 160-page report, "Forced Marriages in Germany: Numbers and Analysis of Counseling Cases," which revealed that thousands of young women and girls in Germany are victims of forced marriages every year. Most of the victims come from Muslim families; many have been threatened with violence and often death.

In September 2011, a new book "Judges Without Law: Islamic Parallel Justice Endangers Our Constitutional State," disclosed that Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in all of Germany's big cities. The book argues that this "parallel justice system" is undermining the rule of law in Germany as Muslim imams are settling criminal cases out of court, without the involvement of German prosecutors or lawyers, before Germany's law enforcement can bring the cases to a German court.

That same month, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich revealed that Germany is home to some 1,000 Islamic radicals who are potential terrorists. He said many of these home-grown Islamists are socially alienated Muslim youths who are being inflamed by German-language Islamist propaganda that promotes hatred of the West. In some instances, the extremists are being encouraged to join sleeper cells and one day to "awaken" and commit terrorist attacks in Germany and elsewhere.

Back in Tübingen, Education Minister Schavan says she is "placing a lot of trust" in the new Islamic center, which she hopes will "contribute to the further development of Islamic theology."

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.

How Circumstance Dictates Islamic Behavior

Raymond Ibrahim
on Jan 20th, 2012

Has there ever been a time when one group of people openly exposes its animosity for another group of people—even as this second group not only ignores the animosity, but speaks well, enables, and legitimizes the first group?

Welcome to the 21st century, where Western politicians empower those Muslims who are otherwise constantly and openly denouncing all non-Muslims as enemies to be fought and subjugated.

Consider this video of Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami, a top-ranked figure in Egypt’s Salafi movement which won some 25% of the votes in recent elections. He makes clear a point that, in a different era, would be thoroughly eye-opening: that all notions of peace with non-Muslims are based on circumstance. When Muslims are weak, they should be peaceful; when strong, they should go on the offensive.

Discussing “the analogy between Egypt’s Christians and the Jews of Medina,” Burhami pointed out that Muslims may make temporary peace with infidels, when circumstance calls for it: The Jews of Medina represent a paradigm—laid by the prophet [Muhammad]—that shows how Muslims should deal with infidels. The prophet’s methods of dealing with infidels are available for Muslims to replicate depending on their situation and their capabilities. The Prophet in Mecca dealt with the infidels in a certain way, so whenever Muslims are vulnerable they should deal with the infidels in this same manner.

Burhami is referring to the famous Mecca/Medina division: when Muhammad was weak and outnumbered in his early Mecca period, he preached peace and made pacts with infidels; when he became strong in the Medina period, he preached war and went on the offensive. This dichotomy—preach peace when weak, wage war when strong—has been instructive to Muslims for ages.

After quoting Koran 4:77, “Refrain from action, uphold prayers, and pay your zakat,” Burhami continues:

In many infidel countries, such as occupied Palestine, we instruct Muslims to do just that [follow Koran 4:77]. Today in Gaza, we do not tell Muslims to launch rockets everyday and so destroy the country, but we tell them “Refrain from action and respect the truce.” When the Prophet first arrived in Medina, he made conciliation with the Jews, conciliation without jizya [i.e., equal-term conciliation without forcing Jews to pay tribute and live as second-class dhimmis]—this is a pattern that can be followed whenever circumstances dictate. However, when they breached the covenant he fought them and ultimately imposed jizya on the People of the Book [Jews and Christians]. Nor is this Sura [Koran 9:29] abrogated; it is acknowledged and agreed upon.
Burhami exposes much here, beginning with the Koran verse he quotes: when weak, Muslims are to “refrain from action”—but “pay your zakat,” which, among other things, funds the jihad. Also, as Muhammad made peace with the Jews of Medina, without making them submit to jizya (tribute to be paid “while utterly subdued”), so too are Palestinians allowed to make temporary peace with Israel. In both cases, circumstance—namely, Muslim weakness—justify it. But, when capability allows, Koran 9:29—which calls for jizya and subjugation, and which Burhami quotes as having abrogated the other peaceful verses—takes over.

Burhami’s conclusion:

Yes we can deal with those Christians [Egypt’s Copts] as the Jews were dealt with in Medina; it is an option. The Prophet made the Hudaybiya Reconciliation with the infidels and held a truce for ten years; that is also an option…. So, it is legitimate to choose from examples set by the Prophet, depending on what suits the situation of Muslims now.

In short, Muslims may be tolerant of Egypt’s Copts now, and not collect jizya and place them in dhimmitude, until they are more capable—just like Palestinians may make peace with Israel now, till they are more capable of waging an offensive. Indeed, Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni—the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, which won 40% of the votes—reportedly said that Copts would not pay jizya now, implying that the idea of collecting tribute from subdued “dhimmi” Copts is very much alive among the Brotherhood, only dormant till a more opportune moment.

One may argue that Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami—“one man,” a “radical”—is not representative of “true Islam.” The problem, however, is that all his arguments have been made countless times by countless Muslims, including the most authoritative, throughout the ages. Even the late Yasser Arafatevoked Hudaybiya as representative of “peace” with Israel.

And yet, despite all this—despite the fact that this video is a drop in the bucket of evidence—here is the West, making the way clear for people like Burhami to power in the name of “democracy,” regardless that pacts, smiles, and handshakes over cups of coffee exist solely when circumstance, in this case, Muslim weakness, dictates.

Young Jews are Pro-Israel

Mitchell Bard

Jerusalem Post

Today, it has become popular to malign young Jews and to suggest that they are turning away from Israel. We hear that they have been turned off to Israel by policies of the Israeli government and have become increasingly supportive of the Palestinians. Those of us who work with students know this is rubbish and now a new poll provides evidence that young Jews feel close to Israel, have little sympathy for the Palestinians, are hawkish on peace issues, and don't believe public criticism of the government advocated by Jews on the far left is helpful.

The nationwide poll of 400 Jewish college students sponsored by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and The Israel Project found:

90% agree that Israel is the spiritual center of the Jewish people.

83% said caring about Israel is an important part of being Jewish.

73% said American and Israeli Jews share a common destiny.

89% have warm/favorable feelings toward Israel.

78% sympathize with Israel vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

84% think America should support Israel. To further drive a stake in the idea that young Jews feel less connected to Israel than their elders, we can compare our results to the findings of the American Jewish Committee’s latest national poll. The AJC found that 68% of American Jews feel close to Israel and 31% said they feel very close. In the AICE/TIP survey, 66% of college students said they feel close to Israel and 26% answered very close.

Jewish students also have positive associations with Israel. When asked for a word to describe Israel, they chose words such as “Homeland,” “Jewish,” “Home,” “Strong,” and “Beautiful.”

By contrast, young Jews have mostly negative views toward the Palestinians. Only 15% of Jews rated their feelings toward the Palestinians as warm or favorable, only 2% said they sympathize with the Palestinians and only 1% think America should side with the Palestinians.

Jewish students are also relatively hawkish on final status issues. For example,

· 54% oppose a Palestinian state (only 27% support one).
· 62% say Jerusalem should stay under Israeli control; only 11% favor dividing the city.
· 47% favor dismantling some or all of the settlements; however, more Jews say no settlements should be dismantled (32%) than favor dismantling all of them (6%).

Young Jews also do not buy into the far left view that American Jews should express greater criticism of Israel. Nearly half (47%) the Jewish students said American Jews should support Israel and the policies of its democratically elected government and should express their disagreements privately; only 37% thought American Jews should speak out publicly against policies with which they disagree. A majority (58%) agreed that American Jews and Israelis have different experiences, knowledge, responsibilities and audiences and, therefore, criticism of Israeli policy by Israelis does not justify criticism of Israeli policy by American Jews in the United States.

To preempt the charge that the survey was biased toward more conservative Orthodox Jews, a plurality of the sample were Reform (43%) another 29% were Conservative and only 15% said they were Orthodox.

The traditional American Jewish position is that the people of Israel, who must live with the consequences of decisions regarding peace and security, and must send their children to defend the state, should decide their own fate, and that we should respect the views of their elected representatives. Many self-appointed arbiters of Israel’s national interest take the fundamentally anti-democratic view that American Jews have to save Israel from itself because Israeli Jews and their elected representatives are too stupid, immature or otherwise flawed to know what’s good for their country.

Arab lobbyists often claim there is a Jewish conspiracy to silence their sage opinions, when in fact the public and decision makers reject their views as contrary to the national interest. Similarly, Jews on the far left (and often the far right) are frustrated that their minority views are rejected by the overwhelming majority of American Jews, including younger Jews.

Students today are as passionate toward Israel as their parents and identify with traditional pro-Israel groups. If Jews are alienated, it is less likely a result of Israeli policy than ignorance and a lack of a solid Jewish foundation. The Jewish students who went to a Jewish school or camp, were involved in Jewish youth groups, had a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, were involved in a campus organization and visited Israel are the most pro-Israel.

The bottom line is that young Jews are not turning away from Israel. The way to make them feel closer is not to encourage them to criticize their homeland, it is to take them there and to expose them to more Jewish life experiences.

Mitchell Bard is a foreign policy analyst whose latest book is The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the M

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So You Want a Revolution...

Sultan Knish

The lawyer has more in common with the prosecutor than he does with his clients and Republican and Democratic politicians have more in common with each other than they do with the people who come out to support them and vote for them. The hopes of ordinary people for the future, their ability to earn a living and their fears are only a job to the politician.

This doesn't mean that politicians are villains, only that like the police officer and the ER nurse, other people's urgent calls are just another day at work for them. Mediating them and dealing with them day in and day out gives them a different perspective that is detached from the present and rooted in the realities of their profession. The police officer and the nurse know that everything is an emergency, that everyone has problems all the time and that it's never really the end of the world. Cynicism comes with the job. So does seeing they people they encounter as foolish folk who have trouble taking care of themselves and have to come to them for help. That detachment leaves them with more in common with those who walk on the night side of human events than it does with the people who come to them for help.

Professional politics breeds cynicism more thoroughly than spending your nights answering domestic abuse calls or patching together the victims of drunken brawls. Like them politics is a profession founded on idealism, but the idealism in much harder to sustain because it rarely survives the first practice of professional politics. It's possible to work in the ER or patrol the late nights streets of an urban city without losing the belief that medicine and law enforcement are noble professions, but continuing to believe that politics is a noble profession after a year in congress is all but impossible.

Politics is a profession with a practice that runs completely counter to its ideals. The best politicians believe nothing they say. Whatever commitments they make to the voters are left behind once they enter the white halls of government. Like police officers who are forced to become criminals in order to do their job right, they discover that the practice of their profession requires the comprehensive corruption of their ideals. Only by discarding their principles and commitments can they actually get the things they want to do done.

The successful politician does not believe in absolutes except when he is delivering a speech intended for the ears of the voters, what he knows to be true is that everyone has a price at which a bargain can be made. For all that the image of legislators and executives is of men and women standing against marble backgrounds and taking a stand, the real life version is of a bazaar where everyone is trying to make a deal while doing their best to be outraged by the other side's offer.

"Forty billion dollars for clean energy subsidies? Ridiculous. My family will starve and my children will have to beg in the streets! Forty-two billion? Now that's more reasonable. Make it forty-three and I'll give you that cowboy poetry festival and steel tariff you wanted."

Think of Washington D.C. and every state capital and every local bunch of elected officials as a Middle Eastern bazaar and you come close to the truth. And while this system works well enough when stocks are limited, when the merchants can dispose of unlimited assets that they don't own and drive their constituents deep into debt to pay for their latest deals, then the real nightmare arrives.

The right has spent a lot of time trying to win elections and sent a lot of horse traders to Washington, and for the most part missed the point of what the left had done. The left does not win elections all that often and even its prize politicians are generally not as left as they pretend to be. What the left did was take over institutions and set the base exchange price in the bazaar that politicians from both sides had to meet. That base price became the "moderate" consensus that everyone has to abide by.

Shifting the exchange price allows the left to control what deals get made. It takes certain products entirely off the table. Mainstream positions from ten years ago become too extreme even for the GOP and completely unacceptable positions that no mainstream Democrat would have run on ten years ago become the consensus. This doesn't happen because anyone takes a vote. Most votes just push through whatever the consensus is.

Politics is based around a consensus. The left does not operate on a consensus, it is a revolutionary movement and it works by subverting the consensus and presenting its revolutionary position as the new consensus. All that is left for the politicians then is to affirm the new consensus. This has happened over and over again in the lifetimes of even the youngest person reading this article and the process has been accelerating lately because it s a revolutionary process.

There are two types of conservative politicians. Gatekeepers and revolutionaries. The gatekeepers are consensus builders, they talk a great deal about traditional values, and are elected to keep change out. This defensive strategy is a dead end because the real changes are happening outside the direct purview of the gatekeepers, who usually lack the imagination and courage to do anything about them. When the left pushes hard enough, the gatekeepers fold and add the new order of things into their panoply of American values.

The gatekeepers will put up a vigorous show of fighting gay marriage and then ten years later they will proclaim gay marriage as the embodiment of our family values. They will make a great show of fighting Global Warming legislation, and then five years later they will say that our courage to confront climate change is the deepest sign of our values of responsibility for the world around us.

Gatekeepers often don't believe anything they say. They believe some of it, but not very vehemently, and they lack the imagination to think of anything else. Expecting them to intelligently counter the left's cultural warfare is absolutely hopeless. At their best they put on a superior smirk and dismiss it as ridiculous, only to concede it when the debate has flanked them and the voters are no longer firmly in their traditional corner.

The Republican Party is full of gatekeepers. There are a great many of them who have been defending traditional values and will go on defending traditional values, even though they cannot begin to explain what traditional values are and why they defend them except in circular self-defining terms. Traditional values and American exceptionalism are their goal and as the goal posts keep moving, so do they.

Revolutionaries are rarer. They are dangerous and explosive. Sometimes they are erratic. They are full of ideas, determined and unwilling to compromise. They rarely make good politicians, but sometimes they make very explosive ones. Find the political leader whom the rest of the party hates and can't wait to get rid of for his obstructionism and sabotage of the gatekeeper agenda, and you may have found a revolutionary.

The revolutionaries cannot transform this mess or turn back the clock solely through their elected office, but they can dismantle the power bases of the other side and they can support and help create counterbalancing institutions. But their most valuable contribution is a refusal to accept the consensus, they refuse to do business at the exchange price set for them by the left.

There are few things more powerful and liberating than spitting in the face of authority, tearing down the sacred symbols and violation the taboos of those in power. In a democracy political power is based on a consensus. Defying that consensus, trivializing that consensus and walking all over it gets you called an extremist, but if you do it right then you have weakened the psychological power of the establishments over the minds of men.

Defiance is the fundamental virtue of the revolutionary. The left defied the accepted norms and values of America, and that defiance paved the way for a cultural revolution. The power of the left will never be broken until the right defies their values and norms the same way. Until it publicly destroys, mocks and violates everything that they consider sacred in the spirit of revolution.

Revolutions begin as culture wars against the established order and they connect cultural defiance to political change. The fundamental message of every revolution is a defiance of authority and if the revolution succeeds then those in power are forced to give way and accede to change. It can be done. That populist spirit is out there, it is abroad in the Tea Party, it is there in blogs and social media, and even occasionally on talk radio. But all that goes to waste empowering a political establishment of gatekeepers who sometimes talk like revolutionaries, but don't act like revolutionaries.

In a New York Times book review, Sheri Berman wondered, "Why, in an era of extreme unemployment, rising inequality and social dislocation, is it the right rather than the left that generated a movement like the Tea Party? Why are mass protests railing against tax increases rather than demanding more progressive and activist government?"

The answer is transparently obvious. Because it is the left that is in power. Why bother demanding an activist and progressive government when we already have one of those? At most the left can demand a "more" activist and progressive government, but how enthusiastic can protesters be about calling for more authority and more power for the existing system? That is why OWS was basically incoherent, it was little more than a loincloth for the naked emperor already sitting on his throne and looking for the plebes to cry out for more chains.

The revolution of the left is the stratified revolution of Barack Obamas and Elizabeth Warrens, greedy political activists feeding at the watering hole of government and crying out for more. More power. More laws. More chains. Parse the rhetoric and all you get is the powerful demanding that we give them more power. This revolution of the greedy and corrupt would already be dead if it had not used the momentum of its ideological fervor to embed itself into every institution and seize control of the educational system and the cultural dialogue to program succeeding generations to give it even more power.

The time is ripe for a true cultural and political revolution of the right, but that revolution has been hijacked over and over again by the gatekeepers who warn us that it's time to play nice, that we must think of the long game, that some issues have already been lost and we need to fight only for the core issues that matter to them lest we alienate people. The long march never ends in a last stand, only another tactical withdrawal on issue after issue.

The establishment, which does not care about anything but its very narrow agenda of limited deregulation while protecting some forms of spending that benefit them, will win or lose again, without making too much of a difference. Even if it loses then there will be enough votes in congress to get some of what it wants done and the money will be there to try again with an even more content free candidate who will preach a form of American exceptionalism and traditional values absolutely indistinguishable from the political positions of President Clinton, or by then maybe even Obama.

Every time we bow our heads to the consensus, self-censor ourselves to stay within our prison bars and execute another tactical withdrawal to fight for some last vestige of our program that really matters, the power of the left continues to grow.

The power of the left is not political. Its political power is the least of what it is. It leverages its cultural dominance to enforce a political consensus. It uses its grip on power through government and non-governmental institutions to impose regulations and laws that politicians from both parties end up signing on to. It is an establishment, an incarnation of the power and privilege of a fossilized ideology built to destroy the country, but leveraged to give its leading members and some of its base a taste of the really good life while the whole edifice of civilization slides down the cliff.

It is important to elect conservative politicians, even feeble ones, not because they are good for anything, but because at the least they can serve as sandbags against the tide. The sandbags will not stop the tide, but they might slow it down. It is vitally important to elect revolutionary conservatives who don't just deliver platitudes, but show that they have the fire in their bellies to confront the left. And it is even more important to undermine the values and institutions of the left. It can be difficult to undermine institutions, but anyone can undermine the values of the left by saying the politically incorrect thing.

Revolutions begin with an open contempt for and anger at the existing order. The left knows that. It is why it fears talk radio and populism more than it fears the latest set of dapper gatekeepers we send to the Senate. The contempt and anger are here, the more they go public, the more the power of the left is shaken. And the next step is to expand the cultural war to a specific disrespect and hostility for the values and sacred cows of the left. Then to challenge their institutions and regulations. And then real political change can begin with candidates who are revolutionaries because they believe it, or because they are operating under a new paradigm that is outside the left's manufactured consensus.

Most of the elements are already in place. The consensus establishment is making its last stand, but it is fading. It is now a race between shaping public anger into a vehicle for political change and the speed at which the left is transforming and fragmenting the country to prevent a political revolution of the right from ever coming about. May we be swift for if the left wins the race then it is the end of America.

'Muslim Brotherhood site rife with anti-Semitism'

01/19/2012 regularly features Holocaust denial, condemnations of Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

The Arabic website of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is rife with anti- Semitic and anti-Israel content, according to a recent report by a USbased media monitoring group.

The report found that the Islamist group’s website,, regularly features articles denying the Holocaust and warning Muslims against the covetous and exploitative nature of the “Jewish character.” Other articles extol jihad and martyrdom, condemn Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and denounce negotiations as means for regaining lands lost by Islam. The study was published last week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a non-profit group that monitors and translates Arabic and Farsi media. Based in Washington, it was founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon, an Israeli former intelligence official, adviser and diplomat.

The Brotherhood has emerged as the biggest winner from the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak, taking some 45 percent of votes in recent elections for the lower house of parliament. In the 11 months since Mubarak’s ouster, however, the Brotherhood has issued contradictory signals over its willingness to maintain the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

Early this month Dr. Rashad Bayoumi, its deputy leader, told Arabic media the group would never recognize the Jewish state.

“This is not an option, whatever the circumstances, we do not recognize Israel at all. It’s an occupying criminal enemy.”

A week later, Essam Al-Arian, deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), assured The New York Times the party would in fact honor the agreement.

MEMRI’s latest report, however, gives no indication the Brotherhood has changed the virulently anti- Semitic, anti-Western rhetoric that has characterized the movement for more than eight decades.

One common motif on the Brotherhood’s site is “Jewish character” and its supposed history of sowing evil in the world.

In May 2010, following Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid, a writer named Mahmoud Abd Al-Rahman wrote on the website, “For ages, human society has faced the problem of the Zionist Jewish character. All nations and cultures are in agreement over the nature of the disease intrinsic in the Zionist character... namely sanctification of money, sex, robbery, interest and treachery.”

“We saw this in pharaonic Egypt, and in the Canaanite, Amalekite, Babylonian, Persian and Roman [eras],” he wrote. “During the pharaonic era, it was written on the tomb of [the pharaoh] Marnephtah, ‘The Egyptians have annihilated the Zionists.’”

Since Mubarak’s exit the Brotherhood has sought to to position itself to Western media as a moderate, pragmatic movement dedicated to promoting a prosperous, tolerant Egypt. But the last 11 months have seen no appreciable change in tone when addressing their constituents in their native language.

In June of last year, a sermon posted on Ikhwanonline by Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie said, “Allah warned us against the deceit of the Jews and their dangerous role in sparking wars... The war in Sudan and its division are their handiwork; the internal struggle and war among the Palestinians is [part] of their plan.”

Two months later, Muhammad Ali Dabour, a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and lecturer at Cairo University, wrote on the website: “Throughout all of history, the Jews have failed to keep their word. They always employ a double standard and act in their own interests, even if it means destroying the entire world.”

“Breaking agreements and treaties is easier for them than drinking water or breathing air. Such are the Jews. Such is Jewish nature. Though they flatter, act hypocritically, and embitter the entire world, we Muslims must not be deceived by them,” Dabour wrote.

Another common theme on the website, the report found, is Holocaust denial.

Fathi Shihab, the official responsible for the Brotherhood’s labor dossier, wrote in 2010 that the Holocaust is a “tale” Israel uses as political leverage. In reference to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, he wrote, “The entire world, and Germany in particular, has become yearly scapegoats of world Zionism, and has capitulated to the greatest political extortion in history.”

The Holocaust, he added, was “invented by the American intelligence apparatuses with the Allies’ collaboration during World War II, in order to harm the image of their German adversaries and justify the great destructive war against the Axis countries’ military and civilian installations.”

The article approvingly cites three French Holocaust deniers – Robert Faurisson, Henri Roques and Roger Garaudy – as well as Norman Finkelstein, the American author of the book The Holocaust Industry.

Ikhwanonline regularly calls for Israel’s destruction. In November, Dr. Abd Al-Rahman Al-Bar, a member of the Brotherhood’s General Guide Office and the International Union of Muslim Scholars, wrote that the Palestinian cause “will remain a prime concern for the ummah [the Arab world], until Allah heralds the end of the racist state of occupation, and until the last of the people of our ummah fights the swindling Jews and their armies and delivers the land from their wickedness.”

That same month Saleh Sultan, head of the IUMS Jerusalem Committee, wrote on the website: “There is nothing to stop the destruction of holy places other than a clear message saying: ‘Kill a Zionist in response to every stone [dismantled] from the honorable Al-Aqsa.’”

Sultan continued: “Together, we will all expose the facts of the Judaization of Jerusalem and the plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and we will get ready to say: ‘Kill a Zionist for every stone of Al-Aqsa.’”

Finally, the study found Ikhwanonline replete with denunciations of negotiations with non-Muslims and calls for martyrdom and jihad.

In October a writer named Dr. Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al- Masri wrote that the conflict between Muslims and Israel is, at heart, religious and that jihad must be waged wherever Islamic land is occupied: “The conflict between the Zionist state and the Muslim ummah is not like the fight between a landowner and a plundering occupier. This fight is, in essence, a struggle of faith, a cultural struggle [over] fate and existence...The Koran indicates this fight [will continue] until the Day of Judgment.”

In an article published following the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange, Al-Bar exalted jihad and martyrdom as the path to liberating Palestine – from “the sea to the river” – as opposed to negotiations, which had consistently failed to yield results.

Al-Bar describe the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo as one of the milestones of Egyptian revolution: “Egypt’s popular position stressed a clear resistance to any Zionist diplomatic presence on its soil. This great achievement was one of the expressions of the blessed Egyptian revolution and a clear sign of the progress of the Arab-Islamic enterprise for liberation, at the expense of the Zionist enterprise, which is breaking apart from day to day.

“Do not say: ‘The sower has sowed, and the oppressor has reaped; Al-Aqsa is gone; our Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa and Safed are lost.’ Victory for Allah is at hand. The enemies of Allah will receive no help from Him. The aggressor will never achieve his aim in Jerusalem, as long as we have one child in it.

“Oh brothers, Allah has granted the ummah, which excels at producing death and knows how to die honorably, dear life in this world and eternal bliss in the next. The weakness that leads to our humiliation is love for this world and hatred of death.”

He continued with praise for martyrdom: “Prepare your souls for a great deed. Work toward death; it is then that you will be granted life. Act toward honorable death, and you will earn complete happiness.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?

Michael Brown

Appearing at Harvard University shortly before his death in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. responded to an apparently hostile question from an audience member about Zionism, saying, “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.”

Is this universally true? Does criticism of Zionism always equal anti-Semitism?

On the one hand, the answer is no, criticism of Zionism does not always equal anti-Semitism. There are Israeli Jews and American Jews who are critical of the modern State of Israel, and they can hardly be called anti-Semites (unless we are willing to brand all of them self-hating Jews). Similarly, there are Christians who love the Jewish people and believe that, in a unique way, God is with them, and yet take strong exception to many Israeli policies. They too can hardly be called anti-Semites. On the one hand, the answer is no, criticism of Zionism does not always equal anti-Semitism. There are Israeli Jews and American Jews who are critical of the modern State of Israel, and they can hardly be called anti-Semites (unless we are willing to brand all of them self-hating Jews). Similarly, there are Christians who love the Jewish people and believe that, in a unique way, God is with them, and yet take strong exception to many Israeli policies. They too can hardly be called anti-Semites.

On the other hand, it is quite often true that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are two sides of the same ugly coin, especially in the Muslim world. The recent comments of Mufti Muhammad Hussein, the religious leader of the Palestinian Authority, serve as a stark reminder of just how deeply anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are often intertwined.

In a speech celebrating the 47th anniversary of Fatah and aired on Palestinian Authority TV on January 9th, the Mufti cited a well-known Hadith (an Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad): “The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” (As reported by, a July, 2011 poll sponsored by the Israel Project indicated that a staggering 73% of Palestinians “believe” this Hadith.)

These sentiments are enshrined in the Hamas charter, with Article 7 citing the identical anti-Semitic Hadith, prefaced by this comment: “Hamas has been looking forward to implementing Allah’s promise [to annihilate the Jews], whatever time it might take.”

In the Mufti’s speech, and in keeping with Islamic tradition, Hussein also stated that the only tree behind which a Jew will be able to hide himself is the Gharqad tree (since it will keep silent). “Therefore,” he explained, “it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees] surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies.” (We can assume that the Mufti actually believes this.)

So, the hostility expressed towards the Israelis is simply the continuation of historic, Islamic anti-Semitism.

The moderator who introduced the Mufti stated (with passion) that, “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs [meaning the Jews] is a war of religion and faith,” basing himself on another anti-Semitic tradition found in Islam, a tradition often cited by contemporary Muslim leaders.

For example, “in a weekly sermon in April 2002, Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, [then] the highest-ranking cleric in the Sunni Muslim world, called the Jews ‘the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs’,” while in 2001, “Saudi sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, imam and preacher at the Al-Haraam mosque – the most important mosque in Mecca – beseeched Allah to annihilate the Jews. He also urged the Arabs to give up peace initiatives with them because they are ‘the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.’”

Similar examples, from recent years and from past centuries, could easily be multiplied. In fact, the Nazis were able to exploit the Jew-hatred found in many Islamic traditions in forming a coalition with prominent leaders in the Arab world, the most important being the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. (Remember that this predates the reestablishment of Israel in 1948.)

This deep, historic hatred of the Jews continues to fuel anti-Zionism in the Muslim world today. And so, during the demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square in last year’s so-called Arab Spring, Yehudit Barsky noted that protestors brandished pictures of former President Hosni Mubarak with a Star of David on his forehead, invoking the “image of a conspiracy by Jews to control world leaders, including their own.”

The alleged conspiracy Barsky refers to is, of course, the notorious anti-Semitic forgery known as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The book remains a perpetual bestseller in the Muslim world and has also been dramatized for Islamic viewers, most notably in the 41-part series titled “Horseman Without a Horse,” broadcast on Egyptian state television in 2002. In the final episodes of the series, “the Jews are portrayed as leading a conspiracy to form a Zionist state in Palestine while taking the lives of anyone who stands in the way. The series comes to a close with an inscription: ‘Who fights the occupation is not a terrorist’ and contains other thinly veiled political comment on the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Whole books could easily be written on this subject with almost endless examples cited, but the lesson should be clear: While not all anti-Zionism can be fairly equated with anti-Semitism, in the religious Muslim world, the two are deeply intertwined.

The White House’s Israel-bashing pals


Last Updated: 12:11 AM, January 18, 2012

Last December, a top anti-Semitism watchdog group accused the Center for American Progress, a prominent Washington think tank, of peddling anti-Israel and borderline anti-Semitic material on its Web site and Twitter feeds. Six days later, President Obama met for coffee with the man who oversaw the offending content — Faiz Shakir, the site’s editor-in-chief.

That the president met with Shakir amid the ballooning scandal illustrates just how close the administration is with CAP. Now that association may come back to haunt the White House, as three leading Jewish groups — the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Simon Wiesenthal Center — have accused CAP and its staff of publishing “anti-Israel,” “hateful” and “toxic anti-Jewish” material. The Jewish organizations’ ire is directed even more strongly at Media Matters for America — another influential, activist liberal Washington group. But CAP’s failings are more significant, because it has been a revolving door to the administration.

CAP founder John Podesta piloted Obama’s 2008 presidential transition team and now holds a State Department advisory role; founding board member Carol Browner served as Obama’s energy czar. CAP Action Fund President Jennifer Palmieri just joined the White House as deputy communications director.

And Shakir has had multiple meetings with White House officials, including one last August with the National Security Council’s Quintan Wiktorowicz.

Making these close ties to the administration especially troubling is CAP’s intensely anti-Israel slant.

Speaking with the Jerusalem Post recently about CAP and Media Matters, the American Jewish Committee’s Jason Isaacson said, “Think tanks are entitled to their political viewpoints — but they’re not free to slander with impunity . . . References to Israeli ‘apartheid’ or ‘Israel-firsters’ are so false and hateful they reveal an ugly bias no serious policy center can countenance.”

The Wiesenthal Center found the writers “are guilty of dangerous political libels resonating with historic and toxic anti-Jewish prejudices.” The ADL noted: “Most of their blogs come from a perspective of blaming Israel for the lack of progress in Israeli-Palestinian affairs and minimizing or rationalizing the Iranian threat.”

The controversy reached a new height over the use of the term “Israel firster.” The phrase, popularized in White Power newsletters in the 1970s and ’80s, accuses American supporters of Israel of being more loyal to the Jewish state than to their own country. Later adopted by fringe pro-Palestinian groups, the slur has since become common on extremist white supremacist and anti-Israel Web forums.

Then it surfaced in writings put out by Media Matters and CAP. “Waiting 4 hack pro-Dem blogger to use this [link] 2 sho Obama is still beloved by Israel-firsters and getting lots of their $$” wrote Zaid Jilani, a reporter for CAP’s site, on Twitter last July.

At Media Matters, Senior Fellow MJ Rosenberg openly delights in using the term. “Cool. A major journalist, who I won’t name, gives me credit for making term ‘Israel Firster’ acceptable. I wish. But I’ll do my best,” he wrote on Twitter.

While Rosenberg continues to use the term, the uproar prompted CAP’s Jilani to apologize, saying he hadn’t realized the connotations. CAP’s blog avowed, “We don’t endorse the term ‘Israel firsters’ or demonize the Jewish state on ThinkProgress. Further, there is no anti-Semitic or anti-Israel ‘hate speech’ written anywhere on this blog.”

But American Jewish groups disagreed. The ADL pointed to a CAP article that suggested the Israel lobby had pushed America into war with Iraq. In another, its Middle East Progress director, Matt Duss, called “the entire Israeli occupation” of Gaza “a moral abomination” like the Jim Crow South.

The AJC noted the odious “Israeli apartheid” references, such as a Jilani tweet: “So DC ‘liberals’ are going to spend a lot of time defending Obama against the charge that he’s not supportive enough of Israeli apartheid.”

CAP hasn’t distanced itself from these comments or even acknowledged that they’re anti-Israel. If it deems them acceptable public comment, one wonders what the internal dialogue is like at the think tank — and among the alumni who have gone on to the Obama administration.

At a minimum, the controversy highlights how progressive groups are working to undermine traditional Democratic support for Israel. Whatever problems Republicans had with demagogues like Pat Buchanan back in the ’90s, such fringe ideas are increasingly unwelcome in the GOP. Will the Democratic Party similarly reject these ideas now — or tolerate anti-Semitic canards and the demonizing of Israel by its top institutions?

Alana Goodman is the assistant online editor of Commentary.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Likud 'Feinschmekers' Oppose Authorization Bill

The Likud ministers who opposed limiting leftist funding come out against allowing Migron to survive.

By Gil Ronen

Likud ministers Michael Eitan, Benny Begin and Dan Meridor came out strongly against the bill that would authorize Judea and Samaria outposts, in the Likud ministers' meeting Sunday morning.

The same ministers opposed the establishment of commissions of inquiry last year into the sources of funding for radical leftist NGOs. At the time, they were dubbed "the feinschmekers" by Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Lieberman. The term is a Yiddish word that refers to a holier-than-thou, snobbish personality. Eitan, Meridor and Begin called upon Netanyahu to raze Migron in accordance with the instructions of the High Court. Begin said that passage of the bill would ruin the chances of reaching a compromise with the residents of Migron, according to which they would consent to relocating the community to another, recognized site not far from the original one.

The bill determines that if a land owner in Judea and Samaria does not take legal action within four years of the time a neighborhood is built upon his land, the structures will not be torn down. Instead – he will receive other forms of compensation.
MK Zevulun Orlev of the Jewish Home faction repeated Sunday that his faction would leave the ruling coalition if Migron is destroyed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The citizenship law and demographics

Nadav Shragai

Palestinians have taken advantage of Israeli citizenship laws to realize "the right of return.”

For almost 40 years, Palestinians have taken advantage of the Israeli Citizenship Law, using a path paved for them by the government to realize their "right of return," to "reunite" with fellow Arabs inside Israel and to become Israeli citizens. Since Israel's establishment, more than 350,000 Palestinian Arabs have utilized the law to become Israelis.

It was the Bedouin who became experts at invoking the citizenship law, some of them "uniting" with more than one wife. Yet, according to the law, applicable to Bedouin and all other Israelis, a man is allowed to be married to only one woman. Some Bedouin have sent their pregnant second or subsequent wives to hospitals to give birth using identity cards belonging to their first, legal Israeli wives.The National Insurance Institute of Israel statistics center became aware of the phenomenon when it began to notice that a single Bedouin woman might have had three, four or even five births attributed to her in a single year. Such a thing is of course unfathomable. Many Bedouin apparently took this course in an effort to secure additional child stipends from the National Insurance Institute.

In almost all cases, the unification took place on the Israeli side and not the Palestinian side, as it made more financial sense to unite in Israel. It was a year ago that Israel Hayom's weekend political supplement exposed this ongoing phenomenon.

There have also been instances in which "united" individuals took advantage of their newly granted Israeliness to harm us and our security. The most prominent case is that involving Shadi Tobassi, a suicide bomber who killed 15 Israelis during the attack on the Matza restaurant in Haifa nine years ago.

After that attack, an amendment was made to the Citizenship Law allowing the state to block this easy road to citizenship, permitting it to withhold the granting of residency or citizenship to those coming from enemy states or hostile regions.

In 2005, the High Court rejected, for the first time, the petition but forth by the Adalah organization (the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) which called for the amendment to be repealed.

Judge Mishael Cheshin voiced his objection to the petition, siding with the majority. Court President Justice Aharon Barak was part of the minority group that agreed with the petition.

In order to explain his ruling, Cheshin took the court on a virtual trip to visit Thomas More, the English philosopher who coined the term "utopia." Cheshin imagined himself and Barak arriving at an island far out at sea and being greeted by a venerable More. "What is this place?" the judges asked. "We are in the state of Utopia," answered More. "Is the legal system of the state of Utopia similar to that in Israel?" the judges asked.

More smiled and replied, "I am sorry, but there are profound differences between the two legal systems and will be a long time before Israel is able to reach the level of Utopia. You are fighting for your lives, for the existence of your state, for the ability of the Jewish people to manage a communal and national life, a condition that occurs naturally in all other nations. The laws of Utopia in your situation ... are not well-suited for you ... take care of yourselves ... and stay alive."

Cheshin's successors may have been far less poetic, but fortunately they adopted his position.

Yet now, as happened six years ago, the High Court continues to hide behind the discourse concerning human rights and security. It does so at a time when the real discourse, though it may not be politically correct, is a national-demographic discourse.

The question of whether a woman from Sakhnin and a man from Nablus who marry will be permitted to live together in Israel is an important one to ask -- and especially so if the man is a potential terrorist. But it is no less critical to ask how many dispersed Palestinians will use the citizenship path to realize "the right of return" through the back door.

Justice and the Release of Terrorists

Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Justice is no longer at home in Israel, and if it is not restored, the Jews will lose this land.

Aside from very rare exceptions, justice is trampled when Israeli prime ministers release Arab terrorists. Prima facie, this is not only a violation of Jewish law; it is also a violation of international law, as brilliantly demonstrated by Purdue University professor of political science and international law Rene Louis Beres. Terrorists must be punished.

Arab terrorists have murdered or maimed thousands of Jewish men, women, and children. Yet thousands of these terrorists have been released by Israeli prime ministers, including Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert. Many of the released terrorists have predictably gone on to murder more Jews. Although there may be exceptional occasions when it would not be inconsistent with Jewish law and justice to release terrorists to save Jewish lives, such occasions should be distinguished from the release of terrorists as a “good will” or “confidence-building” gesture in the so-called peace process. The latter is yielding to evil. It is also a fraud, confirmed year after year since Oslo 1993, a fraud perpetrated by Israeli prime ministers trapped in a labyrinth of their own making.

These prime ministers have betrayed our Jewish dead. They have betrayed the soldiers who died fighting in the cause of Israel. They have sold their moral judgment to evil-doers like Yasser Arafat and his successor Mahmoud Abbas.

By releasing terrorists and even murderers, Israeli prime ministers have murdered the sense of justice, and justice is being buried in the process . What is the significance of this state of affairs?

To the extent that justice has been murdered in Israel, then to that extent Israel is forfeiting its right to exist. This axiomatic principle takes precedence over any other consideration. Right-minded people will accomplish nothing until they restore the sense of justice in this country. But to do this they must arouse the moral outrage and condemn those who have murdered justice by releasing Arab murderers. One should not be polite in this matter. Those who release terrorists are themselves prima facie criminals, in some cases accessories to murder.

Releasing Arab terrorists as a “good will measure” is not only immoral; it is an act of stupidity bordering on madness, and madness—triggered either by cowardice and perverse cleverness—seems to have invaded Israel’s political echelon.

If, God-forbid, your loved-ones are murdered by a released Arab terrorist who had previously been given an M-16 rifle under orders of the Minister of Defense as directed by the Prime Minister, then the two are accomplices to murder. The Prime Minister may say: “I was adhering to the terms of the Oslo agreement and acting for the sake of peace.” But no agreement that rewards terrorists is valid.

Besides, it was evident from the outset, except to fools, that Yasser Arafat did not want peace. He even declared, “For us, peace means the destruction of Israel!”

So what shall we think of prime ministers that consorted with this villain or Mahmoud Abbas? What shall we think of those that foisted the “peace process” on the people of Israel—have lied to them again and again over the past 18 years about this peace process? Is it not obvious that these prime ministers lacked the wisdom and courage to deal effectively with Israel’s enemies? Did not the Prophet Isaiah say: “I will give children to be your rulers”?

So what should right-minded people say and do when their prime ministers mislead and betray them? What should right-minded people say and do when their prime ministers talk peace and arm the enemies of peace? What should they say and do if, for example, prime minister Netanyahu may release Arab terrorists to induce Abbas to return to the “negotiating table”—although, bear in mind that that the release of terrorists may be crafted to occur some period after the resumption of negotiations to mislead the public!

First, every critic and protester of the Oslo “peace process” should ask: “Does my criticism or protest go to the heart of the matter? Does it vividly expose and denounce those who have betrayed our dead? Does it admonish our people that justice has been murdered by six Israeli prime ministers, and that justice must be restored in the Land of Israel if we are not to be expelled from this land by our ever-encroaching enemies?”

Second, the critics and protesters should ask: “What enables these prime ministers and members of their cabinet to gain and remain in power despite their timidity and incompetence? Is there something fundamentally wrong with Israel’s system of education—some teaching or doctrine like moral relativism that erodes the sense of justice?”

Third, the critics and protesters should ask: “Is there something wrong with Israel’s system of governance, something that undermines personal accountability and the rule of law?”

Finally, the critics and protesters should ask: “Was the State of Israel, notwithstanding its great accomplishments, ill-designed both from an institutional and Jewish perspective? Were the political Zionists that established this state lacking vital aspects of political wisdom? And if this is the case—and despite the present turmoil—should we not begin to think about reconstructing the State of Israel using time-tested political principles?”

One last word. Justice is not only a moral virtue. Justice requires a proper distribution of power between governors and the governed.

As I have elsewhere shown, Israel’s system of governance has effectively disempowered the people of Israel, who have had nothing to say about releasing Arab terrorists and murderers. Israel’s ruling elites have thus been able to ignore the will of the people with impunity and to murder justice in the process.◘


For more by the writer, whose expertise is “how to make Israel more democratic by Jewish principles, and how to make Israel more Jewish by democratic principles", see Israel-America Renaissance Institute

Sunday, January 15, 2012

67 percent of murder cases in 2011 involved Israeli Arabs

Joint effort by Public Security Ministry and police aims to improve individual and communal safety in the non-Jewish sector • Special police units stationed in predominantly Arab towns of Taybeh and Nazareth.
Itzik Saban

In 2011, Israeli Arabs were in involved in 67 percent of Israel's murder cases, even though the Arab sector comprises only 20% of Israel's population.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beitenu) was to present this statistic to the Cabinet on Sunday as part of a long-term strategy – a joint effort by the police and Public Security Ministry - aimed mainly at improving individual and communal safety in the non-Jewish sector.The plan, which was presented to the prime minister a few days ago, was to be shown to the rest of the Cabinet on Sunday. Aharonovitch was also to present the recent efforts made on the civilian front as well as by law enforcement agencies to minimize the phenomenon.

Within the framework of the plan, special units were created and stationed in the predominantly Arab towns of Taybeh and Nazareth, while an effort was made to reinforce and strengthen local and municipal police forces.

Israeli Arab MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) told Israel Hayom, "I lament the fact that the Cabinet has chosen to focus on the police issue, though it is one of the most pressing issues [facing the Israeli-Arab sector]. The issue of crime cannot be resolved without a comprehensive program involving education, employment, sport, welfare etc."

"The police issue is the most pressing because the Israel Police are neglecting the problem of crime in the Arab sector. There is discrimination: a murder in [the Arab village of] Umm al-Fahm is not treated the same as a murder in Tel Aviv. The situation is dire and constantly deteriorating. Specific and rapid action is required. Just as the police were able to eradicate the crime in [the Jewish city of] Netanya, they can also eradicate it in Israeli-Arab communities," he added.

"A political decision must be made, and for that reason this issue is on [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's agenda, for him to make a decision. I hope that he will decide that the current situation is unbearable," he continued.

"If the Cabinet makes a decision, the Arab leadership will be there to support it, but if we're talking about nothing more than more deception, we won't be there. Israel's Arab society is entrenched in deep crisis due to the widespread crime. The tools we [Israeli-Arab politicians] possess to combat this problem are few and weak. All the effective tools are in the government's hands. They need to give the tools, in the form of jurisdiction and budgets, to the local authorities. There are ways to combat crime in the Arab sector, and it is time to do it," he concluded.

Droning on about the Drone

Norma Zager

“It’s especially troublesome when the very people who are supposed to protect children put them in harm.” Jennifer Andary

My children accuse me of being an overprotective mother.

Guilty as charged.

But what is overprotective and what is good common sense? And do the same rules apply to mothers as to other humans?

When my children were small, there was a child murderer preying on children throughout the area. He was never caught. We all kept our eyes on our own and our neighbors’ kids constantly. Does it make sense for parents to be cavalier when the facts of life stare them in the face like Bogie stared down Col. Strasser?

What good can ever come of ignoring the obvious?

I had to laugh when I heard President Obama’s response to the Iran capture of a spy drone.

“Please give it back.”

Are you kidding me? That’s like saying to a schoolyard bully, “Please give my lunch money back.”

Seriously, who is that stupid?

At first I was furious. Not since Neville Chamberlain has a world leader been so naïve about evil staring him in the face.

Then I thought, I will give the president the benefit of the doubt, he can’t possibly be so naïve at this late date. And what of the CIA and all his other advisors? Does he not care what they say? Or are they even communicating at all?

I thought any minute we would hear the drone blew up and took all of Iran’s scientists with it. Or the CIA used it as a weapon. Perhaps Mossad is planning to use it for something; like Stuxnet or Iranian piñata.

I couldn’t imagine in a million lifetimes that a technology so advanced could be so recklessly disregarded. Americans paid for that, and it wasn’t a Kmart blue light special, either!

I simply could not believe a sitting president of the United States could ever be so cavalier about American security. Until I remembered Jimmy Carter and suddenly had a “I could’ve had a V-8 moment.”

Okay, so I guess it can happen again.

Still, isn’t the number one job of the President to protect the people of this country? Even Jed Bartlett in the West Wing, when faced with a similar situation, told the Premier of Russia he would blow up a spy plane if the Russians attempted to even touch it.

And I actually thought Art imitated life. Another thing I was wrong about. Add it to my ever-expanding list.

In this White House Art doesn’t even enter into it.

Watch the show, Mr. President, and you will see how a real president should act toward an enemy.

Back to reality, so now we see that the pretty please didn’t work.

By now Iran has had a giant Tupperware party and invited Russia, North Korea and every evil empire on the planet.

Along with the pita, hummus and baklava they took apart our spy technology and will soon use it against us.

Can we finally admit ignoring Iran’s evil agenda all these years is a total failure and, like Hitler who was allowed to rearm Germany until it was too late to avoid the consequences, we will soon pay a high price?

The United States eliminated Mubarak in Egypt paving the way for the Muslim Brotherhood. In case anyone has forgotten who these people are, they are the ones who murdered Anwar Sadat after he made peace with Israel.

Moderate? I think not.

Now they have a foothold in Egypt and Libya and soon they will join with Iran to create the caliphate they seek – in the Middle East and beyond.

There is only one little thing standing in their way, Israel.

Our State Department claims they have assurances the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will maintain a peace treaty with Israel, even as they publically deny they will allow Israel to exist.

Hmmm. Should we believe a radical Islamic group will keep its word? Let’s ask Jimmy Carter?

Hey, President Carter how are those Mullahs working out for you instead of the Shah you had such a problem with?

Even Daffy Duck, high on Crack, wouldn’t miss such an obvious agenda.

I am shocked at how foolish the U.S. has become. Our country acts like a mother who hears a dangerous pedophile moved next door and allows her children to play in the unfenced yard alone.

Is this tempting fate or merely stupidity?

Being overprotective gets a bad rap.

It doesn’t exist.

Whether it’s a parent protecting her child from the crazies of this world, or a president protecting his citizens from the evils of the world, there is no such thing as over protective.

There is only good-old-fashioned American horse sense.

Where there is evil present, do not tread.

Where there is danger, stay far away.

When an enemy seeks to destroy you, there is never enough protection.

For who are these citizens of the United States we seek to protect after all?

The children.

It is long past time we had an overprotective Jewish Mother in the white house. Someone annoying, nagging and always cajoling the children to come inside, to stay where she can watch them.

If I didn’t so sharply feel President Obama’s negative attitude toward Jewish people, I would happily offer to teach him how to be an over- protective Jewish mother.

My children can vouch for my expertise.

“Yep, our Mom is crazy and she watches us like a hawk, even now. If she could plant a body guard outside our doors, she would.”

We want a president who will go to the ends of the earth to protect our children and his own.

I remind you Mr. Obama, your kids live here, also.

Iran’s bombs won’t give a damn what or whom they kill.

Maybe it’s high time you did.

The series “Postcards from America—Postcards from Israel” by Ari Bussel and Norma Zager is a compilation of articles capturing the essence of life in America and Israel during the first two decades of the 21st Century.

The writers invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, Israel visitors rarely discover and Israelis often ignore.