Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Writing on the Wall for Barack Obama and Israel

former governor and Presidential candidate, Mike Huchabee

Huckabee: Americans Would Back Israeli Strike on Iran

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says the American people would definitely support an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities — but questions whether the Obama administration would back such a strike.

“I’m confident that there would be an overwhelming support from the American people,” the 2008 Republican presidential candidate told CBN News in Jerusalem on Monday.

“Whether the American administration would be as supportive, I don’t know.

“It’s one of those real concerns that many of us have — why the Obama administration hasn’t been stronger in its support for Israel in doing what it has to do.” A bipartisan group of senators has passed a resolution declaring that it is unacceptable for Iran to obtain a nuclear capability.

“Now it’s been pretty clear, saying it’s unacceptable and all the options are on the table to keep Iran from having a nuclear device,” said Huckabee, who is hosting a tour of about 175 Americans in Israel.

“But it hasn’t been as clear as saying that should Israel [act] as a sovereign nation to protect itself and to preserve its own survival, if it takes the action, we will stand behind her and accept that.”

He added: “They’re not just doing Israel a favor. They’re doing a favor for the United States, but they’re also doing a favor for the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Kuwaitis, the people of Qatar and the [United Arab] Emirates. Everybody in the world is safer for Iran to be disengaged from nuclear capacity.”

Middle East expert Walid Phares said in a Newsmax.TV interview on Tuesday: “If the Iranian regime is very close to putting a weapon on a missile, then no questions asked, [the Israelis] are going to try to take action. They will try to coordinate with us or inform us at the end of the day.

“It has to do with the width of Israel. It has to do with Israel unaccepting the idea that they could absorb one strike.”

Many Israelis and Israel supporters abroad are concerned that if Obama wins re-election, he would no longer be motivated to court the Jewish vote and could turn against Israel, CBN News reported.

Referring to those concerns, Huckabee said that in a second Obama term, when the “political consequences” are behind him, Obama’s “true sentiments” might surface.

Friday, March 02, 2012

The real racism: Expecting Jews to die meekly


Into the Fray: Israel needs to once again convey, unapologetically, to the world the rationale for its founding.

“The most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state… 3.5 million Palestinians and almost half a million Jews live in the areas Israel occupied in 1967, and yet while these two groups live in the same area, they are subjected to totally different legal systems. The Palestinians are stateless and lack many of the most basic human rights. – Neve Gordon, “Boycott Israel,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2009.

Taken from an article by a senior Israeli academic, this excerpt typifies the racist Judeophobic rhetoric that has come to dominate the public discourse on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

Sadly it is rhetoric that has been endorsed by many in the Israeli academia and media. Even more disturbing is the complicity — or at least complacency — of Israeli officialdom in allowing it to become the defining feature of this discourse.

Expecting Jews to die meekly

This mode of rhetoric is no less than inciteful, Judeophobic racism, because in effect, it embodies the implicit delegitmization of the right of Jews to defend themselves. It embodies the implicit expectation that Jews should consent to die meekly. And how can an expectation that Jews die meekly be characterized other than as “inciteful, Judeophobic racism?” For no matter what the measures Israel adopts to protect its citizens from those undisguisedly trying to murder and maim them — because they are Jews — they are widely condemned as “racist,” “disproportionate violence” or even “war crimes/crimes against humanity.”

It matters not whether these measures are administrative decisions or security operations, defensive responses or anticipatory initiatives, punitive retaliations or preemptive strikes. It matters not whether they entail the emplacement of physical barriers to block the infiltration of indiscriminate murderers; the imposition of restrictions to impede their lethal movements; the execution of preventive arrests to foil their deadly intentions; the conduct of targeted killings (with unprecedentedly low levels of collateral damage) to preempt their brutal plans; the launch of military campaigns to prevent the incessant shelling of civilians…

Lip service to Israel’s right to self-defense

The depiction of these measures as arbitrary acts of wrongdoing, whose only motivation is racially driven territorial avarice and discriminatory embitterment of the lives of the Palestinians, distorts reality and disregards context. But far more perturbing, is the moral implication of this condemnation.

For if all endeavors to prevent, protect or preempt are denounced as morally reprehensible, the inevitable conclusion is that they should not be employed. This implies a no less inevitable conclusion: To avoid the morally reprehensible, the Jewish state should — in effect — allow those who would attack its citizens, to do so with total impunity, and with total immunity from retribution.

True, many of Israel’s detractors protest with righteous indignation that they acknowledge that it “has a right to defend itself.” But this is quickly exposed as meaningless lip service, for whenever Israel exercises that allegedly acknowledged right, it is condemned for being excessively heavy-handed.

It makes little difference if Israel imposes a legal maritime blockade to prevent the supply of lethal armaments to Islamist extremists; or if Israeli commandos are forced to use deadly force to prevent themselves from being disemboweled by a frenzied lynch mob; or if, in response to the savage slaughter wrought by Palestinian suicide bombers — which relative to its population, dwarfed the losses on 9/11 — Israel clears the terror-infested and boobytrapped Jenin, using ground troops rather than its air force to minimize Palestinian collateral damage, thus incurring needless casualties of its own.

No matter how murderous the onslaughts initiated by the Palestinians, no matter how blatant the Palestinian brutality, no matter how outrageous the Palestinian provocation, the Israeli response is deemed inappropriate.

Despite the declaration of recognition of some generic abstract right to defend itself and its citizens, it seems that in practice the only “appropriate” response is for Israel to refrain from defending itself.

Exigencies of security

Then there is the reverse racism emblazoned in the subtext of the discourse of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians: The victims of racist hatred are condemned as racist for fending off their racist attackers.

Security barriers are not erected, roadblocks are not put in place, travel restrictions are not enforced as a racist response to Palestinian ethnicity but as a rationale response to Palestinian enmity. To believe otherwise is to fall prey to what Binyamin Netanyahu once called the “reversal of causality.” The blockade of Gaza is a consequence, not a cause, of Hamas’s violence; the West Bank security barrier is the result of, not the reason for, Palestinian terrorism.

If not for the massive carnage at Sbarro pizzeria, at Dizengoff Center, at the Passover Seder in the Park Hotel, there would have been no IDF operation in Jenin in 2002. Without the indiscriminate bombardment of Israeli civilians, there would have been no Cast Lead operation in Gaza in 2009. If pregnant women and ambulances were not used to smuggle explosives into Israeli cities, there would be no need for checkpoints and roadblocks. If Palestinian gunmen would not open fire from vehicles on Israeli families passing by, there would be no need to restrict the movement of Palestinians on certain roads. If Palestinians did not ambush Israeli cars traveling though Palestinian towns, there would be no need to construct special roads for Israelis to bypass those towns.

The outcome of Judeophobic enmity

Of course, the standard Judeophobic response to this will be… “occupation,” that all-purpose, all-weather, one-size-fits-all excuse for every racist Palestinian atrocity perpetrated against the Jews.

According to this morally base and factually baseless contention, all Palestinian violence is an expression of understandable rage and frustration due to years of repressive “occupation” of Palestinian lands.

This claim is as egregious as it is asinine. It must be rejected with the moral opprobrium and the intellectual disdain it so richly deserves.

Indeed, as I have demonstrated in several recent columns, the call for the destruction of the Jewish state was made long before Israel held a square inch of what is now designated as “occupied Palestinian land.” (In fact, the original 1964 Palestinian National Covenant explicitly disavows any sovereign claim to the “West Bank” and Gaza as the Palestinian homeland.) The founding documents of the PLO, Fatah and Hamas are all committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, irrespective of time and regardless of frontiers. This too was the sentiment reiterated by Mahmoud Abbas in his recent UN appearance.

So clearly “Occupation” is not the origin of Palestinian ill-will towards Israel. Quite the reverse. The Israeli presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is a direct outcome of Arab ill-will towards Israel, when in 1967 their massive military offensive to destroy Israel failed catastrophically.

It was not Jewish territorial avarice that brought Israel to “the territories” but Arab Judeocidal aggression.

What if there had been no ‘Occupation’?

Even if it can be irrefutably shown that “occupation” is not the origin of Palestinian hostility, might it is not be possible that elimination of “occupation” would induce, if not Palestinian amitié, then at least Palestinian acceptance of Israel? Sadly, all evidence seems to point the other way. Every time Israel has made tangible efforts to remove “occupation,” the frenzy of Palestinian terrorism has soared to a higher crescendo, and forced abandonment or even reversal of these efforts:

• This was the case from 1993 to ’96, when the implementation of the Oslo agreements brought forth a huge wave of suicide bombings.

• This was the case in 2000, when Ehud Barak offered sweeping concessions to the Palestinians, who responded with a wave of unprecedented terrorism which continued under Ariel Sharon’s “restraint-is-strength-policy” until the carnage made military response unavoidable. The result was Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 that brought the IDF back in force to the “West Bank,” where calm has been largely maintained ever since.

This was the case in 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza and erased every vestige of “occupation,” and in return received continuing and escalating violence that culminated in Operation Cast Lead.

Clearly, not only can “occupation” not be attributed as the cause of Palestinian enmity, but attempts to remove — or at least attenuate — it seem only to exacerbate this enmity.

Here intriguing questions arise: What if Israel had never taken over the “West Bank” or had withdrawn immediately after doing so, transferring control back to Jordan? What then would have become of the Palestinians and their claims to “national liberation?” What “occupation” would have then been blamed for their plight? What territory would have then been the focus of their efforts to establish their state? These are weighty questions which must await discussion at some later stage, but merely raising them poses a serious challenge to the factually flawed conventional wisdom that dominates and distorts the debate on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

‘Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism’

“Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism” is the mantra sounded with Pavlovian regularity by Israel’s detractors. And they are of course right. Criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti- Semitism.

However, the enduring practice of holding the nation-state of the Jews to discriminatory double standards does makes anti-Semitism an increasingly plausible explanation for that criticism, an explanation can no longer be summarily dismissed without persuasive proof to the contrary.

After all, atrocities of ferocity and scale far beyond anything of which Israel is accused, even by its most vehement detractors, are perpetrated regularly with hardly a murmur of censure from the international community. By contrast the slightest hint of any Israeli infringement — real or imagined — of human rights immediately results in expression of shock and revulsion in headlines in all major media outlets across the globe, precipitates emergency sessions of international organizations, and produces worldwide condemnation, from friend and foe alike.

Of course, the implication is not that Israel should be judged by the same criteria as the tyrannies of Sudan or North Korea; or by the bloody standards of Damascus or Tehran.

The question is, however, why should it be judged by standards and criteria which are far more stringent than those applied to the democracies that make up NATO.

For in the Balkans, in Iraq and in Afghanistan they have enforced blockades and embargoes far more onerous and damaging to civilians than that imposed on Gaza. They conducted military campaigns far from their borders that caused far more civilian casualties than Israel has in campaigns conducted only a few kilometers from the heart of its capital city…

Yet international outcry has been — at best – muted.

So, while holding the Jewish state to standards demanded of no other nation in the exercise of its right to self-defense may have explanations other than anti-Semitism (or Judeophobia to be more precise), no really compelling ones come readily to mind.

The real racism

This brings us back to where we began.

While the Jewish state faces unparalleled threats, and unconditional enmity, it is continually condemned for acting to meet those threats and to contend with that enmity — no matter what measures it adopts, no matter how grave the peril, no matter how severe the provocation.

This then is the real racism that permeates the discourse on the Israel-Palestinian conflict:

• The expectation that the Jews jeopardize their security in order to maintain the viability of manifest falsehoods.

• The perverse portrayal of every coercive measure undertaken by the IDF to protect the lives of Jews against those striving to kill them, merely because they are Jews, as racially motivated, disproportionate violence.

• The disingenuous depiction of the inconvenience caused to Palestinians by these measures as a more heinous evil than the Jewish deaths they are designed to prevent.

• The attitude that shedding Jewish blood is more acceptable than the measures required to prevent it, an element that appears to be becoming increasingly internalized into the discourse on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Israel needs to once again convey, unapologetically, to the world the rationale for its founding: Jews will no longer die meekly.
Thanks Ted Belman

Some Real Heroes: Syria’s Humanitarian Martyrs

“Attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave….Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”

–Arthur Miller, “Death of a Salesman”

By Barry Rubin

Let us pause from the frantic pursuit of headlines and fascination at the latest novelty to acknowledge some real heroes. Not the self-publicizing Western intellectuals, academics and artists who preen as they echo every dominant fashion; not the Middle Eastern extremists, praised for terrorist acts or dreaming of bloodbaths and the creation of tyrannical regimes. I refer to those Syrian opposition activists engaged in rescuing the wounded and bringing in food and medical supplies to besieged cities, especially Homs. Of the officials of the Avaaz group, involved in this effort, explained it this way:

“They are just ordinary guys who did not pick up weapons but decided to evacuate injured people….Some of them have basic medical training….Some of them are just guys who can carry heavy weights.”

Forty of these people tried to get four wounded Western journalists out of Homs, after two other reporters were killed there. They were ambushed and thirteen of them lost their lives, after having earlier gotten dozens of other injured Syrians to safety. Three of the four journalists had to turn back to Homs; one escaped to Lebanon after four of his escorts were killed.

This is not to ignore the thousands of other oppositionists, almost all of them unarmed protesters —international estimates now count about 7,500– who have been killed by the regime’s forces. Roughly 100 more people are being slain daily.

They receive virtually no international support. The world ignores the repression in Syria just as it effectively ignored the repression in Iran. There are no protests in the streets of Western capitals; no meetings or teach-ins on Western campuses. Terrorists can expect enthusiastic support; the nonviolent opposition in Iran and the largely nonviolent opposition in Syria cannot.

The mere specter of possible attacks on civilians in Libya prompted a huge international involvement, resulting in support for an armed opposition which did mistreat and murder civilians, and now a regime that is passive in the face of more killings.

And now these Syrian civilians have given their lives to protect Western journalists. Naturally, the opposition wanted the reporters to be there to record what’s going on. It is likely that the Syrian regime forces, whose intelligence is quite good, deliberately targeted the press center for mortar attack to kill the foreign journalists and shut down any coverage from inside the country.

Where’s the outrage? Where’s the deadlocked UN? Where are the noisy activists? Where is the “duty to protect” Obama Administration so eager to help in the overthrow of U.S. allies but so timid where America’s enemies are concerned?

Be ashamed; be every ashamed.

Someday, I hope, the names of these people who sacrificed their lives will be published and given the recognition as heroes they so fully deserve.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. He is author of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports,

"Making Heads Spin"

Arlene Kushner

Every day, perhaps every hour, there are new reports regarding Iran, the Israeli position, the US position, and the intersection between the two positions. Some of these reports are mutually exclusive: if Israel attacks Iran the US won't be told in order to give the Americans deniability; if Israel attacks Iran the US will provide backup. Etc. etc. Of course this stuff doesn't only make one's head spin, it IS spin. It's a question of what various parties want the public to think. In at least one instance (only one?), I considered reportage by a major newspaper to have been considerably less than professional. When the text of the message (which I will not repeat here) says the source has not been confirmed, but the headline blares the news as if it were fact, there is something terribly amiss. Some of the very vague allusions to various scenarios have come from Wikileaks, which has stolen communication from Stratfor.


I share here the broad conclusions I have drawn, to date, while including the proviso that since so much is spin there is a way in which almost everything is speculation.

The one thing that does seem clear is that Israel and the US are attempting to lend at least an impression of being on the same page on Iran. What I'm seeing is that America is advancing a decidedly tougher line with regard to using a military option if necessary.

According to a report released by Bloomberg, US Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said Wednesday that US plans to attack Iran are in place. "What we can do, you wouldn't want to be in the area." Anonymous Pentagon officials are cited as saying plans include the possibility of a joint US-Israeli effort. America, they are reported as saying, would bomb not just nuclear targets, but also "the pillars of the clerical regime, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and its elite Quds Force, regular Iranian military bases and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security."

Just bluff? Don't know. Maybe the Americans are finally getting the message that Iran is more likely to back down in the face of sanctions if there is a credible military threat backing it up. Maybe Obama knows that Netanyahu will move ahead at his own pace, and has decided that it would mitigate Iranian retaliation if the US were ready to be involved.


Certainly, despite some reports to the contrary, it appears at a minimum that the US does want as much advance notice as possible if we were to attack.


There is no indication that Netanyahu is caving to Obama -- the stronger stance the US is taking, in and of itself, certainly leads towards that conclusion. He appears to be holding fast on his intention to defend Israel as he deems proper.

And I have a distinct impression that he has been out-and-out furious about American efforts to diminish the likelihood that Israel would be able to accomplish a strike on Iran. There was that report in the NYTimes, for example, that carried leaks from military men. Attempting to make Israel look weaker (presumably to diminish support for Israel and Israeli confidence in her own capacity) is most decidedly counterproductive and in the end just plain stupid.

As we all know, Obama would like Netanyahu to delay any action until there is more time for sanctions to work -- although the possibility that they will work is considered by most serious analysts to be very slight indeed. Israeli concern has been that delay would bring us to the time when Iran would have already entered that "zone of immunity," with equipment buried in new, deeper bunkers. If Netanyahu does agree to delay, it may be because he will have secured a commitment from the US, which has more top-flight bunker busters, to be involved when there is an operation. But we won't know this.

There will likely be a joint statement of some sort after the meeting between the heads of state on Monday. Don't count on it for real information.


And my final statement at this juncture -- a statement made from Jerusalem by someone who has lost more than a little sleep over this:

Israel is in Iran's sites at the moment. That the world ignores this is painful but not really unexpected. What infuriates is the attitude of the world that Israel is a trouble-maker because of her intent to defend herself as deemed necessary. There is more concern in some quarters about what Israel may or may not do to Iran, than there is about whether Iran may reach nuclear break-out point.

After all, if we hit Iran to save the Jewish nation, oil prices might go up, the "very stable" Middle East might be "destabilized" and there might be some retaliation by Iran -- and none of this would be acceptable to the world. This paints for me in bold relief a picture of the venality of a world that operates in totally amoral terms. As we know, the world is good at weeping about dead Jews. Live ones? That's another story.

But there is much more than this going on. What people don't grasp is that ultimately Iran is not Israel's problem, it's the world's problem.

Perhaps the situation is changing, but until now there has been scant recognition among the American people or their elected president that Iran is seeking a world-wide Islamic caliphate that requires destruction of the Western system. That Iran is building an intercontinental ballistic missile that will be able to reach the eastern US, as well as all of Europe, and is talking about placing missiles in Latin America, from where said missiles could readily reach the US. That, should Iran achieve nuclear capacity, it would feel invincible and raise oil prices, move on its Arab neighbors and generally cause havoc in the region.

This is how I see the world:


Reaching out to Iran to "negotiate" in order to get them to genuinely halt their nuclear efforts? Come on! But the world -- and Obama is very much included here -- has relied on such efforts to make themselves feel they are "doing something."

If Netanyahu has finally convinced Obama to begin to think otherwise, or if Netanyahu's determination to act has convinced the US that there's no choice but to take a different position, this is something to be grateful for.

Only two nations in the world can accomplish a military attack against Iran: Israel and the US. The US can do it better. Israel can set back Iranian nuclear efforts by some years. The US can destroy the entire project.

Suggestions that the US may be involved in our efforts or launch its own efforts -- however much spin there may be here -- have the effect of generating a very tiny spark of hope that perhaps things just might be moving in a better direction.


Please see this article by Evelyn Gordon, writing as a JINSA Visiting Fellow -- "Forget the Palestinians, the Future of Land-for-Peace Deals Depends on Egypt":

Her thesis, quite simply, is that pulling out of an area to achieve peace has backfired for Israel several times -- in Lebanon and in Gaza, and with regard to partial pullouts after Oslo. The only agreement in which a pullout -- from Sinai -- has bought Israel peace has been in the treaty with Egypt:

"...the treaty with Egypt served as the shining counterexample - the proof that land for peace could work, given the right partners and the right conditions. Though never more than a cold peace, it consistently provided Israel with the one great good it promised, a secure southern border. And it survived despite repeated tensions, including two Palestinian intifadas and two Israeli-Lebanese wars.

"Now, however, it looks increasingly likely that what made the Egyptian peace succeed was not any intrinsic merit in the land-for-peace paradigm, but merely the remarkable longevity in office of one man, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whose 30-year tenure encompassed most of the treaty's lifespan.

"And that in turn is leading a growing number of Israelis who previously supported land-for-peace to wonder whether it may not be an inherently unworkable paradigm, due to the fatal flaw encapsulated in its very name. In any land-for-peace deal, only one party actually considers 'peace' a value worth trading for. What interests the other party is not peace, but gaining strategic assets such as land." (Emphasis added)


And then this excellent article by Gil Troy, from the JPost, about "Abbas, the Masquerading Moderate" (All emphasis added):

"...Mahmoud Abbas is to moderation what moldy oranges are to penicillin. If purified properly, the product could be healing; but as it now stands, it is putrid and possibly toxic.

...Abbas the Masquerading Moderate has been the Great Obstructionist, far more accommodating of his Hamas rivals than his American bankrollers.

"...again and again Abbas has been Dr. No – blocking progress...

"This week, Abbas traveled to Doha to participate in an 'International Conference on Jerusalem,' with representatives from 70 countries. Anti-Zionist discourse in that part of the Middle East was as ubiquitous as Muzak is in elevators in the Midwest, intensified by the added volatility of the Jerusalem issue, with a dash of anti-Americanism thrown in...

"When Abbas spoke, rather than injecting a note of responsibility into the proceedings, providing a reality check, he joined the anti-Israel pile on. He claimed Israel wants to 'carry out continued excavations that threaten to undermine the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in order to extract evidence that supports the Israeli version of Judaism.' He said Israelis wanted to 'Judaize' the city and 'were preparing models of what they call the Temple in order to build on the ruins of Al Aqsa.'

"Any one of these three incendiary ideas would earn an extremist street 'cred' as a flamethrower. Few Israelis are proposing a Third Temple. Claiming 'the Jews' wish to replace the Al-Aqsa Mosque with their own structure is a demagogic call for Arab rioting in Jerusalem and elsewhere. Second, mischievous phrases like 'the Israeli version of Judaism' and 'what they call the Temple,' try to rob Jews of our history, our legitimacy, our nationality. Abbas’s words echo longstanding Palestinian claims that Judaism is a religion with no peoplehood component, that the Temple never existed, and that the whole Zionist, meaning Jewish nationalist, project is a fraud.

"Finally, Abbas’s allegations about 'Judaizing' Jerusalem ignore the fact that Jerusalem is already Jewish and Muslim and Christian. Abbas’s implication, that Jews are engaged in ethnic cleansing, would require us to characterize modern Israelis as incompetent not just evil. Today’s Jerusalem has 800,000 residents, including 268,000 Arabs. In the nearly 45 years since the 1967 Six Day War, the Arab population has grown by 200,000, and many Arabs today appreciate their Israeli rights and services. The number of Arab Jerusalemites granted Israeli citizenship quadrupled from 2006 to 2010. If Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing, Israelis would have to admit to being the worst – meaning the most ineffectual -- 'ethnic cleansers' in history, having triggered a population increase due to higher quality of life including more freedom.

"Once again, Abbas missed an opportunity to play the statesman...He played the Jerusalem card, riling his audience, and alienating Israelis. That he nevertheless passes for a moderate, demonstrates just how extreme other Palestinian voices are, such as Hamas, and just how indulgent world opinion is when it comes to coddling the Palestinians."


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

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Since the end of Operation Cast Lead, 670 rockets and 404 mortar shells have been fired into Israel

Palestinian ceasefire violations since the end of Operation Cast Lead
MFA 29 Feb 2012 For details:

Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Yes, the 670 rockets and 404 mortar shells fired into Israel were a
violation of the "ceasefire", but the almost exclusive focus on the
"ceasefire" is a fundamental flaw in the Israeli approach.
Why "fundamental flaw"?
Because it essentially accepts the principle that the Palestinians can do
whatever they desire to increase the range, accuracy and payload of the "cocked gun" they have aimed at our collective temples - as long as they don't pull the trigger. And they have most certainly increased the range, accuracy and payload of the "cocked gun" well beyond any Israeli's imagination.

So what?
It is a terrible precedent for the future.
After all, we and the West maintain that a necessary condition for a
Palestinian state is that it be demilitarized.
But if today our policymakers essentially say that our problem is with the weapons the Palestinians in Gaza fire at us and not with what they have,
what message does this send about our true position regarding the enforcement of the condition that a Palestinian state be demilitarized?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SNC willing to work with Hezbollah


BEIRUT: The head of the Syrian National Council was quoted as saying Monday that Syria’s main opposition group would not have any problem dealing with Hezbollah if the party supported a democratic change in Syria.

“There are no permanent enmities in politics as there are no permanent friendships. Alliances are built on goals. We want to achieve our goals.

If Hezbollah decided to support the democratic process in Syria, there would not be any barrier [to dealing with it],” Burhan Ghalioun said in an interview with the Algerian newspaper Al-Shourouq. “We will not sacrifice Hezbollah if Hezbollah does not sacrifice us as a people and as a cause,” he added.

Hezbollah strongly supports Syrian President Bashar Assad who is facing the gravest challenge to his rule from an 11-month-old popular uprising demanding his ousting.

“Hezbollah’s greatest popularity in the past in the Arab world was in Syria because it did a glorious job when it stood against Israel,” Ghalioun said, adding: “But the people are now having doubts about it [Hezbollah] because it has adopted clear a stance, supporting an oppressive regime that is using all kinds of violence.”
Thanks Ted Belman

Mahmoud Abbas Launches Attack Against InLightPress

Challah Hu Akbar

Last week I reported that Mahmoud Abbas was monitoring the phones of his opponents. The source of the report was InLightPress, a site which is very critical of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently engaged in a ruthless campaign against his opponents.

On Saturday, InLightPress was hacked. On Sunday, if you visited InLightPress’ website you received the following message.
The website was attacked by hackers, will be back within a short time.

When I visited the site on Monday morning, the following message appeared.

The website is facing privateering from a political destination which is affected from what we publish and will be back soon.

On Monday afternoon InLightPress’ website read:

The website is facing privateering from a political destination which is affected from what we publish and will be back tomorrow.

I am certain that the “political destination” referred to by InLightPress is the office of Mahmoud Abbas.

Aside for a condemnation from The Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists, the incident has received zero press coverage. I will continue to monitor this very closely, check back here for updates.

Update: It appears that someone may not have taken to kindly to the attack on InLightPress. It appears that Fatah aligned Palestine Press, better known for its attacks against Hamas, has been attacked. If one currently tries to visit the site you receive the following message.

Sorry. There is intense pressure on the site you can try again.

Update: While the InLightPress website remains down, their Twitter account returned to action this morning.

Update: It now appears that hackers may be targeting Wafa, the official news agency of the Palestinian authority.

Update: It now appears that Ma’an News’ Arabic website is down. The English site is up…for now.

Update: It now appears that Maan English is down.

Update: Alright, Maan English is back up, didn’t appear to be real hack, was down for under 10 minutes.

Update: Maan English is back down.

Update: InLightPress is back up and running and has released a scathing press release about the hacking attack. Details here.

Update: IMEMC is reporting that the attacks on Wafa and Maan were more likely part of the hacking war currently going on between Israeli and pro-Palestinian hackers.
In any case, here are some events in which the PA shut down TV stations that may be of interest to people. I have more on suppression of journalists as a whole, but lets just focus on TV and large news sites.

November 2007 - Palestinian Authority forces arrested the owner of the private Al-Amal TV station in Hebron after the station aired one of Ismail Haniyeh's press conferences.

December 2008 - Ramattan News Agency forced to stop work after “relentless and heightened persecution” by the Palestinian Authority.

August 2009 - Director of Palestine TV, Muhammad Dahoudi, was fired after not covering Salam Fayyad enough.

March 2010 - Palestinian Authority forced the closure of the only Christian TV station in Palestinian territory. PA soon backtracked, however, the owner of the station said he would not broadcast again until he received an apology. (Not sure that apology ever came)

I have some more with arrests of correspondents for news sites, but you get the point. One could also focus in on recent attacks against InLightPress, there have been attacks against other sites as well including Amal and KofiaPress, but I have focused on InLightPress as there is where it seemed to have all started.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Political Rights in Palestine

Eli. E. Hertz

The Mandate for Palestine, a legally binding document under international law, clearly differentiates between political rights - referring to Jewish self-determination as an emerging polity - and civil and religious rights, referring to guarantees of equal personal freedoms to non-Jewish residents as individuals and within select communities. Not once are Arabs as a people mentioned in the Mandate for Palestine. At no point in the entire document is there any granting of political rights to non-Jewish entities (i.e., Arabs). Article 2 of the Mandate for Palestine explicitly states that the Mandatory should: "Be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion."
Political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs were guaranteed by the League of Nations in four other mandates - in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate]. Political rights in Palestine were granted to Jews only.

International law expert Professor Eugene V. Rostow, examining the claim for Arab Palestinian self-determination on the basis of law, concluded:

"The mandate implicitly denies Arab claims to national political rights in the area in favor of the Jews; the mandated territory was in effect reserved to the Jewish people for their self-determination and political development, in acknowledgment of the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land. Lord Curzon, who was then the British Foreign Minister, made this reading of the mandate explicit. There remains simply the theory that the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have an inherent 'natural law' claim to the area."

[1] See Eugene V. Rostow, The Future of Palestine, Institute for National Strategic Studies, November 1993. Professor Rostow was Sterling Professor of Law and Public Affairs Emeritus at Yale University and served as the Dean of Yale Law School (1955-66); Distinguished Research Professor of Law and Diplomacy, National Defense University; Adjunct Fellow, American Enterprise Institute. In 1967, as U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, he became a key draftee of UN Resolution 242. See also his article: "Are Israel's Settlements Legal?" The New Republic, October 21, 1991.

"Eventually, All Humans Will Be Palestine Refugees"

Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times

[WT title: "Peculiar proliferation of Palestine refugees: Status has been passed from one generation to the next"]

Of all the issues that drive the Arab-Israeli conflict, none is more central, malign, primal, enduring, emotional, and complex than the status of those persons known as Palestine refugees.

The origins of this unique case, notes Nitza Nachmias of Tel Aviv University, goes back to Count Folke Bernadotte, the United Nations Security Council's mediator. Referring to those Arabs who fled the British mandate of Palestine, he argued in 1948 that the UN had a "responsibility for their relief" because it was a UN decision, the establishment of Israel, that had made them refugees. However inaccurate his view, it still remains alive and potent and helps explain why the UN devotes unique attention to Palestine refugees pending their own state. True to Bernadotte's legacy, the UN set up a range of special institutions exclusively for Palestine refugees. Of these, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, founded in 1949, stands out as the most important. It is both the only refugee organization to deal with a specific people (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees takes care of all non-Palestinian refugees) and the largest UN organization (in terms of staff).

UNRWA seemingly defines its wards with great specificity: "Palestine refugees are people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict." The ranks of these refugees (who initially included some Jews) have, of course, much diminished over the past 64 years. Accepting UNRWA's (exaggerated) number of 750,000 original Palestine refugees, only a fraction of that number, about 150,000 persons, remain alive.

UNRWA's staff has taken three major steps over the years to expand the definition of Palestine refugees. First, and contrary to universal practice, it continued the refugee status of those who became citizens of an Arab state (Jordan in particular). Second, it made a little-noticed decision in 1965 that extended the definition of "Palestine refugee" to the descendants of those refugees who are male, a shift that permits Palestine refugees uniquely to pass their refugee status on to subsequent generations. The U.S. government, the agency's largest donor, only mildly protested this momentous change. The UN General Assembly endorsed it in 1982, so that now the definition of a Palestine refugee officially includes "descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children." Third, UNRWA in 1967 added refugees from the Six-Day War to its rolls; today they constitute about a fifth of the Palestine refugee total.

These changes had dramatic results. In contrast to all other refugee populations, which diminish in number as people settle down or die, the Palestine refugee population has grown over time. UNRWA acknowledges this bizarre phenomenon: "When the Agency started working in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, 5 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services." Further, according to James G. Lindsay, a former UNRWA general counsel, under UNRWA's definition, that 5 million figure represents only half of those potentially eligible for Palestine refugee status.

In other words, rather than diminish 5-fold over six decades, UNRWA has the population of refugees increase almost 7-fold. That number could grow faster yet due to the growing sentiment that female refugees should also pass on their refugee status. Even when, in about 40 years, the last actual refugee from mandatory Palestine dies, pseudo-refugees will continue to proliferate. Thus is the "Palestine refugee" status set to swell indefinitely. Put differently, as Steven J. Rosen of the Middle East Forum notes, "given UNRWA's standards, eventually all humans will be Palestine refugees."

Were the Palestine refugee status a healthy one, this infinite expansion would hardly matter. But the status has destructive implications for two parties: Israel, which suffers from the depredations of a category of persons whose lives are truncated and distorted by an impossible dream of return to their great-grandparents' houses; and the "refugees" themselves, whose status implies a culture of dependency, grievance, rage, and futility.

A giant key (said to be the world's largest) sits atop the entrance to the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, reminding residents to insist on their "right of return."

All other refugees from the World War II era (including my own parents) have been long settled; the Palestine refugee status has already endured too long and needs to be narrowed down to actual refugees before it does further damage.

Mr. Pipes ( is president of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. This article is based on a recent MEF seminar in Jerusalem on UNRWA.© 2012 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 27, 2012

"On the Mount of Olives"

Arlene Kushner

Before beginning my discussion about the Mount, I am delighted to be able to share good news:

Some days ago, I sent out an e-mail about a 16 month old boy -- Rafael Zakkai Avraham ben Yakira Avigael -- who had a very rare cancer in the spine. The situation sounded dire and I asked for prayers. The news now is that the child was misdiagnosed: the tumor in his spine is benign. The parents were very cautious about accepting this new diagnosis prematurely, but have now had confirmation from two labs. Baruch Hashem.

What this means is that this poor baby will not need intense chemotherapy, and the tumor will not metastasize. But he will still require complicated surgery on his spine. The prayers are working, writes the mother -- please, keep praying!!


Now to the Mount of Olives (Har HaZeitim), which is on the periphery of eastern Jerusalem.

Found on the Mount is the oldest cemetery in Jewish history, dating back 3,000 years and containing some 150,000 graves. The earliest burial caves date from the First Temple; the cemetery is still actively in use today.

Those buried on this site constitute a cross section of Jewish history -- from prophets to Torah sages to political figures. (See a list of notables here:

The Mount of Olives cemetery truly is a national heritage, to be preserved and treasured.
Unfortunately, the cemetery is in trouble.

At the end of the War of Independence in 1949, eastern Jerusalem -- and with it this cemetery -- was in the hands of the Jordanians. The armistice agreement signed between Israel and Jordan included an understanding that Jews would be able to visit the graves, but the Jordanians did not honor this. The reason became clear in time: When Israel liberated this site in 1967, it was discovered that 75,000 graves had been desecrated by the Jordanians. In the most massive destruction of Jewish graves in history, the Jordanians had removed tombstones to build roads and to use as latrines.

Some repair work has been done over time, but damage still exists. What is more -- the damage continues to this very day. Local Arabs come into the cemetery with the deliberate intention of destroying tombstones.

Source: Jewpi

Additionally, they -- young men and teenagers -- throw stones at those coming into the cemetery. More than one mourner has been injured at the graveside of a loved one; it has become practice for parties visiting the cemetery to come with armed guard. A situation of outrage.


It is to the credit of the current government that it has addressed some of the problems of the cemetery, but efforts are not yet sufficient.

In 2010, American Rabbi Avraham Lubinsky, visiting his parents' graves on Har HaZeitim, was horrified to find desecrated graves adjacent. This motivated him to found the International Committee for the Preservation of Har HaZeitim, which has done wonderful work since its founding and has helped to call the issue to public attention.

It is fitting that it should be an international committee that took on this challenge, for Jews from all over have loved ones buried here. It was the International Committee that called the meeting at the Great Synagogue on Motzei Shabbat (Saturday night). What became clear is that there is still much work to be done, but great strides have already been made.


Speakers during the course of the evening included Avraham's brother, Rabbi Menachem Lubinsky, a member of the Committee, who ran the program; Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon; Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and a member of the Committee; and Members of Knesset Yitzhak Herzog (Labor) and Tzipi Hotovely (Likud).

In summary, they made a number of significant points:

What is challenged with the attacks on the cemetery is the sovereignty of Israel over eastern Jerusalem. As well, there is attempt to write out the 3,000 year connection of the Jews to this land. Thus the issues transcend the desecration of individual graves, as significant as this is by itself.

It is imperative for Israel to gain full control over this site and to restore it.

Making this a priority can speed the remedies that are required. As the members of the Knesset present made clear, there is so much that the Knesset is concerned with from day-to-day that this issue gets shelved. Herzog and Hotovely pledged to bring the matter vigorously to the attention of the Knesset. Once this happened, they felt confident that everyone would be on board with regard to necessary measures: this is not a controversial issue. And, indeed, it was in the news today that the Knesset Committee on Immigration, Absorption and the Diaspora would be holding a hearing on the situation (this committee because of major diaspora involvement).


Resolution to the major problems -- either anticipated or already in process:

-- Legislation must be passed to levy stiff punishment, including prison time, against vandals who desecrate graves. Where minors are involved, the parents must be held responsible.

-- All breaches in the wall around the cemetery must be closed.

-- The roads leading to the cemetery must be secured. There are Arab neighborhood around the area.

-- Better communication with those adjacent Arab neighborhoods is necessary. Local Arab residents must be stopped from using the cemetery as a shortcut and football field (acts of disrespect).

-- A police presence must be on the cemetery grounds at all times. The way the situation is now, the damage has been done, and the perpetrators have fled, before the police get to the site once they are called. Minister of Internal Security Aharonovitch has announced that in two weeks there will be a police station on the Mount, with some 25 police officers assigned to the site; if it turns out more are required, they will be brought in.

-- The cemetery must be well lit. Lights are up or going up.

-- Security cameras are required. Some 90 are now in place, with 137 promised in all.

-- Restoration of all vandalized gravestones. Much work has been done on this, and continues to be in process. The goal is an additional 20,000 gravestones restored in the next few years, but there must not be more vandalism if it is to be met.

-- Regular maintenance of the site is necessary -- this is a municipal responsibility.


The point was made, as well, that there should be beautification of the site, because it is a national treasure. And education about the site: Just a there are regular tours to the national cemetery on Mt. Herzl, so should there be here -- run by Egged, special school trips, etc. -- with explanations regarding those who are buried in the cemetery and signs identifying the location of graves.

This instills Jewish pride in our ancient heritage, and lifts morale.


Yet another problem, which is more difficult to address -- but which I hope to write more about in time -- is the presence of an illegal mosque, built stealthily, on cemetery grounds.


In addition to all the speakers mentioned above, the audience also heard remarks from Congressman Elliot Engel (D-NY) and Congressman Jerald Nadler (D-NY). They were on their way to the airport to return to the States, but felt it important to address the gathering briefly, first.

The day before, Friday, they had been taken to Har HaZeitim by Rabbi Avraham Lubinsky and Malcolm Hoenlein to see the desecration of graves. While they were there, a large rock was thrown at them.

Congressman Engel said that while he expected old destruction he was surprised to see the fresh vandalism. As to the rock thrown, he intends to report to his Congressional colleagues and to work on the issue until he sees resolution.

Congressman Nadler said the desecration of graves is unforgiveable -- an attempt to deny history and a crime against humanity. This is an act of hatred by young people, he declared, and the parents who teach this hatred must be held accountable.

Below from right: Congressman Nadler, Congressman Engel, Rabbi A. Lubinsky and Malcolm Hoenlein.

Credit: Yishai Fleishner


A great deal more information, and photos, can be found here: (fantastic photos)


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

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Friends Seminary Plays Bait and Switch on Anti-Semitism

Alan M. Dershowitz

The Friends Seminary of New York, which invited the notorious anti-Semite, Gilad Atzmon, to one of its classes, and assigned its students to read his hate-filled writings, has now backed out of an agreement to invite me to the school to talk to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism. The Headmaster of the Friends Seminary, a school which is supposed to be committed to honesty and integrity, has broken his solemn promise to me, and to members of its own community, to allow its students to hear both sides of an issue which really has only one side: namely, the illegitimacy of bringing hate mongers into high school classrooms. After I exposed the original invitations to Gilad Atzmon—who justifies the burning down of synagogues as "reasonable" response to Jewish efforts to "control the world"—the Headmaster of the school agreed to several things. First, he would speak at an assembly to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism; second, he would assign my essay to the students who were assigned Atzmon's essay; and third, he would invite me to address the students. He has now broken each of these promises.

Students who were at the assembly have confirmed that the speakers only made things worse. The teacher who invited Atzmon talked about what a great musician he was. The Headmaster was defensive about how his words were manipulated and justified bringing Atzmon based on Quaker principles. Apparently the word anti-Semitism was never once mentioned during this meeting. My article was not assigned to the students; a citation was sent to them saying that I wanted students to read its content.

When I wrote to the Headmaster complaining about these breaches, they used my letter as an excuse for canceling my appearance. The real reason was almost certainly pressure from hard-left members of his faculty and others.

Let's be clear what this means. The school was unwilling to cancel Atzmon's appearance, even after learning that he was virulent anti-Semite who questions the Holocaust but believes that it may be true that Jews kill Christians to use their blood for religious purposes. But they have canceled my appearance because they didn't like the tone of a private letter that I wrote to them that was critical of the Headmaster's failure to comply with his promises. I ended my letter with the following words: "Please assure me that I am wrong about my judgment about you. I really would like to see this move forward in a positive direction, but you are not helping. The ultimate sufferers are your students, who are being taught the wrong values that will serve them poorly in college and in life."

The values that Headmaster Bo Lauder is imbuing to his students are deception, breach of promise, toleration of anti-Semitism and an unwillingness to present all sides of an issue. In the end, the Headmaster is showing tremendous distrust of his students by refusing to allow them to hear another side of the issue, by canceling my promised appearance, by not assigning my essay and by continuing to be defensive regarding the dreadful mistake of judgment he made in allowing Atzmon to teach his students.

The Headmaster may believe that by breaking his promises, he has ended this issue. Let him be absolute certain, that, as I wrote in my letter to him: "This issue will not go away, and nor will I. Misled once, shame on you. Misled twice, shame on me." Unless I am invited to address the students inside of the school, I will appear outside of the school, where I will hand out my essays to those students who are willing to read them and will address those students who have an interest in hearing a response to anti-Semitism. I am also considering inviting parents, students and other members of the Friends Seminary community to an event, in a venue outside of the school, where these issues can be discussed openly and candidly. Headmaster Lauder may be able to keep me physically outside of his school, but he will not be able to stop my ideas from reaching his community. The truth does not respect artificial boundaries.

The Friends Seminary, like other elite schools around the country, teaches our future leaders. Many Friends Schools around the country have espoused strongly anti-Israel policies for years. The Friends Seminary in New York itself has a rabidly anti-Israel history teacher on its faculty, who propagandizes his students against Israel in the classroom, and who has a picture of Anne Frank wearing a Palestinian headdress on his website. The school has and is again planning to take its students on trips to the Middle East that present a one-sided perspective. Now they have crossed the line from preaching anti-Zionism to tolerating anti-Semitism. I will not remain silent in the face of the Friends Seminary's double standard and neither should you.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Expert Warns of Waqf's Dangerous Plans for Temple Mount

Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar warns: The Waqf is planning to unite all the mosques on the Temple Mount into one.
By Elad Benari

Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar warned on Thursday about the plans of the Muslim religious authority, the Waqf, for the Temple Mount.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Mazar said that for the past 12 years, the Waqf has constantly built on the Temple Mount in an attempt to implement its final plan: the establishment of a huge mosque on the Mount.

“There is no order there and no one to uphold the law,” she said. “No one can enforce the law there. Not the Israel Antiquities Authority, not the Nature and Parks Authority and not the city of Jerusalem. The police are there but they are precluded from enforcing.”

The Temple Mount was left in the hands of the Waqf following Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, a decision of then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. The Waqf has taken advantage of this and removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the most Jewish holy site. At the entrance, a Waqf sign says, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property”.Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, discriminate against Jews. They limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers. They often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.

Mazar, a member of a group of Israelis who work to prevent the destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount, said that the State Comptroller wrote a report which exposed serious findings about Israeli authorities’ inability to enforce the law on the Temple Mount, but noted that the report has remained confidential to this day.

“The Comptroller produced a thorough report and questioned all the right people. He came to important conclusions which so far have not been published. Our group has demanded and continues to demand that the contents of the report be published.”

She warned that the excavations of antiquities being performed on the Temple Mount by the Waqf may lead to disaster.

“It has been going on for 12 years. They’re digging there as if it’s a construction site. There is a danger that the ground will collapse under thousands of Muslims. It endangers the safety of the people. There must be engineering control over this huge monument. Every stone on the Temple Mount may contain some of the most important antiquities in the world.”

Mazar added, “I do not accept the argument that this could lead to a world war. The Temple Mount is at the center of Jerusalem. We’re not harming the Muslim rituals. We only want to enforce the law and order so that a disaster can be prevented. The Waqf cannot be trusted. If something collapses there the Western Wall may also be damaged, because the Temple Mount is on a round hill and its edges will be in danger.”

Mazar said the Waqf’s final plan is to unite all the mosques on the Temple Mount and create one big mosque. She added that it has been working for years to put the plan into practice and warned that if this happens, Jews will not be able to go to the Temple Mount.

“We know that the Waqf’s goal is to unite all one the mosques, and unfortunately today it is far from being just an illusion,” she said. “We will definitely weep over this plan in the future.”

Comment: This evening (after Shabbat) I attended a meeting at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem concerning the 3,000 year-old Jewish cemetery on the Mt. of Olives (Har HaZeitim) .

It is the resting place of so many Jews - leaders as well as private individuals; the inscriptions are all written in Hebrew - testament to the ownership of this place from ancient times.

From 1948 to 1967 the Jordanians controlled the area, destroyed many graves, used the headstones for latrines and stables for their horses, and erected a hotel there. Nineteen years later, in 1967, Israel regained control of the area as a result of war and, finding the desecration, began to repair what had been destroyed and to resume burials there.

Unfortunately, it is not only the non-living Jews whose presence on the Mt. of Olives disturbs the Arabs.
Jews attempting to get to the cemetery are in danger of being hit by rocks thrown by local Arabs. On Friday, Feb. 24th, a delegation of several prominent Americans, including 2 Senators, were at the receiving end of such an attack - witnesses to what Israelis live through.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and both Senators attended the meeting this evening at the Great synagogue and spoke before a large congregation assembled there, voicing their concerns. Also in attendance were two Members of the Knesset - from 2 different political parties with Barbara Goldstein, President of Hadassah; all spoke with one voice.

All present were told that there will soon be an Israeli police presence on the Mt. of Olives to prevent harm to visitors or destruction graves.

It should also be known that the Arabs have been erecting a mosque at this ancient Jewish cemetery; unfortunately, it was not prevented.

Following is another case of the Muslim plan for another site holy to Jews. These are both Jewish issues - not just Israeli - and should be of concern to Jews all over the world.

in beloved Jerusalem

Soldiers nearly lynched by Arabs in Haifa

Arab Israelis viciously assault two soldiers in civilian clothing early Saturday; one victim's head 'engraved' by knife-wielding assailant; attackers use bats, rocks

Maor Buchnik

Two IDF soldiers in civilian clothing were viciously attacked by a group of Arab-Israeli men early Saturday near Haifa's Rambam Hospital, with guards deployed in the area narrowly averting a lynching.
Police forces detained four suspects on suspicion of taking part in the assault and expect to make more arrests.

The uncle of one of the soldiers said the assailants asked the victims whether they were Jewish before attacking them.

"They beat the hell out of them, using bats and stones, and resorting to kicks," the uncle said. The soldiers attempted to escape in different directions, at which point some 20 attackers assaulted one of them, the uncle added.

"One of the attackers pounded my nephew's head against the ground and engraved his head with a knife," he said. "Security guards in the area arrived at the site, put him in a wheel chair, and evacuated him for treatment at the emergency room."
'Guards heard screams'

The violent incident took place around 2 am Saturday, when the two soldiers, who serve in the Air Force and Navy, parked near a convenience store.

According to relatives of the soldiers, one of the assailants involved in the attack warned the victims: "We'll come to visit you again, because you involved the police."

The soldiers sustained blows to various body parts, hospital officials said. One of them required facial x-rays in order to ascertain the damage he sustained. The officials added that guards at the medical facility heard screams nearby and rushed to the site of the incident while also calling the police.

The Haifa Police Commander, Moshe Cohen, said "the incident started as a brawl, apparently based on nationalistic motives…the probe continues and more suspects are expected to be arrested."

Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino was briefed about the attack Saturday evening instructed top police chiefs to ensure that all attackers are detained and face the full severity of the law.

"We cannot treat this type of violent attack as a routine matter," Danino said.