Saturday, April 21, 2012

PM slams Grass, defends travel ban against author

BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 04/21/2012 In interview with German paper, Netanyahu says poem accusing Israel of being main impediment to world peace all the more shocking because it came from Nobel laureate, and not from "some neo-Nazi teenager." BERLIN - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called German Author Gunter Grass' poem sharply criticizing Israel "an absolute scandal," speaking in an interview slated to be published Sunday in German paper Die Welt am Sonntag. Netanyahu ratcheted up his criticism of the Nobel laureate in the interview with the German paper, as well as defending Interior Minister Eli Yishai's decision to ban Grass from entering Israel. Netanyahu termed the poem “shameful” and a “collapse of moral judgment,” in excerpts of the interview published Saturday on the Die Welt online website. The prime minister's comments highlight that the international row surrounding Grass' perceived anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish state will not fizzle away in the short-term. The 84-year-old German author, who served as a member of the Nazi Waffen SS as a teenager, published a poem “What must be said” in early April in the left-leaning, Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung. Critics in Germany and the United States, as well as Israeli politicians, asserted that the poem demonstrates hate against Jews and Israel. Grass accused Israel of warmongering and planning a first nuclear strike against the Islamic Republic to “extinguish the Iranian people.” He blamed Israel as a main impediment to world peace. In the Die Welt am Sonntag interview, Netanyahu said the fact that "this comes from a German Nobel prize winner and not from some teenager in a neo-Nazi party, makes it still more shocking, “ Netanyahu defended the travel ban against Grass in the interview, saying, "Sometimes there are things that are so shocking that one has to react in other ways. He went too far in the direction of untruth and defamation. Our reaction expressed that.” He continued in the Welt am Sonntag interview that Grass ”created a perfect moral misrepresentation, in that the aggressor becomes a victim and the victim becomes an aggressor. “According to Netanyahu, Israel's efforts to defend itself against extermination become a threat to world peace in Grass' poem. "The firefighter and not the arsonist becomes the true danger," said the prime minister. Netanyahu made comparisons between the defamation of Jews in the Nazi period and the defamation of Israel today through the poetry of Grass. He noted that today the attacks against Israel are comparable to the perfidy and defamation of the attacks launched against Jews during the period of Nazi Germany, which resulted in the Holocaust. “The question which people should pose reads: What if I had back then believed in this perfidy and defamation against Jews? Because defamation is always the precursor to complicity," said Netanyahu. The prime minister added that it was “important and positive” that leading German politicians condemned Grass' statements. He, however, had hoped for more support from the German population. According to some surveys, 70 to 80 percent of responses from Germans on online blogs, newspaper comment sections and television polls showed that Germans nonetheless support Grass’ attacks against Israel. One leading German politician, however, has shown solidarity with Grass. The head of the German Social Democratic party, Sigmar Gabriel, defended Grass last week. Gabriel termed Israel to be an “Apartheid regime” in March and has gone to great lengths to support Grass, who is a longstanding activist in the Social Democratic party.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Additional Perspective"

Arlene Kushner

Yesterday I wrote about Holocaust remembrance. Today I want to expand on this, for the day being observed right now is most properly called Yom Hashoah v'Hagvurah -- Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism. That second part is important, because the Jews did not all go -- as was said by Vilna resistance leader Abba Kovner -- "like sheep to the slaughter." There was resistance, which also must be remembered and honored.

The most powerful example of that resistance we have is what took place in the Warsaw Ghetto, and it is for this reason that this day of remembrance has been set to coincide with the most significant part of that resistance, which was initiated on April 19 (1943). Last night I attended a lecture on the Warsaw Ghetto by Moshe Arens -- who has served in his time as Israeli Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the US. Having recently written a book, Flags Over the Warsaw Ghetto: The Untold Story of the Ghetto Uprising, he was able to recount the history of the period without reference to a single written note.



Two things were necessary for a Jewish resistance against the Nazis, explained Arens. The first was the willingness of the population in the ghetto to support it. This was in no way a given, for there lingered in the hearts of the people the hope that perhaps they would not be killed. Perhaps it will all stop before the Germans got to them. Perhaps they would be recruited by the Germans for work, and be able to survive. It was understood that to resist meant ultimately dying.


June 22, 1941 -- even before official decisions were made at the Wannsee Conference of 1942 -- the Nazi killings of Jews on a large scale began. Prior to this, Jews had been rounded up into ghettos, most notably in Vilna (then in Lithuania) and Warsaw (Poland), which had the largest Jewish community in Central Europe. In that ghetto were some 300,000 Jews.

This photo, taken in the Warsaw Ghetto, is world famous:

There were no gas chambers yet, but mass murders had begun: people were rounded up and shot.


The first resistance took place in Vilna. There leadership from all ideological groups united. But ultimately the resistance there failed because the people did not support it.

In January 1942, messengers went out from Vilna to Warsaw, advising the people to resist. This was met by a dubious attitude at first. But starting in July 1942, the Germans demanded of the Jewish community (the Judenrat) 8,000 people to be assembled daily for deportation. It became obvious that the deportations were not for purposes of work, because women and children were included. With some investigation (discrete questions directed at guards, etc.), the people came to understand that the deportations were to Treblinka. In the course of seven weeks, 250,000 Jews were deported from Warsaw to the camp.

At this point the decision was made to resist, and the people supported this.


The second thing that was needed for a resistance was leadership. But the leadership of Polish Jewry had fled in 1939, leaving the people leaderless. Highly ideologically motivated groups of young people -- average age was 23 -- then organized to assume leadership.

Groups tended to merge with like groups: the Labor Bund with Socialists, etc. And the Revisionist Zionist Betar with Jabotinsky followers. In the end there were two resistance groups or coalitions. The Bund group, led by Mordechai Anielewicz, which had a stronger political organization, and the Betar group, led by Pavel Frankel, which had superior military skills and possessed more weapons.

Both groups understood that uniting was the wisest thing to do, but negotiations for a merger failed. Each had its own commanders, its own ideology, etc., and jealousies, hostilities between the two groups existed. (There were on the left Socialist Zionist groups, but also anti-Zionist, anti-nationalist Socialists and Communists; Betar, founded on Jabotinsky ideology, was passionately Zionist.)

Thought was given to leaving the Ghetto and joining partisans outside, but the decision was made to stay for the honor of the Jewish people and for the historical record.


Resistance began to coalesce in January of 1943. The Bundist group focused on ambushing the Germans when they entered the Ghetto. The Beitar group faced the Nazis more frontally, and launched the single most prominent act of resistance in the Ghetto when, on April 19th, they raised the blue and white Zionist flag and the red and white Polish flag on the roof of the Betar headquarters in Muranowska Square. The battle lasted for four days, with those flags, which could be seen in the Polish street, still flying -- much to the fury of the Germans.

Frankel and his associates in Betar all fell in that battle, and so their part of the story was not told.

The Bundists continued to fight -- it was the Nazi's push to finish the Ghetto -- into May. In early May the Nazis reached the Bundist headquarters at Mila 18 Street. Anielewicz and many of his associates were killed, but a handful, including his lieutenant Marek Edelman, got out and lived to tell their story. This is the story that the world has known.

Arens related how Frankel said that, "We will die before our time but we are not doomed. We will be alive as long as Jewish history lives." Arens has done considerable research -- including securing information on the Betar resistance from German sources -- in order to right this historical wrong and acknowledge the role of the Revisionist Zionist-Betar people in the Warsaw Uprising.


You can see here an article by Arens that further describes the larger historical context and the political tensions within the Ghetto at that time. He concludes:

"Sixty years have passed since the outbreak of the revolt in the Warsaw Ghetto. As it becomes a legend it should be freed of political bias and made to conform as closely as possible to the actual course of events. This is a debt we owe to the heroes of the revolt." (Emphasis added)

Aren's book can be purchased here:


A larger than life sculpture by Nathan Rappaport honoring the heroic fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto found in modern day Warsaw, with a copy in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.


Copyright symbol 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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When Administrations Implode

Victor Davis Hanson

Apr 19, 2012

Administration meltdowns are hardly novel. In almost every presidency there comes a moment when sheer chaos takes hold, whether self-induced or as a result of an outside crisis.

Vietnam had effectively destroyed Lyndon Johnson by 1967. Watergate unraveled the Richard Nixon administration, as the disgraced president resigned in the face of certain impeachment. Gerald Ford could not whip inflation and was not re-elected. One-termer Jimmy Carter was undone by the Iranian hostage crisis and skyrocketing oil prices.

For a time, it seemed that Ronald Reagan's second term might not survive the Iran-Contra scandal. George H.W. Bush could not be re-elected after he broke his promise not to raise taxes and Ross Perot entered the 1992 race. The popular Bill Clinton was impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair and limped out of office tainted. The insurgency in Iraq and the fallout from Hurricane Katrina crashed for good the once-high poll ratings of George W. Bush. The Obama administration over the last month has seemed on the verge of one of these presidential meltdowns.

An open mic caught the president promising Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would be more flexible after the election -- as if Obama might grant concessions that would be unpalatable if known to the general public before November. That embarrassment followed an earlier hot-mic put-down of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.

The president also unwisely attacked the Supreme Court as it deliberated the constitutionality of Obamacare. He needlessly referred to the justices as "unelected" and wrongly claimed that that they had little precedent to overturn laws that dealt with commerce. The gaffe about the court and its history was doubly embarrassing because Obama has often reminded the public that he used to teach constitutional law.

Democrats unwisely went after the Catholic Church and religious conservatives on the grounds that they did not support federal subsidies for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. Another gratuitous scrap soon escalated into an unnecessary fight with Catholic bishops. To widen the controversy further, Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz alleged that the contraceptive fight was part of a wider Republican "war on women."

But that new psychodrama also blew up in the administration's face when a zealous Democratic consultant, Hilary Rosen, claimed that Ann Romney, wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, had "never worked a day in her life." In fact, the affable Mrs. Romney had raised five children and had survived both multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.

That silly offensive got worse when, at almost the same time, news leaked that women working at the Obama White House, on average, made 18 percent less than their male counterparts there. Meanwhile, 11 Secret Service agents assigned to the president's trip to Colombia were sent home for soliciting prostitutes -- and then haggling over the cost. Not long before, the General Services Administration was caught wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on a junket in Las Vegas -- leading to the resignation of the GSA administrator, a political appointee.

Then there was the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting. After Obama's disastrous 2009 commentary about the detention of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates -- when the president alleged that police acted "stupidly" -- he might have been wise to keep quiet about another explosive racial controversy. Instead, he foolishly plunged in with a puzzling comment that if he had a son, he would have looked like the deceased Trayvon Martin. That editorializing served no purpose except to remind the nation of the racial tensions simmering around the shooting.

The president also went after the rich with the "Buffett Rule," which would ensure that millionaires like his friend Warren Buffett paid at least 30 percent in income taxes. But Obama and his wife Michelle paid just over 20 percent in federal taxes on the $790,000 they earned in 2011. And even if the bill passed, the Obama Treasury would only get new revenue amounting to less than half of 1 percent of what it borrows every year.

The effect of all these unnecessary missteps was to make the Obama administration appear inept -- at precisely the time Republicans were unifying around Romney and ending their long, suicidal primary fights. Some polls even showed Romney suddenly ahead in the presidential race.

So why is the president rashly picking these stupid fights?

Apparently his team wishes to divert attention from generally bleak economic news. The economy still suffers from a dramatic spike in gas prices, chronically high 8 percent plus unemployment, sluggish growth, and serial $1 trillion annual deficits that have sent the debt soaring to $16 trillion.

These perfect storms often either destroy presidents or turn them into unpopular lame ducks. Obama should learn from the fates of his predecessors: There are enough forces in the world to destroy a presidency without needlessly creating more on his own.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Palestinian" Muslim sentenced to death for selling home to Jews

Jihad Watch

Hitler would be so pleased. "Arab seller of Hebron house said sentenced to death," from the JTA, April 16 (thanks to David):

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jewish leaders in Hebron have called for international intervention to help the Palestinian man sentenced to death for selling a home near the Cave of the Patriarchs to Jews.

A letter on behalf of Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former intelligence agent for the Palestinian Authority, was signed by Hebron Jewish community leaders David Wilder and Noam Arnon, and addressed to, among others, the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; the president of the European Council of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy; and the director general of the International Red Cross, Yves Daccord, among others. Shahala reportedly was sentenced to death for his part in selling what has become known as Beit Hamachpela (the Machpela House) to a group of Jews. He reportedly confessed to the sale after torture and was subject to a rushed trial, according to Arutz-7, which cited various news agencies. Palestinian officials said Shahala was not authorized to sell the home.

The death warrant still must be signed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to reports.

“It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a ‘capital crime’ punishable by death,” the Jewish leaders write in their letter. ” The very fact that such a ‘law’ exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages.

“What would be the reaction to a law in the United States, England, France, or Switzerland, forbidding property sales to Jews? Actually, less than one hundred years ago, such acts were legislated and practiced, known as the infamous ‘Nuremberg laws.”...

Comments to article: PCPCP | April 17, 2012 5:22 AM | Reply

Thank you JW for bringing this man's plight to light.
The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. The world is indifferent to this man and the many many other victims of Islamic violence whether those victims are Christian, Muslim, male, female, young, old, whether imprisoned or killed outright, whether murdered en mass in a dramatic explosion or strangled quietly in her home.

We are not Islamophobes. We are islamospectators. It is the prerogative of the spectator the cheer and to boo. I cheered for Salman Taseer.
Author Profile Page Michelle | April 17, 2012 7:10 AM | Reply

And this is not the terrorist group Hamas, but rather the 'moderate' PA whom the US, the West, and the world has deemed a rational peace partner for Israel. PA, PLO, Fatah, Hamas- they are all the same in that they all call very openly and very publicly for Israel's destruction. They will never recognize a Jewish state or negotiate any kind of peace. The world is aware of the score and yet they continue with the lies in an attempt to demonize and delegitimize Israel. As the article points out, not that long ago, these same laws against Jews existed in Europe. Jew hatred is alive and well all over the world, anti-semites are just masking their hatred by calling themselves criticizers of an oppressive, occupying Israeli govt.
Author Profile Page gravenimage replied to comment from Michelle | April 17, 2012 9:19 AM | Reply

Shahala reportedly was sentenced to death for his part in selling what has become known as Beit Hamachpela (the Machpela House) to a group of Jews. He reportedly confessed to the sale after torture and was subject to a rushed trial, according to Arutz-7, which cited various news agencies. Palestinian officials said Shahala was not authorized to sell the home.

Torture, a "rushed trial", and a sentence *of death* for selling a property to Jewish people.

And—as Michelle notes—this is the "moderate" Palestinian Authority.


The death warrant still must be signed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to reports.

By *Abbas himself*. He can't claim he didn't know...


“It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a ‘capital crime’ punishable by death,” the Jewish leaders write in their letter. ” The very fact that such a ‘law’ exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages.


And yet, "activists" are *targeting Israel*. The world gone mad.

A Missionary Impulse


“The Jews are like rats,” Peter Beinart’s grandmother told him when he was a boy. “We leave the sinking ship.” This grandmother — who was born in Egypt and lived in South Africa but dreamed of joining her brother in Israel — believed that Israel was the last refuge of a hounded people, and she made Beinart, who was born in the United States, believe it, too.
But Beinart, a former editor of The New Republic who now runs a blog called Open Zion, has a problem: he finds Israel, morally, a sinking ship. Instead of simply swimming away, he has written “The Crisis of Zionism,” in which he sets out to save the country by labeling many of its leaders racist, denouncing many of its American supporters as ­Holocaust-obsessed enablers and advocating a boycott of people and products from beyond Israel’s 1967 eastern border. While saving Israel, Beinart hopes with evangelical zeal to save America from a handful of Jewish organizations that in his view have not only hijacked American liberalism but also stolen the spine of the president of the United States, who, despite having received 78 percent of the Jewish vote, is powerless to pursue his own agenda.

Like a majority of Israelis, Beinart believes that it is depleting, degrading and dangerous for Israel to oversee the lives of millions of stateless Palestinians, and also like a majority of Israelis, he thinks the solution is the creation of a Palestinian state. But because he minimizes the cataclysmic impact of the second Intifada; describes Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza not as a gut-wrenching act of desperation but as a cynical ploy to continue the occupation by other means; belittles those who harp on a Hamas charter that calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews the world over; and plays down the magnitude of the Palestinian demand for a right of return — not to a future Palestine but to Israel itself, which would destroy the Jewish state — he liberates his book from the practicalities of politics.

How you condense a thorny complexity into a short book says a great deal about your relationship to history — and to language. Beinart is especially good at invoking facts as a way of dismissing them. Thus Israel’s offer to withdraw from conquered land in 1967, and the Arab States’ declaration — “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it” — becomes literally a parenthetical aside in which the Arabs’ “apparent refusal” made Israeli settlement “easier.”

Jews, Beinart insists, are failing what he calls “the test of Jewish power.” He does not mean by this that after millenniums of statelessness, Jews are slow to acknowledge the exigencies of force but something quite the opposite, which allows him to employ several formulations favored by anti-Semites, from the notion of a White House-­crushing Israel lobby, and the observation that “privately, American Jews revel in Jewish power,” to the grotesque idea that “in the 1970s, American Jewish organizations began hoarding the Holocaust.” His statement that occupation “requires racism” indicts Israel as racist (even as Beinart notes elsewhere the libelous United Nations resolution in 1975 declaring that “Zionism is a form of racism”).

In Beinart’s world, anti-Semitism seems little more than a form of Jewish self-deception. The Anti-Defamation League fights “alleged” anti-Semitism against Israel, he tells us. To worry about existential threats to a country the size of New Jersey, with fewer than eight million people living in a suicide-bombing nuclear age, is to surrender to “Jewish victimhood.” Surely it is possible for a country to be both powerful and precarious? Surely “vulnerability” would be a better word than “victimhood”? But Beinart’s feints toward nuance repeatedly give way to stark dualisms: “Liberalism was out, tribalism was in.”

Though allowing that “there is some truth” to the argument that Palestinians have turned their back on past offers of a two-state solution, Beinart’s formula — “were Israel to permit the creation of a Palestinian state” — waves that away, establishing, through purely rhetorical means, that peace is Israel’s to bestow, and incidentally robbing Palestinians of any role in their own destiny. But then Beinart has little to say about Palestinians in any case. While there is a chapter called “The Crisis in Israel” and a chapter called “The Crisis in America,” there is no chapter called “The Crisis in Palestinian Society” or “The Crisis in Islam,” though Islam has played an enormous role in Palestinian nationalism. Beinart may of course believe there is no crisis in these quarters, but he is essentially silent on the matter, just as he pays scant attention to the larger Arab world, finding it easier to recast a Mideast struggle as an American-Israeli drama.

Like the Widow Douglas trying to civilize Huck Finn before he lights out for the occupied territory, Beinart has a missionary impulse toward Israel. His faith resides in “liberal ­ideals,” which he often makes synonymous with Judaism itself, or what Judaism ought to be. Thus we are told that Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t trust Barack Obama because “Obama reminds Netanyahu of what Netanyahu doesn’t like about Jews,” by which he means a sense of moral obligation. In a neat trick of replacement theology, Obama, referred to as “the Jewish president,” becomes the real Jew on whom election has fallen figuratively as well as ­literally.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, languishes in an old and brutal dispensation, indulging in “the glorification of the ferocious Jews of antiquity.” This Old Testament fury causes Obama to retreat from mentioning the division of Jerusalem: “The response from Netanyahu, the Republicans and the American Jewish organizations would be too ferocious to bear.” What this unbearable ferocity would consist of Beinart does not say. But it must be awful if it can cow the most powerful man in the free world.

This is of a piece with the sins of American Jews, who “rarely talk about what Joseph did to the Egyptians when Pharaoh put him in charge of the nation’s grain.” Turning away from such ugliness, Beinart declares that we need “a new American Jewish story.”

The wish for a new testament is old in Judaism, though some would say that Beinart’s attempt to separate Judaism’s sinful body from its liberal soul — the better to save it — is an antiquated act. Others might say that Israel is itself a new testament, or to borrow Theodor Herzl’s phrase, an old-new testament. Herzl, a hero of Beinart’s, didn’t think Israel would need an army. In 1902, this fantasy was still possible.

Beinart cites approvingly Israel’s declaration of statehood, read aloud by David Ben-Gurion in 1948. It promised “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” Yet Ben-Gurion also decided to eliminate from that document any reference to Israel’s borders, because the Arabs were preparing to attack and he wasn’t fighting to defend rejected borders but to save his state. The written as well as the unwritten words form a kind of text and commentary that Israel still struggles to balance amid all the brute realities of an unforgiving region. Sometimes it does this well and sometimes badly, but the struggle itself is the hallmark of a civilization far beyond Peter Beinart’s Manichaean ­simplicities.

Jonathan Rosen is the editorial director of Nextbook, and the author, most recently, of “The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature.”

Toulouse La Rose in the Shadow of Death

Nidra Poller

March 11, Toulouse: parachutist Imad Ibn Zlaten, 30 years old, is shot dead by a lone gunman on a motor scooter.

March 15, Montauban: parachutists Abel Chennouf, 25, and Mohamed Legouade 23, are shot dead by a lone gunman on a motor scooter. The critically wounded survivor, parachutist Loïc Liber, may be tetraplegiac.

March 19, Toulouse, Ozar Hatorah day school: Rabbi Yonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Aryeh, 6, and Gabriel, 3, and Miriam Monsonego, 7, are shot dead by a lone gunman on a motor scooter. Brian Aaron Bijaoui, 15, critically wounded as he protected other pupils, left the hospital on April 12th to continue a long convalescence at home in Nice.

March 22, Toulouse: murderer Mohamed Merah is killed in a shootout with the RAID commandos.

The state of alert in southwest France is subsequently lowered. As if Merah were a one-time phenomenon.

How do we close the gap? How do we connect the public mind to the massive evidence of 21st-century jihad strategy revealed since 9/11? Democratic societies cannot defend citizens against Islamic jihad without popular consensus -- the informed will of the people. The jihad assassination in Toulouse and Montauban of three soldiers, a rabbi, and several Jewish children shocked French society. Could this be the tipping point, where a European country begins to push back against Islamization? Or is it, as many jihad-savvy commentators have concluded, a flash in the pan?

Ordinary citizens were revolted by the brutal replay of a not-so-distant past, memorialized by plaques on the façades of French schools from which Jewish children were deported and exterminated en masse. Was the emotion provoked by the cold-blooded execution of Jewish children a relegation of French Jews to their image as martyrs of the Shoah? Was the subsequent government crackdown on French jihadis an opportunistic ploy to grab votes from the Front National, just weeks before the presidential elections? Did the media manage to quickly dry its tears, push the anti-Semitic motivation of Merah's killing spree into the background, and wipe away traces of a connection between murder and Islam?

If we understand that a mentality of resistance against jihad will never emerge in one magical sweep, I think we can formulate a strategy based on the slow, painful, awkward prise de conscience provoked by dramatic incidents such as Merah's fiendish killing spree. Compared to earlier Islamic murders of French Jews -- Sébastien Selam in 2003, Ilan Halimi in 2006 -- Merah's crime was more honestly perceived and characterized as brutally anti-Semitic. How can the precious few who clearly understand the sources and mechanisms of modern jihad close the gap between their mastery of the issues and the widespread confusion that prevails in our societies?

The question is not "Do the Toulouse-Montauban executions mark the tipping point?," but "How can those executions serve as the tipping point?" The very misconceptions displayed in public discourse, press coverage, spontaneous reactions, and defensive operations present opportunities to clarify the nature of the war being waged against the free world.

Misled by initial reports pointing to a far-right killer of Muslims (Abel Chennouf was in fact Catholic), blacks (Loïc Liber is Guadeloupian), and Jews, French society rose up in a sacred union against the twin evils of racism and anti-Semitism. When the Muslim identity of the killer was revealed, it was too late to backpedal. We witnessed a rare moment of authenticity in the media. Journalists dropped their guard. The killer was called a "jihadist," not an" activist." Ordinarily docile news-speakers wanted to know why the murder of the Jewish children had not been prevented. Why did it take the police so long to filter, analyze, and act on the evidence? Merah, who was connected via the IP of his mother's computer to the hundreds of people who answered Ibn Zlaten's ad for the sale of his motor scooter, posed as a buyer, killed the parachutist, and stole the scooter. The same weapon was used four days later to shoot three soldiers in Montauban. The list of suspects was again narrowed, but no one took a closer look at Mohamed Merah, recently questioned by internal security about his trip to Afghanistan last fall. "Tourism," he reportedly replied. How does a 23 year-old jobless delinquent on welfare afford such exotic globetrotting? And still have enough left to buy over $27,000 worth of arms?

Merah's brother Abdelkader, known to anti-terrorist investigators as a recruiter of French jihadis to fight in Iraq, had been under surveillance for years. Journalists who customarily defend the supposed victims of overzealous policing were asking what kind of surveillance lets these dangerous jihadis come and go, stockpile weapons, and hatch mass murder plots. During the 30-hour standoff, Merah insisted that his brother had nothing to do with the affair. The older brother, outwardly Salafist and sporting a docile companion in niqab, was said to disapprove of Mohamed's dissolute ways. This, too, was swallowed and repeated.

Until the police revealed that the brothers spent three hours together the night before the Ozar Hatorah killings, and Abdelkader, now charged as an accomplice and behind bars, was present at the school shortly before the murders. Mohamed, who thought he would be able to kill Jews, soldiers, policemen, and internal security officers for weeks or months or forever, had gone to a motorcycle concession where he was known by face and name to ask how to disconnect the geolocalization device on a motor scooter. Apparently he didn't know that he and his brother could be localized by their cell phones!

However one might wish for a divine flash of unanimous lucidity, in reality, human beings progress painfully and awkwardly by infinite small steps. Every discrepancy, every misconception revealed at every level in the official handling and media coverage of this horrible crime can be used to shed light on its profound sources.

Self-styled Muslim leaders, spokesmen, and men on the street scrambled to deny the link among Islam, jihad, and the Toulouse/Montauban killings. They warned of a terrible backlash "like in the US after 9/11." stop signs were placed at every intersection, from your corner newscaster to the chief rabbi of France: "don't 'amalgamate' this crime with Islam." This quaint alchemy did not succeed in turning Islamic jihad into the gold of a religion of peace.

Likewise, attempts from various quarters to recycle the grab bag of sociological interpretations -- poverty, discrimination, unequal opportunity -- fell flat. Maître Christian Etelin, the lawyer who had defended Merah during his seven-year criminal career, made a spectacle of himself, as can be seen by the proliferation of YouTube videos of his media interventions. His client, he said, had become less violent, more polite, and admittedly more religious, but he had shown no signs of "fanaticism" after his trip to Afghanistan. By contrast, a young man who associated with Merah on a daily basis for two years of vocational training in car body repairs describes (story in French) an unscrupulous, reckless, hot-tempered, tyrannical showoff and notorious motorcycle and car thief.

While Mohamed Merah, holed up in the apartment where he would make his last stand, reportedly told negotiators that he was proud of bringing France to its knees, found infinite pleasure in killing his victims, and regretted only not having killed more Jews at the school, his lawyer swore that Merah so loved his country that he had tried to join the army! He was rejected because of his criminal record. (How nasty of them.) He tried to join the Foreign Legion, and they wouldn't have him, either. (What else could the young man do but join al-Qaeda and kill Muslim traitors and Jewish children?)

How do we make intelligent use of the ignorance revealed in real time and down to the finish line by journalists and the "experts" they invited to comment on the case as it dramatically unfolded? These are the people who systematically hold up the shield of "objectivity" to rebuff objections to their stubbornly skewed Middle East reporting that fans Jew-hatred. Thinking aloud, they supposed that Merah's homicidal impulses couldn't be attributed to Islam because he ran around with women, hung out in night clubs, and did not wear a long beard and a short djellaba or assiduously attend a mosque. Followed to its logical conclusion, this would mean that Muslims who dress the part and spend long hours in mosques could be plotting right at this moment to kill French soldiers, Jews, and whomever else their religion designates as the enemy. And what if both cases are plausible?

Downcast moderate Muslim "leaders" who appeared arm in arm with rabbis at tear-drenched ceremonies for the victims condemned Merah. Murder, they proclaimed, is not Islamic, and a ruthless killer like Merah excludes himself from the Muslim community. The majority of victims of these fanatics, they add, are Muslim. Though this is statistically correct, it is not true. Muslims are victims of constant internecine warfare; Jews are targeted for extermination. We have just seen how easy it is to find soldiers of Allah willing to do their part. No matter how many Muslims are quantitatively eliminated, genocide of the Jewish people is qualitatively superior.

When Muslims who profess moderation and strive for ecumenical harmony deny that the obligation to wage jihad is established in the Koran and confirmed by all accepted schools of interpretation, they deflect the awareness that could one day dismantle the ideology and break the hold of Islam on vast populations converted by force over the centuries. Jihad has been conducted with seduction, deception, and violence since the days of the founding "prophet." It is pursued worldwide this day and hour by mujahidin inspired by that pure tradition. Jihad is the prime mover of the fake Arab springtime, a repetition-compulsion of ingrained tyranny, desperate revolt, and reassertion of traditional Islamic values inscribed in sharia, the system that our contemporary domestic Salafists are attempting to impose in France.

How can we fail to bridge the gap when it is so narrow? Commentators shocked by the murder of three French soldiers blurted: "We expect them to risk their lives on the battlefield, not outside their base in Toulouse or Montauban." But they did die on the battlefield! Jihadis fight them in Afghanistan and in the southwest of France. And on their base at Fort Hood. A three-year-old Jewish boy standing with his father in front of a school is targeted by the same ideology as a French soldier of North African origin. Jews, engulfed since September 2000 in endless waves of anti-Semitic attacks, have been trying to alert their fellow citizens to a common cause. They were shouted down with accusations of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. Merah's claim that he was avenging the massacre of Palestinian children in Gaza carried little weight this time around: the blood libel has been drowned in gallons of real blood from the killing fields in Syria.

France 2 Jerusalem correspondent Charles Enderlin, producer of the al Dura hoax that kicked off the current round of genocidal Jew-hatred, visibly squirmed when the question was raised during his report from the Givat Shaul cemetery where Merah's Jewish victims were buried. Asked if the killer was influenced by images of Palestinian casualties, Enderlin -- as usual -- sidestepped the question and took a swat at his fellow Israelis. Artificially casual, he replied that the killing was no big thing for Israelis. They're used to this kind of attack. He said local TV stations broadcasted a few brief images of the funeral and went on to other news. So, the "moderates" told us the jihad killings had nothing to do with Islam, and the father of the al Dura hoax assured us that blood libel had nothing to do with enflaming and justifying the murder of Jews.

And the father who abandoned his family when Mohamed Merah was six years old made big noises about suing the RAID commandos for killing his son. The media took it half-seriously, with visits to a makeshift cemetery in the dirt poor village where the father planned to bury his martyred son. An older brother and a young cousin dismissed the entire affair with dirt-poor reasoning: "he was only 23 years-old, he couldn't have traveled to Afghanistan and done all those things." Merah père's lawyer, in hijab, claims to have video proof (story in French) that he was manipulated by secret services and then liquidated. But the only authentic videos are the ones filmed by the killer as he perpetrated his evil deeds.

Caught short by the sudden refusal of the Algerian government to allow burial, Toulouse's Socialist mayor Pierre Cohen reluctantly accepted a hasty ceremony in a cemetery near the Toulouse airport, where dozens of sympathizers with their faces wrapped mujahidin-style dug an allegedly unmarked grave. Abdallah Zekri, southwest regional representative of the Central Mosque of Paris, presided over the ceremony. Zekri, who is president of the Observatoire contre l'Islamophobie, publicly tore up his French I.D. card last year in protest against the UMP (governing party) debate on Islam and laicité.

The murders in Toulouse and Montauban are ripping apart the fragile arrangement between France and the Muslim representatives brought together somewhat artificially by then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy in the hopes of creating an umbrella organization (mirror image of the CRIF?) with which the nation would conduct a harmonious living-together dialogue. Today, less than two weeks before the first round of presidential elections, President/candidate Sarkozy is taking a firm stand against Islamic extremism, preachers of jihad and anti-Semitism, and aspiring jihadis who drink at the fountain of terrorist websites and get combat training in Waziristan.

Nidra Poller is an associate fellow of the Middle East Forum.

Page Printed from: at April 17, 2012 - 07:11:17 PM CDT

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Netanyahu Plays ‘Dodge’em’ on Hevron House and Beit El

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Likud Cabinet ministers Tuesday demanded action and not words after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised “we will find a solution” for the Ulpena neighborhood in Beit El and other Jewish communities threatened with expulsion by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said the Cabinet ministers also were not happy at the Prime Minister’s non-committal statement concerning the “Machpela House” in Hevron, where Barak expelled 15 families three weeks ago even though they provided proof the building had been purchased legally from an Arab.

Barak’s order came a day after Prime Minister Netanyahu had reached an understanding that no expulsion would take place until the purchase was further investigated to be legal. Barak took action on the grounds that the presence of Jews in the three-story building across from the Patriarchs’ Cave constituted a “provocation.” Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz flatly stated Tuesday that Barak’s decisions to expel residents from Hevron and from the Ulpena neighborhood are “driven by political considerations.”

After the expulsion from the Hevron building, Prime Minister Netanyahu promised that he would take action to legalize the communities of Rechelim and Bruchim, in Samaria, and Sansana, which straddles the temporary 1949 Armistice Lines north of Be’er Sheva.

In response to the Prime Minister’s statement that “we will find a solution” Saar warned that if he does not, the Knesset will take action and pass a law to legalize the communities.

Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said he sees no problem with passing such a law, which would overcome obstacles set by the High Court on the legality of the communities, but Minister Benny Begin objected.

Jon Lovitz shames anti-Semitic bullies on Twitter, gets them expelled from school Read more:


Comedian Jon Lovitz, seen here at a Comedy Central event, helped track down a group of middle school girls who allegedly vandalized his friend’s house.
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Jon Lovitz shamed a trio of middle school bullies — with a little help from his Twitter friends.

The comedian took to the micro-blogging site to track down a group of girls who painted swastikas in maple syrup and dumped feces on his friend's doorstep in Northridge, Calif.

"Swastikas in sh— left on my friend's front porch were done by three 14 year old girls, driven to the house by one of the girl's mother," he tweeted to his more than 27,000 followers.

Lovitz tweeted that the girls were targeting his friend's daughter. His friend's parents, he added, were Holocaust survivors.

"These are the 3 popular girls in school who did this ... With the help of a mother," he added.
Some coward & idiot left this on a friend's doorstep, yesterday. This is an insult to all of us .
4 Apr 12


Last Thursday, he tweeted out a picture of the alleged culprits.

"The 3 girls who are bullying my friend's daughter. They want to be known. Let them be famous as Jew haters. Pls RT."

On Monday, Lovitz tweeted that the three girls admitted to defacing his friend's walkway. While they will not face criminal charges because there was no permanent damage done to the property, the girl's mother who was involved could face charges for driving the girls to the house in the middle of the night, KCBS2 reported.

He added that they were expelled from school for the prank.

On Wednesday, Lovitz said he was just standing up for what is right.

"My friend is the nicest guy ever," he tweeted. "He was TERRIFIED and sick over his daughter being hurt ... He was PARALYZED with FEAR!!"

He added, "I merely stood up for him. AND all Jews as this is how it starts. I didn't make this an international story. The world did."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Seven Firebombs on Jewish Homes in Mount of Olives

Gil Ronen

A terrorist hurled seven firebombs at Jewish homes Sunday night in Maaleh HaZeitim, on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives.

The terrorist's face was covered. He came carrying ten firebombs and managed to throw seven of them at ground floor apartments in the compound, causing a fire to break out in one of them. The compound's security guards identified the terrorist and fired in the air, causing him to flee. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said Monday that police arrived on the scene and proceeded to question the security men over their decision to fire in the air. "The Commander of the Jerusalem District deserves to be sacked for a lot less than that," said Eldad.

Eldad wrote to the Minister of Public Security and asked him to reissue the instructions on opening fire, and to clarify that a firebomb is a deadly weapon and that whoever uses it should be fired at, with intention to hit him.

"The worst outcome of all would be if the terrorist who meant to burn Jews in their sleep will continue his actions while the security men who dared to protect the residents' lives are sacked from their jobs," he added.

Edited video doesn’t show full story, IDF spokesman says

Video depicts deputy commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade, Shalom Eisner, smashing Danish protester's face with M-16 rifle • Eisner, who has been suspended, says protester first broke his fingers with a stick.
Lilach Shoval, Yori Yalon and Daniel Siryoti

The Israel Defense Forces on Monday suspended a senior officer after a video depicting him assaulting an anti-Israel activist flooded the Israeli and world media. The video showed Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, the deputy commander of the Jordan Valley brigade, holding his M-16 rifle in both hands and shouting at a group of demonstrators taking part in a bicycle rally in the Palestinian village of Ouja. Several minutes into the video, the officer strikes a Danish protester in the face with his weapon. Eisner said he “acted instinctively” after his fingers were broken earlier in the day by the stick-wielding Danish activist belonging to the International Solidarity Movement.

IDF Spokesman Yoav Mordechai told Army Radio on Monday that the filmed incident took place on Saturday.

The protester, Andreas Ias, 20, from Denmark, was treated at a Palestinian hospital for light injuries. He told Channel 10 on Monday that "we were just walking slowly toward the soldiers, we were chanting Palestinian songs calling for the liberation of Palestine. I don't believe that is a provocation."

Mordechai denounced Eisner's behavior, telling Army Radio that it was unacceptable and “does not reflect the IDF’s values.” Mordechai added, however, that the video released by the ISM was edited and did not reflect the whole story.

"These are harsh pictures, but I still can't divorce the filmed episodes from the incident that lasted over an hour and which included violence by the anarchists and Palestinians -- [though] this does not justify what we see," Mordechai said. “We only saw a part of the footage, there were 20 foreign activists shown on the tape, not the 250 Palestinians behind them who tried to block the road. We saw only the blow on the tape, not the two hours of provocations before,” Mordechai said, adding that OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Allon had decided to suspend Eisner until the army completes its investigation into the incident.

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz condemned the incident, saying that he saw it with "grave severity."

"The incident does not reflect IDF values," Gantz said. "We will thoroughly investigate this event, and we will handle it with the appropriate severity."

The release of the video coincided with large-scale Israeli efforts on Sunday to suppress a pro-Palestinian fly-in demonstration, in which activists were planning to fly en mass to Israel's airport and protest Israel's policies in the Palestinian territories. Most of the activists were prevented from boarding flights to Israel, and the ones who arrived were effectively contained and removed to holding facilities or deported back to their home countries.

Meanwhile, the Danish activist assaulted by Eisner told Army Radio that he had been assaulted for no reason. "I was just standing there," he said, insisting that he had not attacked the officer or even said a word to him. He said further that the blow had taken him by surprise, causing him to nearly faint.

Eisner, for his part, told his close associates that the activist had assaulted him with a stick, breaking two of his fingers. According to sources, he said further that the video was heavily edited and does not accurately reflect the actual events – which went on for two hours.

Eisner voiced remorse on Sunday, telling his associates that he regretted that "the events happened the way they did." He said that having had time to think it over, he wouldn't have acted the way he did, but "I would have carried out my mission and prevented the protesters from getting through."

He explained that the demonstrators were trying to block the main road, and that his soldiers were the last line of defense preventing them from reaching their destination. "They tried to pass us again and again, though we insisted and explained to them that they are not permitted to enter a military zone."

The senior officer also regretted the fact that his own soldiers had not been equipped with cameras, because if they had been, he said, they would be able to prove that moments before he struck the demonstrator, that same man broke his pinky.

The activist, however, said that he planned to press charges against Eisner, and that he had met with an attorney.

Another activist who participated in the demonstration said Sunday that "we were cycling on the side of the road, near Jericho, and IDF forces came and stopped us, and began assaulting us. We tried, non-violently, to push forward toward Ouja, but the officer who hit the Danish protester with the butt of his gun acted aggressively and violently, and even ordered other soldiers to do the same, telling them 'as far as I'm concerned you can break their bicycles and their faces. They won't get any further.' We were in shock, it was really scary."

But Eisner's acquaintances rushed to defend the deputy commander. They were surprised by the images in the video and insisted that no one should jump to conclusions. Arik Ben Shimon, a soldier Eisner once commanded, told Israel Hayom that "he always enforced restraint, and instructed us to exercise restraint. He is a principled, moral man, a cut above the rest. In this incident he was drawn into a provocation instigated by the demonstrators."

Other associates said that Eisner, the son of the late rabbi Benjamin Eisner who was considered a moderate, had helped a Palestinian woman in the Jordan Valley give birth about a year ago. He had provided a military ambulance to a Palestinian woman, in labor, who didn't have time to travel to a hospital. The baby, who was in distress, underwent life-saving measures in the field by IDF soldiers under Eisner's command. In the Saluki battle in Second Lebanon War in 2006, Eisner extracted troops under fire.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

"A Day at a Time"

Arlene Kushner

I'm back to normal (whatever that means) after Pesach, but don't see that anything of enormous import seems to have happened over the holiday week.

I ended with good news before the chag, and will pick up with a continuation of that same good news -- this concerning Zakkai, who had surgery to remove a tumor from his spine right before Pesach. The update on this is that an MRI was done, and, indeed, the surgeons got everything off his spine. Baruch Hashem! In about two weeks he will have similar surgery in his thoracic cavity, and, as long as the tumor is not adhering too persistently to his aorta, it is expected to go well. Keep praying.


King Abdullah of Jordan is waxing very nervous because of increased talk that Jordan is the Palestinian state. Since a majority of the Jordanians (including his queen) are of Palestinian Arab origins, and since what we call Jordan today was lopped off from what had been promised to the Jewish people as a homeland via the Mandate for Palestine and rendered Judenrein, indeed Jordan is the Palestinian state. Any notion of establishing yet another Palestinian state is a political redundancy that ignores history and Jewish rights. Yet, clearly, it's not history and Jewish rights that concern Abdullah, but rather retaining control of his Hashemite throne. And so it has been announced that the Jordanian citizenship of PA and PLO officials will be renounced; whether this will apply to Mahmoud Abbas is not clear. This move is being announced in tandem with a new law that will limit Palestinian Arab representation in the Jordanian legislature. According to Khaled Abu Toameh, writing in the JPost a couple of days ago, in addition to these moves, Jordan's interior minister will be refusing to take in 1,100 Palestinian Arabs stranded at the Syrian-Jordanian border as a result of the turmoil in Syria.


You might want to see the clip below, from MEMRI, showing a Jordanian cleric doing saber-rattling against Israel during a Friday sermon last month broadcast on Jordanian TV. This is the tone that plays right now.


The Quartet met this past week, and disappointed the PA by not fingering Israeli settlements as the cause of the impasse in "peace negotiations." Of course "the settlements" were mentioned, but so was Palestinian Arab incitement and violence.

All in all a "ho hum" document that will be followed by a "ho hum" meeting between Netanyahu and Fayyad, perhaps this week.


Today is "flytilla" day -- the day that pro-Palestinian activists designated for having some hundreds if not a thousand Palestinian Arab supporters enter Israel via Ben Gurion Airport, and disperse to Palestinian areas to "lend support." Been there, done that. And just as the first "flytilla" day fizzled, so does it seem this one will. Dozens of activists -- many of whom have been identified by Israel as troublemakers -- are being stopped at European airports as they attempt to board planes to Israel, with such airlines as Air France, Lufthansa and British Airways cooperating; others are being stopped in the airport here.

Some of the "peaceful" activists in the airports in Brussels and Paris are reported to have wrestled with police when prevented from boarding planes. Those wishing to participate have been blocked in Canada, Portugal and elsewhere, as well.

Credit: YNet


Those coming into Ben Gurion are being presented with an official letter from the Israeli government, which has been translated into several languages. It reads:

"Dear activist, we appreciate your choosing to make Israel the object of your humanitarian concerns. We know there were many other worthy choices. You could have chosen to protest the Syrian regime's daily savagery against its own people, which has claimed thousands of lives.

"You could have chosen to protest the Iranian regime's brutal crackdown on dissent and support of terrorism throughout the world. You could have chosen to protest Hamas rule in Gaza, where terror organizations commit a double war crime by firing rockets at civilians and hiding behind civilians.

"But instead you chose to protest against Israel, the Middle East's sole democracy, where women are equal, the press criticizes the government, human rights organizations can operate freely, religious freedom is protected for all and minorities do not live in fear.

"Therefore we suggest you first solve the real problems of the region, and then come back and share with us your experience. Have a nice flight."

smiley toothy grin


By far the most troubling issue, in the midst of all this small stuff, is what is happening with Iran. The six international powers (the Security Council permanent members plus Germany) met with Iran in Istanbul yesterday. Even before that meeting, Iran had rejected two key demands -- suspension of high-level uranium enrichment and closing of the Fordow underground enrichment facility near Qom.

This tells us all we need to know about Iranian intentions. And yet, now, after yesterday's meeting, Western diplomats are declaring themselves encouraged because there will be another meeting on May 23. "The dialogue" is progressing, you see.

I want to ask, "what dialogue?" And I would laugh at them all, clowns that they are -- if the willful blindness of the international community were not so terrifying. This is not going to go where it needs to go. But pretense that something is happening apparently makes the Western leaders comfortable -- for it provides them with an excuse to do nothing.

Said Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief, "We want now to move to a sustained process of serious dialogue, where we can take urgent practical steps to build confidence."

This is painful. Confidence in whom, pray tell?


What is so very infuriating is the difficult spot in which all this places Israel -- with intent, of course. We are "waiting to see how matters work out." We know full well that nothing constructive is going to happen, but were we to attack now we would be accused of subverting a diplomatic resolution that was in progress.

The question is one of how long we wait before we declare that enough is enough. Israel has set the bar higher than the Western powers. What others may declare acceptable, we will not. As I understand it, Netanyahu said last week that the talks should lead to removal of all enriched uranium from Iran, a halt to further enrichment, and closure of the facility at Qom. Barak set a bar that was slightly lower, saying that while all 20% enriched uranium had to be relinquished, a certain percentage of 3.5% enriched uranium could be retained for peaceful purposes.


Just to show how confusing the situation is: I have just read two commentaries, one of which said that Israel would be happy to take a breather from this issue and a second that suggested that we might move the date for hitting Iran closer once it was clear that nothing was going to happen and that additional waiting would be futile.


See Israel Hayom's article on this subject, "On nuclear talks, one step sideways, two steps back" (All emphasis added):

"A strange meeting took place in Istanbul on Saturday. Both sides to the renewed nuclear talks between Iran and the major world powers tried to present a new concept: succeeding in negotiations without making any progress. Under these circumstances, it came as no real shock to anyone that the big achievement coming out of the talks was the general agreement that there is even an issue to discuss, and there is also a date and a venue for the next round: May 23, in Baghdad.

"...While the six powers communicated their stance, Iran gained precisely what it was after: time. It is no wonder that Iran's leaders were all smiles following the meeting. 'We didn't expect to be received in this way,' said one member of the delegation from Tehran. 'We didn't think that the world powers would display such a positive attitude.'

He added that the Western delegations were enthused by the fatwa (Islamic decree) issued by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against nuclear weapons, calling it an example for other nations. The head of the Iranian delegation, Saeed Jalili, also presented the meeting as a big achievement, telling reporters that the West understood that 'for the Iranian people the language of threats and pressure doesn't work.'


Ilan Berman calls negotiations with Iran "the gift that keeps on giving: a surefire way to delay (and possibly even derail) a forceful Western response.

"For the United States and its allies, meanwhile...negotiations will provide a temporary reprieve, deferring some hard choices about whether force will ultimately be needed to stop Iran's nuclear progress.

"If history is any indication, however, they won't eliminate them."


For a smile, I close with the link to the Israel 21C story, on the top ten must-see buildings in Israel:

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April 14, 2012 How the Media Whitewashes Muslim Persecution of Christians


When it comes to Muslim persecution of Christians, the mainstream media (MSM) has a long paper trail of obfuscating. While they may eventually state the bare-bone facts—if they ever report on the story in the first place, which is rare—they do so after creating and sustaining an aura of moral relativism that minimizes the Muslim role.

False Moral Equivalency

As previously discussed, one of the most obvious ways is to evoke “sectarian strife” between Muslims and Christians, a phrase that conjures images of two equally matched—and equally abused, and abusive—adversaries fighting one another. This hardly suffices to describe the reality of Muslim majorities persecuting largely passive Christian minorities. Recently, for instance, in the context of the well-documented suffering of Christians in Egypt, an NPR report declared, “In Egypt, growing tensions between Muslims and Christians have led to sporadic violence [initiated by whom?]. Many Egyptians blame the interreligious strife on hooligans [who?] taking advantage of absent or weak security forces. Others believe it’s because of a deep-seated mistrust between Muslims and the minority Christian community [how did the "mistrust" originate?].” Although the report does highlight cases in which Christians are victimized, the tone throughout—and even from the title of the report, “In Egypt, Christian-Muslim Tension is on the Rise”—suggest that examples of Muslims victimized by Christians could just as easily have been found (not true). The accompanying photo is of a group of angry Christians militantly holding a cross aloft—not Muslims destroying crosses, which is what prompts the Christians to such displays of solidarity.

Two more strategies that fall under the MSM’s umbrella of obfuscating and minimizing Islam’s role—strategies with which the reader should become acquainted—appeared in recent reports dealing with the jihadi group Boko Haram and its ongoing genocide of Nigeria’s Christians.

First, some context: Boko Haram—acronym for “Western Education is a Sin”, its full name in Arabic is “Sunnis for Da’wa [Islamization] and Jihad”—is a full-throated terrorist organization dedicated to the overthrow of the secular government and establishment of Sharia law. It has been slaughtering Christians for years, with an uptick since the Christmas Day church bombing in 2012, which left at least 40 Christians dead; followed by its New Year ultimatum that all Christians must evacuate the northern regions of Nigeria or die—an ultimatum Boko Haram has been living up to: hardly a day goes by without a terrorist attack on Christians or a church, most recently on Easter day, leaving 20 dead.

Blurring the Line Between Persecutor and Victim

Now consider some MSM strategies. The first one is to frame the conflict between Muslims and Christians in a way that blurs the line between persecutor and victim, as in, for example, a recent BBC report on one of Boko Haram’s many church attacks that left three Christians dead, including a toddler. After stating the bare-bones facts in a couple of sentences, the report went on to describe how “the bombing sparked a riot by Christian youths, with reports that at least two Muslims were killed in the violence. The two men were dragged off their bikes after being stopped at a roadblock set up by the rioters, police said. A row of Muslim-owned shops was also burned…” The report goes on and on, with a special section about “very angry” Christians, until one all but confuses victims with persecutors, forgetting what the Christians are “very angry” about in the first place—unprovoked and nonstop terror attacks on their churches, and the murder of their women and children.

This broadcast is reminiscent of the Egyptian New Year’s Eve church bombing that left over 20 Christians dead: the MSM reported it, but under headlines such as, “Christians clash with police in Egypt after attack on churchgoers kills 21″(Washington Post) and “Clashes grow as Egyptians remain angry after attack”(New York Times)—as if frustrated Christians lashing out against wholesale slaughter is as newsworthy or of the same value as the slaughter itself, implying that their angry reaction “evens” everything up.

Dissembling the Perpetrators’ Motivation

The second MSM strategy involves dissembling over the jihadis’ motivation. An AFP report describing a different Boko Haram church attack—another one, which also killed three Christians during Sunday service—does a fair job reporting the facts. But then it concludes: “Violence blamed on Boko Haram, whose goals remain largely unclear, has since 2009 claimed more than 1,000 lives, including more than 300 this year, according to figures tallied by AFP and rights groups.”

Although Boko Haram has been howling its straightforward goals for a decade—enforcing Sharia law and subjugating, if not eliminating, Nigeria’s Christians—the media with a straight face is claiming ignorance about these goals (similarly, the New York Times described Boko Haram’s goals as “senseless”—even as the group continues justifying them on Islamic doctrinal grounds). One would have thought that a decade after the jihadi attacks of 9/11—in light if all the subsequent images of Muslims in militant attire shouting distinctly Islamic slogans such as “Allahu Akbar!” ["Allah is the Greatest!"] and calling for Sharia law and the subjugation of “infidels”—reporters would by now know what their goals are.

Of course, the media’s obfuscation of jihadi goals serves a purpose: it leaves the way open for the politically correct, MSM-approved motivations for Muslim violence: “political oppression,” “poverty,” “frustration,” and so on. From here, one can see why politicians such as former U.S. president Bill Clinton cite “poverty” as “what’s fueling all this stuff” (a reference to Boko Haram’s slaughter of Christians).

In short, while the MSM may report the most frugal facts concerning Christian persecution, they utilize their entire arsenal of semantic games, catch phrases, and convenient omissions that uphold the traditional narrative—that Muslim violence is anything but a byproduct of the Islamic indoctrination of intolerance.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum

Thanks Ted Belman

PA cartoon: Teach children to seek world without Israel

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Palestinian parents should teach their children that it is their role or destiny to destroy Israel, according to a cartoon in the official PA daily.

Text in book: "Palestine"
Mother's words: "This is your bride...
When you grow up you will know the dowry."
In the cartoon, a mother is showing her son a book with a map that includes all of Israel and the PA areas. The text in the book defines the map as "Palestine."

The mother tells her son:
"This is your bride... when you grow up you will know the dowry."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,
March 31, 2012 The message of the PA daily is that parents either are educating their children or should be educating their children to see their obligation to replace all of Israel with a state of "Palestine." The dowry - the cost of liberating Palestine - is yet to be learned.

Last week, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the Minister of Social Affairs, Majida Al-Masri, said in a speech that Palestinian unity is needed in order achieve "the liberation of Palestine - all of Palestine," meaning Israel's destruction.

Official PA daily cartoons regularly represent all of Israel as replaced by "Palestine."

In this cartoon, the text reads "the only red line," conveying the message that the goal to have all of Israel eliminated and replaced by "Palestine," remains the real "red line."

See PMW bulletin

Another cartoon expressed the idea that unity between Hamas and Fatah is all that is needed to eliminate Israel. Two identical fighters portraying Fatah and Hamas unity form the shape of the map of Israel and the PA areas. The Palestinian flag is held above the map, symbolizing Palestinian political sovereignty over all of Israel.

Click here to see many more examples of the PA use of maps that portray a world without Israel.

'Flytilla' Activists Receive 'Welcome' Letter from Israel

Rachel Hirshfeld

The Israeli government has issued an official “welcome” letter to the pro-‘Palestinian’ “flytilla” activists who plan on arriving in the country on Saturday and Sunday. It reads as follows:

“Dear Activists,

"We appreciate your choosing to make Israel the object of your humanitarian concerns.

“We know there were many other worthy choices.

“You could have chosen to protest the Syrian regime’s daily savagery against its own people, which has claimed thousands of lives. "You could have chosen to protest the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on dissent and its support of terrorism throughout the world.

"You could have chosen to protest Hamas rule in Gaza, where terror organizations commit a double war crime by firing rockets at civilians and hiding behind civilians.

“But instead, you chose to protest against Israel, the Middle East’s sole democracy, where women are equal, the press criticizes the government, human rights organizations can operate freely, religious freedom is protected for all - and minorities do not live in fear.”

“Therefore, we suggest you solve the real problems of the region first, and then come back and share your experiences with us.

Have a nice flight,” the letter concludes.