Saturday, June 30, 2012

Barack Hussein Obama: A view from Israel


Three years after Obama’s ‘New Beginning’ speech in Cairo, prospects are bleaker for everyone – except the Muslim Brotherhood.
Photo: Reuters
Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The truth is that America and Islam are not exclusive. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings – Barack Obama, Cairo, June 4, 2009

‘Brotherhood’ invited to Obama’s speech by US....The administration insisted that at least 10 members of the Muslim Brotherhood... be allowed to attend his speech in Cairo – The Atlantic, June 3, 2009

Let me begin with two apparently contradictory statements. First, I must say that I am not one of Barack Obama’s most vehement critics. Indeed, at times I find some of the criticism hurled at him both distasteful and unpersuasive.

That said, I am convinced that his reelection for a second term is liable to be a disaster of epic proportions – with incalculable, probably irreversible, repercussions for both Israel and for US interests, at least as they have been commonly perceived.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hasbara: The Islamic Tradition [incl. Khaleel Mohammed]

Petra Marquardt-Bigman
The Warped Mirror (A Blog of The Jerusalem Post)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Not Just Wishful Thinking"

If you can be in Washington DC on July 19, please note:
EMET -- the Endowment for Middle East Truth -- is pleased to bring to Capitol Hill, Sgt. Benjamin Anthony, founder of the non-profit "Our Soldiers Speak."
Sgt. Benjamin Anthony (IDF. Res.), is a combat veteran and combat reservist in the Israel Defense Forces. As a heavy machine gunner, he has taken a full and front line roll in several of Israel’s most recent campaigns to defend it’s citizens in the face of new age terrorist activity, serving in large operations both within and beyond Israel’s borders.

Since his release from full- time service, Benjamin Anthony has established an organization - Our Soldiers Speak- a nonprofit-non-governmental body that has one aim, clear and singular: to bring the proud truth of Israel’s soldiers from the front lines of combat to the English speaking world, whenever and wherever audience is granted.
July 19, 2012, 12:000 Noon to 1:00 PM
Lunch to be served (dietary laws observed)
Rayburn House Office Building, Room B 340

Candidly Speaking: Ya’alon is perhaps the most understated minister in the government and is considered a highly untypical Israeli leader.

VICE PREMIER Moshe Ya’alon Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
A recent interview by journalist Ari Shavit with former IDF chief of staff, now vice premier, Moshe Ya’alon, provides a fascinating insight into the thinking of one of Israel’s most sophisticated political leaders and covers the crucial challenges facing the nation. It deserves to be widely read.

Ironically, the extensive interview was published in the weekend magazine of Haaretz, the Israeli daily notorious for promoting the very views which Ya’alon’s interview devastatingly demolishes.

Coincidentally, precisely seven years ago I devoted a column to Ya’alon, describing him as one of the most adroit strategic thinkers to have headed the IDF. He was then accused of being disgruntled and embittered after his premature termination as chief of staff by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon in response to his fierce opposition to the withdrawal from Gaza – for which he was subsequently totally vindicated.

Ya’alon was retired in the wake of his successful military response to terror which demonstrated that, contrary to the mantras invoked by the bleeding-heart leftists, resolute military action can significantly neutralize terrorism. He was also proactive when he instituted dual-track initiatives of targeted assassinations and construction of the security fence, the combination of which effectively brought an end to the second intifada.

In my earlier column, I expressed frustration and anger that, in a country facing existential threats from its neighbors, a retiring chief of staff’s explicit warnings of disastrous repercussions arising from the policies of prime minister Ariel Sharon had been totally ignored by the government and opposition. Regrettably, his predictions were subsequently basically realized.

Although highly politically incorrect at the time, Ya’alon also asserted that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessor Yasser Arafat were birds of a feather. Far from being peace partners, he insisted that they were primarily committed to ending Jewish sovereignty in the region.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Justice Scalia rips Obama's deportation directive in dissent on Arizona case

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday ripped President Obama’s new deportation directive when he offered his minority opinion on the Arizona immigration ruling.

The court tossed out most of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, but in his dissent Scalia raised eyebrows by blasting the Obama administration’s directive to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants though that policy was not a matter before the court in the Arizona case.

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The conservative justice accused Obama of selectively enforcing only those immigration laws that he deems appropriate and said states would never have joined the union if the framers of the Constitution had intended for the executive branch to wield power in such a way.

“The delegates to the Grand Convention would have rushed to the exits,” Scalia wrote.

Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the high court, was not arguing that the administration’s policy was unconstitutional.

Michigan: the Islamic capital of the US

By Sher Zieve

As of 2005, Michigan held the largest and still growing Muslim population in the United States and the second largest Arab population outside of the Middle East. Outside of Muslim-run countries, Paris — which still experiences nightly vehicle torchings and mayhem in its Islamic neighborhoods — has the largest. It is estimated that eight million Muslims now live in the US and their numbers are continuing to grow. Islam is now the second-largest religious body in the United States and is said to be its fastest growing religious movement.

Although hundreds of long-time residents of Hamtramck, MI protested the city allowing the five-times-per-day Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast over Hamtramck's loudspeakers, the city council voted unanimously in April 2004 to allow it. Prior to the city council making its decision, public input from any citizens (except Muslims) had not been allowed. This continues today. Hamtramck resident Bob Golen was outraged by the city council's actions and said: "So they had made up their mind before any public meeting and it's been five-nothing ever since. This is only the beginning. They're going to use Hamtramck as a precedent. This is coming to your town, to the town down the road, and to the [next] town down the road." Golen added that, after the city council voted to allow the calls to prayer, one of the city councilmen said that he was "proud to set a precedent in this country."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thank You, AP


Yes.  Thanks go to AP for this story:

One clutched stones behind his back, another extended a sling shot. A third man appeared wrapped in a Palestinian flag. All were masked. The seven Palestinians gathered in a home in the West Bank village of Bilin displayed their improvised weapons of protest as Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer Oded Balilty snapped their portraits against a black backdrop.
One muscled young man hoisted a tire like those burned in hastily thrown-up roadblocks. Another covered his face with a plastic bag like those worn by protesters for protection against tear gas. A third wore a gas mask.

All concealed their identities with checkered kaffiyehs, black masks or, in one case, a balaclava printed with a Palestinian flag and the words "Popular Resistance" in Arabic. The images provide a rare look at the Palestinian stone throwers normally seen in the streets in action against Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian Authority Arrested Terrorist Released in Shalit Deal

Challah Hu Akbar 

Since the Shalit deal was completed I have been tracking the reported rearrests of the terrorists released. It seems we have the first arrest of one of the terrorists by the Palestinian Authority.

A woman on Monday appealed to President Mahmoud Abbas to release her son so he can attend his father's funeral. Halmi Jermi, from Balata refugee camp in Nablus, told Ma'an she would not bury her husband without her son.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Do the Arabs have the right to build settlements in Area C

Ted Belman
YNET reorts Rights groups: State practices ‘zoning Apartheid’
    Civil rights groups advocating for Palestinian residents of the Israeli-controlled territories of the West Bank have accused the State of discriminating against villages seeking to expand.For nearly two decades, a temporary agreement between Israel and the Palestinians has allowed the Jewish state to maintain full control of Area C, a territory that stretches across 62% of the West Bank and is inhabited by 50,000 Palestinians and over 300,000 Jewish settlers.
It is important to point out that though the agreement was expected to be temporary, it would only end when the “final status” issues were agreed upon. This never happened due to the fault of the PA, and thus the agreement continues.
Arlene Kushner

I waited until the official presidential election results in Egypt were announced before doing this post.  Word has just come out from the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission that, in the presidential election run-off, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi (or Mursi), has garnered 51.7 % of the vote, defeating former general Ahmed Shafik, who was prime minister under Mubarak.
Morsi, it should be noted, is a US-educated engineer, and spent time in jail during Mubarak's regime.
This is the first time in 60 years that the president of Egypt will not have come out of the military.

Credit: AP
In Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands of Islamists had been waiting impatiently for the results to be announced, a cry of Allahu Akbar ("God is great") went up.

Credit: Reuters
Egypt is still badly divided and fraught with tensions, however, and it remains to be seen how a variety of factors will play themselves out with regard to Morsi's leadership:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Outposts Committee Report: Judea and Samaria Are Not Occupied Territories

Eyal Schwartz
Former Justice Edmond Levy's committee report declares Israel's legal right to own Judea and Samaria.
Former Justice Edmond Levy's committee report declares Israel's legal right to own Judea and Samaria.
Photo Credit: Photo by Kobi Gideon / Flash90

Judea and Samaria are not under occupation rule. This is the central finding of the “Outposts Committee” which was appointed to examine the legal status of Israel in Judea and Samaria, according to the daily Makor Rishon. The committee members, former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, Circuit Judge Techia Shapira and jurist Dr. Allan Baker, this week have concluded the writing of their report which suggests adopting a new and old judicial framework regarding Israel’s status in Judea and Samaria.

The committee analyzed the historic and legal background of Judea and Samaria and concludes that the belligerent occupation approach must be discarded as reflecting Israel’s status in those areas. According to the committee’s approach, Judea and Samaria were in a judicial vacuum before the Six Day War. The reason was that the Kingdom of Jordan, which held those territories, did so against the rule of international law, and its sovereignty over them was recognized solely by Great Britain. Since Jordan was not the legal sovereign, the report argues, the territories cannot be defined as occupied in the legal sense of the word.

In addition, the committee offers a string of arguments showing that Israel itself has a legal connection to those territories, which is another reason why it is not an occupier.

The 90 page report, including addenda, discusses at length the issue of the outposts. Levy, Baker and Shapira fundamentally reject the legal line used by Attorney Talia Sasson in her report on the outposts. To their understanding, the vast majority of outposts can be defined as legal, since they are within the master planned areas of legal settlements whose establishment was approved by the government.