Saturday, March 23, 2013

Assessing President Obama's Trip*

Alan Dershowitz

Now that President Obama is on his way back from his trip to the Middle East, its potential impact can be assessed. All in all it was a success, despite some pitfalls.
Whenever a high ranking American dignitary visits Israel, there is concern that something will happen—new settlement building, further rocket attacks—to spoil the visit. It happened again, as President Obama was visiting President Abbas, having had a positive meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. This time the spoiler was neither Hamas nor the settlement builders (though rockets were fired and settlements expanded). It was The New York Times, running an extensive and illustrated story casting doubt on President Obama's signature gift to Israel: America's financial support for the joint anti-missile system called "Iron Dome."
The success of the Iron Dome has been central to Israeli-American relations, as well to the security policies of both countries. An anti-missile system capable of destroying up to 90% of Hamas rockets directed at Israeli population centers has made it possible for Israel to focus on prevention rather than deterrence.

From Cairo 2009 to Jerusalem 2013

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
"Israel Hayom”, March 22, 2013,
Is President Obama learning from history by avoiding – or repeating - the crucial errors of his 2009 visit to the Middle East?
In 2009, Obama anticipated engagement, rather than confrontation, with Iran, which threatens the survival of pro-US Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf and beyond.  Obama expected an Arab Spring and a march of pro-US democracy on the Arab Street, rather than the stormy, tectonic anti-US Arab Winter.  Just like President Carter's reckless abandonment of the Shah and his courting of Khomeini, President Obama turned his back on America's ally, Mubarak, while extending his hand to America's inherent enemy, the trans-national, subversive Muslim Brotherhood.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Obama Uses His Egyptian Disaster to Argue That Israel Should Trust the Terrorists

I ask you, instead, to think about what can be done to build trust between people.
Four years ago I stood in Cairo in front of an audience of young people. Politically, religiously, they must seem a world away. But the things they want — they’re not so different from what the young people here want. They want the ability to make their own decisions and to get an education and to get a good job, to worship God in their own way, to get married, to raise a family. The same is true of those young Palestinians that I met with this morning. The same is true for young Palestinians who yearn for a better life in Gaza.

On Palestinian Shoes

President Barack Obama urged Israelis to consider the view from the other side, basically saying:

Put yourself in Palestinian shoes

 But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must also be recognized. Put yourself in their shoes – look at the world through their eyes
Mr. Obama, look what Palestinian shoes do, to you and to us:

Dear Gov. Huckabee,

Yesterday when I opened the Jerusalem Post I saw a copy your full-page Gush Katif address printed for those of us who live in Israel.  It was a lovely surprise at first but then, I realized that it should not have been- because you are always ready to support us no matter where you are.
We know what a dedicated and loyal friend you are - one who truly understands our history and our rights to this land.  At a time when Israel has so many enemies and anti-Semitism is once again rearing its ugliness worldwide, your vision and courage in speaking out is so appreciated.
At this particular time, we are again being pressured to agree to the creation of yet another terrorist apartheid state - this one 'Palestine' - in the heartland of our democratic precious ancient homeland!  Would such an outrageous demand be made of any other country - and would that country agree?!

Obama’s grim message to Jerusalem

Don’t confuse what Obama says with what the American people actually believe.
The White House is contending that Barack Obama’s first visit to Israel as president underlines his administration’s commitment to Israel’s security.

Rarely, however, has the style and symbolism of a political maneuver been more distant from the underlying substance.

"The Party's Over"

If indeed there ever was a party, except in people's imaginations.
I must confess something here.  I understand better today how Obama got re-elected.  I'm seeing his charm up close and when he turns it on, it's considerable.  Then it becomes a question of what to accept as real....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Case Study of Media Manipulation on the Middle East: Slate About Me

Barry Rubin

Here's what Slate has to say about me:

"The anti-Obama peace-process skeptics can’t help but gloat. As Barry Rubin, a conservative, pro-Israel American pundit put it on his Facebook page: “I think we have just won a huge victory … Obama has admitted defeat on trying to bully, manipulate, or pressure Israel.'"

This is a very revealing sentence in several respects:

--First of all, the article was not on my Facebook page. On my Facebook page was a link to my article in PJMedia. Zacharia is not a friend on my Facebook page so she could not have seen the material quoted there. Consequently, she wrote it that way to avoid having to admit the existence of PJ Media and linking to that publication. By saying something was on my Facebook page--rather than on one of the biggest news/analysis sites on the Internet--I am to be made to sound like a basement-dwelling blogger.

Obama's mysterious visit

Why is US President Barack Obama coming to Israel today? In 2008, then president George W. Bush came to celebrate Israel's 60th Independence Day, and to reject Israeli requests for assistance in destroying Iran's nuclear installations.
In 1996, then-president Bill Clinton came to Israel to help then-prime minister Shimon Peres's electoral campaign against Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

U.S. Government Funding Radical Israeli NGOs' Information Operations

CAROLINE GLICK March 19, 2013
Earlier this month NGO (Non-governmental organization) Monitor released its report on foreign government funding of radical political Israeli NGOs which work to undermine Israel's international standing and subvert Israeli society. Along with the usual European suspects who give millions of shekels (or Euros or pounds) to Israeli groups like this, it works out that the US government is also funding extremely radical organizations, courtesy of American taxpayers. Notably, the three groups that reported receiving funding from the US are all in the business of waging political warfare campaigns directed at the Israeli public.

PA's welcome to Obama: Americans behind 9/11 attacks and Hitler was greater than Roosevelt

Official PA daily:
History is written by the victors,
therefore "Muslim terrorists" are falsely blamed for 9/11
and Nazism is prosecuted instead of honored

"Had Hitler won, Nazism would be an honor"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Two days before US President Barack Obama's visit to Israel and the PA, the official PA daily chose to print anti-American hate speech along with pro-Hitler comments in an op-ed:
"Our history is replete with lies... [including] the lie about Al-Qaeda and the September 11 events, which asserted that Muslim terrorists committed it, and that it was not an internal American action by the Freemasons."

The op-ed further implies that Hitler was greater than both Churchill and Roosevelt, who were "alcoholics":

Ministers and Senior Officials of the 33rd Government of Israel 18 Mar 2013

 Government Ministers
 Benjamin Netanyahu - Prime Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora

 Yitzhak Aharonovitch - Minister of Public Security
 Uri Ariel - Minister of Housing and Construction
 Naftali Bennett - Minister of Trade, Industry and Labor, Minister of Religious Services, Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs
 Meir Cohen - Minister of Welfare and Social Affairs
 Gilad Erdan - Minister of Communications and Home Front Protection
 Yael German - Minister of Health
 Yisrael Katz - Minister of of Transportation, National Infrastructures and Road Safety
 Uzi Landau - Minister of Tourism

Monday, March 18, 2013

Obama and Netanyahu – ReStart

In their second act, will Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama find happiness, and cooperate on policies that will best serve both Israeli and American interests?
The answer does not depend on psychology or individual personalities. Serious leaders leave their private likes and dislikes behind when it comes to serious issues – Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin did what they had to, despite the deep animosities. And Sadat and Begin did not need to play golf in order to negotiate peace.

A Peace Agreement and Israel's New Government


Haaretz reports:

The coalition agreements signed with both parties make almost no mention of the peace process...Habayit Hayehudi added a clause to the agreement requiring the government to pass a law within 90 days mandating a referendum over any agreement that includes handing over territory.

The actual Coalition Guidelines first paragraph reads:

To the Jewish people the inalienable right for a state in the Land of Israel, its historical national homeland of the Jews.

A new 'bargaining chip' as Obama comes to Israel

A special nanochip containing the founding declarations of U.S. and Israel is set in ancient stone to be handed to Obama • "Unique gift symbolizes the main messages of the visit — the strong and deep bilateral ties," Prime Minister's Office says.

The nanochip U.S. President Barack Obama will get from the prime minister, with the Jerusalem stone underneath.
Photo credit: Yoav Bachar & Shlomo Shoham, Technion.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Israel's military intelligence chief says Syria's embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, is preparing to use chemical weapons.

Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi told a security conference in the coastal town of Herzliya that Assad is stepping up his offensive against rebels trying to oust him.

Kochavi claims Assad is making advanced preparations to use chemical weapons, but has not yet given the order to deploy them.

Coalition guidelines to change Israel's religious status quo

The planned reforms could include a new military draft law, a tweaked system of government, and a new Basic Law that puts Israel's Jewish character ahead of its democratic nature • National religious to control rabbinate and conversion apparatus.

The issue of haredim serving in the army and sharing the burden play a major role in the 33rd government's formation. [Archive]
Photo credit: Reuters

Biased, Prejudiced, and Unprofessional: The UN Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Mission Report on Israeli Settlements

Alan Baker
  • On 31 January 2013 the "International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" published its findings on the implications of Israeli settlements on the human rights of the Palestinian people.
  • The enabling resolution of the Human Rights Council, the composition of the mission, its mandate, mode of operation, and substantive content are, from the outset, based on a premise that considers Israel's settlement policy to be illegal. This premise dictates the one-sided and prejudiced nature of the mission and its report.