Our World: The Israeli solution
Feb. 2, 2009
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
Operation Cast Lead caused many people to reassess the viability of the sacrosanct "two-state solution." A growing number of observers have pointed out that Hamas's Iranian-sponsored jihadist regime in Gaza is proof that Israel has no way to ensure that land it transfers to the PLO-Fatah will remain under PLO-Fatah control.
This reassessment has also provoked a discussion of the PLO-Fatah's own failures since it formed the Palestinian Authority in 1994. Despite the billions of dollars it received from Israel and the West, its Western trained armed forces numbering more than 75,000 and the bottomless reserve of international political support it enjoys, the PLO-Fatah regime did not build a state, but a kleptocratic thugocracy where the rule of law was replaced by the rule of the jackboot. Instead of teaching its people to embrace peace, freedom and democracy, the PLO-Fatah-led PA indoctrinated them to wage jihad against Israel in a never-ending war.
These reassessments have led three leading conservative thinkers - former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes, and Efraim Inbar, director of Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies - to all publish articles over the past month rejecting the two-state solution.
Bolton, Pipes and Inbar not only agree that the two-state paradigm has failed, they also agree on what must be done now to "solve" the Palestinian conflict. In their view the failed "two-state solution" should be replaced with what Bolton refers to as the "three-state solution." All three analysts begin their analyses with the assertion that Israel is uninterested in controlling Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Since the Palestinians have shown they cannot be trusted with sovereignty, the three argue that the best thing to do is to return the situation to what it was from 1949 to 1967: Egypt should reassert its control over Gaza and Jordan should reassert its control over Judea and Samaria.
Bolton, Pipes and Inbar acknowledge that Egypt and Jordan have both rejected the idea but argue that they should be pressured to reconsider. They explain that Egypt fears that Hamas - a sister organization of its own Muslim Brotherhood - will destabilize it. Jordan for its part has two reasons for refusing their plan. The Hashemite kingdom is a minority regime. A large majority of Jordanians are ethnic Palestinians. Adding another 1.2 million from Judea and Samaria could destabilize the kingdom. Then too, both the PLO and Hamas are themselves threats to the regime. The Hashemites still remember how with Syrian support, the PLO in 1970 attempted to overthrow them.
As for Hamas, its popularity has grown in Jordan in tandem with its empowerment in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. By integrating the west and east banks of the Jordan River, the chance that Hamas would challenge the regime increases dramatically. If we add to the mix Syrian subversion and sponsorship of Hamas, and al-Qaida penetration of Jordan through Iraq - particularly in the event of a US withdrawal - the danger that merging the west and east bank populations would manifest to the Hashemite regime becomes apparent.
IT IS OFTEN NOTED that Hamas's popularity among Palestinians owes in part to the corruption of the PLO-Fatah-controlled PA. It has also been noted that due to the PLO-Fatah-controlled PA's jihadist indoctrination of Palestinian society, the population's transfer of political loyalty from PLO-Fatah to Hamas was ideologically seamless.
What has been little noted is the strategic significance of the nature of Hamas's relations with the PLO-Fatah from the establishment of the PA in1994 until Hamas ousted it from Gaza in 2007. When the PA was established in 1994, then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin argued that the PLO-Fatah shared Israel's interest in fighting Hamas because Hamas constituted a threat to its authority.
What Rabin failed to recognize was that Hamas's threat to PLO-Fatah was and remains qualitatively different from the threat it poses to Israel. PLO-Fatah never had a problem with Hamas attacks against Israel, or with its annihilationist ideology as regards Israel. This ideology is shared by PLO-Fatah and is widely popular among the Palestinians. Consequently not only did the PLO-Fatah never prevent Hamas from attacking Israel, it collaborated with Hamas in attacking Israel and did so while disseminating Hamas's genocidal ideology throughout the PA. PLO-Fatah did crack down on Hamas when it felt that Hamas was threatening its grip on power, but in all other respects, it supported Hamas - and continues to do so.
THE SAME UNFORTUNATELY is the situation in both Egypt and Jordan. Hamas's Nazi-like Jew hatred is shared by the vast majority of Jordanians and Egyptians. Islamist calls for the extermination of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel dominate the mosques, seminaries, universities and media outlets in both countries. Popular opposition to the peace treaties that Egypt and Jordan signed with Israel stands consistently at more than 90 percent in both countries.
In spite of repeated Israeli demands for action, PLO-Fatah never ended its support for jihadist anti-Semitism. The PLO-Fatah never believed - as Israel hoped it would - that its best chance for remaining in power was by teaching Palestinians to reject hatred, embrace freedom, democracy and the blessings that peace would afford them. So too, neither the Hashemites in Jordan nor President Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt have ever believed that the best way to stabilize or strengthen their own regimes is by preaching openness and peace and rejecting jihadist anti-Semitism. To the contrary, in recent years, Egypt has become the center for jihadist anti-Semitism in the Arab world and Jordan has one of the highest rates of Jew hatred in the world.
The situation on the ground in Jordan, Egypt, Gaza and Judea and Samaria make two things clear. First, a Jordanian reassertion of control over Judea and Samaria and an Egyptian reassertion of control over Gaza would likely increase the chances that the moderate regimes in both countries would be weakened and perhaps overthrown. Second, like Fatah-PLO, neither Egypt nor Jordan would have any interest in protecting Israel from Palestinian terrorists.
Bolton, Inbar and Pipes take for granted that Israel is uninterested in asserting or retaining control over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. This is reasonable given the positions of recent governments on the issue. However, the question is not whether Israel is interested or uninterested in asserting control over the areas - and most Israelis are uninterested in giving up control over Judea and Samaria in light of what happened after Israel withdrew its forces and civilians from Gaza.
THE SALIENT QUESTION is now that it is clear that the two-state solution has failed, what is the best option for managing the conflict? Not only would Israel be unable to trust that its security situation would improve if the areas were to revert to Jordanian and Egyptian control, Israel could trust that its security situation would rapidly deteriorate as the prospect of regional war increased. With a retrocession of Gaza, Judea and Samaria to Egyptian and Jordanian rule, Israel would find itself situated within indefensible borders, and facing the likely prospect that the Egyptian and Jordanian regimes would be destabilized.
Today Israel has the ability to enter Gaza without concern that doing so would provoke war with Egypt. It has minimized the terror threat from Judea and Samaria by controlling the areas with the massive help of the strong Israeli civilian presence in the areas which ensures control over the roads and the heights. IDF forces can operate freely within the areas without risking war with Jordan. The IDF controls the long border with Jordan and can prevent terrorist infiltration from the east.
If the current situation is preferable to the "three-state solution" and if the current situation itself is unsustainable, the question again arises, what should be done? What new policy paradigm should replace the failed two-state solution?
The best way to move forward is to reject the calls for a solution and concentrate instead on stabilization. With rockets and mortars launched from Gaza continuing to pummel the South despite Operation Cast Lead, and with the international community's refusal to enforce UN Security Council resolutions barring Iran from exporting weapons, it is clear that Gaza will remain an Iranian-sponsored, Hamas-controlled area for as long as Hamas retains control over the international border with Egypt.
So Israel must reassert control over the border.
It is also clear that Hamas and its terrorist partners in Fatah and Islamic Jihad will continue to target the South for as long as they can.
So Israel needs to establish a security zone inside of Gaza wide enough to remove the South from rocket and mortar range.
From an economic perspective, it is clear that in the long run, Gaza's only prospect for development is an economic union of sorts with the largely depopulated northern Sinai. For years, Egypt has rejected calls for economic integration with Gaza. Cairo should be pressured to reassess its position as Israel stabilizes the security situation in Gaza itself.
AS FOR JUDEA and Samaria, Israel should continue its military control over the areas in order to ensure its national security. It should also apply its law to the areas of Judea and Samaria that are within the domestic consensus. These areas include the Etzion, Adumim, Adam, Ofra and Ariel settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley.
Israel should end its support for the PLO-Fatah-led PA, and support the empowerment of non-jihadist elements of Palestinian society to lead a new autonomous authority in the areas. These new leaders, who may be the traditional leaders of local clans, should be encouraged to either integrate within Israel or seek civil confederation with Jordan. Jordan could take a larger role in the civil affairs of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, by for instance reinstating their Jordanian citizenship which it illegally revoked in 1988. At the same time, Israel should end its freeze on building for Israeli communities in the areas.
It is obvious today that for the Palestinians to develop into a society that may be capable of statehood in the long term, they require a period of a generation or two to rebuild their society in a peaceful way. (Freeman Note: Please Caroline, support letting them find statehood in Jordan, Iraq or Sinai. Talk about statehood in Israelis is dangerous.) They will not do this in environments where terrorists are ideologically aligned with unpopular, repressive regimes.
The option of continued and enhanced Israeli control is unattractive to many. But it is the only option that will provide an environment conducive to such a long-term reorganization of Palestinian society that will also safeguard Israel's own security and national well-being.
While it is vital to recognize that the failed two-state solution must be abandoned, it is equally important that it not be replaced with another failed proposition. The best way to move forward is by adopting a stabilization policy that enables Israel to secure itself while providing an opportunity for Palestinians to integrate gradually and peacefully with their Israeli, Egyptian and Jordanian neighbors.
Gaza and The Holocaust
By Irwin N. Graulich
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - 12:00:00 AM
Of course there is a direct link between Gaza and The Holocaust. Both have been used to destroy Jews. Those clever little men with the headscarves. First they deny The Holocaust, after which they say that Jews are treating the Gazans like Nazis treated the Jews during The Holocaust (which of course never happened). Well, you cannot have it both ways boys. Just lies, pure lies and more lies.
And what are the three biggest lies being told today? 1) The dog ate my homework. 2) I won't "come" in your mouth. 3) Gaza is a giant concentration camp and Gaza City is the Warsaw Ghetto.
Why have Muslims stolen Nazi terminology, which had always been associated with the persecution and genocide of Jews during WWII, turning the rhetoric completely around to describe Jewish behavior? Extermination, Nazi, SS, gas chambers, ethnic cleansing, boycott Jews, swastikas, mass murder, etc. etc., are all Hitler's terms that we currently see featured in those despicable anti-Israel demonstrations worldwide. Just listen to the politicians and media in the 48 Muslim dominated countries.
Hey, their strategy is working. The proof being that the Arabs have already successfully stolen the "Palestinian" brand which once belonged exclusively to the Jews. Now "Palestine" the word, the concept, the identity and the brand--which Jews owned, now belongs to Arabs--giving them an adopted history and instant credibility.
Check out all of Herzl's works and the early pre-1948 documentation about this Jewish State called "Palestine." When idiotic Jews allowed this big Arafat rip off to occur in 1964 calling himself a Palestinian, the Arab and Muslim world wisely concluded, "Why should we stop here? Next, we can steal The Holocaust terminology and use it against Israel and the Jews." How brilliant is that--and the world thought Jews were smart?
This all becomes crystal clear if we analyze one of the greatest lies in history, which coincidentally also involved Jews. It concerns the "blood libel," found in a book that is a bestseller today in virtually every Arab and Muslim country--"The Protocols of The Elders of Zion"--an infamous forgery, fraud and hoax made up by an anti-Semitic Russian writer, Matvei Golovinski.
These false accusations which actually originated 2000 years ago, should have been helpful to Jews and anyone else seeking historical truth. When you are hated and despised by so many people throughout history, you begin to question your own moral integrity--in the same way that many Americans are questioning the misplaced hatred for America throughout the world today. And yet America continues to be the most moral force in the history of the world, despite the number of American flags that are being burned in Muslim streets.
So Jews actually started to question their own moral authority in the same way that President Obama and many other Americans question America's incredible integrity over the past 8 years. The Jewish blood libel accuses Jews of killing non-Jews to bake their blood into matzos, while the American blood libel accuses this great country of being colonialists, torturers, occupiers, murderers of innocent civilians and going into Iraq for oil. Along with the anti-American media, they embellish stories about Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Iraq-- so you begin to wonder, "Perhaps there is some truth to your own mass murdering, blood lust and purposeful killing of innocent babies."
I mean, can a billion people who hated Jews throughout history be wrong and can a billion Muslims throughout the world be wrong about America. Yes, they most certainly can. Since when is morality judged by the number of people who hate you?
Both Jews and Americans should have learned from the infamous blood libel, that the enemies of decency and high moral standards will use the most vicious lies to bring them down. The truth is that the Old Testament (The Torah) is quite specific in terms of forbidding Jews to eat/drink blood, even the blood of an animal. Part of the koshering process involves salting which removes the blood. Drinking blood is specifically forbidden in the Jewish Bible, which should have been a wake up call for Jews and non Jews who had any doubts about this false accusation.
The Arab and Muslim world has learned from Joseph Geobbels and other classic antisemites that when a lie is repeated often enough, it is believed. No wonder The Protocols are found in schools, hotels and bookstores throughout the Muslim world. Therefore, accusations about the blood libel are actually a blessing for Jews, because it proves to everyone that there is no way possible for a Jew to murder a Christian or Muslim child and drink its blood. It is one of the biggest taboos in Judaism, and everyone knows it--which invalidates that entire book.
There is another reason that the Muslim world has felt the need to hurt and destroy Jews with Holocaust denial and Holocaust-like accusations. Simply because those once great Arab and Muslim armies, which began their conquests in the 7th century and overran the entire Middle East, North Africa, Southern France and Spain, are today considered the weaklings of the world.
And who, pray tell, has devastated those mighty Muslim nations like no one else, totally demolishing their armies, navies, air forces and cities? Well, those weak little Jews in Israel who stand with their prayer shawls on tanks during a war, swaying in reverence to the God of Israel. Talk about being dishonored physically, emotionally and spiritually.
My God---no wonder they hate Jews so much. Honor is the greatest value in the Arab/Muslim world--and it was Jews who totally dishonored and humiliated those macho fighters in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006 and 2009. 5 million Jews in Israel against a billion Muslims--and they cannot do a thing to Israel except spew off at the mouth.
Therefore, angry Muslims have resorted to spinning every loss into a victory. I mean, did you see the remnants of Beirut in 2006. Gaza today looks worse than Dresden, yet Iran and Maaschal of Hamas have declared "A great victory for the Palestinians." What do you say? Imagine the Nazis or Japanese declaring victory in 1945. I mean, do you believe your eyes or do you believe Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah?
In 1948, a tiny Jewish army with almost no weapons and 10 fixed wing crop dusters roundly defeated the great armies of 6 Arab countries, allowing Jews to return to their historic homeland and create a state once again. No wonder they all call Israel's founding "Nakba," The Disaster.
Iran, with all its oil revenues and weaponry, talks a big game--the scruffy little midget with the grey windbreaker keeps repeating, "We will come to the aid of the Palestinians. We will fight for them." That is truly laughable. Has Iran once launched a missile, shipped a soldier or sent an airplane to help their fellow Muslims against Israel? Of course not, because they realize the devastating consequences that would befall them.
One Syrian soldier recently fired his AK 47 rifle into Israel hitting an Israeli jeep. The Syrian soldier was immediately arrested by Syrian authorities, taken away, put into solitary confinement and tortured. Mr. Macho Assad was frightened about the potential consequences of that incident and let every Syrian soldier on the border know that a mistake along those lines will not be tolerated.
After all, Assad is interested in living a few more years. He also realizes that had it not been for Henry Kissinger's ill given orders to stop the Israelis from going any further in 1967, Damascus would now be part of Israel along with the Golan Heights.
Having lost the recent battle so overwhelmingly to Israel, Hamas and its backers have turned Gaza into a propaganda war. Israel's enemies have found its true weak spot--public relations including photos of wounded women and children. It's all over tv and the Internet.
And what has become of the native populations in England, France, Spain, Italy and the Scandanavian countries who have joined hands with the evil Muslim forces that have invaded their countries? The bulk of their citizenry are just plain frightened, preferring instead, to sit in coffee shops, looking at the women passing by and reading the daily newspaper; rather than dealing with those angry anti-Israel mobs.
It is the Stockholm Syndrome on a grand scale. Muslims living in Western countries feel totally humiliated by Israel. They read every week in their Koran how Allah has made them great warriors in order to dominate the world--and Israel continues to show that the Koran is absolutely wrong. No wonder they are screaming in the streets to "put Jews back into the ovens." Get rid of Jews and eliminate all doubts about the validity of the Koran.
One of the most important lessons to be learned from The Holocaust is that Jews are a lightning rod for evil. Throughout history, those who hated Jews have been the most despicable forces in the world. However, these groups will initially focus and obsess on the Jews, but they never end with the Jews.
9/11 came from a place that first hated Jews and Israel. The Allies had to fight WWII against the Nazis, because Nazism grew quickly from being "only" a Jewish problem. The Arab Oil embargo in 1973 was originally blamed on Israel and the Jews. Virtually all of worldwide terrorism today comes to us courtesy of Muslim countries where Israel is reviled and Jews were thrown out.
The large percentage of the Arab and Muslim world that hates Israel and Jews also considers women to be chattel. They murder their daughters in honor killings, if they do not marry the man that the father selects. They blow each other up using suicide bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Write something against the government or criticize a Muslim religious leader--and all that will be left at your desk is your computer.
They do not allow anyone from another country to wear a crucifix or star of David. Try bringing a Bible into any of the 48 Muslim dominated countries to pray privately in your hotel room. The Europeans, Scandanavians and South Americans who join these demonstrations for the most part enjoy using Nazi terminology to describe Israel so that it vindicates their parents and grandparents who did not battle the Nazis. After all, if Jews are shown to be as bad as the Nazis, then our relatives were not quite so bad for allowing The Holocaust to occur.
Throughout recorded history, from Pharoah to the ancient Romans; from the Crusaders to Chemelnitzke to the Nazis to the present Arab/ Muslim World--those who hated Israel and Jews are the dark forces of evil. And those who join the Jew Haters in their demonstrations, or even keep quiet and ignore them, will be their next victims.
Hey world--when they hate Jews....you better watch out yourselves, because you guys are next!!!!!!
Copyright by Irwin N. Graulich
Irwin N. Graulich is a well known motivational speaker on morality, ethics, religion and politics. He is also President and CEO of a leading marketing, branding and communications company in New York City. He can be reached at email@example.com
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
How appropriate that Barack Obama featured Aretha Franklin in his Inaugural festivities since her signature song is "Respect." Literally from the moment she finished belting out "My Country 'Tis of Thee" on Jan. 20, the new president has been conveying his "respect" the Muslim world. Unfortunately, the way he practices it seems to be spelled S-U-B-M-I-S-S-I-O-N.
Several observers have noted in recent days that Mr. Obama's outreach to the Muslim world is not only defensive and apologetic. It explicitly embraces a narrative that is factually erroneous and deprecating to his own country.
For example, in his Inaugural address, the president spoke of seeking "a new way forward [with the Muslim world], based on mutual interest and mutual respect." He amplified this idea during his first post-Inaugural interview, which was granted to a Saudi-owned network, Al Arabiya: He is determined to "restore" the "same respect and partnership America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago."
The problem with this formulation is that it misrepresents the more distant as well as the recent past, even as it panders to those (abroad and at home) who would blame the United States for the ills of the Muslim world. As Charles Krauthammer put it in his syndicated column last week, over the last 20 years, "America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. ... It is both false and injurious to this country to draw a historical line dividing America under Obama from a benighted past when Islam was supposedly disrespected and demonized."
The president also told Al Arabiya that: "My job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." Lest there be any doubt about the priority he attaches to this messaging, Mr. Obama repeated the point. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."
For good measure, the new president described America as a country of "Muslims, Christians, Jews" and others - a presumably intentional upgrading of adherents to the faith of his father, Islam, from the second place position he accorded them in his State of the Union address several days before. (The rankings of both orderings obviously reflect something other than demographics; there are far fewer Muslims than Christians in the United States and, according to independent estimates, only half as many - or less - than Jews.)
Mr. Obama has also seriously mischaracterized our enemy as "a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," averring "We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence done in that faith's name." Such statements deliberately ignore the animating and unifying role in jihad of authoritative Islam's violent and hateful theo-political-legal program: Shariah.
What is really worrying is that Mr. Obama's actions and rhetoric are almost certainly being perceived by his target audience as evidence not of respect but of subservience - precisely what Islam (literally, "submission" in Arabic) requires of all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims, alike. Consider the following:
• Mr. Obama has made no secret of his desire to cultivate improved relations with the mullahs of Iran, who have repressed their people and threatened ours for 30 years. It appears he started to do so months before his election, as a senior campaign adviser, former Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry, met repeatedly with a representative of Iran's genocide-supporting president, Mahmoud Ahamadinejad. In recent days, Obama special envoy for Afghan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, hired as a senior adviser Professor Vali Reza Nasr - an Iranian expatriate with an appalling record of shilling for the Islamic Revolutionary Iranian regime.
• According to GeostrategyDirect.com, a newsletter published by The Washington Times' ace national security reporter Bill Gertz, "Diplomatic sources said Barack Obama has engaged several Arab intermediaries to relay messages to and from al Qaeda in the months before his elections as the 44th U.S. president. The sources said al Qaeda has offered what they termed a truce in exchange for a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. 'For the last few months, Obama has been receiving and sending feelers to those close to al Qaeda on whether the group would end its terrorist campaign against the United States,' a diplomatic source said. 'Obama sees this as helpful to his plans to essentially withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq during his first term in office.' "
If surrender in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran were not enough, upcoming opportunities for Mr. Obama to exhibit American submission to Islam include ordering U.S. participation in the United Nations' "Durban II" conference - thereby legitimating its Iranian-dictated, rabidly anti-Israel, anti-American, Holocaust-denying and "Islamophobia"-banning agenda; adopting the program for undermining Israel promoted by longtime Friends-of-Barack Rashid Khalidi and Samantha Power (the latter just appointed a senior National Security Council official); and reversing the FBI's long-overdue decision to end its association with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent front organization of the Muslim Brotherhood (whose stated mission is "to destroy America from within.")
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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
Whatever Barack Obama's intentions, the kind of "respect" he is exhibiting toward Shariah-adherent Muslims will surely be seen by them as submission. And that spells only one thing: D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.
ISRAEL IS NOT A BANANA REPUBLIC
Yoram Ettinger, Ynet, February 6, 2009
In October 1998, on the eve of the Wye Plantation Summit, Democratic leaders of the US House of Representatives told Secretary of State, Madelyn Albright: "Should President Clinton decide to pressure Israel, he would face a Democratic-Republican opposition." In September 1982, Prime Minister Begin rejected the Reagan Plan – which called for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria – by throwing the official envelope at the lap of the US Ambassador, declaring: "Israel is not a Banana Republic." In spite of – and probably due to – the blunt rejection, the Reagan era enhanced US-Israel strategic relations in an unprecedented manner.
The assumption that an Israeli Prime Minister cannot face a US presidential pressure is as unfounded as the assumption that a US-Israel disagreement over the Arab-Israeli conflict should necessarily undermine vital Israeli interests.
Such assumptions reflect miscomprehension of the structure of the US government and the American state of mind. They are inconsistent with the larger context of US-Israel ties, recent precedents and global developments, which have improved understanding of Israel's security predicaments. These assumptions distort the meaning of leadership.
The US President is strong but not almighty. The US Congress is the most genuine representation of the American People, which appreciates patriotism, tradition, political incorrectness and walking against the grain, considering the Jewish State a domestic-shared-value issue and not just a matter of foreign policy. The House and the Senate – which possess the Power of the Purse – constitute a sustained source of support for the Jewish State, which is equal in power to the President. The loyalty of Democratic and Republican legislators is primarily to their constituents, to the principles of Separation of Powers, Checks and Balance and the Independence of the Legislature, rather than to the President. Their political life expectancy is different than the political life expectancy of the President. House Members and Senators have the power to suspend, cut, expand or initiate budgets and policies. During 1991-2, Congress appropriated Israel – in defiance of the brutal opposition by Bush/Baker – a $650MN emergency assistance, a $700MN transfer of military systems, in addition to the upgrading of the port of Haifa for the use of the 6th Fleet and other forms of strategic cooperation. Congress aborted an attempt by Bush/Baker to cut foreign aid to Israel, to link foreign aid to settlement activity. Capitol Hill introduced – despite harsh opposition by Bush/Baker – $10BN loan guarantees for the absorption of Soviet Jewry. If Israel would have followed then Majority Leader George Mitchell's advice ("The US is not a monarchy, and the President is not a king"), Bush/Baker would not have been successful in delaying the approval of the loan guarantees.
Until 1992, all Israeli Prime Ministers viewed both Chambers of Congress as the focus of forging US-Israel relations. Since 1992, all Israeli Prime Ministers have regarded the US Legislature as a "Support Actor", secondary to the Executive, thus undermining vital Israeli interests.
US-Israel special relations have not evolved around the Arab-Israeli conflict axis. They have evolved around the trilateral axis of shared values, mutual threats and joint interests. Thus, Congress (always) and the President (usually) have not allowed disagreements over the narrower Arab-Israeli context to cloud, or to undermine the benefits, derived from the larger historical, regional and global bilateral context. Therefore, strategic memoranda of understanding were concluded in 1981, 1983 and 1988, in spite of the rough US-Israel confrontation and the US military embargo following the 1981 bombing of Iraq's nuclear reactor, irrespective of the blunt 1982 rejection of the Reagan Plan and independent of the severe bilateral tension surrounding the 1982 War against the PLO in Lebanon and the First Intifadah, which erupted in December 1987. The memoranda were concluded due to Israel's unique contribution to deterrence of radical anti-US Arab regimes, to the stability of weak pro-US Arab regimes, to the war on Islamic terrorism, to the containment of Soviet penetration to the Middle East, to the enhancement of US intelligence and missile defense, to the upgrading of US defense and commercial industries and to he expansion of US employment and exports.
The identification, by Americans, with Israel's security predicament has steadily grown since 9/11, since the daily reports on US casualties, caused by Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, and since the intensification of the Islamic threat to the mainland of Europe and the US.
A genuine leadership requires withstanding pressure, in order to attain strategic goals/vision. On the other hand, avoiding pressure usually leads to relinquishing strategic goals/vision. Fending off pressure may allow for altered tactics, but never for altered strategy/goal/vision. Ben Gurion, Golda, Begin and Shamir realized that repelling presidential pressure tended to damage their popularity and to cause short-term diplomatic, political, economic and defense cost. However, they were not concerned with personal popularity and immediate national convenience; they were focused on the long-term strategy/goal/vision of the Jewish State.
During 1948-1992, all Israeli Prime Ministers tended to decline US imposed prescriptions to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and have thus advanced US-Israel strategic relations. Since 1992, all Israeli Prime Ministers have used the concern for US pressure, as an excuse to retreat from strategy/vision, and have thus undermined Israel's strategic posture in Washington and in the Middle East. Will the outcome of the February 10, 2009 Israeli election resurrect the pre-1992 Jerusalem state of mind?
Column One: Israel's fateful elections
Feb. 6, 2009
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
Tuesday's general elections will officially end the briefest and most nonchalant electoral season Israel has ever experienced. Regrettably, the importance of these elections is inversely proportional to their lack of intensity. These are the most fateful elections Israel has ever had. The events of the past week make this point clearly.
On Monday Iran successfully launched a domestically manufactured satellite on a ballistic missile called the Safir-2 space rocket. Since the launch, experts have noted that the Safir-2 can also be used to launch conventional and nonconventional warheads. The Safir-2 has an estimated range of 2,000-3,000 kilometers. And so the successful satellite launch showed that today Iran is capable of launching missiles not only against Israel, but against southern Europe as well.
Many Israeli leaders viewed Monday's launch as a "gotcha" moment. For years they have been saying that Iran's nuclear program is a threat to global security - not merely to Israel's. And Monday's launch demonstrated that they were right all along. Israel isn't the only country on Iran's target list.
Unfortunately for Israel, the international community couldn't care less. Its response to Teheran's latest provocation was to collectively shrug its shoulders.
On Wednesday emissaries of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany convened in Wiesbaden, Germany, to discuss their joint policies toward Iran in the aftermath of the satellite launch. Some Israelis argued that Iran's provocation forced these leaders' hands. Their reputations for toughness were on the line. They would have to do something.
Unfortunately for Israel, the emissaries of Russia, Britain, China, France, Germany and the US are more interested in convincing the mullahs that they are nice than in convincing them that they are tough.
Far from deciding to take concerted action against Iran, the great powers did nothing more than wish the Obama administration good luck as it moves to directly engage the mullahs. As their post-conference press release put it, the six governments' answer to Teheran's show of force was to "agree to consult on the next steps as the US administration undertakes its [Iranian] policy review."
As President Barak Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have explained, the US is reviewing its policy toward Iran in the hopes of finding a way to directly engage the Iranian government. While they claim that the aim of these sought after direct negotiations will be to convince the mullahs to give up their nuclear weapons program, since taking office the new administration has sent out strong signals that preventing Iran from going nuclear has taken a backseat to simply holding negotiations with Teheran.
According to a report in Aviation News, last week the US Navy prevented Israel from seizing an Iranian weapons ship in the Red Sea suspected of carrying illicit munitions bound for either Gaza or Lebanon. A week and a half ago, the US Navy boarded the ship in the Gulf of Aden and carried out a cursory inspection. It demurred from seizing the ship, however, because, as Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained on January 27, the US believed it had no international legal right to seize the vessel.
In inspecting the ship the US was operating under UN Security Council Resolution 1747, which bars Iran from exporting arms. The US argued that it lacked authority to seize the ship because 1747 has no enforcement mechanism. Yet the fact of the matter is that if the US were truly interested in intercepting the ship and preventing the arms from arriving at their destination, the language of 1747 is vague enough to support such a seizure.
And that's the point. The US was uninterested in seizing the ship because it was uninterested in provoking a confrontation with Teheran, which it seeks to engage. It was not due to lack of legal authority that the US reportedly prevented the Israel Navy from seizing the ship in the Red Sea, but due to the administration's fervent wish to appease the mullahs.
Today the ship, which was sailing under a Cypriot flag, is docked in the Port of Limassol. Cypriot authorities have reportedly inspected the ship twice, have communicated their findings to the Security Council, and are still waiting for guidance on how to deal with the ship.
ALL OF this brings us back to next Tuesday's elections. With the US effectively giving up on confronting Iran, the entire burden for blocking Iran's quest for nuclear weapons falls on Israel's shoulders.
This means that the most important question that Israeli voters must ask ourselves between now and Tuesday is which leader and which party are most capable of achieving this vital goal?
All we need to do to answer this question is to check what our leaders have done in recent years to bring attention to the Iranian threat and to build coalitions to contend with it.
In late 2006, citing the Iranian nuclear menace, Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman joined the Olmert government where he received the tailor-made title of strategic affairs minister. At the time Lieberman joined the cabinet, the public outcry against the government for its failure to lead Israel to victory in the war with Iran's Lebanese proxy Hizbullah had reached a fever pitch. The smell of new elections was in the air as members of Knesset from all parties came under enormous public pressure to vote no confidence in the government.
By joining the government when he did, Lieberman single-handedly kept the Olmert government in power. Explaining his move, Lieberman claimed that the danger emanating from Iran's nuclear program was so great that Israel could not afford new elections.
But what did he accomplish by saving the government by taking that job? The short answer is nothing. Not only did his presence in the government make no impact on Israel's effectiveness in dealing with Iran, it prolonged the lifespan of a government that had no interest in forming a strategy for contending with Iran by two years.
In light of this fact, perhaps more than any other Israeli politician, Lieberman is to blame for the fact that Israel finds itself today with no allies in its hour of greatest peril. Had he allowed the people to elect more competent leaders in the fall of 2006, we might have been able to take advantage of the waning years of the Bush administration to convince the US to work with us against Iran.
Then there is Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. If Lieberman was the chief enabler of Israel's incompetent bungling of the Iranian threat, as Israel's chief diplomat, it is Livni - together with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - who deserves the greatest condemnation for that bungling.
Throughout her tenure as foreign minister and still today as Kadima's candidate for prime minister, Livni claims that she supports using diplomacy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But in her three years as Israel's top diplomat, Livni never launched any diplomatic initiative aimed at achieving this goal. In fact, she has never even publicly criticized the European and American attempts to appease the mullahs.
Livni has remained silent for three years even though it has been clear for five years that the West's attempts to cut a deal with Teheran serve no purpose other than to provide the Iranians time to develop their nuclear arsenal. She has played along with the Americans and the Europeans and cheered them on as they passed toothless resolutions against Iran in the Security Council which - as the Iranian weapons ship docked in Cyprus shows - they never had the slightest intention of enforcing.
As for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, as a member of the Olmert government, his main personal failure has been his inability to convince the Pentagon to approve Israel's requests to purchase refueling jets and bunker buster bomb kits, and to permit Israeli jets to fly over Iraqi airspace. To achieve these aims, Barak could have turned to Israel's friends in the US military and in Congress. But he did no such thing. And now, moving into the Obama administration, Israel finds itself with fewer and fewer allies in Washington's security community.
For the past several years, only one political leader in Israel has had the foresight and wisdom to both understand the dangers of Iran's nuclear program and to understand the basis for an Israeli diplomatic approach to contending with the threat that can serve the country's purposes regardless of whether or not at the end of the day, Israel is compelled to act alone.
In 2006, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu took it upon himself to engage the American people in a discussion of the danger Iran poses not only to Israel but to the world as a whole. In late 2006, he began meeting with key US governors and state politicians to convince them to divest their state employees' pension funds from companies that do business with Iran. This initiative and complementary efforts by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy convinced dozens of state legislatures to pass laws divesting their pension funds from companies that do business with Iran.
Netanyahu also strongly backed the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs' initiative to indict Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as an international war criminal for inciting genocide. Both the divestment campaign and the campaign against Ahmadinejad have been Israel's most successful public diplomacy efforts in contending with Iran. More than anything done by the government, these initiatives made Americans aware of the Iranian nuclear threat and so forced the issue onto the agendas of all the presidential candidates.
Instead of supporting Netanyahu's efforts, Livni, Barak and Lieberman have disparaged them or ignored them.
Because he is the only leader who has done anything significant to fight Iran's nuclear program, Netanyahu is the only national leader who has the international credibility to be believed when he says - as he did this week - that Israel will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Likud under Netanyahu is the only party that has consistently drawn the connection between Iran, its Palestinian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Afghan terror proxies, its Syrian client state and its nuclear weapons program, and made fighting this axis the guiding principle of its national security strategy.
GIVEN THE US-led international community's decision not to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it is clear that in the coming months Israel will need to do two things. It will need to put the nations of the world on notice that they cannot expect us to stand by idly as they welcome Iran into the nuclear club. And Israel will need to prepare plans to strike Iran's nuclear installations without America's support.
More than ever before, Israel requires leaders who understand the gravity of the hour and are capable of acting swiftly and wisely to safeguard our country from destruction. Only Netanyahu and Likud have a credible track record on this subject.
For the sake of our country, our nation and our posterity, it is our responsibility to consider this fact when we enter the voting booths on Tuesday.
Our World: Obama's new world order and Israel
Feb. 9, 2009
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
As we go to the polls today, the world around us is quickly changing in new and distressing ways. The challenges the international system will present the government we elect will be harsher, more complicated and more dangerous than the ones its predecessors have faced.
Bluntly stated, the world that will challenge the next government will be one characterized by the end of US global predominance. In just a few short weeks, the new administration of President Barack Obama has managed to weaken the perception of American power and embolden US adversaries throughout the world.
In the late stages of the presidential race, now Vice President Joseph Biden warned us that this would happen. In a speech before supporters he said, "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama... [We're] gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy... They may emanate from the Middle East. They may emanate from the subcontinent. They may emanate from Russia's newly emboldened position."
As it happens, Biden's warning had two inaccuracies. Rather than six months, America's adversaries began testing Obama's mettle within weeks. And instead of one crisis from Russia, the Middle East or the Indian subcontinent, Obama has faced and failed to meet "generated crises" from all three.
TAKE RUSSIA for example. Since coming into office, Obama has repeatedly tried to build an alliance with the "newly emboldened" Russian bear. A week after entering office, he announced that he hoped to negotiate a nuclear disarmament agreement with Russia that would reduce the US's nuclear stockpiles by 80 percent. At a security conference in Munich last weekend, Biden stated that the administration wishes to push the "reset button" on its relationship with Russia and be friends.
Responding to these American signals, the Russians proceeded to humiliate Washington. Last week President Dmitry Medvedev hosted Kyrgyzstan's President Kurmanbak Bakiyev in Moscow. After their meeting the two announced that Russia will give the former Soviet republic $2 billion in loans and assistance and that Kyrgyzstan will close the US Air Force base at Manas which serves American forces in Afghanistan.
After cutting off one of the US's major supply routes for its forces in Afghanistan, Russia agreed to permit the US to resume its shipment of nonlethal military supplies for Afghanistan through Russian territory. Those shipments were suspended last summer by NATO in retaliation for Russia's invasion of Georgia. And now they are being resumed - on Moscow's terms. The US, for its part, couldn't be more grateful to Moscow for lending a helping hand.
THE US ITSELF WOULDN'T have found itself needing Russian supply lines had the situation in nuclear-armed Pakistan not deteriorated as it has in recent months. Much of the situation in Pakistan today is due to the Bush administration's incompetent bungling of US relations with the failed state. For years the US gave tens of billions of dollars to the military government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf in turn used the money to build up Pakistan's military presence along the border with India, while allowing al-Qaida and the Taliban to relocate their headquarters in Pakistan after being ousted from Afghanistan by US forces.
Vigilant in maintaining his power, for years Musharraf repressed all voices calling for democratic transformation. For their part democrats in places like Pakistan's Supreme Court were not friends of the West. They did not oppose the Taliban and al-Qaida. Rather their enemies were Musharraf and the US which kept him in power.
Responding to a sudden urge to encourage the forces of democracy in Pakistan, while advocating their abandonment throughout the Arab world, secretary of state Condoleezza Rice compelled Musharraf first to resign as head of the Pakistani military - thus ending his control over the country's jihadist ISI intelligence services and over the pro-jihadist military. Then she forced him to accept open elections, which unsurprisingly, he lost.
The democrats who replaced him had absolutely no influence over either the ISI or the military and realized that their power and their very lives were in the Taliban's hands. Consequently, since Pakistan's elections last year, the new government has surrendered larger and larger areas of the country to the Taliban. Indeed, today the Taliban either directly control or are fighting for control over the majority of Pakistani territory. Moreover, the Taliban and al-Qaida have intensified their war in Afghanistan and are making significant gains in that country as well.
This would have been a difficult situation for the US to contend with no matter who replaced George W. Bush in the Oval Office. Unfortunately, due to Obama's stridently anti-Pakistani rhetoric throughout the campaign - rhetoric untethered to any coherent strategy for dealing with Pakistan - the Pakistanis no doubt felt the need to test his mettle as quickly as possible.
For his part, Obama gave them good reason to believe he could be intimidated. By letting it be known that he intended for his special envoy to the region Richard Holbrook's job to include responsibility for pressuring US ally India to reach a peace agreement with Pakistan over the disputed Jammu and Kashmir province in spite of clear proof that Pakistani intelligence was the mastermind of the December terror attacks in Mumbai, Obama showed that he was willing to defend Pakistan's "honor" and so accept its continued bad behavior.
LAST FRIDAY, the Pakistanis tested Obama. The Supreme Court freed Pakistan's Dr. Strangelove - A.Q. Khan - from the house arrest he had been under since his nuclear proliferation racket was exposed by the Libyans in 2004. Through his nuclear proliferation activities, Khan is not only the father of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal - but of North Korea's and Iran's as well.
Khan's release casts a dark shadow on Obama's plan to dismantle much of America's nuclear arsenal, because with him free, the prospect that Pakistan is back in the proliferation business becomes quite real. Already on Sunday Khan announced his plan to travel abroad immediately. For its part, the court in Islamabad specifically stated that Khan is free to resume his "scientific research."
Pakistan's open contempt for the US and its weakness in the face of the Taliban's takeover of the country has direct consequences for the US's mission in Afghanistan - and for its new dependence on Russia. This week the Taliban bombed a bridge on the Khyber Pass along the Pakistani border with Afghanistan that served as a supply line to US forces in Afghanistan. As US Brig.-Gen. James McConville stated in Kabul, the latest attack simply underlines how important it was for the US to resume its shipments through Russia.
MANY HAVE POINTED to Pakistan as an example of why Israel and the West have no reason to be concerned about Iran acquiring nuclear arms. To date, they claim, Pakistan has not used its nuclear arms, and indeed has been deterred by both India and the West from doing so.
While it is true that Pakistan has yet to use its nuclear arsenal, it is also true that since its initial nuclear test in 1998, Pakistan has twice brought the subcontinent to the brink of nuclear war. In both 1999 and 2002, Pakistan provoked India into a nuclear standoff.
Moreover, due to its nuclear arsenal, Pakistan successfully deterred the US from taking action against it after the September 11 attacks showed that al-Qaida and the Taliban owed their existence to Pakistan's ISI. Although Pakistan's government is not an Islamic revolutionary one like Iran's, the fact is that since it became a nuclear power, Pakistan has moved away from the West, not toward it. Indeed, its nuclear deterrent against India - and the West - has empowered and strengthened the jihadists and brought them ever closer to taking over the regime in a seamless power grab.
Far from arguing against preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the Pakistani precedent argues for taking every possible action to prevent Iran from acquiring them. After all, unlike the situation in Pakistan, Iran's regime is already controlled by jihadist revolutionaries. And like their counterparts in Pakistan, these forces will be strengthened, not weakened in the event that Iran acquires nuclear weapons.
Indeed, since Obama came into office waving an enormous olive branch in Teheran's direction, the regime has become more outspoken in its hostility toward the US. It has humiliated Washington by refusing visas to America's women's badminton team to play their Iranian counterparts. It has announced it will only agree to direct talks with Washington if it pulls US forces out of the Middle East, abandons Israel and does nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It has rudely blackballed US representatives who are Jewish, like House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Howard Berman, at international conclaves. And it has announced that it will refuse to deal with Obama's suggested envoy to Iran, Dennis Ross, who is also a Jew. In all of its actions, Iran has gone out of its way to embarrass Obama and humiliate America. And Obama, for his part, has continued to embrace Teheran as his most sought-after negotiating partner.
MOVING AHEAD, the question of how our next government should handle America's apparent decision to turn its back on its traditional role as freedom's global defender becomes the most pressing concern. It is clear that we will need to embrace the burden of our own defense and stop expecting to receive much from our alliance with the US. But it is also clear that we will need a new strategy for dealing with the US itself.
In formulating that policy, the next government should draw lessons from fellow US-ally India. Once it became clear to the Indians that the Obama administration intended to treat them as the strategic and moral equivalent of Pakistan, they struck back hard. When the administration signaled that it would agree to Pakistan's assertion that its problems with the Taliban were linked to India's refusal to cede Jammu and Kashmir to Islamabad, New Delhi essentially told Washington to get lost.
In an interview on Indian television last week, ahead of Holbrook's first visit to the area this week, India's National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan said that Obama would be "barking up the wrong tree" if he were to subscribe to such views. He added that India would be unwilling to discuss the issue of Jammu and Kashmir with Holbrook and so compelled Obama to remove the issue from Holbrook's portfolio.
At the same time, the Indian government released a dossier substantiating its claim that the December attacks on Mumbai were planned in jihadist terror training camps in Pakistan and enjoyed the support of the ISI. Moreover, in response to Khan's release from house arrest on Friday, India called for the international community to list Pakistan as a terror state.
In acting as it has, India has made two things clear to the Obama administration. First, it will not allow Washington to appease Pakistan at its expense. Second, it will do whatever it believes is necessary to secure its own interests both diplomatically and militarily.
A sound example for the next government to follow.
The Outcome of Israel's February 2009 Election - A Rightward Movement
by Yoram Ettinger
The Outcome of Israel's February 2009 Election – A Rightward Movement
by Yoram Ettinger
1. According to the Israeli law and political (unicameral) tradition, the next Prime Minister will be a party leader, who could produce a bloc of 60+ (out of 120) Knesset Members. The late Rabin passed the Oslo Accord with a majority of 61 Knesset Members.
2. The Likud-led bloc ascended from a 50 seat minority to a 65 seat majority. The Kadima-led bloc crashed from a majority of 70 seats to a minority of 55 seats (including 10 seats for three Arab parties!).
3. The Netanyahu-led Likud surged from 12 seats in the previous Knesset to 27-8 in the new Knesset, while Livni-led Kadima dropped from 29 to 28 seats.
4. Kadima has held its own by attracting voters away from two other more dovish parties: Labor (which dropped from 19 to 13 seats) and Meretz (from 5 to 3). The Dovish vote moved closer to the center.
5. The count of soldiers' ballots – and inter party "excess agreements" – may accord the Likud bloc 1-2 additional Knesset seats.
6. Once again, the Israeli electorate delivered a predominantly-hawkish vote. In 1992, the late Rabin was elected on a hawkish platform (no Palestinian State, no negotiation with the PLO, no negotiation over Jerusalem and no retreat from the Golan). In 1996 Netanyahu was elected over Peres, the Oslo Man. In 1999, Barak was elected as a role-model of counter-terrorism warrior. In 2001 and in 2003, Sharon was elected as a hawk, who opposed restraint in-face-of-terrorism and "Disengagement."
7. The reluctance – by the current Kadima led government - to order the IDF to defeat PLO, Hamas and Hizballah terrorism was a key factor, which drove the electorate further to the right.
8. A February 2-3, 2009 poll of Israeli eligible voters, including Arabs (Prof. Yitzhak Katz, "Ma'agar Mochot" Institute):
*51%:32% oppose the establishment of a Palestinian State in Judea & Samaria;
*52%:22% believe that a Palestinian State in Judea & Samaria would lead to rockets on Jerusalem and central Israel;
STEVEN PLAUT ON THE ISRAELI ELECTION
Well, the almost-final election results are in, could still change at margin as last votes of soldiers and diplomats get counted.
Some preliminary comments:
1. The election is on the surface a tie between Likud and Kadima, with Kadima ahead by one seat in the parliament. Kadima have been loudly proclaiming this a victory, although it does not even merit being named a Pyrrhic one. More than three quarters of Israelis voted against the incumbent Kadima party. More importantly, it looks all but certain that it will be Likud that heads the new coalition government, not Kadima. It is not impossible that Likud and Kadima will form a coalition but I think it unlikely.
Livni and Kadima were the big winners of the military campaign in Gaza against the Hamas. They also benefited from the manipulative leak of the news, not necessarily factual, at the last minute before the vote, that a deal had been reached to get Gilad Shalit released from captivity. In addition, Kadima's worst handicaps, the corruption scandals involving Olmert and Hirschenson, were moot for Kadima, as the two crooks were not on the slate.
2. The Israeli Left collapsed to the worst performance in Israeli history. Meretz, which had 12 Knesset seats in 1992, won three seats out of the total of 120 parliamentary seats, less than the communist party. Zehava Galon, an crude obnoxious male-hating Hamas-appeasing far-leftist who had long been in the Knesset, lost her seat and will not be in the new Knesset. That alone is enough reason for some celebration. Part of the reason for the Meretz demise may be the fact that Haaretz called for people to vote AGAINST them. Since Meretz is still nominally Zionist Left, Haaretz opposes them and pretty clearly called upon voters to support the HADASH communist party. Meretz had 5 seats in the previous parliament so lost 40% of its parliamentary representation.
3. The Labor Party under Barak also reached its historic low with 13 seats, despite the fact that Barak was widely considered to have performed well in the "Cast Lead" attack on the Hamas savages. Labor had actually been polling even lower. Bear in mind that this is the same Labor Party, built on an original coalition of 4 different "labor" social democratic parties, which had a monopoly on power in Israel from 1948 until 1977; and once its component parts got more than two thirds of Israeli votes.
4. The "Right" performed poorly, largely because of petty bickering and also partly because Rightwing votes went to the Likud. The National Unity party had merged with the National Religious Party to create the "Jewish Home" party. But no sooner were they merged that the bickering began and half their leaders then split and re-named themselves National Unity, like the previous defunct party, maximizing confusion. The two chunks together won 7 seats (4 for NU and 3 for JH), which was less than what they held together in the previous parliament, down from 9 in the previous election.
5. The HADASH Arab Stalinist party got 4 seats. It had three in the previous parliament but 4 in the one before that. It had been expected to do better this round thanks to one of its Jewish commies running well in the contest for the Tel Aviv mayor election, getting a third of the vote there, and also because Haaretz essentially endorsed it. I doubt that more than 2% of its votes came from Jews. The three Arab fascist pro-terrorism parties together took 12 seats, up from the previous Knesset, thanks largely to the idiots at the Supreme Court overturning the banning of two of the three parties for being treasonous pro-jihad organizations. The Arab fascists were less divided than they were in the previous election and altogether increased there strength. While Labor's Ehud Barak might have recruited some for a coalition led by him, there is zero chance either Livni or Netanyahu would. Haaretz trumpeted that the "camp of the Left" did almost as well as the "camp of the Right," but that is because they count Kadima and the three Arab parties in the former. Obviously the Arab parties are irrelevant in coalition building.
6. Lieberman actually did somewhat less well than the polls had predicted. 15 seats where polls were predicting up to 20. This makes him the new coalition kingmaker and linchpin. He is a bit unpredictable but almost certain to go with Likud.
7. The religious parties did about as expected . 18 seats not counting National Unity. They are more likely to go with a Likud coalition than a Kadima one.
8. Interesting who did not get in at all. The Pensioners Party which had 7 seats at the peak of its power, did not get into the Knesset at all. Neither did the pro-pot "Green Leaf" party, a perpetual electoral nuisance, or about 15 other loopy and dopey parties. Efrain Sneh, one-time Labor Party honcho, ran in his own party and did terribly.
9. The Tel Aviv stock market does not like the results of the election. It is down between 2 and 3%, on the same day that it is announced that the gas field found near Haifa has $20 billion dollars worth of gas (and so stock market SHOULD be way up!).
10. While the Israeli of the street has moved well to the Right, it was the center (kadima + likud) that came out of the elections strong.
Israeli Elections: Manifestations of Insanity
Leaving aside the soldiers vote, which may not be known for another week, the presently repor ted results of the February 10 election contain an interesting twist. Consider the seats won by the so-called rightwing parties:
Likud (27), Israel Beiteinu (15), Shas (11), United Torah Judaism (5), National Union (4), and Jewish Home (3). Total: 65.
Whereas the leftwing parties won 44 seats, the Arab parties won 11 seats¡Xa total of 55.
Now, for the purpose of this article, I am going to ignore the role of the President and formulate a purely hypothetical state of affairs.
Suppose Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Israel Beiteinu Party, concocts a deal with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. The Left would then have 59 seats. The Arabs give the Left a "blocking majority,¨ so that Livni would becomes the prime minister of a leftwing coalition government.
This sort of thing happened in the June 1992 election. Labor-Meretz won 56 seats, which enabled the Arab parties, with 5 seats, to give the Left a blocking majority over against the nationalist and religious parties which had won 59 seats. (Shas joined Labor-Meretz to make the government kosher, and that led to Oslo .)
Now, to avoid misunderstanding, I am not predicting a replay of the 1992 election. Besides, Likud may gain an additional seat from the soldiers vote, and that would preclude the above scenario—that manifestation of Israel ’s insanity.
But what is the lesson to be gleaned from the results of the 2009 Israeli election and the hypothetical replay of the 1992 election?. Is it merely that Israel ’s electoral system is a “failure,” as indica ted by Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief David Horowitz? If so, a failure in what respect?
Is the system a failure because the election did not yield a clear winner who can stand as the nation’s choice of prime minister? Many people would say this.
Or is it a failure because the Arab vote could hypothetically decide who would be Israel ’s prime minister? Hardly anyone is saying this. But even those who do touch only the surface of Israel ’s systemic malaise.
Do Israel’s ruling elites, be they politicians or judges, academics or journalists, comprehend the irrationality of Israel’s system of government, more precisely, its alogical principle of one adult/one vote?
Do they realize that democracy’s most fundamental principle of “one adult, one vote” is tantamount to “one opinion, one vote,” which, in practice, makes contradictory opinions equal?
Do they understand, therefore, that the democratic principle of “one adult, one vote” is, in practice, alogical?
Do they understand that, according to Freud, the alogical has its home in the unconscious? Let me explain by way of psychiatrist Ignacio Matte-Blanco.
If Peter is the brother of John, then John is the brother of Peter. The relation is symmetrical. But if Peter is the father of John, then John is the son of Peter. The relation is asymmetrical.
Now, Matte-Blanco shows that making that which is asymmetrical symmetrical is symptomatic of schizophrenia. (I enlarge on the subject in Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy).
The principle of symmetry manifests itself in democracy via the principle of equality. As democracy become further removed from the aristocratic and religious tradition, its principle of equality becomes indiscriminate. Thus, we see in Israel that no distinction is made between loyal and disloyal citizens so far the right to elect or be elec ted to public office is concerned.
Moreover, throughout the democratic world we see the phenomenon of moral equivalence, which puts Hamas on a par with Israel , In fact, moral equivalence often degenerates into moral reversal—to Israel ’s disadvantage. This is not just nihilism: it is insanity. This insanity-cum-nihilism is symptomatic of the end of the democratic era, which began with the Enlightenment.
We are witnessing insanity-cum-nihilism throughout the most “civilized” and scientifically advanced countries in the world—in Europe and the Uni ted States . I see it among Israel ’s ruling elites, at least among those who are tain ted by multiculturalism or cultural relativism.
Elections in Israel are manifestations of indiscriminate equality, of insanity-cum-nihilism. We are witnessing the end of democracy and of Western civilization. A lot of people feel this, especially thoughtful Jews, the only people with a universal history. This promp ted me to write A Jewish Philosophy of History: Israel ’s Degradation and Redemption. Which means that the Israel of tomorrow is the only hope of mankind.
“ Palestine ” Instead of Israel – A Documentary of Historical Theft
by Elyakim Ha'etzni
Part I: The Origins of Palestine
The Philistines, who gave their name to “ Palestine ,” came from the Greek isles and conquered the coastal strip of the Land of Israel from Jaffa to Gaza . We know them, among other sources, from the Biblical story of David’s victory over the Philistine giant Goliath. The Philistines had declined in power by the end of King David’s reign, and were exiled at the same time as the Jews were exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
In 538 B.C.E., after 70 years of exile, the Jews returned from Babylon , built the Second Temple , and continued to develop as a nation. The Philistines, however, simply disappeared off the stage of history together with the other peoples of the region.
In 135 A.C.E., the Romans succeeded in suppressing the Bar Kochba Rebellion only after suffering punishing military losses. The enraged and vindictive Caesar Hadrian determined to put an end to the Jewish religion and to erase Judea from the map. Although there were no Philistines left in the world, Hadrian changed the land’s name to Palestine as a way of severing the connection between the land of the Jews and the Jews themselves. Jerusalem ’s name was changed to Aelia Capitolina at the same time for the same reason. Jews were prohibited from living in most parts of Judea, and a Jew set foot in Jerusalem on pain of death.
Part 2: Palestine Through the Generations
Hadrian curse didn’t succeed. Refugees from Judea streamed to the Galilee and the Golan. The northern Land of Israel experienced a flowering that lasted hundreds of years and produced the Mishnah and Jerusalem Talmud, ensuring Jewish survival for the next 2,000 years.
Neither did the Jews forget Jerusalem . Every year, on the 9th of Av, the day that both Jerusalem and Bar Kochba’s fortress of Beitar fell, they were allowed to enter Jerusalem to mourn their loss. During the other 364 days of the year, they eternalized Jerusalem as the focus of their yearning in their religion, culture, and consciousness.
In the 7th century, with the replacement of the Byzantine Empire by the Muslim caliphate, the name Aelia Capitolina passed from the world gradually and the city was once again called Jerusalem or “Beit Al-mekdes” or “Al Quds,” the holy temple and the holy city in Arabic. The name Palestine was also forgotten for the next 1,300 years.
There was an interruption in Muslim rule of the land with the arrival of the Crusaders, who returned to relating to the land’s Biblical past and called their state The Kingdom of Jerusalem.” From the time of the Crusader’s defeat, a string of Muslim empires ruled the land -- Arab, Mameluke, Mongol, and Ottoman Turk -- and there was no mention of the name Philistia or Palestine .
As the eminent Orientalist Bernard Lewis wrote:
From the end of the Jewish state in antiquity to the beginning of British rule, the area now designated by the name Palestine was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries; it was a group of provincial subdividisions, by no means always the same, within a larger entity.
Ottoman rule in the Land of Israel ended in 1918 with the end of World War I. At that time, the Arab residents of the land, if they identified themselves as anything, identified their country as “South Syria” with their capital in Damascus . The congress of Muslim-Christian Associations held in Jerusalem in 1919 publicized their position that “We are connected to Syria with national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographic ties.” (Y. Porat)
Where in the world, then, did the “Palestinian” claim of national rights come from after the term “ Palestine ” had been dead and buried for 17 centuries?
Part 3: The Resurrection of Palestine
The name Palestine entered the other European languages through the Roman Latin as the name for the Land of Israel . In Christendom this name referred to the land of the Bible, the land of the ancient Hebrews and the pre-exilic Jews. One can easily verify this by looking up the entry “ Palestine ” in any European encyclopedia. Until the 1920s at the earliest, one could find in them only a description of the Jewish past. It remains for the inventors of the Palestinian myth to explain why the writers and editors of the encyclopedias didn’t bother to mention that this land was the birthplace of the “Palestinian nation,” unless it was because the multi-ethnic motley that immigrated or passed through the land throughout the ages had never thought of themselves as a national grouping. They simply didn’t know what 20th century propagandists had in store for them.
The name Palestine was first retrieved from the ‘museum’ and inserted into current affairs in a letter from Lord Balfour, the British foreign minister, to Lord Rothschild. Written in 1917, the author conveys the British government’s promise to establish a Jewish national home in “ Palestine .” Palestine was mentioned in the context that every person of that era understood it: as the name of the ancient homeland of the Jews. It was characteristic of the name’s usage that Nazis and anti-Semites the world over wished to “send the Jews back to Palestine .” Here, too, the creators of the false Palestinian myth need to ask themselves why the Jew-haters thought of expelling Jews, wherever they may be found, to “ Palestine ”, the supposed homeland of the “Palestinian Arabs”? (A true story: the writer of these lines was born in Germany . One day I was interviewed by a German television crew. The interviewer asked me a
hostile question: why did I come to live in Hebron and ‘force myself upon the Arabs’? Without thinking, I answered: “You screamed at me ‘Juden, nach Palestina!’ You sent me here!”)
The whole purpose of the British Mandate in the Land of Israel (1920 – 1948) was the promise in Balfour’s letter, called the Balfour Declaration, of the establishment of a “national homeland” for the Jewish people. The introductory words of the League of Nations grant of the Mandate to Britain say it all:
“ Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have … agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country: and;
Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country…
The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home…”
The world powers that made up the League of Nations were both careful and explicit in laying out the purpose of Britain ’s Mandate. Based on their recognition of “the historic connection of the Jewish people with Palestine ,” Britain was to enable the Jewish people to actualize its right to “reconstitut(e) their national home in that country.” The creators of the false Palestinian myth will have to explain why in the world the League of Nations would seek to establish a Jewish national home in the “homeland of the Palestinian people.” They must explain why the “Palestinian people” weren’t entitled to the same treatment as the Jews and why they weren’t described as a “people” or a “nation” but rather as a “non-Jewish community in Palestine .” They must also explain why Britain needed to protect the “ civil and religious rights” of non-Jewish communities without granting them the national political rights
that were granted only to the Jews.
How do we explain all this unless by the simple fact that Muslims, Christians, and Druze living in the land were communities and nothing else. Concurrently with events in Palestine , the British were granted a mandate in Iraq for the purpose of establishing Arab-Iraqi sovereignty, and the French were given mandates in Syria and Lebanon for the purpose of establishing Arab-Syrian and Arab-Christian sovereignty. If there had existed an Arab nation with a separate national identity in the Land of Israel , a mandate for the “Palestinian people” would undoubtedly have arisen instead of the Jewish one.
Even when the British carved out three fourths of the territory intended for the future Jewish homeland – all of Palestine east of the Jordan River --and gave it to an Arab tribal leader in a slick political deal that served British interests only, that territory was called “the emirate of Trans-Jordan” and not “Palestine.”
In the 1948 War of Independence, the ruler of Jordan , the Emir Abdallah, conquered Judea, Samaria and historic Jerusalem . He then crowned himself in Jericho as king of his enlarged country and sought a name for it. He thought of calling it “ Palestine ,” but his influential British advisors discouraged him. They explained that if he called his land “ Palestine ,” it would preclude Arab claims upon Israeli territory. So the two “banks” were invented: all the territory from the Jordan River to the Iraqi border was called the “East Bank,” and the territory between the Jordan River and the Green Line (the 1948 armistice line) was called the “ West Bank .” In the Jordanian maps from that era, the two banks together are called “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; the territory of the State of Israel is called “Occupied Palestine.”
Observe that sleight of hand: from now on “ Palestine ” is the shadow that the Jews cast when the Israeli sun of independence shines upon them. “ Palestine ” is the photographic negative of Israel . Palestine exists and will continue to exist only in the context of and for the purpose of negating Jewish sovereignty. If the negation ever succeeds, G-d forbid, the artificial bubble of Palestine will burst.
Zuheir Muhsin, head of the A-sa’ika terror organization member of the PLO Executive Council, expressed this truth concisely when he told the Dutch daily “Trouw” that:
We only insist on emphasizing the Palestinian identity for tactical reasons, because the national interest of the Arabs requires that we encourage a separate Palestinian identity to place in opposition to Zionism: the establishment of a Palestinian state is a new instrument in the continuing war against Israel . . .
David Ben Gurion, in testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry spoke these words:
There’s no such thing as “ Palestine ” in all of history . . . Arab history was made in Arabia , Persia , Spain , and North Africa . In this history you won’t find Palestine . Arab history wasn’t made in Palestine . However, Arab history isn’t the only history. There’s also world history and Jewish history, and in those histories there’s a land whose name is Judea, or as we call it Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel . . . this land did exist in history and it still exists. It’s a small land, very small, but this small land left a deep impression on world history and on our own history. This land made us into a nation, and our nation made this land. No other nation in the world made this land, and this land made no other nation in the world . . .
Now, almost 2,000 years after Hadrian’s curse, Muslims who in the past had belonged simply and solely to “the Arab nation,” began searching for a national identification with the Land of Israel . They latched onto to the same technique as Hadrian in his day: under the label of the “Palestinian people,” they fabricated a false claim to the land of the Jews. Tragically, they’re now receiving the consent of the victims of their thievery, the Jewish owners of the land, represented by the government of Israel .
Part 4: The Palestinian Bluff
When the local Arabs saw that the British Mandate was based on the name “ Palestine ,” they started calling themselves the “Palestinian people.” Imitating the Jewish-Zionist experience that was taking shape before them, they also claimed for themselves a pedigree of thousands of years, and demanded consideration as an “ancient people” the same as the Jews. Lately, they’ve even grown jealous of the Jewish Holocaust and invented for themselves a holocaust of their own, which they call “the Catastrophe of 1948.”
They need this myth of antiquity in order to claim for themselves the same historic right to the land in place of the Jewish people. However, they’ve run into a difficulty: whose descendents are they? Are they descended from Abraham’s son Ishmael, who was a Semite, or Goliath the Philistine, of the Aryan race? They’ve come up with a most brazen answer, that allows them to have their cake and eat it too: they are the descendents, they say, of all the nations who ever settled in the Land of Israel . Now they can be the descendents of both Goliath, who fought the Israelites, and David, who slew him.
Things have come to such a pass that they’re now claiming that the Jews of today are not a people or a nation at all, but just a rabble composed of bits and pieces of all the peoples in the world and sharing only a common religion. (Which is exactly what the “Palestinian Arabs” are!) Whereas the true descendants of the ancient Hebrews and Jews are . . . the Palestinian Arabs! In this spirit, huge posters were hung in Bethlehem during Christmas depicting the image of Jesus together with the words “Palestinian Freedom Fighter.”
Even academic figures such as Dr. Hanan Ashrawi of Bir Zeit University aren’t embarrassed to claim that Jesus was a Palestinian. The logical conclusion is that the Bible itself was gifted to the world by the Palestinian Arabs. The only difference between the malign and brazen nonsense that Jesus was an Arab freedom fighter and the malign and brazen nonsense that Israel has belonged to the Palestinian Arabs “from time immemorial” is that the first is a newer claim and its patina of absurdity hasn’t worn thin yet. Both, however, are worthy of the same degree of respect. What is most astounding is how the West has swallowed these ridiculous quackeries without a peep of skepticism.
Part 5: “The Palestinian Horizon”
Binyamin Netanyahu, a past and likely future prime minister of Israel , once said that any Palestinian state that doesn’t fulfill five minimal conditions, will end up threatening Israel ’s existence. These are the conditions:
A total prohibition against making international treaties (Imagine a military treaty with Iran !).
Israeli supervision of all border crossings (to prevent the dispatching of millions of Arab “refugees” towards Israel ’s borders).
Control of the airspace over such a state.
Control over all drilling for water, since one third of Israel ’s water is drawn from the mountain aquifer of Judea and Samaria .
And we haven’t even mentioned military needs arising out of the absolute strategic dominance that the mountainous heights of Judea and Samaria enjoy over the valleys and plains where most of Israel ’s population and industry are concentrated.
The shameful act of expelling the Jews and withdrawing the IDF from the Gaza Strip provided us with a “dry run” of whether the possibility exists that an independent Palestinian entity could stand up to Netanyahu’s conditions. The negative results, frightening in the extreme, were apparent to all:
Gaza was turned into a huge weapons stockpile, into a terror state with complete freedom of operation, and into a bridgehead for ceaseless attacks on Israel . Today, missiles strike Sderot and Ashkelon , eventually they’ll be capable of striking Tel Aviv.
The entire Strip has become a training and staging ground for the forces of the Hezbollah and Al Qeda, for Iranian consultants and terror experts the world over, in addition to quasi-criminal armed gangs, which can’t be controlled by anyone. The turning of Gaza into a fortress gearing up for frontline military attacks was executed via open agreement between the “government” of Hamas and Iran .
Once Israeli military control over the Rafiach crossing with Egypt was abandoned, the doors of Gaza were not only opened wide to all terror organizations, but terrorists and weaponry also started streaming into the Sinai Desert, and from there to Israel’s Negev region.
Israeli helicopter reconnaissance over the Gaza Strip is already limited by the fear of ground to air missiles that were brought in after the expulsion of the Jews. For the same reason, crop-dusters can’t fly in Israeli airspace over fields in proximity to Gaza .
Wild and unchecked Arab drilling since the Oslo Accords has salinized the wells of Gaza , and seawater is contaminating the coastal aquifer. Gaza is now dependent on water diverted to it by Israel .
To Netanyahu’s minimalist conditions must be added the following certain existential dangers posed by a Palestinian state:
The dispatching of hundreds of thousands of “refugees” into the tiny area of Judea and Samaria . Mass marches, women and children leading, can be expected towards Israel with the purpose of drawing fire and incriminating the Zionist state with atrocities, or alternately, to actually succeed in flooding Israel . The present slogans centering around the “occupation” will be replaced with slogans demanding “the right of return.”
Ben Gurion Airport will be under constant missile threat and might have to be closed altogether because of its proximity to an enemy border.
An IDF deployed along the Green Line will not be able to provide Israel with security, since the state’s most critical territory will be no wider than 6 – 7 miles. The army will thus welcome the demand to station international forces on the border of Judea and Samaria in addition to the international forces deployed in the South along the border with Gaza . If we add to this the international force deployed today along the Lebanese border, we will be left with a state defended on all sides by foreign forces. Such a state is called a protectorate. The first signs of the transformation of Israel into a dependency is found in the “Road Map For the Establishment of a Palestinian State ,” which gives the Quartet authority to oversee Israeli diplomatic and security matters of the most vital nature.
The establishment of a Palestinian state will lead to escalating irredentism among Israeli Arabs, who will first demand autonomy and later demand that the Galilee and other areas be annexed to the Palestinian mother state.
The Kingdom of Jordan will face eminent collapse: 60 to 70 percent of its population is Palestinian and the rest are Bedouins with no claim as a separate people. An “Anschluss” of Jordan to Palestine will place Israel in a Palestinian stranglehold from the border of Iraq to the Mediterranean .
The Palestinians are demanding, and based on international law are likely to receive, an extra-territorial corridor between Gaza and Hebron , which will slice the Negev in half. America is already pressuring Israel to permit “safe passage” between Gaza and Judea and Samaria , as a station on the road to Palestinian statehood. This is despite the certainty that such passage will be used to import terrorists and experts in manufacturing rockets and other armaments from Gaza inland. In addition, masses of Gaza residents will flood Judea and Samaria to improve their quality of life. The demographic and security implications for Israel will be catastrophic.
The worst effects won’t even be physical or military. It will become accepted fact throughout the world that the land called “ Palestine ” belongs to the people called “the Palestinians.” Already today people in the streets of Paris or New York who are casually asked how the Jews came by their country, answer in all innocence, “why, they took it from the Palestinians, of course!” In this way, the establishment of a Palestinian state will crystallize an irreversible consciousness that holds that the Jews grabbed the land by force from its Palestinian owners. Ownership by theft can never be legitimate. Therefore, just as thunder follows lightning, the delegitimazation of Israel will by followed by the dispossession of the Jews.
Israel will not go under without a fight. But even if she reconquers her ceded territories and rids them of their government and leaders, she will always be forced to withdraw once more. International law holds that conquered territory must be returned to “ousted sovereign,” which will have become the Palestinian state. From the moment a recognized sovereign state arises, that sovereignty cannot be erased. And Israel , in her blind quest for peace, never claimed sovereignty over the territories liberated in 1967, but instead instituted military rule there. Just as Nazi Germany’s terrible crimes couldn’t prevent a new German regime from arising on land the world considered German, and just as with the fall of the Taliban another Afgani regime arose in its stead on Afghani soil, so a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel would become a dybbuk that we could never throw off. The Palestinian catastrophe would be irreversible.
A Palestinian state would tolerate international forces on her territory only so long as they benefited her, which would be until the decline of Israel is irreversible. From that moment on, those forces will fall under continuous terrorist attack such as American and French troops experienced in Beirut in 1982. The days of the international forces will become numbered.
Meanwhile, the number of Jews in the state of the Jews will drastically diminish. Hundreds of thousands – mostly young people and the most talented professionals – will have left the country, unwilling to witness the state’s demise. Once the foreign forces leave, the direct military threat will come to a head against an Israeli army sapped of its strength by a sham peace. The main function of the Quartet will become the fixing of quotas for absorbing the remaining Israeli Jews into exile. This will be the great hour of the Palestinians, who will exhibit largesse, and agree to allow a token number of Jews to remain in “their” country.
How fate mocks: The Jewish People eventually bested Hadrian. They returned to their land and reestablished sovereignty over it. They rebuilt Jerusalem as their capital, and resettled desolate Judea . They did all this only to have the curse of Hadrian catch up with them once again in the guise of Arabs calling themselves “Palestinians.” Having brought this curse upon themselves, it now threatens to destroy everything.
An Escape Hatch
There is a safety-catch on the pistol of the Palestinian state that the government of Israel is pressing against the temple of the Jewish people. As long as that catch is locked, the gun can’t fire. That catch is the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea, Samaria , and East Jerusalem .
It is a nonnegotiable condition of the Arabs that any territory they receive from Israel for their state must be cleansed of all Jews. The entire “enlightened” world accepts and supports this racist-Nazi demand. Israel hosts a 20 percent Arab minority within her populace, but the Arabs can’t tolerate even a single Jew on the silver platter of statehood that Israel must hand them.
Thus, we witnessed the criminal spectacle of the government of Israel using military force to ethnically cleanse 25 peaceful Jewish communities in Gaza and Northern Samaria before handing them over to the terrorist authorities. We read of an Israeli foreign minister declaring to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Aharam that this despicable act was done to prove Israel ’s seriousness about emptying more and more territories of their Jewish presence in order to make way for the Palestinian state.
However, the fact that the future Palestinian state is dependent upon the destruction of approximately 400 Jewish communities and the expulsion of 300,000 – 500,000 Jews, also has a positive side. As long as the settlements hold out, the Palestinian state cannot emerge. Thus, the Jewish settlement enterprise in the Biblical heartland is the wall that encircles the State of Israel: as long as it stands, the fortress will not fall!
While the government promised the expulsion of Jews from Gaza would bring peace and security, it instead brought the western Negev under a state of siege and constant warfare. The population masses lying exposed under the mountain heights of Samaria and Judea presumably won’t be as gullible the next time around. The trauma to the Israeli army and public of Jews expelling Jews cannot be gauged, but another such adventure would almost certainly cause a huge internal explosion and tear the country apart. The stupefying monetary cost of self-destruction would bankrupt the state. The de-Zionification of the state would require relinquishing Zion itself, since the Western Wall and the City of David are located in today’s East Jerusalem . The above considerations give us an inkling of how strong the defensive wall is that protects the State of Israel from sinking into the “Palestinian”-Arab sea surrounding it.
Troy, too, would have survived if only her own citizens hadn’t breached the wall of their glorious city by opening its gates to the parting gift of the despairing Greeks, the Trojan Horse that contained Troy ’s destruction . . .
Essay: Warfare requires both sword and shield
Feb. 19, 2009
HERZL BODINGER and AVI SCHNURR , THE JERUSALEM POST
Iranian Shihab 3 test launch. If most of the rockets are simply shot out of the sky, they will become, increasingly, more an embarrassment than a symbol of pride.
The evolution of the crisis in Gaza is a stark reminder that the fundamental nature of war in the Middle East is changing: Our enemies are stockpiling ballistic missiles that can reach every city in Israel. It is long past time to begin taking this threat seriously and to make the decisions and investments that will raise comprehensive missile defense to the level of a critical national priority.
The Gaza conflict is a turning point that is helping clarify a new and larger reality. Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran now confront us with what is, collectively, the largest ballistic missile fleet in the world. It is essential that active missile defense begin taking its place as a much larger element of our national military strategy.
What are the options, and the opportunities?
Israel's Iron Dome rocket interceptor program should be given the highest possible priority. Other rocket interceptor options should also be explored to provide additional layers of defense for a more robust, integrated capability. We should challenge developers of anti-rocket guns or lasers to meet today's new requirements.
We should also consider upgrading existing medium-range interceptors, or even acquiring off-the-shelf interceptors that could defend our home front while we await vital missile defense systems now in development, like David's Sling. Passive defenses (bomb shelters), civil infrastructure and preparedness should also be reviewed.
Along with reevaluating our hardware options, it is certainly time to overhaul our missile defense doctrine so that response tactics are clearly spelled out as part of a comprehensive plan, with emergency decision-making pushed to the lowest possible command levels.
This is not to say that attack operations and deterrence are not vital. They are. But missile war cannot be fought without both sword and shield. Asymmetric warfare is no longer geographically containable, and the rapid proliferation of missile technology has expanded the zone of conflict to include homes, factories and schools. With the distinction between battlefront and home front fast disappearing, the sword, by itself, is not enough.
HOW DO offense and defense fit together in today's conflicts?
Minimizing smuggling of rockets and the material to make them will reduce the problem in the long term, though this requires a serious, extended political commitment. When war breaks out, finding and destroying rockets and missiles on the ground is important. But with any storage room a potential rocket armory and any back alley a potential launching pad, this approach cannot provide a complete answer.
Attack operations also help strengthen deterrence, and in Gaza, with hundreds of Hamas facilities destroyed, the price for rocket attacks has been raised substantially. However, this approach is a double-edged sword. While physical damage weakens them, terrorists whose power base, pride and ideology depend on violence need to show they are real soldiers in a real war - soldiers who can continue to hurt their enemies, launching rockets even while they absorb punishing blows. In this regard, the war actually helped them.
This is where missile defense fits in to complete a comprehensive, successful strategy. If most of the rockets are simply shot out of the sky, they will become, increasingly, more an embarrassment than a symbol of pride. Terrorists will be unable to crow that they are "winning the war" when their infrastructure lies in ruins and few, if any, rockets or missiles are getting through robust defenses. Active missile defense cancels out the downside of attack operations. It puts the teeth back in deterrence.
The Gaza war cannot, unfortunately, be considered an isolated event. The actions of Hamas and the massive missile buildup by Hizbullah, Syria and Iran show we are now in a new period in history. Terrorists and rogue states are racing to acquire power and political leverage by deploying missiles and rockets that cannot be fully eradicated, which can terrorize our communities.
There are no easy answers. But while active missile defense is no panacea, it is a critical element of a comprehensive solution. Good offensive strategies are built on a solid foundation of defense, and successful attack operations require that our people, our factories and our key assets be actively defended.
Like the Second Lebanon War, the recent conflict in Gaza and in our southern communities is a turning point, and a warning for the future. Our strategies and our capabilities must adapt, and quickly. Shield and sword must enter battle together, each playing its essential role.
We no longer have the luxury of fighting the war-before-last.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Herzl Bodinger, a former commander of the Israel Air Force, is chairman of the Israel Missile Defense Association (IMDA), and Avi Schnurr is the executive director. IMDA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to leading an urgent, informed dialogue on Israel's missile defense needs and options.
NOTES TO BIBI AFTER HIS FIRST ELECTION - STILL IMPORTANT
BERNARD J. SHAPIRO
An Editorial from THE MACCABEAN June 1997
A CALL TO ACTION
We Must Return To Zionism
By Bernard J. Shapiro
In 1897 in Basle, Switzerland, Theodore Herzl founded the World Zionist Organization. There were great accomplishments in the last 100 years. Much has happened to the Jewish people who found themselves on a roller coaster with many traumatic ups and downs. The Holocaust was the lowest point and the establishment of Israel was a high point. There was the great victory of 1967 and the trauma of 1973. Zionism flourished, Israel prospered, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were settled. The Ethiopian return to Zion brought tears to our eyes with pride. The great Russian migration to Israel literally changed the country for ever.
And then a cataclysmic and horrific event took place. A small clique of charlatans, with anti-Zionist delusions, took over the Israeli government in 1992. They deceived the Israeli voters by placing ("Mr. Security") Yitzhak Rabin at the head of their ticket. They promised security and then proceeded to dismantle the Jewish State. 100 years of Zionism are being undone in a few years. The new Likud government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not seem to have the political will to undo the damage of Oslo.
In the past few years, it seems that the main effort of Israeli governments was the creation of a Palestinian state. The word peace was perverted and distorted, coming to mean surrender and appeasement.
It is time for real Zionists to take charge of Israel's future. Zionists who will populate the lands of YESHA. And do it without apology or timidity. The leaders of Israel must pursue security policies without regard to the opinions of those who did nothing to help us during the Holocaust. The People of Israel must understand that they have caused a revolution in Jewish history. We have moved from weakness to the power of self-determination.
WE MUST NOT GO BACK TO THE OLD VULNERABLE DAYS. SURVIVAL INTO THE 21ST CENTURY REQUIRES SELF-SUFFICIENT POWER AND ACTIONS.
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE FAILURE
TO IMPLEMENT REAL ZIONISM
It is obvious that the Palestinians will continue to violate their Oslo commitments. Their behavior is in keeping with their character. It is normal for them to kill Jews, break agreements, lie to the media and even abuse their own people. Like the wolf and the sheep, it is just nature that one will devour the other. The Palestinians are working very seriously to create a state from the river to the sea, with Jerusalem as their capital. We are not surprised.
What bothers us greatly, is the impotence (indeed in actions) of the Israeli government in protecting the vital interests of the Israeli people. Instead of lists of PLO violations, DO SOMETHING! DEMAND COMPLIANCE. In the old days, terrorists were destroyed in Gaza and Beirut by the long arm of ZAHAL (Israel Defense Forces). How is it that they can now find refuge in Nablus and Jericho?
We say to Netanyahu," Arafat and Mubarak are laughing at you. At the Freeman Center we are crying. We had worked for a stronger leadership. A leadership that would mobilize Israel to face the ominous challenges of the 21st Century."
TALKING ABOUT HAR HOMA
The Freeman Center urges the Israeli government NOT to talk about Har Homa. Instead talk about the PA endorsement of terrorism and their lack of compliance with existing agreements. Bibi should talk to Mubarak only in Jerusalem and only after Azam is released from Egyptian imprisonment. And then Mubarak could be asked to help rid Egypt's newspapers of anti-Semitic articles and cartoons and to allow its citizens to visit and trade with Israel. Har Homa is nobody's business but the Israeli people and any Arab, American, or European that brings it up should be shown the door
OSLO HAS CAUSED STRATEGIC
DAMAGE TO ISRAEL'S SECURITY
The problem is the ability of the Palestinians to disrupt the IDF's mobilization schedule. Of course, the IDF can crush them in a head to head battle. But some 50,000 well armed terrorists (with anti-tank and anti-air missiles, Katyusha's etc) could slow Israel down while missile barrages from Syria, Iraq, and Iran containing VX nerve gas would contribute to general breakdown of Israel's ability to fight. Israel would still win, but at great cost. Do you remember the SCUD attacks and how much it disrupted life in Israel? Syria alone has 1000 missiles loaded with VX nerve gas and anthrax bacteria. We are talking chaos. Of course Israel can nuke these countries, but there is a great imbalance in this psychological deterrence factor. America and Russia operated on the principle of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) for 50 years. This will not work for Israel because its Arabs enemies see victory in DESTROYING Israel in a JIHAD. Arabs killed would go to
paradise while the Jews would be sent straight to hell.
It is this imbalance in attitudes toward human life that makes the situation so unstable. The Freeman Center believes firmly in the principles of "preemption, preemption and preemption." No nation hostile to Israel should be allowed to possess non-conventional weapons. Regardless of public opinion they need to be taken out.
ISRAEL'S SOVEREIGNTY IN YESHA
Sovereignty is quite often a unilateral act. America's sovereignty in Texas and California was never recognized by Mexico and certainly was a unilateral act of based on superior military power. Israel's sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael has considerably more international sanction (League of Nations Mandate etc) than America ever had. That the international climate has shifted (to anti-Semitism) doesn't alter the issue. Of course with the granting of Eretz Yisrael to the Jews by HaShem there are certainly moral rights.
In the final analysis, Zionism was the Jewish peoples act of unilateral sovereignty over what was morally and rightfully theirs BUT denied by mankind.
I wouldn't quibble over details, I would exercise our right and utilize our power for the good of the Jewish people. A lot of people misjudge the power of a united Jewish people in pursuit of justice for Israel. (Pray that we would unite!) We are not that weak, only intimidated by the big powers and the Arabs. Israeli strength has always been greater than the sum of arms and men. The Maccabees defeated numbers much greater than theirs. Bar Kochba held off the Roman Empire for many years before succumbing to the force of ONE HALF of Rome's Legions. I know they lost in the end, but many historians say that the huge losses of Rome in this battle with Bar Kochba and his men so weakened them that it led to Rome's decline. It is important to note that the Romans are NO MORE and we Jews control Israel and Jerusalem.
THE DOUBLE STANDARD
Some well meaning Jews believe that Israel should behave at a higher standard of morality than its Arab neighbors. They urge Jews to refrain from retaliating for Arab attacks.
While I have never supported murder for murder sake, killing the enemies that come to slay us is fully in keeping with Jewish law. Was it wrong for the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto to kill Nazis? For the IDF to raid terrorist bases? For Netanyahu to travel to Beirut to kill PLO terrorists? To kill the enemies of Israel, before they commit murder, is certainly a mitzvah. And I am not talking about unjustified murder. I am talking about real enemies including those who throw Molotov cocktails and other lethal objects. The double standard is really a form of anti-Semitism.
A complete discussion of this subject can be found in chapter 10 (Why Jews Must Behave Better Than Everybody Else) of Professor Ed Alexander's new book, THE JEWISH WARS (no relation to the book by Josephus about Masada).
An Editorial from the May 1997 issue of THE MACCABEAN.
NETANYAHU, OUR PRODIGAL SON
What Should The RIGHT Do About Bibi's Plight
By Bernard J. Shapiro
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu is in trouble. While he will not be charged with a crime, there is no question that his political standing has fallen. How he came to be embroiled in the most damaging scandal of his political career is also well know. I would like to discuss the proper response of the National Camp to unfolding events.
Bibi has been like the prodigal son who takes the family inheritance and squanders it foolishly. He was elected on a Zionist platform by one of the largest Jewish majorities in Israeli history (over 11%). His election was a clear signal from the voters of concern about the direction of the Oslo Process. Yet like the prodigal son, he took the political power, given him by the electorate, and began to use it to complete the self-destructive process begun by the previous Labor/Meretz/PLO government.
Bibi's current troubles stem from his desire to secure a majority in the Knesset for the abandonment of Hebron. He desperately needed the votes of Shas, an ultra-Orthodox political party with a long history of fraud and scandal. While I am not a religious scholar, it has occurred to me, that Bibi may be feeling the Wrath of HaShem for his share in undermining the Jewish claim to Hebron, burial place of the Patriarchs. We know from the TANACH that HaShem loved and cared deeply for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Perhaps He is showing His displeasure at Bibi's actions.
With all that said, I must confess the following: Bibi is OUR prodigal son. We must guide him back to the Right path. Now there is no substitute. The Left has unsheathed their long knives and have begun to lust for blood. The viciousness of the Israeli media and the politically corrupted police and judiciary must be stopped. They seek to overturn the voter's democratic choice by innuendo, slander and damaging leaks. The charges against Bibi are at their very worse a form of political "backroom" bargaining. Such behavior has been common to every Israel government since 1948. In fact it was David Ben Gurion, Israel's first premier, who initiated the policy of "paying off" the ultra Orthodox to join his coalition.
Do we value the concept of "equal protection under the law" and judicial impartiality? The Left is guilty of far greater crimes against the State than Bibi. How many of you remember Alex Goldfarb who was given a new Mitsubishi to bolt the Tsomet Party and give Peres and Rabin a majority for the Oslo Accord? Was the late Yitzhak Rabin ever charged with the cold-blooded murder of 17 Jewish teenagers in 1948 during the Altalena incident. The Israeli police never investigated whether Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin and others violated Israel law by:
(1) collaborating with the enemy
(2) damaging Israeli security by aiding known terrorists
(3) perpetrating the self-destructive hoax of Oslo against the will of the Israeli people
(4) plotting with enemies of Israel to turn over strategic territory to them which would facilitate their destruction of the Jewish State.
The Left is also guilty of compromising the quality of the IDF by promoting fellow leftist officers instead of the most qualified. The leftist police have pursued an agenda of punishing Jews who defend themselves against Arab attack. And then the government releases Arab murderers to kill more Jews. The Israeli television channels are so biased that it is easier for Yasser Arafat to get an interview than the Prime Minister. Leftist educators have recently launched a campaign to strip everything Jewish or Zionist from Israel's schools. Speakers who have unconventional views are prevented from speaking on college campuses. Freedom of speech is only for the Left. I could go on. The Leftist rot in Israel runs very deep.
The bottom line is this: Israeli society has many problems. Bibi is certainly not the worst problem. We must support him during this current crisis. It could work to our favor. With the National Unity government removed from the table, Bibi is more dependent than ever on his Nationalist coalition. The Left is literally salivating for his fall. Bibi and his traditional allies must re-unite and proceed with the management of Israeli affairs in a more activist Zionist fashion. That means ACTUAL building permits in YESHA (in a simplified process) instead of mere TALK ABOUT PERMITS.
The new revitalized coalition must consider doing the following:
1. ACTUALLY DEMANDING RECIPROCITY from Arafat instead of just TALKING about it.
2. Demanding that all provisions of Oslo be complied with. This includes everything from the PLO Covenant, extradition of terrorists, disarming and destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad infrastructure, reducing the size of the PLO army to stated terms, turning in of all prohibited weapons (anti-tank, anti-air, grenades, bombs etc), and an end to incitement against Israel and Jews, etc etc
3. All of above to be done within 60 days or Oslo is terminated. PERIOD.
4. The Leftists must be weeded out of government media, the police, Consular Corp and the judiciary
5. Moledet should be brought into the government even if this means that the Third Way (no bargain for the Nationalists) decides to leave.
This is only a beginning. First we need to salvage this government and then make it RIGHT.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of its monthly magazine, THE MACCABEAN.
Bibi, Jonathan Is Worried
By Bernard J. Shapiro
An Editorial in the November 1996 issue of THE MACCABEAN
Long before I had ever heard of Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi), I had read about his older brother Jonathan, Hero of Entebbe. In 1980, I read a book of Jonathan's letters entitled: SELF-PORTRAIT OF A HERO, The Letters Of Jonathan Netanyahu [1963-1976]. A lot of reviewers at the time spoke about the beautiful prose, the passion and the great potential of this hero cut down in his youth. While I saw all those things, it was Jonathan's deep love of Israel and his fervent patriotism that attracted me most. There was something else that one could sense on every page. That was his deep understanding of Jewish history and the role of Israel in it. One of my favorite passages, which I have quoted often, could have been written today in the context of the Oslo Accords. Here is that excerpt:
"I see with sorrow and great anger how a part of the people still clings to hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement with the Arabs. Common sense tells them, too, that the Arabs haven't abandoned their basic aim of destroying the State; but the self-delusion and self-deception that have always plagued the Jews are at work again. It's our great misfortune. They want to believe, so they believe. They want not to see, so they shut their eyes. They want not to learn from thousands of years of history, so they distort it. They want to bring about a sacrifice, and they do indeed. It would be comic, if it wasn't so tragic. What a saddening and irritating lot this Jewish people is!"
I am sure that Bibi, growing up in the shadow of his fallen brother, must have felt an overpowering need to succeed. There must have been a need to learn more, achieve more, to rise to the top of his chosen field. The struggle was partly to "make his brother proud," and partly to prove to himself that he was made of the 'right stuff." That is, the stuff with which HEROES are made.
And Bibi did it all: military excellence, diplomacy at the highest level, and finally political success in his brilliant campaign for prime minister. He has proven his worth to everyone, including himself. Now, poised at center stage during the most critical time of Israel's history, Bibi seems to have lost his inner direction. Often he speaks with a voice that would make Jonathan cheer, and then his actions leave much to be desired. For example, on October 24, 1996, the Prime Minister's office sent me a list of the ten most egregious PLO violations (printed in this issue) of the Oslo Accords. It was quite devastating: this account demonstrating the PLO's total disregard for its peace obligations.
This impressive list could be used as a part of a major Israeli public relations (hasbara) campaign to justify terminating its obligations to implement Oslo, including the abandonment of Hebron. Unfortunately, Bibi will NOT do this. He should have given the list to PLO terrorist chief, Yasser Arafat, with the admonition that all implementation of Oslo would cease until complete compliance. He didn't. Bibi has spoken often of the need for reciprocity, while continuing to negotiate without it.
I want to tell a little story to explain what I believe is happening to Bibi. My grandfather, Harry W. Freeman, settled in Texas at the turn of the century. He was already fighting injustice to women and Afro-Americans by 1912, liquidating white slavery in Galveston by 1930 and speaking about the dangers of Hitler and Nazism in 1933. Growing up in Texas I used to love the rodeo which came to Houston once a year. One of my favorite contests was the wild bronco bull ride. Cowboys would mount these ferocious creatures and hold on tight until they were thrown. It all lasted little more than 12 seconds. It was much later that I learned that a leather strap was tied tight behind the bull's testicles to make him buck more ferociously. Even the biggest, strongest and most experienced Texans were able to ride the bull for only a few seconds.
This brings me back to Bibi, who is trying to ride the "Oslo bull." The Palestinian Arabs are filled with rage and hatred of Jews with all the ferocity of the bull angered by the leather strap../.. Much of their rage comes straight from Nazi anti-Semitism, brought to the Middle East by their former mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini. The Palestinian Arabs, filled with both Nazi and Islamic hatred of Jews, make the Oslo bull impossible to ride. Their aspirations for a state that REPLACES Israel is evident to anyone who takes the time to listen to what they are saying. As much as Bibi would like to master the Oslo process and protect Israeli interests, it is impossible. It is a bull he can never ride. This is a harsh reality. There is a history lesson that Jonathan understood well: Enemies must be defeated and destroyed. The idea that one makes peace with your enemies is just a hoax of the Left.
The Americans did not make peace with the Native Americans, they destroyed them../.. The same is the case with Hitler's Germany and the Emperor's Japan. Midge Dector had this to say about says this about peace:
"For there is no such thing as making peace. Nations who are friendly do not need to do so, and nations or people who are hostile cannot do so. To cry peace, peace when there is no peace, the prophet Jeremiah taught us long ago, is not the expression of hope, not even superstition, but a reckless toying with the minds and hearts of people whose very future depends on their capacity to rise every day to the harsh morning light of the truth."
Bibi must recognize the essential truth that both his brother and Dector have expressed so eloquently. He must read his own list of PLO violations. And then he must get off the Oslo bull and lead his people, Israel, to victory. Jews the world over are praying that he will fulfill his great destiny as a leader of Israel. They pray that he will pursue with all his vigor the Zionist goals of settling the Land, protecting the Holy Places, and ingathering the Jewish exiles. They pray that he will strengthen the military and infuse it with the high morale of days past. In my heart I know that Jonathan is watching over Bibi with love and affection. And Bibi, in my heart I fear that he is as worried as me.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Chairman of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of its publications.
Our World: Netanyahu's three-headed nemesis
Feb. 23, 2009
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
Who can recall the olden days when Kadima was young and proudly proclaimed its identity as the one Israeli political party that stands for nothing? Two days before the 2006 elections, Kadima's Meir Sheetrit grandly announced that his party was the only party in Israel that "has disengaged from ideology."
But look at Kadima now. As far as its leader Tzipi Livni is concerned, ideology is all that matters. Never mind that her ideology - of surrendering land to the Palestinians - was completely discredited by Hamas's electoral victory and subsequent seizure of power in Gaza. Never mind that Kadima's assertion that establishing a Palestinian state is the key to solving all of Israel's problems has been overtaken by Iran's rise as a regional hegemon and aspiring nuclear power dedicated to the eradication of Israel.
As Livni put it Sunday as she rejected Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu's request that Kadima join his government as a full partner, "If we compromise and concede our ideology by joining a government with a path that is not ours, it would violate the trust of our voters."
To try to coddle Kadima into setting aside its newfound ideological fervor, Netanyahu harkened back to its past as party that in Sheetrit's words was "unburdened by ideological baggage" and "looking only to the future." Netanyahu argued that since today there is no chance of establishing a Palestinian state that will live at peace with Israel, Kadima can set aside its differences with Likud and cooperate on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, overthrowing Hamas's regime in Gaza and protecting Israel's economy from the global economic meltdown. But Livni would have none of it.
SINCE LIVNI has been a post-Zionist radical ever since she underwent her ideological conversion from Right to Left in 2004, her position is understandable. Less understandable is her opportunistic party members' willingness to back her up. What accounts for their readiness to leave their cushy ministries for the Knesset's back benches? Since the election, Kadima's leaders, their fellow leftists in Labor and Meretz and the media have all proclaimed that Netanyahu's rightist coalition is unsustainable. Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik even suggested that Kadima shouldn't discard its campaign literature since new elections will be declared within a year.
On their face these assertions make little sense. A rightist coalition will be comprised of 65 members of Knesset who have nowhere else to go. What possible reason would they have to agree to new elections? But Livni and her colleagues have three formidable assets giving credence to their claim: The Obama administration, President Shimon Peres, and the IDF General Staff under Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. If these forces act in concert to oppose Netanyahu, his ability to govern and remain in office will indeed be significantly diminished.
Over the past week, the Obama administration has taken a series of steps that show that it plans to push the traditional US policy of pressuring Israel to make unreciprocated concessions to its Arab neighbors to an entirely new level. Whereas the Bush administration rejected the legitimacy of the Iranian-supported Hamas terror group, the Obama administration gave three signs this week that it is willing to recognize a Hamas-led Palestinian regime. First, its surrogate, Senator John Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign relations Committee, visited Hamas-controlled Gaza and so effectively accepted Hamas protection. While there, he accepted a letter from Hamas to President Barack Obama and duly delivered it to the US consulate in Jerusalem.
Second, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that she will participate in next month's Egyptian-sponsored conference which aims to raise money to rebuild Hamas-controlled Gaza in the aftermath of its unprovoked missile war against Israel. This is the first time that the US has willingly participated in raising money for Gaza since Hamas seized power in June 2007.
Finally, Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has decided to participate in negotiations aimed at reestablishing the Hamas-Fatah unity government. Abbas claims that the US now supports such a government that would again render Fatah Hamas's junior partner. US recognition of such a government would constitute US recognition of Hamas as a legitimate actor.
Then there was Kerry's visit to Syria. Not only did Kerry indirectly praise Syria for its support for Hamas by extolling its willingness to support a Palestinian government in which Hamas plays a leading role, he called for the abandonment of the Bush administration's decision to withdraw the US ambassador from Damascus after the Syrians oversaw the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.
OBAMA'S WILLINGNESS to treat with Hamas and Syria is part and parcel of his apparent belief that the principal reason that the Arab and Islamic worlds are hostile towards the US is because the US supports Israel. The notion that Obama blames Israel for the Arab and Islamic hatred of the US gained credence this week when it was reported that Obama intends to appoint former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman to serve as the director of the highly influential National Intelligence Council.
Freeman is known for his virulent animus towards Israel. In numerous public statements he has placed all the blame for Arab and Islamic hostility towards the US on Israel and argued that the US's conflicts with the Arabs will disappear the minute the US abandons Israel.
In one such statement in 2007, Freeman, who extols Hamas as "democratically elected," said, "Those in the region and beyond it who detest Israeli behavior, which is to say almost everyone, now naturally extend their loathing to Americans. This has had the effect of universalizing anti-Americanism, legitimizing radical Islamism, and gaining Iran a foothold among Sunni as well as Shiite Arabs."
By refusing to submit to its Arab enemies, Freeman argues that Israel has earned their wrathful retaliation, which Freeman claims, also places Americans in danger. In his words, "Such retaliation - whatever form it takes - will have the support or at least the sympathy of most people in the region and many outside it. This makes the long-term escalation of terrorism against the United States a certainty, not a matter of conjecture."
President Shimon Peres for his part doesn't share Washington's enthusiasm for Syria or its animus towards Israel. But he does believe that Israel can and must do more to establish a Palestinian state. As the uncontested leader of the Israeli Left, on Friday Peres came out in favor of the so-called "Saudi peace plan." In an indirect, fawning interview with Ma'ariv's political commentator Shalom Yerushalmi, Peres embraced the Saudi initiative, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines and acceptance of millions of hostile foreign Arabs as part of the so-called "right of return."
Both in the interview and in his remarks in the lead-up and the aftermath of the elections, Peres has established himself as the bulwark against a non-leftist government that hopes to place the issue of Palestinian statehood on the back burner. Like Livni, in spite of the fact that there is no Palestinian leader willing to live at peace with Israel, Peres insists that Israel's most pressing challenge is to establish a Palestinian state.
IN THEIR BID to discredit the Netanyahu government, Peres and Obama will apparently enjoy the support of the IDF General Staff. According to a report in Ma'ariv on Friday, IDF Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has embraced defeatism as a national strategy. Ma'ariv's diplomatic commentator Ben Caspit reported that Ashkenazi claims that while it is true that Israel has military capacity to set back Iran's nuclear program significantly, there is no point in doing so.
According to Caspit, as far as Ashkenazi is concerned, rather than removing the immediate threat to its survival, Israel should appease Iran's Arab puppet - Assad. Ashkenazi reportedly believes that Israel should leave Iran alone, and beg Obama to convince Assad to accept the Golan Heights from Israel. Once Assad has the Golan, Ashkenazi argues that he will stop pointing his missiles armed with chemical and biological warheads at Israel, stop supporting Hamas and Hizbullah and generally become a member in good standing of the Western alliance. Why Syria would do such a thing, when it would owe an Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights to its alliance with Iran, is a question that Ashkenazi hasn't seen fit to consider.
Ashkenazi is extolled by the leftist media as non-political, but this is untrue. The Chief of General Staff is exceedingly close to former IDF chief of General Staff Amnon Shahak, who signed the post-Zionist Geneva Initiative in 2004 and has established business partnerships with Fatah leaders.
As chief of General Staff during Netanyahu's first term as prime minister, Shahak openly rebelled against the government by refusing to meet with the prime minister or attend cabinet meetings. Shahak announced a failed bid to unseat Netanyahu as prime minister shortly after retiring from military service in 1998.
Ashkenazi, who brought Shahak on as his "professional coach" after replacing Dan Halutz as Chief of General Staff in 2007, clearly shares his political views. He opposed fighting Hamas until missiles began raining down on Ashdod, supports signing a new ceasefire with Hamas today that will give Israeli legitimacy to the terror group, and supported ending Operation Cast Lead without first toppling or even significantly degrading Hamas's ability to control Gaza.
Ashkenazi is also extremely close to former IDF OC Military Intelligence Uri Saguy. Since the mid-1990s, Saguy, who owns large tracts of land in the Galilee, has been one of the greatest champions of an Israeli surrender of the Golan Heights. Like Shahak, Saguy serves in the unofficial role of Ashkenazi's professional mentor.
Caspit claimed that right after Netanyahu forms his government, Ashkenazi intends to tell him that the IDF rejects the notion of attacking Iran. That is, according to Caspit, upon entering office, Netanyahu will find the IDF General Staff standing arm and arm with Obama and Peres in a bid to overthrow him.
No wonder Kadima has now found ideology.
IF NETANYAHU wishes to survive in office and actually accomplish the clear aims he has set for his government, he must begin aggressively selling his agenda to the public. By doing so, he will build the kind of public credibility he will need to prevent Ashkenazi from rebelling against him. With Ashkenazi sidelined, Peres and Obama will have less direct ability to prevent Israel from attacking Iran.
During the campaign, Netanyahu chose to keep a low profile in the hopes of neutralizing the media's criticisms by denying them headlines. At the time, there was some justification for that policy. But now that he is forming the next government, the public must know why he wants to do what he plans to do and why we must support him. Otherwise, Kadima is right. There is no reason to join his government.
Occupation or Preoccupation?
Shevat 29, 5769, 23 February 09 10:53by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
Nissan Ratzlav-Katz is opinion editor at Israel National News.com, and frequently writes for leading American opinion journals and newspapers. His commentaries have been published internationally and translated into several languages.
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The Palestinian State of 1978
The World is in Exile
How Many Times Can Someone Be Surprised?
(IsraelNN.com) Our current Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, stated that he believes that the Israeli "occupation" causes anti-Semitism. I believe that he is - like Muslim spokesmen for over a hundred years - employing what Binyamin Netanyahu calls "reversal of causality". In fact, it is anti-Semitism that causes occupation, because the desire to wipe out Israel is quintessentially anti-Semitic and our "occupation", such as it is, prevents that eventuality.
Let's look at the texts and the personal example of Muhammad, founder of Islam, to see if "occupation" causes anti-Semitism, or if anti-Semitism is a preoccupation of the Islamic sources.
One of the last messages Muhammad sought to convey, while on his death bed, was a curse directed at Jews and Christians. According to Muhammad's wife Aisha, as recorded in the Hadith of Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 8; called "Prayers", hadith number 427):
When the last moment of the life of Allah's Apostle came he started putting his khamisa on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off his face and said, "May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets." The Prophet was warning (Muslims) of what those had done.
It's his last moments on Earth and all Muhammad can think to say is, "May Allah curse the Jews and Christians"?
That's Muhammad. What did his god, Allah, say in his book, the Koran (Chapter 5, al-Maeda, paragraph 64)?
The Jews say: "Allah's hand is tied up." Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both his hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of his bounty) as he wills. Verily, the revelation that has come to you [Muhammad] from your Lord (Allah) increases in most of them obstinate rebellion and disbelief. We have put enmity and hatred amongst them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and they (ever) strive to make mischief on the Earth. And Allah does not like the mischief-makers.
Was Allah upset about the "occupation" of Gaza? Could be. After all, he can supposedly see the future too.
What else did Muhammad say in his lifetime about the Jews (as recorded in the authoritative Hadith of Bukhari)?
"May Allah curse the Jews, for they have taken the graves of their prophets as places of worship."
"May Allah curse the Jews: fat was forbidden for them, but they melted it down and sold it."
I didn't see anywhere in Koran or Hadith or Tafsir: May Allah curse the Jews because of their occupation. (In fact, the Koran explicitly enjoins Jews to take over the Land of Israel - but that's a text for another time.)
Just in case the Muslim believer did not get the message from the Koran or from the prophet of Islam independently, a Muslim scholar named Ibn al-Qayyim (1292-1350 CE) clarified the Muslim view of Jews (in Hidayat al-Hayara):
The nation upon whom is the Divine wrath are the Jews, the people of lies, slander, betrayal, conspiracy and trickery, the killers of prophets and consumers of usury and bribes. They have the most evil hearts of all nations, and the worst attitude. They are the farthest removed from (Divine) mercy and the closest to (Divine) wrath. Their way is enmity and stirring up hatred. They represent the house of witchcraft, lies and trickery. They do not see anything wrong in rejecting and disbelieving in prophets whom they did not like. With regard to a believer, they respect not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant. They do not respect the rights of those who agree with them, or show any compassion towards them, nor do they show any justice or fairness to those who work with them. There is no safety or security for those who mix with them, and there is no sincerity towards those who use their services.
The most evil of them is the one who is most intelligent, and the cleverest one among them is the one who cheats the most. The one who is good at heart - which it is unlikely to find among them - is not a Jew in any real sense. They are the most bad-tempered of people, with the gloomiest houses and the filthiest courtyards. They have very bad manners - their greeting is a curse, and meeting them is bad news. Their slogan is wrath and they are filled with hatred.
But, says Olmert, Livni, Meretz, et. al., we can have peace with the Muslims. After all, the Jews, as we are constantly told, lived at "peace" with Muslims for generations under Islam. Here is what that looked like:
* Muhammad massacred, exiled, extorted and enslaved many hundreds of Jews in various campaigns during his lifetime, including the Qurayza tribe, which surrendered and had its 900 males beheaded, its females and children taken as slaves for Muslims. After that, other Jewish tribes ransomed their lives or fled, leaving behind their property. To be fair, as an alternative to death, exile, submission or slavery, Muhammad offered the Jews conversion to Islam.
* In 8th-century Morocco, whole Jewish communities were wiped out by Muslims.
* Synagogues in Iraq were ordered destroyed by the Muslim regime in 854-859 (and again in 1344).
* Synagogues were ordered demolished in Egypt and Syria in 1014, 1293-4, and 1301-2.
* The Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, Joseph HaNagid, was crucified on December 30, 1066, followed by a Muslim pogrom that killed 5,000 Jews of the city.
* Forced conversions of Jews to Islam - with the alternative being death - were carried out in Yemen in 1165, and again in 1678.
* In the 12th century in North Africa, the Almohads either forcibly converted or decimated several communities.
* Jews were forced to choose between Islam and death in Morocco in 1275, again in 1465, and again in 1790-92.
* In Baghdad in 1333 and 1344, Jews were offered Muhammad's Choice as well.
* In 1465, Muslims carried out a pogrom in Fez, Morocco, murdering thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive. Similar massacres were perpetrated throughout Morocco.
* Synagogues were ordered demolished in Yemen in 1676.
* In 1785, in Libya, Muslims murdered hundreds of Jews
* In the 1800s, Jews were massacred in Algeria in the pogroms of 1805, 1815 and 1830; and in Morocco between 1864 and 1880, with more than 300 Jews murdered.
Occupation breeds anti-Semitism? Sure. And the shaking of tree leaves makes the wind blow.
Ross named special US envoy on Iran
Feb. 24, 2009
Ron Kampeas / JTA , THE JERUSALEM POST
James Baker ("fk the Jews") Jewboy Dennis Ross
Dennis Ross joined the Obama administration in a coordinating role on policy regarding Iran and its neighbors on Tuesday, as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton named him as a special US envoy in Iran-related capacity.
"The secretary is pleased to announce the appointment of Dennis B. Ross to the position of Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for The Gulf and Southwest Asia," said a statement late Monday from Clinton's spokesman Robert Wood.
"This is a region in which America is fighting two wars and facing challenges of ongoing conflict, terror, proliferation, access to energy, economic development and strengthening democracy and the rule of law. In this area, we must strive to build support for US goals and policies. To be successful, we will need to be able to integrate our policy development and implementation across a broad range of offices and senior officials in the State Department, and, in his role as Special Advisor to the Secretary, Ambassador Ross will be asked to play that role."
The geographical designations and the reference to "two wars" suggest that Ross will focus on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan - but not necessarily on Israel-area crises, his area of expertise when he was top Middle East negotiator in the first Bush and the Clinton administrations.
US President Barack Obama has already appointed former Maine Sen. George Mitchell as US envoy to the Israel-related Middle East peace process.
Ross, the statement said, "will provide to the Secretary and senior State Department officials strategic advice and perspective on the region; offer assessments and also act to ensure effective policy integration throughout the region; coordinate with senior officials in the development and formulation of new policy approaches; and participate, at the request of the secretary, in inter-agency activities related to the region."
During the campaign, Ross outlined what he said was a "sticks-then-carrots" approach to engaging Iran: Rallying the international community to tighten sanctions and then offering incentives to have the Islamic Republic stand down from its suspected nuclear weapons program.
Freeman Note: Where is the money to rebuild areas of Israel damaged by Hamas??
Baird wants US to reassess aid to Israel
Feb. 23, 2009
HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, Jerusalem Post correspondent , THE JERUSALEM POST
US Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., left and US Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., right, take photos of the rubble of the American International school in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Thursday.
A US congressman plans to brief fellow members of Congress and the Obama administration about his recent trip to Gaza, saying the US should pressure Israel regarding border closures and reassess its military support for the Jewish state.
Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington state, visited Gaza last week with fellow Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and was struck by "the level of destruction, the scope of it, specifically the civilian targets - schools, hospitals, industry."
Baird also said Israel had "apparently willfully destroyed any capacity of the Palestinians to rebuild their own infrastructure."
The trip to Gaza by Baird and Ellison coincided with a separate visit there by John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee. Their presence marked the first time members of Congress had visited Gaza since US personnel were killed in a roadside bomb in 2003.
Baird maintained that his fellow congressmen would benefit from his first-hand account of the situation in Gaza, as well as from photos and video footage he took. In addition to pictures of physical devastation in Gaza and families living in make-shift shelters there, Baird also has photos of damage from rocket fire on Sderot, which he condemned and planned to share as well. He also indicated he would like to bring in aid and medical workers from Gaza to share their stories.
"If our colleagues had seen what we have seen, I think their understanding of the situation would be significantly impacted," he said. "They would care about what happened to the Palestinians."
Baird added that he hoped they, as well as members of the Obama administration, would come away with a sense that "the US has a responsibility to insist on a change in the situation in Gaza and the situation in the West Bank."
The congressman said he would like to see more humanitarian aid and goods reaching the people of Gaza, accompanied by open border crossings that would allow Palestinians to travel for trade and
He also said he was troubled by the American origin of so much of the IDF weaponry used in Gaza, and suggested that the US should reconsider
the military aid it provides and the weapons it sells to Israel.
"We need to use every pressure available to make these needed changes happen," he said.
Baird said the Congressional briefing could come as early as next week, with administration briefings being more tentative. He has also talked to Ellison about penning op-eds and otherwise raising awareness of the issue.
Ellison's office had not responded to queries from The Jerusalem Post by press time.
Pro-Israel organizations were chagrined at the message Baird was preparing to deliver to his colleagues but said they weren't concerned that many minds would be changed.
"By and large, we continue to see support for Israel and understand why it was necessary for Israel's leaders to do what they did," one official said about Congress, speaking anonymously. "I'm not afraid of these members coming back and giving a briefing."
A representative from a dovish Israeli group welcomed Baird's efforts to publicize his experience in Gaza, noting that it was unusual to hold Congressional briefings presenting this perfect, but also didn't expect members' attitudes towards Israel to change.
"To expect that that would bring about a sharp change in Congress's attitude toward Israel is a reach," he said.
Meanwhile, the State Department said Monday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would pledge a "substantial" amount of aid for Gaza and the Palestinian Authority at a donors' meeting in Egypt next week.
The conference, to take place in Sharm e-Sheikh on March 2, was called to raise funds for the reconstruction of Gaza.
"The United States will announce a substantial pledge of humanitarian assistance and support for the Palestinian Authority," an official said.
The official declined to give a figure because Congress had yet to approve the sum, but said it could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Preliminary estimates have put the damage in the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead at nearly $2 billion.
News agencies contributed to this report.
The Region: America, look behind you! Turn around! Turn around!
Feb. 23, 2009
Barry Rubin , THE JERUSALEM POST
America: A freight train is heading your way and you're standing right on the tracks, looking in the wrong direction.
Or perhaps it is like a horror film in which the killer sneaks up behind the hapless victim while the movie audience yells: "Turn around! Turn around!" And then blood spatters the screen.
Unfortunately, in this case, it might be our blood, and it won't be produced by a special effects department.
Today, US policy and the dominant thinking are not based on realpolitik but on international affairs as a popularity contest. Its motto might be, "The nice will inherit the Earth," as the Obama administration tries to prove that it's not like that mean old Bush.
Before we get to the oncoming train, consider two small but indicative examples.
Scene 1: The UN committee planning the Durban-2 pro-racism - I mean "anti-racism" - conference. Libya chairs the committee, Iran is the vice-chair, Cuba, the rapporteur, and Russia is presiding. The plan is designed to ensure that the conference limits free speech, bashes Israel and enshrines Muslims as the world's only and perpetual victims.
The US representative stands to propose amendments. Is the speech a thunderous denunciation of dictatorship and a defense of liberty? Not exactly. Here is the key sentence: "I hate to be the cause of unhappiness in the room... I have to suggest [amendments] and I offer my sincere apologies."
How's that for speaking softly and carrying a big pillow? (US president Theodore Roosevelt a century ago famously described diplomacy as "speaking softly and carrying a big stick.")
Scene 2: The camera pans and the screen fills with an invitation to a conference being held by the Brookings Institution in Washington. The purpose is defined as asking, "How should Europe engage Russia to put relations between the West and Russia on a more positive and sustainable basis?" There is no room for pressure, opposition or criticism as part of the package; no hint of the need for flexibility to be accompanied by toughness.
Russia invaded Georgia, fought a surrogate war against Azerbaijan, blackmailed Ukraine and Lithuania. It has opposed sanctions on Iran, sold huge amounts of arms to Syria and committed real human rights' violations in Chechnya. It is the dawning of the age not of Aquarius (as the film Hair once said of the utopia predicted in the 1960s) but of Aquarium, in which the sharks are put in charge.
US policy is putting the emphasis on conciliation with Iran and Syria, and a soft line toward Pakistan, despite its lack of cooperation on fighting terrorism against India or in Afghanistan.
The only thing you can do with a strategy of carrots without sticks is to make carrot cake. Now consider what is sneaking up on the US government as it hands out candy:
On March 29, local elections will be held in Turkey. If the current government wins these municipal races, especially in Ankara and Istanbul, the country will be encouraged to go even further down the road toward Islamic extremism. Whatever happens internally (where the nature of Turkish society forces it to go more slowly), Ankara's foreign policy is increasingly aligned with that of the radicals in the region - not only Hamas but also Syria and Iran.
Turkey's many friends are hoping that moderation and its traditional political virtues win out. But what's happening there may well be the most important political event in the Middle East since the Iranian revolution 30 years ago. Think of what it means if, in whole or even in part, Turkey goes from the Western to the radical camp; clearly this is a world-changing event.
Then on June 7 come the Lebanese elections. Given the vast amounts of money they have spent, their use of violent intimidation and demoralization due to the Western abandonment of the moderates, it is likely that Iran's Syrian clients will take over Lebanon's government. This does not mean domination by Hizbullah but by four allied forces: pro-Syrian Sunni politicians; Michel Aoun's Christian forces; and the two Shi'ite groups, Hizbullah and Amal.
Already, Lebanon's president and former armed forces' commander Michel Suleiman is very close to the Iran-Syrian orbit. This doesn't mean that Lebanon will be annexed or militarily reoccupied by Syria, or that Lebanon will become an Islamist state internally. But it does mean that Lebanon will become a reliable ally of what Syrian President Bashar Assad calls "the resistance front."
In the region, these two developments will be perceived as two big victories for Teheran, and a sign that the Islamist-radical side is the wave of the future.
And what is the United States doing to fight, stop or manage this visible crisis? Nothing.
FINALLY, ON June 12, presidential elections will take place in Iran itself. The likelihood is the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, either fairly or through manipulation of the ballot. The Iranian ruling establishment, which might have been persuaded to endorse a less extreme candidate if there had been enough Western pressure to make the incumbent look bad, has backed an openly aggressive anti-Semite.
Even though Ahmadinejad is not the real ruler of Iran, he and his allies are working to make him so. And of course his reelection means not only that Iran is waging a campaign to get nuclear weapons, it will mean that it is moving at the fastest possible speed, with the least likelihood of compromising and the most probability of using such a weapon (or forcing Israel to act militarily to stop the process). By years' end, or shortly after, Iran might have an atom bomb.
In short, 2009 is looking like a year of massive defeat for the US and its friends in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Washington is blind to this trend, pursuing a futile attempt to conciliate its enemies, losing time and not adopting the policies desperately needed.
Instead, the US should make itself leader of a broad coalition of Arab and European states, along with Israel, to resist Islamism and Iranian ambitions.
Alas, the new administration is fooling around while the region burns.
Turn around! Turn around!
The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center at IDC Herzliya and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal.
EU Leaders Push Fatah-Hamas Unity
(Freeman Note: Yes they should unite to destroy Israel. Typical EU thinking. I pray for an Israeli government that will tell them to got hell.)
Shevat 29, 5769, 23 February 09 07:52
by Maayana Miskin
(IsraelNN.com) Several senior European Union officials have recently come out in support of joint Fatah-Hamas control of the Palestinian Authority. They were joined Monday by temporary EU president Vaclav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, who said unity among the various PA factions was key to meaningful talks between the PA and Israel.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg made similar statements last month, saying, “We believe that Palestinian reconciliation behind president Mahmoud Abbas is fundamental to progress.”
Another senior official who has promoted Fatah-Hamas reunification is British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. “The reunification of the Palestinian people with a single voice to speak for them, to speak for the West Bank and for Gaza is absolutely essential,” Miliband said following the Cast Lead Operation in Gaza.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana has called for Hamas to rejoin Fatah as well. Solana qualified his statement by saying that a unified Fatah-Hamas PA “has to be a team of people that will continue trying to obtain what is the desperation of so many people, which is two states, and two states that can live together.”
Solana and other senior EU diplomats agreed in January to “give some room to Abbas” by loosening the EU's conditions for negotiations between the PA and Israel, allowing Abbas to accept Hamas into his coalition.
The EU insists that the PA recognize Israel and respect previous agreements signed with the Jewish state, two conditions that Hamas violates in its charter, in which it rejects the presence of Israel in any form and calls to obliterate the state through armed force.
Hamas-Fatah Talks in Trouble?
While the EU increasingly switches to support PA “unity,” talks between Fatah and Hamas have hit another rough patch due to Hamas' statements this week accusing Fatah members of running a spy ring and assisting the IDF during Operation Cast Lead.
Hamas released a tape purportedly documenting Fatah terrorists' confessions to having helped Israel during the campaign. Fatah leaders dismissed the claim as an attempt to sabotage unity talks.
Another potential stumbling block is the position held by senior Fatah member Samir Mashharawi. Mashharawi is a member of Fatah's delegation in talks with Hamas, and is considered by Hamas to be among its senior opponents in Gaza. His appointment sparked angry reactions from Hamas leaders.
Mashharawi expressed willingness to bow out of the delegation if necessary, but criticized Hamas for interfering in Fatah's affairs.
The two rival terrorist groups have also been torn apart by rumors of detention, torture and slayings on both sides. Hamas has accused Fatah of killing at least one of its members in Samaria recently, as well as torturing Hamas terrorists last year, and Fatah has accused Hamas of using recent IDF operations in Gaza as an excuse to target Fatah, killing and maiming dozens.
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US to Pledge $900 Million to Gaza (and to Israel $0.00)
Shevat 30, 5769, 24 February 09 05:31
(IsraelNN.com) A senior official in the Obama administration said late Monday evening that the U.S. would transfer 900 million dollars to Gaza as part of a renovation effort following Operation Cast Lead. The money will pass through the hands of the UN and non-governmental organizations and not Hamas.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to announce the aid next week when she travels to a donors conference in Egypt. The assistance will have to be approved by Congress before the aid can be transferred.
LET FREEMAN CENTER TAKE OVER ISRAEL FOREIGN MINISTRY-War crimes charges grow-
by Bernard J. Shapiro
FOR THE SAKE OF ISRAEL WE MUST DRAFT THE FREEMAN CENTER TO HANDLE PUBLIC RELATION FOR THE JEWISH STATE. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY HAS CAUSED GREAT DAMAGE TO THE GOOD NAME OF ISRAEL. I WOULD AGREE TO LET THE OFFICE WORKERS THERE CONTINUE TO TAKE CARE OF VISAS AND TOURISM (LIVNI LOVED TO SHOW ISRAEL, NOT AS LAND OF THE BIBLE, BUT AS SEXY BIKINI CLAD ISRAELI GIRLS).
THE FREEMAN CENTER CAN DO THE FOLLOWING:
1. Put up a vigorous Zionist defense of Israel at one tenth of one percent (0.01) the cost of the entire Israeli Foreign Ministry.
2. And they can do it with NO guilt feelings
3. They can do this with NO apologies to the World, USA, EU, Arabs, Muslims, UN for breathing the oxygen of Planet Earth. And, of course, being the only indigenous people living in its natural HOME, With the deed signed by the Almighty as a perpetual trust.
4. How do I know the Freeman Center can do all of above??? It is simple, we have been doing it since 1992. The RECORD is there. Go to www.freeman.org and see over 70,000 pages of the best news and commentary on Israel in THE MACCABEAN ONLINE www.freeman.org/online.htm
During this same period, the Israel Foreign Ministry devoted all of its resources to:
a. Promoting the "tooth fairy" of Peace with Barbarians who want to destroy us.
b. Undermining organization like the Freeman Center and myself personally who defended Israel's undiminished right to self-defense, security and survival in the dangerous world we find ourselves.
c. Helping to tie the hands of the IDF and endangering the lives of our most precious commodity (our sons and daughters) to save the lives of Arabs, who wish us dead. They have accepted and defended the concept of restraint (havlagah) or "purity of arms." There is nothing pure or sacred about sacrificing Jewish blood on the ALTER of Left-wing pseudo-morality. Our enemies worship death -so help them achieve it. We believe in life - so let us save our own.
Please see articles below
Still a frustrated Zionist, after all these years-
Who still loves Israel and prays to HaShem that REALITY begin to be a guiding principle of Israeli policy.
War crimes charges grow, Jerusalem silent
Feb. 27, 2009
Herb Keinon , THE JERUSALEM POST
As various individuals and organizations file petitions abroad against Israel for alleged war crimes, including at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, there is growing criticism in Jerusalem that Israel is taking too laid-back an approach to the matter, and not going on the offensive.
"[Attorney-General Menahem] Mazuz is involved, and a committee has been set up to deal with any lawsuits filed, but these are all defensive measures," one government source said. "We are not taking the offensive."
The best example of this, the official said, was Jerusalem's silence when the Palestinian Authority urged the ICC to investigate Israel's alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.
Some 210 groups, including the PA, have urged the ICC to deal with the matter and the ICC's prosecutor has said a "preliminary analysis" is underway.
Israel could have come out and said this was not the way the country's peace partner should act, but instead remained quiet, the government source said.
Another example of the low key approach was Israel's complete silence when an Arab League delegation entered Gaza this week to investigate alleged war crimes and report back to the League's secretary-general, Amr Moussa.
One Israeli Foreign Ministry official said that it would have been possible to sharply reply to the PA's actions, but because of Israel's pre-election, and now post-election, transition period, there was "no one to take the initiative."
The official further said that neither Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who spent much of his tenure developing a relationship with the PA, nor Foreign Ministry Tzipi Livni, who led negotiations with it, had a political interest in publicly attacking it.
The official said that the policy was also dictated by other considerations, foremost that Israel did not want to give these petitions any more momentum, and a widespread feeling that the best way to "ride out" the current storm was to avoid giving the petitions more publicity.
"There is a consideration that the more you fight it, the more you raise the issue in the public consciousness, and that it's better to deal with it on a back burner," the official said.
The official pointed out that despite all the petitions and reports of imminent lawsuits, nothing concrete had emerged, and that when it seemed that something was about to, the Foreign Ministry responded.
For instance, the government responded swiftly and harshly, at least in a declarative manner, to a decision by a Spanish judge in January to open a probe of seven former top security officials for alleged war crimes in the 2002 bombing in Gaza that killed top Hamas terrorist Salah Shehadeh and 14 other people.
The investigation has been ordered against National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who was defense minister at the time; Likud MK Moshe Ya'alon, who was chief of General Staff; Dan Halutz, then commander of the air force; Doron Almog, who was OC Southern Command; then-National Security Council head Giora Eiland; the defense minister's military secretary, Mike Herzog; and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, who was head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
Defense Minister Ehud Barak blasted the Spanish judge's decision, saying, "Someone who calls the assassination of a terrorist a crime against humanity lives in an upside-down world."
And Foreign Minister Livni, who immediately spoke with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos about the matter, directed the ministry's legal department to work quickly to annul the proceedings. She said that Israel "viewed gravely" the decision to open the probe. It was completely unacceptable, and Israel would give full legal backing to the seven officials, Livni said.
The cabinet has also addressed the issue, to a certain extent, both on the declarative and operative planes.
Last month, Prime Minister Olmert publicly said at a weekly cabinet meeting that Hamas was "using the international legal arena as one of the main arenas in which they are trying to hurt Israel and strike at its soldiers and commanders. With the typical moral acrobatics, these organizations and their supporters are trying to turn the attacker into the attacked and vice-versa."
At that meeting, Olmert appointed Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann to chair an interministerial team to coordinate the state's efforts to provide a legal defense for those who took part in the military operation. That committee has met and is mapping out where the potential problems are and how to deal with them.
But not everyone is pleased with the speed, or the results. Almog, who was advised by the security establishment not to go to Spain, was quoted this week as saying, "Unfortunately, this matter doesn't appear to be hurting the country too much, and so people are dealing with it with a grin. We need to develop an overall strategy and program to deal with this, otherwise the phenomenon will become more widespread and seriously hurt the country."
In 2005 Almog was advised not to disembark from an El Al jet when he landed in London because a warrant for his arrest had been issued for allegedly violating the Geneva Conventions in his capacity as head of the Southern Command.•
Communication and Public Policy
Implications for Israel's Public Relations
By Bernard J. Shapiro
[Editor's Note: This article was originally published on February 4, 1993. I feel that its message is critical to the success of the new Netanyahu government.]
Virtually every news commentator compares Israel's temporary removal of 400 terrorists to Lebanon with the heinous crimes of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The United Nations is being asked not to have a double standard for Iraq and Israel. In fact, the Palestine Liberation Organization, having been recognized as the world's highest moral arbiter, has been asked by the United Nation's Secretary General Boutros-Ghali to draft a resolution condemning Israel and calling for sanctions. Something is obviously wrong with this picture. It is time for Israelis and their supporters to recognize that Israel has a public relations problem.
The actions Israel took to defend its security were quite moderate by Middle East standards. Its ability to explain what and why it took such action was inadequate. Along with most of the pro-Israel community, I'm a frequent critic of Israeli information policies. I had a pleasant lunch last week with an Israeli official and we discussed this very issue. As a result of our conversation, I am convinced that the Israeli government is doing everything in its power to communicate its message to the media, political leaders, and general public. Its just not working.
What is needed is a whole new approach to Israeli public relations. Let's call it: THE MARKETING OF ISRAEL, and look at the problem from an advertizing perspective. About nine months ago, I discussed with an executive of a major advertising company the possibility of producing television spots supporting Israel's positions on various political issues. I became discouraged upon learning that the major stations do not permit "advocacy" commercials. And then Yitzhak Rabin was elected in Israel's national elections and there was a major turn for the better in Israel's image.
I think it is time to take a second look at my concept but expand it to include radio, magazines, cable television (cable will accept this type of commercial) and newspapers. The ads should range from the very soft evocative travel type to some hard hitting but subtle political messages. Pretend that Israel is a corporation with a vast market in the United States. Receipts from that market top $6 Billion Dollars ( including US economic and military aid, UJA, Israel Bonds, JNF, plus all the other campaigns from Yeshivas to the Technion). What would you spend to protect a market of that magnitude? One half of one percent would equal $30 million. You can run for president with thirty million dollars. In a wild fantasy, lets say we have that much money. And let's say we hire a talented creative ad man to develop a multi-faceted, multi-media, and multi-year campaign to win the hearts and minds of the American people.
This should not be an impossible task. Israel is a good product, lots of virtues, few vices. (Can you imagine convincing the American people to love Saddam?) We could do nothing, but the consequences are not so good. Public opinion polls are beginning to show the Arabs winning more and more sympathy. Yes, Arabs who keep their women in bondage; Palestinians who disembowel pregnant teachers in front of their classes; Syrians who peddle narcotics to American inner city youth and commit mass murder if provoked; Saudis who threaten to behead a man for practicing Christianity; all of these and more are almost as popular as Israel. The Arabs are good at smearing the good name of Israel. Just listen to Hanan Ashrawi some time. No matter what the question, she manages to fit in a lie about Israel in her answer. Israel has already lost the college campus, half of the Afro-Americans, a good portion of the Protestants except for the Baptists and the Evangelicals and some in the Jewish community.
The Israel government needs to realize that we are living in a new world where telecommunications brings us closer that ever before to each other. In the fifties when Israel was criticized, Ben Gurion used to say, "Its not what the world thinks, but what the Jews do that is important." It is a different world now and for every Israeli policy, the public relations aspect must be examined. I am definitely not calling on Israel to submit to public opinion but instead to organize and mold it for their benefit. I don't want Israel immobilized by fear of bad public relations. I want Israel to plan, with the help of experts, a strategy to counteract the negative effects of any public policy move. Would Rabin send his soldiers into battle without a detailed plan and strategy to win. The time has come for Israel to develop a strategy the win the public relations battle. The Jewish community in this country is more than willing to lend its money and advertizing talent to aid in this task. Let's do it! (Are you listening Bibi?)
WILL ISRAEL BE LOST BECAUSE OF
DECEPTION AND DELUSION?
By Bernard J. Shapiro (MAY 1996)
The Israeli national elections scheduled for May 29th may have already been decided. Not, of course, in the technical sense, but in the all important information battle. The extreme leftist Labor government has succeeded in manipulating the minds of Israelis and Jews worldwide. The age old longing of the Jewish people for peace has been used to perpetuate a policy of appeasement and surrender. Those opposed to this insane suicide policy have been labeled "enemies of peace" by Israel's Orwellian public opinion molders.
Words are distorted and their meaning obfuscated. Concessions to terrorism equals "peace." Resistance to terrorism means you are an "enemy of peace." Terrorists, whose hands drip with Jewish blood, are freed from prison or welcomed to enter Israel from abroad. Rabbis, Zionist patriots, and housewives with a love of Israel are placed in jail for "sedition." The world cheers the "peace loving" Israeli Stalinists while condemning similar behavior in other countries like China. Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres agrees to place Syria on the committee to monitor Hizbullah in Lebanon. Allowing the fox to guard the henhouse certainly comes to mind.
Has the world gone mad? Are Israelis that stupid as to allow such delusions to masquerade as policy. Is Peres evil: a curse sent to Israel as punishment for some unknown sin? Or is he just an old, leftist lost in his fantasy world of the "New Middle East," who thinks he is doing good?
As a child my grandfather used to entertain me with delightful tales about the foolish Jews of Chelm. Chelm was said to be a tiny shtetal (Jewish village) in the Russian Pale of Settlement during czarist times. Its inhabitants were known primarily for their foolishness. In most of these tales one finds that a resident of Chelm becomes fixed upon an idea which is totally a variance to objective reality.
Chelm has been on my mind lately as I view the current move to give Israel's sacred patrimony to the Arabs. I raised this issue through one of my computer networks saying, "I wish someone would explain to me why ANY INTELLIGENT Israeli could believe the nonsense (PLO/Israel deal) its leaders are expounding." A wonderful response came from Professor Mark Steinberger (Department of Math and Statistics, State University of New York in Albany, New York). He writes: "This has also been bothering me lately. I would say that leftists must inhabit an alternate universe, except that WE wind up having to pay the consequences for their detachment from reality.
But while we do live in the same objective world, their vision of it seems to have nothing in common with ours. They do not comprehend reality as we see it, and when challenged with evidence that would seem to buttress our view, they seem either to dismiss it for theoretical reason or ignore it completely.
One can list various dangers in the agreement, and give objective evidence that Palestinians have no desire for peace, but still want to drive our people into the sea. What is the reaction? They will tell you that self-determination and prosperity will change the Palestinians' outlook and behavior. On what do they base this? Not on evidence from Arab societies. Rather it is based on theory.
Indeed, one can point to the fact that warfare, macho-one upmanship, racist hegemonism and Islamic fanaticism are endemic to Arab cultures, including the more prosperous ones such as Egypt and Lebanon. The leftist response is either to ignore the point or to counter with accusations of insensitivity and Eurocentrism.
To me, this looks like an unwillingness to deal with reality, and it echoes the unwillingness of the Jewish community of the thirties to recognize the threat posed by the Nazis.
Indeed, it seems we have learned nothing at all from our experience with Nazism. The Holocaust has become little more than a tale to frighten children: demons in a morality play. They have turned the Holocaust into an image divorced from real world happenings. Millions more Jews could die in Israel, but they refuse to even imagine the possibility.
THEY WILL NOT ALLOW REALITY TO INTERFERE WITH THEIR MYTHS.
Unfortunately, Jews throughout history have deluded themselves about their position in society. They pursue utopian solutions to complex political problems and disputes. Jews rejoiced as the enlightenment spread across Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many were eager to give up their Jewishness and become German, French, Italian, and English. In the final analysis those societies viewed them as Jews. Self-delusion came into collision with reality and left us with the stench of burning flesh in the ovens of Auschwitz. Many Russian Jews eagerly supported the communist idea of a worker's utopia with no nationalities and no religion. Reality taught them that their neighbors still considered them Jews.
The left-wing in Israel believes in a common humanity of shared values with the Arabs. In the face of all empirical evidence to the contrary they believe peace is possible. In the book Self Portrait Of A Hero: The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu (1963-1976), Jonathan Netanyahu, the fallen hero of Entebbe and brother of Benjamin, said it best: "I see with sorrow and great anger how a part of the people still clings to hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement with the Arabs. Common sense tells them, too, that the Arabs haven't abandoned their basic aim of destroying the State; but the self-delusion and self-deception that have always plagued the Jews are at work again. It's our great misfortune. They want to believe, so they believe. They want not to see, so they shut their eyes. They want not to learn from thousands of years of history, so they distort it. They want to bring about a sacrifice, and they do indeed. It would be comic, if it wasn't so tragic. What a saddening and irritating lot this Jewish people is!"
The stories from Chelm have amused Jews for many generations. Many of us, however, are not amused that the peacemakers of Israel seem to be operating in the best tradition of the colorful inhabitants of Chelm. Israel is in great danger. We must pray that Israeli voters will choose Netanyahu and send the Chelmites into retirement. Need I say more?
DONT LET HERZL'S DREAM DIE
Bernard J. Shapiro is editor of THE MACCABEAN and Executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.
Column One: Entrapping Netanyahu
Feb. 26, 2009
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
Negotiations between the Likud and its coalition partners toward the formation of Israel's next government have only just begun. But the campaign to undermine the government-in-formation's ability to determine Israel's future course is already well underway.
Incoming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must understand the traps being set for him and their sources. And as he builds his government, he must appoint ministers capable of working with him to extricate Israel from those traps and discredit their sources.
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell arrived in Israel for his second visit. Whereas Mitchell's last visit - which took place in the last days of the electoral campaign - was touted as a "listening tour," Mitchell made clear that during his current stay, he intends to begin calling shots.
His first order of business, we are told, is to pressure the outgoing government to destroy the so-called outpost communities in Judea and Samaria and expel the hundreds of Israeli families who live in them. To defend this call for intra-Israeli instability and violence, Mitchell notes that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave his word to former president George W. Bush that he would destroy these communities.
Lest Israelis believe that Mitchell will drop this demand once Olmert leaves office, he has made clear that as far as he is concerned, Olmert's pledge was not his own - but Israel's. In Mitchell's view, it binds Netanyahu no less than Olmert. So if Olmert leaves office without having sent IDF soldiers to throw women and children from their homes, Mitchell, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will feel free to pressure Netanyahu to take on the task, and to punish him if he refuses.
If the Obama administration believes that the presence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is the primary obstacle to peace, then the Hamas regime in Gaza is the second greatest obstacle to peace. As long as Hamas, a recognized terror group, is in charge, the administration will be hard-pressed to push Israel to accept a Palestinian state.
To remedy this situation, the Obama administration has opted for a political fiction. The president and his aides have decided that a Hamas-Fatah government will moderate Hamas, and that therefore such a government will not only be legitimate, it is desirable. Whereas when the first Hamas-Fatah government formed in March 2007, the Bush administration refused to have anything to do with it, today the Obama administration is actively backing its reestablishment.
As the Obama administration apparently sees it, a Hamas-Fatah government will provide cover for stepped up pressure on Israel to surrender land to the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, because Israel will no longer be able to claim that it has no Palestinian partner. A Hamas-Fatah government will also allow the US to directly support the Palestinians in Gaza, by coercing Israel to transfer full control over its borders with Gaza to Hamas (which will be represented by Fatah), and by enabling the US to provide direct aid to Palestinian Authority agencies in Gaza.
To advance the administration's efforts to legitimize Hamas, Clinton will begin her first visit to the region at a conference in Cairo on Monday that seeks to raise some $2.8 billion for Gaza. She will pledge nearly a third of that amount - $900 million - in the name of US taxpayers.
The administration claims that none of this money, which it plans to funnel through UNRWA, will go toward funding Hamas. But this contention is demonstrably false.
UNRWA openly collaborates with Hamas. Its workers double as Hamas combatants. Its refugee camps and schools are used as Hamas training bases and missile launch sites. Its mosques are used as recruiting grounds. And as UNRWA's willingness to transfer a letter from Hamas to US Sen. John Kerry during his visit to Gaza last week demonstrated, the UN agency is also willing to act as Hamas's surrogate.
While it makes sense for Hamas to agree to join a unity government that will leave it in charge of Gaza and expand its control to Judea and Samaria as well, on the surface it makes little sense for Fatah to agree to a deal that would subordinate it to the same forces who brutally removed it from power in Gaza in 2007. But Fatah has several good reasons to be enthusiastic about the deal.
First, by joining Hamas, Fatah will be able to get its hands on a considerable portion of the international aid money expected to pour into Gaza. Second, by joining Hamas, Fatah neutralizes - at least in the short term - Hamas's interest in destroying it as a political force in Palestinian society. Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas's term in office as PA chairman expired last month. Were elections to be held today, he would lose a bid for reelection to Hamas's candidate by a wide margin. By joining a Hamas government, he will probably avoid the need to stand for reelection anytime soon.
For Israel, a US-supported Hamas-Fatah government is a hellish prospect. The political support such a government will lend to the terror war against Israel will be enormous. But beyond that, such a government, supported by the US, will likely cause Israel security nightmares.
As a goodwill gesture ahead of the opening of unity talks this week in Cairo, Fatah released the Hamas operatives its US-trained forces had arrested. Due to US pressure, over the past year, Israel allowed those forces to deploy in Jenin and Hebron, and in recent months they took some significant actions against Hamas operatives in those areas. Based on this record of achievement, Clinton and Mitchell have been pressuring Israel to transfer security control over all the Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria to these forces.
But now that Fatah and Hamas are acting in concert, any such transfers of authority to Fatah will constitute a surrender of control to Hamas. While no Israeli government could accept such a demand, the Obama administration, which supports the Hamas-Fatah government, is likely to view Israel's refusal to continue to cooperate with Fatah as a reason to criticize Israel.
THE OBAMA administration's ability to disregard the will of the Israeli voters and the prerogatives of the incoming government owes a large deal to the legacy that the outgoing Olmert-Livni-Barak government is leaving behind.
The outgoing government set the conditions for the Obama administration's policies in three ways. First, by not defeating Hamas in Operation Cast Lead, and then agreeing to negotiate a cease-fire with the terror group, the government paved the way for Hamas's acceptance by the US and Europe as a legitimate political force.
Just as its willingness to conduct negotiations with Syria paved the way for the administration's current courtship of Iran's Arab client state, and its willingness to accept UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which placed Hizbullah on equal footing with Israel at the end of the Second Lebanon War, so, too, the outgoing government's willingness to negotiate with Hamas has facilitated the current US and European drive to accept the Iranian proxy as a legitimate political force in Palestinian society.
Second, since Hamas's electoral victory in January 2006, the outgoing government accepted the false narrative that the Palestinian people in Gaza, who freely voted Hamas into power and have supported its regime ever since, bear no responsibility for the consequences of their actions. This false distinction between Hamas's supporters and Hamas tied Israel's hands each time it was compelled to defend itself against Hamas's aggression. After all, if Gazans are all innocent, then Israel's primary responsibility should be to make sure that they are safe. And since its counterterror operations necessarily place them at risk, those operations are fair game for international condemnation.
Moreover, at the same time that Israel accepted the dishonest distinction between Hamas and its supporters, it willingly took on responsibility for the welfare of Gaza residents. As Hamas shelled Sderot and Ashkelon and surrounding communities, Israel bowed to international pressure to supply its enemy and its enemy's supporters with food, medicine, fuel, water and anything else that Hamas and the West could reasonable or unreasonably claim fell under the rubric of humanitarian aid. Had Israel not accepted responsibility for a population that freely chose to be led by a group dedicated to its annihilation, today Clinton would be hard pressed to pressure Israel to open its border crossings into Gaza, or to justify giving $900m. to Gaza.
Finally, through its unlimited support for Fatah, the outgoing government has made it enormously difficult for the incoming government to explain its objections to the Obama administration's policies, either to the Israeli people or to the Americans themselves. By supporting Fatah, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government set up a false distinction between supposed moderates and supposed extremists. That distinction ignored and so legitimized Fatah's continued involvement in terrorism, its political war against Israel and its refusal to accept Israel's right to exist.
If Fatah is legitimate despite its bad behavior and bellicose ideology, then two things must be true. First, abstaining from terror can no longer be viewed as a precondition for receiving international legitimacy. And second, there is no reason not to accept Hamas. Based on the latter conclusion, many European leaders and Israeli leftists now openly call for conducting negotiations with Hamas. And based on the former conclusion, the Obama administration feels comfortable escalating its demands that Israel give land, security powers and money to Fatah, even as it unifies its forces with Hamas and so expands Hamas's power from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.
DUE TO the Olmert-Livni-Barak government's legacy, when it enters office the Netanyahu government will lack the vocabulary it needs to abandon Israel's current self-defeating course with the Palestinians and defend its actions to the international community in the face of the Obama administration's use of dishonest terms like "peace processes" and "moderates" and "humanitarian aid" to constrain Israel's ability to defend itself. To surmount these challenges, Netanyahu must move immediately to change the terms of debate on the Palestinian issue.
Despite his great rhetorical gifts, Netanyahu cannot change the terms of international debate by himself. He needs two seasoned public figures who understand the nature of these challenges at his side. If Netanyahu appoints Natan Sharansky foreign minister and Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon defense minister, he will have the top-level support he needs to overcome his predecessors' legacy and change the nature of contemporary discourse on the Palestinians and on Israel's strategic significance to the West in the face of staunch opposition from Washington.
Like Netanyahu, Sharansky and Ya'alon understand the basic dishonesty of the current international conversation relating to the Palestinians. Both men have come out publicly against the false policy paradigms that have guided both the outgoing government and the US and Europe. Both are capable of working with Netanyahu to free Israel from the policy trap being set for him.
ORWELL MEETS ALICE
Through The Mid-East Looking Glass
by Bernard J. Shapiro (1994)
Since the unfortunate massacre of Arabs in Hebron a few weeks ago, there has been a dramatic decline in the accuracy of the media. We have been treated to the modern equivalent of Orwellian newspeak, not to mention a harrowing trip through Alice's looking glass. One could not help but notice how pure and innocent the Arabs were being portrayed.
A casual observer would certainly think that all violence in Middle East was a product of bloodthirsty Jewish settlers roaming the Judean hills looking for Arab prey.
The PLO leadership, its hands dripping with Jewish and Arab blood, demanded protection from the vicious Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (YESHA). It refused to return to the negotiations until its demands were met. The gullible international media took this whole charade seriously. The United Nations began debating a resolution to give protection to the poor vulnerable Palestinians. The PLO demanded that all Jewish communities of YESHA be ethnically cleansed of those rotten murderous Jews. At the very least they should be disarmed.
The high and the mighty beseeched Arafat to return to the talks with Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, obviously anxious to please his PLO friends, began a crackdown on Kach and Kahane Chai and other so-called Israeli extremists. Consider this: Rabin determined that Baruch Goldstein acted alone in his murder spree. He then decides to outlaw the organizations associated with him. Guilt by association is what made McCarthy big in the 50's. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.
Reality Check: Now Kach and Kahane Chai have been labeled as terrorist organizations although they never have committed a single act of terror as a body. The PLO, which is guilty of thousands of murders of Arabs and Jews, continuing still, is labeled a "partner for peace" and will be given arms to kill some more (as policemen).
Reality Check: Are Arabs in danger from armed Israelis in YESHA? Some research reveals the following figures since the famous handshake on September 13, 1993:
Israelis killed by Arabs = 34
Arabs killed by Arabs = 60
Arab attacks on Israeli targets = 959
Israeli attacks on Arabs = 1
(Goldstein killed 29)
It is clear that except for the attack by Goldstein, the Arabs have not been threatened by Jews and certainly need no special protection. If you travel to YESHA you will notice that every Jewish village needs a security fence, while every Arab village is open. Doesn't this tell you who is threatened and who isn't? All the talk about disarming the Jews is a cover for the Arab desire to murder them. And if you desire murder, wouldn't it be nice to disarm your victim first?
The media has begun to adopt another tactic which we should protest. In the New York Times, The Houston Chronicle, CNN and most of the other media. Kach and Kahane Chai are being referred to as Arab-hating groups. This has even carried over to include all right-wing opponents of the deal with the PLO.
Do you ever remember the PLO or Hamas ever being referred to as Jew-hating groups, although their covenants and speeches are filled with hatred of Jews? Arafat, who has been quoted on many occasions as referring to Jews as, "filthy, sons of pigs," is never referred to in the media as a Jew-hater. Would the media ever say, "Rabin called Jew-hater Arafat to express condolences....?"
Reality Check: To the best of my knowledge there is a distinct difference between Jewish feelings about Arabs and Arab feelings about Jews. Arabs are taught from the earliest grades to despise Jews and their clerics preach hatred (Itbach El Yahoud - slaughter the Jews) in every service. Jews, on the other hand do not preach hatred, but those that are not brain dead recognize, after 100 years of being attacked, that Arabs mean them harm. The media is totally obfuscating the truth about the conflict by the use of such terms as Arab-hating Jews.
Another problem with media coverage of the Israel-PLO deal is the way its opponents are described. Arabs opposed to the deal because they want to kill or expel all Jews from "Palestine" immediately are equated with Jews and Israelis who want Israel to survive in secure borders. Opponents of the deal are called anti-peace as opposed to supporters being pro-peace.
Reality Check: Most opponents of the deal with Arafat oppose it because it is suicidal for many strategic, historical and objective reasons. None of us are anti-peace. We just recognize that the path chosen by the Rabin government will lead not to the hoped for and advertised peace, but to Israel's destruction.
In another bizarre twist of logic the Los Angeles Times reports that Israel's leading peace group, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), has urged Rabin to remove 30,000 Jewish inhabitants of YESHA to avert widespread bloodshed under Palestinian self-government, and to forcibly evict all Jews within five years. They said that their continued presence, "fostering violence and bloodshed endanger peace prospects."
Reality Check: The facts demonstrate that it is the Palestinians and not the Jews that are the cause of 99.9% of the violence. Why not remove the Palestinians? What Peace Now is really admitting is that there is NO PEACE or any prospect of PEACE.
The liberal Jewish establishment and most of the media were appalled when Rabbi Meir Kahane first began talking about transferring the Arabs from Eretz Yisrael. Most are still appalled at this idea. A new idea has come into fashion, though, among these same righteous Jews: transferring the Jews from YESHA (heartland of Eretz Yisrael). Former Secretary of State James Baker recently said it would be a good idea to use the $10 Billion in US loan guarantees to buy out and transfer the Jews from YESHA. US President Bill Clinton seemed to like the idea and so did Rabin's coalition partner Meretz.
Reality Check: There is no moral difference between transferring either Jews or Arabs from YESHA. What Kahane said years ago about the inability of Jews and Arabs to live together is being validated today by the same people who condemned him.
The 100-year war of extermination launched against the Jews of Israel by the Arabs has had many twists and turns. Sadly it seems headed for Alice's looking glass and the world of 1984, where black is white, war is peace and good is evil.
[This article was published in the Jewish Herald- Voice (Houston) on March 24, 1994, The Jewish Press on April 15, 1994, and in the April 1994 issue of the Caucus Current.]