THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
VOLUME 18             B"H   February 2010             NUMBER 2


POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ON ISRAELI & JEWISH AFFAIRS
"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest"


TABLE OF CONTENTS
February 2010


 


US-ISRAEL RELATIONS
  • THE MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL US-ISRAEL RELATIONS ..............Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
  • THE OBAMA-AMERICAN PUBLIC DISCONNECT ON ISRAEL ..............Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

    FOREIGN POLICY
  • LAUGHING AT OBAMA IN DAMASCUS ..............Michael Freund
  • WHEN RHETORIC RULES THE ROOST ..............Caroline Glick

    SECURITY
  • ISRAEL'S RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE ..............Gerald M. Steinberg
  • THE WINDS OF MIDDLE EAST WAR ..............Michael Freund
  • JINSA: OBAMA CUT OFF U.S. WEAPONS’ SALES TO ISRAEL ..............Emanuel A. Winston

     

    THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
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    JINSA: OBAMA CUT OFF U.S. WEAPONS’ SALES TO ISRAEL

    forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston,
    Freeman Center Middle East Analyst & Commentator


    Perhaps I shouldn’t have been shocked by the news in the following J.I.N.S.A. (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) Report in the World Tribune that President Obama has embargoed weapons' sales to Israel for a whole year! - nevertheless, I am. 

    This confirms that President Barack Hussein Obama is in lockstep with Muslim and Arab nations who wish to insure Israel’s evacuation from the world map - as promised by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Clearly, Obama is coming out more and more as an Islamist at heart, which explains why he has allowed Iran to move its Nuclear Bomb Research and Development forward - with nothing more than impotent threats from Obama and his advisors.

    With Rahm Emanuel, James Baker III, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Gen. (Ret.) James Jones as his security advisors - plus Baker’s Jew-Boys, Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller and Daniel Kurtzer still operating, it’s little wonder Obama was able to (silently) subvert Israel’s defensive capability.

    All Obama needed were three key Israelis to go along in sniveling silence to complete his attack against the Jewish Nation/State. That would include Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres.

    Some will recall June 2,1967 when Charles De Gaulle, Premier of France embargoed arms to Israel for which Israel had already bought and paid - in full. That included 50 Mirage jet aircraft and 12 missile boats. The Israelis, with the help of friendly Frenchmen, simply spirited 3 of the boats out of Cherbourg Harbor on January 4, 1969. The remaining five were sailed to Israel on December 24/25, 1969 by some 70 blond, blue-eyed (Hebrew speaking) Norwegian sailors.

    The traitorous government of France fumed and apologized to the Arabs for their "slippage".

    I haven’t found the history of the 50 Mirage jets - if France ever refunded Israel the money she had paid or if France still owes Israel for 50 Dassault Mirage 5 jets (possible - probable?).

    Let us make certain that the U.S. Congress, every talk show, every newspaper, every news magazine is apprised of Obama’s treachery which seems to be his signature of the way he operates.

    Perhaps he and his advisors have overlooked what Israel could and should do when he puts Israel’s very survival on line - called "Back To The Wall".

    Striking Israel’s self-declared enemies with unconventional weapons would be a "Back-To-The-Wall" option, forced upon her by Obama.

    Samson was tricked by the infamous Delilah who cut off his hair and source of strength. When his hair re-grew and he regained his strength (after the Philistines blinded him), although he was chained to the pillars that supported the pagan temple, he pulled down the pillars, killing all the evil priests - giving his life for the Jewish people. You don’t want to mess with the Israelis when survival is on the line.

    It’s all happening again - with Barack Hussein Obama as the High Priest of a Pagan Death Cult infiltrating America.

    ###
     

    Subject: J.I.N.S.A. (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) REPORTS: OBAMA’S VIRTUAL ARMS EMBARGO ON ISRAEL
    http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2010/me_israel0104_02_10.asp
    WorldTribune.com
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 

     
    Israel's Netanyahu keeping mum about Obama's virtual arms embargo

    WASHINGTON — Israel's government has kept its silence during a year-long ban on weapons’ sales imposed by the United States at the same time the administration has approved $10 billion in weapons sales to Arab states, a report [by J.I.N.S.A.] said.

    The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs reported that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to conceal a virtual arms embargo by the administration of President Barack Obama. The Institute said the Israeli government was also refusing to protest massive U.S. weapons projects for Arab rivals in the Middle East, which has eroded Israel's military superiority over its neighbors.

    "Israel, in very important ways, isn't protesting where it might," JINSA said.
    Over the last year, the United States refused to approve any major Israeli weapons requests. Government sources asserted that the refusal representeda White House policy to link most arms sales to Israel to progress in the U.S. plan to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

    At the same time, Obama has approved more than $10 billion worth of arms sales to Arab League states, including Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. JINSA said Israel, which receives more than $2.4 billion in annual American military aid, refrained from objecting to U.S. plans to sell F-16s, Harpoon Block 2 anti-ship missiles, Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, fast attack craft and helicopters to Egypt.

    In a Jan. 27 report, the institute, regarded as close to the Defense Department and U.S. military, said the White House has blocked key weapons projects and upgrades for Israel. JINSA said Obama rejected Israel's request for AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters while approving advanced F-16 multi-role fighters for Egypt.

    "Indeed, Israel's request for six AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters was blocked by the Obama Administration in June — the same time the Egyptian sale was approved," the report said.

    The administration's policy, the report said, has violated a pledge given more than 40 years ago to maintain Israel's military superiority over its Arab neighbors. JINSA said the erosion of Israel's qualitative edge began under the previous administration of President George Bush.

    "How does Israel compete when the Obama administration announces 24 more F-16s for Egypt and 24 additional F-16s for Morocco," the report said. "The concept of the Qualitative Military Edge failed to keep up with the changes in U.S. arms sales and training policy over the decades."

    JINSA dismissed Israeli government claims that the White House was ready to address the erosion of Israel's military superiority. The Institute said the January 2010 visit by U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones did not concern Israel's qualitative military edge.

    "Actually, it was to push Israel into more pointless talks with Palestinians, who declined to cooperate," the Institute said.

    The U.S. aid to Arab states, the report said, has hampered Israeli military cooperation with Washington. More than 20 years ago, the Israel Air Force stopped participating in U.S.-sponsored regional exercises to prevent the leakage of combat tactics.

    "It's one thing for our lover to take pictures in the bedroom," the report quoted an Israeli combat pilot as saying. "It is another for them to sell the pictures on the street."

    JINSA said Israel has lost its advantage over the Arabs regarding the quantity and quality of weapons. The institute said the Arabs also appear to have caught up to Israel in the area of tactics and training. The sole advantage was said to concern the quality of Israeli soldiers and officers.

    "Changing Israel's local security paradigm at the same time as increased sales to the neighbors -- and no new sales to Israel — means the balance is pushed further out of whack," the report said.

     


     

     



    The Winds of Middle East War

    By MICHAEL FREUND
    24/02/2010 22:31

    Israel needs to draw more attention to the saber-rattling of our neighbors, and highlight their more violent recent rhetoric. 


    Something is stirring in the Middle East. The winds of war are blowing, picking up speed with each passing day, and the threat to Israel is growing steadily more alarming.

    All around us, trouble - major trouble - appears to be brewing, and it is time we open our eyes and confront the dangers that may lie ahead.

    From Beirut and Damascus in the north to Teheran in the east, and back to Gaza in the south, the "arc of hate" surrounding the Jewish state is speaking openly and brazenly of conflict and destruction.

    Israel's foes have launched increasingly fiery verbal volleys in recent weeks, in what appears to be a coordinated campaign to heighten tensions in the region.

    With pressure mounting on Iran over its nuclear program, and the threat of stricter sanctions in the air, Israel needs to be on guard and alert.

    Consider the following.

    On February 3, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem brashly told reporters: "Don't test the determination of Syria, you Israelis. You know that war this time would move to your cities." Even among Israel's detractors in the Western media, Muallem's remarks caused a stir, with ABC News noting that, "The threatening language implied Syria would be willing and able to target Israeli population centers with long-range missiles in a conflict. It was the first time such a threat had been made."

    That very same day, Muallem's boss, Syrian President Bashar Assad, also turned up the heat, saying that Israel is "pushing the region toward war".

    On February 16, Hizbullah thug-in-chief Hassan Nasrallah made similar threats, taking Muallem and Assad's rhetoric one step further by warning that Israel's infrastructure and cities would be targeted in the event of war.

    "If you hit Dahiyeh, we will hit Tel Aviv. If you strike Martyr Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, we'll strike your Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv," he said, adding that, "If you hit our ports, we will hit your ports. If you attack our refineries, we'll attack your refineries. If you bomb our factories, we'll bomb your factories." Two days later, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke with Nasrallah by telephone and reportedly encouraged him to make sure that Hizbullah is ready for a confrontation with Israel.

    The tyrant of Teheran told Nasrallah that, "this readiness must be at a level that they [the Zionists] will be finished off and the region will be rid of them forever." And earlier this week, in an address broadcast live Tuesday on Iranian state television, Ahmadinejad again vowed to destroy Israel, saying that, "If these criminals make the mistake again, the regional countries need to eradicate them once and for all."

    IT IS easy, and somewhat tempting, to dismiss all this as more of the same hate-filled harangues which our neighbors frequently like to hurl our way.

    But a report the other day in the Saudi newspaper Okaz would seem to belie such wishful thinking.

    According to the paper, Ahmadinejad will soon visit Damascus to meet with Assad, Nasrallah and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal.

    In light of the brazen threats being made against Israel by the participants, such a convocation starts to look more like a council of war, rather than just another routine gathering of terror chieftains.

    Indeed, on January 31, US National Security Adviser James Jones warned that Iran might very well choose to lash out at Israel in the coming months.

    Speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jones said, "When regimes are feeling pressure, as Iran is internally and will externally in the near future, it often lashes out through its surrogates, including, in Iran's case, Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. As pressure on the regime in Teheran builds over its nuclear program," he said, "there is a heightened risk of further attacks against Israel." This turn of events should give us all pause.

    After all, back in 2006, Iran provoked the outbreak of war in Lebanon to send a message to Israel and the US and divert attention from its nuclear progress. They might very well now be planning Act 2, viewing this as their trump card in order to prevent an attack on their nuclear installations.

    It is therefore essential that the Jewish state take steps to confront such a dire possibility.

    This means moving aggressively to impede weapons shipments to terrorists in places such as Gaza, shutting down their supply routes and maintaining the closure of the area.

    In the public sphere, Israel needs to draw more attention to the saber-rattling of our neighbors, and highlight their progressively more violent rhetoric. For if the threat of war continues to mount, and diplomacy fails to defuse it, then the government may end up with no choice but to consider preemptive measures.

    The Second Lebanon War showed us the perils inherent in indecisiveness and delay, and we dare not allow our foes once again to dictate the rules or timing of future conflicts.

    It is therefore essential that international pressure be brought to bear on Damascus and Teheran to cease and desist from driving the region toward greater instability.

    Our enemies may leave us with no choice but to fight, and we should hope and pray this will not be the case. The last thing anyone wants or needs is another conflict in this part of the world.

    Either way, we had better awaken from our slumber now, and prepare ourselves for the challenges that may lie ahead.

    The way the winds are currently blowing, the storm might very well be just around the corner.

     

    This article may also be viewed at www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx.

     


     

    LAUGHING AT OBAMA IN DAMASCUS

    BY: MICHAEL FREUND
    THE JEWISH PRESS Wednesday, February 17 2010
     
     
    If you listened carefully this past week, you could almost hear the sound of champagne glasses clinking together loudly in Damascus, as Syrian President Bashar Assad undoubtedly raised a toast to celebrate Washington's latest act of groveling before his autocratic government.

    Just days after Assad's regime had engaged in a war of words with the Jewish state, threatening America's closest ally in the region, Barack Obama decided to respond by conferring upon him yet another undeserved diplomatic gift.

    In a truly breathtaking display of weakness, the U.S. State Department indicated it was ramping up its "dialogue" with Assad and had agreed to send a high-level American diplomat - Undersecretary of State William Burns - to pay him a courtesy call in the Syrian capital.

    Incredibly, when asked about the matter last Friday at the daily State Department press briefing, spokesman Phillip J. Crowley told reporters that the Burns visit "reflects our growing interest in working constructively with Syria and the leaders of that country."

    Now isn't that sweet.

    The Obama administration would like to "work constructively" with a government that is allied with Iran, supports Hamas and Hezb’Allah terrorists, and has aided the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq to do battle with American servicemen.

    Good luck with that one, Mr. Burns.

    Indeed, it was just two weeks ago, on February 3, that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem made the following "constructive" comments to reporters: "Don't test the determination of Syria, you Israelis. You know that war this time would move to your cities."

    Muallem's remarks raised eyebrows even among the Western press, with ABC News noting that, "The threatening language implied Syria would be willing and able to target Israeli population centers with long-range missiles in a conflict. It was the first time such a threat had been made."

    But that brazen act of intimidation on Syria's part barely seemed to register with the White House, which appears determined to rush headlong into a warm embrace with Muallem's boss.

    Another compelling sign of the sea-change in American policy came last month. On a visit to Damascus, Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell reportedly notified Assad that a new American ambassador to Damascus will soon take up his post.

    This will mark the first time the U.S. is sending an ambassador to Syria since February 2005. At the time, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recalled diplomat Margaret Scobey after the Syrian government allegedly ordered the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

    But now, five years later, all that is forgotten, as Washington intensifies its inexplicable romance with this brutal regime.

    To be sure, one could argue it is in America's interests to attempt to pry Syria away from its Iranian allies, particularly in light of the mounting tension with Tehran over its nuclear program.

    And there is no doubt that were Syria to change tack, and abandon its extremist policies, it would have a profound impact on the stability of the Middle East.

    But that is precisely where Obama is making such a terrible and foolhardy mistake.

    Attempts to woo Damascus into the so-called moderate Arab camp date back to the Clinton administration, and they have produced nothing but frustration and failure.

    Here is just one example: back in May 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Assad and declared that Syria had promised to close the offices of terror groups such as Hamas which were operating in downtown Damascus.

    Nearly seven years later, that simple and very basic promise remains unfulfilled.

    The fact is, Syria is firmly ensconced in the rejectionist camp, and no amount of cozying up to Assad or kowtowing to his demands is going to change that.

    Moreover, the message Obama is sending is both hazardous and counterproductive, as Damascus has done nothing to deserve the gestures and attention that it is getting from Washington.

    If anything, the Syrians will see that they can persist with regional mischief-making while still reaping some handsome diplomatic rewards in the process.

    Only a firm stance, which directly links American gestures to verifiable changes in Syrian behavior, can possibly hope to elicit any modification to Damascus's policies. But such an approach does not currently appear to be in the offing.

    Instead, Assad and his cronies will continue to enjoy a good laugh at Obama's expense, as they surely marvel at how the last remaining superpower beats a hurried and ill-conceived path to their door.

    As for the rest of us, we can only look on in wonder and distress as America's position and role in the world are weakened still further. And that, of course, is no laughing matter.

    Michael Freund, whose Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the third week of each month, served as deputy director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Benjamin Netanyahu from 1996 to 1999. He is founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (
    www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. 
                                  
                                         
    Copyright 2008

    www.JewishPress.com

     

    This article may also be viewed at www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/42603. 

     


     

    Admiral Mullen's Visit:

     The Mutually Beneficial US-Israel Relations

    YnetNews, February 22, 2010

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3851844,00.
    Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger,
    Executive Director of "Second Thought"

     

     

    The February 2010 visit to Israel by Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, sheds light on the larger context of US-Israel relations, which transcends the Arab-Israeli conflict,  leverages Israel's unique capabilities, and benefits both the US and Israel. The visit reaffirms that US policy toward Israel is based, primarily, on regional and global strategic interests and not on domestic politics. US-Israel relations do not resemble a one-way-street (the US gives and Israel receives), but a mutually-beneficial two-way-street.   

     

    Admiral Mullen's visit to Israel centered on a series of aggravated mutual threats and on the implication of the expected US withdrawal from Iraq related to those threats: Iran's nuclearization, global Islamic terrorism, domestic and regional war in Iraq, escalation of the ballistic threat, Iran's subversion of the Gulf and the Middle East, Al-Qaeda's entrenchment in Yemen which controls key sea lanes for oil tankers, the war on the Saudi-Yemen border, the intensification of Iranian-Syrian cooperation, the enhanced Middle Eastern profile of Russia and China, the Islamization of Turkey, etc.   

     

    The evacuation of US forces from Iraq could trigger a political/military volcano, with boiling lava sweeping Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and Jordan, further deteriorating the region, highlighting Israel's contribution to the national security of its most critical ally, the USA 


    For example, in 2010, US special operations forces in Iraq and Afghanistan leverage Israeli battle tactics and 61 year counter-terrorism experience. US Marines benefit from the Israeli-developed "Pioneer" unmanned aerial vehicle, which provides intelligence otherwise unobtainable, preempting terrorists, thus saving many lives. A US special operations colonel told me – in the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – that his battalion benefited in Iraq from Israel's unique contribution in the areas of training, urban warfare, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), car bombs, booby-traps, suicide bombers, roadblocks and checkpoints, interrogation of terrorists and anti-tank missiles. 

     

    According to Brig. General Michael Vane, Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, the Israeli experience played a role in defeating terrorists in Iraq's "Sunni Triangle." 

     

    According to Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense and a veteran of the Intelligence Committee, contends that "Israel's contribution to US military intelligence is greater than all NATO countries combined."  

     

    In September 2006, Israel demolished a nuclear plant in Syria, thus dealing a blow to the anti-US Syria-Iran-North Korea axis, while upgrading the posture of deterrence and joint interests of the US and Israel.   

     

    'Largest US aircraft carrier’ 

    In 1982, Israel's air force was the first ever to destroy a Soviet built surface-to-air network. Israel destroyed 23 most advanced Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries, employed by Syria and considered impregnable. Israel's battle tactics and lessons, electronic warfare and other technological innovations were shared with the US, thus tilting the global balance of power in favor of the US.    

     

    In 1981, Israel devastated Iraq's nuclear reactor, in defiance of brutal US and international pressure – including a military embargo – thus according the US the conventional option during the 1991 war against Iraq. It spared the US and the world a nuclear confrontation, along with its mega human losses and mega-billion dollar cost.   

    In 1970, a Soviet proxy, Syria, invaded a US ally, Jordan, aiming to topple the Hashemite regime and activate a pro-Soviet domino scenario into Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.  US forces were overly-involved in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, but Israel mobilized its military, forcing a Syrian evacuation of Jordan, thus preventing a collapse of pro-US regimes, a setback to US national security, havoc in the Arab oil producing countries and a blow to the US standard of living. Israel's capability of snatching roasting chestnuts out of the fire – with no US involvement – transformed President Nixon into a supporter of enhanced US-Israel strategic cooperation, in spite of the fact that only 12% of US Jews voted for him, and irrespective of severe US-Israel disagreements over the Arab-Israeli conflict.    

     

    Former Secretary of State, General Alexander Haig, a former Supreme Commander of NATO, refers to Israel as "the largest, most battle-tested and cost-effective US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single US personnel, cannot be sunk and is located at a most critical area for US national security interests."    

     

    If Israel did not exist in the eastern flank of the Mediterranean - adjacent to most critical oil resources and water lanes, in the intersection of Europe, Asia and Africa - the US would have to deploy a few aircraft carriers to the region, along with tens of thousands of military personnel, costing scores of billions of dollars annually and risking involvement in additional regional and international confrontations.   

     

    The Jewish State constitutes a battle-proven laboratory, which has improved thousands of US-made military systems and technologies, sharing with the US such improvements, thus enhancing the competitive edge of the US defense industries, expanding US employment and export base, upgrading US national security and saving many US lives and mega billion of dollars in terms of research and development cost. For instance, the current generation of the F-16 includes over 600 modifications, which were introduced by Israel.   

     

    If there had been an Israel-like nation in the Persian Gulf, there would not be a need to dispatch hundred of thousands of US military personnel to the region! 

     

    The US-Israel strategic cooperation surged meteorically during 1949-1992, despite rocky disagreements over the Arab-Israeli conflict, entirely due to a series of mutual threats and joint interests, which are much more pertinent to US national security. In hindsight, such disagreements have been merely bumps on the road toward unprecedented strategic cooperation.  On a rainy day – in the battle against Iran and other threats - Admiral Mullen prefers a "tough nut" over a "punching bag" as an ally!

     


     

    Israel's Right To Self-Defense
    The Dubai hit exposes the failure of international law to fight jihadi
    terror, forcing the Jewish state to act independently.

    By GERALD M. STEINBERG
    WSJ OPINION EUROPE
    FEBRUARY 23, 2010, 4:24 P.M. ET
    http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748704188104575082963861523260-lMyQjAxMTAwMDIwMzEyNDMyWj.html


    Jerusalem

    The headlines and video images allegedly showing Israeli spies in Dubai are titillating, but they mask the serious issues involved in the death of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Along with predictable European hand-wringing over forged passports, this case is the latest example of the failure of the international legal system and the United Nations to provide a remedy to mass terror.

    Al-Mabhouh was a cold-blooded murderer-in an interview just last year on Al Jazeera he boasted about kidnapping and then killing two Israeli soldiers. He was also a major figure in arranging arms shipments from Iran to Gaza. Al-Mabhouh shared responsibility for the thousands of rocket attacks fired at civilians in Sderot and other Israeli towns, which resulted in last year's war in Gaza. In his travels, the Hamas terrorist was probably making arrangements for the next round of attacks.

    But international law provides no means for stopping terrorists like Al-Mabhouh, or for his Hezbollah counterpart, Imad Moughniyeh, whose life ended with an explosion in Damascus in 2008. (In addition to numerous attacks against Israelis, Moughniyeh has been blamed for the 1983 Beirut bombings that killed hundreds of American and French peacekeepers and the murder of Lebanese President Rafik Hariri.) Cases involving Muslim terrorists, supported by Iran, would never be pursued by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, or raised in the framework of the United Nations. Al-Mabhouh violated the human rights of untold Israeli civilians, but the U.N.'s Human Rights Council-which is dominated by such moral stalwarts as Libya, Algeria, and Iran-has no interest in Israeli complaints.

    It is equally hard to imagine Interpol issuing arrest warrants in response to Israeli requests. And if warrants were issued, history shows that German, French, Belgian, and other European governments would not risk the consequences of acting on them. Little effort was ever made to apprehend the perpetrators of the Munich Olympic massacre, or of the deadly bombing attacks against synagogues in Istanbul and Athens. It's a widely known secret that European governments had ungentlemanly agreements with the PLO that allowed the Palestinians to operate from their territories, provided the terror attacks occurred elsewhere. Not until 2003 did the EU even put Hamas on its terror list. Hezbollah is currently free to operate in Europe.

    The bitter reality is that for Israel, international legal frameworks provide no protection and no hope of justice. Instead, these frameworks are used to exploit the rhetoric of human rights and morality to attack Israel. In European courts, universal jurisdiction statutes, initially created to apprehend and try dictators and genocidal leaders, are now exploited as weapons in the service of the Palestinian cause. In this way, Israeli defense officials are branded as "war criminals."


    Similarly, Richard Goldstone's predetermined "fact finding inquiry" into the Gaza war makes no mention of Al-Mabhouh or Iran, which supplied Hamas with over 10,000 rockets for attacks against Israelis. Mr. Goldstone and his team have remained silent about what would be the "legal" way to bring jihadi murderers to justice. In their efforts to demonize Israel, Palestinian terror actually doesn't really exist. The Goldstone team simply refused to accept conclusive Israeli video evidence of Hamas war crimes.

    The same legal distortions are found among the organizations that claim to be the world's moral guardians, such as Human Rights Watch. HRW's systematic bias is reflected in a Middle East division that sees no problem in holding fund-raising dinners in Saudi Arabia-one of the world's worst
    human rights violators and a country officially still at war with Israel-to help finance their campaigns against the Jewish state.

    In the absence of any legal remedies or Western solidarity, Israel's only option to protect its citizens from terror has always been to act independently and with force. When in 1976 a group of Palestinian and German terrorists hijacked an Israel-bound Air France plane to Uganda and separated the Jewish passengers, Israel decided to act. In a daring mission, it rescued all but three passengers while killing all terrorists and several Ugandan soldiers who had been protecting the terrorists. Back then, Israel's detractors also fretted about the "violation of Ugandan sovereignty" even though dictator Idi Amin was in cahoots with the terrorists. Entebbe, though, quickly became the gold standard for successful counter-terror operations. Only a year later, Israeli-trained German special forces freed in Mogadishu, Somalia a Lufthansa plane hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. Similarly, when after years of horrific suicide bombings Israel pioneered the targeted killings of Hamas terrorists-often with the help of unmanned drones-Israel's Western adversaries complained about "extrajudicial assassinations." Today, though, U.S. forces have copied Israel's technique with their own drone killings of jihadi terrorists in the Afghan-Pakistan border region.

    Unlike those Predator strikes, though, which hardly raise an eyebrow in the West these days, there was no "collateral damage" in the mysterious Dubai hit. No innocent civilians were hurt, no buildings were damaged. Justice was done, and al-Mabhouh's preparations for the next war ended quietly.

    All this is lost on those diplomats, "legal experts," and pundits who blame Israel for Dubai, and angrily denounce the passport infractions. In the absence of viable alternatives, and a refusal to share any of the risks, they are in no position to condemn actions aimed at preventing more terror.


    ====
    Mr. Steinberg teaches political science at Bar Ilan University and heads
    NGO
    Monitor

     


     

     

    Feb. 26, 2010 / 12 Adar 5770

    When Rhetoric Rules the Roost

    By Caroline B. Glick
     
     
       


    http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is something pathetic about what passes as European foreign policy these days. Quite simply, more often than not, the concerted positions of the EU member nations have nothing to do with any of their national interests. 

    Take the EU's initial response to the killing of Hamas terror-master Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai on January 20. A senior terrorist engaging in the illegal purchase of illicit arms from Iran for Hamas-controlled Gaza is killed in his hotel room.
     
    The same Dubai authorities who had no problem with hosting a wanted international terrorist worked themselves into a frenzy condemning his killing. And of course, despite the fact that any number of governments, (Egypt and Jordan come to mind), and rival terrorist organizations, (Fatah, anyone?) had ample reason to wish to see Mabhouh dead, Dubai's police chief Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim blamed Israel.

    Not only did he blame Israel, to substantiate his claims, Tamim released what he said was video footage of alleged Mossad operatives who entered Dubai with European and Australian passports.

    Relying only on Tamim's allegations - EU leaders went into high dudgeon. Ignoring the nature of the operation, the basic lack of credibility of the source of information, and the very interests of Europe in defeating jihadist terrorism in the Middle East and worldwide, the chanceries of Europe squawked indignantly and threatened to cut off intelligence cooperation with Israel.
     
    In Britain for instance, Foreign Office sources told the *Daily Telegraph*, "If the Israelis were responsible for the assassination in Dubai, they are seriously jeopardizing the important intelligence-sharing arrangement that currently exists between Britain and Israel."
     
    It reportedly took the intervention of the highest echelons of Europe's intelligence agencies to get their hysterical politicians and diplomats to stop blaming and threatening Israel. After being dressed down, on Monday, the chastened EU foreign ministers abstained from mentioning Israel by name in their joint condemnation of the alleged use of European passports by the alleged operatives who allegedly killed the terrorist Mabhouh.

    And lucky they held their tongues. Because on Tuesday Tamim claimed that after the hit, at least two of the alleged members of the alleged assassination team departed Dubai for Iran. It's hard to imagine Mossad officers feeling safer in Iran than in Dubai at any time and certainly it is hard to see why they would flee to Iran after killing an Iranian-sponsored terrorist.

    What the initial European reaction to Tamim's allegations shows is that blaming Israel has become Europe's default foreign policy. It apparently never occurred to the Europeans that Israel might not be responsible for the hit. And it certainly never occurred to them that cutting off intelligence ties with Israel will harm them more than Israel.

    They didn't think of the latter of course because Europe has no idea of what its interests are. All it knows is how to sound off authoritatively.

    This has not always been the case. It was after all Europe that brought the world the art of rational statecraft. Once upon a time, Europe's leaders understood that a nation's foreign policy was supposed to be based on its national interests. To advance their nation's interests, governments would adopt certain policies. And to facilitate the success of those policies they developed rhetorical arguments to explain and defend them.
     
    Contemporary European statecraft stands this traditional foreign policy model on its head. Today rhetoric rules the roost. If actions are taken at all, they are adopted in the service of rhetoric. As to national interests, well, the Lisbon Treaty which effectively bars EU member states from adopting independent foreign policies took care of those.

    With national interests subordinated to the whims of bureaucrats in Brussels, Europe does little of value in the international arena. As for its rhetoric, as the EU's rush to threaten Israel for allegedly killing a terrorist shows, it is cowardly, ineffectual and self-defeating.

    If the Mossad did in fact kill Mabhouh then the operation was an instance in which Israel distinguished itself from its European detractors by acting, rather than preening.
     
    Unfortunately, such instances are increasingly the exception rather than the rule. Over the past sixteen years or so, Israel largely descended into the European statecraft abyss. Rather than use rhetoric to explain policies adopted to advance its national interests, successive Israeli governments have adopted policies geared toward strengthening their rhetoric which itself stands in opposition to Israel's national interests.

    Take Israel's positions on Iran and the Palestinians for instance. Regarding the Iranians, Israel's national interest is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Today the only way to secure this interest is to use force to destroy Iran's nuclear installations.

    Given Iran's leaders' absolute commitment to developing nuclear weapons, no sanctions - regardless of how "crippling" they are supposed to be - will convince them to curtail their efforts to build and deploy their nuclear arsenal.

    Beyond that, and far less importantly, the Russians and the Chinese will refuse to implement "crippling sanctions," against Iran.
     
    In light of these facts, it is distressing that Israel's leaders have made building an international coalition in support of "crippling" sanctions against Iran their chief aim. And this is not merely a rhetorical flourish. Over the past several weeks and months, Israel's top leaders have devoted themselves to lobbying foreign governments to support sanctions against Iran. Last week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went to Moscow to gin up support from sanctions from the Russian government. This week Defense Minister Ehud Barak traveled to the UN and the State Department and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon flew off to Beijing just to lobby senior officials to support sanctions.
     
    It isn't simply that this behavior doesn't contribute anything to Israel's ability to destroy Iran's nuclear installations. They harm Israel's ability to do so if only by diverting our leaders' focus from where it should be: preparing the IDF to strike and preparing the country to withstand whatever the after effects of such a strike would be. Moreover, by calling for sanctions, Israel contributes to the delusion that sanctions are sufficient to block Iran's race to the nuclear finishing line.
     
    As for the Palestinian issue, it is fairly clear that at a minimum, Israel's interest is to secure its control over the areas of Judea and Samaria that it requires to protect its Jewish heritage and its national security. But it is hard to think of anything the government has done in its year in office to advance that basic interest.
     
    It is argued that Israel's interest in maintaining good relations with the US administration trumps its interest in strengthening its control over areas in Judea and Samaria that it deems vital. The problem with this argument is that it takes for granted that Israel can determine the status of its relations with the US administration. In the case of the Obama administration, it is abundantly clear that this is not the case.

    President Barack Obama and his senior advisors have demonstrated repeatedly that they are interested in weakening - not strengthening - the US alliance with Israel. This past week the administration condemned Israel for defining the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem as national heritage sites. The fact that they are national heritage sites is so obvious that even President Shimon Peres defended the move.

    Moreover, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen reiterated for the millionth time this week that he opposes military strikes against Iran's nuclear installations. That is, for the millionth time, the top US military officer effectively said that he prefers a nuclear armed Iran to an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear installations.
     
    In the interest of strengthening Israel's ties with a hostile administration, the Netanyahu government has adopted rhetoric on the Palestinian issue that is harmful to Israel's national interests. It declared its support for a Palestinian state despite the fact that such a state will define itself through its devotion to Israel's destruction.

    It has outlawed Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria despite the fact that the move simply legitimizes the Palestinians' bigoted demand that Jews be barred from living in Judea and Samaria.

    And it has advocated on behalf of Palestinian leaders like Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad who refuse to accept Israel's right to exist.

    Indeed, if Israel were to reject the European model and craft a foreign policy that advanced its national interests, one of its first acts would be to point out that the unelected Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is not a man of peace.
     
    Just this week, Fayyad threatened to respond with a religious war to Israel's classification of the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem as national heritage sites. Last Friday he joined rioters at Bi'ilin to attack Israel's security fence. Fayyad has taken a lead role in the campaign to implement an international boycott of Israeli products. Over the past couple of years he has sought to take control over the PA's security forces not to fight terror, but to prevent Israel from fighting terror. Finally, since the Hamas victory in the PA legislative elections in 2006, he has overseen the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars to Hamas.

    In short, Fayyad, a former World Bank employee, is not a "moderate," as his supporters in the US and Europe claim. He is a fiscally sound terror financier and sponsor, actively waging war against Israel.

    Recent reports indicate that IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi - who strangely received a nice medal from Mullen two years ago - is the main opponent of an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear installations. If this is true, then Ashkenazi must either be forced to change his position or lose his job. The Iranian threat is too great to place in the hands of a commander the US reportedly views as its "friend" in Israel's decision-making circles.
     
    As for the Palestinians, the situation will not be remedied simply by firing a few incompetent office holders. For 16 years, in the interest of enhancing the country's ties with Europe, and to a lesser degree with the US, successive Israeli governments have ignored Israel's vital national interest in maintaining its control over Judea and Samaria. Indeed, they have preferred Euro-friendly, and Israel-unfriendly rhetoric to the sober-minded pursuit of Israel's national interest.
     
    Yet as Europe's immediate response to the Dubai operation makes clear, Europe itself has abandoned the sober-minded pursuit of its own interests in favor of cowardly, feckless, self-defeating rhetoric. Obviously Europe should favor Israel over a Hamas terrorist. But in its current state of strategic imbecility, no European leader can acknowledge this basic fact. Consequently, Europe may well be doomed.
    To avoid Europe's encroaching fate, Israel must abandon its current course. The purpose of rhetoric is to support policies adopted in the pursuit of a nation's interests. And Israel has interests in need of urgent advancement.
     

     
    JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking
     
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    This article may also be viewed at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0210/glick022610.php3.

     


     

     

    The Obama-American Public Disconnect on Israel 

    Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2010

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=169785

    Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, Executive Director of "Second Thought"  

     

     

    A recent Gallop poll shows that Israel maintains its good standing with the US public, despite Obama’s ‘even-handed’ approach toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, his attempts to force Israel into sweeping concessions, and in defiance of the US media and academia.

     

    The findings of the February 19, 2010 Gallup poll put President Obama at odds with the US public, when it comes to attitudes toward the Jewish State, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Arabs, Muslims and Islamic terrorism. For example, Israel maintains its traditional spot among the five most favored nations by 67% of the US public, despite Obama's moral-equivalence and even-handedness toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, in spite of his attempts to force Israel into sweeping concessions, and in defiance of the US "elite" media and academia.

     

    On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is ranked – along with Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan – at the bottom of the list, favored by only 20% of the US public.

     

    According to an August 10, 2009 Rasmussen poll, Israel is ranked as the third most favorable ally (70%), preceded only by Canada and Britain. The low regard toward Egypt (39%) and Saudi Arabia (23%) demonstrates that Americans remain skeptical – at least since 9/11 - of Arabs and Muslims, even when they are portrayed by the media and the Administration as supposedly moderate and pro-American.

     

    Moreover, only 21% of adult Americans expect that the US relationship with the Muslim world will improve in a year, while 25% expect that it will get worse.

     

    Apparently, US public attitude towards Arabs and Muslims has hardly been impacted by President Obama's highly-publicized outreach to Muslims, as demonstrated by his apologetic speeches at Turkey's National Assembly ("…the Islamic faith has done so much to shape the world, including my own country…"), at Cairo University ("Islam has always been a part of America's story…") and at the UN ("America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others…").

     

    Historically, most Americans have been suspicious of Arabs and Islam, while identifying with Judeo-Christian values, Judaism and the Jewish State, as documented by a June 3, 2009 Gallup poll. By an overwhelming 80%:13% ratio, Americans believe that Muslims are hostile toward the USA. They subscribe to Samuel Huntington's "War of Civilizations," much more that Obama's June 4, 2009 statement, made at Cairo University: "America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam."

     

    Apparently, Obama's efforts have failed to uproot the legacy of the Islamic threat since the early 19th century war against Muslim pirates, through the 1983 detonation of the US embassy and the truck bombing of the Marine Headquarters in Beirut, the 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, 9/11, the December 2009 Ft. Hood, Texas massacre and the Muslim terrorist attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

     

    Since, at least 9/11, most Americans have held the Palestinian Authority in disfavor, 15% support and 73% opposed, according to a March 3, 2009 Gallup poll.  A definite connection has been established between the Palestinian Authority and terrorism, pro-Saddam Hussein and Bin-Laden sentiments and anti-US sentiments. In contrast, support of Israel has remained steady at 63% with only 23% opposing.

     

    Israel's good standing has recently been reflected on Capitol Hill. For instance, 344 House Representatives (79%) signed a November 4, 2009 letter, supporting Israel and condemning the Goldstone Report. On the other hand, only 54 House Representatives (12%) signed a January 27, 2010 letter, criticizing Israel and supporting Hamas.

     

    Unlike dictatorships, which manipulate results of public opinion polls, democracies are shaped, to a large extent, by public opinion. Public opinion is especially critical in the US democracy, which features the constituent as its centerpiece. Therefore, US legislators are more attentive to voters than are other Western legislators.

     

    They take seriously the electoral battle cry: "We shall remember in November!" Hence, the sustained support of the Jewish State on Capitol Hill, which reflects the will of the American People, in addition to the role played by shared-values, mutual-threats and joint-interests in shaping the unique covenant between the US, the Jewish People and the Jewish State.