THE MACCABEAN ONLINE
Published by the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
VOLUME 17             B"H   January 2009             NUMBER 1


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
January 2009

 

MIDDLE EAST REALITY
  • THE RETURN OF THE BAD OLD MIDDLE EAST..............Steven Plaut

    MILITARY/POLITICAL
  • THE COSMETIC NON-SOLUTION TO GAZA..............David Basch
  • IRAN'S GAZAN DIVERSION?..............Caroline Glick
  • CAROLINE GLICK INTERVIEWED IN NATIONAL REVIEW..............Kathryn Jean Lopez
  • KILLING THEIR OWN..............Jacob Laskin
  • HAETZNI: SMASH HAMAS, BUT NOT TOTALLY..............Hillel Fendel
  • THE GAZA STRIP TEASE..............Irwin N. Graulich

    MEDIA BIAS
  • NPR: NATIONAL "PALESTINE" RADIO..............Emanuel A. Winston
  • GAZA AND THE WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING..............Satire from ThePeoplesCube.com
  • WHAT'S BEHIND WESTERN CONDEMNATION OF ISRAEL'S WAR AGAINST HAMAS?..............Efraim Karsh

    STRATEGIC
  • THE NETZARIM-TEL AVIV EXPRESS..............Caroline Glick

    ISRAELI POLITICS
  • THE SICK OBJECTIVE OF THE OLMERT GOVERNMENT..............David Basch
  • HISTORY'S TRAGIC FARCE..............Caroline Glick
  • THE MISSING ZIONISM OF THE LIKUD PARTY ..............Prof. Paul Eidelberg

    ISRAELI POLITICS/ANTI-SEMITISM
  • PICTURES OF VICTORY ..............Caroline Glick

    INTERNATIONAL LAW/JUSTICE
  • DEFENDING FREEDOM'S DEFENDERS ..............Caroline Glick

    ZIONISM
  • ACTIVIST WANTS JOSEPH'S TOMB REBUILT ..............Sergey Kadinsky
  • RED LINE, GREEN LINE ..............David Ha'ivri

    AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY
  • HONEST OBAMA AND IRAN ..............Caroline B. Glick

     

    THE MACCABEAN ONLINE [ISSN 1087-9404] Edited by Bernard J. Shapiro
    Published Monthly by the FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES
    P. O. Box 35661, Houston, TX 77235-5661, Phone/Fax: 713-723-6016
    THE MACCABEAN ONLINE: URL:
    http://www.freeman.org/MOL/
    E-Mail: bernards@sbcglobal.net ** URL: http://www.freeman.org
    Copyright 2009 Bernard J. Shapiro
    Contributions are fully tax deductible (501(c)3)

    TO MAKE A TAX EXEMPT DONATION VISIT: http://www.freeman.org/paypal.htm
    OR SEND A CHECK TO THE ADDRESS ABOVE.

     


     

    The Return of the Bad Old Middle East
    By Steven Plaut
    Jewish Press (NY)

    http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/37635

    Date: Wednesday, December 31 2008

    For most of the past 16 years or so, a seemingly benign specter has been
    haunting the world - namely, the notion that there exists a New Middle
    East, one that plays by rules very different from those in the Bad Old
    Middle East.

    Beginning with the first of the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, Israel
    was launched by its own political leadership into a "peace process" whose
    main axiom was that the Old Middle East was dead and gone.

    Oslo was based on the assumption that what was needed to resolve the
    conflict was a sincere willingness on Israel's part to reach an
    accommodation with the Arab world through unilateral concessions and
    especially through Israel's acknowledging the legitimacy of Palestinian
    demands for statehood.

    But as we enter the year 2009, the conclusion is unavoidable that there is
    no such thing as a New Middle East. The Bad Old Middle East keeps
    reasserting itself - with a vengeance.

    It is crucial at this point in history for all to abandon the campaign of
    peace through make-believe that has governed efforts at resolving the
    conflict since late 1992. No progress can be made until the world renews
    its acquaintance with Middle East reality and stares it straight in its
    unpleasant face. Unhappy truths and principles must again be understood
    and internalized. The most important ones follow.

    I. Arab terrorism and military aggression are not caused by Israeli
    occupation but rather by the removal of Israeli occupation.

    Since Oslo, the working hypothesis of the Israeli government, endorsed by
    nearly everyone on the planet, has been that the most urgent task at hand
    was to end the Israeli "occupation" and remove Israel from its position of
    control over the lives of Palestinian Arabs.

    The Israeli Left and its amen chorus in the international media have been
    repeating for so many years that the ultimate cause of Palestinian
    terrorism and Arab grievances is the "occupation" of "Palestinian lands"
    by Israel that few are capable any longer of thinking about that assertion
    critically. It is wrong. The main cause of anti-Israel terrorism today is
    the removal of Israeli occupation from Palestinian Arabs.

    This is so obvious that it is a major intellectual challenge to explain
    why so few people understand it. Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza
    Strip in its entirety in 2004 and evicted all Jews who had been living
    there. The result was the massive ongoing rocket assaults launched from
    the Gaza Strip against Sderot, Ashkelon, and other towns in the south of
    Israel.

    The Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was unilaterally ended in the
    year 2000 by then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak. The direct result of
    that move was the launching of 4,000 Katyusha rockets from Lebanon against
    northern Israel in the summer of 2006 and several times that number now
    poised to strike Israel.

    The worst waves of Palestinian suicide attacks were directly triggered by
    the early Oslo withdrawals - before which there were no suicide bombings.

    The only possible exception to the rule that removal of Israeli occupation
    causes terrorism has been the Sinai Peninsula, which is largely empty. Yet
    given the role of the Sinai and its Egyptian-sponsored smuggling networks
    in providing a pipeline for rockets and explosives to Hamas in Gaza, it is
    not even clear that Israel's withdrawal from Sinai is an exception to this
    rule.

    There can be no doubt that a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West
    Bank and a return to pre-1967 borders would trigger a massive rocket and
    terror assault against the remaining rump areas of Israel, launched from
    the "liberated" lands in the West Bank. The same thing would result from
    relinquishing the Golan Heights to Syria.

    There are worse things in the world than occupation, and the experiences
    of the past few years have demonstrated how much worse are the
    consequences that follow the removal of Israeli occupation. The inevitable
    consequence of a complete withdrawal by Israel to its 1967 borders would
    be a replay of 1967, when the Arab world hoped to achieve the military
    annihilation of Israel inside its Green Line borders. This time, though,
    the Arabs would be using 21st century military technology.

    Academics can debate about whether animosity to Israel was itself
    initially stoked by the years of Palestinians living under occupation. But
    in fact there was more than sufficient Palestinian animosity and terrorism
    long before Israel occupied anything at all in the 1967 Six-Day War. Be
    that as it may, progress today can occur only if the starting point is the
    understanding that removal of Israeli occupation causes terror and
    violence.

    II. Israeli goodwill concessions do not trigger goodwill among Arabs, they
    trigger Arab aggression and violence.

    The Arabs interpret such goodwill measures as admission of weakness on
    Israel's part and as demonstrations of Israeli vulnerability and
    destructibility. More generally, the axiom that Israeli niceness toward
    Arabs can generate Arab moderation, reasonableness, and friendliness is
    also false. It cannot.

    Attempts at buying Arab moderation through demonstrations of Jewish
    self-restraint and niceness go back decades and predate Israel's
    independence (back then it was termed havlaga). They have never worked.
    Present-day attempts to win over Arabs with niceness and restraint range
    from affirmative action programs that benefit Arabs, to turning a blind
    eye toward massive lawbreaking by Arabs, particularly regarding
    construction and squatting on public lands.

    Niceness means never prosecuting Arab political leaders for treason and
    espionage or for endorsing terror, no matter how openly they do so. It
    means exempting Israeli Arabs from military conscription and even from
    civilian national service. It has even meant that families of Arabs killed
    while perpetrating terror atrocities against Jews were allowed to draw
    "survivor benefits" from Israel's social security system (the National
    Insurance Institute).

    Outside the Green Line, niceness often consists of endless offers of
    cease-fires with the terrorists - cease-fires that consist of Palestinians
    shooting and Israelis not shooting back. It means delivering funds and
    sometimes weapons to the very groups engaged in terrorism, in an attempt
    to maintain the fa.ade of an ongoing peace process.

    None of these measures can assuage Arab bellicosity toward Israel and
    Jews; actually, each contributes toward its escalation. Should Israel ever
    nicely withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, the Arab world led by "Palestine"
    will launch a war against the remaining territory of the Jewish state. It
    is likely to do so in the name of the "oppressed" Arabs in the Negev and
    the Galilee supposedly suffering from "discrimination" in the Israeli
    "apartheid regime."

    III. The Arab-Israeli war is not about land, and it cannot be resolved by
    Israel's relinquishing land.

    The Arab world already controls territory nearly twice that of the United
    States (including Alaska), whereas all of Israel cannot be seen on most
    world maps. When Israel was occupying nothing outside of its pre-1967
    borders, the Arab world refused to come to terms with its existence and is
    no more willing to do so today, even if Israel were to return to those
    same borders.

    The Arab-Israeli conflict is not about Israel refusing to share land and
    resources with Palestinians but about the absolute refusal of the Arab
    world to acquiesce in the existence of any Jewish-majority political
    entity within any set of borders in the Middle East.

    This misrepresentation of the conflict serves to prolong it, precisely
    because it misleads. The Arab world insists that Israel trade land for
    peace not because it is prepared to in turn offer Israel peace for the
    land it vacates, but because a smaller Israel will be that much easier to
    destroy. And even if Israel consisted of nothing more than downtown Tel
    Aviv, the Arab world would consider it to be an imperialist affront
    sitting on stolen Arab land - an illegal "settlement."

    IV. Education and economic progress do not produce political moderation or
    a desire for peace in the Arab world.

    To the contrary, there is reason to believe that wealth and education are
    negatively correlated with moderation, meaning that wealthier and
    better-educated Arabs are more likely to support terrorism and extremist
    political ideas. Arab students in European and American universities have
    been regular recruits for terrorist groups, and most of the al Qaeda
    terrorists who carried out the 9/11 atrocities had been students.

    Suicide bombers in Israel often are university students or graduates of
    Palestinian universities. Some have been highly educated professionals,
    such as the lawyer who blew herself up in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa,
    killing 21 people on the spot. Public opinion polls among Arabs often show
    greater support for violence among the better educated.

    More generally, in the Middle East poverty and political oppression do not
    produce terrorism. Anti-Israel terrorism was sparked by the imposition of
    an enlightened regime on Palestinians by Israel - a regime in which basic
    freedoms, including freedom of speech and the right to vote in local
    elections, were enjoyed.

    Terrorism escalated with each concession by Israel, especially after it
    agreed to allow Palestinians political autonomy and then statehood. It
    escalated after Israel removed its administrative control of the Arab
    population in most of the "Palestinian territories."

    V. "Talks" cannot produce peace in the Middle East and in fact have
    harmful effects.

    There is a Western obsession with the idea that all world problems can be
    resolved through talking. But how many international conflicts can be said
    to have been resolved strictly through talking? Especially in the Middle
    East, there can be no doubt that talking does not resolve hostilities. It
    makes them worse.

    The Arab-Israeli war is not a marital spat where bringing together the
    parties to sit around a table and socialize reduces anger,
    misunderstanding and tension. The conflict is not about hurt feelings but
    about the refusal of the Arab world to come to terms with Israel's
    existence, period, in any set of borders and regardless of whether
    Jerusalem remains under Israeli control.

    VI. There is no "two-state solution" or "one-state solution" to the Arab
    Israeli conflict.

    The latter solution is particularly popular on the left. Under that
    scenario, Israel is enfolded into a larger "secular democratic Arab state"
    with an Arab Muslim majority. It is in fact little more than a
    prescription for a Rwanda-style genocide of Jews. This is little doubt
    that a significant number of those proposing such a solution would really
    like to see this happen.

    More important, there is no "two-state solution" to the Middle East
    conflict. Those speaking about a two-state solution really mean a 24-state
    solution, meaning the Arabs retain the 22 states they already have, adding
    a 23rd state of "Palestine" in parts of the West Bank and Gaza and
    pre-1967 Israeli territories, with Israel remaining the Jewish state - the
    24th state in the plan - for the moment.

    That such a solution will not end the conflict but only signal the
    commencement of its next stage has long been the quasi-official position
    of virtually all Palestinian groups, which have long insisted that any
    two-state solution is but a stage in a plan of stages, after which will
    come additional steps ultimately ending Israel's existence as a Jewish
    state.

    The original partition plan of the United Nations had proposed that an
    Arab Palestinian state arise alongside Israel in 1948. The Arab world
    rejected this plan altogether. It had no interest in adding one more Arab
    Islamic state to its portfolio. It went to war to prevent the creation of
    any Jewish state.

    The two-state solution is no more realistic an option today than it was in
    1948. It is ultimately as much of an existential threat to Jewish survival
    in the Middle East as the one-state solution. Creation of a Palestinian
    state alongside Israel would be a major step in the escalation of the Arab
    war against Israel's existence, even if that war is delayed for a time
    while the world celebrates the outbreak of peace in the Middle East thanks
    to the end of Israeli "occupation."

    VII. Israeli Arabs form a potential fifth column, displaying massive
    animosity and disloyalty to the state in which they have lived for 60
    years and openly identifying with the enemies of that state.


    Sixty years of living under the only democratic government in the Middle
    East has had surprisingly little impact on the feelings and loyalties of
    Israeli Arabs, who are by and large hostile to the very existence of the
    state. They are no more resigned to living as a minority within a
    majority-Jewish state today than they were in 1948.

    Their animosity toward Israel is apparent in their voting behavior: the
    bulk of Israeli Arabs vote for pro-terror Arab nationalist parties with
    strong fascist tendencies or for the Stalinist HADASH party.

    When the opportunity presents itself - for example, during the riots in
    the fall of 2000 or earlier this year on Yom Kippur in Acre - Israeli Arab
    enmity toward Jews is candidly manifested, and not just in words.

    Education and prosperity offer little hope of changing this reality. One
    proof is the behavior of Arab college students in Israel. Despite being
    beneficiaries of affirmative action preferences in college admissions and
    access to scarce dormitory space, Arab students are almost uniformly
    anti-Israel and pro-jihad.

    Israeli Arabs have long played a Sudeten-like role in the conflict. In any
    new outbreak of hostilities with neighboring Arab countries, there is a
    clear and present danger that they will take to the streets in attempts to
    cripple the country from within. The Arab lynch mobs of the Galilee that
    operated in October 2000 may have been a small foretaste.

    For too long the world, led by Israel's own deluded leaders, has been
    attempting to create peace via the pretense that war is over,
    misrepresenting the fa.ade of negotiations as actual resolution of
    conflict.

    It has been a sham, of course, and any short-lived lulls in the fighting
    have served only to weaken the resolve of Israelis, whose leaders have
    repeatedly presented them with a Potemkin peace based on the substitution
    of wish-making for statecraft.

     


     

    THE COSMETIC NON-SOLUTION TO GAZA
    by David Basch


    Herb Keinon's RECENT Jerusalem Post article analyzing the leftist
    Israeli government tactics in Gaza was not very assuring.

    True, Keinon told of this government's desire to degrade, discredit,
    and remove Hamas from power in Gaza. But what Keinon doesn't discuss
    is what this government intends afterward. This leftist government
    wants to eliminate Hamas so it can surrender the area to Abbas's Fatah
    group and then proceed to surrender Israel's Eastern territories to
    them for a Palestinian Arab state.

    What this government wants is a cosmetic, inconclusive settlement that
    superficially looks good so that it can pose as the savior of Israel
    and win the next election. Many rightly suspect that there is a great
    deal of collusion going on in the background with Israel, the
    Arabs, and with the US to make this happen.

    The leftist gang of three -- Olmert, Livni, and Barak -- do not regard
    Fatah as the threat it is. Fatah is no less dedicated to Israel's
    destruction than Hamas, if only a little more subtler in its tactics.
    Imagine the day of Fatah power over Gaza and over the Eastern
    territories. Then today's Gaza threat could emerge from all
    geographical sectors at once, with Gaza having continued to be the
    funnel for massive weaponry coming into the Arab areas. Thus the
    ruining of southern Israel that has occurred under the threat of Gazan
    bombs could be extended throughout all of Israel.

    The same tunnel vision that was displayed by the leftists government
    that returned exiled Arafat and his terrorist army and repeated that
    disaster again in Gaza by expelling Gaza's Jews to surrender to
    surrender the area to become a dangerous Arab military base is again
    in danger of being repeated. This time not only happening in Gaza but
    throughout Israel coming from ceded Eastern territories.

    It is difficult for ordinary people to imagine that Israeli leftist
    leaders could be so treasonous and so out of touch with reality to
    allow this kind of thing to happen again and again. But this is easily
    explained by the leftist, mad obsession with holding power in Israel.
    To the leftists, holding power has a higher priority than safeguarding
    Israel's security. To forever hold such power, the leftists wish to
    destroy conservative Jewish political influence in Israel. Having had
    the experience of losing control over Israel under Begin, Shamir,
    Netanyahu, and almost under Sharon, the leftist will do anything to
    discredit Judaism, including the surrendering Israel's Jewish
    heartland and Jerusalem as a means of demoralizing and discrediting
    Judaism in the country.

    So fanatical is the leftist lust for political control that they
    willingly blind themselves to the grave dangers they inflict on
    Israel. They believe that the US -- with whom the leftists collude
    with so that the US can appease its Arab allies -- will be ever ready
    to rescue the country, fiscally and militarily. The leftists look
    forward to huge US payoffs to them for playing ball and the leftists
    see it in their self interest to risk Israel's security by
    surrendering strategic territory.

    But this US security blanket is a thin reed. The US failed to honor
    its security agreement with Israel in 1967 to keep the Gulf of Aqaba
    open against the Arab blockade and Israel had to fight that war alone.
    Nor is the US's repeated support for Arafat and the Arab side over the
    past 15 years reassuring. Nor is it reassuring that US eventually
    reneged on its security agreement with S. Vietnam and allowed its
    collapse. The danger of a weakened Israel without its strategic
    territory is very great and could put Israel in a situation in which
    it will find that US aid can only come too late with too little.

    Clear signs of the leftist lack of due diligence for Israel's security
    is the failure to demand and insure that the border with Egypt and
    Gaza is safeguarded. Tipshi Livni wants to entrust this to
    peacekeepers, the same that failed in Lebanon. This leftist government
    fails to acknowledge Egypt's role in helping the supply of weaponry to
    the terrorists of Gaza. The smuggling tunnels are blamed by Israeli
    "defense officials" as though the tunnels and even the extensive
    overland smuggling of weapons to Gaza could go on for a moment without
    Egyptian government collusion.

    But the leftist gang of three don't want to call attention to this
    since it would draw attention that Israel will take no action to
    permanently close the Gaza opening for weaponry, which will remain
    open to supply Fatah if those terrorists gain power there.

    That the leftists will settle for a cosmetic solution to the current
    crisis that Herb Keinon points to, a truce that fails to prevent
    future weapon deliveries through Gaza, shows how shallow the policy is
    that Israel's leftist government is trying for. It happens to be a
    necessary oversight since it can only be accomplished by taking
    possession in depth of border area between Egypt and Gaza and these
    leftists want to pose as saviors of Israel and not call attention to
    their disastrous Gaza surrender of the area. Were Israel to take
    military possession of a much widened Philadelphia route along Egypt,
    it would kill the possibility of the cosmetic settlement that makes
    the leftists look good to the perpetually unaware Israeli public.

    The current government of Israel is treasonous and dangerous to the
    survival of Israel and must be removed in the next election.

                             ******
    David Basch is an architect and city planner in New York as well as the Freeman Center's political philosopher. Basch is also an expert on Shakespeare and the author of the book, The Hidden Shakespeare, which proves through talmudic and other Jewish sources that Shakespeare was in fact Jewish.

     


     

    NPR: NATIONAL "PALESTINE" RADIO
    By Emanuel A. Winston
    Freeman Center Middle East Analyst & Commentator

    Suddenly, NPR, National Public Radio, is interested in the details of "fear from bombs". Through the years, when the Arab Muslim Palestinians were engaged in suicide bombing of Israeli marketplaces, restaurants, family celebrations, buses - wherever civilians gathered - NPR barely expressed interest in the Terror and feelings of Israeli victims.   That's why they call NPR - National "Palestine" Radio.
     
    When Hamas Palestinian Arab Muslims began its daily firing of Kassam Rockets, Katyusha Missiles and Mortars, including Grad missiles from Iran, an onslaught of Terror rained down on Southern Israel for 7 years. But, NPR showed only enough interest so it could tell Congress who funds them:
    "See, we are reporting the news."
     
    Only when Israel s absurd suicidal policy of restraint had ended, only then did NPR ramp up its reporting - BUT - from the Muslim Arab point of view. NPR just interviewed (January 4th) a Palestinian psychiatrist who ran out the Palestinian line that the "poor victims of the bombing had been terrified" - including himself.
     
    He told how he was afraid to walk to his car, thinking he could be killed at any minute. I thought back to all those years where any Israeli, man, woman and child, getting on a bus, shopping in a market, going to a restaurant, eating lunch at University cafeteria......also thought that those maniacal suicide Muslim Arab bombers had planted a bomb to detonate remotely or by wearing a bomb vest to blow himself (or herself) up with as many Jews as he could.
     
    Then I replayed the scenes in my memory of the 7 years that Jewish men, women and children ran for any cover when they heard the warning siren, giving them 10 to 15 seconds to find shelter before the incoming Rocket or Missile hit them. That, Mr. Dr. Palestinian psychiatrist is being terrified! That s what Terror is. When Israel decides - finally - to stop the Terror by striking back at the Terror organization, that is War, justifiable War, proportionate response - even if it is too late.
     
    NPR wasn t the only anti-Israel, pro-Terrorist news outlet covering this war, Israel s 9th war (1) of self-defense against Arab Muslims prepared to "wipe Israel off the map" - as they declare.
     
    The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, BBC, London Times,  et al reported with a distinct bias. We might expect news outlets like Al Ahram of Egypt, Russia s Pravda, Al Jezzera to be provocateurs, urging the people to hate and kill Jews. But, when the western Media adopts the doctrine of the Middle Ages and provokes the killing of Jews and the elimination of Israel, then they have actively joined the ranks of today s Terrorists.
     
    Clearly, they have chosen to drop their protective shield of the so-called "neutral and fair" Press and become combatants on the side of propaganda. Goebbels, it may be recalled, thought of the German Press and radio as vital to his Genocidal operations. Surely, today s Media can be no less.
     
    Another example of excessive Leftist bias has been CNN, long considered a pro-Palestinian, Muslim, Arab voice and usually hostile to Israel. This was displayed in full force as Paula Hancocks of CNN was outside of Gaza, reporting on what she felt was happening in Gaza. Her demeanor was on the verge of hysteria, both in her voice and facial expressions. This was not a reporter speaking about the facts but an advocate for the Hamas Palestinian Muslim Arabs. I don t recall Hancocks getting so worked up over the "thousands" of Rockets being fired on Israeli civilians over 7 years, nor the fear and pain as Israelis in Southern Israel were constantly diving for cover, as the siren alerts came day and night.
     
    FOX NEWS did a very straight-forward reporting job until one reporter came out-of-the-closet as a perfect match for Christiane Amanpour. It was Geraldo Rivera. He is very dramatic. Geraldo managed to get in every bit of slanted accusations, both through his own pronouncements and commentary, plus that of his guests like Hanan Ashrawi who was allowed to run wild and unchallenged with her usual pro-Palestinian line. Geraldo ran footage of Palestinians, Muslims and Leftists, marching in London, America and other capitals of the world, wherein he concluded the world was against Israel s invasion of "her" tormentors in Gaza.
     
    Actually, the "world" favors Israel taking down the Hamas vicious Global Terror base. President Bush blames Hamas for the War - for Hamas 7 years of Rocket bombardment against Israel s civilians in the South.

    When Geraldo interviewed Alon Pincus, Israel s Ambassador, he cut Pincus short and managed to interrupt with other interviewees, unlike the open-ended Ashrawi screed. Lo and Behold, Geraldo was a male version of Christiane Amanpour and others on CNN.
     
    FOX should launch him over to CNN as "birds of a feather." Geraldo also managed to start the ball rolling about blaming Israel if American targets were hit by Muslims. But, Geraldo did many nations a favor by showing how many hostile Muslims were residing in the nations as they marched and shouted in rage. Geraldo, I am sure, didn t intend to show the anarchy of the Leftists and Muslims, but, he did!
     
    FOX NEWS, I repeat, did an excellent job across the board - except for Geraldo. He was a real surprise. He reminded me of James Baker s Jews Boys, Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller, Dan Kurtzer and later, Martin Indyk who, as Jews, could find nothing Israel did to defend herself acceptable.

    ###

    1. Israel s 9 Wars of Self-Defense: 1948: War of Independence; 1956: Suez Canal; 1967: Six Days War; 1970-71: War of Attrition; 1973: Yom Kippur War; 1982: Peace for Galilee against Arafat s PLO in Lebanon; 1991: Saddam Hussein s 39 SCUDs - Israelis in gas masks; 2006: 34 day War against Hezb Allah in Lebanon; 2009: Today s War against Hamas Terror Rockets, Missiles and Mortars.

     


     

    THE JERUSALEM POST
    Jan. 5, 2009

    Our World: Iran's Gazan diversion?
    By Caroline Glick


    Since the IDF commenced its ground operations in Gaza on Saturday night, I have been hungrily eyeing my hat. On Friday I argued that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is following the same defeatist strategy in Gaza today that the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government followed in Lebanon two and a half years ago. In 2006, the government supported a cease-fire that empowered outside actors - in that case the UN and Europe - to enforce an arms embargo against Hizbullah and to act as Israel's surrogate in preventing Hizbullah from reasserting control over South Lebanon.
     
    In the event, as government critics like myself warned at the time, these outside actors have done nothing of the sort. The European commanded UNIFIL force in Lebanon has instead acted as a shield defending Hizbullah from Israel. Under UNIFIL's blind eye, Iran and Syria have tripled the size of Hizbullah's pre-war missile arsenal. And Hizbullah has taken full control over some 130 villages along the border.
     
    In a similar fashion, today the government is insisting on the establishment of an international monitoring force, comprised perhaps of Egyptian, Israeli, Fatah-affiliated Palestinian, American and European officials that will monitor Gaza's border with Egypt and somehow prevent weapons smuggling. Like the cease-fire deal in Lebanon, this plan does not foresee the toppling of the Hamas regime in Gaza or the destruction of its military capacity. It ignores the fact that similar, already existing, theoretically friendly monitoring forces - like the US-commanded Multi-National Force Observers in the Sinai - have done nothing to prevent or even keep tabs on weapons transfers to Hamas.
     
    STILL, IN spite of the government's continued diplomatic incompetence, there are reasons to think that Israel may emerge the perceived victor in the current campaign against Hamas (and I will be forced to eat my hat). The first is that Gaza is relatively easier to control as a battle space than Lebanon. Unlike the situation in Lebanon, IDF forces in Gaza have the ability to isolate Hamas from all outside assistance. The IDF's current siege of Gaza City, its control over northern Gaza, its naval quarantine of the coast and its bombardment and isolation of the border zone with Egypt could cause Hamas to sue for a cease-fire on less than victorious terms. Indeed, this may already be happening. Hamas's leaders are reportedly hiding in hospitals - cynically using the sick as human shields. And on Monday morning, Hamas's leadership in Damascus sent representatives to their new arch-enemy Egypt to begin discussing cease-fire terms. Taken together, these moves could indicate that Hamas is collapsing. But they could also indicate that Hamas is opting to fight another day while assuming that Israel will agree to let it do so.
     
    THE SECOND reason that it is possible that Hamas may be defeated is because much to everyone's surprise, Iran may have decided to let Hamas lose. Here it is important to note that the war today, like the war in 2006, is a war between Israel and Iran. Like Hizbullah, Hamas is an Iranian proxy. And just as was the case in 2006, Iran was instrumental in inciting the current war.
     
    Iran prepared Hamas for this war. It used Hamas's six-month cease-fire with Israel to double both the range and the size of Hamas's missile arsenal. It trained Hamas's 20,000-man army for this war. And as the six months drew to a close, Iran incited Hamas to attack.
     
    So too, in 2006, Iran incited Hamas to attack Israel. That war, now known as the Second Lebanon War, was actually a two-front war that began in Gaza. Ordered by Iran, it was Hamas that started the war when its forces (together with allied forces in Fatah), attacked the IDF position at Kerem Shalom on June 25, 2006 and kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Schalit. Israel fought a limited war against Iran's Palestinian proxies in Gaza for 17 days before the country's attention moved to the North after Hizbullah attacked an IDF position along the border and abducted Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
     
    Israel's leaders today warn against a possible Hizbullah attack. In the North, municipalities are readying bomb shelters and air raid sirens ahead of such a possibility. Most of the IDF reservists called up over the weekend are being sent to the North ahead of a possible Hizbullah attack. But in contrast to the situation in 2006, today Iran seems to have little interest in expanding the war and so saving Hamas from military defeat and humiliation. Speaking on Hizbullah's Al Manar television network on Sunday, Saeed Jalili, the head of Iran's National Security Council, its chief nuclear negotiator and a close advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, essentially told Hamas that it is on its own.
     
    In his words, "We believe that the great popular solidarity with the Palestinian people as expressed all over the world should reflect on the will of the Arab and Islamic countries and other countries that have an independent will so that these will move in a concerted, cooperative, and cohesive manner to draft a collective initiative that can achieve two main things as an inevitable first step. These are putting an immediate end to aggression and second breaking the siege and quickly securing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza." In other words, Iran's response to its great enemy's the war against its proxy is to suggest forming a commission.
     
    There are many possible explanations for Iran's actions. First there is the fact that war is an expensive proposition and Iran today is in trouble on that score. In the summer of 2006, oil cost nearly $80 a barrel. Today it is being traded at $46 a barrel. Iran revised its 2009 budget downward on Monday based on the assumption that oil will average $37 a barrel in 2009. Over the past several months, Iran has been begging OPEC to cut back supply quotas to jack up the price of oil. But, perhaps in the interest of weakening Iran, Saudi Arabia has consistently refused Iran's requests. To date, OPEC's cutbacks in supply have been far too small to offset the decrease in demand. And the loss of billions in oil revenues may simply have priced Iran out of running a two-front terror war.
     
    Then too, Washington-based Iran expert Michael Ledeen from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies argued on Monday in his blog at Pajamas Media website that Iran's apparent decision to sit this war out may well be the result of the regime's weakness. Its recent crackdown on dissidents - with the execution of nine people on Christmas Day - and the unleashing of regime supporters in riots against the Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi, Turkish and French embassies as well as the home of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi lends to the conclusion that the regime is worried about its own survival. As Ledeen notes Teheran may view another expensive terror war as a spark which could incite a popular revolution or simply destabilize the country ahead of June's scheduled presidential elections.
     
    THERE IS also the possibility that Iran simply miscalculated. It believed that ahead of Israel's February 10 elections, the lame-duck Olmert-Livni-Barak government, which was already traumatized by the 2006 war, would opt not to fight. This would have been a reasonable assumption.
     
    After all, in spite of Israel's sure knowledge last summer that Hamas and Iran would use a cease-fire with Israel to increase the size of Hamas's missile arsenal and expand the range of its projectiles while building up its forces, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government agreed to the cease-fire. And then, when Hamas announced that it would not extend the cease-fire past its December 19 deadline, Defense Minister Ehud Barak sent emissaries to Egypt to conduct "indirect" negotiations with Hamas in which Israel essentially begged the terror group to reconsider.
     
    But then Israel responded with great force and Iran was left to make a decision. And for the moment at least, it appears that Iran has decided to let Hamas go down. As far as Iran is concerned, even a Hamas defeat is not a terrible option. This view is likely encouraged by Israel's current suggested cease-fire. After all, international monitors stationed along Gaza's borders will not serve as an impediment to future Iranian moves to rebuild Hamas.
     
    ALAS, THERE is another possible explanation for Iran's apparent decision to abandon a vassal it incited to open a war. On Sunday, Iranian analyst Amir Taheri reported the conclusions of a bipartisan French parliamentary report on the status of Iran's nuclear program in Asharq Alawsat. The report which was submitted to French President Nicolas Sarkozy late last month concluded that unless something changes, Iran will have passed the nuclear threshold by the end of 2009 and will become a nuclear power no later than 2011.
     
    The report is notable because it is based entirely on open-sourced material whose accuracy has been acknowledged by the Iranian regime.
    The report asserts that this year will be the world's final opportunity to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And, as Taheri hints strongly, the only way of doing that effectively is by attacking Iran's nuclear installations.
     
    In light of this new report, which contradicts earlier US intelligence assessments that claimed it would be years before Iran is able to build nuclear weapons, it is possible that Iran ordered the current war in Gaza for the same reason it launched its war in 2006: to divert international attention away from its nuclear program.
     
    It is possible that Iran prefers to run down US President George W. Bush's last two weeks in office with the White House and the rest of the world focused on Gaza, than risk the chance that during these two weeks, the White House (or Israel) might read the French parliament's report and decide to do something about it.
     
    So too, its apparent decision not to have Hizbullah join in this round of fighting might have more to do with Iran's desire to preserve its Lebanese delivery systems for any nuclear devices than its desire to save pennies in a tight economy.
     
    And if this is the case, then even if Israel beats Hamas (and I eat my hat), we could still lose the larger war by again having allowed Iran to get us to take our eyes away from the prize.
     
    caroline@carolineglick.com

    This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167266396&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

     


     
    Monday, January 5, 2009
    CAROLINE GLICK INTERVIEWED IN NATIONAL REVIEW
    A Mideast Glick Check
    By Kathryn Jean Lopez
    Monday, January 05, 2009
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ODJiZTBlNGQ5YzMwOTZlMjFkNjViZDMxNmRiZjFmMjQ=
     
     
    A Cartoon Caroline Glick Might Endorse [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
     
     
    A Mideast Glick Check [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
    Caroline Glick is no stranger to the Corner crowd. She’s senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post and the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy. She’s also author of Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad.  
     
    I asked Caroline a few questions this morning about the current Mideast violence. Here’s the conversation.  
     
    Q: What exactly started this latest flare-up? 
     
    A: The fighting in Gaza today started about three weeks ago when Hamas renewed its rocket, mortar, and missile assault against Israel. Last June, Israel foolishly agreed to a six-month ceasefire with Hamas. Hamas used the time to have Iran double the size of its missile arsenal and double the range of its missiles, and to build up its Iranian-trained, armed, and financed Hezbollah-style army of 20,000 men. Hamas called its renewed offensive “Operation Oil Stain.” On December 17, Hamas attacked Israel with more than 80 missiles, rockets and mortars.  
     
    It took Israel ten days to finally respond to Hamas’s assault, which for the first time put Israeli major cities like Ashdod, Yavne, Beersheva, and Gedera under assault.  
     
    What is interesting about this latest round of fighting is that the world paid little attention to what was going on when it was only Hamas attacking Israel. People only started paying attention when Israel’s government said enough is enough and started defending its territory and citizens.  

     
    Q: Is the media here in the U.S. or internationally remotely fair? 

    A: When the media are only interested in what is going on when Israel defends itself, the answer is no, they aren’t fair. They don’t pay any attention when hundreds of thousands of Israelis are relegated to bomb shelters for weeks and months on end. They don’t care that Israeli children can’t go to school or day care because Hamas is targeting schools and day-care centers. They only cover the story when Israel finally decides to put an end to this crazy situation where our children are growing up underground. And this is appalling.  
     
    From CNN’s coverage of events here, for instance, you could easily come away from the news thinking that Israel is attacking Gaza for no reason. The European media, and much of the U.S. media dismiss the significance of Hamas’s missile, rocket, and mortar campaign against Israel by noting that these projectiles are relatively primitive and have no guidance systems. But this misses and indeed distorts the entire point. Hamas doesn’t need advanced weapons. Its goal is not to attack specific military targets. Its goal is to attack Israeli society as a whole and terrorize our citizens. That’s what makes it such an outlaw.  
     
    In fact, this random bombing of civilian targets is the very definition of war crimes. Due to their random nature, every projectile launched against Israel by Hamas is a separate war crime. And that’s the real story. But again, outside of publications like National Review and the like, the Western media have ignored this basic truth and worse, they have turned the criminal nature of Hamas’s campaign into a justification for it. 

    Q: What does the fighting mean for the future of Hamas-led Gaza?

    #more#A: There are four possible outcomes for Israel’s current campaign --  two would be positive and two would be negative. The best outcome would be for Israel to overthrow Hamas’s regime and destroy its capacity to wage war against Israel or threaten Israel in any significant way. To achieve this goal, Israel would have to reassert control over Gaza. Since the Israeli government has already stated that Israel will not reassert control over Gaza, and since reasserting control would be extremely embarrassing for the current leadership, which led Israel out of Gaza with promises of peace three and a half years ago, it is fairly clear that this outcome will not be forthcoming. 
     
    The next best outcome would be something analogous to the end of the 1991 Gulf War. Although the U.S. left Saddam Hussein in power after that war, it asserted control over the no-fly zones and set up a clear sanctions regime that by and large prevented Iraq from rearming and apparently prevented Iraq from reconstituting its weapons of mass destruction programs.  
     
    Here too, chances that this outcome will prevail are not great because the Israeli government has already stated that it is unwilling to reassert control over Gaza’s border with Egypt which is where most of Hamas’s weapons are imported from. 
     
    The third possible outcome, which is already not a good one, would be for Israel to end its current campaign and just walk away with Hamas still in charge. In due course, Hamas would reconstitute its military forces and missile arsenals and reinstate its campaign against Israel. The positive aspect of such a future is simply that, subject to domestic political constraints, Israel would be able to go in and bomb Hamas anytime it felt that threatened. Israel would be under no international obligation to avoid defending itself, beyond the regular anti-Israel pressure. 
     
    The fourth, and worst possible outcome is that Israel reaches some sort of internationally sponsored ceasefire agreement whereby foreign powers the EU, the U.S., Egypt, Turkey, or whomever agree to form some sort of international monitoring mechanism to oversee Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt. The reason this would be the worst outcome is that Israel’s experience with such forces in Lebanon and in Gaza itself has been wholly negative. These international forces will never fight Israel’s battles for it. Instead they inevitably shield terrorists from Israeli attack while ignoring the terrorists’ moves to rearm, reassert political control over their populations and reinstate their assaults against Israel. Moreover, because these international forces fear the terrorists they shield, they tend to side with them against Israel and blame Israel for any violence that takes place. 
     
    Unfortunately, this is the outcome that the Israeli government is now pushing for in its diplomatic contacts relating to the war in Gaza.

     
    Q: A lot of critics say that Israel is just going too far in its attacks. What do you make of the charge? 
     
    A:
    The interesting aspect of this claim is what it tells us about the success of anti-Israel propaganda. For instance, Richard Falk, the Jewish anti-Semite who the U.N.’s Human Rights Council appointed to act as its rapporteur against Israel began accusing Israel of committing war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza the moment Israel began its campaign. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch systematically fabricate international “law” backed by “eyewitness” reports from Hamas supporters in order to accuse Israel of breaking it every single time it takes any steps to defend itself, no matter how restrained. 
     
    Israel has done nothing in its campaign against Hamas that could be considered going “too far.” It has done nothing in its campaign that could be considered “disproportionate.” It has targeted military targets and terror operatives.  
     
    The fact of the matter is that Israel is held to standards that are discriminatory while its enemy -- an illegal, openly genocidal terrorist organization -- is defended and shielded from attack by the media, by self-proclaimed human-rights activists and by hostile foreign leaders like British Foreign Minister David Miliband and Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan. Luckily, with some one million Israelis now under assault, Israel has decided that we just aren’t going to pay attention to their obscene attacks on our right to self-defense this time around.  
     

    Q: Would you caution Israel at all? 
     
    A: Absolutely. I think it would be a grave error for the government to agree to any sort of international monitoring mechanism of Hamas. If the government doesn’t want to see this war through to a complete rout of Hamas, and doesn’t want to retake Gaza’s border with Egypt, then it would be best for us to just weaken the group as much as possible while we have troops on the ground and then walk away to fight another day. We cannot trust the kindness of foreigners to do for us what we will not do for ourselves.   
     
     
    Q:
    What does the future hold for the Palestinians in Gaza? 
     
    A: Their future right now doesn’t look too attractive. These are people who overwhelmingly supported Hamas in the 2006 elections. They supported Hamas when it expelled Fatah from Gaza in 2007. And they supported Hamas when it began shelling Israel’s main port city Ashdod and big cities like Beersheva with missiles. By throwing their lot in with a genocidal terrorist group, Gazans, and indeed Palestinians as a whole, have made clear that they prefer the ravages of war to the blessings of peace. Until they change their minds, it is hard to see how they can expect to prosper morally, politically or economically.  
     
     
    Q: What does the fight in Gaza tell us about the prospects for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process? 
     
    A: It tells us that such a process is both irrelevant and counter-productive. It is irrelevant because even in the event that there is a faction in Palestinian society that is willing to make peace with Israel, that faction will never bring about a broader rapprochement or even remain in power for long. What Hamas’s current war against Israel, its alliance with Iran and its popularity in Palestinian society tell us is that as a society, the Palestinians are not interested in peaceful coexistence with Israel regardless of what Israel’s borders are. They prefer to remain at war with Israel and to be led by terrorists. So even if the current Fatah leadership is really ready to finally lay down its arms, prosecute terrorists and reconcile to Israel, it cannot lead Palestinian society or the larger Arab world to the same conclusion. 
     
    Gaza also shows us that pushing a peace process is counter-productive. In the context of such a process, Israel is expected to hand over land to Fatah. In the history of Israeli land giveaways to Fatah since 1994, there has never been a case where these transfers led to a moderation of Palestinian behavior or feelings towards Israel. To the contrary, such Israeli moves have only radicalized Palestinian society that has come to see every Israeli concession as proof that Israel is collapsing. 
     
    Three and a half years ago, Israel gave its greatest concession to date when it removed all its military personnel and forcibly expelled ten thousand of its citizens from their homes and farms in Gaza and transferred the area to Fatah. Rather than moderate the Palestinians, this massive Israeli concession was seen as proof that Israel would soon disappear. Convinced that Israel’s destruction was at hand, the Palestinians elected Hamas the group most identified with the cause of Israel’s destruction to lead them.  
     
    So even though Israel may make concessions to people who claim to be “moderate,” the fact is those concessions only strengthen “extremists” and so weaken Israel while strengthening jihadist groups dedicated to its destruction. Obviously, this is not something that engenders peace and stability. Rather, such “peace processes” engender only war and instability.  
     
     
    Q: What should the U.S. response to the fighting be? 
     
    A: Just as the U.S. supports all its allies from Pakistan to India to Britain to the Philippines in their fights against terrorist groups, so the U.S. should be supporting Israel without qualification in its fight against its terrorist foes. And indeed, just as the U.S. tells its allies not to go wobbly in their fights against terrorists, so the U.S. should be encouraging Israel to stay firm and not try to cut a deal with its terrorist foes.  
     
    Q:
    Any advice to Obama? 
     
    A: The thing that concerns me about President-elect Obama’s views of Israel and the Middle East is that they are heavily influenced by his advisers, many of whom are Clinton-administration veterans. And these advisers -- people like Richard Haass, Aaron Miller, Dan Kurtzer, and Martin Indyk, to name just a few -- have built their careers championing the failed and dangerous peace process.  
     
    If Obama fails to recognize the folly of these advisers and replace them with men and women who use reality as their guide for policymaking, not only will he strengthen terrorist enemies of the U.S. like Hamas and Iran, he will weaken and endanger U.S. allies like Israel. So my advice to the incoming president would be to dump his Middle East team and replace it with advisers who have a clue.  
     
    To paraphrase someone you might have heard of once or twice, I’d rather have U.S. policy on the Middle East determined by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than by this team whose policies have brought about the death of thousands in their pursuit of a fantasy of peace.
     
     

     


     

    New York Times: Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto

     


     

    Killing Their Own

    By Jacob Laksin

    1/6/2009

    From reprimands of “disproportionate response” to condemnations of civilian casualties, Israel ’s military offensive in
    Gaza has drawn de rigueur denunciations from the international community. Less noticed is that while Israel has taken great pains to avoid innocent deaths in Operation Cast Lead, at great peril to its fighting men and women, Hamas vigilantes have spent recent days deliberately assaulting and killing their fellow Palestinians, just as they have done for years.
     
    According to the Jerusalem Post, since the beginning of the Israeli offensive, more than 75 Gaza Palestinians have been shot in the legs or have had their hands broken; more than 35 have been executed  by Hamas operatives who accuse them of being Israeli “collaborators.” Of course, Gaza is not teeming with Israeli spies and most of Hamas’s victims are not only not traitors but likely helped vote the terrorist group into power in the January 2006 legislative elections. Instead, Hamas’s campaign of homegrown terror is the latest example of the terrorists turning on their Palestinian compatriots – a brutal but seldom-discussed cycle of violence in which Palestinians emerge as their own worst enemy.
     
    Hamas’s fratricidal tendencies date back to its 1987 founding. In her 1996 book God Has Ninety-Nine Names, Judith Miller, a former New York Times bureau chief in Cairo, reported that within a few years of its official existence, Hamas had “proved more deadly to Palestinians than to Israelis.” Between 1987 and 1993, the years of the first Palestinian intifada, Hamas killed some 26 Israelis but also many of the 800 Palestinians murdered in those years for being alleged Israeli “collaborators.” In 1992 alone, according to Middle East analyst Mitchell Bard, some 200 Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians – more than double the number of Palestinians killed fighting with Israeli security forces.
     
    Though murdered on the accusation of aiding Israel, most were not collaborators at all. “Rather,” as Judith Miller noted, “they were women who wore slacks and other ‘prostitutes,’ as Hamas called unveiled women; they were alcoholics, drug users, teachers with whom Hamas disagreed, Marxists, atheists, a Darwinist, Freudians, members of the Rotary and Lions Clubs – which Hamas’s charter called Jewish spy organizations – and, in particular, supporters of the PLO, Hamas’s main rival for power among Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories.”

    Even among the “guilty,” the definition of collaboration often had more to do with Hamas’s hatred of Jews than any act of betrayal. To have any contact with Jews was to risk being judged a “collaborator.” So it was that, in October 1989, a Palestinian father of seven was reportedly stabbed to death in the West Bank city of Jericho for the unpardonable crime of selling “floral decorations” to Jews building a traditional succah dwelling.

    These targeted killings of Palestinians marked not a departure from Hamas’s founding vision but its fulfillment. As an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas has always held the Brotherhood’s position that its jihad will be successful only after its rivals – real or imagined – are eliminated from within. Accordingly, Hamas’s original security branch, Jehaz Aman, was founded by the late Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 1983 with the express purpose of exterminating “heretics” and “collaborators.” Similarly, the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s self-styled “military wing,” terrorized Palestinians before it became a danger to Israelis. In Hamas, his 2007 history of the terrorist group, Matthew Levitt notes that the Qassam Brigades’ first functions were “kidnapping and murdering suspected collaborators.” As the recent spate of executions in Gaza suggests, Hamas continues that tradition.
     
    Hamas, of course, has no monopoly on killing fellow Palestinians. The death toll amassed by the rival Palestinian Authority (PA) more than matches that of its Islamist counterparts, as demonstrated by the second Palestinian intifada that broke out in 2000. Obscured by the popular preoccupation with alleged Israeli abuses was that the greatest threat to Palestinian life was once again internal. In a single week in March 2002, for example, PA gunmen killed seven Palestinians accused of being Israeli agents. The corpse of one murdered “collaborator” was dragged through the streets of Bethlehem , after which the killers tried to hang the remains from a rooftop above Manger Square . The body of another unlucky victim was strung up by its heels at a Ramallah traffic circle. Still others were abducted from a West Bank road and executed in a deserted slaughterhouse.
     
    Revealingly, the PA made no effort to deny responsibility for the killings. Abu Mujahid, a spokesman for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the PA’s terrorist faction, insisted that on the contrary, they were justified because these accused “collaborators” are “more dangerous than the Israelis.”
     
    Still another source of internal strife is the deadly rivalry between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. As recently as 2007, the two sides were engaged in a bloody civil war that saw both commit daily atrocities. In one particularly sadistic incident in June 2007, Hamas militants kidnapped one Mohammed Sweirki, a 25-year-old officer in a PA-allied security force, and then threw him off the roof of a 15-story apartment building to his death. Fatah responded in kind with its own terror campaign, raiding Hamas-linked mosques and abducting Hamas members in the West Bank .

    The cost in Palestinian lives was high. By June 2007, an estimated
    616 Palestinians had been killed in the factional battles, prompting PA president Mahmoud Abbas to
    lament that the threat that Palestinians posed to themselves exceeded the "danger of occupation" by Israel . That reality, however, was of little interest to most media, which chose instead to dwell on those subjects – such as the impact of Israel ’s economic blockade on Gaza ’s “strawberry farmers” – that accorded with their conception of the Jewish state as the true aggressor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
     
    Grim ironies abound in this history of internecine violence. For all the Palestinians’ hatred of Israel, it is Israeli forces who labor to spare civilians and who have in the past come to the rescue of unjustly punished Palestinians – as when a 2002 incursion into Gaza by the Israeli military freed accused Palestinian “collaborators” from prison. Moreover, despite the widely held belief among Palestinians that Israel is to blame for their grievances – the closest that Palestinians have come to a unifying national ethos – it is Palestinians themselves who have done the greatest violence to their cause. One need look no further than Gaza, where Hamas’s popular support comes even as it has become the main threat to Palestinian lives, both by inviting Israeli reprisals into crowded civilian areas with its rocket attacks and by terrorizing Gaza residents who run afoul of its despotic rule.
     
    The great tragedy of the Palestinians is that they have been the authors of their own suffering. And so, while Israel may yet succeed in eliminating the threat of Hamas-fired rockets, one question will remain unanswered: Who will save the Palestinians from themselves?

     


     

    HaEtzni: Smash Hamas, But Not Totally

    By Hillel Fendel

    (IsraelNN.com) Former MK Elyakim HaEtzni writes that the international community’s desire to see Hamas destroyed is suspicious – and means that it is hoping that a Fatah–run state will be established on the Hamas ruins.

    Writing in the weekly B’Sheva this week, the outspoken lawyer – a former Knesset Member from the pro-Land of Israel Techiyah (Revival) party – decries the fact that the current war is being presented as a war against fanatic terrorists, and not as part of the comprehensive war on behalf of the Land of Israel.

    “The official propaganda machine wants us to believe,” HaEtzni writes, “that Fatah, which is an older and more murderous terrorist organization than Hamas, has undergone a gender-change operation to become a peace-loving, secular peace partner.”

    In fact, though, HaEtzni explains that both Hamas and Fatah have the same goal – the destruction of Israel: “They are different only in their tactics. Fatah believes in our liquidation via peaceful means, and is therefore considered ‘moderate,’ while Hamas likes its liquidations dripping with blood, and so is considered ‘extremist’ and ‘terrorist.’

    Though Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, President Shimon Peres, U.S. President George W. Bush and others would have us believe that the goal is to eradicate the terror threat emanating from Hamas, the real goal is very different, HaEtzni explains:

    "The Road Map and the Annapolis Summit force Israel to agree to carve out a piece of its historic homeland for a state for ‘moderate’ Palestinians. But as long as Gaza is controlled by ‘extremists,’ such a state cannot be established. This is why Olmert, Livni and the others want to destroy Hamas – even though they deny it.

    “Olmert, Livni, Egypt’s half-hearted condemnations of Israel, Peres’s objections to a ceasefire, Europe’s stance – all of these show that they wish to destroy Hamas simply so that control of the area should pass on to Fatah. The Quartet will then declare that ‘extremist terrorism has been liquidated,’ and the State of Palestine will be declared with great fanfare, in accordance with the Road Map. It will thus turn out that Israel will have bled and its soldiers will have died on behalf of the establishment of an enemy state in its own territory.

    “The conclusion therefore is,” HaEtzni writes, “to smash Hamas, and to neutralize its motivation to fire rockets at us – but not to liquidate them completely; Hamas should rather remain, together with Fatah, as two Palestinian terrorist gangs that will prevent each other from becoming a state!”

    “The fact is that Hamas won democratic elections, became the majority in the legislature, and formed a government. But the hypocritical West, including Israel, recognizes democratic rules only when the victors are ‘one of us’…”

    © Copyright IsraelNationalNews.com


     


     

    Column One: The Netzarim-Tel Aviv Express
    By Caroline Glick
    THE JERUSALEM POST, Jan. 9, 2009


    Today's war between Israel and Hamas is a remarkable case study in how leaders in democracies learn. In a nutshell, it shows that leaders only learn when we, the people, force them.
     
    As Israel battles Hamas in Gaza, all Israelis - and first and foremost our leaders - are thinking about the war with Hizbullah in the summer of 2006. That war, which was widely recognized as a military failure, forced then-IDF chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz and then-defense minister Amir Peretz from office.
     
    The public's refusal to forgive the IDF's operational failures in Lebanon also forced Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to finally resign from office last summer. While it is true that the proximate cause of Olmert's resignation were the criminal probes being conducted against him, had Olmert not lost the public's support and trust after the 2006 war, gifted politician that he is, he probably would have weathered the corruption scandals.
     
    With the ghost of Second Lebanon War hanging over them, both Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi know full well that if they fail now, their heads will roll like their predecessors' did. And with this sure knowledge guiding them, they prepared meticulously for this campaign.
     
    From intelligence, to media relations, from logistics, to command and control, operational readiness, reserve forces mobilization and doctrinal clarity, they have clearly departed from the 2006 model of incompetence and arrogance. For the past two weeks, Barak and Ashkenazi have led the IDF on a course that - while more conservative and slow than most would like - is clearly better considered than the war that Halutz, Peretz and Olmert commanded two and a half years ago. And for this the country should respect them.
     
    UNFORTUNATELY, THE public is not as well served by its government when it comes to the diplomatic endgame for this war. And here, too, the war in Lebanon explains the difference. The IDF's failure to defeat Hizbullah was self-evident. Hizbullah, after all, continued to shoot rockets at Israel until the moment the cease-fire went into force. The public could see for itself that those responsible for the IDF's failure had to go.
     
    But while the public could see that the IDF had failed it, they were easily misled about the government's diplomatic performance. With the help of the media, which opposed early elections that would unseat the Left, the government presented UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which set the conditions of the cease-fire with Hizbullah, as a diplomatic triumph. Resolution 1701's architect, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, was celebrated as a genius who brought Israel its only real success in the war. Unfortunately, this characterization of 1701 was completely false. It was a massive failure for Israel. And it wasn't a case of Israel being railroaded by the Security Council into accepting a resolution against its will. Livni initiated and pushed for the adoption of 1701.
     
    The resolution favors Hizbullah over Israel. The expanded UNIFIL force, which Israel insisted be deployed along the border, has shielded Hizbullah from Israel for the past two and a half years. Under the watchful eye of UNIFIL's European commanders, Hizbullah has tripled its missile arsenal, reasserted control over south Lebanon and taken over the Lebanese government.
     
    UNIFIL's boundless willingness to shield Hizbullah was exposed most recently on Thursday morning. After Hizbullah's Palestinian underlings attacked northern Israel with Katyusha rockets, UNIFIL commanders called for all sides to exercise "maximum restraint." The absurdity of the directive, after one side launched an unprovoked attack on the other, showed how horrible Resolution 1701 truly is for Israel. By advocating and then applauding this resolution, Israel authorized UNIFIL to act as the arbiter of its own right to defend itself.
     
    The public developed an inkling of the dimensions of Israel's diplomatic failure in the Second Lebanon War last summer. After Olmert formally resigned, Barak realized that Livni was his chief political rival in their quests to lead the Left. To weaken her, Barak began explaining why 1701 is a total bust. Whereas the media had ignored similar charges from the Right for two years, Barak couldn't be ignored.
     
    But even as Barak's criticisms began chipping away at Livni's reputation as Mrs. Competent, they never were enough to force her to either acknowledge or pay a price for her incompetence. Indeed, in spite of her unmasking, the media firmly supported Livni in her bid to win the Kadima leadership primary in September and continues to support her in her bid to succeed Olmert as prime minister.
     
    In this context, it is not at all surprising that while the government and the IDF go to great lengths to distinguish the military campaign in Gaza from the campaign in Lebanon, until a few days ago, the government's clearly stated diplomatic aim was to achieve the same sort of cease-fire with Hamas - replete with a Gaza-based international peacekeeping force - that it achieved in Lebanon with Hizbullah.
     
    Interestingly, today it is not personal experience but rather political rivalry that is opening up the possibility that Israel won't reenact Lebanon's diplomatic failure in Gaza. Today, Livni and Barak both see their conduct of this war as a means of shoring up their political standing against one another ahead of the February 10 elections. Their rivalry has led them to advocate contradictory goals for the diplomatic campaign.
     
    After spending the last two and a half years presenting 1701 as a triumph, Livni has suddenly disavowed its central pillars. Today she opposes "reaching an agreement with a terrorist organization." Similarly, she argues that the deployment of international forces along the border is antithetical to the national interest. Barak has conducted a similar about-face. After castigating 1701 as a "failure," Barak now seeks to reenact it in Gaza. He supports international monitors along the border with Egypt. And he has no problem reaching an accord with Hamas.
     
    The media have made much of the disparity between the disciplined military campaign and the confused diplomatic campaign. But they have not mentioned the cause of this disparity. Again, the IDF is performing competently today because its commanders remember what happened to their predecessors. The government is incompetently handling the cease-fire negotiations because its members are certain that there will be no political price to pay for their failure.
     
    ONE OF the troubling aspects shared by both the IDF campaign and the diplomatic offensive is that both ignore the principal cause of the war. As a consequence, Israel has ruled out the possibility of actually winning a true victory in its current fight with Hamas. Here, too, our leaders ignore the true cause of the war because they know that they will pay no price for doing so. Israel is not fighting Hamas today because it agreed to a six-month cease-fire with the terrorist regime in Gaza last June. And it is not fighting today because Hamas decided that it wants control over Gaza's international borders.
     
    Israel is fighting a war with Hamas today because Israel withdrew from Gaza three and a half years ago. If Israel had not withdrawn its military forces from Gaza and forcibly expelled 8,000 Israeli citizens from their homes and farms in September 2005, it would not be fighting this war today. If Israel had not withdrawn, if it had retained its forces in Gaza and retained its communities - on whose ruins the IDF now fights - in Gaza, Hamas would probably never have taken over. And even if Hamas had taken over, it would never have been able to threaten a million Israelis with missiles and rockets and mortars.
     
    When then-prime minister Ariel Sharon and his lackeys Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni began advocating the withdrawal plan in 2003, they promised that by expelling Gaza's Jews and leaving their ruined villages to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, Israel would advance the cause of peace. They promised that no one would hold us responsible for the welfare of Gaza's population anymore. We could simply disengage. And if we were ever attacked from Gaza after we left, the entire world would rally to our side. No one would oppose our right to defend ourselves after we rendered Gaza Judenrein. The many who opposed this withdrawal scheme warned that leaving Gaza would accomplish nothing that Sharon, Olmert and Livni promised. The Palestinians would become more radical, not more moderate, after seeing Israel destroy its own towns and farms. They warned that Hamas would take over, since by expelling the Jews and leaving, Israel would show that it was collapsing. And why bother negotiating with a nation that was disintegrating? 
    Not only would the world continue to hold us responsible for supplying Gaza with food, electricity, medical care and employment opportunities, opponents of withdrawal warned that the international community would also oppose all future steps Israel took to defend itself against Gazan aggression even more strenuously. After all, by vacating Gaza, Israel was telling the world that as far as we were concerned, we had no right to be there.
    And in the time that has passed since Israel "disengaged" from Gaza, the withdrawal's opponents have been proven right, and its supporters have been proven wrong on every single issue. And yet, unlike the public's outcry after the Second Lebanon War, there has been no public call for an accounting by Olmert, Livni or any of the withdrawal's supporters.
     
    No one has paid a political price for getting this wrong. With the IDF now forced to reconquer the ruins of Netzarim to defend Gedera, Ashdod and Beersheba, there has been no public demand for a commission of inquiry into the decision-making processes that led the Sharon-Olmert-Livni government to withdraw from Gaza. Indeed, Olmert, Livni and their colleagues have been promoted for their championing of Israel's single greatest strategic error since 1993.
     
    TODAY THE IDF owes its operational competence to the public's humiliation and sacking of Halutz, Peretz and Olmert. On the other hand, Israel's diplomatic incompetence, and our leadership's continued refusal to accept that Sharon was right when he said, "As goes Netzarim so goes Tel Aviv," is rendering a true victory over Hamas impossible.
     
    If we are ever to get on the right path in Gaza, as well as in Judea and Samaria and beyond, our first order of business as the public must be to force the politicians who brought us to this point to pay a price at the ballot box for their blind and dangerous incompetence. It is only by humiliating them in elections that we can be sure that their successors will be too frightened to repeat their mistakes.
     
    caroline@carolineglick.com

    This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1231424897290&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

     


     

    THE GAZA STRIP-TEASE

    By Irwin N. Graulich

    Let's strip this fight down to the actual bare facts. You elect a Nazi-like terrorist government, (and I use the comparison precisely), whose primary goal and charter is the destruction of the state of Israel.

    They create schools where textbooks expound on the concept of Jews and Christians being monkeys and enemies of Islam who must be destroyed. They establish summer camps that teach 7 year olds the virtues of becoming suicide bombers, actually constructing a sample vest model complete with dynamite sticks, in arts & crafts. They continue to publicly describe Jews on radio, tv and newspapers as something lower than vermin, all of whom must be exterminated.

    They spend all their time building tunnels and smuggling weapons to kill innocent civilians in Israel, instead of building businesses and a better life. They fire rockets regularly into Israeli towns and cities to goad Israel into a short-lived response that ultimately becomes a pr coup. They have weekly parades attended by upwards of 100,000 people screaming, "We will destroy the Zionist criminal pigs," and much worse.

    Then, when this moral democracy legitimately and legally responds to the thousands of rocket attacks on its cities through a serious military action, you cry like babies. Please--I need an air sickness bag. Those brave (sic) Hamas leaders run underground like sewer rats, leaving their supportive, so called "innocent civilians" to die for them.

    And much of the world continues to repeat the same mistakes of history. In fact, Europe learned absolutely nothing from WWII. Instead of learning that decent, moral nations must "fight evil," the Europeans learned that "fighting is evil."

    Europeans have decided to befriend evil, let them move into their cities with their own corrupt value system, and now Parisians, Britons, the Dutch and others are just too afraid to confront this new hate-infested, violent phenomenon. It is the French embracing the Nazis once again--kiss kiss. And please do not forget--it always begins with the Jews, but it never ends with the Jews.

    Next, we have the UN--that infamous massage parlor located on First Avenue in New York City. Several NYC politicians have suggested turning it into a homeless shelter, which would certainly do a great deal more good for society. Evil does not disturb the UN. Israel disturbs the UN!

    Unfortunately, democracies have a disastrous achilles heel in our modern, hi tech world. It is called visual media--which includes a camera, television and the Internet, devices that allow anyone to show video totally out of context. Dead Palestinian babies, wounded women and children are 24/7 on al Jazeera, in one continuous loop. Joseph Goebbels would be proud!

    Hamas and Hezbollah have discovered this new weapon which is more deadly than any missile or grenade launcher--the tv camera. 21st century technology has given rise to visual terrorism where one shows dead families in a UNRWA school without the context of Hamas terrorists shooting grenade launchers from windows. CNN leads this new propaganda group with names like Christian Amanpour, Ben Wedeman, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Rick Sanchez and Don Lemon---all of whom have shown a particular bias against Israel for defending itself from terrorism.

    Had these so called reporters been covering Dresden during WWII, the Allies would have been forced to stop their attacks and Americans today would be speaking German or would be lampshades. Of course, we would hear the American point of view and the Nazi point of view, a sign of media fairness. And good ol' Larry King would be interviewing Herr Hitler with all of the necessary respect he deserved.

    Truth be told, what did you expect would emerge from the sick soul of Ted Turner, one of the most twisted minds in America today. His "baby" is a despicable network made up of predominantly amoral fools.

    Has there ever been a war where the opposing army actually called civilians on the telephone, dropped leaflets, sent emails or text messages in order to warn them to get out of harms way? It sounds like something out of The Twilight Zone--yet no one focuses on this incredible moral action by Israel. I mean rubber bullets--the Israeli army invented them out of a deep sense of compassion and morality.

    Sorry, Americans and moral people everywhere are much smarter than that--after all, have you seen the deformed, incinerated and horrific baby pictures from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, any decent human being knows it was the Atom Bomb that ended WWII, saving many more lives in the long run. That is the sad reality of war. Who told you there is no military solution to some things?

    And why the uproar in the Arab and Muslim world today? Because "honor" is the most important value in their lives--and those pathetic weak Jews just keep wiping the floor with them at every turn. Israel continuously shames every Arab and Muslim country by defeating them in battle or defeating them in progress. It is obvious today that 1.5 billion Muslims in 48 countries with their big mouths and big threats about the "Poor Palestinians in Gaza" are simply afraid to intervene or militarily confront that ridiculously small Jewish state of 6 million. All those big macho armies talking tough, yet acting like frightened little girls.

    The lives of average citizens in most Arab and Muslim countries are horrendous. Dictators from Syria to Lebanon to Iran to Gaza need to blame their horrible living conditions on someone--and naturally it cannot be the dictators they worship and fear. Instead, who better to fault for their miserable lives than the Jews aka Israel?

    We don't have a flush toilet because of the Jews. We do not have freedom of the press because of those Jews--of course. And the crop this year was bad...all because of Israel. It's the Jews aka Zionists fault again and again. Yet that tiny thriving democracy of Jews continues to make medical discoveries and invent high tech products every day. How dare those despicable, arrogant Jews achieve so much in our midst, and make us look bad.

    Israel left Gaza completely in 2005. Checkpoints located on Israeli territory and the sea remained, with the only things not permitted into Gaza being weaponry. Everything else was welcomed--and nothing, nothing was ever built in any part of The Gaza Strip except things related to murder and destruction. I mean, a refugee camp for 60 years? The Jews have continually humiliated Hamas, the Palestinians and the entire Arab/Muslim world because of their successes--militarily and societally. And they will never be forgiven for it. It is actually an affront to Islam as well.

    Hamas took a page right out of the Nazi playbook by creating a party that has a terror arm and a social arm. The Nazis built roads and hospitals...and gas chambers. And the Jews learned a lesson that they needed to return to their own historical homeland and build it back up. It did not take very long, much to the chagrin of its neighbors.

    So my dear Hamas lowlives--you dare "tease" that hardworking, moral democracy with terrorism and rockets. What the hell did you expect?
                                              
                                                ####

    Irwin N. Graulich is a well known motivational speaker and author 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 irwin.graulich@verizon.net.

     


     

    Jerusalem Issue Brief 

    Institute for Contemporary Affairs
    Founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation
    Vol. 8, No. 17

    11 January 2009
     
    What's Behind Western Condemnation of Israel 's War Against Hamas?
    By Efraim Karsh
        
     
    With a unanimity that has become all too familiar, politicians, the media, NGOs, and church leaders across the globe took their cue to denounce Israel 's legitimate act of self-defense against one of the world's most extreme terror organizations. This chorus of disapproval is in stark contrast to the utter indifference to far bloodier conflicts that have been going on around the world.

    Why do citizens in democracies enthusiastically embrace a radical Islamist group that not only seeks the destruction of a fellow democracy but is overtly committed to the substitution of a world-wide Islamic caliphate for the existing international order?

    Decades of mistreatment of the Palestinians by the Arab states have gone virtually unnoticed. Only when they interact with Israel do the Palestinians win the world's attention.

    The fact that international coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict has invariably reflected a degree of intensity and emotional involvement well beyond the normal level to be expected of impartial observers would seem to suggest that it is a manifestation of longstanding prejudice that has been brought out into the open by the conflict.

    The Palestinians are but the latest lightning rod unleashed against the Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the millenarian demonization of the Jews in general, and the medieval blood libel - that Jews delight in the blood of others.
     

    A Tidal Wave of International Indignation
     
    No sooner had Israel opted to stop Hamas' attacks on its civilian population, after years of self-imposed restraint, than it was confronted with a tidal wave of international indignation. With a unanimity that has become all too familiar when it comes to the world's pronouncements on Israel, politicians, the media, NGOs, and church leaders across the globe took their cue to denounce this legitimate act of self-defense by a sovereign democracy against one of the world's most extreme terror organizations, overtly committed to its destruction, which for years had been raining down thousands of rockets and mortar shells on civilian communities (not to mention the long string of suicide bombings).
     
    Echoed by the international media's blanket coverage of Israel's response in Gaza, but not Hamas' murderous ideology and actions, this chorus of disapproval over the Jewish state's "disproportionate" use of force is in stark contrast to the utter indifference to far bloodier conflicts that have been going on around the world, from the long-running genocide in Darfur, with its estimated 400,000 dead and at least 2.5 million refugees, to war in the Congo, with over 4 million dead or driven from their homes, to Chechnya, where an estimated 150,000-200,000 have died and up to a third of the population has been displaced at the hands of the Russian military. None of these tragedies saw protesters flock into the streets of London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Oslo, Dublin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Washington, and Fort Lauderdale (to give a brief list), as has been the case during the Gaza crisis.
     
     
    Arab Mistreatment of the Palestinians Went Unnoticed
     
    How can this be? Why do citizens in democracies enthusiastically embrace a radical Islamist group that not only seeks the destruction of a fellow democracy but is overtly committed to the substitution of a world-wide Islamic caliphate (or umma) for the existing international order based on territorial nation states? Not because of compassion for the Palestinians, whose plight has never attracted genuine international interest, especially by the Arab states (and for that matter, the Palestinian leadership), whose decades of mistreatment of the Palestinians have gone virtually unnoticed.
     
    Between 1949 and 1967, Egypt and Jordan ruled the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively. Not only did they fail to put these populations on the road to statehood, but they showed little interest in protecting their human rights or even in improving the quality of their life - which is one of the reasons that 120,000 West Bankers moved across to the East Bank of the Jordan and about 300,000 others emigrated abroad between 1949 and 1967.
     
    Nobody in the international community paid any more attention to this than they have more recently to the ongoing abuse of Palestinians across the Arab world from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, a country which was condemned in a June 2006 Amnesty International report for its "long-standing discrimination and abuses of fundamental economic and social rights of Palestinian refugees."
     
    Nor has there been any international outcry when Arab countries have massacred Palestinians on a grand scale. In 1970 King Hussein of Jordan ordered the indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian refugee camps in the course of putting down the Palestinian uprising during "Black September." This left between 3,000 and 5,000 Palestinian refugees dead. But the fact that Hussein killed more Palestinians in the course of a single month than Israel managed to do in decades was never held against him or dented the widely held perception of him as a man of peace. As the supposedly pro-Palestinian journalist Robert Fisk put it in his recent memoirs, King Hussein was "often difficult to fault."
     
    Again, more than two decades ago Abu Iyad, the number two man in the PLO, publicly stated that the crimes of the Syrian government against the Palestinian people "surpassed those of the Israeli enemy." While in the wake of the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Kuwaitis not only set about punishing the PLO for support of Saddam Hussein's brutal occupation by cutting off their financial support for Yasir Arafat's overblown and corrupt organization, but there was also a widespread slaughter of Palestinians living in Kuwait .
     
    This revenge against innocent Palestinian workers in the emirate was so severe that Arafat himself acknowledged: "What Kuwait did to the Palestinian people is worse than what has been done by Israel to Palestinians in the occupied territories." Yet there was no media coverage or specially convened UN meetings because it is only when they interact with Israel that the Palestinians win the world's attention.    
     
     
    Only Palestinian Interaction with Israel Wins World Attention
     
    In other words, the extraordinary international preoccupation with the Palestinians is a corollary of their interaction with Israel , the only Jewish state to exist since biblical times, a reflected glow of the millenarian obsession with the Jews in the Christian and the Muslim worlds. Had their dispute been with an Arab, Muslim, or any other adversary, it would have attracted a fraction of the interest that it presently does.
     
    On occasion, notably among devout and/or born again Evangelical Christians, this obsession has manifested itself in admiration and support for the national Jewish resurrection in the Holy Land. In most instances, however, anti-Jewish prejudice and animosity, or anti-Semitism as it is commonly known, has served rather to exacerbate distrust and hatred of Israel. Indeed, the fact that the international coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the libels against Zionism and Israel, such as the despicable comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, have invariably reflected a degree of intensity and emotional involvement well beyond the normal level to be expected of impartial observers would seem to suggest that, rather than being a response to concrete Israeli activities, it is a manifestation of longstanding prejudice that has been brought out into the open by the vicissitudes of the conflict.
     
    There is another side to the ledger. For millennia Jewish blood has been cheap, if not costless, throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds, where the Jew became the epitome of powerlessness, a perpetual punching bag and a scapegoat for whatever ills befell society. There is no reason, therefore, why Israel shouldn't follow in the footsteps of these past generations, avoid antagonizing its Arab neighbors and exercise restraint whenever attacked. But no, instead of knowing its place, the insolent Jewish state has forfeited this historic role by exacting a price for Jewish blood and beating the bullies who had hitherto been able to torment the Jews with impunity. This dramatic reversal of history cannot but be immoral and unacceptable. Hence the global community outrage and hence the world's media provision of unlimited resources to cover every minute of Israel's "disproportionate" response, but none of the devastation and dislocation caused to Israeli cities and their residents.
     
    Put differently, the Palestinians are but the latest lightning rod unleashed against the Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the millenarian demonization of the Jews in general, and the medieval blood libel - that Jews delight in the blood of others - in particular. In the words of David Mamet, "The world was told Jews used this blood in the performance of religious ceremonies. Now, it seems, Jews do not require the blood for baking purposes, they merely delight to spill it on the ground."
     
     
    Zionism Failed to Solve the "Jewish Problem"
     
    To make such an argument will no doubt be dismissed as "Zionist propaganda" by many opponents of Israel. But in fact this not only runs counter to the prevailing wisdom among Israeli academics and intellectuals, for whom such arguments are anathema, but it also challenges one of the most fundamental tenets of Zionism - that the creation of a Jewish state, where the Jewish diasporas would congregate and become normalized, would solve the "Jewish problem" and ameliorate, if not eliminate altogether, the phenomenon of anti-Semitism.
     
    What this line of thinking by the founding fathers of Zionism failed to consider, however, is that the prejudice and obsession that had hitherto been reserved for Jewish individuals and communities would be transferred to the Jewish state. As the poet Heinrich Heine, himself a convert from Judaism, once wrote, Judaism is "the family curse that lasts a thousand years" and no matter how much it has tried, Israel has never been able to escape this disturbing reality.
     
    A saddening thought indeed. But is there any other explanation as to why, sixty years after its establishment by an internationally recognized act of self-determination, Israel remains the only state in the world that is subjected to a constant outpouring of the most outlandish conspiracy theories and blood libels; whose policies and actions are obsessively condemned by the international community; and whose right to exist is constantly debated and challenged not only by its Arab enemies but by segments of advanced opinion in the West?

    *     *     *

    Professor Efraim Karsh is Head of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies at King's College, University of London , and a member of the Board of International Experts of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. His recent books include Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale University Press, 2007).
     
    This Jerusalem Issue Brief is available online at: http://www.jcpa.org

     


     

    THE SICK OBJECTIVE OF THE OLMERT GOVERNMENT
    By David Basch


    The prime objective of the Olmert government is to deliver an election
    victory to Kadima, which had been passive for years against Arab
    attacks from Gaza. It was goaded to action because Israelis were
    beginning to see that this government is more involved in destroying
    the conservative Israeli political challenge to its rule.

    What the Olmert government and the leftists wish to do is to discredit
    the conservative Jewish opposition by creating a new Arab state on
    Israel's territories as a fait accompli, forever proving that God's
    promises to Israel in the Bible will never, ever come true.  Olmert
    and the leftists believe that the resulting demoralization of the religious
    conservative sector, will leave the secular leftists as the only credible
    leadership of the country.

    This leftist goal -- being their highest priority -- has resulted in
    the motivated blindness of the leftists to the reality of an Arab
    enemy that does not ever wish to make peace with a viable Israel and
    will use every advantage gained by acquiring strategic Israeli
    territory to destroy Israel. The left cannot accept this reality since
    it exposes itself as incompetent to defend long term Israeli survival.
    Its incompetence is proven by its having brought back Arafat and his
    terrorist army as part of the disastrous Oslo process and in surrendering
    strategic Gaza.

    In the current action in Gaza, this government wants to
    create the image that it is truly involved in a competent way in
    protecting the country and thereby negate the image of its gross
    incompetence in having surrendered vital, strategic, Gaza territory,
    which situation has now come back to haunt the country. What the leftist
    leadership really wishes to do is to is drive Hamas from Arab
    leadership so that Gaza can be taken over by Fatah and then the
    leftists can proceed to surrender all the Israeli territories to Arabs whose
    only desire for a new state is to use it as a tool to replace all of Israel.

    Israel's people must be mindful of what this blind, obsessive, leftist
    government has been about and bring in a truly pro-Israel government
    that is capable of resisting the onslaughts of the Arabs and their
    allies in the West, including the appeasing US government that is willing
    to sacrifice Israeli security to win Arab hearts to Western interests
    -- a fool's errand as shown by the past record.

    And Israelis should not believe the dubious rumor that the leftist,
    surrender-artists of Israel were going to act against Iran's nuclear
    facilities but were prevented from doing so by the US. This is another
    ploy to fool Israelis about the wimpish nature of their government.
    I pray Israel's people will not fall for it.

    The only forward policy for Israel at the moment is, yes, to degrade
    the capabilities of Hamas but also to create a permanent, very wide,
    corridor that separates Gaza from its supply of weaponry from Egypt.
    That will make the many supply tunnels ineffective.

    Doing so is the only policy that will help Israel regain control over
    her southern border. It will reveal to the Arabs that Israel has no
    intention of destroying herself in favor of the illusion that a new
    Arab state that will not be anything more than a terrorist state on the
    model of what Gaza is today and what the Eastern territories were
    under Arafat and still are under Abbas.

    Any Israeli who thinks such an inevitably enemy Arab government
    set up side by side with Israel will bring peace is cutting his own throat
    and that of the future of Israel.

     


     

    Column One: History's tragic farce

    Jan. 23, 2009
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
    CAROLINE GLICK
     
    It is a fundamental truth that while history always repeats itself, it almost never repeats itself precisely. There is always a measure of newness to events that allows otherwise intelligent people to repeat the mistakes of their forebears without looking completely ridiculous.
    Given this, it is hard to believe that with the advent of the Obama administration, we are seeing history repeat itself with nearly unheard of exactness. US President Barack Obama's reported intention of appointing former Sen. George Mitchell as his envoy for the so-called Palestinian-Israeli peace process will provide us with a spectacle of an unvarnished repeat of history.
    In December 2000, outgoing president Bill Clinton appointed Mitchell to advise him on how to reignite the "peace process" after the Palestinians rejected statehood and launched their terror war against Israel in September 2000. Mitchell presented his findings to Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, in April 2001.
    Mitchell asserted that Israel and the Palestinians were equally to blame for the Palestinian terror war against Israelis. He recommended that Israel end all Jewish construction outside the 1949 armistice lines, and stop fighting Palestinian terrorists.
    As for the Palestinians, Mitchell said they had to make a "100 percent effort" to prevent the terror that they themselves were carrying out. This basic demand was nothing new. It formed the basis of the Clinton administration's nod-nod-wink-wink treatment of Palestinian terrorism since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994.
    By insisting that the PLO make a "100 percent effort," to quell the terror it was enabling, the Clinton administration gave the Palestinians built-in immunity from responsibility. Every time that his terrorists struck, Yasser Arafat claimed that their attacks had nothing to do with him. He was making a "100 percent effort" to stop the attacks, after all.
    After getting Arafat off the hook, the Clinton administration proceeded to blame Israel. If Israel had just given up more land, or forced Jews from their homes, or given the PLO more money, Arafat could have saved the lives of his victims.
    Mitchell's plan, although supported by then-secretary of state Colin Powell, was never adopted by Bush because at the time, terrorists were massacring Israelis every day. It would have been politically unwise for Bush to accept a plan that asserted moral equivalence between Israel and the PLO when rescue workers were scraping the body parts of Israeli children off the walls of bombed out pizzerias and bar mitzva parties.
    But while his eponymous plan was rejected, its substance, which was based on the Clinton Plan, formed the basis of the Tenet Plan, the road map plan and the Annapolis Plan. And now, Mitchell is about to return to Israel, at the start of yet another presidential administration to offer us his plan again.
    MITCHELL, OF COURSE, is not the only one repeating the past. His boss, Barack Obama, is about to repeat the failures his immediate predecessors. Like Clinton and Bush, Obama is making the establishment of a Palestinian state the centerpiece of his foreign policy agenda.
    Obama made this clear his first hour on the job. On Wednesday at 8 a.m., Obama made his first phone call to a foreign leader. He called PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. During their conversation, Obama pledged his commitment to Palestinian statehood.
    Fatah wasted no time responding to Obama's extraordinary gesture. On Wednesday afternoon Abbas convened the PLO's Executive Committee in Ramallah and the body announced that future negotiations with Israel will have to be based on new preconditions. As far as the PLO is concerned, with Obama firmly in its corner, it can force Israel to its knees.
    And so, the PLO is now uninterested in the agreements it reached with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. For Israel to enjoy the privilege of negotiating with the PLO, it must first announce its willingness to expel all the 500,000 or so Israeli Jews who live in Judea, Samaria and the neighborhoods in east, south and north Jerusalem built since 1967, as well as in the Old City, and then hand the areas over, lock, stock and barrel, to the PLO.
    This new PLO "plan" itself is nothing new. It is simply a restatement of the Arab "peace plan," which is just a renamed Saudi "peace plan," which was just a renamed Tom Friedman column in The New York Times. And the Friedman plan is one that no Israeli leader in his right mind can accept. So by making this their precondition for negotiations, the PLO is doing what it did in 2000. It is rejecting statehood in favor of continued war with Israel.
    What is most remarkable about the new administration's embrace of its predecessors' failed policy is how uncontroversial this policy is in Washington. It is hard to come up with another example of a policy that has failed so often and so violently that has enjoyed the support of both American political parties. Indeed, it is hard to think of a successful policy that ever enjoyed such broad support.
    Apparently, no one in positions of power in Washington has stopped to consider why it is that in spite of the fervent backing of presidents Clinton and Bush, there is still no Palestinian state.
    SINCE ISRAEL recognized the PLO as the "sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" in 1993, the US and Israel have based their plans for peace on their assumption that the PLO is interested in making peace. And they have based their plans for making peace by establishing a Palestinian state on the assumption that the Palestinians are interested in statehood. Yet over the past 15 years it has become abundantly clear that neither of these assumptions is correct.
    In spite of massive political, economic and military support by the US, Israel and Europe, the PLO has never made any significant moves to foster peaceful relations between Israel and the Palestinians. Not only did the PLO-led PA spend the six years between 1994 and 2000, in which it was supposedly making peace with Israel, indoctrinating Palestinian society to hate Jews and seek their destruction through jihadist-inspired terrorism. It also cultivated close relations with Iran and other rogue regimes and terror groups.
    Many are quick to claim that these misbehaviors were simply a consequence of Arafat's personal radicalism. Under Abbas, it is argued, the PLO is much more moderate. But this assertion strains credulity. As The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh reported on Monday, Fatah forces today boast that their terror cells in Gaza took active part in Hamas's missile offensive against Israel. Fatah's Aksa Martyrs terror cells claim that during Operation Cast Lead, its terrorists shot 137 rockets and mortar shells at Israel.
    Abbas's supporters in the US and Israel claim that these Fatah members acted as they did because they are living under Hamas rule. They would be far more moderate if they were under Fatah rule. But this, too, doesn't ring true.
    From 2000 through June 2007, when Hamas ousted Fatah forces from Gaza, most of the weapons smuggling operations in Gaza were carried out by Fatah. Then, too, most of the rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel were fired by Fatah forces. Likewise, most of the suicide bombers deployed from Judea and Samaria were members of Fatah.
    The likes of Madeleine Albright, Powell and Condoleezza Rice claimed that Fatah's collusion with Hamas and Islamic Jihad and its leading role in terror was a consequence of insufficient Israeli support for Arafat and later for Abbas. If Israel had kicked out the Jews of Gaza earlier, or if it had removed its roadblocks and expelled Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria, or if had prevented all Jewish construction beyond the 1949 armistice lines, then Arafat and later Abbas would have been more popular and able to rein in their own terror forces. (Incidentally, those same forces receive their salaries from the PA, which itself is funded by the US and Israel.)
    THE PROBLEM with this line of thinking is that it ignores two essential facts. First, since 2000 Israel has curtailed Jewish building in Judea and Samaria. Second, Israel kicked every last Jew out of Gaza and handed the ruins of their villages and farms over to Fatah in September 2005.
    It is worth noting that the conditions under which the PA received Gaza in 2005 were far better than the conditions under which Israel gained its sovereignty in 1948. The Palestinians were showered with billions of dollars in international aid. No one wanted to do anything but help them make a go of it.
    In 1948-49, Israel had to secure its sovereignty by fending off five invading armies while under an international arms embargo. It then had to absorb a million refugees from Arab countries and Holocaust survivors from Europe, with no financial assistance from anyone other than US Jews. Israel developed into an open democracy. Gaza became one of the largest terror bases in the world.
    Four months after Israel handed over Gaza - and northern Samaria - the Palestinians turned their backs on statehood altogether when they elected Hamas - an explicitly anti-nationalist, pan-Islamic movement that rejects Palestinians statehood - to lead them.
    Hamas's electoral victory, its subsequent ouster of Fatah forces from Gaza and its recent war with Israel tells us another fundamental truth about the sources of the repeated failure of the US's bid for Palestinian statehood. Quite simply, there is no real Palestinian constituency for it.
    Even if we were to ignore all of the PLO's involvement in terrorism and assume like Obama, Bush and Clinton that the PLO is willing to live at peace with Israel in exchange for Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, what Hamas's control of Gaza and its popularity throughout the Palestinian areas show is that there is no reason to expect that the PLO will remain in control of territory that Israel transfers to its control. So if Israel were to abide by the PLO's latest demand and accept the Friedman/Saudi/Arab/PLO "peace plan," there is no reason to believe that a Jew-free Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem wouldn't then be taken over by Hamas.
    Given that there is no chance that Israeli territorial giveaways will lead to a peaceful Palestinian state, the question arises, is there any way to compel American politicians to give up their fantasies of fancy signing ceremonies in the White House Rose Garden that far from bringing peace, engender radicalism, instability and death?
    As far as Mitchell is concerned the answer is no. In an address at Tel Aviv University last month, Mitchell said that the US and Israel must cling to the delusion that Palestinian statehood will bring about a new utopia, "for the alternative is unacceptable and should be unthinkable."
    So much for "change" in US foreign policy.
    caroline@carolineglick.com

     


     

    Our World: 'Pictures of Victory'

    Jan. 19, 2009
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST

    On Sunday, Israelis were witness to a cavalcade of European leaders marching to Jerusalem to have their pictures taken with outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi came to Jerusalem from Sharm e-Sheikh, where they had their pictures taken with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In both cities, they expressed their support for Israel's decision to stop fighting the Iranian-armed, financed and trained Hamas terror regime in Gaza.

    Olmert greeted the Europeans leaders as great friends of Israel and claimed that their presence demonstrated that Israel's operation against Hamas enjoyed massive international support. Unfortunately, Olmert's statements were wrong on both counts. The leaders who came to Jerusalem are not friends of Israel and their presence in our capital did not demonstrate that Operation Cast Lead enjoyed international backing.

    While sufficing with paying the most minimal lip service to Israel's inherent right to defend itself, the leaders who came to Jerusalem have been outspoken in their criticism of Israel's actual efforts to defend its citizens from Hamas aggression. None have publicly recognized that Israel has a duty to its citizens to defeat Hamas. To the contrary, all have claimed that there "is no military solution" to Israel's military conflict with Hamas.

    And while these leaders have repeated vacuous bromides about the "tragedy of both sides," their voters have been much less circumspect in telling the Jews what think of us. Over the past three weeks, all of their countries, and indeed, all the countries in Western Europe have hosted large-scale, violent, anti-Semitic demonstrations and riots. And rather than condemn the anti-Jewish violence and incitement at these events, the Europeans leaders who came to Jerusalem have either sought to appease the anti-Semites or ignore them. German authorities for instance permitted Hamas supporters to wave Hamas flags at their hateful "peace demonstrations" while barring Israel supporters from holding Israeli flags or even displaying them in their windows.

    In France, Sarkozy has equated his victimized Jewish community with the French Muslims who have been attacking them by claiming that his government "will not tolerate international tensions mutating into intercommunity violence." Given their refusal to support Israel in its fight against Hamas and their publics' growing hatred of Israel and the Jews, what made these Europeans leaders come to Jerusalem? As Gordon Brown and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner made clear in their remarks in Jerusalem, they came here to advance a hostile agenda. They want Israel to acquiesce to Hamas's demand to open its borders with Gaza and to support the opening of Egypt's border crossing with Gaza. They also intend to start giving Hamas hundreds of millions of dollars in "humanitarian aid" to rebuild Gaza.

    If Europe gets its way, any gains that Israel made in Operation Cast Lead will quickly be erased. So the question then arises, why did Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak agree to have them come to Jerusalem? The short answer to this question is that Olmert, Livni and Barak view the European leaders as stage props. As they explained repeatedly since the outset of Operation Cast Lead, Israel's leaders sought to end the campaign with a "picture of victory." A group photo with Olmert, Sarkozy, Brown, Merkel, Zapatero and Berlusconi was the picture that they felt they needed. The fact that the picture came with demands that Israel cannot agree to without squandering its hard-earned gains in Gaza, is beside the point.

    WHICH BRINGS us to the main point. What the parade of hostile foreigners in Jerusalem demonstrated clearly is that while the campaign in Gaza was touted by our leaders as a way to "change the security reality in the South," for our leaders, its most important goal was to change the electoral reality ahead of the February 10 general elections. Indeed, for them, the operation would have more appropriately been named "Operation Cast Ballots." Olmert, Livni and Barak claimed that by signing a memorandum of understanding with outgoing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and due to Egyptian good will, Israel succeeded in building an international framework to prevent Hamas from rearming. But the MOU sets out no mechanism whatsoever for interdicting weapons shipments to Gaza on the high seas. And Egypt for its part has refused to agree to take any concerted action to prevent the weapons shipments from docking in its ports and transiting its territory en route to Gaza.

    The other operational goal that Livni, Olmert and Barak set for the campaign was to restore Israel's deterrence and so convince Hamas to stop firing its missiles on southern Israel. But, as Hamas's continued firing of missiles at southern Israel after Olmert declared the cease-fire on Saturday night showed, Israel failed to deter Hamas.

    But while they failed to accomplish either of Operation Cast Lead's operational goals, they did accomplish - at least for now - their main strategic goal. They succeeded in not losing.

    By waging Operation Cast Lead, Olmert, Livni and Barak hoped to turn the absence of military defeat into the building blocks of political triumph. The operation was supposed to secure their political futures in three ways. First, it was supposed to change the subject of the electoral campaign.
    As Olmert looks ahead to retirement, and as Livni and Barak vie with Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu to replace him, all three politicians wanted the elections to be about something other than their failures to defeat Hizbullah, their failure to defend the South from Hamas's growing arsenal, and their failure to contend with Iran's nuclear weapons program. This goal was accomplished by Operation Cast Lead, Their second goal - and perhaps Olmert's primary objective - was to erase the public's memory of Israel's strategic failure in the Second Lebanon War. This goal was partially achieved. The IDF performed with greater competence in Gaza than in Lebanon. And Israel achieved its aim of not being defeated in Gaza. As a result, the nation feels much more confident about the IDF's ability to defend the country.

    THE MAIN difference between how Operation Cast Lead has ended and how the Second Lebanon War ended has little to do with how the IDF performed. The most important difference is Israel has not agreed to have an international force stationed in Gaza as it accepted (and in Livni's case, championed) the deployment of UNIFIL forced in South Lebanon. Since Hizbullah has used UNIFIL as a screen behind which it has rearmed and reasserted its military control over South Lebanon, the absence of such a force in Gaza is a net gain for Israel.

    But again, if Israel permits Europe and the UN to flood Gaza with aid money - which will all go directly to Hamas - it will be enabling a new mechanism to be formed that will shield Hamas from the IDF and enable it to rebuild its arsenals and strengthen its control over Gaza.

    This prospect is made all the more dangerous by the fact that Israel ended the campaign without taking control over the Gaza-Egypt border. By leaving the border zone under Hamas control, Israel left the path clear for Iran to resupply Hizbullah's armed forces with missiles and rockets. As Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin explained on Sunday, under the present circumstances, Hamas can be expected to rebuild its arsenals in as little as three months.

    THE THIRD political aim that Olmert, Livni and Barak sought to achieve in waging Operation Cast Lead was to convince the Israeli public that their worldview is correct. That worldview asserts that the world is divided between the extremist Islamic fundamentalists and the moderates. They claim that the latter group includes Arab dictatorships like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and democracies like Turkey, the EU, and Israel. The Kadima-Labor worldview also asserts that by surrendering territory to the Arabs, Israel will receive international legitimacy for any acts of self-defense it is forced to take in the event it is attacked from the territories it vacated.

    Although the local media, with their sycophantic celebration of Mubarak and support for Israeli withdrawals have supported this view, it is far from clear that the public has been convinced of its wisdom. Between Turkey's open support for Hamas and vilification of Israel, Egypt's abject refusal to take any concrete action to end weapons smuggling to Gaza, and Fatah's fecklessness and hostility, Israelis have been given ample proof this month that the moderate camp is a fiction.

    Moreover, the massive anti-Semitic riots in Europe and the US, and last week's anti-Israeli UN Security Council Resolution 1860 which the US refused to veto have made quite clear that Israel's withdrawals have brought it no sympathy whatsoever from the "moderate" camp.

    Just as the goal of not losing did not bring Israel victory over Hamas, so too, Livni, Olmert and Barak's bid to use the operation to increase their political cache does not seem to have succeeded. Opinion polls taken in the aftermath of Olmert's announcement of the cease-fire on Saturday night showed that Likud has maintained, and even expanded, its lead against Kadima and Labor.

    IN SPITE of its obvious limitations, Israelis can be pleased with the results of Operation Cast Lead on two counts. Although Hamas was not defeated, remains in full control of Gaza and has the ability to rebuild its forces, it was harmed. The IDF's operation did knock out its central installations, reduce its capacity to fight and killed some of its key leaders.

    The second reason that Israelis can be pleased with the outcome is that it could have been much worse. The fact of the matter is that Operation Cast Lead was the most successful operation that Kadima and Labor are capable of leading.

    With their capitulationist world view, they cannot bring Israel victory over our enemies. The most they can deliver is an absence of defeat. And so long as Israel doesn't allow Europe and the UN to begin transferring hundreds of millions of dollars to Hamas, we will remain undefeated by Hamas.
    Looking ahead to the challenges Israel's next government will face, Operation Cast Lead gave Israel between three to six months of security in the south before Hamas will be able to renew its missile offensive. It is during that time that the next government will need to contend with Israel's two greatest challenges - preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and preventing the new Obama administration from undermining Israel's strategic position by selling out Israel's security to buy "pictures of victory" of its own with Iran and Syria.
    www.CarolineGlick.com

     

     


     

     

     

     

    The Missing Zionism of the Likud Party
     
    Prof. Paul Eidelberg
     
    It has been said that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, turned his back on his Likud party’s Zionist principles when he by adopted Labor’s disengagement from Gaza policy in December 2003.  True, he stole the votes of those who supported Likud in the January 2003 election, but what does the Likud know of Zionism?        
     
    Zion is one of the most sacred words in the dictionary of authentic Judaism.  It is the dwelling place of God's glory.  It is the Sanctuary of the Torah, the Holy City which surrounds it, the Holy Land of which Jerusalem is the eternal capital.  From Zion , from Jerusalem , the word of God—the Truth—shall come forth.  The people chosen to possess this Land were chosen to serve God, to live by His commandments, that is, to reveal the infinite wisdom, power, and graciousness of God in every domain of existence and thus be a blessing to all the families of mankind.
     
    Would anyone dare say the program of the Likud Party comes anywhere close to this understanding of Zion ?  The idea Zion, more precisely, the idea of a Torah Commonwealth, was never on the Likud’s agenda—not on Menachem Begin’s nor on that of his mentor, Ze’ev Jabotinsky.  Their Zionism was, at most, cultural Zionism.  But as Leo Strauss has pointed out, the Jewish heritage is not a culture—a product of a national mind.  The Jewish heritage presents itself, not as the product of the human mind, but as a divine gift, as divine revelation.  It completely distorts the meaning of the Jewish heritage to which one claims to be loyal by interpreting it as a culture like any other high culture.
     
    The Zionism of the Likud was based on European nationalism.  It reduced Judaism to a religion, a matter of individual not of national well-being and happiness.  The frame of reference in which such terms as “religion” and “nation” appear is derived from the history of the Western world—which is foreign to Judaism.  The term “Jewish” is neither a religious nor a national concept.  “Our people,” said the tenth-century sage Saadia Gaon, “is a people only through the Torah.”  Judaism is a nation-creating religion, and Israel is a people created by this kind of religion.
     
    Eliezer Berkovits writes that religions, as rule, do not make nations. Nations and peoples are biological, racial, political units.  They may accept a religion, but the religion they accept is accidental to the national group.  Christianity, for example, created no people, and neither did Islam. They were imposed on pre-existing peoples.
     
    An Englishman may accept Hinduism in London , but this does not make him Indian.  But if he accepts Judaism and practices it, he will not only become an adherent of a religion; he will will also belong to the Jewish people and thus become a member of the Jewish people’s Covenant with God. 
               
    This Covenant is not merely between the individual and God—as may be the case in other religions.  Judaism is a national covenant with God.  This is what makes Judaism and the Jewish people unique—and this was never part of the Likud ideology.   The Likud separated Zion and the Land of Israel from the Torah, which is why the Jews are losing both.
    The Likud has a galut or exilic mentality. Jews were more faithful to the Bible in the Ghetto than they are in Israel !  Why?  Because in the Ghetto Judaism was a living, practical faith which shaped the economic and social life of the entire Ghetto community. Max Nordau regarded the Ghetto Jew as more proud and independent than the “enlightened” and assimilated Jew. 
     
    However, as the Ghetto walls fell, Judaism became a religion relegated to the home and the synagogue.  This truncated Judaism prevails in Israel .  Judaism is supposed to be an all-embracing way of life.  Judaism in Israel does not walk through the marketplace or the shopping malls.  It does not permeate the deliberations and policies or even the structure of Israel ’s government.  It has ceased to be the teacher of mankind and a creator of history.  No wonder Israel limps along without any clear purpose or sense of identity—and no Likud leader addresses this dilemma, this malaise. 
     
    Secular Jews are lost in modernity, and so are religious Jews, who have yet to endow modernity with Jewish meaning.   Recall the first prophecy:  YafetYavan, meaning Greek philosophy—shall dwell in the tents of Shem.  Yeshivas in Israel , despite all the good they do, might as well be in Borough Park : they do not train students in statecraft!  Jews must be faithful to the Bible without rejecting secular wisdom and the blessings of modernity.
     
    We need a Judaism that transcends the black hole of politics.  We need a new kind of Jewish leader, a person learned not only in the Torah but in rigorous science.  
     
    Israel , in its essence, synthesizes universalism and particularism: it is the one nation created to relate God’s infinite power, wisdom, and graciousness in every domain of existence.  Only a nation dedicated to God can inspire and elevate mankind.  This must be taught to every child, in every classroom, so that Zion , the word of God—the Truth—shall come forth again in all its glory from Jerusalem . 
     

     

     

     


     

    Our World: Defending freedom's defenders

    Jan. 26, 2009
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST

     

    CAROLINE GLICK
    Last week, the IDF issued an unprecedented directive. All Israeli media outlets must obscure the faces of soldiers and commanders who fought in Operation Cast Lead. Henceforth, the identities of all IDF soldiers and officers who participated in the operation against the Hamas terror regime in Gaza are classified information.
     
    The IDF acted as it did in an effort to protect Israeli soldiers and officers from possible prosecutions for alleged war crimes in Europe. The
    army's chief concern is England. In England, private citizens are allowed to file complaints against foreigners whom they claim committed war crimes.
    Based on these complaints, British courts can issue arrest warrants against such foreigners if they are found on British territory and force them to stand trial. Over the past few years, a number of active duty and retired IDF senior officers were forced to cancel visits to Britain after such complaints were filed against them in sympathetic local courts.
     
    Following the IDF's move, on Sunday the government announced that Israel will provide legal assistance to any IDF veteran prosecuted abroad for actions he performed during his service in Gaza. The legal assistance will include representation, investigation of the allegations made against veterans, attempts to have the charges against them dismissed and defense at trials.
     
    Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who brought the decision before the full cabinet, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and their colleagues all asserted that by committing the state to defending its warriors, they were fulfilling their sacred duty to protect Israel's protectors.
    Unfortunately, both the cabinet decision itself and our leaders' statements missed the point.
     
    LAST WEDNESDAY, an appellate court in Amsterdam ruled that the Dutch lawmaker and leader of the anti-jihadist Dutch Freedom Party Geert Wilders must stand trial for the alleged "crime" of inciting hatred against Muslims with his short film "Fitna," released last year.
     
    In "Fitna," Wilders juxtaposes verses from the Koran with Islamic terror attacks, mosque sermons inciting believers to murder non-Muslims, and proclamations by Islamic clerics that Muslims must kill all the Jews, conquer the world and subjugate non-believers.
     
    The second half of the 15-minute film is devoted to Holland. It highlights the massive immigration of Muslims to the country over the past 15 years, and calls by Islamic leaders in Holland to kill homosexuals, subjugate women, stone adulteresses, and take over the country. "Fitna" ends with a call for Muslims to expunge Koranic verses commanding them to conduct jihad from their belief system, and with a call for Dutchmen to defend their country, their culture and their civilization from the rising current of Islam in Europe.
    All the material presented in "Fitna" is accurate. And it is also explosive. But it is hard to see how it could be illegal. By presenting the material in the way that he does, Wilders is not demonizing Muslims, he is challenging - indeed he is practically begging - his countrymen to engage in a debate about whether or not his dim assessment of Islam is correct.
     
    Wilders has been living under 24-hour police protection since a Dutch jihadist murdered filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in 2004. Van Gogh was murdered after he released his short film "Submission," which described the misogyny of the Islamic world and the systematic terrorization of women in Islamic societies. Since then numerous Muslim clerics have issued religious judgments, or fatwas, calling for Wilders to be murdered.
     
    Last month Wilders visited Israel and was the keynote speaker at a counter-jihad conference at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem sponsored by MK Dr. Aryeh Eldad. Speaking to a standing-room only crowd, and under heavy guard, Wilders argued that Israel is a frontline state in the global jihad. The war against Israel, he claimed has nothing to do with territory, and everything to do with ideology. Israel, as the forward outpost of Western civilization in the Islamic world, stands in the way of Islamic expansion. Consequently, he claimed, when Israel defends itself by fighting its enemies, it is also protecting Europe and the rest of the free world.
    As he put it, "Thanks to Israeli parents who see their children go off to join the army and lie awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and have pleasant dreams, unaware of the dangers looming."
     
    Unfortunately, the Dutch court's decision to prosecute Wilders for calling attention to the threat of jihad in Europe demonstrates that the Europeans aren't particularly grateful to their defenders. Indeed, they despise them. Films like "Fitna," and Israel's use of its military to defend its citizens from Islamic supremacists, serve to remind them of the growing threat they desperately seek to ignore. Consequently, Europeans embrace every opportunity to blame any messenger.
     
    THE RIPPLE effects of Wilders' indictment were immediately evident. In England, the British Muslim community mobilized to prevent his film from being screened in public. "Fitna" was scheduled to be shown at the House of Lords on January 29. But last Friday, with the threat of mass Muslim riots hanging thickly in the air, the House of Lords announced that it was cancelling the event.
    British Lord Nazir Ahmed called the decision to prevent the thought-provoking, factually accurate film from being shown, "a victory for the Muslim community."
     
    WILDERS' INDICTMENT is a textbook example of blaming the victim. Wilders has been forced to live a miserable life for the past four years. He has no home. Security forces move him from place to place every single day. Since Van Gogh's murder, Wilders' entire life has become one long attempt to dodge the bullet permanently pointed at his head by radicalized Muslims in Holland and throughout the world. These would-be killers wish to see him dead not to avenge any violence Wilders committed, but rather, they believe he must die for doing nothing more than talking about Islam and how he interprets its message and meaning.
     
    Needless to say, the Dutch Muslims Wilders caught on tape in Fitna calling for an overthrow of the Dutch constitutional order and threatening homosexuals have not been arrested for inciting hatred. Likewise, Lord Ahmed, who blocked "Fitna's" screening in the British Parliament was made a British peer after supporting the late Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 death sentence against British novelist Salman Rushdie.
     
    AND THAT'S the thing of it. Increasingly, throughout Europe, those who point out the dangers of radical Islam are hounded - first by Muslims - and then by legal authorities. In contrast, those who seek to intimidate and physically silence them are embraced by the states of Europe as legitimate leaders of their Muslim communities.
     
    This dismal state of affairs, where jihadists are supported and their victims are oppressed, is true not only of people like Wilders who actively fight radical Islam's encroachment on European freedom. It is also the case for people who are victimized solely on the basis of their ethnic identity.
    At the same time Wilders and people like him are forced into hiding, Jews throughout Europe find themselves assaulted and under siege not because of anything they have done, but because they are Jews.
     
    Incidents of anti-Semitic violence in Europe reached post-Holocaust record highs over the past month. Jewish children have been violently attacked in France, barred from schools in Denmark, and harassed in England, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland and Germany just for being Jews.
    In Britain, Muslims have now taken to entering into Jewish-owned businesses and kosher restaurants to threaten the owners and patrons - just because they are Jewish. Synagogues have been firebombed and defaced. Calls have been issued in the US Muslim community on the Internet for Muslims in America to similarly intimidate Jews by entering into synagogues during prayer services and condemn worshippers for supporting Israel.
    Jewish men have been brutalized by Muslim gangs in Britain and viciously stabbed in France, just because they are Jewish. In Sweden, pro-Israel demonstrators were attacked with stones by Muslims this week. Even in the US, anti-Semitic violence and intimidation has reached levels never seen before. And in almost all cases of anti-Semitic violence throughout what is commonly referred to as the free world, the perpetrators of the violence and intimidation are Muslims. They attack with the full backing of non-Muslim multiculturalists as well as neo-Nazis. The two groups, which are usually assumed to be at loggerheads, apparently have no problem onverging on the issue of hating Jews.
     
    And in almost all cases of anti-Semitic violence, the Islamic identity of the attackers has been de-emphasized or obscured by the media and by politicians, or used as justification for their crimes. In France, for instance, from the way government officials talk it, would be reasonable to assume that a dozen Muslim teenagers were provoked to viciously beat a ten-year-old Jewish girl by the IDF's operation against Hamas in Gaza.
     
    HERE THEN, we arrive at the point that the cabinet missed on Sunday when it passed its decision to commit the government to providing legal assistance to any IDF veteran who runs afoul of European legal authorities during vacations in London and Brussels and Oslo and Stockholm. The point that was missed is that in the event that IDF veterans are charged with war crimes, even the best attorneys will be of little use. These veterans will not be defendants at legitimate trials. They will be the victims of politically motivated show-trials.
     
    In an interview with *Ha'aretz* on Friday, Wilders claimed rightly that the Dutch court's decision to prosecute him was not a legal decision but a political one. And if he is convicted, his conviction won't be based on evidence. It will be based on the desire of the Dutch multiculturalists to make an example of him to appease the radical Muslims who seek his death, and intimidate any would-be disciples into keeping their mouths shut.
    So too, if IDF veterans are indicted for war crimes, they won't be prosecuted based on facts. They will be persecuted to advance the prosecutors' and judges' goal of appeasing their homegrown radical Muslims who seek the destruction of Israel and who violently attack anyone perceived as supporting Israel.
     
    Given this bleak reality, the steps that Israel must take to defend its citizens are not legal but diplomatic. Israel should announce travel advisories against all states that enable the conduct of show trials against its citizens. And it should threaten to cut off diplomatic ties with any country that seeks to persecute Israeli soldiers. Only by recognizing and pointing out what is really going on will Israel have any chance of protecting those who defend our freedom from Europeans who have decided to surrender to Islamic intimidation rather than protect their own liberty.
     

     


     

    Activist Wants Joseph's Tomb Rebuilt
    By: Sergey Kadinsky
    THE JEWISH PRESS (NY)
    January 28 2009
     
    "It's nice to get some good news from Israel," said Barry Freedman, executive director of Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI), which was hosting Shomron Regional Council spokesman David Ha'Ivri, who came to New York to provide an update on the rebuilding efforts at Joseph's Tomb.
    In October 2000, shortly after the Second Itafada erupted, Joseph's Tomb was destroyed. Since then, local Jewish leaders have made efforts to restore access to the tomb, and promote its rebuilding.
     
    The momentum for rebuilding took off in November 2007, when Gershon Mesika was elected mayor of the Shomron Regional Council, which represents some 40 Jewish communities in Samaria or northern West Bank. Seeking to improve the image of the settler community, Mesika appointed Ha'Ivri to lead its Liaison Office. "We created the Liaison Office to open up the Shomron to the world," said Ha'Ivri. "Conflict is only a small part of our life. We have organic farming, and we're building kindergartens"
    Mesika also vowed to use his position to rebuild Joseph's Tomb, which is a short drive from his home in Elon Moreh. Under Mesika's leadership, the Regional Council and the IDF agreed to allow buses to visit the tomb every month at night, under tight security. Concrete was poured for a new tombstone, and Chanukah candles were lit for two of the nights.
     
    During presentations to audiences, Ha'Ivri shows a 10-minute documentary, "Kever Yosef - Rising From the Ashes," which describes the history, significance, and present condition of the tomb. Among those quoted in the film is New York Times Middle East reporter Isabel Kershner who expresses surprise at the diversity of worshippers at the tomb.
     
    While many local Muslims dismiss any notion of the tomb's holiness, another local religious group shares the Jewish viewpoint. "We have full cooperation with the Shomronim," said Ha'Ivri, referring to the Samaritans, an ancient Shechem-based sect. "They preserved Kever Yosef when there were no Jews [living] there. They view themselves as the children of Yosef." Ha'Ivri recently met with Samaritan leader Ovadia Cohen to discuss joint tourism projects.
     
    In the meantime, while access to Joseph's Tomb still remains limited to a monthly list of bus passengers, Ha'Ivri promotes a new park built in the town of Har Bracha, which overlooks Nablus, the Arab city built atop ancient Shechem, "Mitzpeh Yosef - Joseph's Overlook." "Kever Yosef is only 300 yards below," said Ha'Ivri.
     
    Until a permanent Jewish presence can be restored to the site, Ha'Ivri sees Mitzpeh Yosef as similar to kibbutz Ramat Rahel, from where Jewish pilgrims gazed at Rachel's Tomb before it was liberated by Israel in 1967.
    When an audience member at a recent lecture questioned whether the Regional Council's efforts were bearing fruit, Ha'Ivri noted that 25 Knesset members of various parties agreed that the current condition of the tomb is intolerable. "We're running a serious campaign for public opinion in Israel."

     


     

    Red Line, Green Line

    Kislev 19, 5769, 16 December 08 12:40
    by David Ha'ivri
     
     
    David Ha'ivri heads The Shomron International Liaison Office. He deals with foreign press, tours, partnerships and philanthropy for the development of the Jewish communities in the Shomron. He is a strategic advisor to Mayor Gershon Mesika. He and his wife Mollie live in Kfar Tapuach with their eight children.
     
    (IsraelNN.com) Buckle up your seat belts and hold on to your chairs - the Israeli political arena is once again a roller coaster in motion, causing confusion, bewilderment and, sometimes, nausea.
     
    Remember the late, great Rabbi Meir Kahane, H.y.d., who was banned and banished from the Knesset 20 years ago on the eve of the 1988 elections, when polls showed his Kach party taking in 10% of the national vote? The rabbi was branded a racist for proposing government sponsored emigration of "Israel's Arabs". As explained in his book They Must Go, the motive is not hate for Arabs, but rather preserving the future of the Jewish State. Israeli democracy, he stated, is threatened by the high birthrate of the Israeli Arabs who have their own national aspirations.
     
    Over the years, other politicians have tried to jump onto the "transfer" and "emigration" bandwagon and pick up some of the public support that Rabbi Kahane had enjoyed, but none came close to matching his popularity. Their lack of success may be attributed to several factors. First of all, their calls for transfer were viewed as political opportunism, lacking the same sincerity and consistency that the rabbi had. In addition, they watered down the message, referring only to the transfer (a mealy-mouth word in its own right) of Arabs from the liberated lands of 1967 and not from Israel proper. Many failed to create a groundswell of support because they simply lacked the charisma that the rabbi had.
     
    And now Tzipi Livni has hopped aboard the bandwagon, too. She is calling upon Israeli Arabs (or in her own words, "Palestinian residents of Israel, those whom we call Israeli Arabs") to prepare themselves to move to "the Palestinian state once such a state is established" [sic]. She, too, sees the problem in maintaining both a Jewish and democratic state of Israel, so she proposes the establishment of two separate nation-states.
     
    Livni, who heads the left-wing Kadima party, is attempting to gain national support for its failed "disengagement program," which saw Jews robbed of their homes and livelihood in order to live out the twisted dreams of the Left. Now Livni is proposing something new and exciting: let's do a re-run of the "disengagement," this time in Judea and Samaria. The plan is to again force Jews out of their homes and destroy their communities, institutions and businesses. But this time there is stage two: in order to alleviate ourselves of the "Palestinian residents of Israel," we will encourage them to relocate to their own country, in "cleansed" Judea and Samaria.
     
    How does Livni suddenly justify transfer? Her explanation is that no matter how important Israeli democracy may be, there must be a "red line" - and that red line is the Israeli Arab demographic threat. Livni is much bolder than her counterparts on the Right, whose calls for transfer were usually limited to the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, and not the Arab citizens of Israel within the 1967 Green Line.
     
    I must say, "Bravo!" Were I to make the same statement about moving out the Arabs, I would probably be indicted and convicted for incitement to racism - as I already have been. But with Israel's "democratic equality," the Left can talk about transfer and it is considered a legitimate, and even a "humane," solution.
     
    At the very least, all these wise men (and women) of Chelm should come out and vindicate Rabbi Kahane and beg his forgiveness for the injustice that they inflicted upon him. From Left to Right, they all realize that he was right. The Israeli Arabs are not proud to be Israeli citizens. They do not look up to the blue and white flag flying overhead and say, with a tear in their eye, "If only my zeydie would have lived to see this." They are Palestinian (whatever that is) nationals just the same as their kin on the other side of the Green Line. The only difference between them is the 19 years it took the IDF to liberate the land that the latter live on. Ask any Arab-Israeli student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he is not ashamed to admit where his loyalties lie.
     
    The Israeli government has already legitimized ethnic cleansing by implementing it on the Jews of Gush Katif and Northren Samaria. Now that it has finally grasped that it is the Israeli Arabs who endanger the future of the state, all that is needed is to start implementing the pinui-petzui law on the Arabs of Um El-Fahm, the Galilee and the Negev.
     
    I agree with Livni when she says there is a need to transfer the Israeli Arabs to their own countries. But she is referring to Judea and Samaria, which is historically, Biblically and legally the heritage and birthright of the Jewish people. Livni says that she has red lines in regard to preserving the integrity of the State of Israel. The problem is that her red line only barely passes the Green Line over which she proposes moving the Israeli Arabs. Tzipi from Kadima, you are indeed moving forward. Now just move that red line of yours to the Jordan River and you'll have my vote, too.

     


     

    Honest Obama and Iran

    By Caroline B. Glick
     
     
     

    In his first week and a half in office, US President Barack Obama has proven that he is a man of his word. For instance, he was not bluffing during his campaign when he said that he would make reconstituting America's relations with the Islamic world one of his first priorities in office.
     
    Obama's first phone call to a foreign leader was to PLO chieftain Mahmoud Abbas last Wednesday morning. And this past Tuesday, Obama gave his first television interview as president to al-Arabiya pan-Arabic television network.
     
    In that interview Obama explained the rationale of his approach to the Muslim world. "We are looking at the region as a whole and communicating a message to the Arab world and the Muslim world, that we are ready to initiate a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest," the new president said.
     
    Obama distanced his administration from its predecessor by asserting that rather than dictate how Muslims should behave, his administration plans, "to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there's a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs."
     
    In short, Obama argues that the root of Islamic world's opposition to the US is its shattered confidence in America's intentions. By following a policy of contrition for Bush's "cowboy diplomacy," and acting with deference in its dealing with the Muslim world, then in his view, a new era of US-Islamic relations will ensue.
     
    Obama's honesty was a hot subject during the presidential campaign. Many analysts claimed that he was a closet moderate who only made far leftist pronouncements about "spreading the wealth around," and meeting with Iran "without preconditions," to mollify his far left partisan base.
    Others argued that Obama was a man of his word. From his voting records in the Illinois Senate and the US Senate, and in light of his long associations with domestic and foreign policy radicals, these commentators predicted that if elected, Obama's policies would be far to the left of center.
     
    Judging by Obama's actions since entering office last week, it appears that the latter group of analysts was correct. Obama is not a panderer.
    Between his economic "stimulus" package, which involves a massive intrusion by federal government on the free market; his decision to close the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay; his dispatch of former Senator George Mitchell to the Middle East to begin pushing for a Palestinian state two weeks before Israel's general elections; his announcement that he will begin withdrawing US forces from Iraq; his repeated signaling that the US will no longer treat the fight against Islamic terrorism as a war; and his attempts to engineer a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran, Obama has shown that his policy pronouncements on the campaign trail were serious. The policies he outlined are the policies with which he intends to govern.
    On a strategic level the most significant campaign promise that Obama is wasting no time in keeping is his attempt to diplomatically engage with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran is the central sponsor of the global jihad.
    Hizbullah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are all Iranian proxies. And, as is becoming increasingly undeniable, al Qaida too enjoys a close relationship with the mullahs.
     
    The 9/11 Commission's final report noted that several of the September 11 hijackers transited Iran en route to the US. And in recent weeks we learned that after spending the past six years in Iran where he played a major role in directing the insurgency in Iraq, Osama bin Laden's eldest son Sa'ad has moved to Pakistan.
     
    Beyond its sponsorship of terrorism, due to its nuclear weapons program Iran is the largest emerging threat to global security. Together with its genocidal rhetoric against Israel, its calls for the destruction of the US, and its incitement for the overthrow of the governments of Egypt and Jordan, among others, Iran is the single largest source of instability in the region. Moreover, as US Defense Secretary Robert Gates made clear in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Iran is working actively in South and Central America to destabilize the Western Hemisphere.
     
    Obama caused an uproar when during a Democratic primary debate last spring he said that he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions. In subsequent months, he sought to soften his declaration. It is now apparent that his statement was not a slip of the tongue. It was a pledge.
     
    The Iranians for their part have reacted to the new president with a mixture of relief and contempt. On November 6, two days after the US election, Ahmadinejad sent a congratulatory letter to Obama. Ahmadinejad's letter was considered a triumph for Obama's conciliatory posture by the American and European media. But actually, it was no such thing.
     
    Ahmadinejad's letter was nothing more than a set of demands much like those he had set out in a letter to then-president George W. Bush in 2006.
    In his missive to Obama, Ahmadinejad laid out Iranian preconditions for a diplomatic engagement with America. Among other things, Ahmadinejad demanded that the US send all its military forces back to America. As he put it, the US should, "keep its interventions within its own country's borders."
     
    Ahmadinejad further hinted that the US should end its support for Israel and withdraw its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. In his words, "In the sensitive Middle East region... the expectation is that the unjust [US] actions of the past 60 years [since Israel was established] will give way to a policy encouraging the full rights of all nations, especially the oppressed nations of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan."
     
    The Western media made much of the fact that some conservative press organs in Iran condemned Ahmadinejad for sending the letter. They claimed that this meant that Ahmadinejad himself was tempering his animosity towards the US in the wake of Obama's election. But in fact, most of the conservative media in Iran viewed the letter as an attack against Obama who they attacked with racial slurs.
     
    Sobh-e Sadegh, published by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote in an editorial on November 10 that negotiations with Obama would only be worthwhile if, "coexistence with a nuclear Iran and acceptance of its regional role are part of the US negotiating position."
     
    On November 11, Borna News Agency, which is aligned with Ahmadinejad called Obama "a house slave."
    In general, Iran's government controlled media outlets reported that Ahmadinejad's letter was an ultimatum and that if Obama did not submit to his demands, the US would be destroyed.
     
    This week Ahmadinejad made Iran's preconditions for negotiations even more explicit. In statements at a political rally on Tuesday, and in a television interview given by his advisor on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said that Iran has two conditions for engaging Washington. First, the US must abandon its alliance with Israel. In his words, to have relations with Iran, the US must first "stop supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals."
    The second condition was communicated Wednesday by Ahmadinejad's advisor Aliakbar Javanfekr. Echoing Sobh-e Sadegh's editorial, Javanfekr said Iran refuses to stop its nuclear activities.
     
    Notably, also on Wednesday, the US-based International Institute for Strategic Studies released a report concluding that Iran will have a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium to make an atomic bomb in a matter of months.
     
    To summarize, Iran's conditions for meeting with the Obama administration are that the US abandon Israel, (which as Ahmadinejad reiterated at his annual Holocaust denial conference on Tuesday must be annihilated), and that Obama take no action whatsoever against Iran's nuclear program.
    For its part, the Obama administration is signaling that Iran's conditions haven't swayed it from its path towards a diplomatic engagement of the mullahs. In her first statement as US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said Tuesday, "We look forward to engaging in vigorous diplomacy that includes direct diplomacy with Iran."
     
    And in his al Arabiya interview, Obama implied that the US may be willing to overlook Iran's support for terrorism when he referred to Iran's "past" support for terrorist organizations. Obama placed a past tense modifier on Iranian sponsorship of terrorism even through just last week a US naval ship intercepted an Iranian vessel smuggling arms to Hamas in Gaza on the Red Sea. Due to an absence of political authorization to seize the Iranian ship, the US Navy was compelled to permit it to sail on to Syria.
     
    The most sympathetic interpretation of Obama's desire to move ahead with diplomatic engagement of Iran in spite of the mullocracy's preconditions is that he has simply failed to countenance the significance of Iran's demands. If this is the case, then it is apparent that Obama remains convinced that the US is indeed to blame for the supposed crisis of confidence that the Islamic world suffers from in its dealings with America. By this reasoning, it is for the US, not for Teheran to show its own sincerity, because the US, rather than Teheran is to blame for the dismal state of relations prevailing between the two countries.
     
    If in fact Obama truly intends to move ahead with his plan to engage the mullahs, then he will effectively legitimize — if not adopt — Teheran's preconditions that the US end its alliance with Israel which Iran seeks to destroy, and accept a nuclear-armed Iran. And under these circumstances, Israel's next government — which all opinion polls conclude will be led by Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu — will have to adopt certain policies.
    First, in keeping with his campaign rhetoric, Netanyahu will have to make preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons his most urgent priority upon entering office.
     
    And second, to withstand US pressure to allow the Obama administration time to develop its ties with Teheran, (time which Iran will use to build its first nuclear bomb), Netanyahu will need to form as large and wide a governing coalition as possible. All issues that divide the Israeli electorate between Right and Left must be temporarily set aside.
     
    In the age of Honest Obama, Israel is alone in recognizing the necessity of preventing Iran from acquiring the means to destroy the Jewish state. Consequently, Netanyahu's government will need to proceed with all deliberate speed to take whatever actions are necessary to prevent Israel's destruction.