Friday, March 26, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister admonishes the US President

From Israel MFA, 29 May 1981:

Statement by Prime Minister Begin on U.S. Measures Against Israel, 20 December 1981.

In an unprecedented move, Mr. Begin summoned the United States ambassador to Israel, and read to him the following statement. ...

Three times during the past six months, the U.S. Government has "punished" Israel.

On June 7 we destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor "Osirak" near Baghdad. ...our action was an act of salvation, an act of national self-defense in the most lofty sense of the concept. We saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, including tens of thousands of children.

Nonetheless, you announced that you were punishing us - and you left unfilled a signed and sealed contract that included specific dates for the supply of (war) planes.

Not long after, in a defensive act - after a slaughter was committed against our people leaving three dead (including an Auschwitz survivor) and 29 were injured we bombed the PLO headquarters in Beirut.

You have no moral right to preach to us about civilian casualties. We have read the history of World War Two and we know what happened to civilians when you took action against an enemy. We have also read the history of the Vietnam war and your phrase "body-count". We always make efforts to avoid hitting civilian populations, but sometimes it is unavoidable - as was the case in our bombing of the PLO headquarters.

We sometimes risk the lives of our soldiers to avoid civilian casualties.

Nonetheless, you punished us: you suspended delivery of F-15 planes.

A week ago, at the instance of the Government, the Knesset passed on all three readings by an overwhelming majority of two-thirds, the "Golan Heights Law."

Now you once again declare that you are punishing Israel.

What kind of expression is this - "punishing Israel"? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we youths of fourteen who, if they don't behave properly, are slapped across the fingers?

Let me tell you who this government is composed of. It is composed of people whose lives were spent in resistance, in fighting and in suffering. You will not frighten us with "punishments". He who threatens us will find us deaf to his threats. We are only prepared to listen to rational arguments.

You have no right to "punish" Israel - and I protest at the very use of this term.

You have announced that you are suspending consultations on the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation, and that your return to these consultations in the future will depend on progress achieved in the autonomy talks and on the situation in Lebanon.

You want to make Israel a hostage of the memorandum of understanding.

I regard your announcement suspending the consultations on the memorandum of as the abrogation (by you) of the memorandum. No "sword of Damocles" is going to hang over our head. So we duly take note of the fact that you have abrogated the memorandum of understanding.

The people of Israel has lived 3,700 years without a memorandum of understanding with America - and it will continue to live for another 3,700. ...

...Some say we must "rescind" the [Golan Heights] law passed by the Knesset. "To rescind" is a concept from the days of the Inquisition. Our forefathers went to the stake rather than "rescind" their faith.

We are not going to the stake. Thank God. We have enough strength to defend our independence and to defend our rights.

If it were up to me (alone) I would say we should not rescind the law. But as far as I can judge there is in fact no one on earth who can persuade the Knesset to rescind the law which it passed by a two-thirds majority.

Mr. Weinberger - and later Mr. Haig - said that the law adversely affects UN Resolution 242. Whoever says that has either not read the Resolution or has forgotten it, or has not understood it.

The essence of the Resolution is negotiation to determine agreed and recognized borders. Syria has announced that it will not conduct negotiations with us, that it does not and will not recognize us - and thus removed from Resolution 242 its essence. How, therefore, could we adversely affect 242?

As regards the future, please be kind enough to inform the Secretary of, State that the Golan Heights Law will remain valid. There is no force on earth that can bring about its rescission....

Obama’s Own Goal

From BESA Center Perspectives Papers No. 102, March 25, 2010, by Eytan Gilboa*:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Obama administration is repeating a pattern of behavior towards Israel that, as in the past, will achieve exactly the opposite of what was intended. The intense and exclusive pressure on Israel will result in the hardening of Arab and Palestinian positions, and will scuttle, rather than initiate, real negotiations.

...Three recent incidents testify to the troubled relations between the US and Israel: the speeches by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Netanyahu to the annual conference of the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, which highlighted the contradictory views on the building in Jerusalem; the meeting between Netanyahu and Biden that was described as fraught with disagreements; and the Netanyahu-Obama meeting that was closed to media coverage and not even photographed. The only friendly meeting was between Netanyahu and House speaker Nancy Pelosi. Congress supports Israel, reflecting the strong backing for Israel and its policies in US public opinion. Congress has already rebuked Obama for his treatment of Israel in a letter signed by 71 bi-partisan senators in August 2009.

... Senior Obama administration figures, who cannot stomach Netanyahu and do not trust him, wanted to exploit the crisis [over plans to build in Ramat Shlomo] so as to improve the conditions for entering proximity talks, and to show that the US can pressure Israel and alter its policy.

Upon taking office, Obama sought to renew the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations immediately. He set a timetable of two to three years for reaching a solution and establishing an independent Palestinian state. This timetable was determined according to the time frame of the US political system and not according to the existing conditions in the region. Obama wants an historic achievement exactly before beginning his re-election campaign, to improve his chances for victory.

To resume the negotiations, Obama presented demands for concessions from the leaders of Israel, the Palestinians, and the pro-American Arab states. The only leader who acceded to the demands, albeit in partial and qualified fashion, was Netanyahu. In his June 2009 speech at the BESA Center, he accepted the principle of two states for two peoples. In November-December 2009, he announced a freeze on construction in the West Bank. In contrast to the past, which was characterized by winks back and forth between Jerusalem and Washington on the settlements issue, Netanyahu in fact clarified the limits of his undertakings and excluded Jerusalem from the freeze. For their part, however, the leaders of the Arab states rejected all of Obama’s requests for gestures toward Israel, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) refused to resume the negotiations. Nevertheless, Netanyahu was the only one to draw harsh criticism from the Obama administration.

...The US demand for a total construction freeze hardened the Palestinian position. Even when Netanyahu announced a temporary freeze in the West Bank and the United States welcomed this step, the PA persisted in its refusal to restart the negotiations and demanded that the United States abide by its original position. Obama’s policy achieved exactly the opposite of what it aimed to accomplish. It hardened the Palestinian position and delayed negotiations.

General David Petraeus, commander of US forces in the Middle East, has reported to Congress that the pro-American Arab states are losing their confidence in the United States because it is unable to bring Israel to the negotiating table with the Palestinians. The lack of negotiations and a solution to the conflict makes it hard for the pro-American Arab states to stand beside the US in stopping the Iranian race toward developing nuclear weapons. Petraeus added that the lack of a solution enables the radical Islamic terrorist organizations to recruit operatives and supporters. The inference was that Israeli policy thereby endangers the lives of American soldiers. These statements were quoted by Obama’s adviser, David Axelrod, and other members of the administration. This is a grave assertion which could damage the US public’s staunch support for Israel.

Patraeus' claims are baseless. Netanyahu criticized them in his speech to the members of AIPAC. Netanyahu said the situation is exactly the reverse, that Israel assists the United States in the fields of intelligence, weaponry, and warfare, and this assistance saves the lives of American soldiers.

Indeed, in the Obama era, American credibility has eroded in the Middle East. This loss is in no way related to Israel or to negotiations with the Palestinians. It began, in fact, with Obama’s historic, conciliatory address in Cairo in June 2009. Arab and Muslim states, friendly and hostile, saw it as a revelation of weakness. Obama’s credibility was damaged even further by the widening gap between his declarations about US determination to deny Iran nuclear weapons and the ongoing failure to achieve that goal.

...Petraeus’ statements and the Palestinians’ recalcitrance are among the causes for the Obama administration’s decision to intensify the dispute with, and the pressure on, Netanyahu. Obama wanted to achieve better conditions for opening the proximity talks and to show the Arab states that the United States is pressuring Israel, and that pressure is bearing fruit. Hillary Clinton made statements in this spirit after she received Netanyahu’s letter of clarification. This is apparently the main reason that Netanyahu has had a hard time in Washington.

Obama’s approach can succeed only in the short term. In the longer term it will bring, as in all the previous cases, the opposite of what it seeks. The Palestinians and the Arabs have long dreamed that the United States will “do the work” for them; that is, to pressure Israel into accepting their terms for a settlement without having to make hard concessions themselves. The latest crisis plays into their hands and will harden their positions. Thus, it is likely to thwart, rather than improve, the chances for a comprehensive peace settlement.

Prof. Eytan Gilboa is a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies and an expert on US-Israeli relations at Bar-Ilan University.

Say "No" to Obama: NO, NO, NO!!

From BESA Center Perspectives Papers No. 103, March 25, 2010, by Efraim Inbar*:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Obama administration’s attempt to force Israel to accept the division of Jerusalem as a prerequisite for peace talks is astonishing. Despite the obvious reluctance to confront an American president, Prime Minister Netanyahu can effectively resist such American pressure on Jerusalem. In fact, Jerusalem is the issue on which Netanyahu can best make a stand against Obama.

President Barack Obama  ... seeks to renegotiate the agreement reached for starting proximity talks with the Palestinians and to extract additional concessions from Israel. Most striking and central is the administration's effort to force Israel into accepting the division of Jerusalem even before the talks start.

.. the administration may be overplaying its hand on the issue of Jerusalem. Despite the obvious reluctance to confront an American president, Prime Minister Netanyahu can effectively resist American pressure. In fact, this is the issue on which Netanyahu can best take a stand against Obama.

The division of the city is opposed by the current democratically-elected Israeli government and (according to polls that I have directed) by over 70 percent of the Jews in Israel. Few issues in Israel command such a large and clear majority.

The timing of the crisis also serves Israel well. A few days before Passover when Jews repeat a 2,000-year-old text pledging, “Next year in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu can say no to American demands for concessions in Jerusalem. Rejection of the division of Jerusalem expresses the deepest wishes of an overwhelming number of Jews living both in Israel and the Diaspora.

...The Palestinian claim to Jerusalem is weak. There was never a Palestinian state and the Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem for the past 150 years. Jerusalem has never been a capital of any political entity, except that of a Jewish State. Moreover, the Arab residents of Jerusalem, if given a choice, would in all probability prefer to live under Israeli sovereignty than become part of a failed Palestinian state. Finally, dividing a city makes very little urban or political sense.

Netanyahu has the rhetorical power to galvanize widespread Jewish support for continued and unrestrained Israeli rule in Jerusalem. In 1967, the Jews were fortunate to liberate Jerusalem, their ancient capital, and particularly the Temple Mount, their holiest site. The fortunes of the eternal city strike an emotional chord for every Jew. Even many non-Jews share the same sensitivity.

Israel can reject the Obama demands for additional confidence-building measures by pointing to Obama’s unfairness toward Israel. Netanyahu’s already significant concessions have been belittled by the American administration and rejected as a sign of Israeli seriousness entering into peace talks. Netanyahu’s acquiescence to the two-state paradigm was coolly received in Washington. A partial freeze in Judea and Samaria, an unprecedented concession by an Israeli government, was welcomed only as a “step in the right direction.” Agreeing to proximity talks instead of insisting on direct negotiations – another significant Israeli concession – also is not good enough for the Obama White House.

In contrast, Obama appears to relish humiliating and bullying Netanyahu, the prime minister of a democratic, embattled state. This appears to fit Obama’s overall foreign policy approach of estranging democratic allies while appeasing anti-American dictators.

Israel’s prime minister is acutely aware of the need for American support and friendship and has gone a long way to dispel skepticism about his sincere pursuit of peace. Israelis are frustrated with Obama for favoring the Palestinians, who continue to deny the right of Jewish self-determination and who continue to glorify terrorists that kill Jews. The US, under Obama, ignored the fact that the offers by Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert to cede virtually all of the disputed territories were respectively rejected by Arafat in 2000 and ignored by his successor, Abbas, in 2008.

Moreover, in 2000 the Palestinians launched a campaign of terror and recently they have threatened to renew it. Similarly, after the Sharon government unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and dismantled all settlements in 2005, the Gaza Strip was converted into a launching pad for intensified missile attacks. Nowadays, it is the Palestinians that are dragging their feet, hoping that the US will force Israel to accept their preconditions.

Flagrant conflict with the US is not something an Israeli leader prefers, but sometimes the asymmetry between a great power and its small ally is not compelling. The Israeli interest in keeping Jerusalem united is more intense than the Obama desire for a foreign policy success. The balance of determination tilts in Israel's favor. Moreover, Israel has some leverage by its nuisance value; that is, it can do things that the US does not like. One clear example is an attack on Iran. Another source of Israeli influence is the character of the American political system, which is susceptible to lobbies and popular sentiment.

Fortunately, the level of public support for Israel in the US is at a record high. Over two-thirds of Americans view Israel favorably and prefer the Jewish State to the Palestinians. Congress reflects such widespread attitudes. Since the President is not in sync with a huge majority of Americans on this issue, Israel has a good chance of convincing the American people that their president is unfair to the Jewish State and is wrong in trying to impose his views on democratic Israel. We already see American voices in the media and in Congress expressing criticism of Obama for not treating Netanyahu properly.

At stake is not just a policy issue. Hanna Arendt in her book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, points out that attitude toward Jews is the litmus test for measuring democratic retrogression. This is true of the attitude toward the Jewish state as well. The unwavering American commitment to democracy incorporates respect for choices made by other democracies. Israel can convince Americans that its democratically-elected government has every right to determine its future.

If Obama continues to insist on freezing construction in Jerusalem, Israel’s prime minister has the option to tell the US and the world that the Jews have returned to where King David established his capital 3,000 years earlier and that they intend to stay there. The text of such a response is easily available: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither. Let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy" (Psalms 137, 5-7). Once in a while such words have great power.

*Prof. Efraim Inbar is director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University. He will visit Australia in June 2010.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why the Palestinians Don't Want a State

From American Spectator, 5 March 2010, by David Gutmann:

...The received wisdom has it that the Palestinians wish above all things to have a state of their own, but that their fervent wishes are frustrated by Israeli delaying tactics, such as endless arguments over West Bank settlements, security fences, water rights, and the like.

While the Israelis probably do not want a Palestinian state on their borders, an entity that could easily become Hamastan II (and yet another missile launching platform), there is increasing evidence that the Palestinians themselves are of two minds about the prospect of their own statehood.

The first piece of evidence is the unchallenged observation that Palestinian leaders have rejected or sabotaged every proposal for statehood since 1947. In that year the Palestinians rejected the UN-sponsored division of the former British mandate into Jewish and Arab states on the grounds that they did not want to share Palestine with the infidel Jews. Instead of developing trheir own state, they tried through armed conflict to eradicate the nascent Jewish state. Their leaders took this big step just two years after the end of the Holocaust; and, guided by Hitler's associate Haj Amin Al-Husseini, their implicit goal was to continue the slaughter....

..the next time a state was practically handed to them, they again turned it down, in favor of war with the Jews. Thus, when Clinton and Barak, reviving the stalled Oslo Accords of 1994, made Arafat an offer he couldn't refuse -- 95% of the West Bank, control of the Temple Mount, border adjustments, etc. -- he refused it, while giving an ultimatum that only a thoroughly defeated Israel could accept: the resettlement of some five million "refugees" within the boundaries of the Jewish State. No diplomatic pause to negotiate this new demarche: just "take it or leave it," and Arafat flounced out, to fire up the second, soon to be crushed, Intifada.

Why don't the Palestinians learn their lesson? Why won't they accept the grant of statehood? To repeat, perhaps because they don't really want their own country? There are, after all, many bounties attached to their current status, perks that would disappear under the condition of statehood.

This is the age of the sanctified victim ...the Palestinians years ago captured the victim's high-ground, and have since worked their claim for great profit. They are the darlings of the UN and of European elites: The West Bank hums with idealistic foreign youth eager to interpose their bodies between Palestinian flesh and Israeli tanks, as well as with foreign NGOs eager to drip healing valuta over the physical, psychological and financial wounds of this martyred folk.  ...leading to decisive political victories as an outraged world threatens to sanction and boycott Israel.

But under statehood, the Palestinians will no longer have their special charisma as the world's premier victims, innocent agrarians suffering under a harsh occupation. When the fickle world turns its attention to the latest victim du jour, their welfare benefits are likely to be sharply cut,

Then too, the wiser Palestinians, who remember Arafat and his predatory crew, have their own good reasons for quietly resisting statehood. They realize that, should they gain their own country, externally imposed Israeli rule would be replaced by internally based oppression, by the corrupt or fanatic leaders who -- via factional warfare and the Arab politics of assassination -- typically reach the top in their societies.

Thus far, we have been looking at the Palestinians' practical reasons for avoiding statehood. They don't want to lose their world-celebrity status, nor the funding that goes with it, and they don't want either the likes of Hamas forcing Sharia law on them, or the likes of Arafat robbing them blind. But the Palestinian resistance to statehood has also less rational but equally compelling bases.

Foremost among these is the legacy of collective shame. With the possible exception of the Japanese, no culture is so vulnerable to a sense of shame and humiliation as the Arab world.  ...Palestinian Arabs have been exposed to traumatic humiliation by their defeat during the Israeli War of Independence. I remember how they initiated that war with febrile enthusiasm, confident that their magnificent Islamic warriors would sweep away the puny, cowardly Jewish opposition, certain that the Palestinians would inherit all of the Holy Land. But when push came to shove, instead of chasing the Jews into the sea, it was the majority of Arabs who ran away from the poorly armed Israeli Hagana (a militia that added insult to Arab injury by fielding women).

For example, the local Arabs had cleared out of Sidn'a Ali, a fairly prosperous village on the Sharon Plain, before our Palmach contingent had even arrived in their neighborhood. They ran on the rumor of our coming, and before our sparsely armed troops could have evicted them. The same drama was enacted across Palestine. A vast Palestinian and leftist PR apparatus has been developed to deny this truth, but the Naqba was largely self-inflicted.

The refugees' reluctant hosts in neighboring Arab states were not as sympathetic as Europe's Leftists: "You Palestinian whores! You sold your land to the Jews, and then ran away!!" The refugees, who had shamed not only themselves but also the whole Arab nation, were not generally accepted as citizens of the Arab countries to which they fled. Instead, they were penned up in fetid camps, where many remain to this day.

The calculus of Shame dictates that the Palestinian stigma of defeat can only be removed by a bloody victory over the Jews who inflicted it. By the same token, their state cannot be handed to the Palestinians by some benign international arbiter, or by a generous Israeli government. These are people who elect Hamas, who celebrate the "Victories" of Hezbollah, and who dance in the street when Israeli teenagers are blown up in a pizza parlor. The gift of a state that was not won in battle would only increase Palestinian shame.  ... Until a defeated Israel begs for terms, or better yet, is utterly destroyed, no final peace is possible, and no state otherwise gained can be acceptable to the Palestinians....

UN disgraces itself (again) by posting organ harvesting claim

From JPost, 25/03/2010, by TOVAH LAZAROFF:

...Allegations that Israel harvests Palestinian organs have re-surfaced and are posted on the UN Human Rights Council Web site in the form of a statement written by an NGO.

The International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination [EAFORD] accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing and massacres” before it moved on to the issue of what it called “dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians.”

“Their [Palestinian] human organs, as reported in the press, can be a source of immense wealth through illegal trafficking in the world market,” wrote EAFORD. “Israeli physicians, Medical Centres, rabbis and the Israeli army may be involved,” it stated.

...EAFORD called for a boycott of Israel physicians and medical centers. It also asked the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report on the matter to the Security Council and to demand that it be sent to the International Criminal Court for action.

EAFORD’s statement along with that of other NGOs can be found on the UNHRC Web site in a section for documents, which were submitted for the council’s 13th session, which is taking place this March in Geneva.

...The council and the commissioner’s office, “however unwittingly, helped to propagate an anti-Semitic libel by publishing [the EAFORD’s charges] as an unofficial UN document,” wrote UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer.

...Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “outrageous” that the allegations were published on a UN Web site. “The only organ that was stolen is in people’s brains ...I am deeply revolted by the fact that anyone in their right mind can actually advance such horribly surrealistic accusations,” said Palmor.

According to the NGO Eye on the UN, EAFORD was founded in Libya and accredited at the UN in 1981. Its Web site states that it has focused on the ideological systems of Apartheid and Zionism.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had no response to the matter...

...US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told the council “it is too often exploited as a platform to single out Israel, which undermines its credibility.”...

Out of the four resolutions which passed Wednesday, one focused on the “occupation of the Golan [Heights],” two focused on alleged human rights violations in the West Bank including settlement construction and Israeli actions against Palestinians in east Jerusalem, and the fourth called for the Palestinian right to self-determination.

Israel's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aharon Leshno Yaar, said, “we have witnessed today another anti-Israel show of the human rights council.”

Obama Hardball Tactics On Israeli Construction Could Backfire

From CBS News, 24 March 2010, by Tom Raum, who has covered national and international affairs for The Associated Press since 1973:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama reached out to skeptical Jewish political activists immediately after nailing down his presidential nomination in 2008, promising he would "never compromise" in his support for Israel. Now president, he risks alienating a core Democratic constituency by ratcheting up a public feud with Israel's prime minister.

Obama's demands that Israel cancel new housing construction in Palestinian areas of east Jerusalem may be backfiring. The hardball tactic clearly failed to advance prospects for restarting Middle East peace talks, and it may be undermining Obama's standing among Jewish groups in the United States.

It also enabled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to strike a defiant stance while in Washington, to bask in warm bipartisan praise from congressional leaders and to visit the White House without having to apologize or give in to Obama's demands.

Yet Israel badly needs the United States as a strong ally. The two leaders are now caught in a high-stakes diplomatic standoff as both sides work to defuse rising tensions.

...Obama chose to take a firm stand in response to Israel's badly timed announcement - made during Vice President Joe Biden's visit earlier this month - that it was building 1,600 new housing units in east Jerusalem. Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their eventual state.

Perhaps emboldened as he moved toward a major domestic victory on health care, Obama dug in his heels and demanded a halt to the new construction. And in a break from tradition that many U.S. lawmakers saw as a snub, the White House accorded Netanyahu's visit none of the trappings usually accorded an important ally.

The news media were not allowed into any part of the 90-minuteTuesday evening meeting between the two leaders. There was no joint news conference afterward, no statements about what transpired, not even a White House-produced photograph.

Then, providing yet another irritant, officials said Wednesday the city had approved 20 new apartments for Jews in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem. The White House said it was seeking "clarification" on Israel's latest plans.

Jewish voters, one of the most active political blocs in this country, have long expressed some misgivings with Obama, a nervousness that persists today.

...Since Obama took office, his relations with Israel have been tense. He has visited the Middle East twice as president, but has yet to schedule an Israeli visit. Last fall, Netanyahu, under pressure from his right-leaning coalition, defied U.S. demands for a full freeze on settlements in the West Bank.

At best, under Obama's latest prodding, "Netanyahu will likely suspend some construction in east Jerusalem, which could pave the way for restarting Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks," said Haim Malka, a Middle East scholar for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"Even if those talks are restarted, it's uncertain how the administration intends to move those talks forward or change the strategic calculations of either side," Malka said. He said "fundamental differences" remain between the Obama administration and Netanyahu over the issues of negotiations, settlements and the fate of portions of Jerusalem captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

While Netanyahu's reception at the White House was frosty, he was widely praised on Capitol Hill.

"We in Congress stand by Israel," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "We have no stronger ally anywhere in the world than Israel," said House Republican leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. ... On what other issue ...have Pelosi and Boehner seen eye to eye?

Officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee rallied to Netanyahu's defense against the administration's scolding when he addressed the group on Tuesday. "When disagreements inevitably arise, they should be resolved privately, as is befitting close allies," said AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gross British Hypocrisy

From JPost, 24 March 2010, by HERB KEINON:

While formally Israel responded with reserve on Tuesday to Britain’s decision to expel one of its diplomats over allegations that Israel forged UK passports to carry out the killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai, informally officials in Jerusalem and MKs blasted London for gross hypocrisy.

... Miliband said, and as a way of making clear London’s “deep unhappiness at what has happened, and to seek to ensure this abuse does not happen again,” he has asked that a member of the Israeli Embassy “be withdrawn from the UK as a result of the affair.”

...Miliband’s comments in Parliament came hours before he was scheduled to attend a ceremony marking the rededication of the renovated Israeli Embassy. He canceled his attendance, although other representatives from the Foreign Office were at the reception.

...Officials in Jerusalem said they were “stunned” by Miliband’s “humiliating” speech in Parliament, and that it revealed a great deal of hypocrisy. “This is not the way for a real friend to act,” one official said, saying that the British intelligence services cooperate with the Mossad, and “know how things work.”

The British, the official said, were attacking villages in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting terrorists, yet raking Israel over the coals over alleged passport forgeries. The official, noting that a Hamas spokesman had praised the United Kingdom for its actions, said the message sent by the British move would harm the coalition fighting terrorism.

...One diplomatic official said it was extremely harsh move that he said the UK generally reserved for the spy wars it has with Russia.

...National Union MK Arye Eldad told Sky News that he believed the British were “behaving hypocritically  ...Who are they to judge us on the war on terror?”

.....This is not the first time that Israel and Britain have had a high-profile dispute over forged passports. In 1987, eight forged British passports were found in a phone booth in Germany, and traced to the Mossad. At the time Israel apologized and vowed not to take similar actions in the future.

The following year, Israel used a Palestinian double agent for espionage activities inside England, a move that infuriated then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who closed the Mossad’s office in London and expelled the head of the office...

In every generation they try to destroy us

From YouTube, January 24, 2009:

And this is what kept us going - our fathers and us:

For, not only one stood against us, and tried to destroy us,

Rather in every generation they try to destroy us,

And the Holy One, blessed be he, saves us from their hands.

Will the Iranian Bomb be Obama's Legacy?

From The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, by ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ:

Neville Chamberlain was remembered for appeasing Germany, not his progressive social programs.

The gravest threat faced by the world today is a nuclear-armed Iran. Of all the nations capable of producing nuclear weapons, Iran is the only one that might use them to attack an enemy.

There are several ways in which Iran could use nuclear weapons. The first is by dropping an atomic bomb on Israel, as its leaders have repeatedly threatened to do. Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran, boasted in 2004 that an Iranian attack would kill as many as five million Jews. Mr. Rafsanjani estimated that even if Israel retaliated with its own nuclear bombs, Iran would probably lose about 15 million people, which he said would be a small "sacrifice" of the billion Muslims in the world.

The second way in which Iran could use nuclear weapons would be to hand them off to its surrogates, Hezbollah or Hamas. A third way would be for a terrorist group, such as al Qaeda, to get its hands on Iranian nuclear material. It could do so with the consent of Iran or by working with rogue elements within the Iranian regime.

Finally, Iran could use its nuclear weapons without ever detonating a bomb. By constantly threatening Israel with nuclear annihilation, it could engender so much fear among Israelis as to incite mass immigration, a brain drain, or a significant decline in people moving to Israel.

These are the specific ways in which Iran could use nuclear weapons, primarily against the Jewish state. But there are other ways in which a nuclear-armed Iran would endanger the world. First, it would cause an arms race in which every nation in the Middle East would seek to obtain nuclear weapons.

Second, it would almost certainly provoke Israel into engaging in either a pre-emptive or retaliatory attack, thus inflaming the entire region or inciting further attacks against Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas.

Third, it would provide Iran with a nuclear umbrella under which it could accelerate its efforts at regional hegemony. Had Iraq operated under a nuclear umbrella when it invaded Kuwait in 1990, Saddam Hussein's forces would still be in Kuwait.

Fourth, it would embolden the most radical elements in the Middle East to continue their war of words and deeds against the United States and its allies.

And finally, it would inevitably unleash the law of unintended consequences: Simply put, nobody knows the extent of the harm a nuclear-armed Iran could produce.

In these respects, allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons is somewhat analogous to the decision by the victors of World War I to allow Nazi Germany to rearm during the 1930s. Even the Nazis were surprised at this complacency. Joseph Goebbels expected the French and British to prevent the Nazis from rebuilding Germany's war machine.

In 1940, Goebbels told a group of German journalists that if he had been the French premier when Hitler came to power he would have said, "The new Reich Chancellor is the man who wrote Mein Kampf, which says this and that. This man cannot be tolerated in our vicinity. Either he disappears or we march!"

But, Goebbels continued, "they didn't do it. They left us alone and let us slip through the risky zone, and we were able to sail around all dangerous reefs. And when we were done, and well armed, better than they, then they started the war!"

Most people today are not aware that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain helped restore Great Britain's financial stability during the Great Depression and also passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits, pay pensions to retired workers and otherwise help those hit hard by the slumping economy. But history does remember his failure to confront Hitler. That is Chamberlain's enduring legacy.

So too will Iran's construction of nuclear weapons, if it manages to do so in the next few years, become President Barack Obama's enduring legacy. Regardless of his passage of health-care reform and regardless of whether he restores jobs and helps the economy recover, Mr. Obama will be remembered for allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. History will not treat kindly any leader who allows so much power to be accumulated by the world's first suicide nation—a nation whose leaders have not only expressed but, during the Iran-Iraq war, demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice millions of their own people to an apocalyptic mission of destruction.

If Iran were to become a nuclear power, there would be plenty of blame to go around. A National Intelligence Report, issued on President George W. Bush's watch, distorted the truth by suggestion that Iran had ended its quest for nuclear weapons. It also withheld the fact that U.S. intelligence had discovered a nuclear facility near Qum, Iran, that could be used only for the production of nuclear weapons.

Chamberlain, too, was not entirely to blame for Hitler's initial triumphs. He became prime minister after his predecessors allowed Germany to rearm. Nevertheless, it is Chamberlain who has come to symbolize the failure to prevent Hitler's ascendancy.

So too will Mr. Obama come to symbolize the failure of the West if Iran acquires nuclear weapons on his watch.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jerusalem is not a "settlement"!

From JPost, 23/03/2010, by HILARY LEILA KRIEGER:

Jerusalem is our capital, Netanyahu tells AIPAC parley, stressing that Israel wants peace.

WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated Israeli claims to Jerusalem and rejected assertions that it was not fully committed to peace, in a speech Monday night sandwiched between meetings with top US leaders aimed at smoothing over recent disagreements.

Netanyahu arrived here Monday and held a meeting at his hotel with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before delivering his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Monday night. On Tuesday, he is set to meet with US President Barack Obama at the White House, for private discussions closed to the press.

Though Israeli and American officials have spent days reinforcing the message that the US-Israel relationship remains strong despite the most serious crisis between the country in years, both Netanyahu and leading US officials held their ground on the policy differences between them Monday.

Soon after Clinton told the audience at the AIPAC conference that the status quo between Israelis and Palestinians was “unsustainable” and that building over the 1948 armistice line in Jerusalem hurt efforts to advance the peace process, Netanyahu told tell AIPAC that “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital.”

He pointed out that all Israeli governments had built in Jerusalem over those lines and that nearly half the city’s Jewish population lived there.

“They are an integral and inextricable part of modern Jerusalem. Everyone knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement,” he told the audience. “Therefore, building them in no way precludes the possibility of a two-state solution.”

... Netanyahu ... pushed back against American suggestions that Israel hadn’t shown a commitment to peace.

“Israel is unjustly accused of not wanting peace with the Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Netanyahu said. “My government has consistently shown its commitment to peace in both word and deed. From day one, we called on the Palestinian Authority to begin peace negotiations without delay.” ...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Unmanned pesach mission

Fatah criticises Hamas for not being pro-terror enough

From Elder of Ziyon, Sunday, March 21, 2010:

Yesterday, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said that the recent fatal rocket fire from Gaza was meant to undermine Hamas' authority and played into the hands of Israel. He stopped just short of saying that those behind the attacks were collaborators with Israel.

Today, he is being criticized for his public statements against rocket fire by the usual collection of terror groups -by

A Fatah spokesman, Fayez Abu Eita, accused Hamas of abandoning terror ("resistance") in order to maintain its hold on power. He said that the people elected haams to be their leaders because they were shooting rockets into Israel, but unfortunately the treasonous Hamas has done a 180 degree turn and now is campaigning against the rockets.

This is hardly the first time that Fatah has criticized Hamas for not being violent enough. Yet the Western media never mentions these little facts, because they have their meme that "Hamas=terrorist, Fatah=peace partners" and they cannot afford to let people know that their wisdom has been somewhat lacking.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Israel will build in Jerusalem

From VOA News, 21 March 2010:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his government will not restrict building in East Jerusalem.

Mr. Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday he will make Israel's position clear during his visit to Washington this week.

The prime minister's office later announced Mr. Netanyahu will meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday...