Saturday, June 26, 2010

Arab Hypocrisy in the UN (again)

From a UN Watch report on UN Human Rights Council, 14th Session
Debate on Racism, 16 June 2010:

Pakistan for the Islamic Group: The intellectual climate in the West is increasingly marked by a disturbing tendency to demonize Islam… Muslims are being demonized and dehumanized as Jews were in the inter-war period of the last century…

Qatar: The sufferings of Arab and Muslim communities in Western countries in terms of discrimination…

Libya: Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the other occupied Arab territories is based on racism… The phenomenon of racial discrimination and incitement to hatred against Muslims through attempts to distort the picture of Islam through relating it to terrorism… Making insults against the Holy Prophet in the media, particularly in certain Western European countries…

Pakistan for the Islamic Group: Contemporary manifestations of racism prevail in different parts of the world — in particular in Western societies…

Sudan for the Arab Group: Islamophobia in countries of the North… The racist practices of Israel, the occupying force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, is one of the worst forms of racism…

UN Watch Responds: Mr Rapporteur, this Council recently adopted yet another resolution expressing its deep concern about serious instances of deliberate media stereotyping of religions, their adherents, and sacred persons.

Your report calls for an end to such media stereotyping and incitement to hatred.

During your work, have you ever noticed that the countries that are the most egregious practitioners of this stereotyping, in the form of caricatures, are those who sponsor and support these UN resolutions?

In particular, have you ever noticed that state-controlled newspapers in the Middle East regularly publish the most repugnant anti-Semitic cartoons?

Depictions of Jews as bloodthirsty are commonplace. For example, in Jordan, on January 15, 2009, Al-Arab al-Yaum published a cartoon of a hunch-backed and hook-nosed Jew, drinking Palestinian blood.

Other images promote the notion of a Jewish conspiracy. In 2008, Syria’s Al-Watan published a cartoon of a religious Jew holding puppets of U.S. presidential candidates McCain and Obama.

Jews are regularly depicted as bloodthirsty murderers. In Qatar, on June 2, 2010, Al-Watan published a caricature of a Jew who is half-man and half-octopus, wielding a weapon and an axe dripping with blood.

One could also cite dozens of caricatures portraying Jews stealing organs of Palestinians, such as this one published in Oman, on August 20, 2009, in Al-Watan.

All of these caricatures are reminiscent of the Nazi area, and depict religious Jews in classic stereotypes: long beards, black hats and coats, all of which target the Jewish religion and its adherents.

Mr. Rapporteur, in your investigation of intolerance and religious hatred, we call upon you to examine first — as logic would require — the countries that sponsor these resolutions.

Thank you, Mr. President.

(The UN Watch intervention was delivered by Lisa Levy.)

The UN Human Rights Council is a tragic joke

From The Miami Herald, 25 June 2010, BY FRIDA GHITIS:

We should honor BP for protecting the environment. While we're at it, we can name Jack the Ripper to the Commission for the Protection of Women, and make Philip Morris a special advisor on pulmonary health. This would all make perfect sense if we followed the example of United Nations Human Rights Council, one of the most astonishing organizations the world has devised under the UN umbrella.

The Council operates as a parody of itself, as if it had been designed by a team of comedians writing theater of the absurd. The reality, however, is that the UNHRC is a disaster that requires some decisive action by countries that truly value human rights, especially the US.

Today's UNHRC stands as one of the greatest obstacles impeding the protection of human rights by the international community. The organization makes a mockery of the suffering of the victims of human-rights abuses, glorifying their tormentors and depriving victims of a desperately needed protective voice. The obscenely dysfunctional UNHRC has removed from the arsenal of civilization a critically needed tool against regimes that brutalize their people. And now, adding to its dazzling performance in the field of human rights, the Council is working its magic against freedom of the press.

The question now is what does the Obama administration -- and the world's democratic nations -- plan to do about this suppurating sore on the body of the world's foremost international organization?

Where to begin to explain the outrages? Let's look at the Council's Advisory Committee: The group is chaired by Halima Warzazi of Morocco, whose history-making contribution to human rights came when Saddam Hussein used poison gas against Iraq's Kurds in 1988. Warzazi proudly blocked the U.N.'s move to condemn the massacre. The vice-chair of the Committee is the always impressive Swiss diplomat Jean Ziegler, who helped Libya's despot Moammar Qaddafi create the charmingly named ``al-Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights,'' and became its first winner.

Ziegler who, like the rest of the Council, is obsessed with Israel's sins to the exclusion of any other problem on Earth, has shared the Qaddafi prize honor with Fidel Castro, Louis Farrakhan, Hugo Chávez and other luminaries of freedom. The latest ``expert adviser'' is Nicaragua's Miguel D'Escoto Brockman, admirer of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and defender of Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The Council succeeded the disgraceful U.N. Commission on Human Rights in 2006. CHR was such an embarrassment that it had to be disbanded and replaced. But the new effort is even more of a disaster.

The Council, where the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) effectively dominates the proceedings, now threatens freedom of speech under the guise of protecting religion from defamation. The OIC pushed through a resolution creating a watchdog to prevent perceived slights in the media against religion, such as the cartoons of Mohammed printed in Danish newspapers. U.N. Watch, which keeps an eye on the United Nations to make sure it abides by its own principles, calls this an attempt ``to turn an international shield for religious freedom into a sword for state censorship.''

The Obama administration ended a Bush-era boycott of the UNHRC, promising to use its presence on the Council to pressure the organization to do its job. But that has not happened. According to U.N. Watch's Hillel Neuer, since returning to the Council, the United States has been a disappointment. U.S. participation is not wrong, Neuer argues, ``if it fights vigorously and uses the council to put a spotlight on abusers.'' But it has not done that. Instead, Washington has used the Council as another venue for diplomatic engagement, a policy that has yielded minimal benefits.

Packed with representatives of dictatorships, the UNHRC, says Neuer, is little more than a ``mutual praise society.'' It has stopped monitoring abuses in places like the Congo and Cuba. And, while Iran hangs people in the street, Libya imprisons and tortures dissidents and massacres continue unpunished in other corners of the world, the UNHRC spends almost all of its time condemning Israel.

The U.N. Human Rights Council's behavior is so offensive that it might qualify for that Qaddafi human-rights prize. It's time for the United States to make its presence useful there or else lead democratic countries out of the organization.

Palestinian Authority Destroys Chances for Peace

From Hudson new York, June 24, 2010, by Hagai Mazuz:

In every society, people invest in and cultivate the young, hoping that this up-and-coming generation will accomplish what previous generations have failed to do.  ...The Palestinians, on the other hand, have done the exact opposite.

Examining the Palestinian Authority's Educational Curriculum -- both in the West Bank and Gaza -- exposes the bitter truth. In the textbook "Our Beautiful Language," which is used in the first grade, there is a picture on page 142 of a teacher telling her students about the Arab world. The Muslim countries are all colored in green (the color of Islam); and that includes the State of Israel. On page 153 of the 12th grade book, "The History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century," all of the names of these countries are listed except Israel, which is listed as "Palestine." This occurs again and again in other educational texts; for example on page 143: on the maps used in Palestinian schools, there is a map of Israel on which is superimposed the PLO flag; and on the Internet home page of the Palestinian Central Statistical Office, Israel is listed as Palestine. This same map, incidentally, is also on the wall of Mahmoud Abbas's office.

"The war over Palestine ended more tragically than any war in history. The Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its residents from their cities, villages, and lands and established the State of Israel on this land…" This is not some Hamas propaganda poster; this is a paragraph (page 104) taken from the educational text, "The Arabic language: Discussion, Literature, and Criticism," used in the 12th grade.

Educational texts used in both the Palestinian Authority and in Gaza indoctrinate and encourage children to prefer death over life and call for jihad:

"Oh heroes, Allah has promised you victory… Don't speak to yourselves about fleeing … Your enemies desire life while you desire death."

" Don't worry about encountering the enemy because the taste of death is not bitter in the faces of the believers…" [See "Discussions and Texts for the 8th grade, Part 2, (2002) Page 16]

In the Palestinian textbooks, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is defined in Islamic terms as "ribat" (i.e., a religious war), and in these books, the message which is being taught is that the war with Israel must be pursued until the end of days. (Source: Islamic Education, 12th grade text, pages 86-87).

In February 2007, after these texts were exposed, Hillary Clinton at a news conference said that "These schoolbooks… are engaged in brainwashing… In a very basic way, they are poisoning the minds of the children."

In "educational" and documentary TV programs, the message is clear: Israel stole Palestine. In one of the children's programs, the hostess asks a boy: Name three Palestinian ports. The boy answers: Haifa, Ashdod, and Gaza. The hostess answers "Excellent. And let me add Jaffa, Ashkelon, and Eilat." The hostess then asks the boy: Name three countries which border Palestine. He responds: "Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. The audience, hearing the "correct" answer, cheers and claps. But Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt are the borders of the State of Israel, not Palestine.

Even the images of small, seemingly innocent children are enlisted in the campaign against Israel. Farfur the Mouse (Hamas's version of Mickey Mouse) preaches about the superiority of Islam: he is imprisoned by the Israel Defense Forces [IDF], and interrogated in the supposed dungeons of the Israeli security services, Shabak. He is tortured and eventually dies, becoming a martyr. The veiled eight-year-old hostess of the program has a solemn look on her face as she praises the martyrdom of Farfur the Mouse.

Farfur is not alone. There is Nahul, the bumble bee, who dies a martyr's death: as a result of the Israel siege of Gaza, Nahul cannot be taken to an Israeli hospital in Israel for treatment; he therefore dies. That same eight-year-old hostess who eulogized Farfur the Mouse remarks: "Today we say to you Nahul: Congratulations. This is your wedding! We do not see this as your death, but as your wedding". -- meaning that now Nahul will be in the bosoms of the 72 virgins awaiting him in Paradise.

Naur the Bear expresses his desire to join Hamas's Iz Ad-Din Qassam brigades, and announces his intent to wage a war on the "Zionist criminals." He asks the program hostess, that same eight-year-old girl, "Are you with me?" She answers: "We are all ready to sacrifice ourselves for our homeland."

This fabulous team also includes Asud the Rabbit and Trabishu the chick, who prances around threatening in the air that he will come with Kalashnikovs and tanks against the Zionist enemy.

The result is that children from the age of 7 to 18 – both boys and girls – publicly express their desire to sacrifice their lives on the altar of the Palestinian people and become martyrs. Some of them undergo battle training and join the ranks of the terrorists.

All of the above is just the tip of the iceberg: there are thousands of additional examples of Palestinian anti-Israeli educational indoctrination which completely negate the idea of living in peace with Israel.

If this is how the Palestinians are educating their next generation, can there really be a chance that there will be peace between Israel and the next generation of Palestinians?

Gaza-bound Enemy Ships Identified

From a DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2010:

...With two ships, one Lebanese and one Iranian, already at sea, the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was reported by debkafile's intelligence sources as coupling his public support for the sea campaign to break Israel's blockade of Gaza with a quiet bid to stall it.

He privately asked Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and the Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi to deny Lebanese ships bound for Gaza permission to drop anchor, refuel or load provisions at their ports, in order to prevent them from proceeding to Gaza.

Hariri explained that he feared the flotilla campaign to break the Israeli blockade would precipitate a new Middle East war.

...On Thursday, June 24, Israel repeated its warning that ships trying to breach its blockade against the Gaza Strip would be deemed "enemy vessels." The Israeli Navy has been instructed to employ every available means to bar their access to Gaza's shore....

As the climate over the Mediterranean heats up, two ships are either at sea or hours away from embarkation - the Julia from Lebanon and an Iranian ship, which is said to be making for the Suez Canal from the Persian Gulf port of Khorramshahr. ...The Lebanese "Julia" belongs to a Syrian shipping firm headed by a cousin of President Bashar Assad, who made it available to Hizballah for the challenge to Israel. The Lebanese flotilla effort is funded by a Palestinian by the name of Yasser Kashlak who, posing as a wealthy businessman, serves as Tehran's secret channel for remitting funds to Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist organizations, including Hamas.

Therefore, Israel's designation of these ships and those of Iran as enemy vessels meets the case.

...when Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on June 22, he voiced extreme concern about the Lebanese Prime Minister's inability to rein in Hizballah. Because of this, the situation in the region could rapidly deteriorate, said Barak.

Right after the meeting, the US issued a statement about the "aid" flotillas saying, "Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances. There is no need for unnecessary confrontations, and we, along with our partners in the Quartet, call on all parties to act responsibly in meeting the needs of the people of Gaza."

Friday, June 25, 2010


From a State Zionist Council of Victoria bulletin, 25 June 2010:

...The world community ...must show Hamas that Gilad [Shalit]’s captivity is simply unacceptable ....

While the world is so quick to criticise the supposed humanitarian crisis in Gaza, there is a strange silence when it comes to Gilad Shalit and his freedom.

Four years in terrorist captivity is four years too long.

Please keep Gilad Shalit in your thoughts today, as well as Israel’s other missing in action soldiers,
  • Ron Arad,
  • Yehuda Katz,
  • Zvi Feldman,
  • Zacharia Baumel,
  • Guy Hever and
  • Majdi Halabi.
From JPost, 25 June 2010:

...From Jerusalem, to Rome, to New York, supporters of captive soldier Gilad Schalit on Thursday cried out for his release as they marked the eve of the fourth anniversary of his kidnapping.

In Rome, the lights of the Colosseum were turned off. So too, the lights around the Old City walls in Jerusalem.

Lighting up the darkness at the walls was a sign showing the number of days, 1,460, that Schalit had been held by Hamas in Gaza, along with the line, “This is the time I have spent in captivity.”

In New York, a flotilla of ships, called “The True Freedom Flotilla,” sailed from Pier 40 around the Statue of Liberty and past the buildings of the United Nations.

Addressing a crowd in Rome, Gilad’s father, Noam, asked the international community not to forget his son.

“As I stand here tonight, in the capital of Italy, Rome, which is one of the central, ancient and important cities in Europe and the civilized world, I call on the international community and the European one in particular not to forget Gilad,” said Noam.

He noted that Gilad had been made an honorary citizen of Rome and was a European citizen, since he had dual French-Israeli citizenship.

“I’m asking that the same international community, and the European one in particular, which pressured Israel to take humanitarian steps on behalf of the people of Gaza, would use all means available to them to pressure Hamas to take one small humanitarian step on behalf of one of its own citizens, on behalf of Gilad,” said Noam.

He added that his son’s release would bring freedom to hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who would be let out of Israeli jails as part of a swap.

“Those who ask that their rights be respected, just also respect the rights of others,” said Noam. “For four long years, our son Gilad, a young man of flesh and blood, who is now 23, has called out to us, a silent cry from the dark cellars of Hamas, a silent but resonant cry. He asks for only one thing: ‘Restore my freedom which was stolen from me four years ago,’” said Noam.

Call for Hamas to allow Schalit Red Cross visit
Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a statement to commemorate the fourth anniversary of Schalit’s abduction and called for his “immediate and unconditional” release.

“Today marks the fourth anniversary of the abduction of Israeli soldier, Staff- Sgt. Gilad Schalit,” Hague said. “My thoughts are with Gilad’s parents today. I sincerely hope that they will soon be able to welcome their son home.”

Hague reiterated the British position, that Schalit’s release must be immediate and unconditional and that Hamas must allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to him.

“The UK has long called for Gilad Schalit’s immediate and unconditional release and we reiterate that call today. It is also vital that Hamas allows the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Gilad immediately and ensure that he is in good health. His continued captivity without any ICRC access and with only very occasional, minimal contact with his family is utterly unacceptable.”

The foreign minister called on Hamas “to renounce violence and take immediate and concrete steps towards the Quartet principles and to free Gilad Schalit without delay.”

In New York, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev said, “For more than four years, the Hamas terrorist regime has denied Gilad Schalit’s most basic rights, as well as any visit from international organizations. This is illegal and morally appalling.

“It is shameful that so many who claim to vigorously support human rights are totally silent in the face of this injustice.”

Consul-General Asaf Shariv added, “It has been four years too long. Gilad Schalit has been held in captivity and deprived of humanitarian aid. He is being held as a prisoner with disregard to international law.

“Sadly, it is all too easy to see him as a symbol of yet another terrorist act. We know that Gilad is more than just that. Gilad is a son, a brother, and a friend. He is a young man who deserves to see the light of day, his parents and his country.

“The package of humanitarian aid that we attempt to deliver to Gilad, through the International Red Cross, is the very least he deserves. If delivered, this warranted act will be more than Gilad has seen since 2006.”

On Sunday, Gilad’s parents and their supporters plan to embark on an 11-day trek to Jerusalem from their home in the upper Galilee.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

US public and Congress support Israel; Obama doesn't

From JPost, 23 June 2010, By ISI LEIBLER:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to receive a red carpet reception from President Barack Obama at the White House combined with a reaffirmation about the “unshakeable US-Israel alliance.” However we should not delude ourselves. It is clear that Obama’s recent charm campaign was primarily in response to pressure from the American people and in particular from Jewish Democratic supporters shocked into action by the administration’s increasingly negative approach toward Israel and the crass reception accorded to Netanyahu during his last visit.

...Even though administration officials, including Rahm Emanuel, conceded that they “had screwed up the messaging” and are unlikely to repeat their previous boorish humiliation of Israel, there are no signs that the US administration is about to modify its policy.

TWO RECENT events reaffirm this. The greatest disappointment was the US betrayal at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference. Obama reneged on his promise to maintain the policy of former US administrations and continue to veto repeated Arab efforts to isolate Israel at these conferences. ...his willingness to sacrifice the Jewish state on such a crucial security issue heightened concerns that the US is no longer a reliable ally.

In the aftermath of the vehement international condemnation following the Gaza flotilla interception, Obama made little effort to curb the anti-Israel hysteria.

Instead, he pressured Israel to co-opt international observers to its inquiry and failed to condemn the proposed United Nations Human Rights Council demand for an international inquiry which would unquestionably be a replay of the outrageous Goldstone Report. ...
The perception of the US failing to support long-standing allies was highlighted by its tepid response to the unprovoked sinking of the South Korean naval corvette by a North Korean submarine. To Israelis, this conveyed a chilling interpretation of Obama’s concept of an alliance.

His inability to retain the support of traditional US allies was also exemplified when Turkey and Brazil displayed their contempt by undermining the minimal Iran sanctions the US was finally able to impose with grudging approval from Russia and China.

US appeasement and renewal of diplomatic relations with Syria, Iran’s surrogate state, only encouraged Damascus to strengthen its relations with Teheran, supply Hizbullah with Scuds and intensify its aggressive posturing.

ON A broader level, Obama has reiterated that the US could neither afford nor desired to remain the policeman of the world, preferring to delegate and conduct global affairs in conjunction with other countries and international organizations. To abdicate leadership of the free world during these perilous times is a bad omen, especially if it implies delegating more influence to Europe, Russia or worse to the dysfunctional UN, dominated by Islamic countries.

The most bizarre policy proclamation came from White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan. Following a National Security Council pronouncement stipulating that the term “extremist and militant Islam” should no longer be employed, he made the extraordinary assertion that Hizbullah was not “purely a terrorist body” and that he intended to cultivate the “moderate elements.”...

...despite Obama’s charm offensive, US policy is no less ominous now than it was during Netanyahu’s previous visit to Washington.

However  ...Israel can take comfort in the fact that support from the American people and both houses of Congress have strengthened considerably since the Gaza flotilla imbroglio...

Israel and the Palestinians—The True Story

At this time, readers are encouraged to re-read JIW posting of Monday, May 12, 2008, entitled "1948, Israel, and the Palestinians—The True Story" from Commentary Magazine, May 2008, by Efraim Karsh.

Some brief excerpts:
...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.

...[The] claim of premeditated dispossession and the consequent creation of the longstanding Palestinian “refugee problem” forms...the central plank in the bill of particulars pressed by Israel’s alleged victims and their Western supporters. It is a charge that has hardly gone undisputed.

...The recent declassification of millions of documents from the period of the British Mandate (1920-1948) and Israel’s early days, documents untapped by earlier generations of writers ...reveal that the claim of dispossession is not only completely unfounded but the inverse of the truth.

...Far from being the hapless objects of a predatory Zionist assault, it was Palestinian Arab leaders who from the early 1920’s onward, and very much against the wishes of their own constituents, launched a relentless campaign to obliterate the Jewish national revival.
...The simple fact is that the Zionist movement had always been amenable to the existence in the future Jewish state of a substantial Arab minority that would participate on an equal footing “throughout all sectors of the country’s public life.”

...In January 1919, Chaim Weizmann, then the upcoming leader of the Zionist movement, reached a peace-and-cooperation agreement with the Hashemite emir Faisal ibn Hussein, the effective leader of the nascent pan-Arab movement.

... As the Jews set out to lay the groundwork for their nascent state while simultaneously striving to convince their Arab compatriots that they would be (as Ben-Gurion put it) “equal citizens, equal in everything without any exception,” Palestinian Arab leaders pledged that “should partition be implemented, it will be achieved only over the bodies of the Arabs of Palestine, their sons, and their women.” Qawuqji vowed “to drive all Jews into the sea.” Abdel Qader Husseini stated that “the Palestine problem will only be solved by the sword; all Jews must leave Palestine.”

...It is indeed the tragedy of the Palestinians that the two leaders who determined their national development during the 20th century—Hajj Amin Husseini and Yasir Arafat, the latter of whom dominated Palestinian politics since the mid-1960’s to his death in November 2004—were megalomaniacal extremists blinded by anti-Jewish hatred and profoundly obsessed with violence. Had the mufti chosen to lead his people to peace and reconciliation with their Jewish neighbors, as he had promised the British officials who appointed him to his high rank in the early 1920’s, the Palestinians would have had their independent state over a substantial part of Mandate Palestine by 1948, and would have been spared the traumatic experience of dispersion and exile. Had Arafat set the PLO from the start on the path to peace and reconciliation, instead of turning it into one of the most murderous terrorist organizations in modern times, a Palestinian state could have been established in the late 1960’s or the early 1970’s; in 1979 as a corollary to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty; by May 1999 as part of the Oslo process; or at the very latest with the Camp David summit of July 2000.

Instead, Arafat transformed the territories placed under his control in the 1990’s into an effective terror state from where he launched an all-out war  ...In the process, he subjected the Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to a repressive and corrupt regime in the worst tradition of Arab dictatorships and plunged their standard of living to unprecedented depths.

What makes this state of affairs all the more galling is that, far from being unfortunate aberrations, Hajj Amin and Arafat were quintessential representatives of the cynical and self-seeking leaders produced by the Arab political system. Just as the Palestinian leadership during the Mandate had no qualms about inciting its constituents against Zionism and the Jews, while lining its own pockets from the fruits of Jewish entrepreneurship, so PLO officials used the billions of dollars donated by the Arab oil states and, during the Oslo era, by the international community to finance their luxurious style of life while ordinary Palestinians scrambled for a livelihood.

And so it goes. Six decades after the mufti and his henchmen condemned their people to statelessness by rejecting the UN partition resolution, their reckless decisions are being reenacted by the latest generation of Palestinian leaders. This applies not only to Hamas ...but also to the supposedly moderate Palestinian leadership ...which refuses to recognize Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state and insists on the full implementation of the “right of return.”

And so it goes as well with Western anti-Zionists who in the name of justice (no less) call today not for a new and fundamentally different Arab leadership but for the dismantlement of the Jewish state. Only when these dispositions change can Palestinian Arabs realistically look forward to putting their self-inflicted “catastrophe” behind them.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Security, not civilian blockade of Gaza

From Ynet News, 21 June 2010, by Hanan Greenberg:

...Goods denied entry into Strip [military equipment, metals, fertilizer] will be based mainly on international accord...

Just hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the list of goods and products that will be allowed into the Gaza Strip, international attention continues to focus on the items left out.

The list of prohibited items, according to estimates, will be presented in its final format within a few days ...[it] will based on the Wassenaar Arrangement , an international export regime [signed by 40 countries] that monitors the export of dual-use technology that can be used for both civilian and military purposes....

Ultimately, thousands of items will be kept out of Gaza, and will be listed on a detailed list in order to avoid situations of uncertainty or controversy. Defense officials estimated that foodstuffs and humanitarian equipment will not be prohibited entry, but that the list may include products items such as aluminum, and various metals and fertilizers, out of fears that Hamas will use these items to construct weapons...

"Even today there is no shortage in the Gaza Strip, not in food or in medicine. For Israel, there was never any intention to harm the civilian population, which Hamas unfortunately is doing. We are hopeful that everything entering the Gaza Strip will reach its destination, which is the Palestinian population, and will not become a tool in the hands of Hamas as has happened in the past." ...

And from Ynet News, 21 June 2010, by Attila Somfalvi:

Netanyahu explains decision to ease restrictions ...from security, political point of view

... Netanyahu said this is "no civilian blockade on Gaza, but only a security blockade."

"The security blockade is tightened now," the prime minister said, "because we have taken away Hamas' ability to blame Israel for harming the civilian population and because our friends around the world are backing us up on this decision and granting legitimacy to the continued security blockade against Hamas."

"We have taken the right decision for Israel from a security and political point of view," Netanyahu asserted.

The prime minister, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will determine which items will be prevented from entering the Strip....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Eleven US warships and one Israeli vessel sail via Suez Canal to Persian Gulf

From DEBKAfile, June 19, 2010:

USS Truman heads for Suez Canal

An armada of 11 US warships and one Israeli vessel passed through the Suez Canal Friday June 18 on their way to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf ...The fleet, the first of this composition to navigate the Suez Canal, is led by the USS Harry Truman carrier and its Strike Group of 60 fighter-bombers and 6,000 seamen and marines.

...The massive movement of this large US naval-air force plus an Israeli contingent is a strong new factor in the continually rising Middle East tensions of the last two weeks, to which Iran has not so far responded.

Erdogan: neo-Ottoman Islamo-fascist

From Ynet news, 19 June 2010:

Retired ambassadors issue statement saying PM may be caught up in neo-Ottomanism. 'Those who claim to know history well must remember misfortunes brought to our country because of imaginative cheap hopes,' they say

...“Foreign policy isn’t about bravery and adventurism. Those who claim to know history well need to remember the misfortunes brought to our country because of adventurous and imaginative cheap hopes - like the 'mass prayer in Jerusalem.' The penalty for such free heroic acts being paid with the lives of our innocent people is a source of distress,” the former diplomats said.