Friday, April 26, 2013

French appeals court rules Israel is not illegally occupying land

From Dreuz [in French], 13 April 2013:

"L’occupation du territoire palestinien n’est pas illegal ...L’occupation ne viole aucune loi internationale"

which BING translates to:

"The occupation of the Palestinian territory is not illegal ...Occupation does not violate any international law"

The PLO had argued in a long trial that just ended in the Court of appeal of Versailles, March 13, 2013, that Israel was violating the Geneva Conventions by "transferring" citizens to the territories and destroying property, as well as a host of other claims.
The court ruled, however, that Israel was acting within the Hague Regulations of how an occupier must act...

Going beyond that, the court ruled that the Geneva Conventions and Hague Regulations only apply to states, and to signatories, and the PLO is neither.

" ...First, all these international texts are acts signed between States, and that the obligations or prohibitions contained therein are addressed to States. Neither the Palestinian Authority nor the PLO are States, so none of these texts apply to them.
Secondly, the Court notes that these texts address "the contracting parties", referring to two parties who have signed - and there again, neither the PLO nor the PA have ever signed these documents...."


‘Anarchy in Sinai and no solution in sight’

From JPost, 23 April 2013, by Zvi Mazel, former Ambassador to Egypt: 

Analysis: Mubarak’s fall and the subsequent decline of the central authority have only made matters worse in Sinai.
Love affair with Sinai unabated
Love affair with Sinai unabated Photo: Linda Epstein
The first Egyptian reactions to the grad rockets that targeted Eilat were of flat denial. No fewer than three individuals – a self-proclaimed expert, a retired general and a military commentator – explained at length that there was no way the missiles had been launched from Sinai.
One said that determining what had happened would take time and would require satellite images; another argued that the Iron Dome system, recently deployed to the Eilat area, is designed to intercept only projectiles launched from beyond Israel’s borders — the rockets must have been launched from Israeli territory, he duly concluded. South Sinai’s governor joined the chorus, rejecting out of hand the notion that the rockets could have been shot from the peninsula.
It may be remembered that in December 2010, this governor’s predecessor accused the Mossad of dispatching a shark to the waters of Sharm e-Sheikh in order to harm local tourism. A “high ranking army source wishing to remain anonymous” added that the ongoing investigation had found no indication that the missiles had originated in Egypt.
A few hours later, perspectives Egyptian views were shifting, perhaps because a Salafi group had taken responsibility for the launch.
An Egyptian Army spokesman posted a statement on its Facebook page indicating that a commission of inquiry had been immediately set up to check the situation on the ground in Sinai.
In the statement, the spokesman wrote that Egyptian territory had never been and would never be a threat to neighboring countries.
The presidency followed suit with a similar communiqué, while another military source indicated that the Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah Alsisi had given orders to raise the state of alert along the Israeli border to its maximum level.
No one seemed aware that Iron Dome radars and other installations had tracked the missiles, and that the likely explanation for the decision not to fire at them was that such an interception would have taken place in Egyptian airspace.
At this stage, Israel is unwilling to violate its neighbor’s sovereignty. In Egypt, as in all Arab countries, denial is the name of the game whenever Israel is involved. They are never the ones at fault, it seems; it is always the Zionists or the Jews.
This reality does not make the necessary security cooperation between Israel and Egypt any easier – even when Egyptian personnel are at risk – despite being in both countries’ best interests.
They must join forces to fight the spread of Jihadi terror in the Sinai Peninsula and in Gaza, a trend which presents a serious threat not just to Israel but also to Egypt. This is not to say that there is no exchange of information — what happens after Israel has passed sensitive material to Egypt, however, is anybody’s guess.
Back in August, Israel warned the former head of Egyptian security that Islamist militants were planning to attack an army post, but he refused to take action, and 16 Egyptian soldiers were slaughtered. He was sacked.
Conversely, deploying the Iron Dome to Eilat 10 days ago may well have been the result of information received about a plot to fire rockets, but if this was the case, there is no indication that the Egyptians did anything at their end to prevent the rocket fire.
Sinai is for all intents and purposes a war zone. The traditional distrust felt by the peninsula’s Beduin towards the central government has only been exacerbated by years of neglect. Nothing has been done to improve the lot of the population; there are no workplaces, there is no meaningful development and not even a decent school infrastructure.
Hamas found a willing ally in the Beduin – ready to transport arms and ammunition, rockets included.
Much of this contraband originates from Iran, traveling through Sudan and mainland Egypt to Sinai and to the Gaza Strip.
Other Jihadi terror organizations loosely linked to al-Qaida have followed suit, setting up local cells and paying Beduin handsomely for their assistance.
Mubarak’s fall and the subsequent decline of the central authority have only made matters worse in Sinai.
Concurrent with his removal from power, security forces left the area, turning Sinai into a drug-smuggling haven as well as a major artery for Africans seeking a new life in Israel.
With the fall of Gaddafi, Libyan munitions joined the flow. And still nothing has been done to develop the peninsula and improve conditions for its inhabitants.
Last October the government took steps to allow the purchase and rental of land by Beduin who could demonstrate Egyptian citizenship for themselves and their parents and that they did not hold a second nationality. The ink on that piece of legislation was barely dry when the defense minister issued a decree forbidding the purchase of land on a strip 5 kilometers deep along Egypt’s border with Israel and with Gaza.
This was done in order to exercise better control of the area, prevent terrorist infiltration and supervise the tunnels moving contraband to Gaza.
The Beduin were bitterly disappointed: They demanded that the decree be rescinded and threatened civil disobedience. Intense negotiations are ongoing, but so far no solution has been found, and violence could break out at any moment.
There is yet another conflict brewing in Sinai, this one between the Beduin and the Muslim Brothers.
The former supreme guide of the Brotherhood, Muhammad Mehdi Akef, told the Kuwait daily Al Jarida last week that all Beduin are collaborators: One third collaborate with state security services, another with army intelligence, and the final third spies for Israel. (He did not mention collaboration with Jihadist and Hamas groups).
Hundreds of angry Beduin demonstrated in front of Brotherhood headquarters in Sinai, threatening to turn it to rubble unless Akef apologized.
More demonstrations, as well as a civil suit for slander, are planned.
It can hardly be expected that Beduin will help the central government fight terror, considering so many of them earn their livelihoods by smuggling drugs, people or arms on behalf of those terror groups.
What then is Israel to do? Thousands of armed terrorists in dozens of groups operating in the peninsula are openly threatening Israel’s security, and yet it is greatly limited in the measures it can adopt against them.
There is indeed a measure of intelligence- sharing between the Israel and her southern neighbor, but without increased levels of cooperation — similar to those during the Mubarak years — such efforts will remain ineffective.
A few months ago the Egyptian army announced it was launching an all-out campaign against terror in Sinai.
Yet terrorists continue to operate in broad daylight, attacking police stations, setting up road blocks and targeting army patrols. Last week one policeman was killed and another injured by terrorists or smugglers.
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has no meaningful contact with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The Brothers do not speak with Israel. Only last week, in an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic, Morsi couldn’t even bring himself to utter Israel’s name, saying of the limited contact Egypt and Israel do maintain that “even enemies occasionally speak.”
Only close cooperation on both sides of the border will put an end to the state of lawlessness in the peninsula, but with the Muslim Brothers at Egypt’s helm, it does not look like this will happen anytime soon. 

UN condemns "Palestine expert" Richard Falk

From UN Watch, April 25, 2013:

Good news:

Thanks to a firestorm sparked by UN Watch, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon -- after initially refusing to act -- has condemned UN Palestine expert Richard Falk for justifying the Boston terrorist attack as a form of “resistance to the sins of America and Israel...

Here’s how it all happened.

Last week: Richard Falk -- whom we got expelled from the group Human Rights Watch in December, but still serves on the tyrant-controlled UN Human Rights Council -- published an article pinning the blame for the Boston bombings on “the American global domination project.”
It got worse: “[A]s long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment,” wrote Falk, “those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.”
Here was a top UN official telling Boston’s victims that they got what they deserved, and that America and Israel were to blame. Yet the UN was silent. The world was silent.

Monday: UN Watch broke the silence. In a detailed letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, we exposed Falk’s despicable remarks; identified its ignominious messages; and demanded action.
UN Watch circulated the story to thousands of journalists worldwide, launched a barrage of press releases, statements, and blog posts, and posted the facts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman quickly responded: “The Secretary-General did not appoint him and is not responsible for his views.”  The UN was refusing to act.

Tuesday: UN Watch ramped up the campaign. We slammed Mr. Ban’s silence, noting the UN chief had condemned an unheard-of figure in the US who insulted Islam, but refused to do the same when a major figure of his own organization insulted America.
Reporters at the UN pressed for comment. Again, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman refused, saying, Richard Falk speaks independently... he is free to say what he wants to say. The UN was doubling down.
By now, however, UN Watch’s campaign began bearing fruit. Stories appeared in Jewish newspapers and blogs worldwide, in Canada’s National Post, Italy’s ANSA news agency, in Fox News articles and TV debates, and in a Wall Street Journal column entitled “What the Falk?”
At 3:00 pm, the U.S. Mission publicly condemned Falk’s “provocative and offensive” remarks, and the “absurdity” of his service as a UN human rights expert. “Someone who spews such vitriol has no place at the UN,” added Ambassador Rice, in a Twitter post quickly endorsed by former Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio. The story spread further, reported by top news site Politico, Nederlands Dagblad, the Kuwait News Agency, and many others.

Wednesday: Faced with mounting pressure, the United Nations finally reversed course. At 12:07 pm, speaking at the daily press briefing, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman announced:
“The Secretary-General rejects Mr. Falk’s comments [which] “undermine the credibility and the work of the United Nations.”
  • Now the story went viral, with global headlines from the Associated Press and Reuters: “U.N. chief scolds envoy for implying U.S. policy sparked Boston attack.”
  • The British Mission blasted Falk’s “antisemitic” remarks, highlighting it was the third time they had to do so.
  • Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird slammed Falk’s mean-spirited, anti-Semitic rhetoric and called for him to be kicked out of the UN. “The United Nations should be ashamed to even be associated with such an individual,” he added.
Thanks to UN Watch pressure, the world body’s most vicious Israel-hater, was exposed, denounced, and shamed by world leaders—including by the head of the United Nations himself.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

UN is Falked again

From JPost, 23 May 2013, by LAUREN IZSO:

UN's Rights Council official, Falk, insinuates the "darkly glamorized" Boston bombings happened because of Obama's love-letter to Israel.

UN investigator Richard Falk.
UN "investigator" Richard Falk. Photo: Reuters
UN Human Rights Council’s Palestine monitor Richard Falk has drawn connections between the recent Boston Marathon bombing and US President Barack Obama’s compliance with the State of Israel.
In an article titled “A Commentary on the Marathon Murders” in the online Foreign Policy Journal, Falk, a self-proclaimed advocate of 9/11 conspiracy theories, implies the Boston attack was largely due to Obama’s recent trip to Israel.
In his essay, Falk compares the marathon bombing to the 2001 destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City, saying that both incidents have led to America embracing “Islamophobic falsehoods.”
He also mentions that the reason for the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and strained relations between the US and Arab nations is the “strong pushback by Israel and its belligerent leader, [Prime Minister Binyamin] Bibi Netanyahu,” which has led to Obama succumbing to the “ethos of Israel.”
He adds that this has led to “accelerating backpedaling in relation to opening political space in the Middle East.”
Falk describes Obama’s recent speech in Jerusalem during his visit to the Middle East as a “love letter to the Israeli public” rather than a demonstration of his belief in peace.
...UN chief Ban Ki-moon said that he would not condemn Falk for his essay, since he is “not responsible” for Falk’s “independent views,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Will Palestine After Fayyad be any different?

In an article in Foreign Affairs, April 18, 2013, by Nathan Thrall, the author says:

“... more than anyone else, it was Fayyad’s Israeli and U.S. champions who betrayed him. His resignation was in no small part because of punitive financial measures that the United States and Israel recently took against the PA, which Fatah then used to whip up protests against Fayyad’s economic policies. The United States and Israel also punished Fayyad for Abbas’ decision to apply for an upgrade in status at the UN General Assembly in November 2012, and failed to show the Palestinian people that Fayyad’s program of close cooperation with Israel and the United States would advance them toward independence...”

In an alternative point of view published in The Jerusalem Post, 18 April 2013, by Caroline B Glick, the author notes that Elliott Abrams similarly wrote, “Israeli governments also gave him less cooperation than he deserved.”

Caroline Glick continues (my own emphasis added):

To that we answer, Fayyad was nothing more than a Western delusion, like Arab peace with Israel.

Fayyad didn’t have a chance of leading the Palestinians because he never personally killed a Jew. And the Palestinians only accept murderers as their leaders...
Fayyad dutifully used donor funds to pay the salaries of terrorists in Judea, Samaria and Gaza every month.
 He led the Palestinian branch of the boycott, divestment and sanctions war against Israel. He made working for Israelis and buying Israeli goods criminal offenses. Fayyad personally led raids into private homes to inspect people’s refrigerators to see if they had Israeli cottage cheese on their shelves. He organized and attended bonfires where they burned Israeli goods.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is not the sort of behavior you would expect a peace partner to engage in.
The Americans who insist on mourning Fayyad’s departure refuse to accept the obvious fact that Palestinian aspirations for statehood are a cheap, shoddy, for-export-only Arab product. The Palestinians don’t want a state. They want to destroy Israel. Unable to accept this basic fact, the Americans invent lies like Fayyad-as-peace partner and try to shove them down Israel’s throats. Well good riddance, Salam Fayyad.
Obviously Fayyad is not the last word in Western delusion. They will think of a new perfect solution to replace him in short order...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Egypt is Starving and the US sends tear gas to the Muslim Brotherhood...

From PJ Media, 15 April 2013, by David P Goldman ("Spengler"):
Egypt’s pound has fallen by 40% since last December, from 6 to the dollar to 8.25 to the dollar on the black market. The price of basic food items like beans and milk have risen by more than that, pricing all forms of protein out of the range of the half of Egyptians who live on less than $2 a day.
And the worst is yet to come: according to the US embassy, the Muslim Brotherhood government has vastly inflated its estimates of this year’s wheat harvest in order to keep export orders down — because it doesn’t have the money to pay for them. Egypt reportedly got $5 billion in emergency loans from Libya and Qatar (although it is not clear how much of that can be spent), but that barely covers the government’s arrears to oil companies operating in the country.
Mohammed Morsi’s Islamist government is living hand to mouth, stiffing suppliers and exporters, and cadging emergency loans, but it hasn’t ordered a shipload of oil or wheat since January. When things get this bad, everyone who can get dollars out will...
Egyptians are getting hungry. The fall of the Egyptian pound to just 60% of its 2012 exchange rate against the dollar has priced everything but bread out of the reach of the poorer half of the population, and the bread supply is now at risk.
The news late last week that Libya and Qatar may lend US$5 billion to Egypt was overshadowed by reports that Cairo owes $5 billion to the oil companies that produce oil and gas on its territory. Half of the amount is overdue, and oil companies reportedly expect to wait years for payment. Egypt’s arrears on trade credits from suppliers of oil, wheat, and other essential items probably exceed its $8.8 billion cash reserves, leaving the country flat broke.
With a trade deficit running at $32 billion, the Libyan and Qatari money covers just a couple of months; stiffing the oil companies might have covered the past couple of months. If the Egyptian government finally comes to terms with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan, that will cover another few weeks.
Egypt’s Exports, Imports and Trade Balance

Source: Central Bank of Egypt
Egypt’s finances have been in free fall since the mid-2000s, when prices for food and other essential imports soared while export earnings for cotton and other products stagnated. At $60 billion, the country’s trade deficit is a seventh of its gross domestic product. The 40% fall in the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound from 6 to the dollar late last year to 8.25 on the black market last week will raise the cost of imports even further.
The half of Egyptians that lives on $2 a day no longer eats beans, let alone milk products.
The price of fava beans, the country’s second-most important food staple, has already risen by 40% this year, to 5,000 Egyptian pounds (US$728) per ton from $3,000 Egyptian pounds in January. Imports of proteins have collapsed, according to the Egyptian Gazette:
”As for frozen food imports, namely meat, fish and chicken products, they fell by 25 per cent during the first three months of the year, compared to the same period a year before due to the surge in the dollar,” said Alaa Radwan, a member in the Food Stuff Industries at the FECC. Radwan, who is also head of the Association of the Meat, Fish and Chickens Importers, explained that banks had suspended offering importers with letters of credit, demanding them to seek dollars from the parallel market, which caused frozen food prices to increase by 25 per cent to 39 per cent.
The price of imported milk products, which account for 60% to 65% of consumption, has risen by 60% since January, the Gazette reported.
The only basic foodstuffs still available to poor Egyptians are state-subsidized bread, sugar and oil. That may change drastically during the next several months.
The Financial Times April 11 reported that the Egyptian government will be short 3 to 4 million tons of wheat imports this year. By overestimating the local wheat crop by more than a third, the newspaper quotes an American agricultural attache, Cairo has slashed orders for imports:
In a report written by the US agricultural attache in Cairo, the US warned that the Egyptian government was overestimating production for the current crop year by as much as a third or more. Egypt has predicted it will harvest 9.5m tonnes of wheat this year. The US report put its own estimates 10 per cent lower, at 8.7m tonnes, and warned that several “knowledgeable interlocutors” put the forecast even lower, at 6m-7m tonnes. “The government is setting import procurement and wheat stock policies based on significant local crop production overestimations,” the US agricultural attache wrote.
Egypt’s farmers are unlikely to produce that much wheat because they lack diesel fuel to operate tractors and to bring their harvest to market. The government has just three months’ worth of wheat in stockpile and is likely to run short of the country’s main foodstuff by earlier summer.
“Egypt has not received a crude oil cargo from open market suppliers since January and, with money tight, the state grain buyer has not purchased wheat since February,” Reuters had reported March 28, adding, “International trading houses Petraco and Arcadia were due to deliver crude after winning a tender, but the state importer, Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC) has cancelled both deliveries, several traders said. As a result, refineries are running well below capacity.”
The Morsi government’s behavior is hard to fathom. It may be that the Muslim Brotherhood government spends so much effort getting through the day that it has difficulty focusing on the three-month horizon. It may also be that it is trying to show a much lower financing requirement to the International Monetary Fund in order to reduce the stringency of IMF conditions.
The IMF requires a cut in the government’s deficit, now at 14% of GDP, before issuing a loan, and the Morsi government is reluctant to cut the energy subsidies that consume a fifth of government spending. It may simply be that Morsi’s lieutenants, like the late president Nasser’s generals during the 1967 war with Israel, are afraid to deliver bad news.
Events in any case have moved beyond the IMF’s requirements. Currency devaluation has already imposed de facto rationing of essential commodities, and the shortage of diesel, propane gas cylinders, and other essential items has imposed energy rationing. The question is how long Egyptians can go hungry before the Morsi regime loses its capacity to govern.
The only practical assistance the US has provided to the Morsi government took the form of a shipment of 140,000 teargas canisters. This arrived at the [Adabiya] Port in Suez, the Egypt Independent reported April 8. As matters stand, Morsi will need them. Perhaps Washington could follow up by donating coffins.

Memo to Jew-Haters: You Are Dying

From PJ Media, 8 April 2013, by David P Goldman ("Spengler"):
...To those Italians who voted for Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Alliance, or Greeks who support the Golden Dawn movement, or Jobbik Party voters in Hungary, among others: ...Your countries are dying because you no longer wish to live. One can “foresee a time when your land with its rivers and mountains still lies under heaven as it does today, but other people dwell there; when your language is entombed in books, and your laws and customs have lost their living power,” to paraphrase Franz Rosenzweig.
These political parties have returned old-fashioned Jew-hatred to the political mainstream. Southern Europe’s economic crisis and social dissolution, the new anti-Semites imagine, is the work of a global conspiracy of Jewish bankers run by the Rothschilds, the Illuminati, and the Freemasons.
Beppe Grillo, the recipient of a fifth of the Italian vote in Italy’s February elections, says: “Hitler may have been sick, but the idea of eliminating the Jews was to eliminate their financial dictatorship.”
A Jobbik candidate for the European Parliament wrote: “Anti-Semitism is not just our right, but it is the duty of every Hungarian homeland lover, and we must prepare for armed battle against the Jews.”
A member of the Greek Parliament for the Golden Dawn read out extracts from the anti-Semitic forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
May I ask you to consider — just for the sake of argument — an alternative explanation? Hypothetically speaking, is it possible that the Jews have nothing at all to do with your misery, but that you are destroying yourselves?
Consider the facts: by 2040, you will have about 60% more elderly dependents than you have now, and about half as many young workers. Your economies will collapse, along with your social safety net. The trajectories in the chart below well may understate the problem. In the United Nations’ low variant, Hungary’s total fertility rate stays above one child per female. Excluding the Roma (Gypsies), though, Hungary’s fertility rate has already fallen to a chillingly low 0.85:
Three European Countries:
Population Trends: Elderly (60+) vs. Young (15-24)
(Populations in 2000 normalised to = 100)
Source: United Nations

You are dying because you wish to die; that is, because you do not wish to rear children. Only 10% of Hungarian men and 12% of Hungarian women are married by age thirty, which is to say that only a tenth of young Hungarians intend to have children. If you don’t have children, you will disappear, Jews or no Jews. Long before you disappear, your economies will collapse under the weight of dependent elderly.
That is enough to make anyone crazy. But there is an obstacle to self-diagnosis: if you have tried to visualize your own extinction, you will have failed. The mind revolts at the prospect of national extinction. We cannot imagine our death as individuals. Sigmund Freud observed: “It is indeed impossible to imagine our own death. … Whenever we attempt to do so we can perceive that we are in fact still present as spectators. In the unconscious every one of us is convinced of his own immortality.” Even less can we imagine that no one will speak our language, sing our songs, laugh at our jokes, nod at our history — that we will not only pass out of earthly existence, but out of all remembrance as well....
Because you Jew-haters cannot conceive of a world from which you have erased yourselves, it is impossible for you to form a rational judgment about your future... If you could form a rational judgment, you probably would emigrate, as have 250,000 to 500,000 young Hungarians over the past ten years. And if you cannot form rational judgments, you will make irrational judgments — for example, about a conspiracy of Jewish bankers. Es zol gor nisht helfen (Yiddish: It’s hopeless). That’s why the United States of America is here: we receive the refugees from people who want to live and therefore abandon dying cultures.
The question remains: why are we Jews the subject of your paranoid obsession? Why not a global Chinese conspiracy, for example? There are only 30,000 Jews left in Italy, for example, and fewer than 5,000 in Greece.
May I suggest an explanation? Your obsession is not with the Jews as such, but with your mortality and the imminent extinction of your culture... You anti-Semites may or may not be Christians, but somewhere in the back of your minds you recall John 4:22: “Salvation is of the Jews.” Substitute the word “eternity” for “salvation,” and the origin of your obsession becomes clear. The peoples of the world first acquired the hope of eternal life from the Jews, and Christianity promised the Jews’ salvation to the Gentiles.
You have long since abandoned the promise of Christianity, as your refusal to have children shows. All that remains is your residual envy of the Jewish promise of eternity, death’s envy of life.
Jew-hatred seems most virulent in countries where national extinction is a palpable presence on the horizon, and almost nonexistent in countries confident of their own futures. Anti-Semitism is relatively rare in the United States, India, and China. Hungary among the Western nations is the least likely to succeed, and correspondingly the least hospitable towards Jews. Last year a member of parliament for the Jobbik Party, Zsolt Baráth, revived the 1882 Tiszaeszlár blood libel against Hungary’s Jews — the allegation that Jews slaughtered a 14-year-old girl to obtain blood to make Passover matzos. The Jewish defendants were acquitted of the preposterous charges, but Baráth “claimed the judge had proof of the defendants’ guilt but succumbed to pressure to acquit them to avoid seeing Hungary bankrupted by international financiers,” as the AP reported on April 5, 2012. To the rest of the civilized world, it stamps you indelibly as evil clowns.
Some months before the incident I visited Budapest, a city that seems inhabited by more statues than people. It was built as an imperial capital to rule an area of 25 million people, but now serves a country of fewer than 10 million. It is more mausoleum than metropolis, filled with marble images of long-forgotten heroes of independence battles that soon will pass out of human memory. In some ways, that is a shame. The stuffed carp in aspic with a cherry-and-horseradish sauce served at one of the town’s two surviving kosher restaurants is a revelation to Jews who have suffered with the insipid paste claiming to be gefilte fish. Except for the stuffed carp, Budapest is one of the most depressing venues in the world, a reminder of generations of past suffering and obsession that have come to naught.
The latest Hungarian census shows that more than half of Hungarian families have no children (against a fifth in the United States). A quarter of families have just one child, and just 15% have two. The proportion of dependent elderly rose to 38% from 32.5%. And Hungary’s terrible slide into demographic extinction has just begun.
Under the circumstances, it’s also no surprise that Hungary has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, at 21 per 100,000 of population per year.
Fertility vs. Suicide Rates
Hungary is at the extreme end of the fertility scale and almost at the top of the suicide tables (other demographically challenged countries — Belarus, Japan, Russia, and Ukraine — come in just ahead). We encounter Israel at the extreme opposite corner of the chart, with the lowest suicide rate in the industrial world and the highest fertility rate. By these objective criteria, Israel loves life more than any nation on earth. Your hatred stems from the rancor that the dying bear against the living.
Your misery is entirely your own fault. I am not asking you to change your minds. If you had minds capable of changing you wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. Don’t commit suicide. Stick around to watch your own cultural decline. Your death will have all the greater finality if you wait long enough to see your culture expire around you. Just remind the last person left in Budapest to turn out the lights. And send us a postcard with the recipe for stuffed carp with cherry-horseradish sauce. We’d like something to remember you by.

Israel: The happy little country

From JPost, 18 April 2013, by Caroline B Glick ( Independence Day celebrations were winding down Tuesday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a guest appearance on Channel 2’s left-wing satire show Eretz Nehederet. One of the final questions that the show’s host Eyal Kitzis asked the premier was how he would like to be remembered after he leaves office.
Netanyahu thought a moment and said,
“I’d like to be remembered as the leader who preserved Israel’s security.”
On the face of it, Netanyahu’s stated aspiration might seem dull. In a year he’ll be the longest-serving prime minister in the state’s history, and all he wants is to preserve our national security? Why is he aiming so low? And yet, the studio audience reacted to Netanyahu’s modest goal with a thunderclap of applause.
After pausing to gather his thoughts, a clearly befuddled Kitzis mumbled something along the lines of, “Well, if you manage to make peace as well, we wouldn’t object.” The audience was silent.
The disparity between the audience’s exultation and Kitzis’s shocked disappointment at Netanyahu’s answer exposed – yet again – the yawning gap between the mainstream Israeli view of the world, and that shared by members of our elite class.
The Israeli public gave our elites the opportunity to try out their peace fantasies in the 1990s. We gave their peace a chance and got repaid with massive terror and international isolation.
We are not interested in repeating the experience.
We will be nice to leftists, if they are polite. We might even watch their shows, if there’s nothing else on or they are mildly entertaining. But we won’t listen to them anymore.
This is why US President Barack Obama’s visit last month had no impact on public opinion or government policy.
Obama came, hugged Netanyahu and showered us with love just like Bill Clinton did back in the roaring ’90s. He praised us to high heaven and told us he has our back. And then he told us we should force our leaders to give Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to our sworn enemies even as they teach their children to aspire to kill our children.
And we smiled and wished him a pleasant flight home.
Obama had no idea what he was getting into when he came here. Like Kitzis and his colleagues on Channel 2, Obama surrounds himself with people who, like him, prefer fantasy to reality. In Obama’s world, Islamic jihad is about the West, not about jihadists. In Obama’s world, the most pressing issue on the international agenda is apartments for Jews in Jerusalem and Efrat. And in Obama’s world, what Israelis need more than anything else is for leftist Europeans to love us.
Talk about retro.
But a lot has changed since the 1990s. Twenty years after Yitzhak Rabin shook Yasser Arafat’s hand on the White House lawn and so officially ushered in Israel’s Age of Terror, most Israelis don’t really care what the Europeans or the Arabs think of us.
The Europeans prattle on about Israeli racism, and threaten to put yellow stars or some other nasty mark on Israeli goods. They ban Israeli books from their libraries in Scotland. They boycott Israeli universities, professors and students in England. In Italy they hold rallies for convicted mass murderer Marwan Barghouti at their national Senate. And in France they butcher Jewish children.
And then the likes of Catherine Ashton expect us to care what they think about us. Well, we don’t.
For their part, Americans are bemoaning the resignation of the unelected Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and insisting that he was a true partner for Israel, who just couldn’t make a go of it due to forces beyond his control. While most recognize Fayyad’s departure has nothing to do with Israel, some US pontificators have blamed Israel for Fayyad’s failure. Elliott Abrams, for instance, wrote, “Israeli governments also gave him less cooperation than he deserved.” To that we answer, Fayyad was nothing more than a Western delusion, like Arab peace with Israel.
Fayyad didn’t have a chance of leading the Palestinians because he never personally killed a Jew. And the Palestinians only accept murderers as their leaders. But the fact that he never killed a Jew personally didn’t render Fayyad a partner for Israel.
Fayyad dutifully used donor funds to pay the salaries of terrorists in Judea, Samaria and Gaza every month.
He led the Palestinian branch of the boycott, divestment and sanctions war against Israel. He made working for Israelis and buying Israeli goods criminal offenses. Fayyad personally led raids into private homes to inspect people’s refrigerators to see if they had Israeli cottage cheese on their shelves. He organized and attended bonfires where they burned Israeli goods.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is not the sort of behavior you would expect a peace partner to engage in.
The Americans who insist on mourning Fayyad’s departure refuse to accept the obvious fact that Palestinian aspirations for statehood are a cheap, shoddy, for-export-only Arab product. The Palestinians don’t want a state. They want to destroy Israel. Unable to accept this basic fact, the Americans invent lies like Fayyad-as-peace partner and try to shove them down Israel’s throats. Well good riddance, Salam Fayyad.
Obviously Fayyad is not the last word in Western delusion. They will think of a new perfect solution to replace him in short order.
But in their endless search for the next silver bullet, the Europeans and the Americans and their Israeli followers miss the fact that the easiest way to build a secure and peaceful world is not by wooing terrorists. The best way to achieve these goals is by accepting the world as it is. This is what the Israeli people has done. True, we needed to have our fantasies blown away in suicide bombings before we reconciled ourselves to this simple truth. But life has been better, happier and more secure since we did.
The “international community’s” inability to accept that sober-minded contentment is better than pipe dream fantasies has caused leftist writers in Israel, Europe and the US alike to express mystification at a recent survey carried out by the OECD, which ranks Israelis among the happiest people in the world. The ranking made no sense to commentators.
Israelis work harder than other members of the OECD. We complain more than other members of the OECD. We don’t have “peace.” And yet, we are among the happiest people in the OECD.
What gives? For decades before we embarked on the phony peace process, Israel was a model socialist state. We had paralyzing tax rates and failed government industries that crowded private entrepreneurship out of the market. Monopolies ran every sector and provided shoddy goods and horrible services at astronomical prices. The Histadrut labor union owned most of the economy along with the government and in every sector, Histadrut commissars ensured that anyone with an ounce of initiative was subject to unending abuse.
Just around the time we began extricating ourselves from our socialist straitjacket, we were also recognizing that the peace thing wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be. And at that point we began to understand that happiness and success aren’t about what other people give you – money, treaties, a phone line after a five-year wait. Happiness and success are about what you accomplish.
At that point, sometime between 1996 and 2000, Israelis began creating large families and embracing the free market.
Today, with an average of three children per family, Israelis are the fecund outliers of the industrial world. And as David Goldman at PJ Media has demonstrated, there is a direct correlation between children and human happiness. This is why fruitful Israelis have the lowest suicide rate in the industrial world. When you have children, you have a future.
And when you have a future, you work hard to secure it, and have a generally optimistic outlook.
What could be so bad when your kid just lost his first tooth? Israelis are also happy because we see that we can build the future we want for our families and our country even without another glitzy signing ceremony at the White House every six months. Our country is getting stronger and more livable every day. And we know it.
Those on the international stage that share our view that life is about more than pieces of paper signed with Arab anti-Semites recognize what is happening. For them Israel is not “that shi**y little country.” It’s “The Little Engine that Could.”
Take the Chinese. Last July China signed a deal with Israel to build an inland port in Eilat and a 180- km. freight railway to connect Eilat to Israel’s Mediterranean ports in Ashdod and Haifa. The purpose of the project is to build an alternative to the Suez Canal, in Israel. The Chinese look at the region, and they see that Egypt is a failed state that can’t even afford its wheat imports. The future of shipping along the Suez Canal is in doubt with riots in Port Said and Suez occurring on a regular basis.
On the other hand, Israel is a stable, prosperous, successful democracy that keeps moving from strength to strength. When the freight line is completed, as far as the global economy is concerned, Israel will become the most strategically important country in the region.
Then there is our newfound energy wealth. Israel became energy independent on March 30, when the Tamar offshore gas field began pumping natural gas to Israel. In two to three years, when the Leviathan gas field comes online, Israel will become one of the most important producers of natural gas in the world. Moreover, in 2017, Israel will likely begin extracting commercial quantities of oil from its massive oil shale deposits in the Shfela Basin near Beit Shemesh.
Geologists assess that the field alone contains some 250 billion barrels of oil, giving Israel oil parity with Saudi Arabia. Chinese, Russian and Australian firms are lining up to sign contracts with Israeli energy companies. International analysts assess that Israel’s emergence as an energy power will have a stabilizing impact on the global economy and international security. Israel can end Asia’s oil and gas hunger. It can reduce European dependence on Russia. It will remove OPEC’s ability to dictate world oil prices through supply manipulation.
Israel’s discovery of its energy riches couldn’t have come at a more propitious time. Had Israel discovered its oil and gas 65 or even 20 years ago, we wouldn’t have had the economic maturity to manage our resources responsibly. But now, with our free market, our hi-tech sector and our entrepreneurial culture, we can develop and manage our resources wisely and successfully.
At 65, Israel is becoming a mature, responsible, prosperous and powerful player in the international arena. The only thing we need to ensure that we enjoy the fruits of our labors is security. And the one thing we can do to squander it all is place our hopes in [a false] “peace.” [with false, lying, anti-Semitic "peace partners"] ...