Friday, October 10, 2008

700 police officers deployed in Acre after Arab-Jewish riots

From THE JERUSALEM POST , Oct. 10, 2008, by Yaakov Katz and staff:

Some 700 police officers were deployed in Acre Friday morning to help restore calm to the city following the Arab-Jewish Yom Kippur riots....

[Israel Police Commissioner Ch.-Insp. Dudi] Cohen said that police would aim to restore calm to the city with the help of reinforcements. "What happened on Yom Kippur was very severe, and both the city's Jewish and Arab leaders, as well as the police, will learn lessons from it..." he said...

...Hundreds of the city's Arab residents vandalized Jewish-owned shops and vehicles and clashed with police in the violence, which broke out on Wednesday night.

On Thursday evening, tensions boiled over again during a demonstration held by Jews against the previous evening's occurrences. Both Jews and Arabs clashed with police in various parts of the racially divided city, leading to 10 arrests. In total, at least eight people were lightly wounded in the successive nights of violence....

...Acre Mayor Shimon Lancry ...blamed Acre's Arab residents for the outbreak of violence. "The incidents over Yom Kipper were very severe, all red lines were crossed," he added. "The Israel Police must use the investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Police said the disturbances were sparked deliberately on Wednesday evening when an Arab driver, Tawfik Jamal - a resident of Acre's Old City - made his way to the predominantly Jewish Ben-Gurion neighborhood in the eastern part of the city, blasting loud music from his vehicle as a provocation on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar....

..."This was a provocation. An Arab driver arrived in a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur with blaring music, and refused to leave when asked to by local residents. We believe he was intoxicated. This was a deliberate act," Galilee Police spokesman Ch.-Supt. Eran Shaked said.

The verbal confrontation between Jamal and the local residents quickly deteriorated into violence, as rocks and bottles were thrown at Jamal's vehicle. According to Jamal, he and his two passengers fled the car. The three were taken to hospital where they were treated for light wounds and discharged.

In the meantime, police said, false rumors that Arabs were seriously harmed or killed by Jews reached the Old City, and caused a far more serious and organized incident in Acre.

Responding to the rumors, hundreds of Arabs set out from the Old City toward the Ben-Gurion neighborhood, walking down a main road, smashing store windows and cars along the way. Reports said the mob shouted "Kill the Jews," "Allahu Akbar," and "If you come out of your homes, you will die." ...

Appeasement 101: Giving Until It Hurts

From GLORIA, by Barry Rubin, October 8, 2008:

In response to a casual question, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates dropped a historical bombshell, an offhand remark telling more about how the Middle East works than 100 books. And a former Marine commander adds an equally big revelation about long-ago events quite relevant for today.

Almost thirty years ago, President Jimmy Carter tried to show what a nice guy he was by pressing the Shah not to crush the revolutionaries. After the monarch fell, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski met top officials of the new Islamist regime to pledge U.S. friendship to the government controlled by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini....

....Three days after the Brzezinski meeting, in November 1979, the Islamist regime's cadre seized the U.S. embassy and its staff as hostages, holding them until January 1981. This was our introduction to the new Middle East of radical Islamism. Carter continued his weak stance, persuading the Tehran regime that it could get away with anything.

...Here's where Gates comes in. On September 29, while giving a lecture at the National Defense University in Washington DC, someone asked him how the next president might improve relations with Iran. Gates responded: "I have been involved in the search for the elusive Iranian moderate for 30 years." Then Gates revealed what was actually said at Brzezinski's meeting, in which he participated, summarizing Brzezinski's position as follows: "We will accept your revolution....We will recognize your government. We will sell you all the weapons that we had contracted to sell the Shah....We can work together in the future."

The Iranians demanded the United States turn over to them the fugitive Shah, who they would have executed. Brzezinski refused. Three days later Iran seized the embassy and forever changed the Middle East. The road thus paved led to the Iran-Iraq and Iraq-Kuwait wars, the power of Hamas and Hizballah, September 11, 2001, and a great deal more. Many thousands would die due to American timidity and Iranian aggressiveness.

...Washington did everything possible to negotiate, conciliate, and build confidence. We'll do almost anything you want, Carter and Brzezinski offered, just be our friend. Far from being appeased Iran demanded such a total humiliation--turning over the fatally ill, deposed Shah for execution--even that administration couldn't accept it.

Far from persuading Khomeini that the United States was a real threat, the U.S. government made itself appear a pitiful, helpless giant, convincing Tehran--as Khomeini put it--America couldn't do a damn thing. His revolution and ideology was too strong for it.

So why should we expect such a tactic could work today? How long does it take to get the message: this is an ideological revolution with huge ambitions to which America is inevitably a barrier. Appeasement, talks, apologies, confidence-building measures won't convince Tehran that America is its friend, only that it's an enemy so weak as to make aggression seem inevitably successful.

The only U.S. precondition has been that to get a high-level dialogue, Iran must first stop its drive for nuclear weapons, at least temporarily.

Gates understands what happened: "Every administration since then has reached out to the Iranians in one way or another and all have failed....The reality is the Iranian leadership has been consistently unyielding over a very long period of time in response to repeated overtures from the United States about having a different and better kind of relationship."

This situation is quite parallel to efforts to have reasonable preconditions with the Palestinians--stop terrorism, incitement, clearly accept a two-state solution--or with Syria--stop sponsoring terrorism, cease trying to take over Lebanon, and accept normal relations with Israel as the outcome of peace. Similar bargains have been offered Hamas and Hizballah. Yet even this is too much for the other side and too much for those who continue trying to undermine any Western leverage on radical forces.

If the other side won't give anything, they insist, merely offer more. And if the other side takes those concessions, pockets them, gives nothing in return, and continues their behavior, this merely proves you have to give still more.

Here's more evidence why that's wrong. Former U.S. Marine Colonel Timothy Geraghty was Marine commander in October 1983 when suicide bombers attacked the barracks of U.S. peacekeeping forces in Beirut, killing 242 Americans. He now reveals that a September 26, 1983 U.S. intelligence intercept showed Iran's government ordering the attack through its embassy in Lebanon. The timid response to that operation set a pattern leading directly to the September 11 attack.

Three decades after the miserable failure of the make-friends-with-Islamist-Iran policy--including offering Khomeini continued U.S. arms' supplies for goodness sake!--isn't it time to learn this simple lesson?

Arabs and Jews Clash on Yom Kippur in Akko

From Arutz Sheva, 10/10/08, by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz:

Jews fearing a terror attack stoned an Arab driver, and Arabs rioted and vandalized Jewish property in the mixed Mediterranean coastal city of Akko (Acre) during the Yom Kippur holiday and fast. Clashes began Wednesday evening and lasted through Thursday night. Police are on alert to prevent further provocations or acts of vengeance.

The day of violence began Wednesday evening, just after the start of the Yom Kippur fast, when an Arab driver from Akko's Old City entered a majority-Jewish neighborhood. The vehicle apparently raised suspicions, as in Israel it is considered unacceptable for anyone other than emergency vehicles to drive on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, although it is not forbidden by law. The driver had to bypass a barrier set up to block traffic at the entrance to the neighborhood.

A resident of Akko told Israel National News that the motorist was spotted driving at a high speed towards a park where a group of Jewish youth had gathered. Fearing they were the target of a vehicular terrorist attack - of the type that has been perpetrated several times in recent months - the youths pelted the car with rocks and called for help. Jews from the neighborhood gathered and the driver took refuge with his relatives, a local Arab family.

At that point, Akko Arabs were called to come to the aid of the driver and his family, with the help of a rumor that Jews had killed an Arab resident of the Old City. One police officer, the Arab driver and another person were lightly injured as hundreds of people, Jews and Arabs, clashed in the streets.

'If You Leave Your Homes, We'll Kill You'
Police, representatives of Akko City Hall and local Arab leaders managed to end the clashes, but the violence continued as Arabs heading back to their neighborhoods ran riot through Jewish areas of the city. Calling "Death to the Jews" and Allah hu akbar ("Allah is great"), the rioters vandalized hundreds of Jewish-owned shops and vehicles, and threw rocks at people on their way to or from Yom Kippur prayers.

According to an eyewitness, "The Arabs threatened Jews that if they left their home they'd be attacked. The Arabs began vandalizing Jewish-owned cars in the street and smashing windows. Afterwards, we saw them coming with axes and slashing tires. It was awful. Residents were afraid to leave for the synagogue." Sources in the Akko municipality claimed that among those inciting the Arab mobs were known Islamist activists. Police arrested eight people on suspicion of involvement in the violence. Four people were arraigned Thursday, the others will see a judge on Friday.

More Violence as the Fast Ends
Clashes resumed Thursday night after the fast ended, with demonstrations by hundreds of Jews and Arabs near the train station in the eastern section of the city and near the housing projects in the northern neighborhoods. Jewish youths set fire to an empty lot and attempted to make their way to other parts of the city.

Police blocked the eastern entrance to Akko and have been pushing Jewish protesters back towards a local first aid station. To disperse the crowds, police used stun and gas grenades, as well as water hoses, but had difficulty controlling the demonstrators. Clashes with the police continued sporadically into the night, as the Northern District Police Chief, Shimon Koren, is personally overseeing the crowd control operations.

Police are deploying hundreds of officers, patrol cars and special forces in the city's hot spots. "We know that Jews intend to carry out acts of revenge, but we are not talking about an organized initiative," a police spokesman said. "The force will prevent any such interaction."
Public Security Minister Avi Dichter is monitoring the situation closely, but did not announce any intention of going to Akko for a field inspection.

Nuclear Aid by Russian to Iranians Suspected

From The New York Times, October 9, 2008, by ELAINE SCIOLINO:

PARIS — International nuclear inspectors are investigating whether a Russian scientist helped Iran conduct complex experiments on how to detonate a nuclear weapon, according to European and American officials. As part of the investigation, inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency are seeking information from the scientist, who they believe acted on his own as an adviser on experiments described in a lengthy document obtained by the agency, the officials said....

Follow the link to the full article

UN Human Rights Council Eliminates Scrutiny of Liberia, Praises Sudan, Slams Israel

From UN Watch, September 30, 2008 in Human Rights Council:

The UN Human Rights Council concluded its September 2008 session by eliminating the investigative mandate on human rights abuses in Liberia, praising Sudan, and censuring Israel for the twentieth time in two years. Apart from condemning Israel, the council has criticized North Korea once, and Myanmar four times. The UN’s other 189 countries have avoided any condemnation.

Click for chart of HRC resolutions

Despite Sudan’s massive atrocities in Darfur, the resolution expressed only weak and indirect criticism of the Khartoum regime, and, in an unprecedented move, refused to extend the Sudan expert’s mandate for longer than six months. Instead, the text “acknowledges the steps taken by the Government of the Sudan to strengthen the human rights legal and institutional framework, principally in law reform.”

Egypt’s Hisham Badr, introducing the resolution for the African Group, celebrated the fact that the council took note of “Sudan’s progress on the ground.” Similarly, Sudan’s Omer Dahab Fadol Mohamed praised the resolution for having “reflected the fact that Sudan was in total cooperation with the Human Rights Council and had shown sufficient flexibility for the Human Rights Council to continue cooperation on the basis of a positive dialogue.” Sudan commended the efforts by the African Group, “that had fully understood the position of Sudan.”

The council, dominated by repressive regimes, voted 32 to 9 to censure Israel for errant shells that in November 2006 claimed Palestinian civilian lives in Beit Hanun, Gaza, without mentioning that the artillery was aimed at Hamas terrorists firing Kassam rockets at Israeli civilians in Sderot. The resolution, a repeat of several previous censures, was designed to keep the episode on the UN agenda in perpetuity. The 9 opposing votes were cast by Canada, European Union members, and Japan, with Switzerland, South Korea, Ukraine, Bosnia and Cameroon all refusing to give their support and abstaining. Click for voting sheet ...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

UN: promoting evil ... time for a substitute

From JPost, by Isi Leibler, October 7, 2008 (Also see this previous posting):

...The newly created UN Human Rights Commission, intended to be more balanced than its predecessor, shamelessly promotes medieval anti-Semitic blood libels and demonization of Israel at levels unprecedented even by UN standards. Many of the Israel-speeches dominating the agenda could have been delivered at Hizbullah gatherings. Israel is routinely condemned as the world's worst example of human rights violations by apologists for monstrous regimes like Sudan.

Likewise, representatives from states such as Libya, Iran and Cuba hold key positions controlling the UN Durban II Conference agenda and are unabashedly displaying a determination to produce a replay of their first gathering in 2001 that became the springboard for the new global wave of ant-Semitism cloaked as anti-Zionism. It is no coincidence that the preparatory committee this year scheduled a meeting to review xenophobia on Yom Kippur.

Although occasionally expressing concerns about anti-Semitism, most democratic countries have displayed a penchant to assume positions of neutrality in the face of toxic anti-Israeli hostility. So it is especially regrettable that when Canada courageously called for a boycott of Durban II, Israel hesitated when firm support might have tipped the US and other democracies to follow suit - a move which would have relegated Durban to a coven of discredited dictatorships and extremist NGOs.

But it was at the last General Assembly plenum at the end of last month, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad transformed the podium into a launching pad for demonic Jew hatred unprecedented since the Nazi era, that UN hypocrisy and double standards reached their nadir. A similar diatribe from such a platform against any other religion or ethnic group would have been inconceivable. The obscene outburst paraphrased the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, accusing "Zionist murderers" of controlling international finance, the media and furtively manipulating global politics. The Iranian president who had repeatedly been calling for the elimination of the Jewish state reiterated that the world would soon benefit from the collapse of Israel, a member state of the organization he was addressing.

The response from many of the government and UN officials will be recorded as a day of infamy for an organization established after the defeat of Nazism to create a new world order based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rule of international law.

Not only was Ahmadinejad's tirade greeted by many representatives with enthusiastic applause, but the secretary-general, who only a short time earlier had condemned anti-Semitism, remained silent. The president of the General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, a former Nicaraguan foreign minister and a Catholic priest, made a point of publicly embracing the Iranian Holocaust denier after his vile address, and then attending the bitterly protested dinner in honor of the Iranian president.

If the Ahmadinejad diatribe fails to trigger a dramatic response, there is little doubt that similar depraved onslaughts by representatives of tyrannies will become the order of the day. Indeed, there is even a serious effort under way to elect Iran to a non-permanent seat on the Security Council.

What does this say about the UN? That an organization dominated by tyrannies and dictatorships, not surprisingly, is being exploited as a platform for promoting evil. Moreover, the situation will continue to deteriorate if the tensions between Western nations and Russia degenerate into a new cold war, and the Russians intensify their existing support for rogue states like Iran and Syria.

This horrific UN General Assembly session extending the welcome mat to Ahmadinejad, coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Munich agreement, when Britain and France betrayed Czechoslovakia in a vain effort to appease Hitler, paving the way for the most terrible war in history. ...

...Needless to say, this has special relevance to Israel. Yet in recent weeks, just when some of the more powerful democracies might have been more inclined to back a firm principled stand, our policy toward the UN seems to have taken a step backward.

Our newly appointed UN representative, Gabriela Shalev, while condemning the General Assembly's embrace of Ahmadinejad and capitalizing on the superb address delivered by President Shimon Peres, was reported to have dismissed the shocking behavior and passivity of delegates as traditional diplomatic behavior. She ludicrously added that some of the ambassadors applauding the Iranian president's Jew baiting had privately praised Israel to her.

Even more bizarre were media reports quoting Shalev saying that in addition to defending Israel at the UN, she considers her job to be "correcting the UN's image in the eyes of the people of Israel." If these reports are true, we may have replaced our former outstanding ambassador Dan Gillerman with an unqualified academic.

Our aspiring prime minister, Tzipi Livni, must be made aware that if her appointees to the UN are going to defend or make excuses for that body, even our allies will conclude that we have taken leave of our senses.

We should initiate a global campaign highlighting the extent to which the UN has deviated from the original hopes and aspirations of its founders, transformed into an instrument for subverting democracy and undermining the civilized world.

We should encourage the emerging view that challenges the validity of democratic states bearing the brunt of the cost of financing a global body exploited for the promotion of evil objectives by the numerically dominant tyrannies. Today, the case for the dissolution of the UN political framework while retaining those welfare agencies which make a constructive contribution has never been greater.

What should be mooted as a substitute is a new multilateral association of countries limited to those who are broadly democratic and display respect for human rights. Such a body could serve as a vehicle to promote democracy throughout the world, simultaneously providing an inducement to autocratic regimes to reform to qualify for inclusion. It would also enhance constructive multilateralism; in the absence of destructive extremist blocs, it would also create a more realistic environment for improved superpower consultations and co-operation.

Such an approach would undoubtedly now find increasing support among increasingly progressively more exasperated democracies including the United States.

US warns Syria against interfering in Lebanon

From Ynet News, 6/10/08:

Washington says 'concerned' over Syrian military buildup, warns Damascus must not use recent attack as pretext to reinvade Lebanon

The United States voiced concern over Syria's military build-up at its northern border and said the recent massive bomb attack in Damascus must not be used as a pretext to get its forces back into Lebanon.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the United States and others had made very clear to Syria that any intervention by Damascus into Lebanon was unacceptable....

...At the end of last month, Syria sent hundreds of troops to its northern border with Lebanon, in a move the authorities said was aimed to combat smuggling.

Syria's opponents in Lebanon have speculated that Damascus could use insecurity in the north as a pretext for intervention....

Israeli general warns Hezbollah of harsh response

From Ynet News, 3/10/08:

IDF Northern Command chief says in any future war Israel would use ' disproportionate' force on Lebanese villages from which Hizbullah will fire rockets at its cities. 'From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases,' Maj.-Gen. Eisenkot tells Yedioth Ahronoth ...

... "What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on," said Gadi Eisenkot, head of the army's northern division.

Dahiya was a Hizbullah stronghold that Israel flattened in sustained air raids during a 34-day war with the Shiite group two years ago.

"We will apply disproportionate force on it (village) and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases," Eisenkot told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. "This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved," Eisenkot added....

'Hizbullah building capabilities against us'
... Eisenkot said Hizbullah, backed by Iran and Syria, had significantly improved its rocket fire capability since the end of the war two years ago. He rejected accusations that Israel was violating a UN-brokered ceasefire by sending aircraft on reconnaissance flights over Lebanon, saying the aerial missions were necessary given that Iran and Syria continue to arm Hizbullah in breach of the UN truce.

"Hizbullah is building capabilities against us that contravene the agreement signed by the Lebanese government at the end of the war," said Eisenkot. "Therefore there is legitimacy to continue the flights over southern Lebanon and over Lebanon in general."