Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Demographic Scare – Repudiated by Facts

From "Israel Hayom" Newsletter, December 8, 2011, by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger:
The prophets of demographic doom have contended, since the establishment of modern day Zionism in 1897 and the Jewish State in 1948, that Jews are doomed to become a minority west of the Jordan River. The facts prove them wrong!
In 2011, in defiance of demographic fatalism, Israel's Jewish demography benefits from a tailwind while Arabs, throughout the Mid-East, experience a demographic headwind.
For instance, the annual number of Jewish births has surged by 56% since 1995 – reflecting a rising fertility rate (number of births per woman) - while the annual number of Israeli Arab births has grown by 10% - reflecting a sharp decline in fertility rate.
The annual number of Israel's Jewish births has expanded from 69% of total births, in 1995, to 76% of total births in 2011. In 1995, there were 2.3 Jewish births per each Arab birth, compared with 3.1 Jewish births per each Arab birth in 2011.
The secular Jewish sector – especially the Olim (immigrants) from the former USSR and the Tel Aviv area yuppies - is mostly responsible for the demographic surge. At the same time, the ultra-orthodox sector is experiencing a drop in fertility, resulting from its gradual integration into the employment market and expanded service in the Israel Defense Forces.
The Jewish-Arab gap of fertility has been reduced from 6 births in 1969 to 0.5 births in 2011, trending toward a convergence at 3 births per woman. In fact, Jewish-Arab fertility convergence is already in place among younger women and in northern Israel (the largest Arab community), while the fertility rate among Israeli-born Jewish women exceeds 3 births per woman. In Jerusalem, the Jewish fertility rate (4.3 births) is higher than the Arab rate (3.9).
In fact, Israel's Jewish fertility rate is higher than most Arab countries, other than Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria. For example, Jordan, a twin sister of Judea and Samaria in many respects, features 2.8 births per woman, Egypt has declined to 2.5 births and even non-Arab radical Islamic Iran has taken a dip to 1.7 births per woman (a 2.1 rate is required to sustain the current numbers) .
The sharp decline in the Arab fertility rate, west of the Jordan River, is a derivative of the successful integration of Arabs into the infrastructure of modernity. Israeli Arabs have blended into the infrastructure of education, medical, employment, leisure, banking, agriculture, sports, politics, academia, media and the arts. Most Arab women marry at the age of 20+, instead of 15-18, and stop the reproductive process at the age of 40+, instead of 50+. The phenomenon of Arab teen pregnancy is vanishing. Family planning and the use of contraceptives has become an acceptable norm among Arabs. This process has been faster among Judea and Samaria Arabs due to dramatic urbanization: 70% rural population in 1967 and 75% urban population in 2011, burdened by 30% unemployment, a PLO-Hamas civil war and a rising divorce rate.
Modernity has also reduced the Arab natural increase - birth minus death - due to the diminishing number of births on the one hand, and the increase in the number of the elderly – as a proportion of the Arab population - on the other hand. The latter is the result of the rapid rise of Arab life expectancy, causing a rapid shrinking of natural increase.
Net-Arab-emigration, from Judea and Samaria, has been an annual phenomenon since 1950 (with the exception of six years). Most emigrants are in the reproductive age. In contrast, net-Jewish immigration has benefitted Israel, with most Olim in the reproductive age. Waves of Jewish immigration (Aliya) have occurred every 20 years: 1950s, 1970s and 1990s. Another wave is possible, should Israel and the Jewish people rise to the occasion, leveraging economic, social and (Jewish) educational realities in Russia, Ukraine, other former USSR Republics, France, England, Argentina and the USA.
In 1898, the leading Jewish demographer/historian, Shimon Dubnov, referred to Theodore Herzl, the father of modern day Zionism, as "a messianic wishful-thinker.” Dubnov projected a 500,000 Jewish population in the land of Israel by the year 2000 – an insignificant minority. He was off by more than 5 million Jews. In 1948, the founder of Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, and the mentor of today's prophets of demographic doom, Prof. Roberto Bacchi, projected a 2.3 million Jewish minority of 33% in 2001. He was off by 3.5 million Jews.
Since 1967, Israel's demographers of doom have contended that Jews are doomed to become a minority west of the Jordan River. They prescribe the panacea to the demographic threat: conceding geography (Judea and Samaria) in order to secure demography. In defiance of these demographic projections, over six million Jews constitute a 66% majority in the combined area of pre-1967 Israel, Judea and Samaria. The number of Judea & Samaria Arabs has been inflated by one million (including overseas residents, double-counting Jerusalem Arabs, inflating birth numbers, etc.) since the arrival of one million Olim from the USSR.
Demographic facts conclude that anyone suggesting that Jews are doomed to become a minority west of the Jordan River is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.
Policy-makers should base policy upon facts and not upon refuted numbers!

Anti-Semitism 2.0

From Hudson New York, March 21, 2011, by Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian writer and academic from Jordan, who now resides in the UK:
The concept of the "evil Jew" has made a well-disguised comeback: Criticizing Israel and Zionists, is now deemed a legitimate option to cursing Jews and Judaism. Not only is it open, socially acceptable and legal, but it can actually bring prosperity and popularity.
This new form of anti-Semitism 2.0 is well-covered-up, harder to trace and poses a much deeper danger to the modern way of life of the civilized world than the earlier crude form of it, as it slowly and gradually works on delegitimizing Jews to the point where it eventually becomes acceptable to target Jews, first verbally, then physically -- all done in a cosmopolitan style where the anti-Semites are well-groomed speakers and headline writers in jackets and ties; and not just Arab, but American and European, from "sanitized" news coverage of the most bloodthirsty radicals, to charges against Israel in which facts are distorted, selectively omitted or simply untrue, as in former President Jimmy Carter's book on Israel.
Why would a Palestinian be writing this? The answer is simple: The Palestinians have been used as fuel for the new form of anti-Semitism; this has hurt the Palestinians and exposed them to unprecedented and purposely media-ignored abuse by Arab governments, including some of those who claim love for the Palestinians, yet in fact only bear hatred to Jews. This has resulted in Palestinian cries for justice, equality, freedom and even basic human rights being ignored while the world getting consumed with delegitimizing Israel from either ignorance or malice.
Worse, just as the old form of anti-Semitism has proven itself a threat as poisonous to its supporters, as it was to the Jews, the new form of anti-Semitism 2.0 could prove itself the same -- all the more likely as we see the world tolerating Iran's nuclear ambitions not necessarily out of love for the Mullah's regime, but instead because of mental fixation against Israel.
Such bias against Israel cannot be "accidental" or merely "unfortunate." No other nation has received the amount of scrutinizing, criticism, coverage, demonization and delegitimization. In fact the question to be asked is not whether there is bias against Israel; but rather why there is bias against Israel?
While honest coverage is a pride claimed by all modern media, news reports are assigned according to every editor's choice, this has resulted in a wide editorial bias against Israel and its actions. What makes things worse is the fact that there are no adverse consequences -- such as "lack of access" or physical retribution -- against whoever writes lies about Israel, an open society with a free press. More than 80 human rights non-governmental organizations operate within Israel, constantly monitoring and criticizing it with nothing to worry about -- either professionally or politically --therefore, anyone who misreports or misrepresents facts, or even who lies, is free to keep doing so -- including the the Israelis. For example, the English language newspaper of choice for foreign journalists, Ha'aretz, does not even contain a corrections column. Reporters are told only to write about "The Conflict," and if they do not file by six pm, they are out of a job -- while conflicts which are claiming lives, such as the slaughter of the Assyrians in Iraq, are forgotten. The global media seem to be so consumed by the conflict in Israel which, as dramatic as this may still be, still has claimed only a fraction of the total number of victims of other conflicts.
Bias against Israel does not stop with the media; international organizations exhibit a similar pattern. The recent governmental meltdowns in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have exposed that Arab dictators keep cash and property in Western countries, where they are able to roam freely, while many Israeli politicians have to think twice before they set a foot in Europe for fear of being arrested for "war crimes." Also, Israeli military actions seem to receive more scrutinizing from the international community than the rest of the world's militaries: the UN Security Council still stands reluctant to tackle Qadafi's ongoing atrocities against protesters, but shows no hesitation in investigating even wild claims against Israel.
Recent protests in Arab countries have provided further proof of the media's selective coverage. While young peaceful protesters are being shot by the Jordanian King's guards or attacked by what doctors describe as "a mysterious teargas" in Yemen, the media fail to provide proper coverage for any of that; on the other side, a car accident involving a Palestinian boy and an Israeli driver made global headline news.
Further, amid recent protests in Arab countries, most global media outlets refrained from taking a position on the power-contested Arab dictators; but they have never failed to present pre-packaged anti-Israeli positions when they cover Palestinian uprisings. This extends to perplexing twists: when the protests in Libya started, for example, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, a leading Muslim scholar and no friend of Israel,, appeared on Al-Jazeera, saying, "Qaddafi has done to his people what the Zionists would never do to the Palestinians," yet this strong statement from an unlikely source never made it to the Western media.
Media bias against Israel dies not harm only Israelis; it comes at very dear price to us, the Palestinians. In July of 2010, for example, a seasoned journalist Robert Fisk interviewed a group of right-wing ultra-conservative East Bank-Jordanians who were calling on King Abdullah of Jordan to strip the Palestinian majority of their citizenship and property. The group, mostly made up of retired Jordanian servicemen and journalists were also calling for ending the peace treaty with Israel and "establishing it as an enemy state." Despite my attempts to contact Mr. Fisk –-along with another Jordanian-Palestinian journalist---to warn him of the people he was going to meet, he nonetheless, published an article entitled, "Why Is Jordan Occupied by Palestinians?" -- Which was mainly a manifesto for those with whom he had met. They then publicized the article as a global media victory for themselves, and drove the Palestinians of Jordan into even deeper fear for their own safety in a country where they are already oppressed by security agencies; virtually barred from any government or local authority positions, excluded from state universities, despite paying "a university tax", as well as other taxes and tariffs --which their fellow Jordanians of Bedouins heritage are exempted from-- and regularly and openly insulted by the government-run Jordanian media calling for them to be expelled.
The day before Mr. Fisk met with the extremist group, one of their members, a retired intelligence officer now turned writer, published an article calling on the Jordanian intelligence service to "chop off Mudar Zahran's head in the UK without any observance of diplomatic restraints;" would Mr. Fisk have met with an Israeli journalist calling for the Mossad to behead a Palestinian on British soil?
Anti-Semitism and the image of the "evil Jew" find their roots deep in Europe's intellectualism, from Shakespeare to Nietzsche, not to mention the fraudulent Franco-Russian Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The pretexts for Hitler's Nazi ideology existed vigorously before he came to power. Hitler probably manifested more of a crude exposure of a public trend, exacerbated by a terrible economy, except that the suffering Hitler brought to the world was not limited to Jews. It took the destruction of entire nations and the deaths of millions for people to realize that racism and extremism can be as dangerous to the oppressors and the haters as it is the oppressed and the hated.
As a result, European societies of today collectively renounce racism and anti-Semitism, but even though the haters encountered rejection and exclusion, they were nonetheless able to find an alternative pathway by prospering on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As it has raged -- and continues to rage -- for sixty years, the global media have found a lively source of news material that is endlessly interesting as a conflict between "two religions," "two ethnicities," and the line between the West, represented by Israel, and the East, represented by the Palestinians and Arabs in general.
This form of hatred is hurting us all; it must be countered.

Will you miss Christopher Hitchens?

I have read several appreciations of Hitchens written by conservatives and neo-conservatives who knew him and appreciated his transformation from a man of the left into a man of the right since the US invasion of Iraq.
All of these essays, like the generous conservative swooning over Hitchens for the better part of the last ten years makes me uneasy. For all of his personal transformation, there is one prejudice that I don't think Hitchens every abandoned and that is his anti-Semitism.
Please read the linked essay on the subject by Benjamin Kerstein. Kerstein wrote it last December and I believe that he definitively proved that my unease at Hitchens has always been well-deserved.
The fact that so many pro-Israel conservatives are willing to overlook his underlying, and always obvious hatred for Judaism is I believe the function of a larger problem. Jews are always reluctant to admit that just because someone is good on everything other than Jews doesn't mean that we can give him a pass on hating us.
And we can't give anti-Semites a pass. They won't end their bigotry because we love them. They will see our love as justification for their hatred. After all, we must deserve to be hated if we are so willing to embrace our haters. To the best of my knowledge, Hitchens never disavowed his antipathy for Israel or his rejection of our right to define ourselves as a nation or our legal, national and moral rights to the land of Israel. And so I will never disavow my objection to him and refusal to give him a pass for his anti-Semitism.
He may have known how to hold his liquor, spin a yarn, turn a phrase and all the rest, but he was no hero in my eyes. He was a Jew hater.

Betraying Ben-Gurion

From Hudson New York, December 22, 2011, by Efraim Karsh, research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College London, director of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia) and author, most recently, of Palestine Betrayed:
It is ironic that Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel's only university bearing the name of the Jewish state's founding father, and established in the ancient desert he dreamt of reviving, has become a hotbed of anti-Israel propaganda at the expense of proper scholarly endeavor.
So much so that an international committee of scholars, appointed by Israel's Council for Higher Education to evaluate political science and international relations programs in Israeli universities, recently recommended that BGU "consider closing the Department of Politics and Government" unless it abandoned its "strong emphasis on political activism," improved its research performance, and redressed the endemic weakness "in its core discipline of political science." In other words, they asked that the Department return to accurate scholarship rather than indoctrinate the students with libel.
The same day the committee's recommendation was revealed, Professor David Newman -- who founded that department and bequeathed it such a problematic ethos, for which "achievement" he was presumably rewarded with a promotion to Deanship of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, from where he can shape other departments in a similar way -- penned an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post in which he compared Israel's present political culture to that of Nazi Germany...
...There is no moral equivalence whatever between the Nazi persecution, exclusion, segregation, and eventually industrial slaughter of European Jewry, and Israel's treatment of its Arab population. Not only do the Arabs in Israel enjoy full equality before the law, but from the designation of Arabic as an official language, to the recognition of non-Jewish religious holidays as legal resting days for their respective communities, Arabs in Israel have enjoyed more prerogatives than ethnic minorities anywhere in the democratic world.
To put it more bluntly, while six million Jews, three quarters of European Jewry, died at the hands of the Nazis in the six years that Hitler dominated Europe, Israel's Arab population has not only leapt tenfold during the Jewish state's 63 years of existence - from 156,000 in 1948 to 1.57 million in 2010 - but its rate of social and economic progress has often surpassed that of the Jewish sector, with the result that the gap between the two communities has steadily narrowed.
It is precisely this exemplary, if by no means flawless, treatment of its Arab citizens that underlies their clear preference of Israeli citizenship to that of one in a prospective Palestinian state (a sentiment shared by most East Jerusalem Palestinians). This preference has also recently driven tens of thousands of African Muslims illegally to breach the Jewish state's border in search of employment, rather than to stay in Egypt, whose territory they have to cross on the way. The treatment of mass illegal immigration (hardly the hapless refugees presented by Newman) is a major problem confronting most democracies in the West these days, where there is an ongoing debate about what are the basic responsibilities of governments for their citizens' wellbeing and the right of nations to determine the identity of those entering their territory.
Even more mind-boggling is Newman's equating Israel's attempt to prevent foreign funding of Israeli nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the international Israel de-legitimization campaign -- along the lines of the US Foreign Agents Legislation Act -- with repressing political opponents by the Nazi regime. What "human rights activists" have been unlawfully detained by the Israeli government, let alone rounded up and thrown into concentration camps? On what planet does the Ben-Gurion University faculty dean live?
But Newman is not someone to be bothered by the facts. His is the standard "colonialist paradigm" prevalent among Israeli and Western academics, which views Zionism, and by extension the state of Israel, not as a legitimate expression of national self-determination but as "a colonizing and expansionist ideology and movement" (in the words of another BGU professor) - an offshoot of European imperialism at its most rapacious.
And therein, no doubt, lies the problem with BGU's Politics and Government Department: the only Israeli department singled out by the international committee for the unprecedented recommendation of closure [unless it addresses some of the problems pointed out by the committee]. For if its founder and long-time member, who continues to wield decisive influence over its direction, views Israel as a present-day reincarnation of Nazi Germany in several key respects, how conceivably can the department ensure the "sustained commitment to providing balance and an essential range of viewpoints and perspectives on the great issues of politics" required for its continued existence?

Also see the following (thanks to Israel Academia Monitor - follow the links to their source articles):

The Department of Government & Politics at BGU has been recently reprimanded by the Council for Higher Education for shoddy academic standards and excessive political activism. The Department's International MA program on conflict, described as "a unique program which examines the different ways in which global and local processes have formed numerous sites of conflict both within the Israeli society and its relations with its neighbors," is illustrative in this sense.
Many of the courses in the program are heavy on neo-Marxist, critical analysis and replete with bibliography drawn from books published by radical non- academic presses and journals who mix scholarship with leftist ideology and pro-Palestinian advocacy. For instance the course "War, Security and Governance," defines conflict as more than the use of "brute force" to include such things as "pervasive controls" by government and "capital." International corporations are described as greedy villains in the service of "capital" and the Israeli government is seen a major violator of human rights. The syllabi show virtually no attempt to offer a non-Marxist perspective on conflict and global economy.
The program's field trips to "sites of conflict" offer a dim view of Israel's alleged mistreatment of Israeli Arabs, Bedouins and foreign laborers. This should come as no surprise; the Department has a large number of neo-Marxist, critical scholars and political activists who see no division between classroom instruction and extra-mural political engagement, This is particularly unfortunate since the MA program caters to foreign students who can put their newly minted degree to good use in the burgeoning movement aimed at delegitmizing Israel.

Professor Oren Yiftachel, a radical academic from the MAPMES Program at Ben Gurion University and one of the intellectual architects of the theory of Israel-as-an apartheid state, has written extensively on the Bedouins in the Negev. Unofruntately, in order to score political points, Yiftachel misrepresents key facts and simplifies the real dilemma facing the state in its dealings with an indigenous nomadic population. As already reported Haim Sandberg, an authority on land usage in Israel, proved that significant parts of the Negev desert was considered to be mewat under the Ottoman Empire. The designation included land that was not used for agriculture or pasture and was remote from human settlments. British mandatory authorities initiated a process of transferring property deeds to the Bedouin population, but restricted the circumstances under which claims could be made to mewat land, a decision that the Israeli government has followed.

The Israel Academia Monitor (IAM) watchdog, which “monitors abuses of academic freedom and politicization of Israeli campuses by extremists and radicals,” has found, “Israeli academic institutions have been misused in recent years for radical anti-Israeli and even anti-Semitic propagandizing, often by tenured radicals with embarrassing academic records and dubious research credentials.”
The deeper concern, however, is the pervasiveness of such views in Israeli institutions in the State of Israel, which highlights on the one hand how open Israeli academia is, and on the other the absurdity that it would tolerate such extreme views even at the expense of its international legitimacy. Of all the Israeli universities, Ben-Gurion University in the Negev (BGU) has become the leader and chief exporter of many of these attitudes, especially to those Middle East departments in the U.S. that want to appear balanced in the face of charges of anti-Israel biases—a move that at first glance appears welcome.

Israel's Top 20 Greatest Inventions of All Time

From JPost, by Abigail Klein Leichman (Jerusalem Post):
Indispensable Israeli inventions are being displayed and demonstrated at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem. 
Israel's top inventions highlighted at the exhibition include:
  1. Netafim smart drip micro-irrigation, 
  2. Ormat geothermal power plants, 
  3. Pythagoras Solar windows, 
  4. Hazera Genetics slow-ripening cherry tomato, 
  5. EpiLady electric hair remover, 
  6. MobileEye safe auto navigation system, 
  7. Leviathan Energy silent wind turbine, 
  8. BriefCam video-synopsis technology, 
  9. Better Place electric car network, 
  10. Intel Israel computer processors
  11. TA Count real-time microbiology detection, 
  12. Solaris Synergy solar panels that float on water, 
  13. HydroSpin internal pipe electricity generator, 
  14. Elbit electro-optic observation system, 
  15. Turbulence interactive movie, 
  16. Decell Technologies GPS and phone-based road traffic information monitoring, 
  17. PrimeSense 3D vision technologies, 
  18. Takadu water utilities monitoring, 
  19. EarlySense hospital patient monitoring, and
  20. Panoramic Power energy monitoring.

Hamas & PLO agree: Goal is destruction of Israel

At a ceremony marking the 24th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas may work for the "interim objective of liberation of Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem," but that this "interim objective" and "reconciliation" with Fatah will not change Hamas' long-term "strategic" goal of eliminating all of Israel:
"The armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel]... We won't relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine."
In his speech, Haniyeh also promised that Hamas will "lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine - all of Palestine, Allah willing. Allah Akbar and praise Allah."
Two days later, contradicting Haniyeh's statements, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that Hamas leader abroad Khaled Mashaal had agreed that:
-    "There will be no military resistance."
-    "The permanent solution is on the '67 borders." 

According to Abbas, Hamas agrees to a permanent solution on the '67 borders. However, Haniyeh said that Hamas agrees to a temporary solution on the '67 borders as a first stage only.
For many years, the PLO promoted a "stages plan" that would first create a Palestinian state on the 1949 - 1967 armistice lines, and then work from that position to destroy Israel. 

Senior Fatah official Abbas Zaki recently stated that this remains the goal for Fatah as well, but that 
"you can't say it to the world. You can say it to yourself." ...

Follow the link for the full Bulletin including longer excerpts of the statements mentioned above.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kosher antisemitism?

From AIJAC, 20 Dec 2011, by Colin Rubenstein:
The US Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, addressing a conference on antisemitism on November 30, controversially insisted that Muslim "hatred and indeed sometimes... violence directed at Jews generally [is] a result of the continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories" and should therefore not be seen as the same thing as "real" antisemitism. He went on to insist that a Mideast peace deal would see a "huge reduction of this form of labeled ‘antisemitism'."
Aside from the immorality of, effectively, rationalising a form of racism as due to the alleged behaviour of its targets, Gutman's comments were factually indefensible. There are clearly elements of strong, even eliminationist, antisemitism within the Muslim tradition predating Zionism by centuries.
A good example is the hadith [a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammed] which was quoted by various figures associated with the Muslim Brotherhood at an election rally in Cairo on Nov. 26. It states: "The Hour [of judgement] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. When a Jew hides behind a rock or a tree, it will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of Allah! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'"
This hadith is among the most quoted passages about Jews in certain Islamic traditions. It is certainly part of the Hamas Charter and utilised by al-Qaeda as well as the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is true that, in medieval times, Jews in Muslim societies tended on the whole to be better off than in Christian Europe, but this is hardly to suggest that their human rights were fully respected. Further, Muslim antisemitism became more vicious and dangerous in the 19th and 20th centuries primarily due to the influence of modern European ideologies, including Nazism, which often came to be perceived through the lens of problematic anti-Jewish Islamic sources.
As a result, Jews across the Middle East began to suffer heightened violent hatred well before Israel and Zionism emerged on the agenda. In 1912, the Jewish quarter in Fez was almost destroyed in a mob attack. In the 1930s and 1940s pogroms and other attacks on the Jews were widespread in Iraq and Libya. Pro-Nazi Arabs slaughtered dozens of Jews in the "Farhoud" pogrom in Baghdad in 1941.
A good exhibit of the contemporary reality of this racist ideology was one of the speakers at the Nov. 26 Cairo Muslim Brotherhood rally - Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, probably the most popular Sunni cleric in the Arab world. He has previously described the Holocaust as "divine punishment" for the Jews and expressed the hope that "Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the [Muslim] believers." He also stated he wants to die a martyr in the process of killing "Allah's enemies, the Jews."
To imagine this ugly and pervasive amalgam of traditional regional and European antisemitism is all going to evaporate if Israel signs a peace deal with the Palestinians is fantasy. So why do people like Ambassador Gutman utter such fallacies?...

Do Palestinians really support a two-state solution?

From Foundation for Defense of Democracies, December 22, 2011, by Clifford D. May*:

The region we now call the Middle East is an elaborate mosaic. Among its peoples are the Arabs, ... Maronites, Druze, and Alawites; ... powerful clans such as the Hashemites and the House of Sa’ud; ...Kurds, a nation without a state, and ...Jews, reestablished as a nation in their ancient homeland.
The other day, Newt Gingrich waded into this historical labyrinth, setting off a minor brouhaha by noting that only recently did Arabs on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean claim to constitute a distinct nation called “Palestine” — the name given to the area by Imperial Rome. On this basis, he referred to Palestinians as an “invented” people.
The accuracy of his statement is beyond dispute. In the wake of the Second World War, when the United Nations recommended partitioning Palestine into two states, it did not use the term “Palestinian” to refer to Arab-speaking residents. At that time, pan-Arabism, the idea of forming a single, united Arab nation, was far more compelling than any parochial identification. The question was how to divide what, for 400 years, had been a corner of the Ottoman Empire between the Arabs of Palestine and the Jews of Palestine. Of the two, the latter were, at that time, more commonly referred to as Palestinians. Their newspaper was the Palestine Post (now the Jerusalem Post), their contributions to the performing arts included the Palestine Orchestra (now the Israel Philharmonic), and their American-based charitable organization was the United Palestine Appeal.
From 1948 until 1967, Gaza and the West Bank were under Egyptian and Jordanian control respectively. No serious demands for a Palestinian state were heard. Only after Israel took possession of those territories in a defensive war against Egypt, Jordan, and other Arab states did Palestinian nationhood become the central issue in what had been, until then, the Arab- Israeli conflict. 
...New York Times ...foreign-affairs columnist H. D. S. Greenway ... charges that Gingrich intended to “imply that the Palestinians are not worthy of a country of their own.”
Gingrich insists he meant no such thing. ...Gingrich favors a two-state solution similar to the one the Palestinians were offered in 1948 and at Camp David in 2000. In these and other instances, the Palestinians said no. What does that imply? Perhaps that Palestinians — or at least those who lead them — are themselves insufficiently nationalistic.
That’s indisputably true of Hamas, the Iranian-backed Muslim Brotherhood group that rules Gaza. The Hamas Covenant invokes “the best nation that hath been raised up unto mankind.” But that nation is not Palestine. It is the Islamic nation which is to be revived as a caliphate, an empire of which Palestine would be only a province.
The Hamas Covenant asserts without equivocation that “the Palestinian problem is a religious problem,” adding that there can be “no solution . . . except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” As for Israel, the Covenant minces no words: “Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
Okay, but what about Hamas’s rival, Fatah, and the Palestinian Authority? In recent years, Western diplomats have placed much hope in Palestinian Authority prime minister Salaam Fayyad, who, I think it fair to say, has made a serious attempt to build institutional and economic foundations upon which an independent and viable Palestinian state might rest.
But as my colleague Jonathan Schanzer last week pointed out in Foreign Policy magazine, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has been methodically undercutting and marginalizing Fayyad. And Washington, Schanzer observes, instead of providing Fayyad “the support he needs to weather the storm, has chosen to stand on the sidelines.”
It gets worse. Abbas has been refusing to meet with Israelis until and unless they make major concessions in advance. Over the weekend, Khaled Abu Toameh, the distinguished Israeli (and Arab and Muslim) journalist reported that, in addition, “Abbas’s Fatah faction has declared war on all informal meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.” The Abbas/Fatah objection to such meetings, Toameh reports, is that they promote “the culture of peace” and are designed to “‘normalize’ relations between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Despite all this, there are many people who persist in the belief that the main obstacle to settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is Israeli intransigence, the unwillingness of Israeli leaders to “take risks for peace.” Such delusions are perhaps unavoidable when a “peace process” is predicated not on verifiable history and observable reality but on myth, wishful thinking, and willful blindness.
What would be an alternative? To say straightforwardly to the Palestinians: 
“If you want to develop as a nation and live in a state of your own, we will help you. But our support is not unconditional: You must be willing to compromise. You must be willing to make peace with the Israelis, who will be your neighbors. If, however, it is not Palestine to which you are committed but to a new anti-Western caliphate, and if building a Palestinian state is less important to you than ‘obliterating’ the State of Israel, we’re going to leave you on your own.”
What happens after that would be for Palestinians to decide and history to record.

*Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

PLO moves to incorporate genocidal terrorists like Hamas, Islamic Jihad


...Leaders of several Palestinian groups, including Hamas and Fatah, agreed Thursday to “activate and reconstruct” the PLO so as to allow other non-member parties to join the organization. ...The move will pave the way for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical groups to join the PLO, which includes 10 members – the largest being Fatah.
Regev said that anyone who had any illusions about Hamas's true character should have listened to the speeches last week in Gaza from Hamas's leaders at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the organization. "What we heard was a stream of hateful, extremist rhetoric," he said.
Hamas, Regev said, is totally opposed to peace and reconciliation, believes that the Jewish state should be obliterated, and that terrorism against civilians is justified.  "Hamas is not a political organization that uses terrorism, Hamas is to its very core a genocidal terrorist organization," he said.
Other members of the PLO include the Popular Front for the liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People’s Party, the Palestine Liberation Front and the Arab Liberation Front, as well as six other tiny groups aligned with Syria and Iraq’s now defunct Ba’ath Party.
...Thursday’s agreement paves the way for the establishment of a provisional leadership of the PLO that would include, for the first time ever, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups. These groups will later become incorporated into various PLO institutions, especially the Palestine National Council (PNC), the organization’s parliament-in-exile.
The PNC is the legislative body of the PLO and elects its Executive Committee, the main decision-making body of the organization.
At Thursday’s discussions in Cairo, the Palestinian leaders agreed to form a committee headed by PNC Speaker Salim Zanoun to discuss ways of “activating and reconstructing” the PLO so that Hamas and other groups would be incorporated into the organization, Fatah and Hamas officials said.
They said that the committee would include, for the first time, representatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups that are not members of the PLO.
The committee will hold its first meeting in the Jordanian capital of Amman on January 15, 2012.
Following the meeting of the Palestinian factions, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a “presidential decree” for the establishment of a new Palestinian Elections Commission that would prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. No date has been set for the vote, although PA officials have talked about the possibility of holding the elections on May 4, 2012.
The Palestinian factions are also hoping to hold new elections for the PNC, which has 669 members.
The Cairo discussions were also attended by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.
A Hamas official said that Mashaal and Abbas reached agreement on the release of detainees being held in Hamas and PA prisons in the Gaza Strip and West Bank by the end of next month.
The two also agreed to form a committee comprising representatives of several Palestinian factions to discuss ending restrictions imposed by the PA and Hamas governments against activists belonging to the two sides, including travel bans....

UNESCO and the the Spanish government fund antisemitism

From PMW, 22 Dec 2011, by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik:

Wiesenthal Center citing PMW calls on UNESCO to stop funding Palestinian kid's magazine
that glorified Hitler 

"We call on you to suspend UNESCO sponsorship  of Zayafuna [magazine] and to condemn its odious hatemongering"
Following publication of Palestinian Media Watch's book Deception, exposing glorification of Hitler in the Palestinian children's magazine Zayzafuna which is funded by the PA, UNESCO and the the Spanish government (through MDG-F), the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on UNESCO to halt its funding.
...UNESCO responded, 
"thank you for drawing our attention to the information reported by Palestinian Media Watch... Allow me to underscore that UNESCO takes this matter extremely seriously and it cannot but strongly deplore and condemn the statements you are referring to... We will bring this matter to the attention of the concerned Palestinian authorities..."
The Wiesenthal Center called UNESCO's response "inadequate."

See JIW's previous posting on  this subject for background.
Follow the link to PMW, 22 Dec 2011 to see the full article including links to the original correspondence.

It's now time to Confront Religious Zealotry

... religious zealots and their ... efforts to impose their stringent standards of observance on all Israelis ... has created so much fear and loathing of religion amongst the people that it could culminate with a fracturing of Israeli society and distortion of Jewish identity.
At all times there were individual rabbis and groups who interpreted Halacha – Jewish law – with extreme rigor. Their right to practice their individual religious lifestyle as they saw fit was always respected.
Regrettably, our dysfunctional political system has enabled zealots to hijack the state religious institutions which had formerly been administered by moderate religious Zionists. They transformed the Chief Rabbinate, which they previously held in utter contempt, into puppets exploited to impose haredi standards on the entire nation.
Their gross insensitivity, lack of compassion and the excessive stringency employed in relation to the highly complex issues associated with marriage and conversion is having catastrophic national repercussions and encouraging increasing numbers of Israelis to bypass the rabbinate by marrying in civil ceremonies in Cyprus and elsewhere. For example, they demand documentary proof testifying to Jewish ancestry dating back three generations – an impossibility for many offspring from Holocaust survivors and Jews from the former Soviet Union. They even resorted to an unprecedented halachic technique of retroactively nullifying conversions.
The Chief Rabbinate even sought to deny Tzohar, the association of moderate national religious rabbis, from conducting marriages. Fortunately they have failed and Tzohar have now reasserted their influence in regard to authorizing marriage.
In addition, the haredi establishment refuses to accept halachic innovations previously introduced to accommodate the requirements of a Jewish homeland. It rejects the halachic initiative, heter mechirah, sanctioned by the renowned former Chief Rabbi Kook at the beginning of the century, to avert destitution of farmers when the land was required to remain fallow during the shmita (sabbatical year).
The rabbis who nurtured us during our youth in a religious Zionist environment were no less pious than their counterparts today, yet they were not obsessed with gender separation and “modesty”. They never imposed gender separated youth groups or insisted that it was sinful to listen to women singing.
The prohibitions in this area are constantly expanding. In addition to barring mixed choirs, in Jerusalem this even led to efforts to ban advertising billboards featuring a woman's face or body. In their perverted version of “modesty”, some extremists even seek to pressure religious women to adopt what can only be described as Taliban dress code.
Not to mention the brouhaha over mixed seating in buses, despite the fact that even Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, one of the greatest ultra-Orthodox halachic authorities of the 20th century, had not only ruled that this posed no problem, but was highly critical of an individual becoming sexually aroused by merely sitting next to a woman. This week, even Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Metzger felt obliged to distance himself from this campaign.
Some of these trends have infiltrated into the national religious community, previously renowned for its moderation, serving as a bridge spanning all sectors of society and promoting Judaism to non-observant Israelis by example rather than by coercion.
The genesis of this worrying trend originated with the recruitment of haredim as teachers in the religious Zionist educational system. This led to the emergence of a new generation of educators, including rabbis, who retained their national ideals but having been educated exclusively in Yeshivot and lacking secular tertiary education, adopted the haredi rejection of worldly knowledge.
This absence of a broader education combined with an almost messianic obsession with the sanctity of the land rather than wider religious social values, created a brand of religious nationalism which became alienated from the people.
It led to some rabbis insinuating that conflicts between democracy and Halacha are inevitable and even encouraging religious soldiers to reject orders deemed to be inconsistent with religious law.
Whilst clumsily mishandled by the IDF, the recent call from some rabbis for religious soldiers to boycott army ceremonies in which women sing is unprecedented. This concept of Kol Isha was promulgated at a time when female singers were associated with promiscuity and was only observed by a small minority within the Orthodox framework. Surely, the few soldiers wishing to observe this could have resolved the problem by simply wearing earplugs. The madness is further exacerbated by Rabbi Levanon of Elon Moreh, allegedly recommending that soldiers choose death before complying with an order to hear women sing.
More outrageously, students from a religious pre military academy (Eli) were recently forbidden by their rabbi (Elie Sadan) to attend a lecture in the Knesset because it was being presented by a woman.
Chief Rabbi Goren and other former chief rabbis never objected to such activity nor absented themselves from events in which women participated. Yet, would anyone dare suggest that former chief rabbis, who would never conceivably endorse such stringent rulings, were any less pious or learned than the current incumbents? Was Chief Rabbi Herzog or Chief Rabbi Goren religiously inferior to our current Chief Rabbi Metzger?
However, today many rabbis who privately describe extremist halachic interpretations as abhorrent and harmful, feel intimidated and lack the courage to raise their voices in protest. Others mistakenly believe that a split in religious ranks would be more damaging than confronting the zealots.
The time has come for us to demand that mainstream rabbis speak up and publicly promote what Maimonides described as the “shvil hazahav” – the golden path of moderation.
The highly respected Tzohar rabbis, if unable to function within the existing rabbinical framework, must cease appeasing the zealots and muster the courage to break away and set up a totally independent Bet Din to deal with issues of marriage and conversion in a contemporary halachic manner consistent with the requirements of the nation.
Although prospects for success are remote, the national interest demands that the Knesset and political parties, comprised overwhelmingly of secular and moderate religious representatives, should suspend their differences in order to introduce changes to break the nexus which has enabled haredim to apply excessive leverage to impose their standards on the entire nation.
Ultra-orthodox children, like their counterparts in the diaspora, must receive an education which will enable them to earn a livelihood and not be destined to remain permanently dependent on state welfare. Their schools should be denied funding unless they provide core subjects such as mathematics, science and language into their curricula. Like other citizens, they too must contribute toward citizenship and serve in the Army or at least undertake some form of national service....
We must strive for a compassionate Zionist rabbinate that is equally well-versed in worldly matters as with sacred texts and responsive to the needs of the entire nation...

Israel, Turkey reactivate air force ties

From JPost, 21 Dec 2011, by YAAKOV KATZ: 
The [Israel] air force has reestablished a coordination mechanism with Turkey that works to prevent aerial misunderstandings and potential clashes over the Mediterranean Sea.
...Despite the breakdown in diplomatic and military ties, the IAF continued to maintain an open line of communication with the Turkish Air Force to prevent potential misunderstandings when pilots from both countries encounter one another flying over the Mediterranean.
...A senior IAF officer said Wednesday that the coordination mechanism was recently reactivated as part of the countries’ efforts to stabilize and improve ties. Two weeks ago, the Turkish military attache to Israel attended an IAF briefing for foreign military officers at the Uvda Air Force Base on the sidelines of the IAF joint maneuvers with the Italian Air Force.
The officer said that the IAF would also likely invite Turkey to participate in a large-scale international aerial drill that it will be hosting in Israel in 2013. The IAF has significantly increased the number of joint-training drills it holds with foreign countries in recent years.
“There is nothing preventing them from participating,” the officer said.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tom Friedman: out of the closet, dyed-in-the-wool Israel hater

Friedman and Friends.jpg
For decades New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman balanced his substantively anti-Israel positions with repeated protestations of love for Israel.
His balancing act ended last week when he employed traditional anti-Semitic slurs to dismiss the authenticity of substantive American support for Israel.
Channeling the longstanding anti-Semitic charge that Jewish money buys support for power-hungry Jews best expressed in the forged 19th century Protocols of the Elders of Zion and in John Mearshimer's and Stephen Walt's 2007 book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Friedman denied the significance of the US Congress's overwhelming support for Israel.
As he put it, 
"I sure hope that Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby."
...It doesn't matter to Friedman that overwhelming survey evidence, amassed over decades, show that the vast majority of the American public and the American Jewish community support Israel. It doesn't matter to him that the support shown to Netanyahu in Congress last May was a reflection of that support.
...researchers discerned no difference in levels of support for Israel across the political spectrum. As the study reported, "We found that conservatives were no more likely than liberals to feel connected to Israel or regard Israel as central to their Jewish identities. These findings are remarkable given that liberalism is associated with reduced support for Israel in the broader American population."
...On December 7 Politico's Ben Smith published a detailed report about how two of the Democratic Party's core institutions, the Center for American Progress and Media Matters are waging a concerted, continuous campaign to diminish left wing Democratic support for Israel. Media Matters official M.J. Rosenberg acknowledged that given the depth of popular support for Israel in the US, chances are remote that their efforts will pay off in Congress today. He explained that his goal is to shift the Democratic Party's position on Israel through its younger generation.
As he put it, "We're playing the long game here."
Happily, to date, they are losing the long game as well as the short game both in Israel and the US. While it is important to remain on guard against radicals like Friedman and Rosenberg and their fellow travelers on campuses, it is also important to recognize that despite their powerful positions, they remain marginal voices in both Israel and the US.

Chinese=Jews in Malaysia

...Ng Wei Aik is state assemblyman and aide to Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng. day soon after Israel’s military operation against the Gaza flotilla, he saw that his party, the DAP, had beaten Najib Razak to the clock. The prime minister was being tardy, Ng complained ... If Najib is slower, then by inference, his heart may not be with the Palestinians, that is, Muslims. If not with Muslims, who with? Conversely, DAP people like Ng cast the impression that they think of Muslims every moment of their waking hours. So touching….
Now it seems domestic politics is beginning to be measured in terms of hours taken to react and to issue a condemnation. And that over an ancient, Jewish-Muslim conflict nearly half a world away and reignited more than half a century ago, it having sparked when Malaysia was not even in existence.
Ng’s posturing is sign that the country is off on yet another trajectory in demonizing Chinese and in Sino-Malay relations. Anti-Chinese racism in Malaysia has this historic, lasting quality in varied forms: before, in stereotypical portrayal of Chinese as gangsters, prostitutes, towkays, usurious money-lenders (‘Ah Longs’); today, gamblers and Jews.
Most tellingly it is DAP’s scathing attacks on Israel that beat even the usual hate mongering coming from Umno and PAS/PKR.
This is to the credit of the Gaza flotilla, which offered a window of opportunity to propel Malaysia into arriving at the milestone in Chinese-Malay relations – a milestone reaffirmed on the streets earlier this month in demonstrations against Israel (against Jews really), and almost simultaneously in the Ketuanan Melayu propaganda papers: Jews equal Chinese.

He who started it
Mahathir Mohamad has been one of the earliest to bed the Chinese and the Jewish diaspora – his two pet hate projects. His most recent rants against both Jews and Chinese are today preambled and chorused by other Malaysians, notably Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah (left),  and Muslims and Chinese Christians who are staunchly anti-Jew.
From a lone Mahathir project before, it’s gone truly Malaysian. DAP, PKR, Chinese, everybody appears to have unanimously jumped on the bandwagon, or should we say the flotilla?
Equating Jew and Chinese, Ridhuan Tee says upfront: “the Jews are already right in front of our eyes???. To rub it in for the Chinese, he praises Hilter and fascism.
...Ng contributes to feather the very bed made by Mahathir – Jews equal Chinese – and which Ridhuan Tee now repeats to no end.
Drive Chinese into the sea?
The device Mahathir employs (and in whose hallowed footsteps Ridhuan follows) is a form of logic technically called syllogism, using two inter-related or parallel concepts, and tying them up to forge a third – the conclusion.
Because it is so easily mistaken as truth, syllogism is used everywhere in the English speaking world, as in Malaysia by individuals who otherwise cannot make a convincing case from empirical evidence.
From one of the latter editions of The Malay Dilemma, below is a sample of terms, all Mahathir’s, and note they are entirely of a subjective, adjectival kind because in syllogism no objective facts are required – just say it.
First Parallelism (P.1):
  • Jews: hook-nosed, stinginess, financial wizardry, commercial control, understand money instinctively.
  • Chinese: almond-eyed, unscrupulous, manipulative, monopoly wholesale trade, defer to riches.
Second Parallelism (P.2):
  • Palestine: whole country was taken (sic!) and handed to the Jews
  • Malaya: predatory immigrants, Sinocization (sic!) of the country
The examples above pile syllogism on syllogism. The conclusions in each of them automatically pull together to create a third: (P.1) Jews = Chinese; (P.2) Palestine = Malaya; therefore, (P.3) Chinese illegally occupied Malaya. Extrapolate P.3, hence, drive the Chinese into the South China Sea as Mahathir did to the Vietnamese boat people? (Arabs say the same of Israel’s Jews.)
These conclusions need not be made plain; they become intuitive just reading the stuff.
The Chinese profile being constructed for hate has evolved so far along these lines (and note the same syllogism at work):
  • Chinese are Jews.
  • Chinese are infidels and the heathen.
  • Jews killed Jesus.
  • Jews kill Palestinians.
  • Therefore Chinese are anti-Palestinians
  • Palestinians are Muslims.
  • Malays are Muslims.
  • Therefore Chinese oppress Muslims.
  • Chinese won’t become Muslims or Christians (neither will Jews).
  • Therefore Chinese are anti-Muslims and anti-Christians.
Taken far enough in this reconstructed profile of racial hate, as Mahathir did in the Dilemma, is a recipe for a future pogrom.
...praising the anti-Semitism, opposition politicians fawning after the Muslim vote are locked hand-in-hand with the Muslim fundamentalism they once denounced.
The greatest Malaysian achievement in the ‘Peace Flotilla’ to Gaza is, therefore, not concern for Palestinians. ...the Turkish flotilla electrifies a domestic, Malaysian, hate-Chinese project by transforming and giving it an international character, supported even by local Chinese, Lim Kit Siang et al.
From Mahathir, anti-Semitism as a way to drum up Chinese hatred is to be expected. But how could the opposition, one might ask, be so callous in their politics?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Iran is close to a nuke - a military showdown is no longer avoidable

"..they have reached a point where they can assemble a bomb in a year or potentially less," 
said US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in a CBS interview Tuesday, Dec. 20, marking a radical change in US administration policy, he added:
 "That's a red line for us and that's a red line, obviously for the Israelis. If we have to do it we will deal with it."

... as recently as Dec. 2, the US defense secretary ... warned Israel that a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would hold back its bomb program by no more than a year or two and seriously damage the world economy...In the CBS interview [yesterday], ...he answered: 
"It would probably be about a year before they can do it. Perhaps a little less." That would depend on their having "a hidden facility somewhere in Iran that may be enriching fuel."...The United States does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That's a red line for us and that's a red line, obviously, for the Israelis. If we have to do it we will deal with it....There are no options off the table. A nuclear weapon in Iran is unacceptable.
...Panetta made no mention of sanctions in this interview – not even of the ultimate penalties of an embargo on its oil trade and blacklisting its central bank.
debkafile's intelligence sources link this radical change of posture, and its implied open door to joint US-Israeli military action, to the discussion on the Iranian nuclear issue President Barack Obama had with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Washington last Friday, Dec. 16 ... at about the same time as Leon Panetta was meeting with Turkish leaders in Ankara. Both meetings ...addressed the reality of Iran having a nuclear bomb within months.

The administration's change of course finds expression in six areas:
  1. Panetta ... now accepts that Tehran may be only months away from [a nuclear bomb].
  2. His reference to "a hidden facility somewhere in Iran that may be enriching fuel" reflects the growing conviction among Western and Middle East intelligence experts that Iran has fast-tracked its high-grade uranium enrichment in underground facilities.
  3. He is no longer warning Israel against attacking Iran and appears to be taking the opposite tack...
  4. It is the last moment for the US to avert the Middle East's plunge into a nuclear race. Dec. 5, the former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal said that after failing to persuade Israel and Iran to give up their nuclear weapons, Riyadh had no option but to develop its own; and Turkish leader have been saying to the  Obama administration that if Iran has a nuclear weapon, so too will Turkey.The administration is now facing the bleak realization that a disastrous nuclear race in this volatile region can be deflected only by military action to cut down and destroy Iran's nuclear weapons program.
  5. Iran's capture of the American RQ-170 stealth drone on Dec. 4 brought home to US military and intelligence planners that a military showdown between the US and Iran is no longer avoidable and if America does not take the initiative, Iran will keep on driving it into corners until there is no other option but to hit back.
  6. The sudden death of the North Korean leader Kim Jong II and the period of uncertainty facing his successor Kim Jong-un could potentially lead to Pyongyang - or factions fighting for power – stepping up its involvement in Iran's nuclear weapon and missile development programs.

PLO teaches its children to admire Hitler because he murdered Jews

Hitler tells a Palestinian girl in her dream:
"I killed them [the Jews] so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world."
The following is an excerpt from Deception: Betraying the Peace Process, chapter 14, section 1:
The Palestinian Authority funds a monthly educational magazine for children called Zayzafuna. The magazine is made up of material written by the magazine's staff and also includes essays and poems written by children. Accordingly, Zayzafuna both represents the values of the educators and serves as a window into the minds of the participating Palestinian children. The magazine is published with the sponsorship of the PLO's Palestinian National Committee for Education, Culture and Sciences.
Most of the content in Zayzafuna is positive and educational. ...When it comes to portraying Israel and Jews, Zayzafuna changes its tone and includes items glorifying Jihad against Israel and praising Martyrdom death for Allah, and the Martyrs themselves.
[In] an essay submitted by a teenage girl ...Hitler is presented as a positive figure to be admired because he killed Jews in order to benefit the world.
...In addition, the magazine portrays a world where "Palestine" has replaced Israel by referring to Israeli cities such as Haifa and Jaffa as places in "Palestine" or as "occupied" cites. It denies Israel's right to exist by saying that Israel is on "stolen" or "occupied" land, and demonizes Israel and Jews. Approximately one fourth of the children's submissions are on nationalistic topics, and among them are expressions of hatred and delegitimization against Jews and Israel that mirror the messages transmitted by the PA leadership through official media, PA education and other structures under their control.
It is specifically because this is not a hate magazine, but in general a positive publication promoting good values, that the hatred expressed towards Israel and Jews is so damaging. All the positive messages about coexistence and peace, which abound throughout the magazine, apply to everyone but Israelis and Jews. The message of Zayzafuna concerning Israelis and Jews is that they are in a unique category separated from other peoples and religious groups: For others - peace, cooperation and coexistence; for Israelis and Jews - hatred, confrontation and Jihad
...The following is the essay in Zayzafuna presenting Hitler with other positive role models.
"One hot day, I was very tired after a hard day... and suddenly I saw four white doors in front of me. I opened them in no particular order.
I opened the f irst door and saw a beautiful place full of f lowers. I was surprised to see a man there. I asked him, 'Who are you?'
He said, 'I am Al-Khwarizmi.' [Ninth century Persian mathematician who lived in Baghdad, known for his contribution to the development of algebra.]
I said: 'You're the one who invented mathematics and arithmetic?' He said: 'Yes. What's your situation like today?'
I said: 'The Arabs and Muslims are in a deep sleep; they can't do anything. They have moved away from all the sciences.'
He [Al-Khwarizmi] said: 'Yes, I know that. The day will come when the Arabs will return to their glory. And you - you have a great duty, which is to take an interest in the Islamic sciences and to protect them from being forgotten.'
I said, 'I promise,' and left the door.

I turned to the next door; there Hitler awaited me. I said, 'You're the one who killed the Jews?'
He [Hitler] said: 'Yes. I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world. And what I ask of you is to be resilient and patient, concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands.'
I said [to Hitler]: 'Thanks for the advice.'

Then I turned to the third door, and met Naguib Mahfouz [Nobel Prize- winning Egyptian author], who was the one who knew best the value of time and how to use it.
He said: 'People's pastime, these days, has become killing time and wasting it, as though they are punishing themselves. So strive to use your time in the best way.'

At the fourth door I meet Saladin Al-Ayoubi [Muslim leader who defeated the Christian crusaders and conquered Jerusalem in the twelfth century]. He said: 'I am Saladin.'
I said: 'You were the one who liberated Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa [Mosque].' He answered: 'Yes.'
I said: 'Return, oh Saladin, for Jerusalem and Palestine cry out and no one answers.'
He [Saladin] said: 'I know, but every time has its men, and the right man to liberate Jerusalem is still to come.'

And before I could finish my dream, the alarm clock rang and I woke up. It was seven in the morning, and I needed to go to school early, because I had promised Naguib Mahfouz that I would use time well."
[Zayzafuna, February 2011]

Although repugnant, a Palestinian teenager's admiration for Hitler because he killed Jews, alongside other Muslim role models, is not unexpected. 

...Palestinian children are brought up with the teaching that killing Israelis and Jews is heroic
The PA has named streets, schools, sporting events and more after Palestinian terrorists who have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians. In Palestinian cultural, educational and social events, every Palestinian child is exposed to repeated glorification of terrorists who have killed Jews. Palestinian children have participated in summer camps named after Dalal Mughrabi who led a bus hijacking in which 37 civilians were killed, and played in football tournaments named after Abd Al-Basset Odeh, a suicide bomber who killed 31 Israelis at a Passover dinner. It is not surprising that a Palestinian child who has been educated to see those who have murdered Jews as heroes and role models will conclude that Hitler, the one who murdered the most Jews in history, is likewise worthy of admiration.

About the publishers and advisory staff of Zayzafuna:
The magazine is published by the Zayzafuna Association for Development of Children's Culture, and sponsored by the PLO's Palestinian National Committee for Education, Culture and Sciences.
The magazine's advisory board is comprised of Palestinian Authority officials and educators, including PA Deputy Minister of Education Jihad Zakarneh, and former PA Minister for Women's Affairs Zuheira Kamal. [Zayzafuna, February 2011]
The Zayzafuna magazine is part of a larger education program funded by the Palestinian Authority which contributed 90,000 Shekel ($24,370) in 2010 and 10,000 Shekel ($2,700) a month in 2011.
Since August 2011, the magazine is also sponsored by UNESCO and the MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F), a UN humanitarian foundation funded by the Spanish government. [Zayzafuna, August 2011.] In the October 2011 issue a note appears: "Opinions expressed in this magazine don't necessarily express UNESCO's views."
Deputy Chairman of the Zayzafuna organization Abd Al-Karim Ziyada has explained the following about the funding of Zayzafuna:
"The magazine has advertisements, which cover some of the costs. For the year 2010-2011 we have subscriptions by students and schools, and that also helps [funding the magazine]. We are fortunate in that the Palestinian Authority and the Prime Minister [Salam Fayyad] have helped us this year with aid in the amount of 90,000 Shekel ($24,370) to cover the magazine and organization costs, and that has given us a push forward. Allah be praised, there is a new agreement for a monthly [PA] payment of 10,000 Shekel ($2,700) to cover the magazine [costs]."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 9 and 13, 2011]

This excerpt above is from a chapter in the book Deception: Betraying the Peace Process, recently published by PMW. The book includes a longer analysis of the other material as well found in issues of Zayzafuna from May 2010 through August 2011, focusing on messages relating to Israelis and Jews. A short summary of the positive messages in Zayzafuna and that are unconnected to Israel, is also included.