Friday, June 29, 2007

Israel Fights Gunmen in West Bank

The Associated Press
NABLUS, West Bank -- Israeli troops raided downtown Nablus on Thursday, imposing a curfew that confined tens of thousands of people to their homes as soldiers combed the city's narrow alleyways in search of wanted Palestinian militants.
Five soldiers were wounded in clashes with Palestinian gunmen, the army said.
The crackdown drew angry condemnations from the new Palestinian government of President Mahmoud Abbas. Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised to bolster Abbas' government, which is locked in a power struggle with the Islamic Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.
"We view this aggression as a way to undermine our efforts to provide security and end the chaos," Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said at a conference in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
The Nablus operation began late Wednesday, just as Israel was wrapping up two incursions in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. In those raids, Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinians, including eight gunmen and a 12-year-old boy. It was the bloodiest fighting in Gaza since the Hamas takeover two weeks ago.
n President Moshe Katsav signed an unexpected plea bargain Thursday that ended a yearlong investigation into alleged sex crimes by the nation's ceremonial leader, agreeing to resign in a deal that includes no jail time.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Putting The Squeeze on Hamas

Israel Matzav
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Israel finally puts the squeeze on Hamas
This morning, Israel rejected an offer from Hamas that would have reopened the Karni crossing, through which exports pass from Gaza, in return for a promise not to carry out terror attacks at Karni and an agreement to 'negotiate' over the suspension of Kassam fire. Israel would have been able to station whatever troops it wanted at the Karni crossing - presumably those of 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen would have been used. 'Humanitarian' aid continues to enter Gaza through the Kerem Shalom and Sufa crossings in any event.
According to a defense official, the offer was not practical and Israel did not intend to strengthen the Hamas government in the Strip.The official said that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that goods were being transferred through the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings on a daily basis.Haniyeh's government, claimed the official, was not asking to alleviate the Palestinians' distress but rather bring prosperity and welfare to Gaza - possible only through reopening the Karni Crossing. There are two keys here. One is that Hamas is in distress and apparently realizes that it cannot continue like this in the long term. The other is that Israel actually put the squeeze on for a change. But don't worry. Either they will reach an arrangement with Fatah or Olmert will let up on them eventually.
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 1:01 PM

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jimmy Carter's Alzheimer's Worsening

Jimmy Carter has been called an irrelevant idiot, and it seems like he's determined to prove that he is indeed, an idiot.
Carter Accuses US, Israel Of Exacerbating Divisions Among Palestinians June 21, 2007 4:07 p.m. EST Jessica Pupovac - AHN Dublin, Ireland (AHN) - Former President Jimmy Carter charged the U.S., Israel and the European Union Tuesday with exacerbating divisions among the Palestinian people through preferential policies. He was speaking at the NGO Forum on Human Rights in Ireland. Carter is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Carter Center, a human rights organization whose mission has included monitoring 67 elections in 26 countries. He called the Bush administration's refusal to accept Hamas' 2006 election victory "criminal." The Carter Center monitored and endorsed the 2006 election, which Carter called "orderly and fair." He commended Hamas' organization and political savvy that helped them to win the election. "The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah," he said. The U.S. and E.U. cut off aid to the Hamas-led government last year because of the group's refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence. The world powers, he said, would have been better off recognizing Hamas' legitimacy and encouraging their transition into parliamentary politics. Instead, claims Carter, they made a direct "effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples" by boycotting Hamas while helping Fatah to maintain military and political power through supplying vastly superior weaponry and humanitarian assistance. The aid was supplied through the United Nations and other agencies. "All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the two, but there's no effort from the outside to bring the two together," he said.
This anti-Semitic fraud needs nursing care, in a nice quiet place, with locks on the door.

Egypt Moves to Isolate Hamas

CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt moved forcefully Thursday to isolate Hamas, calling a regional summit next week including the Israelis and Palestinians — and shunning contacts with the militant group after its takeover of Gaza.
More than seeking peace with Israel, Egypt and other U.S. Arab allies are seeking to prevent the new power of Islamic radicals in Gaza from strengthening fundamentalists on their own soil. They also fear Gaza will become a stronghold for Iranian influence on their doorsteps.
Egypt in particular has much to lose. A strong Hamas ruling Gaza, on Egypt's border, could encourage the Muslim Brotherhood, the most powerful and popular political challenger to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government. It could also foment Islamic militants that Egypt has battled for decades to put down.
Monday's summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik aims to boost moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by showing he can move ahead with the peace process with Israel despite the Hamas hold on Gaza. The summit will gather Abbas, Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Jordan's King Abdullah II.
The following day, Mubarak will meet in Sharm with Saudi King Abdullah, seeking to unify an Arab front behind Abbas and against Hamas.
Abbas will call for a resumption of peace talks with Israel, arguing that only progress toward Palestinian statehood can serve as a true buffer against Hamas, said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
"The most important thing to realize is that time is of the essence," Erekat said. "We need to deliver the end of occupation, a Palestinian state. If we don't have hope, Hamas will export despair to the people."
Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have said the sole legitimate Palestinian government is the West Bank-based Cabinet formed by Abbas, who dissolved the power-sharing government between his Fatah group and Hamas following Gaza's fall.
Egypt moved its embassy from Gaza to the West Bank, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit indicated Cairo was shunning Hamas officials.
"Egypt will always be in contact with the legitimate authority," Aboul Gheit told reporters on Wednesday, referring to Abbas, when asked if Cairo was in contact with Hamas.
The swift, shocking Hamas victory in Gaza wrecked Egypt's longtime attempts to mediate between Abbas and Hamas, the cornerstone of its Palestinian policy. Cairo has sought to moderate Hamas so the Palestinians can move ahead with peacemaking with Israel.
Now, Mubarak's government depicts Hamas as an enemy posing a direct threat to Egypt's security.
"Its not in Egypt's interests (to permit) the presence of a religious state on its borders, and it will do its best to end such a presence," said Ali Eldin Helal, a top ruling party official.
Aboul Gheit accused Iran, a top financer of Hamas, of being behind the upheaval.
"The Iranian moves have encouraged what Hamas has done in Gaza. This presents a threat to the Egyptian national security," he said this week. "Gaza is only a stone's throw away from Egypt."
Every night, commentators on state-run television lash out at Hamas and try to draw a parallel with the Brotherhood.
"Hamas is a religious faction and for them, religion comes first, not the home country," said Mustafa el-Fiqi, a senior ruling party lawmaker, on a popular prime time show Monday, echoing past government criticisms of the Brotherhood. "Hamas is a time bomb and Egypt cannot simply keep silent."
"The Taliban are on our border," proclaimed the pro-government weekly Rose El-Yousef magazine on its cover this week.
Egypt runs a risk if it takes too heavy a hand with Hamas and turns its back on Gaza. Gaza's eight-mile border with Egypt is its only land link to the Arab world, a boundary vital to the 1.4 million Palestinians living there. If the humanitarian situation in Gaza worsens, Egypt could be blamed, prompting a backlash at home, where sympathy for Palestinians is high.
But the border is also punctured by tunnels smuggling weapons and explosives in both directions. Egypt fears radicalism — and weapons — could spread from Gaza into its Sinai Peninsula, where suicide bombers have attacked three tourist resorts since 2004.
On the political front, if Hamas is successful in running Gaza, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood could reap the benefits, a major worry for Mubarak's government, which has waged an all-out campaign the past two years to eliminate the movement as a rival. Hamas began as an offshoot of the Brotherhood and ties between the two groups remain strong.
The Brotherhood stunned the Egyptian government in 2005 parliament elections by winning more than a fifth of the legislature's seats, making it the biggest opposition bloc. Soon after, Mubarak put off scheduled local elections, fearing a strong Brotherhood showing.
Security forces have arrested more than 800 Brotherhood supporters this year.
In elections this month for parliament's upper house, the ruling party was accused by rights groups and other observers of widespread vote fraud aimed at ensuring its victory. Its candidates nearly swept the vote, and none of the 19 Brotherhood candidates won seats.
The Brotherhood denies it is working closely with Hamas.
"Whatever our relations with them, they are taking their own decisions independently," said Mohammed Habib, the Brotherhood's deputy leader.

Lebanese minister: Militants defeated

Staff and agencies21 June, 2007
By HUSSEIN DAKROUB, Associated Press Writer 2 minutes ago
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The defense minister said Thursday the Fatah Islam militant group holed up in a northern refugee camp has been defeated after a monthlong military operation, and that only mopping up remained.
The fighting in Nahr el-Bared, Lebanon‘s worst internal violence since the 1975-90 civil war, has claimed the lives of more than 150 people, including 75 soldiers, at least 60 militants and more than 20 civilians. It comes amid a fierce power struggle between Lebanon‘s government and the opposition led by the militant Hezbollah group.
He said "the military operation is over. The Lebanese army has crushed those terrorists."
"What is happening now is some cleanup that the army‘s heroes are carrying out, and dismantling some mines," he said.
He said a "large number" of Fatah Islam leaders have been killed in the fighting, while leader Shaker al-Absi and his deputy, Abu Hureira, and others were on the run, suggesting they were hiding deep inside the camp among the local population.
In a newspaper interview published earlier in the day, Murr vowed to defeat the militants. He also cautioned the country‘s politicians against concluding the Fatah Islam militants have links with Syria, saying it was too early to tell, according to Nahar Ash-Shabab, a weekly supplement of Lebanon‘s leading An-Nahar newspaper.
Some Cabinet ministers in the Western-backed government and members of the anti-Syrian coalition have claimed Fatah Islam was created by Syrian intelligence to destabilize Lebanon. Both Syria and Fatah Islam have denied the accusation.
The resumption of fighting came a day after Palestinian mediators presented to the Lebanese army a cease-fire deal they negotiated with the militants that would include their disarmament.
The defense minister said the army launched its offensive against the militants on May 20 after 30 soldiers were killed by "treachery." He did not give details, but security officials have said that 13 were killed while they slept in their tents in the northern town of Tripoli.
On Wednesday, Lebanese troops had advanced against Islamic militants, taking over several buildings, including one that was known to be a major Fatah Islam stronghold, security officials said.
Officials said that military experts were clearing buildings, streets and houses of explosives placed by the militants.

The Most Beautiful Girls in The Middle_East

JERUSALEM -- Israel, the country's government wants you to know, is not just about wars, occupation and suicide bombings. There are women here, too, and some of them are as hot as the conflict zone they live in. So if you want to examine another side of the Middle East, put aside The Economist for one month this summer, and intercept your son's copy of Maxim magazine, the Israel issue. There'll be no talk of Hamas or Hezbollah, just babes, bikinis and beautiful beaches. The unconventional public-relations offensive is the brainchild of David Saranga, the consul for media and public affairs at the Israeli consulate in New York. He came up with the idea while staring at poll numbers that showed his country was not particularly well regarded in the United States, especially among those aged 18 to 35. The Jewish state was perceived as too religious and too militaristic for the tastes of most. But there was a silver lining hidden in the survey data. When asked how they perceived Israelis as a people, the popular adjectives were "rough" and "stubborn," but also good-looking. Hoping to capitalize on the latter, Israel's Foreign Ministry, with the help of two of the myriad U.S. pro-Israel lobby groups, decided to speak to U.S. men in a language they'd understand. Mr. Saranga began a long campaign to persuade Maxim to showcase Israel's other assets to its 2.5 million readers. The magazine, which promises its readers "girls, sex, sports" and usually focuses its lenses on apolitical celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson, initially balked, but became more interested when provided with photos of 12 of Israel's top models. The deal was sealed after two lobby groups, the American-Israel Friendship League and Israel21c, offered to subsidize the cost of flying a camera crew to Tel Aviv for three days of photography. "When you see beautiful women, good-looking people, on the beaches of Tel Aviv ... you understand that Israel has to deal with the conflict, it's true, and there are religious elements in its society, but there are also other things," Mr. Saranga said in a telephone interview. "I want people to know that Israel is much more than a conflict, that people in Israel have normal lives." Along with the bikini shoot, which is expected to grace the pages of one of its summer issues, Maxim will run an article highlighting tourism in Israel. Despite a warm climate and some of the world's most important religious sites, the tourist industry has suffered in recent years as Palestinian attacks, sparked by the 40-year-old Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, continue to scare off most travellers. Last summer's war against Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, which saw rockets hammer the north of the country for 34 days, was another blow. "The only image of Israel that [young men] have in their minds from the last five years, since they were 11 or 12 years old, is of conflict, of the intifada, of buses blowing up. We want to show them that Israel is not a one-dimensional place of just wars and politics and conflicts," said David Brinn, editorial director of Israel 21c, an organization that lobbies journalists, usually at more austere publications than Maxim, to write non-conflict stories about the country. Mr. Brinn said that his organization, along with the American-Israel Friendship League and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, would subsidize "all [Maxim's] expenses" while the magazine was in Israel, including flights, hotel rooms, a bus and a tour guide. The idea of showcasing scantily clad Israeli girls in a U.S. men's magazine -- which made headlines here just days after the Hooters restaurant chain announced it was opening its first Israeli branch on the Tel Aviv beachfront later this year -- came under immediate fire from the country's religious right, which bombarded Israeli news websites with allegations that the government was degrading the Jewish state and promoting sex tourism. "The fact that this campaign to increase tourism is supported by the Israeli Consulate, Israel 21c, and the American Israel Friendship League is very unsettling," read one representative posting on the Ynet news website. "We have ceased to be a light unto the nations, we are now merely a mirror that reflects what is wrong with society today." But one of the models who will be photographed next week by Maxim saw stripping down to her swimsuit as an act of patriotism. "The fact that I can represent this country makes me very proud," said Tali Handel, a 25-year-old former air force sergeant who only took up modelling a few months ago. Though she said she'd never heard of Maxim before, and was unaware of its somewhat bawdy reputation, she said she expected the article would be "serious," and hoped it would encourage young Jewish males living in the United States to consider moving to Israel. "I don't see anything negative about it. Nothing else brings [people] here, not Jerusalem, not the beautiful nature. People are not interested. So, I think it's okay to use something else to bring them."

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Israel plans attack on Gaza

ISRAEL’s new defence minister Ehud Barak is planning an attack on Gaza within weeks to crush the Hamas militants who have seized power there.
According to senior Israeli military sources, the plan calls for 20,000 troops to destroy much of Hamas’s military capability in days.
The raid would be triggered by Hamas rocket attacks against Israel or a resumption of suicide bombings.
Barak, who is expected to become defence minister tomorrow, has already demanded detailed plans to deploy two armoured divisions and an infantry division, accompanied by assault drones and F-16 jets, against Hamas.
The Israeli forces would expect to be confronted by about 12,000 Hamas fighters with arms confiscated from the Fatah faction that they defeated in last week’s three-day civil war in Gaza.
Details of the plan emerged as Fatah forces in the West Bank stormed Hamas-run buildings, including the parliament in Ramallah, where they tried to seize the deputy speaker.
Israeli officials believe their forces would face even tougher resistance in Gaza than they encountered during last summer’s war against Hezbollah in south Lebanon.
A source close to Barak said that Israel could not tolerate an aggressive “Hamastan” on its border and an attack seemed unavoidable.
“The question is not if but how and when,” he said.

Uzi Mahnaimi

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Abbas fires entire Cabinet, declares state of emergency

Hamas, The Neo-Nazis of Gaza Say, "We're Taking Over" (In the name of Allah, of course.)

At least 29 killed as hamas tightens grip on gaza strip
The United States said Thursday that it would consider an international peacekeeping for the Gaza Strip - just moments after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the Cabinet and declared a state of emergency across the Palestinian Territories. The sacking of the government came after Hamas fighters captured one of Gaza's last bastions of Fatah loyalists on a day that left at least 29 people dead. Hamas said it "executed" a top Fatah "collaborator" and issued a hit list of other key supporters of Abbas amid unconfirmed reports of prisoners being shot.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told a news briefing the Bush administration would consider an international peacekeeping force for Gaza advanced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon but believes that finding effective troops would be difficult.
He said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Abbas on Thursday and underlined US support for Palestinian "moderates" committed to a negotiated peace with Israel, a spokesman said.
He also said Washington appealed to "moderate" Arab states to support Abbas.
Rice spoke to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abou al-Gheit on Wednesday and the US ambassador to Jordan also talked to Jordanian officials, McCormack told reporters.
In the West Bank, Abbas signed decrees "sacking [Prime Minister] Ismail Haniyya and his government, and declaring a state of emergency," said Abbas' media adviser Nabil Amr.
A second Abbas aide said that under a third decree the president will form an emergency government to replace the unity government his Fatah movement formed with Haniyya's Hamas in March.
Abbas aide Tayyeb Abdel-Rahim also told reporters that the president is also considering early elections at some stage.
Abbas considers the Hamas fighters who have seized control of most of the Fatah-allied security headquarters in Gaza to be an "outlaw militia," Abdel-Rahim said.
Earlier, green Hamas flags fluttered from the rooftop of the Fatah-allied Preventive Security Service (PSS) headquarters in Gaza City. At least 29 more people were killed in Gaza, hospital staff said, including 18 Fatah men found in the PSS headquarters. In all, at least 110 people have been killed in six days of fighting.
Hamas said it had swept up other Fatah strongholds across Gaza, including a security office in the southern town of Rafah on the Egyptian border.
Stripped to the waist, several Fatah members, their hands raised in surrender, were herded out of the PSS compound by their captors. Casualty figures are unclear, as was the fate of Fatah fighters seen led away, bare-chested, after surrendering.
A Fatah official in Gaza said he had seen eight colleagues gunned down, while he escaped death "by a miracle."
Hamas' armed wing issued a statement saying it had "executed" Samih al-Madhoun of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a close ally of Abbas' top security aide, Mohammad Dahlan.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jonothon Pollard

I caught this on the delightful and informative JerusalemPosts Forum.
It says more than words could about the tragic and shameful treatment of Mr Pollard.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lebanon Faces Another Bad Summer Season

By ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press Writer10:18 AM PDT, June 11, 2007

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Last summer it was Israeli airstrikes and Hezbollah rockets. This year, it's al-Qaida-inspired militants and explosions keeping tourists away. This small, trouble-plagued country is once again set to lose millions of much-needed tourism dollars because of unrest."Thank God, each summer we have something different so that we don't get bored," said a sarcastic Rola Bejjani, a vendor in an empty shoe store at a deserted Beirut shopping center. "I haven't made a single sale in four days."Summer is traditionally the high tourist season for Lebanon, when hundreds of thousands of visitors -- particularly Arabs from the oil-rich Gulf, and many Lebanese living abroad -- usually flood into the country to enjoy its nightlife, beaches and mountain resorts.The only traffic at Beirut airport this year is outgoing. It's either Lebanese vacationing outside to escape the violence or young Lebanese going to work abroad," he said.Airport statistics show a 7 percent drop in arrivals during the first five months of 2007 compared to the same period last year. Airlines have reduced their flights to Beirut. A prominent hotel reported a drop in bookings.But Adnan Kassar, the head of the Business Association, said it was too early to say the Nahr el-Bared fighting has killed the summer."All is not lost yet," he said. "If the army is able to end the standoff in its favor soon, then it is more than possible to salvage part of the summer season."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

In Praise of Abnormality

The current crisis faced by Israel is the result of a crumbling Jewish identity.
Many years ago, residents of Mishmar HaEmek held a meeting to discuss why the sons who left the kibbutz were not returning. The elderly Yaakov Hazan rejected the argument that the community's physical state needed improvement and summed his views with one sentence: "We failed in the effort to establish a secular Jewish society."
I recall Hazan when Israelis start asking what happened to us and how did we reach a situation where even minor war objectives are not achieved. The leadership failure by the statesmen who directed the army is a result of a public consciousness rupture we should be discussing.
The process of returning to Zion marks the reversing of history and cannot be driven by bio-economic processes we're familiar with. The only thing those who returned to Zion from all across the world shared was their Jewish identity. Jews who come to the Land of Israel through free choice did so and are still doing so in order to fulfill a mission that has no material advantage - the West offers much more.
Common mission
The mission was and remains the establishment of a state where the people of Israel can realize its identity by maintaining a modern society according to its values in the most complete way. Therefore, the basic conditions for the maintenances of the Zionist enterprise are the maintenance of Jewish identity.
This common mission allowed for solidarity and the ability to engage in a joint struggle to realize the mission despite the existence of deep ideological rivalries. .
In his well-known book "Man's search for ultimate meaning," Viennese psychiatrist Victor Frankel addressed the question regarding the difference between those who collapsed after two or three weeks in Auschwitz and those who under the same conditions survived to see liberation. His answer can be summed up in one word: Mission.
Those who direct their lives according to a mission that is not part of the bio-economic needs find the mental strength to overcome terrible difficulties. Without the mission, every difficulty turns into an obstacle that cannot be overcome.
Normal life, normal country
Most of the first generation of secular Zionism departed from this world in the 1970s. It was a generation that enjoyed an exclusive privilege: The maintenance of a clear Jewish identity despite their secular way of life, which did not support this identity. However, in the process of generational change, this privilege was lost.
The experiment by generation A to provide generation B with an Israeli identity as a substitute, or alternately, a new Jewish identity, failed, and Israeli society lost the source of its strength in its existential struggle.
The Jewish and Zionist mission was replaced by a normal Israeli mission, which is the natural default option. The current prime minister expressed it well in his speech on election night: "Normal life in a country that is fun to live in."
And so, the serving elites of generation A, which followed the light of the Jewish-Zionist mission, were replaced by exploiting generation B elites, and the phenomena of degeneration emerged.
This created the unprecedented phenomenon of citizens seeking normalcy while contending with a blurred Jewish identity and being imprisoned in a giant ghetto of a Jewish state, which is abnormal by definition. This is an intolerable contradiction that gave rise to proposals for a solution premised on forcing normalcy upon the entire ghetto.
Jewish identity lost
Processes of normalization are present in every Jewish community in the world, only there they're referred to as "assimilation." A typical example is A.B. Yehoshua's book "In praise of normalcy," where he advances the idea of turning Israel into a "state of all its citizens": That is, the implementation of normalization and deletion of the Jewish mission.
The young generation, which lost the Jewish identity, finds it difficult to understand existential war driven by religious motives and makes excuses using the enemy's bio-economic aspirations, such as the need for territory. Therefore, the current war's shock - which cannot be explained through the myth of occupation - constitutes a dual shock for members of this generation.
The Zionist enterprise will always be a work-in-progress. Every generation must accept anew the Jewish-Israeli mission, just like any organism that relays the baton to the next generation. A generation that fails to accept this would not be able to deal with the reality that brought us to the crisis.
The self-reflection we require now entails first of all ending the war between Jewishness and Israelisness and the holding of a joint discussion by Zionist forces in order to agree on a Jewish Israeli mission.
We must recall the deep insight offered by Hazan, who saw the process from the outset. The State of Israel's failure in its 50s is the failure of the attempt to establish a secular-Jewish society.
Jewish practicality leaves room for the existence of pluralism, but it would only remain viable for generations to come if its center of gravity is a clear Jewish identity. This is the main issue that should stand at the center of the self-reflection process in the wake of the deep discomfiture faced by the public following the external and internal religious wars. As to the rest, go out and learn it.

by Elisha Haas

This article originally appeared on Ynet.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Public diplomacy - having put its faith in the ability of governments to appeal directly to foreign populations - is not precisely a home of radical right-wing sensibility. It presumes, among other things, that people who hate America or Israel do so for the reasons that they give, and that if those reasons are answered then their hate will be somewhat mitigated. Within the public diplomacy community, Israeli Prof. Eitan Gilboa is easily among the most prominent scholars. So it's worth noting how totally conclusive he is about the motives behind the British boycott:
The radical Left that stands behind the initiatives to impose boycotts on Israel is attempting to create the impression that it is only harshly criticizing Israeli policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians. In fact, it is negating Israel's right to exist and is conducting the harshest campaign of demonization and de-legitimization since the UN ruled that Zionism was racist. The boycotts are the result of several causes, including fervent Palestinian activity in the public diplomacy sphere referred to as PR (hasbara) in Israel. The Palestinians have joined the radical Left, which has succeeded in taking over trade unions in several Western countries. They are also assisted by several dubious Jews and Israelis. On the other hand, Israel has neglected this front, which has become a key tool in running foreign and defense affairs.You can quibble with his solution - to demonstrate Israeli good will by appealing directly to the British public in the form of expanded cooperation. But when an international scholar of not exactly rightist reputation is saying these things about colleagues in other universities - to say nothing of his low opinion of Israeli useful idiots - then intellectualized anti-Semitism has gone from nudge-nudge wink-wink to openly vicious and vaguely genocidal.

Astute Blogger

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky