Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Gaza War: Is it All So Hard to Understand?*

I am downloading some IDF videos from YouTube this evening, they are spectacular!
IsraelAmerica carries all of our Barry Rubin articles in their entirety, so you don't miss a thing.
We do our own analysis on the situation regarding Israel and the Arabians, but Professor Rubin's analysis doesn't require interpretation.

Can you handle the truth?

Michael Blackburn
Gary Zeitlin

Barry Rubin

December 31, 2008

But why, more than one reporter from highly reputable publications has asked me, is Israel attacking Gaza now? At first, I was astonished: because Hamas cancelled the ceasefire and started massive rocket firings at Israel.
No, they responded, as if I had said something rude. Isn't it the election, or an attempt to stop the tunnels, or this or that reason?
Absolutely not, I say, it's like Pearl Harbor, or September 11. If someone announces they are going to go to war with you and then does it, you retaliate and fight.
At that point, the reporters seem to lose interest and bring the interview to an end, as if clearly a person who can say such things is not going to provide any rational analysis. Yet if one cannot even understand this most basic fact, what comprehension can there be of this issue or, indeed, of Middle East politics in general.
There are reasons, however, for this response. Large elements in the West find it very hard to "get," that is to understand, Hamas or the Palestinians in general--or, for that matter, Islamists in general, or Arabs in general, or Muslims in general--albeit with all the many variations and exceptions.
The problem with pragmatism:
Today, people ask, why didn't the Jews of Poland understand the Nazis were going to wipe them out, at least in the earlier period when escape or revolt was more possible? According to contemporary and later eyewitness testimony because they didn't think Germans would act in such an unpragmatic manner.
After all hundreds of thousands of Jews were involuntarily contributing to the German war effort. They were making clothes, repairing roads, growing food. Why should the Third Reich destroy a highly effective, very cheap, and low-problem labor force, thus crippling itself and helping to ensure that it lost the war?
Answer: ideology. A doctrine and belief system will make people act in a way that doesn't fit pragmatic expectations. Why should Hamas start a war against a stronger power? Due to believing itself to be stronger and needs to mobilize mass support. Why should Palestinian leaders reject a state even if it means the end of an increasingly small degree of "occupation"? Due to belief that total victory is inevitable, that compromise is treason, and that their enemies are satanic.
The solvency of solutions:
The other big question asked is: what is the solution? How can, as some say, peace be attained; how can Israel, others say, eliminate Hamas? The presumption is that the first or the second is easy, or at least possible.
Answer: Wrong. This is the Middle East we don't do solutions. Hamas is not going to disappear, nor will it be moderate. Israel, for good reasons, has no interest in occupying the Gaza Strip. Fatah is incapable of retaking control there.
This situation will go on and probably most likely end in some new ceasefire. Hamas will break the ceasefire a bit every week, and smash it altogether every six to eighteen months, repeating the current situation. That isn't the ideal outcome but it is by far the most likely one.
The unbearable lightness of gratitude:
No matter how much diplomatic aid, sympathy, or money the West gives Hamas--and it has saved Hamas and the PLO over and over from their own mistakes--they will not become grateful or pro-Western. Anti-Western and anti-American sentiment is too valuable and too widespread to disappear. The Palestinians--and Iran's regime, and Syria's government, and Hizballah, and other Islamists--need scapegoats. Who else are they going to blame for their problems, themselves?
If you save the terrorists today, they will commit more terrorism tomorrow. If you let them escape the consequences of their own extremism, you can guarantee they will stay extremist and take a lot of the masses with them.
The reality of reality:
In some ways, the most important--or at least second most important--thing to happen in the Middle East this week is that Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah went too far, calling for the overthrow of Egypt's government.
Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit responded, "They have actually declared war on Egypt...." And when he says "they" he means Iran, Syria, Hizballah, and Hamas. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs are also drawing lines deeper than ever before. Publicly and loudly, they look at Gaza, and see Arabs and Muslims, and criticize Israel. More softly in public and loudly in private they look at Gaza and see the Iranian axis.
This is the Middle East of 2008 and not of 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, or 1998. The Palestinian issue has little effect on any other issue. The real conflict is Iran-Syria against Egypt-Saudi Arabia. Islamists are seeking to conquer the region from Arab nationalists. Radical groups are not interested in happy homelands but jihad and genocide.
And so the issue is not why Israel is attacking Hamas in Gaza now, but why Hamas in Gaza is attacking Israel now.
Note: This article was written for Pajamas Media.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, P.O. Box 167, Herzliya, 46150, Israel Email: info AT - Phone: +972-9-960-2736 - Fax: +972-9-960-2736 © 2007 All rights reserved

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Civlized World Supporting Israel's Self Defense

Terrorist sympathers, loonie leftists and Jew bashers, of course, support the criminal element receiving justice in Gaza.
PM Olmert, in one of the most shining moments of his tenure stated, "This is all out war to destroy Hamas."
Any knowledgeable individual would agree with that goal.
I guess one would need a bit of morality as well.

The Bush White house said, "Israel has the right to defend herself against the hundreds of missiles launched at her civilians in the last few days."
I think that says it all.

I hope the Hamas killers enjoy Hell, cause that is where they are going.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hama's Strategy: The Rockets or the Media

By Barry Rubin

December 29, 2008

Nothing is clearer than Hamas's strategy. It gives Israel the choice between rockets and media, and Hamas thinks it is a situation of, "We win or you lose."
Option A: The Ceasefire
Hamas ends a ceasefire giving it the peace and quiet needed to build up its army and consolidate its rule over the Gaza Strip. Israel would deliver supplies as long as there weren't attacks. From a Western-style pragmatic standpoint this is a great situation.
But Hamas isn't a Western-style pragmatic organization. Peace and quiet is its enemy not only because of its ideology--the deity commands it to destroy Israel--or its self-image--as heroic martyrs--but also because battle is needed to recruit the masses for permanent war and unite the population around it.
Hamas has no program of improving the well-being of the people or educating children to be doctors, teachers, and engineers. Its platform has but one plank: war, war, endless war, sacrifice, heroism, and martyrdom until total victory is achieved.
Thus, it ends the ceasefire.
Option B: The Rockets
And so Hamas ends the ceasefire and rains rockets down on Israel, accompanied by mortars and the occasional attempt at a cross-border ground attack. Israel does nothing.
Hamas crows: you are weak, you are confused, your are helpless. Come, people, arise and destroy the paper tiger! And so more people are recruited, West Bank Palestinians look on with admiration at those fighting the enemy, and the Arabic-speaking world is impressed.
Remember 2006, they say. It is just like Hizballah. Israel is helpless against the rockets. Why don't our governments fight Israel? Let's overthrow them and bring brave, fighting Islamist governments to power.
Option C: The Media
But then Israel does fight back. Its planes bomb military targets which have been deliberately put amidst civilians. If there is a high danger of hitting civilians, Israel doesn't attack. But there is a line below which risk that will be taken, and rightly so.
The smug smiles are wiped off the faces of Hamas leaders. Yet they have one more weapon, their reserves, they call up the media.
Those arrogant, heroic, macho victors of yesterday--literally yesterday as the process takes only a few hours--are transformed into pitiful victims. Casualty figures are announced by Hamas, and accepted by reporters who are not on the spot. Everyone hit is, of course, a civilian. No soldiers here.
And the casualties are disproportionate: Hamas has arranged it that way. If necessary, sympathetic photographers take pictures of children who pretend to be injured, and once they are published in Western newspapers these claims become fact.
Yet there is a problem here. Rockets and mortars may win wars; newspaper articles really don't. Of course, too, material damage is inflicted that sets back Gaza's material development.
Hamas doesn't care about that, but by acting in a way to ensure the destruction of their material base, Hamas does weaken itself. Precisely because Israeli attacks are focussed on military targets, Hamas is weakened.
Conclusion: The problem with no solution
Of course, Israel does not win a complete victory. Hamas does not fall. The problem is not gone. For Hamas will define survival as victory. Hamas, like the PLO before it, wins one "victory" after another and always ends up worse off.
The conflict will be back, however it ends this round, on whatever day it ends. Quiet will return, the supplies will flow back into Gaza. And so many months in the future the process will be repeated.
There is, however, an important difference. Israel uses its time not only for military preparations but to educate its children, build its infrastructure, raise its living standards. Hamas doesn't.
"We believe in death," Hamas says, "You believe in life."
Be careful what you wish for, you will get it.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, P.O. Box 167, Herzliya, 46150, Israel Email: info AT - Phone: +972-9-960-2736 - Fax: +972-9-960-2736 © 2007 All rights reserved

Stand With Us Statement of Support for Israel

As the world's ant-Semites and misled progressives condemn Israel for defending herself, it is time for those who know the difference between right and wrong to make sure our leaders are on the same page as we are.
I found this on StandWithUs.Org
December 28, 2008

Please forward to your friends.
There are very important facts to share with elected officials and journalists. There is far too much ignorance out there regarding what led up to this operation. You can help....

We call on international leaders and all people of good conscience to support Israel as it acts to protect its citizens from systematic and wanton attacks from Gaza.
Hamas and its supporters bear sole responsibility for any harm to Gaza's civilians.
The U.S., France, Russia, Mahmoud Abbas, (president of the Palestinian Authority), and other international leaders have blamed Hamas’ escalating rocket attacks for Israel’s current military action.
Hamas and other Iranian-supported extremists chose to renew their war against Israel instead of renewing the six-month "calm" that ended on Dec 19th. In the week after Dec. 19th, Gaza's terrorists committed war crimes and collective punishment by launching over 280 rockets and mortars that targeted civilian men, women, and children in southern Israel.
Israel seeks peace.
It withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but instead of nation-building, Hamas seized control and has abused Gaza to build its terrorist capabilities and incite hatred and violence.
Israel respected the June 19th agreement for six months of "calm,” even as Hamas strengthened its terrorist infrastructure and launched over 377 attacks during the agreement.
Israel exhausted all diplomatic channels to renew the "calm," but Hamas responded only with escalating terrorism.
Israel has exercised extraordinary restraint even as Hamas has systematically targeted Israeli civilians, and Hamas has left Israel no choice but the military option it began on Dec. 27th.
Israel's stated goal is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure while avoiding harm to Palestinian civilians.
Hamas' fanatical commitment to its founding document's mission of "obliterating" Israel and murdering Jews is once again causing suffering for Palestinians living in Gaza.
When Israel employed non-violent strategies to pressure Hamas to moderate, the terrorist organization cynically exploited them to accuse Israel of human rights’ abuses.
Hamas attacks on Israel-Gaza crossings have impeded humanitarian aid deliveries.
Hamas rocket misfires and "work accidents" have killed Palestinian children. Hamas’ ruthless use of human shields and densely populated neighborhoods has endangered Palestinian non-combatants.
Hamas’ refusal to let wounded Gazans cross into Egypt for medical care is compounding casualties.
We join other international leaders in unequivocally condemning Hamas and its crimes against Palestinians and Israelis.
We call on the civilized world to support the right and above all, the duty, of every sovereign nation—including Israel—to defend its citizens from armed aggression.
No nation can or should allow daily, incessant attacks against its people. There is no justification their terrorizing and intentionally murdering innocent men, women, and children.
Hamas could have easily changed Israeli policies merely by renouncing extremism and terrorism.
It chose war instead.
We hope the day will soon come when Hamas' self destructive battle against Israel ends, and Israelis can live with their neighbors in prosperity and peace.
We urge you to send this statement or your own letter with some of the above facts to national or international leaders.

For addresses of national US officials, go to:
Dont forget to copy the following officials:
President George W. BushPresident of the United States1600 Pennsylvania AvenueWashington, D.C. 20500
Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice

Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street, NWWashington, D.C. 20520

Secretary General of the UN

Ban Ki-Moon
The Honorable Ban Ki-Moon

Secretary General
760 United Nations Plaza United Nations
New York, NY 10017

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Israel Fights Back

A Chinese philosopher once said that death in war is never a cause of rejoicing,
It a cause for mourning.
And to some extent that is true.
In Gaza, as in other Arab controlled areas, children are brainwashed from pre-school
to hate Jews and Christians, so in a certain sense, we know that the Arab killers who butcher unarmed women and children are like zombied Manchurian Candidates, they kill blindly, to them Jewish babies are just Zionist targets.
They say, “The only good Jew is a dead Jew.”
Today, in a strategic coup de e'tat Hamas was dealt a major blow.
PM Olmert set up the operation by saying recently, while Palestinian criminals were launching missiles into Israel, “We are in no hurry to respond to Hamas.”
While Hamas continued raining Kassams into Israeli civilian centers, and relaxing in the belief that the Jews would not react, the IDF and the IAF struck a blow for freedom and the beleaguered Jewish State.
At this point over two hundred criminals have been “sent to Allah”.
Go Israel!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Israel Under Siege

Israel is being attacked by Kassam missles fired by Hamas on a daily basis.
Today Hamas “accidentally” murdered two Palestinian children by bombs falling short of Israeli targets.
Most supporters of Israel want to see Israel take strong action against the “government” of Gaza, bearded Islamic killers masquerading as “militants”.
Yesterday, according to sources, Hezbollah indirectly advised Hamas that they might not support them when Israel acts.
Hiezbollah gang members don’t want to die, they don’t mind their children dying, however.
A recently terminated Palestinian killer was quoted as saying recently, “We got kids banging at our doors day and night volunteering to be suicide bombers.
We got to turn most of them away.”
This is in large partly due to the fact that Palestinian Muslims are brainwashed from early childhood to hate Jews.
Israel is the frontline against criminally fanatic Muslim killers.
They are the only Democracy in the Middle-East.
They are the only country in the Middle-East that doesn’t torture women.
All decent people need to support Israel.
The Jews are the underdog in this fight, but their courage and valor has allowed them to defeat the might of 300 million Arab marauders in three wars.
Five million Jews defeating 300 million bloodthirsty barbarians.
Sometimes right equals might.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Liar, Liar, Pants on Ceasefire

Barry Rubin

If you can understand why Hamas is ending its ceasefire with Israel, you can comprehend Middle East politics. And if you can't, you can't.
From a Western moderate pragmatist standpoint, Hamas's decision makes no sense for several reasons:

Hamas cannot defeat Israel militarily. Thus, fighting won't improve Hamas's strategic situation or bring victory.
Israeli counterattacks will cause both injuries and material damage in the Gaza Strip, inflicting big costs on Hamas's domain and subject.
Returning to warfare will ensure Hamas remains politically isolated and blocks international recognition or aid that would help its cause or end economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip.
Going back to fighting makes certain that the Gaza Strip faces continued, even heightened, reductions in the material let in, thus ensuring more Palestinian suffering there.

Yet Hamas is seemingly making three additional mistakes regarding timing.
The first is that they are ending the ceasefire while George W. Bush is president.

Certainly Israel feels freer to hit back at Hamas now than after Barrack Obama is inaugurated simply because the new administration would want to avoid a crisis before it consolidates its plans and team.

Also, the United States is likely to prefer quiet as it begins withdrawing from Iraq.

Second, the ceasefire is being suspended on the eve of a major Palestinian crisis as Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas announces a self-extension of his term in office.

One might think Hamas would prefer to keep the Israel front quiet for a while to focus on battling Fatah and the PA.

Finally, there's the Israeli election campaign.

While this doesn't make large-scale Israeli retaliation inevitable, such a move would make the current government more popular with the electorate.
Therefore, Hama's behavior, an outside observer can easily conclude, seems "stupid."

But having built a mass movement, sizeable army, seized the Gaza Strip, and built broad support throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, Hamas may be composed of genocide-oriented fanatics but not fools. What then explains this apparently silly behavior?
Here's a case study of how Middle East politics really work:

Hamas really believes its own propaganda, expecting victory despite the odds. Costs and casualties are irrelevant. The battle will go on until total victory even if that takes decades. This indicates Hamas will not moderate--the same applies to Hizballah, Syria, and Iran.
At the same time, Hamas is not only indifferent to its own people's welfare, it actually seeking to inflict suffering on them as a political strategy. The worse off Palestinians are, Hamas believes, the more likely they will fight and die.

This "the worse things are, the better they are," is the exact opposite of Western perspectives.

But Hamas goes even further.

It knows suffering can be blamed on Israel.

Western pragmatists reason: obviously the Palestinians must prefer peace, prosperity, and statehood. Rejectionism must then be due to desperation and the lack of a good offer or faith in the West. In fact, though, the situation is not due to our mistakes but to their deliberate choices.
Thus, Hamas can well conclude that the best way to put pressure on Israel and--in its own mind at least--gain Western help--is to be more radical, not more moderate.
To cite one example, what is considered America's leading newspaper recently reported that both sides violate the ceasefire: Hamas fires rockets at Israel; Israel retaliates by closing the border.

By this definition, the fact that Hamas and its allies fire rockets at Israeli civilians doesn't allow any Israeli response, military or otherwise.

This is the kind of thinking Hamas seeks to promote.
Then, too, setting off a crisis, Hamas expects, will draw peacekeepers like (I thought of using the word "flies" or the phrase "moths around a flame" here but rejected it) hardworking ants giving press conferences insisting that "something must be done to defuse the crisis." That "something" usually seems to be unilateral Israeli concessions. In short, the international community may rush in to save Hamas or the Palestinians in spite of themselves.
At the same time, though, Hamas believes that its intransigence and aggressiveness will increase support in the Arab and Muslim worlds. As with Hizballah, waging a war and portraying it as victory--even though the facts are otherwise--makes one a hero and attracts financing. This is also a judgment regarding Palestinian responses. More popular support can be garnered by producing martyrs than by producing higher living standards. Thus, Hamas will do better in its rivalry with the PA by fighting Israel than by fighting poverty.
I am not saying this strategy will work completely but it does succeed in part. If one believes the short run is irrelevant and the deity is on one's side, reality looks rather different. In addition, macho militancy in the Middle East does bring popularity, both domestic and international. The last quarter-century has also shown that Western sympathy can be manipulated by increasing violence and blocking solutions to the conflict in a way that will be blamed on Israel.
Yet this world view is also illusory.

Impoverishing one's people and destroying the infrastructure over which one rules makes such groups weaker rather than stronger, especially as Israel focuses on material gains. Western patience with the Palestinians has waned; Arab states are not so eager to help. A strategy depending on suicide bombers is also ultimately suicidal.
Ironically, too, regarding the West, Islamists cannot get away with what radical Arab nationalists can.

Too many Western intellectuals, journalists, leftists, and even politicians might have been carried away with revolutionary romanticism for Fatah--seeing Yasir Arafat as merely an ugly version of Che Guevara.

Far fewer see radical Islamists as heroic liberators.

The bottom line is that Hamas will remain isolated and weaker than it could be if they kept things quiet, consolidated their hold on the Gaza Strip, built up their armies and base of support, and had more patience.
But Hamas will also survive, ideology undiluted, able to utter war cries about wiping Israel off the map, and intoxicated with the belief it is following divine will.

That's enough for Hamas's leadership and followers.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).
The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) CenterInterdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya P.O. Box 167 Herzliya, 46150 Israel

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not the Center of the World

Thank G-d for the brilliance of Barry Rubin.
I am glad he is on the side of righteousness.
Michael Blackburn, Sr.

Barry Rubin

December 16, 2008

Israel isn't going to be the center of the world for the Obama administration and that's a good, if ego-disappointing, thing. Both the pro-Israeli right's paranoia and the wishful thinking of the anti-Israeli left in the United States (and, in the latter category, Europe plus the Middle East as well), are operating out of expectations rather than the actual situation.
What can be safely assumed is something along the following lines:
The Obama administration will put the main emphasis on domestic issues rather than foreign policy.
It faces humongous problems at home and has gigantic ambitions to change America, for better or worse.
Of course, foreign policy has a way of imposing itself on the White House through crises, though many of these might not come from the Middle East or at least the part where Israel is located. Still, what this means is that presidential prestige won't be involved at high levels or consistently to wage campaigns unless really deemed unavoidable.
The administration's Middle East priority will be dealing with Iraq. If you want, you can add Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan. The key point, though, is that withdrawing at least American combat troops successfully from Iraq, no matter how many months it takes precisely, must top the list.
This will take massive amounts of policymaker time and political capital, both domestic and international.
No doubt there will be much apparent activity on peace process stuff including endless delegations, speeches, and other showpieces. Nevertheless, the administration will put little effort behind it.
Many academics, journalists, and ideologues haven't yet gotten the word but the kind of Washington types who will actually make government decisions understand this issue isn't a panacea for all problems, Middle East or global.
They also know there aren't quick or easy solutions. So while the Obamaists criticized Bush for not doing enough on the issue, deep down they know that not a lot could be done. Policymakers, and especially Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton, aren't going to waste time on issues that won't make them look successful.
Consequently, there will be no all-out effort to pressure Israel into major concessions because everyone who counts knows these aren't going to lead anywhere.
Rather, the administration will certainly expect Israel to keep things quiet so as not to interfere with its Iraq strategy.
Periodically, Hilary will make some demand on Israel regarding minor points in order to make her look good and give the illusion of success and progress. She'll be angry if she doesn't get what she wants. But what she will want will be fairly petty stuff.
And she isn't going to make nice with Hamas and Hizballah, whatever the administration does with Iran and Syria.
If Bibi Netanyahu is Israel's next prime minister there's certainly potential for friction between him and Obama.
But if Israel has a national unity government, Bibi continues talks with the PA, seeks to strengthen it against Hamas, and even keeps chatting with Syria--even knowing these negotiations won't lead anywhere--bilateral relations should be okay.
This administration will probably never support an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, but if Israel's leaders deem such a strike necessary for national survival, they should go ahead anyway and the relationship will weather the crisis.
The long-touted idea of creating a U.S. Middle East coordinator has run into trouble because Hilary and others won't give away turf to someone who reports directly to the president. Such a person wouldn't influence Afghanistan or Pakistan policy (which might get a separate coordinator) or the withdrawal from Iraq (which will have its own czar as well as being overseen by NSC chief General James Jones), nor in dealing with Iran (which remains with Hilary). It isn't even clear if that person would get the Syria portfolio. So they'd end up as a sort of equivalent of former British prime minister Tony Blair, running around cajoling people to be friends.
The administration will try to engage Syria and Iran but won't get anything real out of them. Let's see how long it takes the administration to realize this.
Even Arab states have largely stopped their old propaganda line: "Solve the Arab-Israeli conflict and all other problems will disappear. Of course, there's a wide gap between what's said in private and in public.
In reality, though, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia are scared of Islamism; Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are afraid of Iran, Shia Muslim power, and Islamism; smaller Gulf states are just interested in making money and living well (not that there's anything wrong with that);Â Lebanese are desperately trying to survive an Iran-Syrian onslaught; and Iraqis are trying to end their internal conflict and build a stable government.
That doesn't mean regional leaders won't keep using Israel as scapegoat. They're unable and unwilling to make peace; but they don't want war either and are more interested in getting U.S. protection from Tehran than a Palestinian state. They'll simultaneously be pleased if Israel destroyed Iran's nuclear facilities and denounce Israel for "aggression." Why not have your baklava and eat it, too?
We're in a new Middle East, or rather a battle between two new Middle Easts. This isn't the old Middle East of Arab nationalist regimes striving for regional hegemony and using the Palestinians as a tool in that battle. Nor is it the new Middle East of 1990s' hopes for peace and democracy.
The choice is between the Iran-Syria model for a region of "resistance" (fighting Israel and America as top priority; installing Islamist regimes) and that of Arab states resisting Islamism and Iranian hegemony.
Anyone unprepared to deal with these realities is incapable of understanding what's going on now and what will happen in coming years. The Obama administration is wrong in making conciliation with sworn, ideologically sincere enemies its main theme rather than building a united front against radical Islamism and Iranian imperialism. At the same time, though, it doesn't seem to be intoxicated with the bash-Israel-and-save-the-world fantasy.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, P.O. Box 167, Herzliya, 46150, Israel Email: info AT - Phone: +972-9-960-2736 - Fax: +972-9-960-2736 © 2007 All rights reserved

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Red Line, Green Line

I was so impressed with this article that I had to post it in its entirety.
I don’t do this web site for money, love for Israel is my motive.

I hope this article by Mr. Ha’ivri can move the dialogue further towards peace and prosperity for Israel.
The Arabs are not civilized, they are more deviant from normal behaviour and thought every day.

Today the Arabs in Gaza are organizing demonstrations of support for the ass that threw his shoes at the U.S. President.
Michael Blackburn, Sr.

By David Ha'ivri

How does Livni suddenly justify transfer?

Buckle up your seat belts and hold on to your chairs - the Israeli political arena is once again a roller coaster in motion, causing confusion, bewilderment and, sometimes, nausea.
No matter how important Israeli democracy may be, there must be a "red line".

Remember the late, great Rabbi Meir Kahane, H.y.d., who was banned and banished from the Knesset 20 years ago on the eve of the 1988 elections, when polls showed his Kach party taking in 10% of the national vote? The rabbi was branded a racist for proposing government sponsored emigration of "Israel's Arabs". As explained in his book They Must Go, the motive is not hate for Arabs, but rather preserving the future of the Jewish State. Israeli democracy, he stated, is threatened by the high birthrate of the Israeli Arabs who have their own national aspirations.
Over the years, other politicians have tried to jump onto the "transfer" and "emigration" bandwagon and pick up some of the public support that Rabbi Kahane had enjoyed, but none came close to matching his popularity. Their lack of success may be attributed to several factors. First of all, their calls for transfer were viewed as political opportunism, lacking the same sincerity and consistency that the rabbi had. In addition, they watered down the message, referring only to the transfer (a mealy-mouth word in its own right) of Arabs from the liberated lands of 1967 and not from Israel proper. Many failed to create a groundswell of support because they simply lacked the charisma that the rabbi had.
And now Tzipi Livni has hopped aboard the bandwagon, too. She is calling upon Israeli Arabs (or in her own words, "Palestinian residents of Israel, those whom we call Israeli Arabs") to prepare themselves to move to "the Palestinian state once such a state is established" [sic]. She, too, sees the problem in maintaining both a Jewish and democratic state of Israel, so she proposes the establishment of two separate nation-states.
Livni, who heads the left-wing Kadima party, is attempting to gain national support for its failed "disengagement program," which saw Jews robbed of their homes and livelihood in order to live out the twisted dreams of the Left. Now Livni is proposing something new and exciting: let's do a re-run of the "disengagement," this time in Judea and Samaria. The plan is to again force Jews out of their homes and destroy their communities, institutions and businesses. But this time there is stage two: in order to alleviate ourselves of the "Palestinian residents of Israel," we will encourage them to relocate to their own country, in "cleansed" Judea and Samaria.
How does Livni suddenly justify transfer? Her explanation is that no matter how important Israeli democracy may be, there must be a "red line" - and that red line is the Israeli Arab demographic threat. Livni is much bolder than her counterparts on the Right, whose calls for transfer were usually limited to the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, and not the Arab citizens of Israel within the 1967 Green Line.
I must say, "Bravo!" Were I to make the same statement about moving out the Arabs, I would probably be indicted and convicted for incitement to racism - as I already have been. But with Israel's "democratic equality," the Left can talk about transfer and it is considered a legitimate, and even a "humane," solution.
At the very least, all these wise men (and women) of Chelm should come out and vindicate Rabbi Kahane and beg his forgiveness for the injustice that they inflicted upon him. From Left to Right, they all realize that he was right. The Israeli Arabs are not proud to be Israeli citizens. They do not look up to the blue and white flag flying overhead and say, with a tear in their eye, "If only my zeydie would have lived to see this." They are Palestinian (whatever that is) nationals just the same as their kin on the other side of the Green Line. The only difference between them is the 19 years it took the IDF to liberate the land that the latter live on. Ask any Arab-Israeli student at Hebrew
Vindicate Rabbi Kahane and beg his forgiveness.
University in Jerusalem, he is not ashamed to admit where his loyalties lie.
The Israeli government has already legitimized ethnic cleansing by implementing it on the Jews of Gush Katif and Northren Samaria. Now that it has finally grasped that it is the Israeli Arabs who endanger the future of the state, all that is needed is to start implementing the pinui-petzui law on the Arabs of Um El-Fahm, the Galilee and the Negev.
I agree with Livni when she says there is a need to transfer the Israeli Arabs to their own countries. But she is referring to Judea and Samaria, which is historically, Biblically and legally the heritage and birthright of the Jewish people. Livni says that she has red lines in regard to preserving the integrity of the State of Israel. The problem is that her red line only barely passes the Green Line over which she proposes moving the Israeli Arabs. Tzipi from Kadima, you are indeed moving forward. Now just move that red line of yours to the Jordan River and you'll have my vote, too.

Kislev 19, 5769 / 16 December 08

Don't Flatter Your Enemies, Protect Your Friends

By Barry Rubin
December 6, 2008

In explaining why he was too fearful to vote in Jerusalem's mayoral election, an east Jerusalem Palestinian shopkeeper, Issam Abu Rmaileh, said, "I would have liked to vote because it's in our interest, but who's going to protect me and my family afterwards?"

So let's call it the Abu Rmaileh principle, and it is extraordinarily important in the Middle East. Why should someone support you if you cannot protect them? Because if they cannot depend on you to be tough, they might as well play it safe by doing nothing or make their own deal through appeasement and shout radical slogans.

Here is the Abu Rmaileh principle at a higher pay grade. Jordan's Foreign Minister Salah Bashir stated in a closed meeting, "For us the Iranian surge for hegemony has become a crisis," according to the participant who asked not to be named.

And here's the flip side from a frustrated American colonel fighting in Iraq, "All these guys we rounded up, they're saying in the interrogation, if we don't torture them, we're not going to get the information."

How important is popularity? According to the school enthusiastic about President-elect Barack Obama in the United States, it is everything. One journalist explained that al-Qaida is afraid of Obama because, presumably, he will win away Muslims from supporting radical Islamism. It is written in the Washington Post: "Even among the followers of radical groups, such as Hamas and the Taliban, Obama has inspired a sense of change and opportunity."

That last statement--intended to imply that even the extremists like Obama--is worded with a shocking, though unintentional, ambiguity. It is sure true that Hamas, the Taliban, Hizballah, Iran, Syria, and al-Qaida view this "change" as an "opportunity." Unfortunately, they view it as an opportunity for being more aggressive.

Here's how Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami put it, in words typical of the reaction from Iran and these other groups. He attributes Obama's slogan of "change" as a retreat due to Iran's revolution which has brought down American power, though the United States is continuing to decline.

For them, Barack is seen as a bringer of a popular America but a figure of weakness. Should there be any doubt that his flexibility will be interpreted as retreat, no matter how well-intentioned he is?

The debate in Washington is far away from the debate in the Middle East. In America's capital, the talk is of how the radicals are more moderate than thought, how they will be won over by Obama's charisma and changed American policies. The disconnect between the region and the rationalizers is frightening.

There is no policy change in Washington that will appease the radicals. And there are no concessions that will make an American president popular in a meaningful way among Middle Easterners. Even more worrisome, such steps are not going to make moderates feel more secure.

Here the al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri gets it just right. He tells Obama: " It appears that you don't know anything about the Muslim world and its history....You are neither facing individuals nor organizations, but are facing a Jihadi awakening and renaissance which is shaking the pillars of the entire Islamic world; and this is the fact which you and your government and country refuse to recognize and pretend not to see."

Zawahiri even invokes the Abu Rmaileh principle: "It appears that you don't know anything about...the fate of the traitors who cooperated with the invaders against it." In other words, anyone who cooperates with the United States or fights the Islamists will die.

Al-Qaida is not a very important group nowadays. But the rise of Islamist forces is clear, even though some of them are hostile to each other. It is Iran, not Ayman, who is the main beneficiary of this phenomenon, though Muslim Brotherhood groups--most notably Hamas--are also advancing.

How are President George Bush and his successor exactly alike? Because both believe that being liked in the Middle East will bring victory. Bush thought that by gifting the locals with a non-dictatorial Iraq and democracy they would come to love him. The opposite happened. Obama's strategy of being a nice guy and making concessions is likely to be less costly in direct terms for the United States but will also be used by the radicals for their own benefit.

One problem with the belief that Obama's popularity and flexibility will succeed is the Abu Rmaileh principle: Don't tell me who is nice; tell me who is going to protect me. Being feared and respected, as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asad rightly put it, is more important than being liked. Usama bin Ladin noted that people understandably prefer to put their money on the horse that seems most likely to win the race.

A second problem is how people in the Middle East are going to find out that you are such a great guy. They don't follow the American or European media but local sources, including both government and radical Islamist propaganda.

The frustrated American colonel in Iraq quoted above was bewildered by the fact that ""We poured a lot of our heart and soul into trying to help the people" only to hear them say the most inaccurate things about the United States stealing their oil, taking their land, and "turning our country over to Israel." A U.S. pull-out may well be the right policy, but it will not bring gratitude.

What's needed is not a president who can work with Iran or Syria but a president who can work with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Lebanese forces who want their country to be free, and so on, along with Israel and Europe in a grand alignment. Yes, it is in large part a zero-sum game. What makes Tehran or Damascus happy is going to damage their intended victims.

Alas, just because something isn't true doesn't mean people can't believe it. That's a truism applicable both to the Middle East and to Washington DC.

BarryRubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dear President Obama

By Barry Rubin

Dear President Obama:

They say that you prefer the name Barry and so it pleases me no end that another Barry is finally president of the United States. In addition, I once worked as a community organizer so we have two things in common.

On that basis, then, I hope you don't mind my making some suggestions about how you might think about the Middle East. I'm not looking for a job in Washington. In fact, as I look back on my life, I note that if I'd been successful in some obsession for a U.S. a government post I would have been a proud participant in such endeavors as the catastrophic mishandling of Iran's revolution, the failed U.S. dispatch of troops to Lebanon, the botched trade of arms for hostages with Iran, the crashed peace process, and the Iraq war.

So don't be misled! Today, everyone's talking about how wonderful you are. Those are the people who want jobs, favors, and access. There are others who want something else from you--like control over Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, or Georgia--who are more likely to be psychopathic than sycophantic.

Your expressed theme for your administration's Middle East policy can be described in one word: conciliation. You think that your predecessors made unnecessary enemies and blocked, rather than furthered, progress. Building on the basis of your perceived popularity and sincere good will, you believe that it is not so heard to make friends with Iran and Syria, soothe grievances that have caused Islamism and terrorism, and solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Good luck. We hope you succeed.

But please bear in mind some important points as you go along in this effort.

In the Middle East, it is not so useful to think yourself popular and show yourself to be friendly. You have to inspire fear in your enemies and confidence in your friends. And if you don't inspire fear in your enemies--if you're too nice to them--then you will indeed foment fear among your friends.
Not everyone thinks the same way. When you talk of "empathy," America's enemies hear the word "fear." When you speak of change, they, too, want change. Unfortunately the change they want means wiping other states off the map, creating radical Islamist dictatorships, and kicking the United States out of the region.
This is no misunderstanding: it's a conflict.

(In the film, "Cool Hand Luke," the noble convict (played by Paul Newman), jokes to the sadistic guards, "What we have here is a lack of communication." The audiences laughed. What everyone has forgotten is that a moment later they shoot him dead. Harvard Law School meets the law of the jungle.

You are going to talk to Iran, negotiate with Syria, and try to buy the Palestinians or press the Israelis into making peace. It's your presidency and many Americans think--whether rightly or not--that this hasn't been tried enough.

But please keep in mind four very important points for when the going gets rough:

How much do you offer them and at who's expense? Not too much, please.
How closely will you monitor whether or not they are keeping their commitments? Be tough please.
At what point will you conclude that they don't want to end existing conflicts or be America's friends? Don't wait too long, please.
What do you do when you figure out this doesn't work? Don't be afraid to admit failure, blame those responsible, and try something else.
Let's take Iraq. You want to withdraw and turn the war over to the Iraqis. Makes sense. But what will you do if Iran escalates in order to make your withdrawal look like a defeat and fill the vacuum--subtly, of course, not too openly.

And what do you do to combat Iranian and Syrian efforts to turn Iraq, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip, into their sphere of influence? They will pump in money, pump up hatred, and kill anyone who stands in the way. Making a good speech, apologizing for the past, or offering more concessions won't work.

Westerners are eager to resolve conflicts; revolutionaries want to use conflicts. You think grievances can be resolved; their grievances are insatiable. Make a concession, they ignore it and demand another. Withdraw from a territory, they occupy it and turn it into a base for the next advance. Explain that you feel their pain, and they add to your pain.

This is what it is like to deal with extremists and ideologues.

Right now you don't understand why Bill Clinton and George Bush couldn't solve a little thing like the Arab-Israeli conflict. Don't worry. Be patient. You will.

The truth is that an emphasis on Afghanistan is no panacea because Afghanistan is far tougher than Iraq. no one tames Afghanistan, it is a product of geography, ethnic conflict, macho militarism, and degree of development. In Iraq, the majority is very basically on your side and a stable government could definitely emerge, in Afghanistan, it is a permanent holding action or collapse.

I'm not the least bit worried about a good U.S.-Israel relationship, but what about the indirect threat.

What happens when the Europeans hug you, kiss you and then refuse to extend sanctions. Will Austria, Germany and Switzerland cut off their deals with Iran or will you even ask them to toughen up?

How will you convince the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians and others that you are their reliable protector against Iranian nukes?.

BarryRubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There is Always a Quid Pro Quo

The corruption scandal involving Illinois Governor Blagojevich raises interesting questions.
First of all, from what we know of the case from released transcripts, it doesn’t really appear that Blagojevich was doing anything that most other politicians don’t do routinely.
The problem is the words he used.
If he had put his desires into other words, he would not be facing jail today.
There is an old saying, “There is always a quid pro quo.”
Regarding the vacant Senate seat, formerly held by Barrack Obama.
If he had interviewed politicians for the appointment, the interviewees could have said,
“These are my qualifications. BTW, we are donating x dollars to your campaign, we have asked such and such a non-profit to appoint your wife to the board.”
Blagojevich could have responded by saying, “Well, I’m sure you know that if you are appointed it will be strictly because of your qualifications, we appreciate your efforts to help our campaign, and my wife will consider the job, but these items will not be part of my consideration in naming a person for the vacant seat.”
He could have considered every bribe, and as long as he didn’t actively solicit a bribe, he would have has no legal jeopardy whatsoever.
This is the way politics is done.
One of the more amusing aspects in the way the story is being covered is the expletives used by the Governor are spoken as “the F word.”
Reminds me of elementary School, “Teacher, Joey used the F-word!!”
The shock expressed by all the pundits and commentators is amusing, as well.
They are shocked by the use of “profane” language.

So much for the Governor.
Now, hopefully, our last words on OJ.
In my mind there is no doubt he was convicted because of his murder of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
I am glad he will be punished, finally.
Some have expressed dismay at the perception that the prosecution was based on his “getting away” with murder, and that the system was misused , therefore, impairing the credibility of the Justice system.
Innocent people are convicted everyday, guilty people are freed everyday.
Revenge prosecutions are extremely common.
I would not feel too sorry for OJ.
First of all, he is still beloved by much of the Black community; he will have lots of admirers in prison as well.
He will have a hi-def TV.
A DVD player.
A stereo.
A computer.
Illegal drugs.
Lots of food, snacks, etc.
If Nevada allows conjugal visits he will have sex, too.
Prison will not be as unpleasant for this butcher as it was for say, Earl Krugel who never killed anyone or robbed anyone.
Prison is only harsh for the extremely poor.
Most people in prison should not be in prison at all.

OJ should be.

Michael Blackburn, Sr.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Glick on Israel and the Global Jihad

By Steve Kramer

We recently heard a lecture by Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post. Glick, a graduate of Columbia University, who made aliyah to Israel immediately after graduating and served in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).
She later had a key position in the Oslo negotiations under former Prime Minister Rabin and worked with Bibi Netanyahu during his tenure. Following that, Glick entered the field of journalism.
Glick was embedded with US troops in the first phase of the recent Iraqi war and was in the infantry unit which was first to reach Baghdad. Glick later attended Harvard and received an MA degree from the Kennedy School of Government. She currently writes two prominent weekly columns for the Post.
Glick began her talk by informing the audience, predominantly pensioners, that the global jihad is the biggest threat to Jews since the Holocaust.
Iran's government aspires to "wipe Israel off the map" and is working hard to acquire the means to back up its bluster. President Bush, the most powerful leader to take Iran seriously, is in a weakened position following America's mid-term elections. "Former Secretary of State Baker (under George H.W. Bush's presidency) has succeeded in foisting Dr. Robert Gates on the president as the replacement for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Gates is one of the authors of the recent Baker-Hamilton "Iraq Study Group" report which advocates asking Iran and Syria to bail the US out of Iraq, a highly unlikely, hare-brained idea.
"In addition, current Secretary of State Rice, who prefers to back the European diplomacy of appeasement, is the most powerful secretary of state since Kissinger.
Rice views the global jihad not as a war, but as a series of conflicts which grew from Israel's stunning defeat of the Arabs in 1967.
She fails to recognize Iran as the leader of global jihad, whose primary goal is to violently overthrow Israel and America.Glick illustrated how Iran is surrounding Israel with proxy states or terrorist organizations.
Iran, contrary to the Iraq Study Group's report, is sowing dissension in Iraq, hoping to gain total control of millions of fellow Shia Muslims there. Syria, long an ally of Iran, has practically been taken over, with Iranian business interests and military guidance dominating the country.
Most significant is the Shia conversion of many of the country's predominant Sunni population. Glick noted that the "BTI" (been to Iran) credential has become an essential tool for success in Syria.
Lebanon is on the way to becoming another Iranian client state, as the country falls under the sway of Hizbullah, which is funded and armed by Iran.
Hizbullah is also heavily influencing the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, as evidenced by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal's recent, very public visit with President Ahmadinejad in Iran.
Though the Palestinians are Sunni Muslims, like most Syrians, they are also falling under the sway of Iran's Shia Islamists. Hizbullah, acting on Iran's behalf, fights the jihad for Iranian-led Muslim rule over Palestine (the Land of Israel) more than it fights for a state for the Palestinians.
Glick then severely criticized Israel's current government, calling it both incompetent and incapable of leading Israel to defeat its enemies.
Olmert's government failed to acknowledge its failure to win in Lebanon; operates with "fly by the seat of the pants" tactics; concocts policies to advance Olmert's personal career instead of Israel's interests; follows Washington's dictates blindly; fails to recognize that Fatah is not a "moderate" influence pursuing "peace", but our enemy.
Regarding the summer fiasco in Lebanon, Glick faults our leadership, not our capabilities. Glick then posed the question, "Can Israel actually defend itself, even with an inept government?"
She proposed a strategy to defeat Iran's jihadist leaders, one which depends on Israel's strengths and isn't tied to America, whose interests are not always identical to Israel's:1. The military option.
Glick pointed out that the 1981 attack on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq bought Israel needed time. The 1981-1988 war between Iran and Iraq was also a big factor.
It isn't necessary to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities; delaying their progress will reduce the danger sufficiently (for the present). Glick advocates Israeli air and commando attacks against enough nuclear installations to throw a monkey wrench into the works.2. a). Political warfare to delegitimize Iran's government.
There should be a strong diplomatic initiative against the Iranian regime.
Alan Dershowitz, Irwin Cotler, and others have made a good start by bringing the charge of inciting genocide against President Ahmadinejad.
This initiative hopefully will result in a trial at the international tribunal in The Hague.
Glick noted that Israel's government has yet to take a leadership role in the public relations battle.b) A program of mass demonstrations should be promoted around the world by Jews and other responsible people to protest Iran's genocidal conduct.c) Concerted efforts must be made within Iran to overthrow the regime. Iran's population is only 51% Persian.
Not even all of the ethnic Persians support the repressive government, so there is fertile ground to sow dissention.
Nearly a quarter of the people are Azeris, with the balance made up of other Turkic tribes.
The Voice of Israel radio network in Israel alone has more than one million listeners – and there are other similar radio and Internet communications. In short, Glick says that we're not keeping the Iranian regime occupied enough with staying in power.
If Israel mounts a forceful effort against it, the mullahs will have less time to plan and implement their defeat of the West.3. Reconsider Israel's nuclear ambiguity policy. Glick, among others, feels that the current policy has outlived its usefulness. Public missile testing might be the first step.
It is time to openly discuss Israel's second strike capability and its repercussions, like destruction of oil fields and shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf. If the attention of the rest of the world was focused on the consequences of an Iranian attack on Israel, perhaps Western leaders would seriously consider trying to interdict Iran's plans, making Israel's devastating second strike unnecessary.
Glick summed up her argument by noting that Israel is a strong, robust democracy, while Iran, except for its oil revenue, is nearly a basket case.
Today, Israel and the West face Iran and the global jihad, a threat similar to 1930s-era Nazi Germany and the Final Solution.
But with Israel's tremendous capabilities and its powerful collective will to overcome existential threats, Israel can meet this challenge.
What Israel needs now is the requisite leadership to put Israel and the Jews foremost. Instead we have petty and ambitious leaders.
During the question and answer period, Glick acknowledged that she believes Benjamin Netanyahu is the best available leader and that his Likud party is the sole Zionist party, the only party that can be depended on to promote the continued existence of the State of Israel.Caroline Glick is one of the most knowledgeable and most articulate spokespersons for Israel. Although her vision of world politics is bleak, it's a dose of reality in a sea of Pollyannish Left-wing commentary.
Glick shows why we need to question the vision of Israeli and other Western leaders and what we need to do to maintain Israel's independence.

Try reading Glick's weekly Friday column in the Jerusalem Post to open your eyes to the challenges Israel faces.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Muslim Crimes in Mumbai Continue

The criminals responsible for the killings and mayhem in Mumbai are being
dispatched and imprisoned, the latest reports say 10 criminals killed and 4 arrested.
So far over 130 innocent victims are reported murderered and over 325 maimed.
Innocent people, unarmed civilians, women and children, brutally gunned down by insane religious fanatics.
The Taj Hotel is apparently secured, the Jewish Center
may still be in the hands of Nazi inspired Muslim gangsters.
Like many citizens of the world I watched CNN coverage throughout most of the night.
It's interesting how Muslim criminals have managed to make mass murder seem
almost routine.
On CNN last night Deepak Chopra called on Muslims to "take action against the criminals in our family"and not just verbally condemn them.
He added" What we have seen in Mumbai has been brewing for a long time, and the war on terrorism and the attack on Iraq compounded the situation.
What we call "collateral damage" and going after the wrong people actually turns moderates into extremists, and that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay"He continued to say:Ultimately the message is always toward Washington because it's also the perception that Washington, in their way, directly or indirectly funds both sides of the war on terror. They fund our side, then our petrol dollars going to Saudi Arabia through Pakistan and ultimately these terrorist groups, which are very organized. You know Jonathan, it takes a lot of money to do this. It takes a lot of organization to do this. Where's the money coming from, you know? The money is coming from the vested interests. I'm not talking about conspiracy theories, but what happens is, our policies, our foreign policies, actually perpetuate this problem."

1300hrs,mst, Just now, CNN reports that eight hostages have been rescued from the Jewish Center.
There is reported to be a standoff between the Police and the Muslim Gang members
at this moment at the Jewish center in Mumbai.
Muslim criminals, like their Nazi cohorts, have long blamed "the Jew" for their murderous, bloodthirsty behaviour.

Advice to a “house negro” — from a “terrorist”

Wit and wisdom from the beautiful and courageous Irshad Manji. MFB,SR

Originally posted in Irshaddering Thoughts on Nov 20, 2008

Well, Mr. President-Elect, you’ve been publicly berated as a “house negro” by Muslim extremist Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Wear it as a badge of honor, sir.

You’ve scampered under Zawahiri’s skin.

He doesn’t know how else to attack your legitimacy, so he assaults your humanity in the hope that fellow Muslims will project their baggage onto you.
See, too many Muslims today remain nervous in their own skins and thus cower before their clerical masters.

Fearful of authenticity, Muslims are intimidated into slavery.

Deep down, they know it. And they hate themselves for it.

By labeling you the “house slave,” Zawahiri aims to distill their self-hatred into a collective repudiation of your chutzpah.
I’m well aware of this ploy.

It routinely appears as a fusillade of epithets in my own email inbox. Consider this message, sent to me just last week under the subject line: “You are a Terrorist!”
Stop terrorizing the Muslim Ummah you kaffir-loving (literally, you even lick kaffir vag!) lesbian whore… You probably never were a muslim, just a brown dyke bitch. - Eesa Abdullah

Quoi? Moi? A terrorist?
I suppose I am — to those whose identities are so fragile, whose sense of self so stunted, that they must dehumanize others to feel remotely valid. Such people can’t abide, let alone accept, our shared humanity.

Under these circumstances, then, it’s quite true that they feel terrorized by a campaign to reconcile Islam with universal human rights.
Similarly, Mr. President-Elect, you’re the house negro to those whose ideology results in maiming, raping, and murdering more Muslims than the foreign forces they indict.

Do you detect a pattern here?
It would be a no-brainer for me to say, “Pay no mind. Ignore Zawahiri.”

But that’s not what I’m saying.

Instead, my advice is to thank the rhetorical pugilist, for he hands you the highest of compliments.

He’s acknowledging your personal solidity.

And, after thanking Zawahiri, use his ugly message to tell Muslims the world over that you have faith in their capacity to be better.
It’s what you do best.

Do it again.
Still, I wasn’t born yesterday.

Not for a minute do I suggest that milk and honey will suddenly flow from your generosity. It won’t.

If people like Ayman al-Zawahiri and Eesa Abdullah ooze bile, then what do we make of someone entirely different who writes me a similar email — plainly stating “Dyke Bitch” — but whose automated signature sweetly reads as follows:
Happy moments, praise God.

Difficult moments, seek God.

Quiet moments, worship God.

Painful moments, trust God.

Every moment, thank God.

As you already know, Mr. President-Elect, the world is an absurd place.

I, for one, will stay grateful for the lessons — and laughs — that it offers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Putting things in proportion (By Ben Dror Yemini)

So here it is - the third and final installment of my translation of Ben Dror Yemini’s article.
If you haven’t read the first and second parts, please read them first.

And the world is silent
Part One.
Part Two.

Part Three:
Lebanon: The Lebanese civil war took place from 1975 to 1990. Israel was involved in certain stages, by way of the first Lebanon War in 1982. There is no disagreement that a considerable part of the victims were killed in the first two years.
The more assessments talk of over 130,000 killed. Most of them were Lebanese killed by other Lebanese, on religious, ethnic grounds and in connection with the Syrian involvement. Syria transferred its support between various parties in the conflict. The highest estimates claim that Israeli activities were the cause of around 18,000 people, the great majority of which were fighters.
Lebanon summary: 130,000.
Yemen: In the civil war that took place in Yemen from 1962 to 1970, with Egyptian and Saudi involvement, 100,000 to 150,000 Yemenites were killed, and more than a thousand Egyptians and a thousand Saudis.
Egypt committed war crimes by incorporating the use of chemical warfare. Riots in Yemen from 1984 to 1986 caused the deaths of thousands more.
Yemen summary: 100,000 to 150,000 fatalities.
Russia turned down Chechen Republic demands for independence, and this led to the first Chechen war of 1994 to 1996. The war cost the lives of 50,000 to 200,000 Chechens.
Russia put a great deal into this conflict, but failed miserably. This did not help Chechens, because although they had gained autonomy there republic was in ruins.
The second Chechen War began in 1999 and officially ended in 2001, but it has not really ended, and number of the victims is estimated at 30,000 to 100,000.
Chechnya summary: 80,000 to 300,000 fatalities.

From Jordan to Zanzibar: In addition to the wars and the massacres, there have also been smaller confrontations, that have cost the lives of thousands and tens of thousands, of Muslims and Arabs (killed) by Muslims and Arabs.
These confrontations are not even taken into account in the tables presented on these pages, because the numbers are small, relatively speaking, even though the numbers of those killed are far higher than the numbers of the victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Here are some of them:
Jordan: 1970 to 1971 the Black September riots took place In the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. King Hussein was fed up of the Palestians use of the country and their threatened to take control of it. The confrontation, mainly a massacre in the refugee camps, took thousands of lives. According to estimates provided by the Palestinians themselves - 10,000 to 25,000 fatalities. According to other sources - a few thousand.
Chad: Half of the population of Chad are Muslims: In various civil wars 30,000 civilians have been killed.
Kosovo: In the mainly Muslim area of Yugoslavia about 10,000 were killed in the war there from 1998 to 2000.
Tajikistan: Civil war from 1992 to 1996 left about 50,000 dead.
Syria: Hafez Assad’s systematic persecution of the Muslim Brotherhood ended in the 1982 massacre in the city of Hama, costing the lives of about 20,000 people.
Iran: Thousands were killed in the beginning of the Humeini Revolution. The precise number is unknown, but is somewhere between thousands and tens of thousands. The Kurds also suffered at the hands of Iran, and about 10,000 of them were murdered there.
Turkey: About 20,000 Kurds were killed in Turkey as part of the conflict there.
Zanzibar: In the early 1960’s the island was granted independence, but only for a short time. At first, the Arabs were in power, but a black group, made up mainly of Muslims, slaughtered the Arab group, also Muslim, in 1964.
The estimates are that 5,000 to 17,000 were killed.
Even this is not the end of the list.
There were more conflicts with unknown numbers of victims in former USSR republics with Muslim majority populations (like the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagurno Karabach), and a disputable number of Muslims that were killed in mixed population countries in Africa, such as Nigeria, Mauritania or Uganda (in the years of Idi Amins reign in Uganda, in the decade that began in 1971, about 300,000 Ugandans were killed. Amin defined himself as Muslim, but in contrast to Sudan, it is hard to say that the background for the slaughter was Muslim, and it certainly wasn’t Arab.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
To all the above, one can add this data: The great majority of Arabs killed in the framework of the Israeli-Arab Conflict were killed as a result of wars instigated by the Arabs and as a result of their refusal to recognize the UN decision regarding the establishment of the State of Israel, or their refusal to recognize the Jews’ right of self-definition.
The number of Israelis killed by Arab aggression has been relatively much higher than the numbers of Arabs killed. In the War of the Independence, for example, more than 6,000 Israelis were killed out of a population that was then made up of 600,000. This means: One percent of the population. In comparison with this, Arab fatalities in the war against Israel came from seven countries, the populations of which were already tens of millions. Israel did not dream, did not think and did not want to destroy any Arab state.
But the ostensible goal of the attacking armies was “to liquidate the Jewish entity”.
Obviously, in recent years, the Palestinian victims have received most of the attention of the Media and the Academia.
In actual fact, these make up just a small percentage of the total sum of all victims. The total sum of Palestinians killed by Israel in the territories that were conquered is several thousand. 1,378 were killed in the first Intifada, and 3,700 since the start of the second Intifada.
This is less, for instance, than the Muslim victims massacred by former Syrian president, Hafez Assad in Hama in 1982.
This is less than the Palestinians massacred by King Hussein in 1971.
This is less than the number of those killed in one single massacre of Muslim Bosnians by the Serbs in 1991 in Srebrenica, a massacre that left 8,000 dead.
Every person killed is regrettable, but there is no greater libel than to call Israel’s actions ‘genocide’. And even so, the string ‘Israel’ and ‘genocide’ in Google search engine leads to 13,600,000 referrals.
Try typing ‘Sudan’ and ‘genocide’ and you’ll get less than 9 million results. These numbers, if you will, are the essence of the great deception.
The occupation is not enlightened, but is not brutal
Another fact: Since WWII, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the national conflict with the lowest number of victims, but with the world’s highest number of publications hostile to Israel in the media and in the Academia.
At least half a million Algerians died during the French occupation. A million Afghanis died during the Soviet occupation. Millions of Muslims and Arabs were killed and slaughtered at the hands of Muslims. But all the world knows about one Mohammed a-Dura (whose death was regrettable, but there is some doubt whether he was killed by Israeli gunfire at all).
It is possible and acceptable to criticize Israel.
But the excessive, obsessive, and at times anti-Semitic criticism serves also as a coverup, and in some cases also as an approval, of the genocide of millions of others.Occupation is not enlightened and can’t be enlightened.
But if we try to create a scale of ‘brutal occupation’, Israel will come last.
This is a fact.
This is not an opinion.
And what would have happened to the Palestinians if, instead of being under Israeli occupation they were under Iraqi occupation? Or Sudanese? Or even French or Soviet? It is highly probable that they would have been victims of genocide, at worst, and of mass killings, purges, and deportations at best.
But luckily for them they are under Israeli occupation.
And even if, I repeat, there is no such thing as an enlightened occupation, and even if it is acceptable and possible, and at times necessary, to criticize Israel, there is no occupation and there has never been an occupation with so few fatalities (indeed, there are other injuries that are not manifested in the numbers of fatalities, such as the refugee problem. This will be discussed in a separate chapter).
Television screen ethics :
So why is the impression of the world the direct opposite? How come there is no connection between the facts and the numbers and the so very demonic image of Israel in the world?
There are many answers. One of them is that western ethics have become the ethics of television cameras.
If a Palestinian terrorist or a Hizballah man tries to shoot a rocket from the midst of a civilian neighborhood, and Israel retaliates with fire - causing the death of two children - there will be endless headlines and articles all over the world that “Israel murders children”. But if entire villages are destroyed in Sudan or whole cities are erased in Syria, there will be no television cameras in the area.
And so, according to television ethics, Jose Saramago and Harold Pinter sign a petition protesting ‘genocide’ and ‘war crimes’ perpetrated by Israel. They have never read the Geneva Convention either.
They probably do not know that, aside for very few exceptions, the actions of Israel against military targets hitting civilians is allowed according to the Geneva Convention (protocol 1 paragraph 52.2). And because these people are so submerged in television ethics, they will not sign any petitions in protest of the genocide of Muslims by Muslims.
Murder for the sake of it. They are allowed to do it.
Television ethics is a tragedy for the Arabs and the Muslims themselves.
Israel pays dearly because of it, but the Arabs and the Muslims are its real victims. And as long as this blue screen morality continues, the Arabs and the Muslims will continue to pay the price.
There are those that claim that Arab and Muslim states are immune from criticism, because they are not democratic, but Israel is more worthy of criticism because it has democratic pretences.
Claims like this are Orientalism at its worst.
The covert assumption is that the Arabs and the Muslims are the retarded child of the world. They are allowed. It is not only Orientalism.
It is racism.
The Arabs and the Muslims are not children and they are not retarded. Many Arabs and Muslims know this and write about it.
They know that only an end to the self-deception and a taking of responsibility will lead to change.
They know that as long as the west treats them as unequal and irresponsible it is lending a hand not only to a racist attitude, but also, and mainly, to a continuation of their mass murder.
The genocide that Israel is not committing, that is completely libelous, hides the real genocide, the silenced genocide that Arabs and Muslims are committing mainly against themselves. The libel has to stop so as to look at reality.
It is in the interest of the Arabs and the Muslims.
Israel pays in image. They pay in blood. If there is any morality left in the world, this should be in the interest of whoever has a remaining drop of it in him. And should it happen, it will be small news for Israel, and great news, far greater news, for Arabs and Muslims.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


In order to defend Israel we need to expose the tactics of her enemies.
This three part series of articles does a remarkable of job of doing just that.

Genocide, Genocide, Genocide
part one:
(First Part)
by Imshin

Putting things in proportion
I have begun translating a rather lengthy article that appeared in the Rosh Hashanna edition of Maariv.
I’m bringing the first installment of the translation now.
I hope to continue tomorrow, so eventually you will be able to read the whole thing.
Please forgive the quality of the translation. First of all, the original Hebrew was not as well edited as one would expect (to put it politely). And secondly, it’s so long that I’m finding the task daunting.
I believe you will agree that the content is important enough that I (with Bish’s much appreciated help) should make the effort.

And the world is silent
By Ben Dror Yemini

Fact no. 1:
Since the establishment of the State of Israel a merciless genocide is being perpetrated against Muslims and/or Arabs.
Fact no. 2:
The conflict in the Middle East, between Israel and the Arabs as a whole and against the Palestinians in particular, is regarded as the central conflict in the world today. Fact no. 3: According to polls carried out in the European Union, Israel holds first place as “Danger to world peace”. In Holland, for instance, 74% of the population holds this view. Not Iran. Not North Korea.
Connecting between these findings creates one of the biggest deceptions of modern times: Israel is regarded as the country responsible for every calamity, misfortune and hardship. It is a danger to world peace, not just to the Arab or Muslim world.
How the deception works
The finger is pointed cleverly.
It’s difficult to blame Israel for the genocide in Sudan or for the civil war in Algeria. How is it done? Dozens of publications, articles, books, periodicals and websites are dedicated to one purpose only: Turning Israel into a state that ceaselessly perpetrates war crimes. In Jakarta and in Khartoum they burn the Israeli flag, and in London, in Oslo and in Zurich hate articles are published, supporting the destruction of Israel.
Any request in Internet search engines for the words “genocide” against “Muslims”, “Arabs” or “Palestinians”, in the context of “Zionists” or “Israel” – will give us endless results. Even after we’ve filtered out the trash, we are left with millions of publications written in deadly seriousness.
This abundance brings results.
It works like brainwashing.
It is the accepted position, and not just a fringe opinion.
Only five years ago we were witness to a international anti-Israeli show in the Durban Convention.
Only two years ago we were shocked when a member of our Academia blamed Israel of ‘symbolic genocide’ against the Palestinian people.
Much ado about nothing.
There are thousands of publications blaming Israel of genocide, and not ‘symbolic’.
Under an academic and/or journalistic umbrella, today’s Israel is compared to the damned Germany of yesteryear.
In conclusion, there are those who call to terminate the ‘Zionist project’. And in more simple words: because Israel is a country that perpetrates so many war crimes and engages in ethnic cleansing and genocide – it has no right to exist.
This, for instance, is the essence of an article by the Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder (writer of “Sophie’s world”), who wrote, among other things: “We call killers of children by their name”). The conclusion is that Israel has no right to exist.
The tragedy is that in Arab and Muslim countries a massacre is happening. A genocide protected by the silence of the world. A genocide protected by a deception that is perhaps unparalleled in the history of mankind.
A genocide that has no connection to Israel, to Zionism or to Jews. A genocide of mainly Arabs and Muslims, by Arabs and Muslims.
This is not a matter of opinion or viewpoint.
This is the result of factual examination, as precise as possible, of the numbers of victims of various wars and conflicts that have taken place since the establishment of the State of Israel up till this time, in which the massacre continues. It is, indeed, death on a massive scale. A massacre.
It is the wiping out of villages and cities and whole populations. And the world is silent. The Muslims are indeed abandoned.
They are murdered and the world is silent.
And if it bothers to open its mouth, it doesn’t complain about the murderers. It doesn’t complain about the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. It complains about Israel.
This great deception, that covers up the real facts, endures and even grows because of one reason only: The Media and Academia in the West participate in it. In endless publications, books, periodicals and websites Israel is portrayed as a state that perpetrates “war crimes”, “ethnic cleansing”, and “systematic murder”.
Sometimes it is because this is fashionable, sometimes it is mistakenly, sometimes it is the result of hypocrisy and double standards.
Sometimes it is new and old anti-Semitism, from the left and from the right, overt and covert. Most of the classic blood libels were refuted not long after they came into being. The blood libel of modern times, against the state of Israel, continues to grow.
Many Israelis and Jews are accessories to the nurturing of the libel.
The Arab-Israeli conflict
The Zionist settling of this country, which began at the end of the 19th century, did indeed create a conflict between Jews and Arabs. The amount of those killed in various clashes up till the establishment of the State of Israel was no more than a few thousands, of both Jews and Arabs. Most of the Arabs killed in those years were killed in armed struggles of Arabs amongst themselves; such as, for example, in the days of the Great Arab Uprising of 1936 – 1939. That was a sign of things to come. Many others were killed as a result of the harsh hand wielded by the British. Israel never did anything comparable.
Israel’s War of Independence, known also as the War of 48’, left between 5,000 to 15,000 dead from among the Palestinians and citizens of Arab countries.
In this war, as in any war, there were indeed atrocities.
The attackers declared their goal, and if they had won, a mass extermination of Jews would have taken place.
On Israel’s side there were also barbarous acts, but they were on the fringe of the fringe.
Less, far less, than in any other war in modern times.
Far less than what is being perpetrated every day in these very times, by Muslims, mainly against Muslims, in Sudan and in Iraq.
The next event of importance was the Sinai War of 1956. About 1,650 Egyptians were killed, about 1,000 at the hands of the Israelis and about 650 by the French and British forces.
Next came the Six Day War (1967- IJ). The highest estimates talk of 21,000 Arabs killed on all three fronts – Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
The Yom Kippur War (1973 – IJ) resulted in 8,500 Arab dead, this time on only two fronts – Egypt and Syria.
Then there were ‘smaller’ wars: The first Lebanon war, which was initially mainly against the PLO and not against Lebanon. This was a war in a war.
These were the years of the bloody civil war in Lebanon, a war we will discuss further later on. And thus also in the second Lebanon war, in which about a thousand Lebanese were killed.
Thousands of Palestinians were killed during the Israeli occupation of the territories, that began at the end of the Six Day War.
Most were killed during the two Intifadas, the one that commenced in 1987 and resulted in 1,800 Palestinian deaths, and the one that commenced in 2000 with a Palestinan death toll of 3,700.
In between, there were more military actions that caused further Arab fatalities. If we exaggerate, we can say that these were a few hundred more who were killed. Hundreds. Not hundreds of thousands. Not millions.
The total count reaches about 60,000 Arabs killed in the framework of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Among them only several thousand Palestinians, although it is because of them, and only them, that Israel is the target of the world’s anger.
Every Arab and Muslim death is regrettable.
And it is okay to criticize Israel.
But the obsessive and demonic criticism emphasizes a far more amazing fact:
The silence of the world, or at least relative silence, in the face of the systematic extermination of millions of others by Muslim and Arab regimes.

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky