IsraelAmerica

IsraelAmerica
IsraelAmerica

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sick of Duplicitous Politicos

I am sick to death of the phony expressions of sorrow from President Bush, Secretary Rice and the other nations - while they send a king’s treasure to the terrorists, in addition to arming and training them. The first television coverage on March 6th (which was quickly terminated) showed the riotous celebrations in Gaza, with firing of weapons that sounded like firecrackers and handing out of candy (made with the sugar supplied in humanitarian shipments from Israel).

Even the be-suited Terrorist Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) condemned the "successful" Terrorist while his Fatah has major Terrorists operating under his banner - including Al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigade, Tanzim, PFLP, Islamic Jihad - with significant input by Hezb’Allah, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, among others. I expect Fatah and Hamas to re-united soon in their joint goal to wipe out the Jewish State.

But, Bush must have looked into Abu Mazen’s eyes and seen his soul - as he did with Putin, and saw nothing but good in his "Moderate" soul.

Condi’s condolences are not worth the price of an Email, given her deep antipathy for the Jewish nation, Israel, and her people. Condi says (she is still reliving her childhood) where the southern whites were savaging her black brethren. With all that bile souring her stomach, she had to regurgitate somewhere, so she picked on the Jews. In her warped psychology, Jews looked like her southern whites and the Muslim Terrorists became her blacks.

Condi, you had better keep your condolence babble inside your head rather than pretend you care about Jews being murdered by Islamic Arab Palestinians.

As fo the nations who haunt the U.N., better they also keep their condolences for the newspapers and TV. Their knee-jerk, pro-forma condolence cards have become like a Hallmark holiday greeting card because the Terror, Rocket and Missile attacks happen so often.

As for Israel, she should return their phony expressions of condolence, marked: "Return to Sender" and ask: "What are you going to do to stop the killings?"

Originally Published on

Gamla.Org

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Tribute To The Israeli Defense Forces

This is a pretty impressive tribute of our beloved soldiers:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Open up the U.S. aid pipeline to the Palestinians? by Jonathan S. Tobin

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that American officials are again pressing Congress to open up the U.S. aid pipeline to the Palestinian Authority.
If the plea sounds familiar, it ought to.
Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Americans have been subsidizing the activities of the P.A. to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Today, as in the past, the arguments in favor of this policy are urgent.
We are told by both administration officials who are friends of Israel and by some Israelis that unless we help fund the training and the payment of Palestinian security forces, the P.A. will have no way to cope with terrorists who want to sink any chance of a two-state solution which would enable Israel to live side-by-side with a peaceful Palestinian partner.
THE ONLY OPTION?
With Hamas in control of Gaza, the P.A., under the current leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, is, we are informed, the only address for creating a moderate force that will work for peace. Given the alternative of the Iranian-backed Hamas or the equally unpalatable choices of either Israel reoccupying the territories or an international peacekeeping force doing so, reinforcing the P.A. seems to make sense.
But does it really?
Doubts about the wisdom of the policy have led Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-N.Y.) — respectively, the chair and the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee — to place a hold on a request of another $150 million in direct assistance to the P.A. Thwarted on that front, the administration now wants the committee to okay an additional $25 million in indirect funding for the military training program.
Both Lowey and Ros-Lehtinen rightly worry about the commitment of Abbas and his Fatah Party to peace. They cite recent statements by Abbas in which he would not rule out a return to "armed resistance" against Israel. The support by the P.A. media for attacks against Israelis, such as the slaughter of eight students at a Jerusalem yeshiva this month, as well as the ongoing blitz of southern Israel by Hamas missiles, is also reason to doubt the P.A.'s sincerity.
The P.A. also continues to honor the memory of slain terrorists as "martyrs" and, as The Jerusalem Post reported this week, plans to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday by having Arab refugees to rush Israel's borders to promote a "right of return," which is synonymous with the destruction of the Jewish State.
Supporters of aid respond that these statements do not reflect Abbas' real goals. Yet, they ignore the fact that what the P.A. has done for the past 15 years is to legitimize a Palestinian culture in which political plaudits are won only by killing Jews. Indeed, via its control of broadcast outlets, newspapers and the schools, the P.A. has solidified a mindset of hate.
Just as bad is the history of attempts to create a P.A. security force. The Oslo agreements called for the creation of a Palestinian police force that would combat terrorists. But Arafat had other ideas.
While most of the billions that came his way via aid from the European Union and the United States went into the pockets or Swiss bank accounts of Fatah officials, some of it was used to create a byzantine web of Palestinian "security" agencies whose purposes were anything but peaceful. When push came to shove as Arafat blew up the peace after the Camp David summit in 2000, it was these P.A. forces (including some who'd been trained by the Philadelphia Police Department) who committed terrorist acts against Israelis.
Adding to that sorry tale was the fiasco in Gaza in 2006 when Fatah thugs, aided and equipped by foreign sources at the specific instigation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, sought to maintain Abbas' control of the area, even after the Hamas election victory.
As detailed in an investigative report published in the April issue of Vanity Fair magazine, the concerns voiced by some Israelis and skeptical members of Congress over that particular venture in bolstering Abbas were prophetic.
While Fatah goons tortured and kidnapped some of their rivals, neither they nor their leader Abbas had the stomach to face down Hamas, despite promises to do so. In the end, Abbas' men wouldn't fight, and the more popular Hamas seized control of Gaza. As David Rose writes in Vanity Fair, "The exact thing both Israel and the U.S. Congress warned against came to pass when Hamas captured most of Fatah's arms and ammunition — including the Egyptian guns supplied under the covert U.S.-Arab aid program."
For 15 years, critics of such expenditures have been labeled as "anti-peace," but that tag just served as an excuse for whitewashes of misbehavior by first Arafat and now Abbas.
An anonymous U.S. official told JTA that the 1,100 P.A. gunmen currently in Jordan, at American expense as well as with Israeli permission, are being schooled in such things as "training in riot control, human rights, and effective arrests and defensive shooting." But so were their predecessors. Left unanswered in this account is why reasonable people should think this group will behave any differently.
PAINTED INTO A CORNER The alternatives to Abbas are frightful. He is both weak and probably not much less ill-intentioned than Hamas, but he and his loyalists are seen as a counterforce to Iran's allies.
Should American supporters of Israel therefore feel obligated to support the continued flow of funds to P.A. sources?
The problem is, the peace processors have painted themselves into a corner. Having coronated first Arafat and now Abbas, they are forced to ignore or suppress the truth about them in order to maintain American support for a two-state solution.
At the same time, Israel's government takes the position that it needs a Palestinian partner who at least pays lip service to peace, as Abbas does. And no one here wants to do anything that would help create a greater "Hamasistan."
Yet experience shows that the realpolitik strategy of propping up Fatah has not undermined Hamas, nor promoted peace. Perhaps the beginning of wisdom is the recognition that it's time to stop reinforcing failure.
America's attempts to create a Palestinian peace partner have failed. No amount of money will buy us a moderate state that will accept peace with Israel if the Palestinians don't want one. If the president and the secretary of state aren't honest enough to admit this, then perhaps it's appropriate to ask Congress to turn off the spigot that sends more of our tax dollars down a Palestinian drain.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Let him know what you think by clicking here.
Jonathan Tobin Archives Last week, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that American officials are again pressing Congress to open up the U.S. aid pipeline to the Palestinian Authority.
If the plea sounds familiar, it ought to. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Americans have been subsidizing the activities of the P.A. to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Today, as in the past, the arguments in favor of this policy are urgent. We are told by both administration officials who are friends of Israel and by some Israelis that unless we help fund the training and the payment of Palestinian security forces, the P.A. will have no way to cope with terrorists who want to sink any chance of a two-state solution which would enable Israel to live side-by-side with a peaceful Palestinian partner.
THE ONLY OPTION? With Hamas in control of Gaza, the P.A., under the current leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, is, we are informed, the only address for creating a moderate force that will work for peace. Given the alternative of the Iranian-backed Hamas or the equally unpalatable choices of either Israel reoccupying the territories or an international peacekeeping force doing so, reinforcing the P.A. seems to make sense.
But does it really?
Doubts about the wisdom of the policy have led Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-N.Y.) — respectively, the chair and the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee — to place a hold on a request of another $150 million in direct assistance to the P.A. Thwarted on that front, the administration now wants the committee to okay an additional $25 million in indirect funding for the military training program.
Both Lowey and Ros-Lehtinen rightly worry about the commitment of Abbas and his Fatah Party to peace. They cite recent statements by Abbas in which he would not rule out a return to "armed resistance" against Israel. The support by the P.A. media for attacks against Israelis, such as the slaughter of eight students at a Jerusalem yeshiva this month, as well as the ongoing blitz of southern Israel by Hamas missiles, is also reason to doubt the P.A.'s sincerity.
The P.A. also continues to honor the memory of slain terrorists as "martyrs" and, as The Jerusalem Post reported this week, plans to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday by having Arab refugees to rush Israel's borders to promote a "right of return," which is synonymous with the destruction of the Jewish State.
Supporters of aid respond that these statements do not reflect Abbas' real goals. Yet, they ignore the fact that what the P.A. has done for the past 15 years is to legitimize a Palestinian culture in which political plaudits are won only by killing Jews. Indeed, via its control of broadcast outlets, newspapers and the schools, the P.A. has solidified a mindset of hate.
Just as bad is the history of attempts to create a P.A. security force. The Oslo agreements called for the creation of a Palestinian police force that would combat terrorists. But Arafat had other ideas.
While most of the billions that came his way via aid from the European Union and the United States went into the pockets or Swiss bank accounts of Fatah officials, some of it was used to create a byzantine web of Palestinian "security" agencies whose purposes were anything but peaceful. When push came to shove as Arafat blew up the peace after the Camp David summit in 2000, it was these P.A. forces (including some who'd been trained by the Philadelphia Police Department) who committed terrorist acts against Israelis.
Adding to that sorry tale was the fiasco in Gaza in 2006 when Fatah thugs, aided and equipped by foreign sources at the specific instigation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, sought to maintain Abbas' control of the area, even after the Hamas election victory.
As detailed in an investigative report published in the April issue of Vanity Fair magazine, the concerns voiced by some Israelis and skeptical members of Congress over that particular venture in bolstering Abbas were prophetic.
While Fatah goons tortured and kidnapped some of their rivals, neither they nor their leader Abbas had the stomach to face down Hamas, despite promises to do so. In the end, Abbas' men wouldn't fight, and the more popular Hamas seized control of Gaza. As David Rose writes in Vanity Fair, "The exact thing both Israel and the U.S. Congress warned against came to pass when Hamas captured most of Fatah's arms and ammunition — including the Egyptian guns supplied under the covert U.S.-Arab aid program."
For 15 years, critics of such expenditures have been labeled as "anti-peace," but that tag just served as an excuse for whitewashes of misbehavior by first Arafat and now Abbas.
An anonymous U.S. official told JTA that the 1,100 P.A. gunmen currently in Jordan, at American expense as well as with Israeli permission, are being schooled in such things as "training in riot control, human rights, and effective arrests and defensive shooting." But so were their predecessors. Left unanswered in this account is why reasonable people should think this group will behave any differently.
PAINTED INTO A CORNER The alternatives to Abbas are frightful. He is both weak and probably not much less ill-intentioned than Hamas, but he and his loyalists are seen as a counterforce to Iran's allies.
Should American supporters of Israel therefore feel obligated to support the continued flow of funds to P.A. sources?
The problem is, the peace processors have painted themselves into a corner. Having coronated first Arafat and now Abbas, they are forced to ignore or suppress the truth about them in order to maintain American support for a two-state solution.
At the same time, Israel's government takes the position that it needs a Palestinian partner who at least pays lip service to peace, as Abbas does. And no one here wants to do anything that would help create a greater "Hamasistan."
Yet experience shows that the realpolitik strategy of propping up Fatah has not undermined Hamas, nor promoted peace. Perhaps the beginning of wisdom is the recognition that it's time to stop reinforcing failure.
America's attempts to create a Palestinian peace partner have failed. No amount of money will buy us a moderate state that will accept peace with Israel if the Palestinians don't want one. If the president and the secretary of state aren't honest enough to admit this, then perhaps it's appropriate to ask Congress to turn off the spigot that sends more of our tax dollars down a Palestinian drain.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Let him know what you think by clicking here.
Jonathan Tobin Archives If the plea sounds familiar, it ought to. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Americans have been subsidizing the activities of the P.A. to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Today, as in the past, the arguments in favor of this policy are urgent. We are told by both administration officials who are friends of Israel and by some Israelis that unless we help fund the training and the payment of Palestinian security forces, the P.A. will have no way to cope with terrorists who want to sink any chance of a two-state solution which would enable Israel to live side-by-side with a peaceful Palestinian partner.
THE ONLY OPTION? With Hamas in control of Gaza, the P.A., under the current leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, is, we are informed, the only address for creating a moderate force that will work for peace. Given the alternative of the Iranian-backed Hamas or the equally unpalatable choices of either Israel reoccupying the territories or an international peacekeeping force doing so, reinforcing the P.A. seems to make sense.
But does it really?
Doubts about the wisdom of the policy have led Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-N.Y.) — respectively, the chair and the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee — to place a hold on a request of another $150 million in direct assistance to the P.A. Thwarted on that front, the administration now wants the committee to okay an additional $25 million in indirect funding for the military training program.
Both Lowey and Ros-Lehtinen rightly worry about the commitment of Abbas and his Fatah Party to peace. They cite recent statements by Abbas in which he would not rule out a return to "armed resistance" against Israel. The support by the P.A. media for attacks against Israelis, such as the slaughter of eight students at a Jerusalem yeshiva this month, as well as the ongoing blitz of southern Israel by Hamas missiles, is also reason to doubt the P.A.'s sincerity.
The P.A. also continues to honor the memory of slain terrorists as "martyrs" and, as The Jerusalem Post reported this week, plans to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday by having Arab refugees to rush Israel's borders to promote a "right of return," which is synonymous with the destruction of the Jewish State.
Supporters of aid respond that these statements do not reflect Abbas' real goals. Yet, they ignore the fact that what the P.A. has done for the past 15 years is to legitimize a Palestinian culture in which political plaudits are won only by killing Jews. Indeed, via its control of broadcast outlets, newspapers and the schools, the P.A. has solidified a mindset of hate.
Just as bad is the history of attempts to create a P.A. security force. The Oslo agreements called for the creation of a Palestinian police force that would combat terrorists. But Arafat had other ideas.
While most of the billions that came his way via aid from the European Union and the United States went into the pockets or Swiss bank accounts of Fatah officials, some of it was used to create a byzantine web of Palestinian "security" agencies whose purposes were anything but peaceful. When push came to shove as Arafat blew up the peace after the Camp David summit in 2000, it was these P.A. forces (including some who'd been trained by the Philadelphia Police Department) who committed terrorist acts against Israelis.
Adding to that sorry tale was the fiasco in Gaza in 2006 when Fatah thugs, aided and equipped by foreign sources at the specific instigation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, sought to maintain Abbas' control of the area, even after the Hamas election victory.
As detailed in an investigative report published in the April issue of Vanity Fair magazine, the concerns voiced by some Israelis and skeptical members of Congress over that particular venture in bolstering Abbas were prophetic.
While Fatah goons tortured and kidnapped some of their rivals, neither they nor their leader Abbas had the stomach to face down Hamas, despite promises to do so. In the end, Abbas' men wouldn't fight, and the more popular Hamas seized control of Gaza. As David Rose writes in Vanity Fair, "The exact thing both Israel and the U.S. Congress warned against came to pass when Hamas captured most of Fatah's arms and ammunition — including the Egyptian guns supplied under the covert U.S.-Arab aid program."
For 15 years, critics of such expenditures have been labeled as "anti-peace," but that tag just served as an excuse for whitewashes of misbehavior by first Arafat and now Abbas.
An anonymous U.S. official told JTA that the 1,100 P.A. gunmen currently in Jordan, at American expense as well as with Israeli permission, are being schooled in such things as "training in riot control, human rights, and effective arrests and defensive shooting." But so were their predecessors. Left unanswered in this account is why reasonable people should think this group will behave any differently.
PAINTED INTO A CORNER The alternatives to Abbas are frightful. He is both weak and probably not much less ill-intentioned than Hamas, but he and his loyalists are seen as a counterforce to Iran's allies.
Should American supporters of Israel therefore feel obligated to support the continued flow of funds to P.A. sources?
The problem is, the peace processors have painted themselves into a corner. Having coronated first Arafat and now Abbas, they are forced to ignore or suppress the truth about them in order to maintain American support for a two-state solution.
At the same time, Israel's government takes the position that it needs a Palestinian partner who at least pays lip service to peace, as Abbas does. And no one here wants to do anything that would help create a greater "Hamasistan."
Yet experience shows that the realpolitik strategy of propping up Fatah has not undermined Hamas, nor promoted peace. Perhaps the beginning of wisdom is the recognition that it's time to stop reinforcing failure.
America's attempts to create a Palestinian peace partner have failed. No amount of money will buy us a moderate state that will accept peace with Israel if the Palestinians don't want one. If the president and the secretary of state aren't honest enough to admit this, then perhaps it's appropriate to ask Congress to turn off the spigot that sends more of our tax dollars down a Palestinian drain.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Let him know what you think by clicking here.
Jonathan Tobin Archives

Monday, March 24, 2008

American Arms Firms Slipping?

Israel has decided against buying a U.S.-produced anti-rocket laser for the border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip because of the device's poor performance in field tests, a top Israeli defence official said on Monday. Israeli state arms firm Rafael is developing Iron Dome, which is designed to shoot down Palestinian rockets from Gaza with miniature missiles, but that system is not expected to be operational before 2010. Seeking a stop-gap countermeasure, Defence Ministry director-general Pinchas Buchris flew to the United States last week to re-evaluate Nautilus, an Israeli-U.S. invention that uses a laser to blow up rockets and mortar bombs mid-flight. Israeli experts had previously written off Nautilus -- which is being upgraded under a new name, Skyguard -- as unreliable, and Israel's Army Radio said Buchris had found little improvement."Were we to order it as is, to protect Sderot, we would create two things," Buchris told the station, referring to an Israeli border town under frequent Gazan rocket barrages. "First, there would be the illusion, for Sderot residents, that it provides a response. Another thing, we would create a situation where Hamas felt it had scored an achievement in that ... we have no way of coping with the Qassams (rockets)."Israel has also been looking at Phalanx, an automated cannon made by U.S. firm Raytheon that shreds incoming shells. Rockets launched from Gaza -- which Israel quit in 2005, giving Hamas a major political boost -- cause relatively few casualties but have paralysed Sderot and other border towns.The salvoes have ramifications for Israel's peace talks with Hamas's rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Barak would likely insist that any deal ceding the West Bank to Abbas be conditioned on deployment of a working anti-rocket apparatus.

Dan Williams

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why Israel?

I ask myself that question.
Others ask it.
Another way that the question has been put is, why should Israel be Jewish?
Throughout all of recorded history, or at least back to biblical times, Israel has been Jewish, or has been home to Jews.
There has always been a Jewish presence in Israel.
Arabs arrived 700 years ago, so they are relative newcomers.
Throughout history, at least since the Diaspora, i.e., the dispersal of most of the Jews occuring after the Roman period, Jews as a people have been persecuted.
There really is only one place they are not persecuted, at least not by their government, and that is in Israel.
Israel must be Jewish since if it was not, there would be no homeland for the Jews, a right given to every other people.
The Arabs, for example, have over 22 countries that they may call their homeland.
To survive, the Jews need one.
To paraphrase Shai Ben Tekoa, the Arabs have land equal to the size of North America.
The Jews have a country equal to the size of Rhode Island.
The Arab complaint is that the Jews have too much land and the Arabs don't have enough.
The aim of Israel America is to attempt to help those who support Israel, and those who wish to learn about Israel to do so.
Please come back.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What to Do About Gaza: The Realistic Scenario: By Barry Rubin

We'd like to thank Professor Rubin for the privelege of running these excellent articles he's written.
We believe they will contribute to the public's understanding of the situation in Israel as it really is, as opposed to the view filtered by a sometimes biased media.
Michael Blackburn, Sr.




Not only is there no good solution to the Gaza problem, there's no "solution" at all, But in the Middle East, solutions are rare; what's needed is the best, imperfect, option among five alternatives:
Current policy. Israel absorbs damage and casualties in Sderot and some other places. Few are affected; almost all the country functions normally. International pressure and casualties are limited. Israel hits rocket launchers, terrorist bases, and leading terrorists periodically. Eventually, there will be an anti-rocket defense.
But aside from government's duty to its citizens, things will change. Hamas will produce larger and longer-range missiles against Ashkelon and eventually Ashdod.
Another problem with this strategy is that Western criticism defines even minimal self-defense methods as disproportionate. If you get slammed for taking punches you might as well fight back. Moreover, the West basically protects Hamas' rule in Gaza, despite sanctions and diplomatic isolation, neither of which might last. As Hamas grows more aggressive, Western policies might become more appeasing. Meanwhile, being "soft" on Hamas doesn't make peace talks work but does make Hamas look more effective than the less violent PA and Fatah.
Finally, public opinion presses government to change policy.
There are three proposals playing off a thirst for neat solutions. A ceasefire is an ideal dovish solution, overthrowing Hamas appeals to hawks, and giving the mess to an international force makes both philosophies happy. Unfortunately none of these ideas work.
A ceasefire is riddled with problems, paradoxically bringing even more violence. Hamas won't observe it, letting both its own members and others attack Israel while inciting murder through every institution. The ceasefire won't last long; Hamas would use it to strengthen its rule and army while demanding a reward for its "moderation": an end to sanctions and diplomatic isolation; even Western aid.
Re-occupy Gaza; Destroy Hamas. Sounds good. But how? Israel isn't being hit hard enough to make such a huge undertaking worthwhile. Troops would face constant attack from all directions. Once again, Israel would be involved in the daily rule of more than one million hostile people. Too many soldiers would be tied up to permit proper security in the West Bank and Lebanon border. It would be high-cost in casualties, money, and international friction.
And in the end Hamas will not be "destroyed." To defeat Hamas is not to eliminate it but to keep it as weak as possible (through military strikes, isolation, etc.) and limit its ability to hit Israel.
There's also the plan's second fallacy of turning Gaza over to a "moderate" Fatah and PA. There is no chance of their accepting this gift. In fact, Fatah would rather make a deal with Hamas than fight it. And why believe they'd do a better job than last time?
The International Solution. But there's a gimmick: the idea of turning Gaza over to an international force. This is a fantasy. Countries are not going to send forces into a war there to be attacked every day, nor will they brave criticism from Arab and Muslim states as well as terrorist attacks for no benefit.
Besides, what will the force do? Certainly not arrest thousands of Gazans, kill those trying to attack Israel, hold mass trials of terrorists and sentence them to long prison terms. Definitely not disarm Hamas or stop arms smuggling from Egypt.
And when rockets keep falling that force would block Israeli military action there. The option would also be a political disaster, with the sponsoring countries rushing to establish a Palestinian state and negotiate with Hamas. Finally, as noted above, the PA and Fatah won't take Gaza from an international force.
Push Hamas Back: What is needed is the most realistic option based on reality, not wishful thinking. Israel's interest is to minimize attacks on its soil and citizens while limiting the cost of the response needed to achieve that goal. This can be best done by combining a more active version of current policy and the creation of a security zone in the "northern" Gaza Strip to push Hamas and its allies out of range.
Such a zone could be made relatively secure because it would be on a narrow front, with flanks protected by the sea on the north and Israel proper on the south and east, with Israel controlling the airspace. This is an interim policy until anti-missile, anti-rocket defenses can be implemented, perhaps three years.
Of course, there is risk. Israeli forces will be attacked, yet they would be in a strong, fortified position and know they are protecting the civilians behind them. Some rockets will fall on Israel but the numbers would be far reduced and the area affected limited. Israel would continue to operate within Hamas-held Gaza as needed.
Will the world--which claims Israel is occupying Gaza already--do much if Israel temporarily takes back ten percent?
This issue will not be solved by negotiations, concessions, appeasement, force, or anything else. Defense Minister Ehud Barak is right: "It's not the end, the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning."
The same logic applies to Gaza as for the West Bank and Lebanon border. The main goal is for the army to minimize danger and damage so people can go about their normal lives and build up the country, protected by their soldiers.


Barry Rubin is Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center university. His latest book, The Truth about Syria was published by Palgrave-Macmillan in May 2007. Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online at: http://www.gloriacenter.org/index.asp?pname=submenus/articles/index.asp.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE NAZIS By Barry Rubin

“Comparing contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis is increasingly commonplace." --U.S. State Department report on antisemitism, 2007. Let’s talk about the Nazis. There should have already been more than enough discussion about this in the more than half-century since Adolf Hitler’s bunker fell in 1945. There have been hundreds and thousands of books, articles, speeches, and so on about what is commonly known as the Holocaust. But apparently it hasn’t been enough, or well enough understood. The Nazis were not just mean people. They had an explicit doctrine of being superior human beings and of the Jews and others (especially Slavs and non-white peoples, except for their ally, Japan,) of being sub-humans who should be wiped out. Homosexuals and Gypsies would all be killed. Germany would rule the world. This does not resemble Zionism. To put it bluntly, Zionism as an ideology has absolutely no interest in the world as a whole. It focuses only on building a Jewish state in the land of Israel. It has no interest in defining any other group of people, no global perspective. It has never even argued that Jews are better but only that Jews are a people with the same rights as other peoples. The concept is on asserting Jewish equality, not superiority. There is, however, an ideology which does have a lot in common with Nazism, though there are also of course differences. Radical Islamism claims that other religions are inferior, that the people who hold them are evil, that Jews and Christians are evil, and that Islam should rule the world. The Hamas Charter quotes a source on this point: “You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind….Ignominy shall be their portion” of non-Muslims unless they convert to Islam.” If it doesn’t seek the extinction of all Jews in the world, it favors the elimination of at least half (those in Israel) and the large part of the other half that supports Israel. The Hamas Charter says that only by killing all the Jews can the messianic era come and that Jews are the cause of all the world’s problems. Oh, yes, and it also calls Israel a “Nazi-like society.” Mind you, these are the people controlling the Gaza Strip, firing rockets daily at Israel, teaching their children by television and in the classroom that killing Jews is their highest duty and honor, sending gunmen to murder Jewish students deliberately, and then celebrating that fact. Let’s return, however, to the original and self-described Nazis to get a sense of what it means to have a Nazi policy. My father’s family comes from the village of Dolginov which was in Poland, a few miles from the Russian border. Most of the inhabitants were Jews. By 1941, there were nearly 5,000 Jews there, about half of them refugees from the part of Poland already under German rule. On June 22, 1941, the Germans invaded the USSR and they entered Dolginov six days later. No one in Dohinov had a gun. No one fired a single shot at a German soldier. What was the Nazi policy? All the Jews were forced into a ghetto. On March 3, 1942, the Germans murdered the rabbi and 22 other men. On March 28, about 800 Jews were killed. Between April 29 and May 1, all the rest of the Jewish inhabitants, except for a few who were kept temporarily as workers, were shot and thrown into a big ditch. The rest were murdered on May 21. Of 5,000 Jews then living into town, 96 percent were killed deliberately and systematically. And if the Nazis had their way it would have been 100 percent. The only survivors were about 200 people who had fled into the forest, wandered for days, and finally had the luck to meet up with a Red Army patrol. They were taken to safety in Siberia for the rest of the war. Virtually all of them came to Israel, where they rebuilt their lives. Today, these people and their descendants have the privilege of being compared to the Nazis by large parts of the world, including many who enjoy privileged lives in democratic countries. This is my great aunt’s family on my grandfather’s side. Haya Doba Rubin, her husband Aharon Perlmutter, and their two sons, Haim who was 12 years old and Jacob who was 10 years old were murdered. No survivors. This is my great uncle’s family on my grandmother’s side. Samuel Grosbein married Rivka Markman and they had two children, Leah Rivka, 18 years old, and Lev, 23 years old. All of them were murdered on the same day. No survivors. Here is the family of my great aunt on my grandmother’s side. Rahel Grosbein married Yirimayahu Dimenshtein and they had two children, Moshe, 21 years old and Tova, 16 years old. The first three were murdered on the same day. Only Tova survived because she had fled into the forest. That is what a Nazi policy is like. Multiply that by six million for the Jews alone and more for the Poles, Gypsies, homosexuals, and others. Let’s compare this with a conventional Western democratic war-fighting policy. The goal here is to defeat the enemy army but it has been permissible to strike against the economy and infrastructure as well. There is no intent to kill civilians but they may be hit by accident. During World War Two, U.S. and British warplanes engaged in carpet bombing of German and Japanese cities as well as factories where civilian workers were employed. Tens of thousands of French civilians were killed in raids on occupied France. To my knowledge, no Allied soldiers were punished for killing civilians by accident or through carelessness. Nobody was court-martialed for shooting prisoners. Israeli policy is far more careful to avoid injuring civilians. Most airstrikes are against specific buildings or even individual automobiles. Civilian bystanders have been killed yet far fewer proportionately than has been true for, say, the U.S. or French armies. Soldiers have been tried and punished for actions which, at least in the recent past, would have been ignored in Western armies. There is no instance I know of in which Israeli units opened unlimited fire on a crowd, even when rocks were being thrown or shots fired against them. Individual targets were picked out. Unarmed people were killed but not deliberately and in small numbers. If Israelis were as their enemies picture them to be, there would be hundreds of Palestinians killed in a single day, tens of thousands in a year. Thus, even if Israel has been held to a double standard, its record has been better than that of even Western counterparts. Only by lying about that record—the norm in the Arabic-speaking world and all-to-common in the Western one—can it be made to seem terrible. We need only remember what the Nazis believed and did, what Israelis believe and do, and what their enemies believe and do. It should not be so hard to understand the distinctions.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.org
and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal http://meria.idc.ac.il.

His latest books are The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan) and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

http://www.gloriacenter.org/index.asp?pname=submenus/articles/2008/rubin/2_10.asp

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Child Abuse in Palestine

When is the world going to call for an end to the horrific child abuse being perpetrated against the children of the Palestinians?
Hamas-controlled television has introduced a series of death-glorifying, bloodthirsty children's characters on "Tomorrow's Pioneers." They include Farfour, a Mickey Mouse look-alike who is seen dancing "with an imaginary gun in his gloved hands and encourages kids to drink milk, study hard -- and engage in violent acts of 'resistance' against their Israeli neighbors and America."
Farfour was martyred last June after trying to liberate the land "from the filth of the criminal, plundering Jews," only to be replaced by Nahoul a bee who wants to follow Farfour's path "of heroism, of martyrdom, and of the muijahideen." Nahoul's death was shown to Palestinian children last month, a result of the blockade on Gaza.
He was replaced by a rabbit named Assud, who tells children "I, Assud, will get rid of the Jews, Allah willing. And I will eat them up, Allah willing, right?"
Then there's "The Gifted, a back-to-school program that showed a small boy, identified as a 2-year-old, skulking around in military garb and aiming an assault weapon "at the occupying terrorists."
"We'll wear the battle-vest of self sacrifice and follow the path of the Shahids," a child narrator says as the younger boy, his face hooded, stoops down with his weapon.
Showcasing these indoctrinations of hate and death, the duplicity of groups like CAIR in standing by Hamas, often brings back accusations of bigotry. And the death toll climbs.
Over 1000 missiles have rained upon S'derot since Israel left to give Palestinians the freedom to show the world that Palestinians can build, not just destroy.
What have they built?
The Palestinians destroy their own children's lives, and murder Israeli children outright.
Recently, Condi Rice called upon Israel to end the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
In what perverted sense is the humanitarian crisis Israel's responsibility?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sometimes I ponder what to say here, and lately I have been wondering how to address the seeming gulliblity of otherwise fair-minded people when it comes to Israel and the Arab criminal gangs.
I take my hat off to Barry Rubin for this eloquent introduction to the
dilemma.

Radical forces in the Middle East have rewritten the international rulebook in a way designed so they can't lose. That is, there is no easy response to their behavior and strategies. Even more worrisome is the widespread failure in the West even to realize this is happening.
Hamas and Hizbullah fire from among civilians and use civilian homes for military purposes; Syria or Iran deploy disinformation; radical regimes pretend moderation, and there are plenty of suckers to take the bait.
Extremism makes many believe that kind words and concessions can transform them; intransigence produces the response that if they won't give up, we must do so.


HERE ARE some new rules in which "we" represents such disparate forces as Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran, Iraqi insurgents, al-Qaida, Syria, the Taliban and others, including radical Arab nationalists.
These forces are not all alike or allied, but do often follow a parallel set of rules quite different from how international affairs have generally been conducted.
1. We'll never give up. No matter what you do, we will continue fighting. No matter what you offer, we will keep attacking you. Since you can't win, you should give up.
2. We're indifferent to any pressure you put on us. We will turn this pressure against you. Against us, deterrence does not exist; diplomacy does not convince.The carrot cannot buy us off, nor the stick make us yield. There are no solutions that can end the conflict. You cannot win militarily, nor make peace through diplomacy.
3. If you set economic sanctions, we'll say you are starving our people in an act of "collective punishment." Moreover, sanctions will cost you money and generate opposition among those who lose profits.
4. In response to military operations, we'll attack your civilians. Casualties will undermine your internal support. We will try to force you to kill civilians accidentally. We won't care, but will use this to persuade many that you are evil. Thus we will simultaneously murder your civilians and get you condemned as human rights violators.
5. If you try to isolate us we will use your own media and intellectuals against you. At times, we will hint at moderation and make promises of change. We won't do so enough to alienate our own followers, but enough to subvert yours. They will demand you engage us, which means you making concessions for nothing real in exchange.
6. Talking to our own people, we will foment hatred and demonize you. Speaking to the West, we will accuse you of fomenting hatred. We will hypocritically turn against you all the concepts you developed: racism, imperialism, failure to understand the "other," and so on. These concepts, of course, describe what we are doing, but your feelings of guilt, ignorance about us, and indifference to ideology will make you fail to notice that fact.
7. We will claim to be victims and "underdogs." Because you are stronger and more "advanced," that means you are the villains. We are not held responsible for our deeds, or expected to live up to the same standards. There will be no shortage of, to quote Lenin, "useful idiots" in your societies to help echo our propaganda.
8. Since our societies are weak, undemocratic and have few real moderates, you will have to make deals with phoney moderates and dictatorial regimes weakened by corruption and incompetence.
9. Even the less radical regimes, often our immediate adversaries, partly play into our hands. Due to popular pressure — plus their desire to mobilize support and distract attention from their own shortcomings — they trumpet Arab and Islamic solidarity. They denounce the West, blame all problems on Israel and revile America, even as they accept your aid. They glorify interpretations of Islam not too far from ours. They cheer Iraqi insurgents, Hizbullah, and Hamas. They don't struggle against Iran getting nuclear weapons. They lay the basis for our mass support and recruits.
10. There is no diplomatic solution for you, though you yearn to find one. There is no military solution for you, whether you try that or not. You love life, we love death; you are divided, we are united; you want to get back to material satisfaction, we are dedicated revolutionaries.
We will outlast you.
Finally, our greatest weapon is that you truly don't understand all the points made above. You are taught, informed, and often led by people who simply don't comprehend what an alternative, highly ideological, revolutionary world view means.
In effect, we will try, and will often succeed, to turn your "best and brightest" into the worst and dimmest who think you can persuade us, who blame you for the conflicts, or expect that we will alter our course. We will use those mistakes against you.


THE ABOVE analysis seems pessimistic, but is actually the opposite. Most of this strategy's power is based on spreading illusions, depending on gullibility. Much of the rest relies on the enemy's psychological weaknesses.
In a sustained conflict, the radicals' technological and organizational weaknesses, along with their mistaken assessments and unrealistic ideology, will bring inevitable defeat. They will lose even if they never surrender. They can kill people, but not overcome societies determined to grow, prosper, and survive.
The keys to a successful response are steadfastness and understanding. To paraphrase Francis Bacon and Franklin Roosevelt, there is nothing to fear but fear — and gullibility — itself.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs. His latest book is "The Truth About Syria".


Global Research in International Affairs
(GLORIA) Center <http://www.gloriacenter.org>

Middle East Review of International Affairs
(MERIA) Journal <http://meria.idc.ac.il>




Who are the true Muslims? Hamas and Fatah accuse each other of defiling Islam

A striking sign of the growing influence of Islam in Palestinian society is that Fatah and Hamas are each positioning themselves as defenders of Islam, while accusing the other of defiling the religion.
The latest accusations are made in two Palestinian videos, one produced by Fatah and the other by Hamas, broadcast on their respective TV stations.
Hamas goes so far as to imply that members of Fatah are Infidels. Both sides have chosen to accuse the other of defiling the Quran. This accusation is very significant. When American soldiers were accused of defiling the Quran in Guantanamo in 2005 it sparked riots across the Muslim world.

Click to view Hamas defense of Islam video on YouTube or PMW websiteClick to view Fatah defense of Islam video on YouTube or PMW website

The anti-Hamas video produced by Fatah is a medley of scenes of destruction in a Gaza mosque that was attacked by Hamas gunman.
The Fatah clip includes pictures of the dead and interviews with the injured Islamic Jihad members who had been in the mosque.
The Fatah cameras focus on the bloodstained floor of the mosque and on copies of the Quran, covered with grenades and bullet casings, to blame Hamas for the desecration.
The caption makes the accusation, “Whose grenades are these?”
The Hamas clip is far more creative, featuring high-quality animation in which the Fatah members are depicted as rats wreaking havoc on Islam, while Hamas is a majestic lion.
The lion, with a strong resemblance to Disney’s character of the Lion King, arises to defend Islam and defeat the Fatah rats.
The rats are shown crawling over, and burning, Islamic texts and the Quran.
They also remove the veil from a woman’s face and target mosques with machine gun fire and RPGs.
The Hamas video ends with a verse from the Quran: “If ye return, We shall return” [Sura 17,8], implying that followers of the Fatah are infidels.
The meaning of the verse is, “If ye return (to sin), We shall return (to punish you),” and continues with the warning, “and Hell will close on the Infidels” – in this case the Fatah.
The Fatah clip counters by presenting those killed by Hamas as faithful to Islam, by showing their pictures accompanied by captions, “These were the protectors of the mosque. Look what happened to them!”

The choice of these accusations in clips on both Hamas and Fatah controlled stations are an indication of the universal supremacy of Islam in the Palestinian Authority, and the disagreement is only whether Hamas or Fatah represents genuine Islam.

Click to view Hamas defense of Islam video on YouTube or PMW websiteClick to view Fatah defense of Islam video on YouTube or PMW website


by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Do We Deserve To Survive?

I have a problem with Bush and Rice and anyone else who calls for a Palestinian State.
Fatah has said they would respect a Jewish State, but have not changed their charter which calls for destruction of Israel.
Hamas, which appears to be ascendant amongst Palistinian Arabs does not even hide their rabid anti-Jewism.

And we should create a state for these people?

If over the last 30 years the Palestinian Arabs had been able to control their lust for Jewish blood, even for a short time, they would have had a state.
Contrary to the view point of Nazi types like Hamas and the Arabs,the Jews deserve a homeland.
Israel is the Jewish Homeland.
Surrendering Israel a little at a time makes less sense to me than defending her vigorously.
In the history of the conflict between Israel and the Arabs in Judea and Samaria and Gaza the Arabs have repeatedly committed atrocities, inflicting as much carnage as possible on innocents.
When they show that they can stop this seemingly ingrained behaviour, Israel won't need to be told to create another state for them. She will do it gladly on her own.
I haven't seen any indication however that the Palestinian Arabs are becoming less murderous towards the Jews, or even each other.
Has anyone else?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Jews, Wake up!

As we know, eight teenage students at the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in west Jerusalem were killed late Thursday and another nine wounded when an Arab from east Jerusalem entered the building and started firing, before he was shot dead by police.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the European Union and individual member states, Canada and Japan were among those condemning the massacre by a Palestinian gunman, while Bush assured Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of full US support.
Yet an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council failed to agree on a condemnation of the attack.
The EU's current president, Slovenia, said, "These vicious acts of horror are totally unacceptable and there can be no justification for them."
I condemn in the strongest terms this ruthless terrorist attack on Israeli youth," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said.
"Killing innocent citizens whether they are Israeli or Palestinian is not serving any purpose."
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana telephoned Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni "to condemn the attack" and offer his condolences to the victims' families and Israeli leaders.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was "devastated" by the attack and condemned it "in the strongest terms," a government spokesman said. She had phoned Olmert to ask that he convey her condolences to the families of the victims.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned what he called a "cowardly and barbarous" act, his spokesman said.
Greece "expresses its indignation and categorically condemns the terrorist attack on a religious school in Jerusalem," a spokesman for Foreign Minister George Koumoutsakos said.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi also condemned the "cowardly" attack.
"Japan strongly condemns the terrorist shooting attack in Jerusalem," Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said.
And what was the response of the Arabs to this cowardly and dispicable act of terror, this murder of innocent school children?
Hamas yesterday claimed responsibility.
"The Hamas movement announces its full responsibility for the operation. The movement will release the details at a later stage," an official said.
Hundreds of Palestinians poured into the streets of Gaza City as news of the attack spread, firing automatic rifles into the air in celebration.
Several hundred more celebrated in the northern town of Jabaliya.
What the world condemns, the Arabs celebrate.

The Bush Stae Dept has all but made the current escalation of the Arab war to destroy Israel inevitable.
Rice arrived in Israel in a week marked by Fatah-incited violence against Israel and Israelis both in Judea and Samaria and within sovereign Israel. On Monday a group of hundreds of Arabs in Jerusalem threw rocks at Jewish motorists. A dozen Arabs nearly lynched two municipal inspectors when they stoned the inspectors' vehicle and began shattering their windshield with a metal pipe.
Outside Hebron, an Israeli was attacked by yet another mob .
In another incident, Fatah forces murdered one Palestinian and seriously wounded an Israeli outside of Hebron. The US-financed group claimed that its operatives lured the Israeli to the scene.
In Ramallah and Hebron, thousands of Fatah members rallied in support of Hamas and its launching of hundreds of missles against the Western Negev. Israeli Arabs also escalated their verbal and physical assaults on Israel and Israeli Jews in a series of demonstrations which culminated in a mass demonstration in support of Hamas which took place on Tuesday evening in Umm el Fahm.
In her joint press conference with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Rice acted as though nothing notable had transpired over the past two weeks.
Rice announced that the US will be giving $148 million to UNRWA in 2008 - this despite the fact that UN refugee camps in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Judea and Samaria and Jordan are all hotbeds of terror recruitment, training and indoctrination.
She ignored Hamas's widespread popularity in Palestinian society, called for Israel to step up its humanitarian aid to Gaza, and defended the Palestinians as victims.
As she put it, "Hamas … in effect, holds the people of Gaza hostage in their hands."
Ignoring Abbas's open support for Hamas against Israel, Rice claimed that he had agreed to return to the negotiating table and insisted that the only way to end violence is to establish a Palestinian state.
She then intimated that in the midst of Fatah's open support for Hamas's Iranian-supported open war against Israel, she expected Israel to take action to demolish the communities its citizens have built in Judea and Samaria claiming, "We do need to have improvements on the ground. We do need to have the parties meeting their roadmap obligations."
On the one hand, Bush condemns the viscous murder by Arab criminals, and on the other, Rice demands that Israel make further concessions, in the middle of an escalating war, to the enemy.

Jews, wake up.
America is your enemy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Will The War Spread?

Three years of blood running in its streets, restaurants, and demolished commuter buses have steeled Israelis to an astonishing range of horrors.
Advertisement
Three years of grief and hopelessness in Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur observances had prompted many to hope that, if nothing else, they had already been witness to the worst. But as they marked the 30th anniversary of the most emotionally devastating war in their history, Israelis emerged from the solemn Yom Kippur fast with a new fear on the horizon: the prospect that the actions of their own government could drastically widen an already unbearable war. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cabinet was called out of Yom Kippur recess over the weekend, pressed to retaliate with speed and ferocity to the shock of an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing in which a young Palestinian woman tore to shreds a Haifa restaurant popular with both Arab and Jewish families. The attack annihilated whole families and devastated entire communities, Arab and Jewish alike. Loath to suffer the diplomatic consequences of expelling or harming its celebrity captive Yasser Arafat, the government activated a plan first approved after a deadly summer bus bombing in Jerusalem, and held in ready reserve until Sunday. Evading Syrian air defenses, Israeli warplanes struck near Damascus, bombing an area that the army later identified as a training camp which has served fighters recruited by a host of groups, including the Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Syria, though denying journalists access to the site, maintained in careful, somewhat obscure language that the bombed area was not a training camp but a "civilian area that had once been used by Palestinians." To Israelis jittery over the possibility of wider conflict, Sharon had few words of solace in his speech at the national miitary cemetery on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl. Addressing mourners of the fallen of the 1973 war in a speech broadcast live over nationwide radio networks, Sharon declared: "Israel will not be deterred from defending its citizens and will hit its enemies any place and in any way." The remarks were little softened by a trailing pledge to continue to explore overtures for diplomatic negotiations. "At the same time we will not miss any opening and opportunity to reach an agreement with our neighbors and peace," Sharon said. The Sunday air strike, launched as Israeli broadcasting services began to go off air for Yom Kippur, was the deepest Israeli air raid in Syria in three decades. Sharon's deputy prime minister, Ehud Olmert, hinted darkly Tuesday that Israel had coordinated with its ally Washington further steps against Damascus "in spheres to which Syria would be well advised to listen." There was no longer just cause to retaliate in "proportional responses," Olmert stressed, saying that no reprisal was proportional to the murder in cold blood of 19 innocent people, including children and babies. Israel would no longer be limited in its responses, he said. Olmert said "the Americans have twice passed the Syrians very harsh warnings" regarding Syrian support for terrorism. "In my view, it would be very well worth the Syrians' while to pay attention to these warnings, because the price they could pay could be heavy." U.S. President George W. Bush said Monday that Israel had the right to self-defense, but the White House cautioned against taking steps to spur escalation in the region. Sharon, giving no quarter, told the mourners: "Israel's might must be drawn ready and prepared at every moment. We must always improve and foster the decisive, qualitative edge of that might, both in the spirit of our fighters and in the tools of warfare, as though the next war were just around the corner." The 1973 war caught Israel disastrously unprepared. The prevailing security "conception," as it was known, held that the 1967 Six-Day War had dealt a blow of such magnitude that Arab armies would not dare mount an attack. Within hours of the attack on the afternoon of Yom Kippur, October 6, 1973, Syrian armored columns poured across Israeli lines in the north, coming to a mysterious halt just as IDF brass voiced private fears that the capture of Haifa was imminent, and that the north might be overrun in its entirety. At the same time, then-army chief David Elazar, briefing senior officiers in the Israeli-held Sinai desert, stressed that only two divisions, one of them headed by reserve major general Ariel Sharon, remained between the Egyptians and Tel Aviv. Borrowing the language of the Yom Kippur ritual, Sharon said Tuesday, "If there is a lesson to be learned, it is not merely beating [the breast to atone] for 'the sin that we have sinned for haughtiness'" - a reference to the post-1967 overconfidence that kept Israeli military men and politicians from foreseeing and preparing for the 1973 disaster. The real lesson of the Yom Kippur War, Sharon said, was that Israel could not afford to stake its security on "over-sophisticated assessments, on deterrent ability alone, or on agreements." As if in anticipation of Sharon's speech, then Syrian President Bashar Assad issued fighting words of his own. Defiantly turning aside longtime U.S. and Israeli demands to expel commanders of Palestinian terrorist groups who maintain headquarters in Syria, Assad said in a newspaper interview that the Israel Air Force raid was an attempt by the Israeli government to extract itself from its big crisis by trying to terrorize Syria and drag it and the region into other wars." "This [Israeli] government is one of war, and war is the justification for its existence," Assad declared. Assad's sentiments bore a peculiar mirror-image echo in remarks by one of the Syrians' arch-foes, hawkish cabinet minister Effi Eitam. Departing from the line taken by most senior Israeli officials, Eitam took public issue with the Syria raid, saying that Israel should first deal with the "neighborhood bully" - the Palestinians - rather than trying to impress the media and public with attacks beyond Israel's borders. "I certainly view this as a distraction for public opinion in Israel and the world. Everyone is all excited about an attack near Damascus, after 30 years. Our problem is not near Damascus, but near Jerusalem," Eitam said. Domestic Israeli criticism of the raid - and of fears of its possible consequences - cut across party and ideological lines. Justice Minister Yosef (Tommy) Lapid of the centrist secular Shinui party, was conspicuous among Sharon's inner circle of senior ministers in opposing the raid. "I was against it because we are opening a new international front which we do not need at the moment, because we needn't endanger ourselves with renewal of the fighting with Hezbollah on the northern border, and because I don't think that this is something that will really aid in fighting the Jihad," Lapid said. Lapid said that he and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom had expressed opposition to the decision during a Saturday night meeting, and that Sharon, Olmert and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz had supported it. Labor legislator and former party leader Amram Mitzna, who as an IDF general openly broke with then-defense minister Sharon over the conduct of the Lebanon war in the early 1980s, on Tuesday picked up the theme of the Syria strike as diversion. "This government is simply irresponsible, endangering its own citizens with - there is no other way to describe this - adventures. What was the point of attacking Syria? Who can even explain the goal? Was the goal to calm down the Israeli public? To divert the public's attention from our day-to-day problems here and the government's inability to deal with terrorism?" Ultra-rightist cabinet minister Avigdor Lieberman, meanwhile, took the government to task for not going far enough in the Syria raid. "We cannot be satisfied with this one-time bombing alone," Lieberman said. "We certainly could land a much more significant blow." In a reference to the pro-Iranian, Syrian-backed Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, Lieberman said: "The Syrians must understand that if all the provocations do not stop, first of all on the northern border, and with the support the Syrians grant Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad, the Syrians are liable to pay a much higher, much more painful price." According to Lieberman, "If we arrived 15 kilometers from Damascus, we can get also go to Damascus." Lieberman said Israel could not abide a war of attrition, adding, without apparent irony, "We must cease the violence, even at the cost of escalation in the entire region." Israeli expert opinion on the Syrian raid was mixed if decidedly unenthusiastic, with at least one former general hewing to the tradional line that the attack would help "motivate the Syrians to take action for calm, because if it is not quiet in northern Israel, it will not be quiet in either Beirut or Damascus." But others, among them former chief of military intelligence Uri Segui, suggested that the Syria raid would do little to persuade Damascus to curb terror chieftains, whether in the Syrian capital, South Lebanon, or in central Gaza. "One possibility is that the war on terror, justified as it may be - and on principle, it is justified - will spread to other battlefronts as well, and I am not certain that the results will be any better," said Segui, once Israel's chief negotiator with Damascus. Suggesting that the Syrians were most likely to attack Israel through Hezbollah, which has often acted as Syria's client militia, Segui said the current situation was "a sort of game, a balance of horror." Many felt that Israel might be saved from war with Syria not through the wisdom of its own policies but only because of the crippling military, economic and diplomatic weakness of Syria, stripped by the end of the Cold War of its chief ally, the Soviet Union, and by the Iraq conflict of its sole ally in Ba'ath politics, Saddam Hussein. Haaretz defense commentator Amir Oren on Tuesday compared the Israeli air strike to a tried-and-true method for dealing with a headache or a toothache: "Give a wall a nice, hard kick, until one's leg screams with pain. This may do nothing to cure the original pain, but it makes one forget it for a while." Was the the air strike "a shrewd plan, or a wild gamble? The answer depends upon Syria's response," Oren continues. "Faced with a strong Israeli and American military presence, Assad is likely to show restraint; but he might expand leeway given to Hezbollah and other militants for attacks on the Galilee, including the firing of Katyusha rockets. "Should Israeli civilian communities (and not only military bases) be hit in such attacks, then the fifth of October will be remembered as the start of a wider conflict, one which will not solve Israel's headache." As Oren notes, writing in Tuesday's paper, "major air battles on April 7, 1967, and September 13, 1973, were preludes to the Six-Day and Yom Kippur wars.
By Bradley Burston, Haaretz Correspondent

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hamas Bombing Israel, Rice Calling on Israel to stop the violence!!

CAIRO, March 4 -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday she planned to tell Israeli officials to ease the humanitarian suffering in the Gaza Strip and avoid attacks that might kill civilians, but she repeatedly refused to say whether she supported a cease-fire.


"Call it what you will, we want the violence to stop," Rice told reporters traveling with her as she headed to the region during some of the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence in years. She asserted that Hamas, which controls Gaza, is trying to disrupt the nascent peace process the Bush administration launched last year in Annapolis.
"First and foremost, Hamas needs to stop firing rockets into Israeli cities," Rice said. At the same time, she said, "Israelis have to be very concerned about the innocent people in Gaza who were caught in this crossfire, and the Israelis need to be very concerned about the humanitarian situation. Those are discussions we're going to have."
Fighting has killed at least 117 Palestinians and three Israelis since Wednesday, prompting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to suspend peace talks, even though his Fatah movement in the West Bank is at odds with Hamas, which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, Israel in recent months has tightened economic sanctions on Gaza, resulting in shortages of oil, gasoline, medicine and chlorine for drinking water in the narrow coastal strip that holds 1.5 million people. In January, after gunmen destroyed vast sections of the border wall, tens of thousands of Palestinians streamed into Egypt.
Rice said she would talk to the Israelis "about trying to make certain the humanitarian convoys can get into Gaza carrying much-needed humanitarian goods and supplies."
Rice arrived early Tuesday in Cairo, her first stop, where Egyptian officials have tried to put together a deal that includes an Israeli-Hamas cease-fire, Palestinian control of a border crossing into Gaza, European monitoring of that crossing and the return of an Israeli soldier who has been held in Gaza for nearly two years. Rice declined to discuss the cease-fire proposal, and said the idea of restoring Palestinian control to the crossing at Rafah had "some merit" but would be a complex undertaking.
Rice planned to spend four hours in Cairo and then go directly to meetings with Palestinian officials in Ramallah, in the West Bank, before traveling to Jerusalem for talks with Israeli officials.
Rice appeared to be seeking ways to ease Arab anger at Israel's lethal response to the rocket attacks without limiting Israel's ability to attack. At the same time, U.S. officials think that calling for a cease-fire might grant status and legitimacy to Hamas, a radical Islamic group that does not accept the existence of Israel.
U.S. and Israeli officials have no contact with Hamas, complicating any possible negotiation with the group.
Asked whether she was concerned that Hamas could claim a propaganda victory if a cease-fire were to be arranged, Rice replied: "The only thing that Hamas can lay claim to is fomenting instability and violence. . . . If they consider that a victory, then that's what they've done."
During Israel's 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, which also resulted in large numbers of civilian casualties, Rice was heavily criticized for not supporting a cease-fire until after an errant Israeli bomb killed dozens of civilians. But she rejected any comparisons between the two conflicts, saying they were not similar.
Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections in 2006 and seized control of Gaza last year. The Bush administration has argued that a peace deal between Abbas and Israel would help Abbas overcome the challenge posed by Hamas.
Rice said she planned to tell Palestinian officials that "if the rejectionists are allowed to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, then that is not going to solve the interest of the Palestinian people." She said the negotiations "ought to resume as soon as possible."
Still, Rice acknowledged that neither side had made much progress in meeting initial commitments on such as issues as halting expansion of Jewish settlements and bolstering Palestinian security forces. "There's room for improvement on both sides," she said.

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky