Thursday, July 31, 2008

Avoid Arab Countries!

A BRITISH couple who had sex on the beach in Dubai will stand trial next month,
it emerged last night.
Publishing executive Michelle Palmer, 36, and IT firm
boss Vince Acors, 34,
were arrested during a romp on a sun lounger.
Authorities in the Muslim
state said the pair will go on trial on August 21 for having sex in public and
outside marriage and drunkenness.
Acors, of Bromley, Kent and Palmer, of Oakham, Rutland, could be punished
by up to six years in jail.
The lovers – who met hours earlier – claimed
they were too drunk to recall their actions on Jumeirah Beach.
But a legal source in the United
Arab Emirates said: “DNA tests proved they had sex that day and now they must
face the consequences.
“There is every chance they will be made an example

Dubai wants tourists.
Dubai counts on tourism.
They are staking their future on it.
Don't go to Dubai as a tourist.
Don't invest in a country that despises G-d and non-hypocritical religion.
If this woman goes to prison she will be forced to practice the Islamic cult, with its misogynist trappings, and will probably be raped repeatedly by "holy" Arab jailers.
The Muslims persecute women daily.
In the hottest part of the year they make females dress like walking tents, they teach young girls to hate themselves, they practice female "circumcision", and in most Arab countries they deprive women of any rights whatsoever, condemning them as worse than property.
The fact is that Muslims are not capable of running their countries in a civilized way.
Michelle Palmer is known by associates to be kind and charitable, a friend said ,"She is the kindest person I know."
One hopes that the British Government intervenes and extricates these two hapless individuals who are guilty of nothing more than poor judgement.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

AP Falsely Reports Israel Building New Settlement

Barry Rubin

July 28, 2008

The AP falsely reported that Israel is building a new settlement on the West Bank and linked this to a wrong-headed spin on an important national leader visiting Israel.
No, not Obama! He's still just a candidate. I'm referring to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Curiously, Brown's visit was highlighted for its criticism of Israel by the AP though his trip was seen in Israel as incredibly supportive. Indeed, Brown made the most pro-Israel statements of any British leader since Margaret Thatcher left the scene. This was especially significant since Brown is the Labour party leader and given the incredibly hostile anti-Israel sentiment in the British media and academia.
One wouldn't know this from the AP story, "British leader presses Israel to halt settlements," posted July 21, by Mohammed Daraghmeh. Its lead was Brown demanding "Israel cease settlement construction." Ironically, another AP story a few days later, in criticizing a reported Israeli decision to build a new West Bank settlement, pointed out (only in the context of criticizing Israel of course) that Israel had not started a new settlement in years.
In fact, the report was false. In fact, Israel had authorized the building of 22 houses on a settlement created more than 25 years ago.
The story claimed Brown's "strongest comments were reserved for the settlements: `I think the whole European Union is very clear on this matter: We want to see a freeze on settlements.'" But given the fact that no new settlement has been built for a long time what did he mean? The phrase used was "settlement expansion." But there is no expansion--settlements are not getting bigger though new buildings are built in existing settlements.
Even when an article reports facts fairly it sort of puts a spin on them. This article states:
"Israel and the Palestinians resumed peace talks late last year at a U.S.-backed conference in Annapolis, Md. Both sides had originally aspired to reach a final peace deal by the end of the year, but have backed away from that goal somewhat because of arguments over settlements and whether the Palestinians are capable of enforcing security in areas they control.
"Under the first phase of the internationally backed peace plan known as the road map, which is the basis of the negotiations, Israel was to freeze all settlement construction and Palestinians were to crack down on extremist groups."
Notice anything? Well, the AP gives a lot of attention to settlement construction but none to the Palestinian failure to "crack down on extremist groups" or enforce "security in areas they control." The fact is that the Palestinian Authority does very little or nothing in these directions but this is not presented as a problem or reported, virtually ever.
Where are the reports of the PA failing to stop terrorists, releasing them, glorifying them, putting them on its payroll, endorsing their goals, inciting to terrorism in its media, providing rationales for their actions in its schools, and so on? Why are radical speeches by PA and Fatah officials ignored?
This week, Palestinian Media Watch documents how the PA's official newspaper claims that Jewish settlers are bringing in and releasing hundreds of super-rats that only attack Palestinians to drive Arabs out of east Jerusalem. Do Palestinians believe this? Many no doubt do, at least in part. But the point is that the PA wants them to believe it. By showing what is really going on it would be clear why peace is so unachievable and who is responsible.
Consider this simple question: If Israel withdrew from all the West Bank and/or freed all Palestinian prisoners would anything really change? Would the Palestinians reciprocate or alter their line, stopping terrorism and backing an end to the conflict. The evidence indicates not.
At any rate, the media gives no hint of such matters but only pursues its own agenda, which requires misstating Brown's agenda.
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).

Hope? Change? Yes! Hope Obama Changes!

Barry Rubin

July 29, 2008
Barack Obama has been to the Middle East. He said he supported Israel and wanted peace.
So I guess everything's ok, right? Well, if he's elected president and follows through on these words that'll be just fine.
But concern about an Obama presidency is hardly dispelled, except in the media systematically ignoring the real issues. Without getting into the debate over Iraq strategy, here are the serious problems:
Obama claims there is a "window of opportunity" for successful Israel-Palestinian negotiations. That's nonsense.
But won't Obama pretend progress and "prove" he's right: by demanding unilateral Israeli concessions?
Equally, Palestinian intransigence won't prompt him to admit they're responsible for failure. This isn't a window of opportunity but a doorway to disaster.
Consider this simple question: If Israel withdrew from all the West Bank would anything really change?
Would the Palestinians reciprocate, alter their line, stop terrorism, and accept the conflict's end? No.
In this context, Obama's emerging campaign theme is especially worrisome. He criticizes Bush for not jumping into a peace process from his term's start. The reason, of course, was President Bill Clinton's discovery that Palestinian leaders weren't interested in peace. Obama doesn't understand why the 1990s' process failed or that you don't commit the president's prestige unless there's a real chance for progress.
Obama thinks it "pro-Israel" to argue that Israel desperately needs peace with the Palestinians above all and that he'd do Israel a favor by pressuring it into concessions. But Israel only benefits from an agreement producing stability, the conflict's end, no cross-border terrorism, and a moderate Palestinian state. Obama's approach seems likely to turn into a peace-at-any-price scenario on the pretext of saving Israel in spite of itself. Obama thinks he knows best about Israel's security needs.
Obama remarked that Israel's government is weak and "the Palestinians are divided between Fatah and Hamas. And so it's difficult for either side to make the bold move needed" for peace. He believes there's no problem with Fatah being eager for peace whereas its own radicalism--not divisions--is the roadblock. Even if one believes his thesis, since Obama can't solve Palestinian or Israeli political divisions, which he equates as the equal barriers to progress, how's he possibly going to advance peace?
Meanwhile, he totally misstates--and presumably misunderstands--Israeli politics. If the Palestinians were willing, Israel's government could easily move ahead. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's alleged corruption is a big issue but the coalition agrees on peace steps. Far from shrinking back, Olmert and his government see making progress as the key to popularity and survival. In contrast, the PA knows that the actions needed to make a deal would be its downfall. That's the critical difference.
Does Obama really understand that the region's central issue is a war with radical forces who seek to overthrow every regime and seize control of the area? He emphasizes al-Qaida as the threat thus neglecting Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Muslim Brothers? Are they potential allies if only treated nicely?
His new gimmick--I'm for fighting harder in Afghanistan and less in Iraq--is foolish. Whatever one thinks of Iraq, Afghanistan is far harder. U.S. policy has a chance to help create a stable regime in Iraq but not in Afghanistan. And does Obama really intend to be a hawk on the Afghan front or is this a cheap trick to show him as being tough? I'll bet on the latter explanation.
There's no indication Obama understands the need to defend Lebanon against a takeover by Hizballah, Iran, and Syria. Obama's last statement on Lebanon actually endorsed Hizballah's position, due either to ignorance or his philosophy of avoiding confrontation at all costs.
If Obama wants to make the United States and the West more independent of Middle East instability or radical blackmail, at least in the long term, he'd favor extensive oil drilling on U.S. territory, which he doesn't.
The real issue is not that he wants to talk to Iran and Syria but what he'll offer them and what he'll conclude when they reject or sabotage his efforts? Obama says his "willingness to negotiate" would expose Tehran by stripping "away whatever excuses they may have, [and] whatever rationales may exist in the international community for not ratcheting up sanctions and taking serious action." Isn't that what the Bush administration did last week and Europeans have been doing for years? Do we really believe Obama just wants to have talks as a trap so he then can get tough?
Obama says the right things on Iran nuclear but can he actually be counted on to stop Tehran? Asked about an Israel attack he replies, "My goal is to avoid being confronted with that hypothetical."Â Yet his more likely avoidance strategy would be to block the attack, not force Iran to back down. He claims U.S. policy failed because it didn't "follow through with the kinds of both carrots and sticks that might change the calculus of the Iranian regime." Clearly, he's not familiar with the history which contradicts that assertion.
Won't radicals conclude he's so weak (or even sympathetic) that they can walk all over him and get away with it? Do we think they're wrong? Does he really understand the use of force, deterrence, the stick as well as the carrot? That doesn't fit his record and ideology.
It comes down to this: Do you really believe Obama has the understanding, toughness, and worldview needed to deal with the extremists or that they will eat his poor allies for lunch and him for dinner?
There are thus two options:
Option A: Obama becomes president and hope he does a good job, perhaps after a three-year, possibly costly, learning process.
Option B: We won't have to find out whether the previous sentence will come true.
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).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Being a Terrorist Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

Barry Rubin

July 22, 2008

The number-one mistake people make trying to understand the Middle East is refusing to believe folks here think differently from themselves.
Virtually every development in the Middle East should remind us of this reality.
Yet as Captain Ahab hunted the white whale, as prospectors hunt for gold, as...well, you get the idea, so is the hunt for the great Arab moderate. There are Arab moderates, some very smart and brave people. The problem is none are in positions of power and all must shut up or face repression and being defined by fellows as enemies of the people.
The view of the Middle East held in much or most of the Western media, academia, intellectual circles, and large sections of governments is a fantasy having nothing to do with the region.
One should work against dangerous extremists with the Saudi, Egyptian, Jordanian, Moroccan, Kuwaiti, UAE, and Iraqi governments as well as the Lebanese pro-independence forces, though these all have multiple faults. But you must know the limits. And you can't work with the Iranian, Syrian governments, Hamas and Hizballah or Muslim Brotherhood, even against al-Qaida which is ultimately--despite September 11--a far smaller threat.
Still, one must face the fact that the last half-century's most basic lessons have evaporated, partly due to Western policy mistakes--of excessive softness, not toughness--but mostly to the incredible power of the region's political and intellectual system.
What keeps the region crisis-ridden, extremist, undemocratic, and unstable is not merely a system imposed by evil regimes on an innocent public. Yes, regimes continue their self-serving Arab nationalist, semi-Islamist, anti-Western, anti-Israel, demagogic messages urging the masses to support their local dictator. But this is what the public wants to hear. Rulers would be in far more trouble if they told the truth.
The glorification of the terrorist Sami Qantar is widely seen in the West as showing something is deeply wrong in the Arabic-speaking world. Yet there's also much denial. The New York Times explained Qantar's attack had gone terribly wrong when he murdered Israeli civilians. In fact, this was the raid's purpose.
In another article, the Times intoned: "The United States, Israel and some of their European allies have begun to recognize that their policy of trying to defeat their enemies by isolating and vilifying them has failed." Yet it was Iran, Syria, Hizballah, and Hamas that dispatches the Qantars on missions against not only Israeli but also Iraqi and Lebanese civilians.
If the extremists should not be vilified should they be praised? If they should not be isolated should they be embraced? Is the correct policy the feting of murderous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asad in Paris or parleying with the genocidal-oriented Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran? Why did the U.S. government welcome the Syria-Iran-Hizballah victory in knocking down Lebanon's moderate government? Who's the villain in Iraq, the United States or the terrorists?
Well, for the Arabic-speaking world, the true heroes are still the terrorists. What horrified me most is not radicals cheering Qantar but that most relative moderates feeling compelled to do so. At the airport to greet him were leaders of Lebanon's anti-Syrian, anti-Iranian Druze and Christian groups as well as the ambassadors from Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and Morocco.
To avoid being discredited, relative moderates must affirm that anyone who murders Israeli children is a hero. That's the measure of how far--despite daily headlines to the contrary--the region is from Arab-Israeli peace.
Yet it's untrue the prisoner exchange has strengthened or encouraged the radicals. The truth is even worse: No matter what happens they'll do exactly the same things. If every operation and casualty is a victory, a profit-loss calculus doesn't apply. They'll kidnap if there's a prisoner exchange; they'll kidnap if there's no exchange. Triumph is continuing the struggle. Violence, death, and instability is cause for celebration.
Charles Harb, a Lebanese professor, claimed in the Guardian, "The Secret of Hizballah's Success" is that its ability to get back some prisoners and bodies or force Israel out of south Lebanon "is in stark contrast to what `Arab moderates' could show for in the same decade they spent negotiating with the Israeli state."
The Saudi-backed, London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat, however, reminded readers that Hizballah's success cost "$5.2 billion in losses and 1,200 dead" in the 2006 war. In addition, the south Lebanon war took almost 20 years, and Israel would have withdrawn far sooner if it had not been trying to block attacks against its territory.
The claim that Arab moderates have gained little through negotiation is also quite wrong. By negotiating with Israel, Egypt got back the Sinai, reopened the Suez Canal and western Sinai oilfields, and received about $60 billion to date in U.S. aid. The PLO got the Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank, putting more than two million Palestinians under its rule. Thousands of its prisoners were freed (more, of course, were taken because of its continuing violence), many billions of dollars in aid were obtained, and it could have had a Palestinian state if it so desired.
So who came out better, Egypt and the PLO (especially if it had really stuck to negotiating) or Hizballah?
Psychologically, the Arabic-speaking world says Hizballah because the "honor" gained through fighting and not yielding the dream of total victory trumps material benefits. Better martyrdom than compromise, better resistance than prosperity.
As long as this is true, there's no hope for peace; even those who know better are dragged into shouting militant slogans. This doesn't fit Western concepts of pragmatism, expectations that militants are just aching to be transformed into moderates, or that settling grievances through concessions defuses hatred.
That's why policy prescriptions based on those premises are disastrous. While the West concludes that trying to defeat enemies by isolating and vilifying them has failed, the other side concludes its policy of trying to defeat its enemies by violence, vilification, and intransigence is working. That means more of the same: many decades more of the same.
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).

Is Lying Po

Will the American electorate hold the Republican Party responsible for lying?
McBush has put out an add saying that Obama is responsible for high gas prices.
Their surrogates say, "Obama is for an immediate unconditional pullout from Iraq."
He has stated that he would pull the troops out as soon as conditions allow it, based on conditions in Iraq.
We support keeping troops in Iraq, our presence is a moderating influence on the region, and it is beneficial for the average Arab and others to see that we are a civilized, decent people.
Our presence may be needed militarily if the Iranian Government decides to practice extermination on the Jewish People, as their President has promised to do.
But make no mistake, the American people are being lied to.President Bush lied about why we went into Iraq in the first place..or perhaps he was bamboozled by Cheney.
But we were lied to.
5000 Americans have died, poor Americans, Americans who joined the service because it offered a career opportunity.
We respect the courage of the troops, their is no questioning that.Young Americans have shown amazing courage and decency.
But the Bush administration screwed up horribly by disbanding the Iraqi military.We are only now beginning to recover from this disaster.
This mistake cost lives.
It is time for a change,part of the appeal of Obama seems to be that he speaks eloquently and fluently, and the reason he does so, and this is worth noting, is that he believes what he says.
The Republicans keep trying to hustle the electorate by scaring them, they say that Obama is a radical leftist.
He is a moderate, a liberal.
There is no question in my mind that this country does need change.
The Obama candidacy has exposed a side of America that I hadn't expected to see, a resurgence, in whispers, of racism.
Someone actually said to me, "America does not want a nigger for president."
I hadn't heard that word for some time except from black people, I was somewhat shocked, and yet, I have had the same reaction from others, without the use of the word "nigger", including a former Judge, a self proclaimed liberal.
The Klan used to say that if one had a drop of African blood, he was a "nigger".
It is frightening and even disgusting to see otherwise decent people seeming to embrace this racist ideology.
I have very little respect for McBush since his campaign is based on willful distortion of Obama's positions.
We do not need another liar as president.
What we need is frankness and honesty, and education.
We do not need more divisiveness.
America is changing into some type of distortion of itself, where compassion is called leftism and outright lying passes for political discourse.
Obama's passion is for people, all people, not black, not white, people.
We desperately need morality back in the white house, and the candidate picked by the Republicans has not shown any of this quality.
We need change.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An Alternative to War or Surrender With Iran

Barry Rubin

July 15, 2008

Here's what Israel thinks: Since Iran's regime is thoroughly radical and deeply committed to its destruction, Israel can't accept Tehran having nuclear weapons. Unless sanctions and pressures can stop this program Israel must attack in order to defend itself.
That's a correct strategy. But there are problems with it, as is always true of even the best policies.
We know the level of sanctions even under an optimistic scenario aren't sufficient to stop Iran.
That means violent confrontation is inevitable.
The United States isn't going to attack Iran and will not necessarily give Israel a "green light" to do so.
The combination of Iranian intransigence, European reluctance (and Russian-Chinese outright refusal) to make really tough sanctions, plus fear of war pushes the West toward talking with Iran, most likely without conditions and with more concessions--in other words, appeasement.
Is there an additional, realistic option to supplement this strategy? Let's try to find one.
The sanctions strategy combines wishful thinking with the need to exhaust all peaceful means first. Russia and China don't cooperate; some European states are actually increasing trade with Iran. The resulting pressure hurts Iran but not enough to make it stop.
Regime change is a dream. The Islamic government is too well-armed and deeply entrenched to be overthrown; no revolutionary movement is in sight. The opposition reform faction is too weak, divided, and demoralized even if it has great popular support.
The simplest and cheapest--therefore very popular--idea is to talk Iran out of making nuclear weapons. This is silly. The regime wants them, laughs at Western threats not backed by strength, and awaits the next American president (no prizes for guessing who it prefers) hoping he'll follow a surrender strategy.
Iran won't be bought off, it merely seeks to buy time.
As for an attack to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, it might one day be necessary but won't be easy. There's too much to destroy; Iran would have the knowledge and equipment to rebuild.
Then, there's the cost of such an attack which could include: Iranian missile attacks on Israel, rocket barrages from Hizballah and Hamas, heightened global terrorism, an Iranian campaign to destabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, and far higher oil prices.
That list doesn't make the cost of an attack too high if Israeli leaders believe the country's very existence is at stake. (In fact, our research indicates the direct cost to Israel is quite sustainable.) Nevertheless, while an attack might be necessary it surely isn't preferable.
Moreover, if Barack Obama is elected, Iran will know itself safe not only from any U.S. assault, or even pressure, for four years, long enough to complete the nuclear project, but also guaranteed he'd never give Israel a green light to attack. Tehran wins.
So is there anything else that could be done, again leaving aside the possibility of an Israeli attack some day?
The answer is: yes. Instead of regime change, call it faction change. Let's be clear: all Iran's leaders are radical, all would like to see Israel destroyed. But the question is: how much risk and how high a cost would a given leader pay to try?
Ahmadinejad is so extreme, adventurous, demagogic, and seemingly irrational that his using nuclear weapons on Israel is credible, forcing Israel to attack. Others, like Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei; former president, now Expediency Council chief Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; or former presidential candidate, now parliament speaker Ali Larijani (who Ahmadinejad fired as nuclear negotiator) are bad guys but less mad guys.
Khamenei will use Ahmadinejad unless the price of his behavior becomes too high. But he and the rest also know Ahmadinejad uses demagoguery, including risking war with Israel and America, because he wants all power for himself and his increasingly powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' friends. In comparison, Rafsanjani wants nuclear weapons but also good commercial relations with the West. He'd like to see Israel wiped off the map but isn't going to be the one to do it.
A power struggle rages in Iran, with next year's presidential election a key battle. Ahmadinejad's critics use everything possible to discredit him, including his economic mismanagement and provocative deeds.
Help them. Pressure against Iran should be heightened and tightened; the possibility of military conflict should be kept before its eyes. Make it clear that Ahmadinejad and his allies are more dangerous to Iran's prosperity and the regime's survival than to Israel or the West.
That's why talk about direct negotiations or concessions is especially dangerous now. This strengthens Ahmadinejad and makes an eventual Israeli attack, with resulting confrontation, more likely. Now he's saying: I can get away with everything I do at little or no cost. America's president is ready to meet us because he's scared of me. We're winning. Why should we change our policy?
If you want to avoid war then isolate Iran and boycott Ahmadinejad. Make it clear he's leading Tehran toward disaster, but a more reasonable leadership can avoid this outcome. Say that if the right person wins the election, direct talks could happen.
There are dangers here for Israel if the West accepts a radical Iranian regime with nuclear weapons. But remember these points:
Israel may attack Iran's installations at some point without real Western support.
The West won't do much more than it is now to stop Iran from succeeding.
If the West doesn't like this outcome it better give Israel enough to avoid that happening. More thought should be given to "appeasing" Israel by meeting its security requirements.
An Israeli military campaign isn't going to stop Iran from continuing its effort no matter how much is destroyed.
So alongside this onrushing disaster, we need a realistic strategy to reduce the chance of an Iranian leader actually trying to use nuclear weapons against Israel.
In addition, the main issue is not Israel just defending itself but saving enemy Arab regimes and the industrialized world's vital interests.
Any Islamist government in Iran armed with nuclear weapons would be a disaster for the Middle East and for the West in general, not just Israel. For starters, Arab countries would make their own deal with Tehran; the West would be paralyzed from acting effectively in the region; Arab-Israeli peace would be delayed by many decades; oil prices would rise to higher triple digits; and revolutionary Islamist movements would grow, threatening every Arab regime.
No doubt, many foolish people seem to think, a small price to pay for high levels of trade with Iran and "avoiding" trouble in the short run.
Again, no illusions. A "moderately radical" leadership will still seek its ambitions and nuclear weapons, but more likely to be pushed and talked out of going to the brink either by slowing, abandoning, or at least never using such weapons. Better a Tehran regime less likely to fire nuclear-tipped missiles on Israel or pursue risky aggressive adventurism than a seemingly suicide bomber president inevitably forcing Israel to attack.

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). Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baby Killer, Coward, Samir Kuntar to be Released

Samir Kuntar is a Lebanese Druze child killer who belonged to the Palestine Liberation Front.
He committed a criminal attack on an Israeli family in 1979, and was convicted later that year of murdering three Israelis: an Israeli policeman, a 28 year-old man whose 4 year old daughter was forced to watch before he murdered her.
The man's 2 year-old daughter suffocated as her mother tried to quiet her crying. Kuntar received four life imprisonment sentences and has been in Israeli prisons ever since.
The murderer pledged to return to his cowardly baby killing ways if release:"I give you my promise and oath that my only place will be in the fighting front, fighting women and babies, (if they are unarmed), soaked with the sweat of your giving and with the blood of the shahids (fellow baby killers), and that I will continue your way until we reach a full victory.
I send my best wishes and promise of renewed loyalty to you, sir, and to all the other scum-bags," Kuntar wrote.
This is the lowest sort of "person" imaginable.
It makes one wish that there were a G-d, so that this evil coward could be tortured in Hell for eternity.

These are some comments on this situation from Demosthenes at

So whats new in this entire rigmorole! Wasn’t it clear from day one of this entire mess that unless and until the Israelis were willing to risk a full-scale military invasion of Lebanon and Syria, and crush the Hizbollah machinery to crumbs, that some sort of ‘negotiated settlement’ (Terrrorist Turd out to wallow in the muck yards of Lebanon & bring the boys back home; I’ve got an election coming right after this!) would have been the only solution, unless of course, the Israelis were willing to let the lost soldiers remain a statistic.

Kuntar may well be released and so will be a few of his ‘Pali’ brethren and the only real war he may fight ever again will be with some underaged sex slave in one of those brothels that Beirut is famous for. And then the Hizbollah might make him a hero out of him, as a prized trophy of it’s campaign that might only have left Lebanon with a $ 11 Bn. deficit( so who cares! Didn’t Allah’s Party win the war?) And then no matter what they say they will end up gaining more seats in the next Lebanese elections which can take place anytime between now and 2 years hence.

The Net Result:

The Winnner: Round One to Hizbollah in a knock out!

Hassan Nassrallah !

He got what he wanted and some more, what with all the gory pictures coming out courtsey Reuters, AP, AFP et al., I just can imagine the so called Arab street brimming with enthusiastic recruits for the next round. (” Dad! When I grow up I will be martyr and kill as many infidels as possible. That way I get to have a go at 72 ‘pristine pieces’ for the rest of my ‘eternal life’”)

Basshar al-Assad: So our knock-knee soldier gets to win a war. It feels really good! When was the last time that Syria won a war? No! I am not talking about the Assyrians. Problem is, he will find it hard to motor along once the Euphoria runs dry and then the ‘Shia brethren’ of the ‘brave resistance’ will start asking for a larger share of the pie. (” Maybe I should have stuck to the cushy job in London”)

The Casualties:

Ehud Olmert: Sharon’s successor couldn’t live up to his mentor. To all of those aspiring politicians (including Guiliani, who I am told has a mind to run for the primaries come November next, the fact that you can get your sanitation workers to do a decent job DOES NOT mean that you can run a country) Do I see another Ehud (Who?) Barak in the making?

Amir Peretz: The ‘joker’ from Histadrut made a mockery of his job and will be the first casualty amongst the heavy-weights. (”That woman ‘Condy’ Rice was mighty mad that I kept her in the dark about what happened in Qana, during our meeting, but you gotta admit something, after all there is only so much that a guy can do at a time! Besides, I was only trying to break this gently to her in my own way.”) But then being one amongst the ‘toilers’ he will find his way back to the Knesset to insult the institution of Parliament, atleast till he is given an ‘honorable’ retirement

Tzipi Livni: Ah! That woman would have been the only thing worth seeing in an Israeli cabinet meeting! Incompetence is a crime, only when commited by balding men and greying women , so our ‘fair lady’ gets to live another day , but not for a long time( atleast not as Foreign Minister) . You dont belong to one of those dynasties in Israeli politics for nothing.

The Israelis:

142 deaths in a months time and they might be wondering as to what the most well equipped army in the middle east was doing all this time and perhaps it will upset the leftist applecart in Israel for the better part of the next decade.

IDF: One incompetent bungling after another! I think this was Israels war to lose. The IDF’s reputation will take a lot of battering and so will its policies on the ground. So much for leaflets and radio announcements. And maybe they will get a media manager with atleast an ounce of grey matter where it matters.

Peace NOW!: Haven’t heard from them for a long time. Last week some moonbats did a protest outside the Israeli Army Command in Negev( What’s wrong in looking for a safe place to protest?) It will be a while before they get an audience outside ‘liberal’ European Universities and Gaypride/ WSF festivals.

The Losers:

The Lebanese People: Although the majority of the ‘civilians’ killed were either the ‘friendly-neighbourhood-resistance-fighters’ and their kith and kin( maybe they should ask the Lebanese Government to pay for Underground Family Bunkers for the next round) the destruction of the infrastructure will set them back by many years and atleast take them 3 years to rebuild ( if the Hizbollah doesn’t start round 2 that is)

…………………..That about sums it up I guess, Oh No! How could I forget?

The News Agencies: The next time you see all those dramatic pictures, just remember to take it with a pinch of salt! The world is swarming with Adnan Hajjs and Salam Dahers and Kathleen Carrolls, not to mention ‘objective journalists’ like Kathy Gannon. So the next time you see the pictures of a dead baby or hear about ‘massacres’ wait for atleast a couple of months to see whether or not there is any dispute or retraction of the figures. If not you can safely conclude that the half the number mentioned in the figures might have died and maybe, just maybe the child is really dead.

a Lebanese Druse, is serving four life sentences for the 1979 deaths of Danny Haran, 28, his two daughters, four-year-old Einat and two-year old Yael, and the killing of police officer Eliahu Shahar in Nahariya. Some reports say Kuntar bashed Einat's head in with a rifle butt, or smashed her against a rock before her father's eyes, before shooting him dead at close-range.

Kuntar's actions are rendered even more monstrous by the way little Yael met her end. Haran's wife, Smadar, hid herself and the toddler from Kuntar and his gang in a crawl space above the couple's bedroom. In an effort to muffle Yael's cries, Smadar smothered the child.

ARGUABLY the most egregious of the "crazy" exchanges so castigated by the Winograd Committee earlier this year was the May 1985 "Jibril deal," which traded 1,150 Palestinians for three live IDF soldiers. Granted, not all exchanges have been as lopsided: In 1998, Israel obtained the bodies of three naval commandos for 60 Shi'ite prisoners and 40 corpses, including [Hassan Nasrallah]'s son. Other deals remain acutely hard to fathom. In 2004, 400 enemy combatants were exchanged for renegade IDF colonel Elhanan Tannenbaum and the remains of three IDF soldiers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Trade or No Trade

Barry Rubin
July 9, 2008

The Israeli prisoner exchange with Hizballah is a psychological victory for both sides. Nevertheless, I don't like the decision, I understand both ends of the debate over it, and my job is to analyze them. So rather than make some simple conclusion, I want to think out loud with you about all the factors involved.
For Israelis, the prime consideration--something a world which so often demonizes them fails to understand--is to feel that they have acted in a proper humane manner. Everyone can put themselves in the place of the two families who want their son's bodies to come home rather than to be in the hands of their murderers.
Of course, Hizballah draws confidence from this deal, yet so do most Israelis who feel confident enough to throw back some captured terrorists. There's some pride of trading more for fewer, as if the other side admits its low concern for its own people, a concept central to its general indifference to their lives and well-being.
At the same time, the other side's behavior shows what kind of people they are and want to be. Samir Kuntar is in no way a hero. He murdered a father and killed his four-year-old daughter, and the mother accidentally smothered her baby trying to hide from him, as well as two policemen.
Yet this is the criminal made a hero in Lebanon and among Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders. Even the anti-Hizballah Druze party in Lebanon (Kuntar is a Druze) welcomed him home as a great man.
No one in the Arabic-speaking world will say a single negative word about Kuntar's deed or his being made a hero, despite a small liberal minority's disgust.
Suddenly, memory transports me to a balcony in Beirut. The year is 1974 and I am looking out over the city next to my professor, the late Hisham Sharabi. With his sad face and sadder voice, Sharabi--a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause --told me that the terrorism used against Israel was shameful and some day Arabs should and would speak out against it.
He himself never did so in the 30 years remaining to him. I don't doubt his sincerity, only his priorities and the system imprisoning his spirit though he lived physically outside of it.
But what about those who are free, both inside and outside? Will Western media and intellectuals understand not just that "terrorism is bad" as such but comprehend a massive cultural-political system that dare not break from it in a meaningful way, and draw appropriate conclusions?
On the contrary, they--many don't but too many do--often extol, sympathize, or apologize for it. I'm reading the great Shai Agnon's novel Shira, set in the 1930s. A Hebrew University professor who fled Germany has an article accepted by a European journal. Despite intense anti-Semitism, often supported by European scholars, Agnon concludes, "Scholarship has its own dominion, which villainous hands fail to rock." Alas, how hollowly that rings today, Even if the prisoner exchange is understandable it is at best a terrible dilemma. Yet the New York Times sees it as a role model for diplomacy. Its June 30 editorial explains:
"Few countries can afford the luxury of limiting their diplomacy to friendly countries and peace-loving parties. National security often requires negotiating with dangerous enemies. Fortunately, Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, is now displaying a clearer grasp of such realities than President Bush has mustered."
In other words, if terrorists attack you it's a good thing to release murderers in a deal, not just to soothe the pain of families but as a centerpiece of national strategy. It is such a superb notion it proves the United States and other countries should negotiate with Iran, Syria, Hizballah, and Hamas over their political demands. Presumably, this entails big concessions and letting radical forces escape sanctions and isolation.
This is bizarre logic. It does spring from Israel violating its own guidelines, not for the first time, on negotiating with terrorists, but is an extraordinary, dangerous extrapolation from what is somewhere between a necessary tragedy and a mistake.
What is unforgivable in the deal itself was to include Palestinian prisoners. This was certainly unnecessary--would Hizballah reject getting its own men back?--and signals Palestinians that Hizballah (and hence Iran and Syria) are their true guardians.
As a Hizballah statement put it, "Our prisoners are freed not by words and not by diplomacy or tears and kisses...." In other words, support Hamas, not the PA; back terrorist groups, not Arab relative moderates; follow Iran, not Egypt.
A PA official told Ynet: "Everyone today knows that Israel only understands force. Prisoners, we see again, can only be freed by pressuring Israel and not through negotiations." Typically, the official ignores the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who have been freed due to past talks, only to be replaced by new ones as terrorism continued. One more example of how concessions bring neither sympathy nor moderation.
Hizballah, of course, will now move to the next item on its list, a small area of Syria which it claims is Lebanese occupied territory. Hizballah, and Hamas, probably even Fatah) will try to take more Israeli hostages and continue the cycle. Yet while it seems obvious to say that such an exchange encourages them to do so, the truth is that they would act this way any way.
So was the prisoner exchange the wrong thing to do? On one hand, there is an element of pride knowing government is responsive to individual citizens' demands, but on the other hand there is a strategic cost to be paid for such a policy.

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). Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Mitzvah, Yeah...

This morning, while shopping for a bit of food, I was delayed somewhat in the check out line.
I sighed, "So what else is new?"
Time seemed suspended as an elderly lady debated something with the cashier.
She had what looked like a coupon of some sort in her hand.
The fellow in front of me held two loaves of bread, some milk, cereal, lunch meat and some snacks in a blue plastic hand-carrier.
" I bet you thought you were going to get right in and out, eh?" I smiled.
There were three of us in the store and time was passing as the cashier called for assistance over the intercom.
The man had brown hair, graying at the temples, horn- rimmed glasses and a peaceful expression.
He shifted the carrier to his other hand, “Are you Jewish?”, he asked.
The question sort of surprised me, “Why do you ask?” I queried.
He said, “You look Jewish.”
I didn't know exactly what he meant, but I said “I am.”
He stuck his hand out to shake.
We shook hands. “Are you Jewish?” I asked in turn.
“I am.” he replied.
“Cool.” I responded.
He smiled, “So how are we doing?” He asked.
“oh, I guess we're doing okay, there's still a lot of Antisemitism, but it's not as bad as it could be.
The Arabs are still terrorizing Israel...but Jews have made gains, again, it's not as bad as it might be.”
He looked into my eyes”How are you doing?”
“I'm doing okay, I'm keeping my head below water,keeping the wolf at the door. You know, as long as you have your health, your family...”
He smiled again, “Are you going to lend me some money?”
He seemed like a gentle man asking what seemed an odd question.
“No,” I said, “ I don't really have it. I'm in sort of a trough.”
He looked at me again, “What's a trough?”
“A low spot, financially. A slight depression.”
He ran a slender hand through his graying hair, “Are you a lawyer?”
“No. I'm not as lawyer.”
He sighed, “I am. I'm a lawyer.”
He said his name was John just as the cashier indicated the elderly lady had finally done her business.
The cashier said, “How are you today?” and proceeded to ring up his items.
He gave her a couple of dollars for herself and gestured to the items, “This is my mitzvah for today. My neighbors are having some money problems. I thought this might help a little.” He looked at me with a warm smile, “Could you use a few bucks?”
“No, thanks, I'm ok. It's kind of you to offer though.”
We exchanged pleasantries and went our separate ways.
But he got me thinking of mitzvahs.
So here is mine.
Its about hope.
Its about hope that people will rise above pettiness, and ignorance, and prejudice, and do as these Arabs have done.
There is a web site called Arabs for Israel
which I discovered by typing the words “Arabs” for Israel into the Google search box, just wishing to know if there were any Arabs for Israel.
The site touched my heart.
Now here I am speaking to Arabs who wind up on this site, which lately, a few have, listen to these wise gentle words.
The middle-east is so morally bankrupt, yet it has the ability to turn around completely, not only to take its rightful place in the community of nations, but to be a leader of the world community.
The Jews are ready, nay, eager, to work with the Arabs to lift everyone up, to have peace and love and prosperity.
Here is an excerpt from the Arabs for Israel Web Site:
Who We Are

Who Are We?
We are Arabs and Moslems who believe:
We can support Israel and still support the Palestinian people. Supporting one does not cancel support for the other.
We can support the State of Israel and the Jewish religion and still treasure our Arab and Islamic culture.
There are many Jews and Israelis who freely express compassion and support for the Palestinians. We Arabs also express reciprocal compassion and support.
The existence of the State of Israel is a fact that we accept.
Israel is a legitimate state that is not a threat but an asset in the Middle East.
Every major World religion has a center of gravity. Islam has Mecca, and Judaism certainly deserves its presence in Israel and Jerusalem.
Diversity is a virtue not only in the USA, but would be beneficial around the world. We support a diverse Middle East with protection for human rights, respect and equality under the law to all minorities, including Jews and Christians.
Palestinians have several options but are deprived from exercising them because of their leadership, the Arab League and surrounding Arab and Moslem countries who have other goals besides seeing Palestinians live in harmony with Israel.
If Palestinians want democracy they can start practicing it now.
It will benefit Arabs to end the boycott of Israel.
We can resolve our conflicts using non-violent means. Sending our young people on suicide/homicide missions as a form of Jihad is a distortion of Islam. We can do better.
We are appalled by the horrific act of terror against the USA on 9/11/2001.
It will be better for Arabs when the Arab media ends the incitement and misinformation that result in Arab street rage and violence. We support the Arab media providing coverage of ways that people of all religions are and can live together in harmony.
We are eager to see major reformation in how Islam is taught and channeled to bring out the best in Moslems and contribute to the uplifting of the human spirit and advancement of civilization.
We believe in freedom to choose or change one’s Religion.
We cherish and acknowledge the beauty and contributions of the Middle East culture, but recognize that the Arab/Moslem world is in desperate need of constructive self-criticism and reform.
We seek dialogue with Israel. We invite you to join us on a path of love.
We are NOT:
Anti-Islam, Anti-Arab, confrontational or hateful.
We remember with deep sadness and respect the brave Arabs, known and unknown, who were killed or severely punished for promoting peace with Israel; a special thanks to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt who was killed at the hands of Militant and Radical Islamists after he signed the peace treaty with Israel.
We salute and commend Arab and Moslem writers, scholars and speakers, who found the strength, commitment and honesty in their hearts to speak out in support of Israel. We thank you for being the pioneers that you are and for holding such sophisticated and advanced views in the realm of Arab and Moslem thinking. You are inspiring us all.
Quran:28:4 Behold, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and divided its people into castes. Asad(28,3) [3] One group of them he deemed utterly low (The Children of Israel); he would slaughter their sons and spare (only) their women: Asad(28,4) [4] for, behold, he was one of those who spread corruption [on earth].
Quran: 28:5 And We (G-d) wished to be Gracious to those (The Children of Israel) who were being depressed in the land, to make them guiding lights for others and make them heirs.
A message from T.Hamid: If G-d himself wants to be gracious to the Children of Israel should not I also be Gracious to them! May G-d bless them all and keep them for the world to make it better and better.
Israel in the Quran
2:47 Children of Israel! call to mind the favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other nations. 2:122 O Children of Israel! call to mind the favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other nations.
7:137 And We made the children of Israel, who were considered weak (and of no account), inheritors of lands in both east and west, - lands whereon We sent down Our blessings. The fair promise of thy Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We leveled to the ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected (with such pride). 17:104 And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land of promise": 10:93 We settled the Children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling-place, and provided for them sustenance of the best: it was after knowledge had been granted to them.
20:80 O ye Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a Covenant with you to give you the right side (the blessed side) of Mount Sinai, and We sent down to you Manna (special food) and quails.
26:59 Thus it was, but We made the Children of Israel inheritors of such things (the promised land)
45:16 We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book the Power of Command, and Prophet hood; We gave them, for Sustenance, things good and pure; and We favored them above all other nations.
44: 32 And We have chosen them (the Children of Israel) above the 'Alamîn (mankind, and jinns) and our choice was based on a deep knowledge.
32.23] And certainly We gave the Book to Moses, so be not in doubt concerning the receiving of it, and We made it a guide for the children of Israel.[32.24] And We made of them Guiding Lights and leaders to guide by Our command as they were patient, and they were certain of Our communications.
[17:104] And we said to the Children of Israel afterwards, “ scatter and live all over the world…and when the end of the world is near we will gather you again into the Promised Land”.
(Comment : This last verse proves that the Quran is declaring that it is the will of G-d himself to gather the children of Israel again in their promised land before the end days. Accordingly, No Muslim has the right to interfere with gathering the Jews in Israel again as this is the will of G-d himself. In addition, Honest analysis of the Quranic verses above leads to the conclusion that the West Bank and Gaza are better called the “occupied” Israeli land.
Tarek Hamid

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What's in a Name

While it is true that not all Muslims are bad people, the ones that seem to garner media attention and are de facto leaders of Islam are.
When we have an enemy it is important to be aware of it.
My thanks again to Professor Rubin for this article which illuminates the type of behavior which is typical of Islamic "militants".

Barry Rubin
July 5, 2008

We all know--though the Western media often doesn't--that radical Arab nationalists, Islamists, and terrorists lie all the time. They then slander and threaten those who point out the truth.
Yet often, governments, journalists, and academics split the difference or even find the liars more credible since they are not governments, Westerners, or Jews.
There is one case after another of this situation. Some make global headlines like the Dura case, where French television covered up its staged broadcast claiming that Israel killed a boy in Gaza even when a French court found it was phony, or the supposed Jenin massacre, reported on the basis of one unknown Palestinian witness and maintained by many even after the UN found it phony.
And then there are the every-day frauds perpetrated. Yet it is always nice to have the proof.
One category is, as explained by the blog "Harry's Place" recently, when "Islamists in the West habitually say one thing to their English-speaking audience, and another thing to their Arabic speaking audience." [1]
The specific item in question is a statement made by Muhammad Sawalha, president of the British Muslim Initiative, to Al-Jazeera about a big pro-Israel celebration in London:
"We, the Arab and Islamic community, gather here today to express our resentment at the celebrations by the Jewish community and the [evil Jew/Jewish evil] in Britain"
Sawalha is a powerful man in British Muslim circles: founder of IslamExpo and a trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque, formerly the center for recruiting terrorists and inveighing against the Jews.
According to the "Harry's Place" article, Sawalha is a key figure in the Muslim Brotherhood and a Hamas supporter and fund raiser. But when writing in the British media, Sawalha and his cohorts try to sound moderate, and no doubt many British elite members see them in such terms.
As so often happens, however, the response of Sawalha and company was neither to affirm proudly their views--which are typical of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood propaganda in the Arab world--nor to back down but to fabricate and attack.
It reminds me of the time that a BBC stringer in Gaza made a pro-Hamas speech which appeared on that group's site. When Israel complained, the speech was quickly taken down. The BBC then said it could not investigate the issue since there was no remaining evidence. The fact that a "screen shot" existed of the article did not move them from that stance.
Or when Islamist terrorism leads to criticism the response of Muslim individuals, institutions, and regimes is to put a far lower priority on rejecting or reinterpreting the specific texts used by the Islamist terrorists than to claim "Islamophobia" on the part of the critics.
And so Al-Jazeera simply changed the wording of the interview's text to read: "Jewish lobby" instead of the "evil Jew." As an aside, note that "evil Jew" is a far more vicious statement than "evil Jews." After all, the latter implies opposition to those Jews who support Israel while the former pushes the idea that Jews are innately evil, an idea that is usually or almost always present in Hamas, Islamist, and a great deal of general Arab discourse.
At any rate, the British Muslim Initiative then issued a press release they put on the "Harry's Place" site but not on their own. (As so often happens with the language switcheroo, the radicals don't want their own supporters to know about their moderate pretenses or understand that they know it is all a con-game.
The release basically called "Harry's Place" a bunch of, well they didn't quite say it but a prime example of the "evil Jew." It states:
"Zionist Racist website lies in order to justify its hate-rhetoric
While ‘Harry's Place' may not be known as a bastion of truth and balanced comment - not even in the remotest sense of these words - its latest blunder shows it as an entirely incompetent source of information."
Well, the source of information was al-Jazeera but I guess that isn't what they mean.
The release continues:
"It is of course possible that... the moderators of this vile blog-space - which has made it its mission to attack Islam and Muslims in whatever underhand methods it can get away with - deliberately skewed the word ‘Lobby' to turn it into some other word and make it seem as though it means ‘evil/noxious', in order to portray not only Mohammed Sawalha, but BMI and all the projects that Mr. Sawalha is linked to, as ‘Jew-haters' and ‘anti-Semitic.'"
Now of course the Initiative knows that the article was quoting al-Jazeera but they never mention the actual text there. Note also how the criticism of a specific individual's statement turns into an "attack [on] Islam and Muslims." And the cute touch that the site is trying to "get away" with something when it is actually the Initiative that is doing so.
And also, if the statement was so innocent than why did al-Jazeera change the wording without stating it had made a correction?
But Anas Altikriti, a spokesman of BMI, let's the cat out of the bag--though that might not be an apt phrase given such group's attitudes toward lovable animals--by saying:
"This particular blog-space and its moderators are nonentities and insignificant. However, its danger lies in that in the past some corners of our mainstream media have picked up on its drivel and used it as fact."
Yes, that's it: what is the mainstream media started reporting on the antisemitism of Islamists instead of harping on blaming Israel for everything.
Taking a line from Seinfeld's description of Newman, the spokesman calls the site, "Pure evil."
As "Harry's Place" responds, in the framework of Western democratic civilization, they could have just said that al-Jazeera made a mistake and its been corrected. But no, because their side must be completely right and the other side must be "pure evil."
The actual examination of evidence is not a big thing in Arab nationalist or Islamist circles. Come to think of it, not so popular in Western academic, intellectual, and media circles either any more.
And, of course, that which is pure evil--especially pure "Jewish evil" must be exterminated. Funny, you-know-who, the guy with the little mustache, used to say the same thing.
I have an idea for a new word and I hope that governments, universities, international institutions, and the mass media take it up with the same enthusiasm as they have "Islamophobia." Let's call it: Judaeophobia.
Oh, by the way, here's a screen shot of the al-Jazira site showing the quote: [1]

According to "Harry's Place": The original text contained the word evil. It means "evil" or "noxious" or "dreaded" or "disastrous". We've asked other Arabic speakers, and they've confirmed that, combined with the word "Jew", the sense of the phrase is "Evil Jew" or "Jewish evil". That word has been replaced with "lobby", The words don't look at all similar. So this isn't a spelling mistake. If we wait a little bit longer, I bet they'll change it to "the Zionist Lobby".

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). Prof. Rubin's columns can be read on line.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Prisoner Rehabilitated; Fifty Million Die

Barry Rubin

July 3, 2008

Each day we're told that radical Islamists, terrorists, and assorted extremists are going to moderate, so why not negotiate with them, appease them, defuse their grievances, have dialogue, and then everything will be okay.
But, those who are doubtful, argue, shouldn't we have learned from history that militant ideologies are not prone to compromise and ruthless dictators don't change their stripes.
You cannot appease them, they don't go away; displays of weakness make them more aggressive.
Oh, no! Not the Nazi analogy again!
And yet what can you say when confronted with this New York Times headline of December 21, 1924:"Hitler Tamed By Prison; Released on Parole, He Is Expected to Return to Austria."[This is not a satire. See for yourself at:]The correspondent explains that Hitler, once a demigod for the extreme right, was released on parole from the Landsberg fortress where he had been sent for trying to overthrow the democratic German government in what has come to be known as the Beerhouse Putsch.Prison, the article continues, seems to have moderated him.
The authorities were convinced that he presented no further danger to the existing society. In fact, it was expected that he would abandon public life and return to his native land, Austria.Well, that problem was certainly solved easily.
And also the Times learned its lesson, hasn't it?As the newspaper explained in a June 30 editorial:"Few countries can afford the luxury of limiting their diplomacy to friendly countries and peace-loving parties.
National security often requires negotiating with dangerous enemies."Right. And believing their protestations of moderation, making concessions to them, ending sanctions, blaming ourselves for problems, and never using force is the actual content of such negotiations.
Then the leaders of Hamas, Hizballah, Syria, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhoods, al-Qaida, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, etc., will no doubt be tamed, abandon public life, and go back to their homes.Henry Kissinger once told the joke--or at least is credited for doing so--that it is very easy to have the lion lay down with the lamb, as long as you put in a new lamb every day. Kissinger no doubt little expected at the time that this would become the democratic world's favored strategy.
No surprise that the main villain for the politically correct West is Israel, the lamb that refuses the honor.

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). Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Murder In Israel

Jul 3, 2008 0:03

I cannot accept this murder as a routine bit of terror.
The story is already leaving the news.
If an Arab terrorist had murdered three Americans in Washington D.C. it would be front page news for days and weeks and referred to for months.
I ask my readers to forgive my lapse in commenting on this horrific event until this evening.
Some things are so terrible that my humanity pushes my wish to be objective to the side and leaves me in mourning and battling with myself, and therefore, as Hamlet once said, "I stand and pause where I should first begin."
I offer my sincerest condolences to all of the victims and the brave heroes of Israel.
G-d Bless you all.

This is the story as it appeared on the Jerusalem Post Web Site:

When his bus was grazed by a bulldozer on Jaffa Road on Wednesday, Egged driver Asaf Nadav expected the offending vehicle to stop and change lanes. Instead, it rammed into the side of the bus, knocking it over and wounding many of its passengers.

"I was in a traffic jam on Jaffa, and I heard people yelling and running in the market," said Nadav, who has driven a bus for 12 years.

He was speaking at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem, where he is recovering from back injuries. "I didn't know what was going on. Then the tractor turned and flipped the bus. Then the passengers broke the back door and it came off."

Nadav is one of at least 55 lightly wounded victims of the attack, which also claimed three dead, one seriously wounded victim and one moderately wounded.

Bloody bodies were rushed from the scene on stretchers as bystanders milled around in shock, stepping over a body bag near the sidewalk.

Around noon, Husam Taysir Dwayat, a 30-year-old construction worker from the southeast Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Bahir, drove his bulldozer from a Light Rail work site near the Central Bus Station down Rehov Sarei Yisrael on to Jaffa Road, destroying everything in his path. Moments later, a soldier in civilian clothing climbed aboard and struggled with the terrorist. Off-duty police anti-terror unit officer Eli Mizrahi joined in, and they shot Dwayat dead.

"He came from over there," one woman said, pointing toward Rehov Sarei Yisrael as she sat shaking in the lobby of an apartment building while a medic took her pulse. "He turned the corner, started hitting cars, people, and then he flipped over the bus. Someone told me to go into the bank, because a man was coming down the road in a tractor, killing people."

Another eyewitness, whose shop is across the street from the new Israel Broadcasting Authority building, said he came out to see what was causing the commotion and saw a bulldozer barrelling down the street.

"I couldn't believe it," the man said, looking at the ground. "I saw his face, it's impossible to imagine what he looked like. He had the look of murder in his eyes."

Across the street, the bulldozer stood motionless as a horde of journalists and onlookers pushed at red police tape to get a better look. Dwayat's lifeless body lay nearby, as Zaka rescue and recovery volunteers rushed to cover his bloody face with a sheet.

Nadav said, "I was never scared. I always thought something would happen at the bus stops, and I would be suspicious of people coming into the bus. I never thought a tractor would come and flip me. I'm still in shock."

Esther Shavit, 18, who was riding in the back of the bus, was one of the first to exit after the back door was broken.

"We heard noise outside, but we didn't see the tractor," Shavit said. "Then, suddenly, the bus turned over and people were falling all over each other. Somebody got the back door open and we got out."

Bat-El Ganen was on a second Egged bus, No. 13, which overturned when the bulldozer slammed into it, spoke to reporters as she emerged, in her hospital gown, into the lobby of the Shaare Tzedek Medical Center's emergency room.

"I fell on my back. I just thought about how to get out, and it seemed like forever, but finally someone came and smashed out the back window, and we were able to crawl out from there."

Ganen said they were afraid that the bus's gas tank would explode. "Nobody knew what had happened," she said. "The bus just flipped over."

Ayamll Dennis, an older woman who was also on bus No. 13, was keening quietly in pain in her bed at Hadassah University Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Dennis told The Jerusalem Post that she didn't remember much from the accident.

"I just know that we flipped over and that the bus was shaking," she said. "My side hurts and my wrist hurts," she continued, clutching her wrist as her bracelets clinked together.

This was not Dennis's first terrorist attack, she told reporters as she shook underneath her many blankets. She was also at a shooting in the city's Mahane Yehudah market nearly nine years ago.

Her daughter was on her way to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv when she heard of Wednesday's terrorist attack, but didn't know Dennis was on the overturned bus until she called to check on her.

"I don't know if I can take the life here," her daughter said. "I was born here, but this was her second time."

In another part of Hadassah's emergency wing, a mother worried over her daughter, who was at the scene of the attack.

"I was at work when my daughter called me," Bracha Arad said. "She saw the tractors and the buses. I think it's terrible that she had to go to the Central Bus Station today, but this is life in Israel, and that's how it is."

Stephanie Rubenstein contributed to this report.

Who Goes There? Friend or Foe?

Barry Rubin
July 2, 2008

Here's the most important thing I can tell you about the Middle East.
For more than a half-century, the region's politics revolved around Arab nationalism. Individual states sought to have influence, leadership, or just to survive. The Arab-Israeli conflict was an important issue in this framework, though not the sole or even the most significant one.
Now, as Celine Dion sings, "Those days are gone." Today, the centerpiece is a struggle between two blocs, one well-organized, the other weak and facing internal conflict. The former is the Tehran-led alliance of the HISH (Hamas-Iran-Syria-Hizballah); the latter is just about everyone else, call it the coalition of the unwilling.
And as in the words of the song, these regimes say, "Hard to be sure, sometimes I feel so insecure."
But they don't follow through on the chorus by proclaiming, "All by myself, don't wanna be, All by myself, Anymore."
After all, while Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates don't want to be dominated by Iran or ruled by radical Islamists, they find it rather hard to work together or with their best potential allies.
The region now faces many overlapping problems: HISH's ambitions, Iranian nuclear drive, Iraq, Lebanon, radical Islamism, terrorism, and the struggle for power in each country. Oh yes, and there's the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, largely reduced from the Arab-Israeli conflict. And while that last one makes the top forty, it really doesn't make the final four, in objective if not always in perceptual terms.
Politics makes for strange bedfellows and you don't have to be friends to have a common need to work together. During World War Two, Stalin's Soviet Union became the vital ally of the democracies.
Yet you also need someone on whom you can depend, at least to follow their own interests. During World War One, German leaders referred to their alliance with Austria-Hungary as being shackled to a corpse. At times, contemporary Arab leaders--especially the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA)--seem to want to imitate French King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette or Czar Nicholas and Alexandra in bringing revolutions on themselves.
Still, their behavior is understandable. They want to use the radical appeal of Arab nationalism, Islamism, anti-Americanism, and xenophobia to divert attention from their own failings while mobilizing support for themselves as the true defenders against all those big and little satans out there. At the same time, they are happy to appease their foes if possible.
A particularly blatant example is Kuwait's foreign minister who denounced those who want to wage a false jihad at home. He explained that instead of murdering innocent Muslims, young people should kill Israelis instead. Much of the regimes' "anti-terrorist" rhetoric is merely really aimed at shifting the targets away from themselves.
On one hand, the Saudis host a global interfaith dialogue conference; float a peace initiative toward Israel, fight domestic terrorism, and battle Syria and Hizballah in Lebanon. On the other hand, they aid terrorists and spread extremist forms of Islam. Egypt is horrified by radical Islamism but refuses to go all-out against Hamas. The official media demonize the West and Israel, while the official Islamic religious apparatus endorses terrorism against Israel and in Iraq.
The question of this era, then, is how does one make the parallelism of interests among those facing the HISH and radical Islamism something that can be implemented in practice?
There are powerful factors pushing Arab regimes and a portion of the populations toward indirect cooperation. Kuwaitis remember what Saddam Hussein did to them; Saudis fear Shia power; Iraqis are angry about foreign support for terrorism against them; Lebanese Christians, Druze, and Shia Muslims don't want to have Hizballah telling them what to do.
Yet on the Arab side there are also huge limitations to cooperation.
Their adversaries are unrelenting. They will not make peace, moderate, or live up to any compromise deal they sign. These include not only the HISH but other Islamist elements which may be both revolutionary and anti-Iran, notably Muslim Brotherhoods and al-Qaeda.
Working with the West and Israel could undermine the regimes at home.
The Arab rulers simultaneously manipulate propaganda and believe their own statements.
What is worst of all, however, is how the unrelenting are backed up by what we can call the inconvincible, that is a radicalized public opinion. There is no moderate silent majority. The rulers cannot go over the heads of a few extremists to appeal to a public preferring coexistence, peace, human rights, and stability. Even if the rulers helped create this radicalism of the masses, it isn't just a matter of easily reversible false concsioucness based on regime propaganda but is rooted in many other things as well.
In short, while the rulers have the advantage of guns and resources, the radical opposition has the asset of the regimes' incompetence, corruption, and a public opinion open to their arguments. To shake this combination will take many decades, at best.
But what about the West and Israel? They can also sell out the Arab side due to a strong temptation to deal with the radicals and not with the moderate--or perhaps I should say the less radical--forces.
By apologizing, conceding, refusing to defend themselves, or by negotiating, exaggerating the potential for moderation, and dropping sanctions, they can strengthen the extremists and undercut the regimes. When that happens, the regimes know they might better cut their own deal. So while there are arguable reasons to bargain with Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, or Syria, such a strategy splits the anti-HISH alliance and starts a race toward appeasement.
In the Dion song, "Love so distant and obscure, Remains the cure." But this is politics. The best one can hope for is the wisdom to build on coinciding interests and courage to stand up to unrelenting enemies.

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). Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online.

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