Thursday, March 31, 2011

Silly and Sillier

Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the few pro-Zionist journalists remaining in America's liberal/left-wing, has an annoying habit of every so often pandering to his Inside the Beltway buddies; can't imagine why, except perhaps to demonstrate that he still has his liberal bona fides despite his "problematic" pro-Israel leanings. His latest periodic rant against Israel relates to a silly Knesset hearing on J Street in which even silly Knesset members and even sillier J Street representatives engaged apparently in a screaming contest. This minor event warranted a post from Goldberg, "Goldblog is a Pro J-Street Blog", which is in and of itself a silly statement given what he and what we all know about J-Street's behavior when it comes to all things Israel. Yaacov Lozowick's "Ruminations" gives it right back to Goldberg, as he deserves. 

Norway: Anti-Semites Par Excellence

Alan Dershowitz details why Norway has become one of the world's leaders in Antisemitism. Quisling would be so proud. 

Libya vs Iraq: The Differences

This is very easy and self-explanatory.

Ron Kampeas's Moral Equivocation

Obama and J Street apologist Ron Kampeas, who somehow continues to maintain a prominent column at the "unaffiliated" Jewish Telegraphic Agency, is now equivocating between "freezing settlements" (whatever he means by that - he doesn't define his terms) and Hamas. All the same to him. 

At These Prices Assad Won't Be Around Much Longer

Bashar al-Assad isn't fooling anyone - even the Syrian people - with this "blame it on the Israelis" trick. Like the old joke: "Kangaroo walks into a bar and orders a double bourbon. The bartender says, 'We don't get many kangaroos in here', and the kangaroo replies, 'Yeah, and at these prices you won't get many more'"; my prediction - blaming Syria's troubles on Israeli conspiracies isn't going to keep him around very long. 

Palestinian Group Complains About Hamas Rockets in Civilian Areas

Of course we all know this, but the New York Times is reporting in a prominently placed article that the  Palestinian Center for Human Rights this week condemned the building and storage of anti-Israel rockets in densely populated area in Gaza. 

Israel Releases Map Detailing Hezbollah Underground Weapons Depots

Not that anyone cares, but Israel has released maps detailing hundreds of Hezbollah underground bunkers. Not clear why Israel would do this, though there is a hardly veiled reference in this Ha'aretz article to reports that the United States is considering dialog with Hezbollah, which the US has denied. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Whose Side Is He On?

The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl asks a pertinent question

The US Could Learn A Few Things From Israel

Israel is far more morally correct with regards to judicial review than the United States. Amos Guiora, a former senior officer in the IDF "JAG" and now a professor of law at the University of Utah, writes:

"Even in the midst of ongoing hostilities and warfare, under Israeli law, all detainees, regardless of nationality or the circumstances or location of their seizure, have a right of access to counsel and to independent courts empowered to review the basis for their detention and, when warranted, to order their release. This is true even when judicial review takes place amidst continuing terrorist attacks or large-scale Israeli military operations. Although Israeli security officials make the initial detention assessment, the crucial judgments — including the weight of the evidence, or whether detainees and their counsel have access to classified evidence or adequate substitutes — are all matters for a judge.

"In stark contrast to Israeli law and practice, last year, the federal Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. ruled that U.S. detainees held at the Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan did not have habeas corpus rights to challenge their detention in U.S. courts. According to the Court of Appeals, the determinative factor was that allowing detainees held in a battle zone to challenge their detention in U.S. courts would pose “practical obstacles” for the U.S. military.

"As a result, the U.S. military now has unreviewable and unfettered discretion to make Bagram detention decisions using a process plagued by rampant over classification and other flaws — including, significantly, denial of access to counsel — that make it virtually impossible for a detainee to confront and challenge the government’s evidence."

What Does Food Have To Do With Syria?

"Spengler" (?) of the "Asia Times Online" is one of the more interesting writers out there in the blogosphere, and has made a specialty out of connecting food prices to instability in Arab regimes (kind of like Michael Pollan on steroids). This post connects the rise in food prices in Syria with their current unrest. One of the more fascinating reads out there:

In response to the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings, President Assad reduced taxes on oil and sugar, and cut import tariffs on basic foodstuffs. This action had unintended consequences. A blogger on the Syrian website sy-weather.com reports, "I spent fifteen days on formalities to reduce customs duties on some basic food items, but I have not seen a glimmer of hope on the horizon. This was supposed to reduce the prices of the targeted goods. On the contrary, a liter of oil that sold for 65 Syrian pounds [US$1.38] now sells for 85 pounds." That's an increase of 30% over the month. Other bloggers report that the prices of basic foodstuffs have risen by 25% to 30%.

What happened is seen frequently in Third World command economies: local importers bribe customs officials to control the flow of goods, and then hoard them. "The only beneficiaries of the price-reduction decrees," the blogger concluded, "are the traders." What are essentially dictatorships like Syria rule through corruption. It is not an incidental fact of life, but the primary means of maintaining loyalty to the regime. Under normal circumstances such regimes can last indefinitely. Under severe external stress, the web of corrupt power relations decays into a scramble for individual advantage. The doubling of world food prices over the past year has overwhelmed the Assad family's ability to manage through the usual mechanisms. The Syrians sense the weakness of the regime, which rests on the narrow base of the Alawi religious minority. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's Official - the Americans Have No Clue

Here's Hillary sounding off in support of the Assad regime in Syria. It's official now: the Americans have absolutely no clue what they are doing; no strategic vision of what their interests are and are not. 

What Do You Say Now John Kerry?

Senator John Kerry has spent the past couple of years repeatedly visiting Syria and trying to improve relations with the regime there. Elliott Abrams is spot on as usual and says that Kerry should now be in the forefront of denouncing Asasd's bloody regime. An overthrow of the minority Alawite's in power in favor of a Sunni-backed regime would be good for the good guys and presumably bad for the bad guys, starting with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. 

Tom Friedman: Which Is It - The Great Mandala or Nelson Mandela?

I'm not sure that anyone can be more glib than Tom "Israel Plays By Hama Rules" Friedman. Now he's looking for "Arab Mandelas" - not to be confused with the "Great Mandala" (with apologies to Peter, Paul & Mary); or maybe he is, because he couldn't possibly be thinking that he wants a bunch of "Arab Mandelas" coming to the fore throughout the Middle East.

Since almost the very moment he was released in South Africa, the real (Nelson) "Mandela" model has embraced the world's cruelest tyrants and terrorists and has spewed bitter hatred towards the West (and of course, Israel).

Of Castro's Cuba he said: "There's one thing where that country stands out head and  shoulders above the rest.  That is in its love for human rights and liberty"; he portrayed Saddam Hussein as an innocent victim of American aggression and accused the US of "preparing a Holocaust" against Iraq; defended Iranian persecution of Jews; traveled to Libya in defiance of UN sanctions in order to defend his "brother leader" Qaddafi and praised the Lockerbie bomber for his "commitment to the fight for peace and human rights in the world".

Of course, Mandela saved his greatest affections for his "comrade in arms", former PLO head Yassir Arafat, and 
embellished his embraces of Arafat with a constant stream of caustic comments against Zionism and the State of  Israel. "Arafat", he said "is fighting against a unique form of colonialism, and we wish him success in his struggle". According to Mandela, the Palestinian "struggle" against Israel was just  like that of black South Africans against Pretoria.  "We are,"  Mandela said of the PLO, "in the same trench struggling against  the same enemy: the twin Tel Aviv and Pretoria regimes, apartheid, racism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism".

Mandela also clearly advocated violence against Israel: According to a 1999 Ha'aretz article, he said, “If taking up arms is the only solution, that is what should be done". And the Jerusalem Post reported Mandela stating: "All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence".

So which is it for Tom Friedman? The Great Mandala or Nelson Mandela? 

Friday, March 25, 2011

US Foreign Policy Has Gone Mad

You would think that the United States would try to figure out its core interests in the Middle East as well as the world, and operate accordingly. You thought wrong

Well, Duh

Every Israeli I know - left, right and center - scratched his head in disbelief while the world kept telling us that "the forces of democracy will prevail". Not. Of course, the forces of democracy have not prevailed and the Muslim Brotherhood - according to the New York Times - is on the rise. 

Minimal Press Coverage of the Press in Gaza

You might have missed this one - only because it was scantily reported: Hamas literally cracking down - and cracking heads, including those of Reuters employees - on the press in Gaza, 

Happy Days Are Here Again

The Palestinian Authority continues their long-time dance in two weddings: out of one side of the mouth in English - for Western consumption, of course - and out of the other side in Arabic; for what they really believe. Noah Pollak in Commentary reports: "We learn that only a few days ago, one of Mahmoud Abbas’s senior advisers called for the naming of a square in an Arab town in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, a leader of the Coastal Road Massacre in 1978, in which close to 40 Israeli civilians were burned alive in a hijacked bus; a few days before that, the PA’s official newspaper announced that a youth club in Ramallah would hold a soccer tournament in honor of Wafa Idris, a Fatah suicide bomber who used a Palestinian ambulance to enter Israel; and a few days before that, official PA television again celebrated Dalal Mughrabi as part of a “Women as Exemplars” program (over the summer, a number of children’s summer camps were also named after her); and a few days before that, the governor of Jenin awarded $2,000 to the family of a Fatah suicide bomber".

"That is all merely in the past two months. The list goes on at nauseating length, documenting the incontrovertible fact that the Palestinian Authority is very much still in the terrorism game — and, it must be added, all while funded by the United States and European governments. The incitement index raises troubling questions: Isn’t it time for Congress to hold hearings on the use of U.S. funds by the Palestinian Authority to promote terrorism?"

Israel Under Attack

If you look at how the media has reported (or not reported - as in the case of the BBC) the massacre of the Fogel Family at Itamar, the terrorist attack near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station ("Dear Reuters, You Must be Kidding") or the daily barrage of rockets raining down on civilians that we are once again facing from Gaza and the initial response of the US administration you will understand that Israel is under attack from all corners. Here is also a link to Bret Stephens outstanding piece in the Wall Street Journal ("Are Israeli Settlers Human?"), with a reference also to the scum British poet, Oxford don and noted Jew-hater, Tom Paulin (you can read more about Paulin, the "Poetaster of Murder" here). 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Video of IDF Capturing Weapons Intended for Gaza

Here is a link to the video of the IDF's capture last week of the "Victoria", carrying advanced weapons intended for ultimate delivery to terrorists in Gaza. 

New Meaning to the Phrase "Edinburgh Festival"

A sort of "Edinburgh Festival" taking place at the Edinburgh University Student Association: the usual university orgy of Antisemitism, Israel and Jew-hatred

Obama Prefers International Organizations Over Congress

This is all consistent with an administration that puts great stock in international organizations and has sought to empower them since taking office. Does anyone remember the statement now President Obama made in December, 2007 when asked in what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? At the time, he said: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation… History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”

As Victor Davis Hanson points out, “At least we can say of our Congress that its members were all elected, which we cannot say of many in the General Assembly and some in the Security Council.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Syria Next?

Too good to be true. Syria could be next? 

Benny Morris Doing Yeoman's Duty

Benny Morris provides an incredible contribution to history - exposing the despicable anti-Zionist Ilan Pappe for the liar that he is. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ha'aretz Reaches New Lows

Even by Ha'aretz's "Israel Can Do No Right" standards, this is a new record, though don't you worry, they will find a way to surpass even this record as well. Here's Ha'aretz Shai Golden tweeting about the Fogel family massacre at Itamar:

"Sex, like settlement, is a violent and intrusive act. It’s a matter of Jews having sex with the earth and discovering in it beauty and holiness. When it comes to both sex and settlers, people are necessarily deviant.”

Martin Peretz, who refers to most of Ha'aretz's writers as "intellectual psychopaths", also rails against Ha'aretz and its coverage of the Itamar massacre.

While David Remnick practically drools over Ha'aretz in this The New Yorker piece, he does provide a few intermittent quotes as to how Ha'aretz is so completely cut off from most of Israeli society:
 


"During the second intifada, Amnon Dankner, who had once worked for Haaretz and now edited Maariv, wrote of his former paper, “Is it wrong to ask of reporters in a country that is in the midst of a difficult war to show a little more empathy for their people and their country?” Ben-Dror Yemeni, the editor of Maarivs opinion page, called (Ha'aretz columnist Gideon) Levy one of the “propagandists for Hamas.” And a popular novelist, Irit Linur, wrote an open letter to the paper, saying, “Haaretz has reached the point where its anti-Zionism has become stupid and evil.” She went on, “I have reached the conclusion that you and I don’t live in the same place. A large and growing proportion of the reports and articles in your newspaper stink of the foreign press, which regards the State of Israel as a different, distant, and repulsive territory.”"

"The paper’s managing editor, Yoel Esteron, wrote an editorial that defended Israel’s decision to act forcefully against terror; Amos Schocken disagreed. “Amos was advocating a far-left approach, an extreme-left approach to the Palestinian problem and many other issues,” Esteron told me."

Verdict: Not Guilty Of Course

I don't think we needed the New York Post or Aaron David Miller to tell us this, but it's always nice to hear.

The Miller piece, "The False Religion of Mideast Peace", published in May/June's 2010 Foreign Policy, is worth reviewing again; he sounds like a man who has given up a cult (something akin to Paul Haggis vs the Church of Scientology - for something completely different, a rather incredible story in the February 14 edition of The New Yorker; don't say that I didn't give you something to read over your weekend...), and his words ring truer now in light of the ongoing events in the Arab world than ever before:

"Like all religions, the peace process has developed a dogmatic creed, with immutable first principles. Over the last two decades, I wrote them hundreds of times to my bosses in the upper echelons of the State Department and the White House; they were a catechism we all could recite by heart. First, pursuit of a comprehensive peace was a core, if not the core, U.S. interest in the region, and achieving it offered the only sure way to protect U.S. interests; second, peace could be achieved, butonly through a serious negotiating process based on trading land for peace; and third, only America could help the Arabs and Israelis bring that peace to fruition."

"Today, I couldn't write those same memos or anything like them with a clear conscience or a straight face. Although many experts' beliefs haven't changed, the region has, and dramatically, becoming nastier and more complex. U.S. priorities and interests, too, have changed. The notion that there's a single or simple fix to protecting those interests, let alone that Arab-Israeli peace would, like some magic potion, bullet, or elixir, make it all better, is just flat wrong. In a broken, angry region with so many problems -- from stagnant, inequitable economies to extractive and authoritarian governments that abuse human rights and deny rule of law, to a popular culture mired in conspiracy and denial -- it stretches the bounds of credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most critical issue, or that its resolution would somehow guarantee Middle East stability."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hillary Looking To Exit?

And if she exits - could she be planning a challenge in 2012? 

From An Israeli Perspective

Israel Channel 2 Arab affairs commentator Ehud Yaari writes about the Arab revolutions from an Israeli perspective

Who's On First?

Abbott and Costello this is not. A satirical look inside the not-at-war room. Or you could go for the real thing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another Campus Horror Story

David Horowitz (Front Page) tells another one of those horror stories of life for Jews on campuses in America. This time at Brooklyn College - another awful place for sensible human beings, not to mention sensible Jews who have not yet been "Finklerized" or victimized by crazy Jewish professors and raving Antisemitic lunatics who now abound in Middle East as well as Jewish Studies programs (I've blogged about Brooklyn College in the past: here and here and here and here). 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This Is Where the Coddling of Palestinians Has Brought Us

Brett Stephens writes a brilliant piece in the Wall Street Journal:

Even worse is that Palestinians have grown accustomed to the waiver the rest of the world has consistently granted them over the years no matter what they do. Palestinians ought to have expectations of themselves if they mean to build a viable state. But their chances of doing so are considerably diminished if the world expects nothing of them and forgives them everything.

I
t is precisely in this sense that the frenzied international condemnation of Israeli settlements and settlers does the most harm. Having been accorded the part of George Orwell's Emmanuel Goldstein—perpetual target of the proverbial two minutes of hate—they have drained whatever capacity there was to hold Palestinian actions to moral account, to say nothing of our ability to understand the nature of a conflict that is more than simply territorial. The demonization of the settlers has made the world not only coarse but blind.

I
 write these words as one who has long entertained doubts about the wisdom and viability of much of the settlement enterprise, though I've never considered it the core issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—a point well borne out by the example of Gaza following Israel's withdrawal.

N
ow I find myself cheering Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for announcing, in the wake of the Fogel family massacre, the construction of hundreds of additional homes in the settlements. Israel's consistent mistake since the peace process began nearly 18 years ago was to suppose that conspicuous displays of reasonableness and moderation would beget likewise on the other side. The reality has been closer to the opposite.

F
or 60 years, no nation has been held to such stringent moral account, or such ceaseless international hectoring, as Israel. And no people has been held to so slight an account as the Palestinians. Redressing that imbalance is the essential first step in finding a solution to the conflict. The grotesque murders of the Fogels and their little children demands nothing less.

"Maybe Israel Ain't Such A Good Idea"

"Maybe Israel ain't a good idea", thinks a founder of J-Street, Daniel Levy. Has J Street really come this far - and so quickly? As Z Street president Lori Lowenthal Marcus writes:


Are we there yet?  Is this clear statement by one of J Street's founders -- that if the Arabs will force Israel to defend herself, then the Jews should abandon the Middle East -- enough to prove that J Street is not "pro-Israel" at all?  Is this confession enough to enable (or force) people to see that it is this belief: that the Jews are simply wrong to defend themselves ever, including against Gazan terrorism or a nuclear Iran, that constitutes the foundation of J Street?

Last fall a blogger found another utterance of Daniel Levy's in which it looked as though he said Israel was a mistake, but one he at least forgave, given the horrors of the Holocaust.  Confronted with this, J Street rushed to argue in the alternative: first, J Street said, Levy didn't really make the statement; his words were misrepresented and taken out of context.  That explanation became non-operative (as the Nixon White House would say), when it turned out that a video of the event was available, so then J Street moved to answer number 2:  Levy isn't an official part of J Street, so he wasn't speaking for J Street when he kinda, sorta did make a statement that sounded as though he thought Israel was a mistake.

In this case, there is no question Levy made the statement.  There is no question he made it at an official J Street event, and it is a direct quote.  The context, of course, matters, and the context is even more damning. 

The Real Apartheid

Where's the outcry against the real Apartheid, asks Khaled Abu-Toameh. We all know the answer to that question. Here are some excerpts:


Mohammed Nabil Taha, an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, died this week at the entrance to a Lebanese hospital after doctors refused to help him because his family could not afford to pay for medical treatment. The tragic case of Taha highlights the plight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who live in impoverished refugee camps in Lebanon and who are the victims of an Apartheid system that denies them access to work, education and medical care.

Why should anyone care about a Palestinian boy who is denied medical treatment by an Arab hospital? This is a story that does not have an anti-Israel angle to it. Can anyone imagine what would have happened if an Israeli hospital had abandoned a boy to die in its parking lot because his father did not have $1,500 to pay for his treatment? The UN Security Council would hold an emergency session and Israel would be strongly condemned and held responsible for the death of the boy.All this is happening at a time when tens of thousands of Palestinian patients continue to benefit from treatments in Israeli hospitals.

Last year alone, some 180,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip entered Israel to receive medical treatment. Many were treated despite the fact that they did not have enough money to cover the bill. In Israel, even a suicide bomber who is -- only! -- wounded while trying to kill Jews is entitled to the finest medical treatment. And there have been many instances where Palestinians who were injured in attacks on Israel later ended up in some of Israel's best hospitals. Lebanon, by the way, is not the only Arab country that officially applies Apartheid laws against Palestinians, denying them the right to receive proper medical treatment and own property.

Just last week it was announced that a medical center in Jordan has decided to stop treating Palestinian cancer patients because the Palestinian Authority has failed to pay its debts to the center. Other Arab countries have also been giving the Palestinians a very hard time when it comes to receiving medical treatment. It is disgraceful that while Israel admits Palestinian patients to its hospitals, Arab hospitals are denying them medical treatment for various reasons, including money. But then one is reminded that Arab dictators do not care about their own people, so why should they pay attention to an 11-year-old boy who is dying at the entrance to a hospital because his father was not carrying $1,500?

But as the death took place in an Arab country – and as the victim is an Arab – why should anyone care about him? Where is the outcry against Arab Apartheid?

Iranian Missiles - Loaded in Syria - Captured by Israeli Navy

The Israeli Navy headed by its vaunted naval commando unit, "Shayetet 13", captured the Liberian-flagged "Victoria", which was carrying Iranian, Chinese-made anti-ship missiles that were likely to have been loaded in Latakia, Syria. Here's an Israeli lieutenant-colonel instructing the Victoria to stop:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leave It to the Beeb

Leave it to the BBC to report the despicable, ghastly murder of parents and 3 young children in the most despicable way possible. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Obviously Getting Nervous About Chris Christie

When the New York Times runs a hatchet job like this, you know that someone is getting nervous about the possibility of Chris Christie running for president in 2012. News an details at 11!

Not What He Thought It Was

President Obama's world is not what he thought it was, as Abe Greenwald explains:

The model of the world Barack Obama held in his mind upon taking office is no more. The states of Europe, with their bottomless entitlement structures, were the ideals. The countries of the Middle East, with their post-colonial resentments, were America’s moral creditors...

Is the president still listening?  What we hear now is that the political and geo-strategic calculations of Barack Obama are obsolete. In 2009, Europe was presented with the tab for the continent-wide spa service it had become. Standing before the abyss of insolvency, leaders instituted sharp austerity measures, which made Europe suddenly look a lot more like America. Tuitions were no longer on the house; retirement ages were raised; and workweeks were extended...At the same time that Barack Obama proposed an international European-style spendathon, Europe discovered thrift and told him to take his gauche prodigality elsewhere. While Germany, the biggest saver of the bunch, slashed its way back to health, the U.S. mountain of debt hit unthinkable new heights...

Europe is not what Obama thought it was; nor is the Muslim world. Nothing so embodies the twin mockery of Obama’s original vision as today’s news that French President Nicolas Sarkozy might soon call for European airstrikes on Muammar Qaddafi’s command headquarters. Decadent, peace-loving Europe is now tightening the belt at home only to beat the U.S. to bombing the bad guys. And for the anti-imperialist Libyans, Western firepower won’t come a moment too soon.

Lest You Forgot

Iran's march towards a nuclear weapon continues...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Turmoil Not Good for Counterterrorism Efforts

One thing about recent turmoil in the Middle East: it creates uncertainty and intelligence and security services are turned inwards to focus on internal unrest. It more certainly upsets relationships that were created over many years to counter terrorism. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ouch! NPR Fund-raising Executives Get Real

This is very painful to watch - especially for those fighting to keep federal funding for NPR intact. I love my KPLU Jazz24 - let's hope that they can escape the stupidity of their parent organization in D.C. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Iranians Still Shopping

The Iranians are still shopping around for their nuclear weapons. I suppose there isn't any better place to do this than in Europe's most anti-Israel country, Norway. 

By Accident or Design?

When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, nothing makes sense

Vogue Not in Vogue

Vogue has not figured out that it's not in vogue - and shouldn't be in Vogue - to celebrate the wives of dictators, especially if that dictator is from a Syrian family with the blood of thousands and more on their hands, as well as being in the same category as North Korea, Burma and Saudi Arabia. Mrs. Assad's $700 Louboutins won't save her, though her private jet might. 

The New Face of Egyptian Democracy

So how's that democracy thing going in Egypt? Apparently not too well for Egypt's Copts. A mob of 4,000 Muslims attacked Coptic homes in villages near Cairo. The incident was triggered by a relationship between a Coptic man and Muslim woman - the father of the woman was apparently killed for not killing his daughter in order to preserve the family's honor.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Choose Someone Else

We are supposedly the Chosen People - but can't these nut cases choose someone else once in awhile? 

Voices from the J Street Conference

Delightful. J Street may be a lot of things, but it's certainly not looking these days very much like a lobbying group

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quiet Please!

Omri Casspi makes the NBA Top 10 (#9) in Monday night's game against the LA Clippers. The announcer actually says "sheket b'vakasha" - quiet please!

A Provocative Act

Of course Hamas and the PA can agree on this: don't teach anything on the Holocaust to Palestinian children. 

The Last Hurrah?

The J Street confab/Israel hate-fest is officially over. Dennis Ross scurried in and scurried out - he made a point of hardly mentioning Israel during his 30-minute talk (smart move) and got out of town before the usual and sundry group of panelists, including Libya specialist Bernard Avishai, heeped scorn on him and the administration.

With its now multiple ethical lapses and making the conference an Israel hate-fest for leading BDS and lawfare activists, J Street has started to dwindle into anti-Israel oblivion - just one more left-wing purportedly "pro-Israel" organization that has not figured out how to meld its ideology with Israel's security and simply being able to differentiate between right and wrong. One more misstep similar to its support of the recent UN Security Council resolution to condemn Israel, which the US (barely) vetoed in the end, and it will no doubt find itself consigned deeped in the dustbin of history - or whenever George Soros and his friends stop funding the organization (whichever comes first). Elliot Jager contributes these thoughts with his piece, "The Last Hurrah":

But what, unadorned, is J Street and what does it advocate? In reality, it is the preeminent Jewish force committed to pushing Israel back to the 1949 armistice lines, no matter what the Palestinians do or do not do. As a registered lobby, moreover, J Street stands apart from other Jewish groups critical of Israel in its ability to raise money and give it away to political candidates who share its peculiar definition of "pro-Israel."

M
aking no substantive demands on the Arabs, J Street blames Israel alone for the breakdown in negotiations between Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority. Claiming to support Israel's right to self-defense, J Street since its founding has opposed every measure Israel has taken to defend its citizens. It is against the security barrier that has kept suicide bombers at bay. It opposed military action to stop Hamas's bombardment of the Negev. It abandoned Israel in the face of the Turkish flotilla frenzy. And it had to be dragged kicking and screaming to embrace even mild congressional sanctions against Iran.

J Street professes to oppose the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. In practice, it has partnered with BDS proponents and shown no scruples about aligning itself with the vociferously anti-Zionist U.S. Council of Churches. Far from repudiating Judge Richard Goldstone's lawfare campaign to enfeeble Israel's right to self-defense, J Street staffers actively promoted Goldstone's appearances in Congress. The organization has even provided cover for the crusade to delegitimize Israel by the UN's so-called "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People."

In fact, one is hard put to discern any policy differences whatsoever between the stated positions of J Street and the Palestinian Authority or the PLO. Both J Street and the PLO oppose any and all Jewish presence beyond the pre-June 1967 borders; like the PLO, moreover, J Street brazenly prodded the Obama administration not to veto the recent UN Security Council resolution branding as illegal any Jewish presence whatsoever over the Green Line—metropolitan Jerusalem included. Both the PLO and J Street (through its partner, the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement) want to abolish the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund. Both oppose Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.