Saturday, March 20, 2010


Hillary Clinton has a selective way of getting insulted.
The Jerusalem Syndrome
by Emmanuel Navon
Tuesday Mar 16, 2010
The Jerusalem Post
Hillary Clinton has a selective way of getting insulted. When Assad received Ahmadinejad in Damascus after the US had sent a new ambassador there, Clinton asked for an explanation and was told to mind her own business. But when the Israeli Housing Ministry announced the construction of additional homes in an existing Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem, Clinton couldn't take it.
The reaction of the international community to the "Ramat Shlomo" affair reveals double-standards, one-sidedness and an ignorance of historical facts.
Double-standards, because in the attempts to rebuild confidence between Israel and the Palestinians, only Israel is expected not to "provoke" the other side. The Palestinians, for their part, get away with everything. True, Biden asked the PA to cancel the inauguration of a square named after Dalal Mughrabi. But the inauguration was only pushed off and the fact is that you did not hear Hillary Clinton or Catherine Ashton scold the Palestinians about this provocation.
Mughrabi led one of the most horrendous terror attacks in Israel's history, perpetrated on 11 March 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians. In December 2009, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to sponsor a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mughrabi's birth. A few months before, Abbas inaugurated a computer center named after Mughrabi. On 11 March 2009, PA television called Mughrabi and her accomplices "heroes." This year, the PA has planned on marking the 11 March event by naming a new square after Mughrabi. Biden happened to be in town on March 11, and so he asked Abbas to spare him the embarrassment (Israel shot itself in the foot by taking care of that).
How exactly is peace supposed to prevail between Israel and the Palestinians if the Palestinian leadership teaches its children that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is an act of heroism worthy of praise? If both Israel and the Palestinians are expected to show that they are sincere about peace, why do the Palestinians get away with teaching their children that killing Israelis is praiseworthy while Israel gets publicly scolded for adding a few apartments to an existing neighborhood that would anyways remain within Israel's jurisdiction in the framework of a peace agreement?
Then there is one-sidedness. By subscribing to the position that Israel is not entitled to build in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, the international community is siding with the Palestinians. East Jerusalem is not an occupied territory. When the British withdrew from their mandate on Palestine in May 1948, they left a legal vacuum behind them. The United Nations General Assembly resolution from November 1947 had recommended that Jerusalem be a corpus separatum, but this resolution (being a General Assembly resolution) was not legally binding, and was rejected by the Arabs anyway. With the signing of the 1949 armistice agreements between Israel and the Arab states that initiated the war, Israel became sovereign de facto in the western part of Jerusalem and Jordan in the eastern part.
Jordan's annexation of east Jerusalem was not recognized by the international community (with the exception of Britain and Pakistan). Its sovereignty there was the result of a war of aggression. Israel's sovereignty after June 1967, by contrast, was the result of a war of self-defense. This difference alone, as argued by former International Court of Justice member Judge Stephen Schwebel, makes Israel's rights and case much stronger than Jordan's. Yet Jordan was never dubbed an "occupier" in east Jerusalem, while Israel is.
In order to be considered "occupied" under international law (and in order for the Fourth Geneva Convention to apply), a territory must have been previously a sovereign country or part of a sovereign country. East Jerusalem was never part of a sovereign country in modern times. Either you consider Jordan's 1949 annexation as illegal and illegitimate, meaning Israel did not conquer sovereign land in 1967, or you do consider Jordan's 1949 annexation as legal and legitimate, meaning Israel's 1967 annexation is even more so since it was the result of a war of self-defense and not of aggression.
It is precisely because Israel did not conquer a sovereign country or part of a sovereign country when it entered the West Bank in 1967, and because Israel crossed an armistice line and not a border, that UN Security Council Resolution 242 calls for an Israeli withdrawal "from territories" (as opposed to "from the territories") conquered during the war, in the framework of a negotiated peace agreement. The Arab position is that Israel must withdraw from "all the territories" and that east Jerusalem is an occupied territory. Israel contests that position on firm legal and historical grounds. By calling Israel's building activities in east Jerusalem "illegal" and "illegitimate" (as opposed to calling the timing of the "Ramat Shlomo" announcement unfortunate), the international community is siding with the Arab position regarding Jerusalem and Resolution 242, and is dismissing Israel's position. In simple English, this is called one-sidedness.
The third and last issue is the ignorance of historical facts. The Economist recently ran an article on Jerusalem ("A city that should be shared," March 6, 2010) that completely ignores the desecration of non-Muslim sites by Jordan and by the PA, and which fails to mention why no agreement was reached on Jerusalem during the 2000 Camp David Summit. When east Jerusalem was under Jordanian control between 1949 and 1967, Jews were not allowed to pray at the Western Wall; fifty-eight synagogues and Jewish schools were destroyed in the Old City; and the Jewish cemetery of the Mount of Olives was systematically desecrated. After the PA gained control over the Waqf from Jordan in 1996, it engaged in acts of archeological vandalism under the Temple Mount, trying to erase any remnants of the two Jerusalem Temples.
The PA built two huge mosques under the Temple Mount: one in 1996 (the "Solomon's Stables" mosque), and one in 1999 (the "Al-Aqsa Al-Qadim" mosque). In both cases, the PA-controlled Wakf removed tens of thousands of tons of archeological rubble containing artifacts dating back to the First Temple period. The PA has also desecrated and partially destroyed the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus and the ancient Jericho synagogue.
By contrast, Israel is on record for preserving the integrity of all the Muslim sites that came under its jurisdiction in 1967 and for guaranteeing freedom of access to Muslim worshipers. In the 1970s and 1980s there was this ceremonial at UNESCO, where Muslim countries would ask the organization to look into Israel's alleged "desecrations" of Muslim sites; but those allegations were systematically rebuffed by UNESCO's own archeological expert (Prof. Raymond Lemaire) who actually praised Israel for its treatment of Muslim religious sites.
This is a strong argument against the division of Jerusalem: Israel is the only country that has shown (and continues to show) respect for Muslim and Christian holy sites, while the Palestinians have destroyed and desecrated (and continue to do so) Jewish and even Christian sites (In April 2002, during Operation Defensive Shield, Palestinian terrorists used the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem as a refuge and committed acts of vandalism there). But there is also the reason why recent attempts to share Jerusalem during peace negotiations have failed: The Palestinians refuse to even recognize Israel's connection to Jewish holy sites.
At Camp David in 2000, the Israeli delegation agreed to share Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem with a future Palestinian state. The United States even went so far as to suggest Palestinian custodianship over the Temple Mount and full Palestinian sovereignty in the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City. The deal faltered only when the Palestinians rejected the American proposal in favor of full Palestinian sovereignty over all parts of Jerusalem conquered by Israel in June 1967, including the Temple Mount itself. To this, then-prime minister Ehud Barak replied that Israel's sovereignty over the Temple Mount was "the Archimedes point of our existence." In response, the Palestinians claimed that no Jewish Temple had ever existed in Jerusalem and denied any connection between Israel and the Temple Mount altogether.
Considering the position of the Palestinian side, further negotiation on the matter of the Temple Mount might have seemed pointless. Nevertheless, even after the failed summit, Israel suggested division of sovereignty over the Temple Mount whereby a future Palestinian state would control the upper level, and Israel the lower one. In December 2000, then-Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami even offered the Palestinians full and exclusive sovereignty over the Temple Mount (including the lower level), provided merely that the Palestinians recognize the site's holiness to the Jewish people and prevent the destruction of Jewish remnants on the Temple Mount. Yet even that proposal was rejected by the Palestinians.
By applying double-standards to Israel and the Palestinians on the question of confidence building measures, by publicly supporting the Palestinian position and dismissing Israel's on the legal status of Jerusalem, and by ignoring the record of Israel and of the Palestinians regarding the treatment of the holy places of other faiths, the international community is convincing Israel that setting facts on the ground seems indeed to be the only way for Israel to remain sovereign in its capital.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

by Gerald A. Honigman
Adar 26, 5770, 12 March 10 06:49
As someone who has done some work himself on some thirty-five million stateless Kurds, who have been repeatedly used and abused by numerous parties for quite some time now, let me say that you, Vice President Biden, stand out as a source of relative reason and knowledge among your colleagues. You are to be commended for your concern about these people. Too often, they have been betrayed by Washington folks--big time.
My own work on this subject is listed on the recommended reference list of .the Institut d'Etudes Politiques if you want to find out more:
However, perhaps you can explain why tens of millions of truly stateless Kurds still have no "roadmap, " while folks like yourself expect Israel to cave in to all that Arabs demand for the creation of their own 22nd state--and 2nd, not first, one within the borders of the original mandate of Palestine as Great Britain received it on April 25, 1920. So-called "Palestinians," the entrance of most of whom into the Mandate from elsewhere is well-documented, are Arabs. Should Kurds rename themselves and demand not one, but multiple states as well, using this same game plan?
You probably already know this, which makes the hypocrisy which you either indulge in or go along with regardless, worse.
Joe, you've recently returned from the Middle East after blasting Jews for building on land that they have called home since the days of the Pharaohs.
Judeans (Jews) lived and owned land in Judea (the West Bank) clear up to the 1920s and 1930s--when Arabs massacred them. After Arab Transjordan (formed in 1922 from some 80% of the original Palestine Mandate) seized the west bank of the Jordan River when it joined other Arab states in attacking a reborn Israel in 1948, it formally made Judea Judenrein.
Mr. Vice President, I hate bullies...don't you?
I know that you're merely carrying out your boss's orders here, but that's no excuse..
I also know that you like to call yourself "pro-Israel," for a number of reasons, fundraising and so forth. And, compared to your boss, you seem to be relatively so.
Joe, I don't want you to be "pro"-Israel.
I just don't want you to expect the sole state of the Jews to prostrate itself to those who would place it in a vise because it refuses to accept all that you want to shove down its throat.
Please tell me why it's okay for Americans to own Samoa, have virtual if not actual control of the Panama Canal Zone, etc.; for the Brits to fight a war off the coast of Argentina for London's imperialist claim to the Falkland Islands; etc. and so forth, but an Israel, practically invisible on a school globe, is chastised because it demands that the compromise promised to it via UNSC Resolution 242 after the June '67 war still hold.
Here's what a few wise people had to say about this, since this is what the issue about Israel building in those very locales you guys are now complaining about is all about:.
Britain's Lord Caradon, one of the key architects of the final draft of 242:
" We didn't say that there should be withdrawl to the '67 lines; we did not put the word "the" in; we did not say "all of the territories" deliberately (when discussing eventual withdrawal, in the contect of true treaties of peace, not ceasefires)...We all knew that the boundaries ('49 armistice lines) of '67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, that they were merely ceasefire lines of a couple of decades earlier...We did not say that those ( pre-) '67 boundaries must be forever."
President Lyndon Johnson June 19, 1967:
" A return to the situation on June 4 (the day before the outbreak of hostilities) was not a prescription foir peace, but for renewed hostilities."
President Ronald Reagan, September 1, 1982:
" In the pre-'67 borders, Israel was barely 10-miles wide...the bulk of Israel's population within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again."
Secretary of State George Shultz, 1988:
" Israel will never negotiate from nor return to the '67 borders."
Many others understood all the above as well--the need for a reasonable territorial compromise--including America's last leader, President George W. Bush. He spelled this out in letters given to Israel during its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, yet another test that Arabs would soon flunk with flying colors.
The Obama Administration acts as if none of the above matters and/or even exists.
In well-documented reports, Mr. Vice President, you used the same bully tactics with the late Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, back in 1982-- banging on the desk with your fists and so forth, to try to intimidate him into relinquishing his nation's barest security needs to American "no friends, just interests" policies.

Israel must not cave in here.
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion Airport, Haifa, the Knesset, and so forth will be the next targets of Arabs in the aftermath of another Israeli unilateral withdrawal--as Sderot, Ashkelon, and less populated points south were after the Gaza withdrawal. And this time the Jews will have a well-trained, well-equipped Arab army, partly courtesy of the Obama Administration, facing them after Israel is forced to return to its 9-15 mile wide, pre-'67 existence.
Have you ever banged on the table or threatened Arabs over their far worse murderous, rejectionist attitudes and total intransigence?
To this day, even so called "moderate" latter day Arafatian buddies of Abbas's Fatah insist that they will never recognize Israel as a state of the Jews. And they talk still of Trojan Horse ceasefires...not real treaties of peace with kilab yahud, Jew Dogs.
Here's how this translates:
It's fine with you and your friends for Arabs to call the almost two dozen states they already possess "Arab" (members of the Arab league, etc.)--despite tens of millions of non-Arabs who have been conquered and forcibly Arabized (going on to this very day) who still live those "Arab" states--but how dare Jews, one half of whose families in Israel fled "Arab"/Muslim lands, claim their tiny, resurrected one.
Peace--real peace, not that of the grave, the one which Arabs still have in store for Israel--will never come by forcing a miniscule Israel to forsake its minimal security needs in return for promises by Arabs which can (and will) be broken tomorrow.
When peace is made between enemies, for it to last (learn the lesson of what happened regarding Germany after World War I), a reasonable compromise addressing the needs of both parties to the conflict must be reached. No one side gets all that it wants at the expense of the other. That only gives rise to problems down the road.
Taking the lead from President Obama himself, Arabs have simply stated--repeatedly and recently--that their obligation in "negotiations" (i.e.,arm-twisting) will be to simply receive, while Israel will do all of the concrete giving.
To them, whether the bad cops of Hamas or the Washington whitewashed good cops of Abbas, Israel owes nothing.

Israel - not Apartheid

Khaled Abu Toameh

An Arab member of the Knesset who goes all the way to the US and Canada to tell university students and professors that Israel is an apartheid state is not only a hypocrite and a liar, but is also causing huge damage to the interests of his own Arab voters and constituents.
If Israel were an apartheid state, what is this Arab doing in the Knesset? Doesn't apartheid mean that someone like this Knesset member would not, in the first place, even be permitted to run in an election?
Fortunately, Arab citizens can go to the same beaches, restaurants and shopping malls as Jews in this "apartheid" state. Moreover, they can run in any election and even have a minister in the government [Ghaleb Majadlah] for the first time.
In this "apartheid" state, the Arab community has a free media that many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip envy. Ironically, an Arab newspaper in Nazareth or Haifa that is licensed by Israel enjoys more freedom than the media controlled by Hamas and Fatah, as well as most corrupt Arab dictatorships.
Ironically, this Knesset member who is complaining about apartheid enjoys more privileges than most Jews and Arabs in Israel. As a parliamentarian, he is entitled to do many things that an ordinary citizen cannot do, thanks largely to the immunity he enjoys as an elected official.
His parliamentary immunity allows him to enter areas that ordinary Jewish and Arab citizens do not have access to. This Knesset member, for example, travels to the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories which, for many years, have been off-limits to ordinary Israeli citizens.
This Knesset member also can sometimes even break the law by visiting "hostile" countries like Syria and Lebanon and holding public meetings with Hamas and Hizbullah leaders.
True, the Arab community inside Israel has long been facing real problems that need to be dealt with urgently. The main problem was and remains discrimination by the establishment, especially when it comes to employment, infrastructure and allocation of public funds and lands.
Nonetheless, the Arab citizens are not struggling for separation from Israel. Rather, they are fighting for integration, equality and better services and treatment. The Arab citizens are happy to live in Israel, where they have always had an average of 10 representatives in the Knesset.
By denouncing Israel as an apartheid state, the Knesset member who flew to North America is actually helping those who are trying to avoid the real problem: Discrimination. By focusing on the issue of apartheid, he is actually diverting attention from the real problem and betraying the interests of his own people.
The Arab citizens of Israel would like to see their representatives sitting in parliament and fighting for equality and better services for the Arab sector than participating in Israel Apartheid Week at a university in Ottowa or Toronto.
It is hard to understand how the participation of an Arab Knesset member in Israel Apartheid Week on a university campus in the US or Canada helps the cause of the 1.4 million Arab citizens of Israel. In fact, this could cause damage to the Arab citizens and their battle against discrimination.
The Arab Knesset member's presence on these campuses plays into the hands of those Israelis who accuse the Arab citizens, the majority of whom remain loyal to the state, of being a "fifth column" and an "enemy from within." The more the Jews are afraid of their fellow Arab citizens, the more the latter will suffer.
The best way to undermine radicals like this Knesset member is by offering the Arab citizens equal services and full rights. Yes, Israel is not an apartheid state. But Israel must wake up and start dealing seriously with the problems of the Arab minority before it is too late.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Glory for terrorists? Role models for children?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dalal Mughrabi helped kill 38 innocent men, women and children in Israel. Palestinians named a square after her.

By Ron Kehrmann, Yossi Mendelevich and Yossi Zur

March 17, 2010

Vice President Joe Biden took umbrage last week when Israel announced during his visit that it had approved new housing construction in East Jerusalem. But another contentious incident that took place during Biden's visit got far less scrutiny.

March 11 marked the 32nd anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel's history, and this year the Palestinian Authority decided to honor the 19-year-old leader of the attack, Dalal Mughrabi, by naming a square in a town outside Ramallah after her. The commemoration was scheduled for the anniversary.

The official ceremony was ultimately canceled to avoid antagonizing Biden during his visit, but the square was nevertheless named for Mughrabi, and several dozen Palestinian students from President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement gathered in her honor for an unofficial dedication.

So what was the deed that deserved this commemoration? On a Saturday in March 1978, the squad of Palestinian terrorists led by Mughrabi entered Israel by boat from Lebanon and made their way to the main road between Haifa and Tel Aviv. By day's end, they had murdered 38 innocent men, women and children.

The first person Mughrabi and her gang of terrorists encountered was Gale Rubin, an American photojournalist taking photos of birds near the beach. They killed her and continued on their deadly path.

They then hijacked a bus full of happy families returning from a Saturday excursion. On their way to Tel Aviv, the terrorists shot at passing cars and killed more innocent people.

The terrorists tied all the men's hands to the bus seats. When Israeli security forces stopped the bus, the terrorists ran out while throwing hand grenades into the bus, setting it on fire. The men inside were burned alive.

The three of us writing this article each have experience with Palestinian terrorists. Seven years ago this month, on March 5, 2003, our children were killed by a Palestinian suicide murderer who exploded the bomb he was carrying on a city bus in Haifa. Seventeen people, mostly children on their way home from school, were killed.

Our children were just beginning their lives when that bomb exploded. Tal Kehrmann was 18 years old. Yuval Mendelevich was 13 1/2 . Asaf Zur was almost 17 years old.

We don't believe people who murder children should be held up as heroes. Though the official Ramallah ceremony was canceled, Mughrabi's name will remain on that square. And she is already commemorated in Hebron, where a girls school is named after her.

What message is the Palestinian Authority trying to send to the Palestinian people, especially to the children growing up under its rule? These children are taught to hate Israelis and Jews and to disrespect their own lives.

When the mother of the suicide murderer who killed our children heard about the attack her son committed, she refused to wear customary black clothes because she thought his death should be celebrated rather than mourned. She wore everyday clothes and served her guests candies. How can a mother hate our children more than she loves her own?

How can terrorists use children as human shields in fire exchanges? Where are the parents, teachers, community leaders?

How does a society have a suicide-murderer waiting list of 500 young Palestinians wanting to kill themselves along with Israelis, as was the case during the worst days of the second intifada, when a terror attack occurred almost daily?

The answers lie in years of brainwashing, which starts at a very young age, through education and religious television channels, mosque prayers and lessons that make people believe that death is better than life; that killing innocent people, without distinction, will improve Palestinian life.

The answers are rooted in years of glorifying the murderers, putting their posters on streets, giving their families money and respect, and yes, in naming city squares after them.

Dalal Mughrabi came into Israel 32 years ago this month with one intention: to kill Israelis, randomly, as many as possible. In most countries, she would be condemned for eternity. In today's Palestinian society, she is a heroine.

Israelis want a genuine peace with our neighbors. But as long as Palestinian society glorifies terrorists and murderers such as Mughrabi and the ones who killed our three children, we cannot believe that Palestinians are ready to live in peace with us.

Ron Kehrmann, a former Olympic swimmer, owns a print shop in Haifa. Yossi Mendelevich is a retired engineer in Tel Aviv. Yossi Zur is a software engineer in Haifa. All three work with projects to protect children from terrorism.

A Middle East Without American Influence?That's the logical outcome of the Obama administration's current policies.

The prospect of the US losing its influence in the Middle East is real enough and frightening enough. It is the goal of the Iranian government, and so far they have won every round in the fight. In Lebanon - a knockout. In Iraq, they are winning on points as they are in Gaza, and when they explode their first nuclear device, Iran will have won another knockout victory.  
On the other hand, Lee Smith goes a bit far here:
... victory does not always go to the smartest -- or even to those who have the most airplanes, the most military bases, and the best technology. It goes to those who do not hesitate to impose their wills on the world in order to reshape it to their liking.
Wasn't that the basic philosophy of Saddam Hussein, and likewise of Adolf Hitler? It didn't work out too well for them.
Ami Isseroff
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar al-Assad
Last week, one of Syria's government news organs riffed on the title of my book The Strong Horse; Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations. "The American president," Al Tharwa wrote, "was betting on the sick horse." Instead of siding with Syria's Hamas allies, Obama was backing the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas. From Damascus' perspective, the description also applies to the United States' other Arab allies, like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms, as well as to Egypt and Jordan. These states are ready to be put out to pasture, while it is Iran's "axis of resistance," including Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as Syria itself, that represents the rising power.
OK, maybe the regime in Damascus hasn't actually read my book. I lifted the title from Osama Bin Laden, anyway. "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse," said Bin Laden, "by nature, they will like the strong horse." But the Syrian appraisal confirms my thesis—in the Middle East, political power is the prerogative of those who take it and maintain it by both the appearance and application of force. In this instance, unfortunately, what's good for my book is very bad for U.S. interests and allies—and for American citizens.
As it turns out, the Syrians have a point. Saudi Arabia has the world's largest known oil reserves, and Egypt is the most populous Arab state, but they are no longer regional powerhouses, at least in the way the Arabic-speaking Middle East has typically registered power over the last 60-plus years—that is, as willingness to fight Israel. Cairo and Amman have peace treaties with Israel, the Palestinian Authority is involved in an on-again-off-again peace process, while Riyadh has opted to remain on the sidelines. This collective weakness is just the way that Washington ordained it four decades ago.
In the middle of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, Henry Kissinger airlifted arms shipments to Israel in order to guarantee an Israeli victory that for a time had seemed uncertain. Kissinger's strategic intention was to show the Arabs that as long as Washington stood behind Israel, there was no way they could ever defeat the Jewish state. If they wanted concessions from Israel, they would have to petition the Americans for it, a prerogative that made Washington not merely a great power but a power broker. By breaking the Arabs, the United States made itself the regional strong horse.

Of course, with those arms shipments, Kissinger meant to drive home another lesson as well, this one to Israel—in effect, that Washington held the power of life and death over the Jewish state and that Israeli leaders had best keep in line. This arrangement—Israeli strength and Arab weakness—secured what some have called the Pax Americana of the Middle East. After Egyptian President Anwar Sadat jumped from the Soviet side to the American one after the '73 war, our regional hegemony was never again seriously contested—until now.
The new catch phrase in the Middle East is strategic realignment. Broadly speaking, this means that the balance of power is shifting from the U.S.-backed regional order to the axis of resistance. Some commentators, like Robert Malley, have argued alongside the Syrians that the Obama administration should drop its old allies—the sick horse—for new friends among the axis of resistance. From a certain perspective, it appears that the White House has done just that, albeit unintentionally.
When the Obama administration promised to engage the adversaries that the Bush White House had isolated, U.S. allies followed the strong horse's lead and also changed course. Most notably, the Saudis patched things up with the Syrians after five years of intra-Arab discord. Riyadh pushed its Lebanese allies to reconcile with Damascus, and with Beirut's pro-democracy and pro-United States March 14 movement now all but dead, Washington no longer has a Lebanese ally. When President Barack Obama indicated that the most important thing concerning Iraq was to withdraw U.S. forces, the Syrians and Saudis found a shared interest in attacking Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Even as Maliki, his Iraqi security officials, and Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, explained that the Syrians were behind a series of mega-terror attacks in Baghdad, the White House hushed them up for fear that identifying Syria as responsible for the attacks would jeopardize its efforts to engage Damascus. It is lost on no one in the region that Washington left two allies out on their own. But it gets worse.
Some U.S. commentators have praised the Obama administration's recent condemnation of Israel for announcing, during Vice President Joe Biden's visit, that it intended to build 1,600 apartment units in East Jerusalem. The White House's response, they argue, sends a strong message that Washington won't be bullied. In the Middle East, however, there is nothing that reeks so much of weakness as beating up on an ally in public. Moreover, this tongue-lashing comes shortly after the White House swallowed the open taunts of its adversaries. At a recent Damascus banquet featuring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah, and Hamas' Khaled Meshaal, Syrian President Bashar Assad openly mocked Secretary Hillary Clinton. He joked that he had misunderstood her demands that Syria distance itself from Iran, so instead, said Assad, he was waiving visa requirements for visitors from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Of course, Washington shaming Israel will please the Arabs—even U.S. allies like Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Cairo, Egypt, that cheered on Jerusalem when it took on Iran's assets Hezbollah and Hamas. Remember, the Arabs have been compelled by the American strong horse to swallow their pride for decades. But given that Arabs do not air their own dirty laundry for fear it will make them look weak, our public humiliation of an ally will earn us only contempt.
But here's the most important thing: Even if you discount the centrality of shame and honor as operative principles in the Middle East, the Obama administration has blundered by jeopardizing not Israel's stature but our own regional interests and the Pax Americana that has been ours over the last 35 years. Our position in the region depends on every actor there knowing that we back Israel to the hilt and that they are dependent on us. Sure, there are plenty of times we will not see eye-to-eye on things—differences that should be resolved in quiet consultations—but should any real distance open up between Washington and Jerusalem, that will send a message that the U.S.-backed order of the region is ready to be tested. And that's exactly what the axis of resistance is seeing right now.
The recent U.S.-Israeli contretemps is not about progress on the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. It is about Iran. The Obama administration has all but announced that it has resigned itself to an Iranian nuclear program and that it is moving toward a policy of containment and deterrence. We will extend a nuclear umbrella to protect our Arab allies in the Gulf, says Secretary of State Clinton, and we will continue to give Israel security guarantees. And, anyway, says Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, the Iranians are probably years away from building a deployable nuclear weapon. In rattling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cage, the Obama administration was warning Israel not even to contemplate an attack on Iran.
Of course, really effective deterrence would require us to make sure that our Israeli allies were perceived as highly volatile and unpredictable actors who might just take matters into their own hands and bomb Iran's nuclear sites. That scenario would have a better chance of cornering Iran and its allies, compelling them to seek relief from us, the rational senior partner. Instead, we've just pulled off the strategic equivalent of beating our pit bull on a street corner to show the neighborhood tough guys that we mean business.
President Obama is not intentionally trying to sacrifice our position in the energy-rich and strategically vital Middle East, but his policies may well lead to that. Strategic realignment doesn't just mean that Washington gets to trade in one set of allies for another. It means that the American order of the region will be superseded by a new order in which we will play a secondary role at best. More likely, as Ahmadinejad and Assad say, it will mean a Middle East without American influence.
Such a prospect is not impossible, for victory does not always go to the smartest—or even to those who have the most airplanes, the most military bases, and the best technology. It goes to those who do not hesitate to impose their wills on the world in order to reshape it to their liking. It goes to the strong horse. Who is the sick horse? From the perspective of our adversaries, that would be us.

EDITORIAL: Mrs. Clinton's hissy fit


was shown by America's chief diplomat


It says a lot when Vice President Joe Biden comes across as the Obama administration's most skilled statesman. Last week during a visit to Israel, Mr. Biden was caught off-guard by an announcement that work would progress on 1,600 apartment units in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, a Jewish enclave in the northern part of the city claimed by Palestinians. This faux pas could have ended civilly. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the bad timing of the announcement, and Mr. Biden reiterated the strength of the relationship between the two countries. Life should have gone on.

Instead, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in close coordination with President Obama, called Mr. Netanyahu and launched a 45-minute telephone tirade. White House senior adviser David Axelrod declared Sunday that the announcement was an "insult" and an "affront" and that resolving this issue was "important for our own security." The Obama administration is demanding the Ramat Shlomo project be cancelled or peace talks cannot continue. Meanwhile, Palestinians - emboldened by the White House chastising Israel - are rioting in the streets.

This absurd crisis is both a mark of the Obama administration's frustration with its unsuccessful efforts at reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace framework and the O Force's general lack of foreign affairs acumen.

Israel's announcement last week was hardly provocative. This project has been on the drawing board since 2008. And compare the atmospherics to January. After meeting with American special envoy George Mitchell, Mr. Netanyahu went to the Gush Etzion settlement and said, "Our message is clear: We are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here, this place will be an inseparable part of the State of Israel for eternity." If that did not put a bee in Mrs. Clinton's bonnet, why should this?

The linkage between construction in Jerusalem and U.S. security is also slim. Mr. Biden told Mr. Netanyahu, "What you're doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan." This argument apparently emerged in January when senior officers from U.S. Central Command briefed Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, conveying the sense of Arab states that the U.S. inability to move Israel on this and other issues made America appear weak.

It's hard to see how throwing a hissy fit like this will make the United States appear strong. Publicly berating an ally while reaching out the hand of friendship to terrorist sponsors like Iran and Syria doesn't inspire confidence. These countries give material support and sanctuary to insurgents in Iraq who kill American troops; maybe they deserve a few angry phone calls as well.

In July, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin revealed that Qatar-based Egyptian Sheikh Yousuf Qaradawi gave $21 million to a Hamas-controlled group to build houses in Jerusalem. Mr. Qaradawi believes that suicide terror attacks are "evidence of God's justice." In a Jan. 9, 2009, sermon that aired on Al Jazeera, he said, "Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."

Nice folks the Obama administration is siding with. Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize should have gone to Joe Biden.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Holocaust Inversion: The Portraying of Israel and Jews as Nazis1

Manfred Gerstenfeld

  • The false accusation of Holocaust inversion-the portraying of Israel, Israelis, and Jews as Nazis-is a major distortion of history. This anti-Semitic concept claims that Israel behaves against the Palestinians as Germany did to the Jews in World War II. "The victims have become perpetrators," is one major slogan of the inverters. By shifting the moral responsibility for genocide, Holocaust inversion also contains elements of Holocaust denial.
  • Holocaust inverters come from many circles. A large number are Arabs or other Muslims. Others come from the extreme Left in the West. A variety of Western mainstream public figures have made Holocaust-inversion statements, including politicians, academics, authors, as well as the occasional Jew or Israeli.
  • The portrayal of Israelis and Jews as Nazis occurs in speech, writing, and the visual media, also including cartoons, graffiti, and placards. It employs sinister characterizations, Nazi symbols, and sometimes takes the form of genocidal terminology to describe Israel's actions.
  • The motivations of the Holocaust inverters are manifold. Some aim at the destruction of Israel and seek to lay the infrastructure for its moral delegitimization through demonization. Some are extreme pro-Arabs, others anti-Semites. Yet others know little about the Holocaust, the Nazis, and contemporary Israel. For Europeans it is also an effective way to cover up for Holocaust crimes of their countries and expunge guilt by claiming that what was done by the Nazi perpetrators and their many collaborators is a common phenomenon and by now is practiced by Israelis and Jews.
  • Contemporary followers and admirers of Nazi methods can mainly be found in the Muslim world, but are also present in Europe and elsewhere. Prewar Palestinian Arab actors had links to Nazi Germany. Examples are the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jerusalem mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini. After World War II, many Nazis fled to Egypt and served in its propaganda apparatus. In particular, current Egyptian but also Palestinian propaganda dates back to this era.


In recent years the attempts to manipulate the history and memory of the Holocaust have greatly increased. For several decades there has been much focus on Holocaust denial. Misrepresentations regarding the Holocaust, however, involve many other aspects as well. The number of these false mutations of Holocaust history is expanding. Related to these is the promotion of a second Holocaust through the destruction of Israel. Mutations include Holocaust universalization and banalization, that is, comparing real or supposed misbehavior in contemporary society to what happened in the Holocaust.    

The focus here will be on another major distortion of the Shoah, namely, Holocaust inversion, or portraying Israelis and Jews as Nazis. This anti-Semitic concept claims that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians as Germany did to the Jews in World War II. "The victims have become perpetrators," is one major slogan of the inverters.

Holocaust inverters come from many circles. A large number are Arabs or other Muslims. Many others come from the extreme Left in the West. A variety of Western mainstream public figures have made Holocaust-inversion statements, including politicians, academics, authors, as well as the occasional Jew or Israeli. 


Definitions of Anti-Semitism

Natan Sharansky, when he was the Israeli minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora affairs, developed a simple formula that he called the "3D test" to help distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism: demonization, double standards, and delegitimization.

Sharansky included the portrayal of Israel as a Nazi state within his definition of "demonization": "When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel's actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz-this is antisemitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel."2

By 2001 Prof. Irwin Cotler, who later became Canada's justice minister, explicitly identified the anti-Semitic character of Holocaust inversion. He pointed to several relatively new aspects of anti-Semitism such as calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, the portrayal of Israel as a Nazi state, and the discriminatory treatment of Israel through denial of equality before the law.3 


The EUMC Working Definition of Anti-Semitism

In its 2004 report on anti-Semitism, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) noted the lack of a common characterization of anti-Semitism. This led to the EUMC working definition, which has subsequently been widely accepted.4 It states: "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.... In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity."

The document that contains this working definition also offers examples of contemporary anti-Semitism. One of these is: "Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust."5

This text also states that "criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic." It lists examples of how anti-Semitism can manifest itself toward Israel:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel . . . .
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.6

The core motif of classic anti-Semitism was that Jews embody the most extreme malevolence. During the postwar era, the Nazi regime has become the paradigm for absolute evil. Comparing Israel's conduct to its actions is a new mutation of this ancient theme.

As anti-Semitism historian Robert Wistrich put it:

"anti-Zionists" who insist on comparing Zionism and the Jews with Hitler and the Third Reich appear unmistakably to be de facto anti-Semites, even if they vehemently deny the fact! This is largely because they knowingly exploit the reality that Nazism in the postwar world has become the defining metaphor of absolute evil. For if Zionists are "Nazis" and if Sharon really is Hitler, then it becomes a moral obligation to wage war against Israel. That is the bottom line of much contemporary anti-Zionism. In practice, this has become the most potent form of contemporary anti-Semitism.7

French linguist Georges-Elia Sarfati points out that the term anti-Zionism was pioneered by the Soviet Union's Information Ministry after the Six Day War. Researching the matter, he found that the word did not appear in dictionaries until the 1970s. He observes that "a number of key equations dominate the anti-Zionist discourse. The master one-which transversally commands all others-is 'Zionism equals Nazism.'... the anti-Zionist propaganda conveys that you have only to be against, for instance against Nazism-and who is not?-to be an anti-Zionist."

Historian Joel Fishman asserts that "inversion of reality" constitutes the basic principle of current anti-Israeli propaganda, noting:

One of its most frequent expressions has been the accusation that the Jewish people, victims of the Nazis, have now become the new Nazis, aggressors and oppressors of the Palestinian Arabs. Contemporary observers have identified this method and described it as an "inversion of reality," an "intellectual confidence trick," "reversing moral responsibility," or "twisted logic." Because Israel's enemies have, for nearly half a century, repeated such libels without being challenged, they have gradually gained credence.9

American historian Deborah Lipstadt has also pointed out this method of establishing a fraudulent proposition as a historical truth. She says about the historical writer and Holocaust-denier David Irving: "Irving realized that a pre-condition for Nazism's resurrection was to strip and wash it of its worst elements. The first important tool to accomplish this was the creation of immoral equivalencies, essentially a balance of bad behavior."10 

The article continues....... Please read the remainder here:


Editorial: The Spanish disease

How is Israel to cope with the Spanish challenge? Obviously, Ambassador Shotz cannot brave it alone.

A virulently anti-Israel tribunal likened to a "lynching" by the Israeli Embassy in Madrid is the most recent in a spate of anti-Semitic incidents instigated by Spaniards. This flurry of attacks on Israel has caused us to pause and ask, What is happening on the Iberian peninsula and what can we do to combat it?

Gathering at the beginning of this month in Barcelona, which in the 13th century hosted one of Jewish history's most illustrious communities, the tribunal, which did not include a representative of Israel, was tasked with examining "on what level the European Union and its member states are complicit in... violations on the part of Israel of the rights of the nation of Palestine."

The Israeli Embassy said it was no coincidence that the "Rusell Tribunal," named after British philosopher Bertrand Russell, was held in Spain and that it was funded by Barcelona's city hall, noting the "worrying situation of anti-Semitism" in the country.

At the end of February, meanwhile, the embassy received dozens of postcards written by Spanish schoolchildren with messages such as "Jews kill for money," "Leave the country to the Palestinians" and "Go somewhere where they will accept you."

And in mid-February, Ambassador to Spain Rafi Shotz protested the display of two pieces of art at the International Art Fair in Madrid with virulently anti-Israel messages. One is a sculpture of a menorah sprouting from the barrel of an Uzi sub-machine gun. The other is a highly realistic polyurethane sculpture of a hassid standing on the shoulders of a Catholic priest who is kneeling on a prostrate Muslim worshiper, called "Stairway to Heaven."

In an interview with El Pais, Catalan artist Eugenio Merino, who made both sculptures, defended his art with the claim that "Stairway to Heaven" has been bought by a Belgian Jew for €45,000.

Ambassador Shotz, who was verbally assaulted last year with epithets such as "dirty Jew," "Jew bastard" and "Jew murderer" when he and his wife returned from a soccer game accompanied by police, chose not to demand the removal of the displays, fearing it would spark additional anti-Semitic incidents.

Spain has a long, infamous history of anti-Semitism that pre-dates the Inquisition. For centuries after the 1492 Expulsion, Spaniards enforced the ban against Jews setting foot on Spanish soil. Francisco Franco's fascist, pro-Arab dictatorship that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975 stoked anti-Israel sentiments.

Now the left-wing prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, is aligned with anti-globalization activists whose agenda includes strong anti-Israel sentiments. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Zapatero, with a keffiyeh thrown around his neck, told a group of young socialists that "no one should defend themselves with abusive force which does not protect innocent human beings."

A year earlier, he was quoted as saying that "someone might justify the Holocaust."

Zapatero, who took power in a surprise election victory following Islamist train bombings in Madrid in 2004 and immediately pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq, was reelected in 2008. In September 2009, the Anti-Defamation League published a report titled "Polluting the Public Square: Anti-Semitic Discourse in Spain" in which it expressed concern over viciously anti-Semitic cartoons and articles in Spain's mainstream media, and opinion polls conducted over the preceding year showing an alarming rise in anti-Semitic attitudes. All this is in a country with no more than 30,000 Jews out of a population of almost 47 million.

How is Israel to cope with the Spanish challenge? Obviously, Ambassador Shotz cannot brave it alone. Nor can we expect tremendous results from Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein's new idea to conscript ordinary Israelis, who happen to be traveling abroad, to fight the PR fight, no matter how much we arm them with the "tools and tips."

A positive start would be to streamline PR. It makes no sense to disperse responsibility among the Foreign Ministry, the IDF Spokesman's Office, the Government Press Office and Edelstein's new project, not to mention the apparatus Ehud Olmert established in the Prime Minister's Office, as well as a new grouping being overseen by Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon.

Even the best public diplomacy, of course, however,  will not eradicate ingrained Spanish anti-Semitism. That's a challenge for Spain to meet.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Further persecution of Kurds by the Belgian government

Belgium's Incomprehensible war against the Kurds on behalf of the Turks continues.

On Sunday 1.30 am the Belgian Police Forces raided the house of another Kurdish journalist and the human rights activist Shamzin Cihani.

During a short phone conversation with her family that took place at 6, 00 am Ms. Cihani told her family that she has no idea about her arrest. She claimed that she was ill-treated and humiliated by the cops during their raid of her house.

The Belgian Police Forces have initiated a serial of raids against the Kurdish community workers, human rights activists as well as the Kurdish journalists. Among the places raided were the Kurdish National Congress and the Kurdish national ROJ-TV. During the raid of ROJ_TV all the broadcasting equipments were crushed and the damages done are estimated around 1,200,000 Euros.