Wednesday, September 30, 2009

who is more pro Israel than Huckabee?

September 2009—Issue #224
Principles Over Politics
By Herbert Zweibon
On his recent trip to Israel former Arkansas governor (and Republican Presidential Contender against McCain) Mike Huckabee put to shame not only the Congressional delegations that preceded him but Israel’s own Prime Minister. Huckabee is no fair weather friend of Israel. While he, like Clinton, was born in Hope, Arkansas, he is unlike the Clintons who tack with the wind. Huckabee, over many years has consistently and staunchly supported Israel despite the fact that the state he governed had an insignificant Jewish population.
On this trip Huckabee dared to up-end international political dogma and say simply that there is no room for a Palestinian state “in the middle of the Jewish homeland.” If the international community wanted to give the Palestinians a homeland, it would have to be somewhere else.
Instead of the conventional pleading for Moslem acceptance of Jews near their holy places, Huckabee neatly turned tables and praised Israel for giving Moslems access to the Dome of the Rock, the site of the ancient Jewish temple, even though, he noted, the presence of a mosque there “could be considered an affront.
On the vilified “settlements” Obama is intent on “freezing” said Huckabee: it concerns me when there are some in the United States who would want to tell Israel that it cannot allow people to live in their own country, wherever they want.” No restrictions of the sort Netanyahu pleads for about limiting Jewish communities to “natural growth” or fulfilling pre-existing building contracts. Huckabee is straightforward - Jews have the right to build as they choose n their own country
Huckabee also spoke with his feet. He traveled through Samaria, to Beit El, Har Gerizim, Har Beracha and Givat Olam and to Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that Obama wants to destroy. Metaphorically, he put his finger squarely in Obama’s eye by going to a dinner, attended by a hundred people, including several members of the Knesset, on the grounds of the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem. Obama has specifically demanded that Israel stop the hotels Jewish owner from renovating the property, treating it as a symbolic key to re-dividing the city. The Shepherd Hotel is indeed heavy with symbolism. It was built by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Jerusalem mufti who mobilized Moslem forces for Hitler in World War II. When Israel reunited Jerusalem in the Six Day War, it took control of the empty structure and eventually sold it to its current owner, Zionist philanthropist Dr. Irving Moskovitz.
Contrast Huckabee’s forthright support for Israel’s rights with the 25 member Republican delegation led by Eric Cantor and the 29 member Democratic delegation that followed on its heels led by Steny Hoyer. Yes, they criticized Obama’s obsessive focus on a settlement freeze, but nary a one said that “the two state solution,” cutting off Judea and Samaria from Israel was illegitimate and a recipe for Israel’s destruction.
Contrast Huckabee’s stance with that of Netanyahu who campaigned on the promise “no Palestinian state,” and collapsed on this central issue after one browbeating by Obama and who insisted publicly there would be no settlement freeze only duplicitously, to institute one.
Perhaps the most important contribution of Huckabee’s visit is in giving heart to those Israeli leaders like Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon (who met with Huckabee on his visit) who say it is not necessary to capitulate to every dangerous and insulting American demand. The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick writes: “Huckabee’s trip showed that the administration is not operating in a policy vacuum. There is plenty of strong American support for an Israeli government that would stand up to the administration on the Palestinian issue and Iran alike.”

Must impose crippling sanctions

The United States and its allies should quickly impose crippling sanctions on Iran if it refuses to end its nuclear weapons pursuit.
•As the United States and it allies head into talks with Iran, the president and other leaders have said Iran must now come fully clean about its nuclear activities during the talks or face crippling sanctions.

•The president said that if diplomacy does not work, “we will be in a much stronger position to, for example, apply sanctions that have bite.” French President Nicholas Sarkozy said, “We cannot let Iranian leaders gain time while the motors are running,” while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the West is “prepared to implement furthe and more stringent sanctions.”

•It is now time for Congress to move forward with the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act and other similar legislation to demonstrate to Iran that its days of stonewalling and deception are over. The bill urges the president to impose financial sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank and requires the sanctioning of any entity engaged in the importation into Iran of refined petroleum.

•With Iran forced to import as much as 40 percent of its gasoline, limiting access to such products would have a dramatic economic effect and weigh heavily on the regime’s domestic popularity.

•The United States could also cause the collapse of the Iranian banking system by refusing to clear international financial transactions from banks that continue to do business with Iranian banks.

•The credible threat of such crippling sanctions—combined with similar international sanctions—would offer a meaningful opportunity to convince Iran to recalculate its current nuclear policy.

scary support for J Street

160 members join J Street host committee

By Eric Fingerhut · September 30, 2009

J Street on Wednesday unveiled a list of 160 members of the House and Senate that serve as members of the honorary host committee for the group's first annual Gala Dinner on October 27 in Washington. That list includes 18 of the 44 Jewish members of Congress, including the dean of the Jewish delegation, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)

Other Jewish names on the list include Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Reps. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), John Yarmuth (D-Kent.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.) Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Steve Kagen (D-Wis.), Susan David (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

One prominent Jewish congressman whose name isn't on the list is Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), a prominent pro-Israel member of Congress who was endorsed by the group last year. But that Wexler is still involved with the group -- he is scheduled to speak at the conference on a panel with other members of Congress.

"The depth and breadth of our host committee demonstrates the growing support in Congress and nationally for strong US leadership in pursuit of a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts," said Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street's executive director.

The J Street press release is after the jump, and the full list of 160 is here:

One hundred and sixty members of Congress will serve on the honorary host committee for J Street's first annual Gala Dinner this October in Washington, DC.

Richard Baehr on Goldstone

The Goldstone Report is exhibit number one in how international law is now used by those seeking to target Israel. There is no other country in the world similarly targeted at the moment. It is disconcerting to say the least, to see the Obama administration refuse to simply condemn the Goldstone report, biased from the get go, and instead adopt some of its premises.
International law:
Jennifer Rubin on the comments by assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner:

Has the American Rabbinate abandoned Israel?

UN Goldstone report garbage

Goldstone report ignored testimony

U.N. Face-Off: Goldstone Accused by Israeli Rocket Victim
“Why Didn’t You Tell Me U.N. Council Declared Israel Guilty From the Start? Why Did You Humiliate Me?”
Geneva, September 29, 2009 — The U.N. Human Rights Council plenary witnessed a dramatic face-off today when the head of its controversial “fact-finding” mission on Gaza — in which Israel was declared guilty from the start — was unexpectedly confronted by one of his own witnesses.
In a surprise appearance arranged by the Geneva human rights organization UN Watch, Dr. Mirela Siderer — an Israeli doctor who was brutally disfigured in 2008 by a rocket attack fired from Gaza into her Ashkelon medical clinic — pointedly accused Goldstone of ignoring her July oral testimony in his report, and of failing to disclose material information concerning the prior statements of the Human Rights Council and panel members declaring Israel guilty in advance. Click for video. The speech was published in full today by Canada’s National Post, and covered widely in Switzerland, Israel and worldwide.
Sitting on the dais, Goldstone was visibly shaken by Dr. Siderer’s challenge and scrambled for a copy of her speech. His response to the plenary ignored 7 of her questions, and inadequately responded to the 8th. See full text and video below. For UN Watch’s play-by-play Twitter of today’s heated debate, click here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jews and support about Iran

The AJC survey revealed that 56 percent of American Jews would support, and 36 percent would oppose, United States military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. A year ago, the AJC survey found that 42 percent would support the U.S. taking military action against Iran, while 47 percent were opposed.

On the Obama Administration's general handling of the Iran nuclear issue, 49 percent of American Jews approve and 35 percent disapprove.

And, in another sign of heightening concern about Iran's nuclear program, 66 percent would support, and 28 percent would oppose, Israel taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

AJC has conducted its survey of American Jews annually since 1997.

Obama let down on Goldstone

Well, we certainly have come a long way from the conference call in which an Obama national security official Dan Shapiro promised to pull out the stops to quash the Goldstone report. That was deemed a misstatement. Now we hear:

The United States called on its close ally Israel on Tuesday to conduct credible investigations into allegations of war crimes committed by its forces in Gaza, saying it would help the Middle East peace process.

Michael Posner, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, said that Hamas leaders also had a responsibility to investigate crimes and to end what he called its targeting of civilians and use of Palestinian civilians as human shields in the strip. . . .

“We encourage Israel to utilize appropriate domestic [judicial] review and meaningful accountability mechanisms to investigate and follow-up on credible allegations,” Posner said in a speech to the Geneva forum.

“If undertaken properly and fairly, these reviews can serve as important confidence-building measures that will support the larger essential objective which is a shared quest for justice and lasting peace,” he said.

But Israel has already done just that. Didn’t the Obama team read about it in their home paper? As the Washington Post reported in March:

The Israeli military’s top lawyer on Monday closed an investigation into alleged misconduct by soldiers who took part in Israel’s recent three-week assault on the Gaza Strip, concluding that accusations made by graduates of a military preparatory school were “based on hearsay.”

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said that Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit, the IDF’s advocate general, found no evidence to support the most serious accusations, including alleged instances in which civilians were shot without cause.

My 6 High Holiday sermons can be heards as podcasts

My 6 High Holiday sermons can be heards as podcasdts at

Rosh day 2 and Yizkor are about Israel

Yom Kippur Yizkor MInha sermon Rabbi Jonathan Jinsburg
Posted in Uncategorized by rabbiginsburg on September 29th, 2009

Jonah is told by God to go tell Ninevah the truth about their sins and tries to flee. Yizkor started as a memorial to Jews killed in the crusades. Today’s spiritual heirs of Hitler are at it again-denying the Holocaust, threatening genocide against Jews and the West. they must be stopped
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Yom Kippur Morning 5770 Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
Posted in Uncategorized by rabbiginsburg on September 29th, 2009

Continuation on living the best life-Yom Kippur does not atone for sins vs. another person

To live an ethical life is crucial to God and Isaiah’s message today
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Kol Nidre sermon 5770 Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
Posted in Uncategorized by rabbiginsburg on September 29th, 2009

The essence of Yom Kippur on how we do what God wants us to do-be the best we can be. It is about the self-but not phony self esteem or based on self pity-but on self awareness, self respect, self reliance, self improvement, self love, self control
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Rosh Hashanah day 2 5770 We must care. Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
Posted in Uncategorized by rabbiginsburg on September 29th, 2009

We must care that those who hate peace, Israel, Jews, freedom, democracy, the west, the US, are gaining power. They must be stopped
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ROSH HASHANAH Day 1 Sermon 5770 Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
Posted in Uncategorized by rabbiginsburg on September 29th, 2009

Living a more Jewish life as part of a better life
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Erev Rosh Hashanah 5770 Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
Posted in Uncategorized by rabbiginsburg on September 29th, 2009

We do not blow the shofar on Shabbat. What can we learn fro the absence of the shofar this year to improve our lives?
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rabbi's op ed Tribune article 100% wrong

I am disgusted by a piece that a Rabbi had published in the Chicago Tribune on Erev Yom Kippur. In a nutshell: He has it totally backwards: This biased, dishonest report of the UN distances us from a just and peaceful solution. No country in the world does a more thorough job than Israel insuring it’s armed forced operate morally, often imperiling its soldiers lives. Rosen focuses again completely on the wrong issues of morality. He sides with the murderers and not the innocent. There is a life and death struggle here- Hamas of Gaza has said it’s stated goal is to destroy Israel, that Israel has no right to be a Jewish state and the Holocaust is a lie. Yom Kippur Minha Haftarah reading is Jonah where Jonah tries to avoid his responsibility to tell others who need to repent to do so. Rabbi Rosen has completely twisted the central issue and the true call for repentance by directing his call to the innocent nation of Israel who simply wants to live in peace with its neighbors, who unilaterally pulled out of Gaza, hoping the Gazans would be able to run their own country peace fully, and instead were greeted by thousands of missiles. Finally its citizens demanded that Israel do something to stop the missiles, so their army went in to protect their families and nation, finding the shooters in schools and hospitals and hiding behind children. Predictably the UN decided before it started that Israel committed war crimes, and this rabbi, who leads a fast for Gaza and writes extensively about our “misunderstnding Iran”, focuses his words of repentance on Israel and not the murderous Hamas in Gaza. He has Judaism and morality 100% backwards.

ROSEN WROTE: On Sunday night, the Jewish community will begin our annual Yom Kippur fast.
My response: TRUE

ROSEN WROTE: The physical deprivation is a crucial element of the day, but as with many faith traditions, the fasting itself isn't really the point. Going without food and water is, rather, a device, intended to sharpen our senses and lead to reflection.
My Response TRUE

ROSEN WROTE This reflection is notably, pointedly, not a personal pursuit. All through the Yom Kippur prayers, we're called to do "cheshbon nefesh," a moral accounting, as a community: "We have sinned," we pray. "Forgive us."

My response: TRUE

ROSEN WROTE : But though the rituals are ancient, they're never far removed from modern life. Between our prayers, American Jews are sure also to discuss the current events that touch our community most deeply: the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, President Barack Obama's recent meetings with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the United Nations' recent Goldstone Report, in which both Israel and the Hamas government are accused of war crimes. To my great sorrow, however, many in the Jewish community have already rejected the latter out of hand.

My response” AS THEY SHOULD. It is completely biased from the get go. The report should be investigated as to its bias.

ROSEN WROTE :Rather than jointly consider Israel's acts in Gaza, carry out real cheshbon nefesh, and accept our communal responsibility, it has proven easier for many of us to employ communal defense mechanisms, and insist that in this particular case, there's no need for reflection.

My response: THAT IS NOT WHAT HAS BEEN SAID. He Employs classic logical fallacy of red herring.

ROSEN WROTE : Since the report's publication, the UN and commission chair Judge Richard Goldstone have been vilified and disparaged, by both the Israeli government and American Jewish leaders.

My response: AS he should be, as I will demonstrate below.

ROSEN WROTE : There has been little consideration of the actual findings, or the fact that Israel refused to cooperate with the commission, or conduct its own investigation.

My response: Thye knew it would be 100% biased from the get go, as are all UN reports. Overwhelmingly the UN consistently attacks Israel, and never once, for example, chastised Hamas for sending thousands of missiles at Israel, sending suicide bombers etc.

ROSEN WROTE : As a rabbi, this grieves me deeply. For, painful as it is for us to admit, Israel's behavior in Gaza has consistently betrayed our shared Jewish ethical legacy.

My response: A lie.
Israel conducted itself more nobly there than any army in history and under provocation of thousands of missiles sent from schools and hospitals by the monsters in Gaza.

ROSEN WROTE :This was true before the war, when the Israeli blockade denied Palestinians basic necessities; it was true during the war, when Israel responded with disproportionate force to Hamas rockets; and it has been true since the war, as Israel has deepened the blockade, preventing Gazans from rebuilding their homes. As a result of Israeli actions, some 60 percent of Gazans don't have continual access to water and face near-daily power outages of up to 10 hours at a time, while hundreds of thousands are dependent on foreign aid agencies for food.

My response: Very simple-tell Gazans to force its democratically elected government to stop shelling its neighbors with thousands of missiles and no problem at all. Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza and all it got was missiles and a clearly stated desire by the tyrants who control it to destroy Israel.
Israel was unbelievably compassionate towards the Palestinians in Gaza because what they should really do is what America and Britain did to the Germans during WWII and that is bomb the entire country into submission for having launched a war against us that we didn't ask for and did nothing to deserve. England and America killed tens of thousands of German citizens and America - hundreds of thousands of Japanese - because they refused to put their arms down, surrender and make peace. Israel has never done anything like that at all. The sadness of the Cast Lead operation and that is Israeli soldiers died because they did not want to end these attacks by just bombing the Gazan cities into submission but rather went in with troops - lost precious Jewish lives - in order to limit tremendously the number of civilian casualties. That was an great act of kindness and compassion on the part of Israel and some Israeli parents buried their sons because of that act of kindness and compassion.
As for the Palestinians who lost their lives - I feel very bad for their families (assuming they weren't actually Hamas) and I say to them. You elected Hamas - you stand by and let them attack a neighboring sovereign nation - this is what you have brought upon yourself. And if you didnt vote for Hamas - we are truly sorry for what your fellow Palestinians have brought upon you.

There are consequences to launching war and I'm sorry that you think the Palestinians should somehow be protected from those consequences.

HE WROTE: A humanitarian crisis of this magnitude demands a response from within the Jewish faith community -- and knee-jerk rejection of any and all criticism of Israel won't change the facts. It will only distance us from a just and peaceful solution to this conflict.

My response:
It is not a humanitarian crisis-and no mention at allof the humanitarian crisis of growing up facing thousands of missiles?
He has it totally backwards: This biased, dishonest report of the UN distances us from a just and peaceful solution. Here is why:

ARTICLE! Response to the Goldstone Report on Gaza (Economist-UK)

•The UN report on the fighting in Gaza is deeply flawed. The risk is that both sides will now conclude the wrong thing: Arabs that Israel has just been found guilty; and Israel that it will never get a fair hearing in a hostile world.
•From the very start, this report had to overcome the taint of prejudice. It was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, a notorious anti-Israeli outfit.
•Israel's attempts to drop warning leaflets, direct civilians out of danger zones and call daily humanitarian pauses may well have been inadequate, but the report counts them for nought. It is a grisly thought, but if Israel really had wanted to make Palestinian civilians suffer, the toll could have been vastly higher.
•Israel has argued that Hamas fighters endangered civilians by basing themselves around schools, mosques and hospitals. Yet the mission's fact-finders could detect little or no evidence for this - despite plenty of reports in the public domain to support it.
•And there is a danger of double standards. American and European forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo caused thousands of civilian deaths, without attracting a Goldstone.
•The peace process was never going to be easy. With its thimbleful of poison, the Goldstone report has made the job all the harder.

Article 2. Netanyahu on the report in an interview
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "I do not think so. I know that there are other opinions but I do not think so for one simple reason – this game was fixed. This was a field trial, the result of which was known in advance. Look at the mandate which this commission operated under, a mandate which – by the way – most Western countries opposed and had reservations about. From this mandate, they say in advance that Israel carried out war crimes and now they are filling in the blanks. ..Then there was the first missile, and the second and the thousandth. There were thousands of missiles and finally Israel responded, as is its right, against the terrorists who hide inside civilian populations and fire at civilian populations. Now the same international public that applauded when we left there points an accusing finger and accuses us and not Hamas, of being war criminals

Article 3 From The Guardian, Wednesday 16 September 2009, by Dan Kosky:
Richard Goldstone's long-awaited report has confirmed suspicions that his investigation is guided by an agenda to isolate Israel. The farcical investigative process has produced a report which vilifies Israel but helps little in better understanding the Gaza conflict. Much was rightly made of the investigation's one-sided mandate, which erased Hamas's culpability. Panel member Christine Chinkin, branded Israel's Gaza operation a "war crime" before the inquiry had even begun. As a result, the Israeli government rightly recognised the warning signs and stayed away from the Goldstone process.
On the basis of such flimsy testimony, Goldstone's recommendations are particularly sinister. Although "the findings do not pretend to reach the standard of proof applicable in criminal trials", they will undoubtedly fuel a judicial campaign against Israel. Both Israel and the euphemistic "Gaza authorities" have been given six months to prove their mettle in investigating potential war crimes or face the prospect of becoming international pariahs at the international criminal court (ICC).
Realistically, no one can expect to hold to account a non-state actor such as Hamas, supported by Iran. Fewer still can imagine that any Israeli investigation will be judged by the UN framework as satisfactory. The Israeli authorities have already investigated more than 100 allegations of wrongdoing, with 23 cases still pending. These efforts were deemed insufficient before they began and one wonders how many convictions would have to be secured in Israeli courts to ward off the wrath of Goldstone.

Rosen of course ignores the moral pervisty of the UN and the report to focus condemnation on the innocent.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

The Goldstone Report

•President Peres: Goldstone Report Makes a Mockery of History - Roni Sofer
Israeli President Shimon Peres responded to the UN Goldstone Report saying that it "makes a mockery of history" and that "it does not distinguish between the aggressor and the defender." "War is crime and the attacker is the criminal. The defender has no choice. The Hamas terror organization is the one who started the war and also carried out other awful crimes. Hamas has used terrorism for years against Israeli children....The report gives de facto legitimacy to terrorist initiatives and ignores the obligation and right of every country to defend itself." (Ynet News)
See also Justice in Gaza - Richard Goldstone (New York Times)
•UN Investigation of Israel Discredits Itself and Undercuts Human Rights - Alan M. Dershowitz
The report commissioned by the notorious UN Human Rights Council is so filled with lies, distortions and blood libels that it could have been drafted by Hamas extremists. In effect, it actually was. Members were accompanied on their investigations in Gaza by Hamas activists who showed them only what they wanted them to see. The group was eager to find or manufacture "evidence" to support what the Human Rights Council itself had directed them to find, namely that Israel committed "grave violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly due to the recent Israeli military attacks against the occupied Gaza Strip." This conclusion was reached before any investigation.
The lowest blow and the worst canard is the claim that the Israeli judicial system "has major structural flaws that make the system inconsistent with international standards." This is a direct attack on the Israeli Supreme Court by a lawyer who knows full well that there is no country in the world that has a judicial system that demands more accountability than the Israeli system does. There is no judicial system in the world that takes more seriously its responsibility to bring its military into compliance with international law.
The report is not intended to establish general principles of international law, applicable to all nations. It is directed at one nation and one nation only: the Jew among nations - Israel. (Hudson Institute New York)
•IDF Judge-Advocate General: Israel Right Not to Cooperate with Goldstone - Yaakov Katz
The distorted and one-sided UN report proves that Israel had been right not to cooperate with the Goldstone mission, IDF Judge-Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit said Wednesday. "From an initial review of the report it is clear that it is biased, astonishingly extreme, lacks any basis in reality and is a sharp deviation from the mandate given to the mission." Mandelblit spoke of a new "legal front" that the IDF was facing and warned of attempts by numerous NGOs - and possibly European countries which support them - to deter Israel from launching future military operations by threatening its officers with legal action.
Prof. Asa Kasher, author of the IDF's code of ethics, noted that "this report was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that unfairly deals mostly with Israel. These are anti-Israel politics that contain a level of anti-Semitism in them." Kasher noted how the report opened with a detailed description of the Israeli blockade on Gaza. "It is as if this is how it all started," he said. "They did not bother to ask why there was a siege, which was done out of self-defense." (Jerusalem Post)
•UN Smears Israeli Self-Defense as "War Crimes" - Gerald M. Steinberg
The tendentious and extremely biased report succeeded in angering Israelis from across the political spectrum. The report condemned every Israeli response to the 8,000 rockets fired by Hamas, but its recommendations did not include any steps to end this aggression. And while Israel is accused of committing acts of terror, the report never acknowledges that Hamas committed acts of terror, even though it is legally banned as a terrorist organization by the U.S and EU. The Goldstone report will increase Israeli cynicism regarding the viability of international institutions and guarantees of Israeli security and fair treatment. (Wall Street Journal Europe)
•The Moral Inversion of the Goldstone Report - Melanie Phillips
The Goldstone report does worse than establish a moral equivalence between the instigators of genocidal violence and those who were attempting to defend themselves against it. It presents Israel, the victims of such aggression, as war criminals and the Palestinians, the actual instigators of terror, as its victims. This is not moral equivalence but moral inversion. Even worse, Goldstone presents the Palestinian aggressors as victims of Israel, requiring Israel to make reparation to those from whose houses and streets it was attacked. No reparations to Israel are required from any Palestinians, even though Goldstone accepts that Hamas committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by firing thousands of missiles at its civilians.
This disreputable piece of work will embolden and empower Hamas and Palestinian terrorism, provide the jihadis of the UN and their accomplices with the means further to persecute Israel and endorse its genocidal attackers, and incite the Arab and Muslim world still further to aggression and to war. (Spectator-UK)
•The Goldstone Report: 575 Pages of NGO "Cut and Paste"
The 575-page Goldstone report is primarily based on NGO statements, publications, and submissions, in numerous cases simply copying false and unsubstantiated allegations. (NGO Monitor)

UN Must Hold U.S. to Same Standard as Israel - Ari Shavit (Ha'aretz)

•Two weeks ago American airplanes fired on two oil tankers in northern Afghanistan at the request of a German military officer, killing some 70 people. The U.S. and Germany are responsible for the attack, together with NATO members Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway. If the international community is committed to international law and universal ethics, it should investigate the assault.
•If the U.S., Germany and NATO refuse to cooperate with investigators, the UN should consider transferring the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. It may be necessary to put the U.S. president and the German chancellor on trial for committing a severe war crime that did not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Absurd? Yes.
•The U.S. has killed thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the last few months encouraged Pakistan to make an extremely brutal military move in its Swat Valley. The U.S. was not required to account for it because everyone understands that this is the price of the terrible war on terror.
•Only Israel is required to uphold a moral standard no superpower or Middle Eastern state is required to uphold.
See also Will U.S. Now Let Goldstone into Afghanistan? - Amir Oren (Ha'aretz)

Article 4. from Camera UN's Goldstone Report Contains Major Error that Calls into Question Work’s Credibility
The vast majority of the report’s 575 pages are taken up with indicting Israel as a serial violator of human rights and the laws of war.
The seriousness of these charges certainly requires meticulous fact finding and painstaking documentation, but this is precisely where the Goldstone report is woefully inadequate…
A prime example of the report’s shoddiness is its analysis of the Israeli attacks on January 15 in the area of the Al Quds Hospital in Gaza City. The report devotes more than eight full pages to this one event (pages 174 to 182), considering on the one hand Palestinian testimony that there were no Palestinian attacks from the area, and also quoting from a prior Israeli report that reached the opposite conclusion.
One should note first that, of course, Israel did have intelligence information that armed groups were present in the hospital. That’s why they fired back at them. ..Thus, rather than dealing with the evidence in the Israeli report, Goldstone and his colleagues simply ignored those parts that disproved their charges. The UN should immediately and forthrightly correct this error and should apologize to the government of Israel. The UN should also withdraw the Goldstone report pending a complete, independent and genuinely objective review of its procedures and its conclusions.”

In the end, the report's most critical recommendation is that Israel and Hamas thoroughly and credibly investigate themselves, and hold accountable any combatants or commanders who violated the law.

My response: It is laughable to suggest hamas will hold accountable anyone who violates the law. Is he serious or far worse? Everything Hamas does is against the law-they call for the obliteration of a sovereign state!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember these are people that deny Jews have any ties to Jerusalem. See my blog

Rosen writes: The actions of the Jewish State ultimately reflect upon the Jewish people throughout the world. We in the Diaspora Jewish community have long taken pride in the accomplishments of the Jewish State. As with any family, the success of some reflects a warm light on us all. But pride cannot blind us to the capacity for error on the part of the country we hold so dear. We cannot identify with the successes, but refuse to see the failures.”

They are a proxy of Iran, where this rabbi visited last year. see him here sitting with an Iranian Muslim leader.

Here is what he wrote on his blog
“While I prefer not to weigh in on the rhetorical hairsplitting debate on Ahmadinejad’s notorious 2005 “threat” to “wipe Israel off the map,” I’ll only suggest that our attitudes (not to mention our foreign policy) must be based on real intelligence and understanding, and not fear-based, knee-jerk assumptions.”

My response: :By the way Ahmadinejad’s did not just say in in 2005, he says it often, as well as denying the holocaust.

Here is a man who lives in the comfort of Evanston Illinois, who works actively to undermine Israel in world opinion. It is outrageous.

Rosen concludes: let this be the Yom Kippur on which we act on the Scriptural imperative to "seek peace and pursue it," by calling ourselves and Israel to account.

My response: NOT the UN who is a thousand times more biased against the greatest democracy in the world than the totalitarian tyrants he seems to sympathize with?
Not call the murderous Hamas of Gaza to account.:

what is your plan B on Iran?

Time for plan B, Bam

Last Updated: 3:56 AM, September 26, 2009

Posted: 12:23 AM, September 26, 2009

Surprise, surprise, surprise, as Gomer Pyle used to say: Iran has been try ing to hide a second uranium-enrich ment plant.

But then, really: Just how much of a "surprise" should that have been?

More important, now that everyone knows, what exactly does President Obama plan to do to keep Iran from actually getting a bomb?

Asked yesterday, Obama said merely that "what has changed is that the international community has spoken," refering to angry reaction from world leaders.

True, he tried to suggest that all "options" -- presumably, including a military response -- were on the table.

But is Obama still seriously hoping that a world consensus will somehow truly halt Iran's race to nuclear statehood?

If so, start worrying.

Because it's now no longer possible to deny that Tehran is rapidly pursuing nukes -- faster than many had thought.

Of course, anyone with eyes has had to have assumed that Iran wants nuclear weapons. But Obama had enough info to know: US officials said they'd been tracking the facility "for years."

Yet that only makes Obama's Iran policy for the past nine months even more inexplicable.

From the start, the president has been adamant about coddling Iran's head thug, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and pursuing diplomatic talks.

Even after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed the second site yesterday, Obama pledged his commitment to "meaningful engagement" and "dialogue." (Heads up: A mushroom cloud is a powerful bargaining chip.)

When Ahmadinejad stole re-election and violently crushed dissidents, Obama sat on his hands.

When the prez decided to scrap a US missile shield in Eastern Europe, aimed at defeating possible nuke-tipped Iranian missiles, he cited intelligence showing the Iranian nuclear threat wasn't as grave as thought.

(How, exactly, does that square with news of Iran's secret enrichment site?)

And this week, after the UN Security Council adopted an anti-nuclear-proliferation "resolution" that left out any mention of Iran, it took French President Nicolas Sarkozy to express shock: "How," he asked "could we justify meeting without tackling" Iran's nukes?

Now, in light of yesterday's revelation, Obama's nine-month course seems almost suicidal. Surely this second site means Iran is closer to having a bomb than most knew.

That it's on a military base makes it harder for Iran to claim it's for peaceful purposes -- and perhaps tougher to take out by force, if need be.

And the secrecy around it proves that Iran won't ever "talk" honestly with the "international community."

Let's face it: Negotiating isn't likely to work. Obama needs a Plan B. Pronto.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Obma knew all along about the iran plant

Iran Reveals Second Uranium Enrichment Site
Iran has revealed to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohammed ElBaradei the existence of a second uranium enrichment plant, sources are quoted as saying. The development encourages fears that Iran has other secret facilities that could be used to make a nuclear bomb. (BBC News)
See also U.S.: Iran Has Secret Nuclear Fuel Facility - David E. Sanger
President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France will accuse Iran Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying it has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years. The three countries will demand that Iran allow an immediate IAEA inspection of the facility, said to be 100 miles southwest of Tehran. The newly discovered enrichment plant is not yet in operation, American officials said, but could be next year. American officials said Thursday they believe the facility was designed to hold about 3,000 centrifuges. (New York Times)

What Else Don’t We Know?

Jennifer Rubin - 09.25.2009 - 10:02 AM

Actually, the question should be, What else hasn’t the administration been telling us? They apparently were all too aware of the Iranian facility and would have kept mum if not for the revelation by Iran itself:

Per NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, officials say it was U.S. intelligence that learned of the secret plant more than a year ago — before President Obama’s election; Israel also knew about it, too. They most likely would not have gone public if Iran had not discovered that the U.S. was onto them and had it not notified the U.N.’s international inspection agency on Monday. By the way, Mitchell adds, the site is 30 kilometers outside of Qum, Iran’s holy city. That means that any military strike would be very difficult politically, because it would around huge reaction throughout the Muslim world. Also today, watch for Russian and Chinese reaction. Yes, they were notified of our intelligence this week, but their reaction is unknown.

The Washington Post explains:

White House officials said Western intelligence agencies have been tracking the facility for years. Obama said officials from the United States, France and Britain briefed the IAEA in Vienna on Thursday on what they knew about the facility. The three heads of state decided to publicly disclose the existence of the facility after learning that Iran had become aware the site was no longer a secret.

Iran’s report of the facility’s existence—and Obama’s plans to accuse Tehran of hiding it—were first reported Friday by the New York Times.

And so let’s be clear: while Obama was sending love letters to the Iranian regime and doing nothing to support the Iranian uprising, he knew of the secret facility that will be operational within a year? As an informed observer on Capitol Hill remarks, “Apparently, the Iranians forced their hand with the letter earlier in the week to the IAEA—but if Obama knew this for months and did not act with urgency, this is a major debacle.” Yes, it is. At the very least, a complete explanation of what we’ve been doing and what we’ve known is in order.

Palestinians deny Jewish Jerusalem link

Palestinian Leaders Deny Jerusalem's Past

Jews have no history in the city of Jerusalem: They have never lived there, the Temple never existed, and Israeli archaeologists have admitted as much. Those who deny this are simply liars. Or so says Sheik Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, chief Islamic judge of the Palestinian Authority.

His claims, made last month, would be laughable if they weren't so common among Palestinians. Sheik Tamimi is only the latest to insist that, in his words, Jerusalem is solely "an Arab and Islamic city and it has always been so." His comments come on the heels of those by Shamekh Alawneh, a lecturer in modern history at Al Quds University. On an Aug. 11 PA television program, "Jerusalem—History and Culture," Mr. Alawneh argued that the Jews invented their connection to Jerusalem. "It has no historical roots," he said, adding that the Jews are engaging in "an attack on history, theft of culture, falsification of facts, erasure of the truth, and Judaization of the place."

As President Barack Obama and his foreign-policy team gear up to propose yet another plan for Israeli-Arab peace, they would do well to focus less on important but secondary issues like settlement growth, and instead notice that top Palestinian intellectual and political leaders deny basic truths about the region's most important city.

For the record: Jerusalem is the holiest city in Judaism, mentioned more than 600 times in the Hebrew Bible. Three times a day, religious Jews face eastward toward the city when they pray. At Jewish weddings, the couple's joy is diminished as they shatter a glass to acknowledge Jerusalem's still unfulfilled redemption. It is a widespread custom then to recite the 137th psalm ("If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate. . ." ).

According to Jewish tradition, Jerusalem's designation as Judaism's most sacred city made it the obvious place for King Solomon to build the Holy Temple following the death of his father, King David. After the temple's destruction by the Babylonians, it was rebuilt by King Herod before being destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.

Earlier this month, archaeologists with the Israeli Antiquities Authority discovered a 3,700-year-old Jerusalem wall—the oldest and biggest ever uncovered in the region—that they believe was built by the Canaanites before the First Temple period. It's true: there is scant archaeological evidence of the First Temple. But not so for the Second Temple, which is accepted as historical fact by most archaeologists. From the Herodian period, aside from dozens of Jewish ritual baths surrounding the temple that have been uncovered, one retaining wall of the temple, the Western Wall, still stands.

But Sheik Tamimi doesn't need to take the Jews' word for any of this, or that of legions of world-class scholars. For proof of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, he need only look at writings from his own religious tradition.

The Koran, which references many biblical stories and claims figures like Abraham as Islamic prophets, also acknowledges the existence of the Jewish temples. The historian Karen Armstrong has written that the Koran refers to Solomon's Temple as a "great place of prayer" and that the first Muslims referred to Jerusalem as the "City of the Temple." Martin Kramer, a historian who has combed through Koranic references to the temples in Arabic, notes surra 34, verse 13, which discusses Solomon's building process: "They [jinn/spirits] worked for him as he desired, (making) arches, images, basins large as wells, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places)."

There is still more recent official Muslim acknowledgment of Jerusalem's Jewish history—a booklet put out in 1924 by the Supreme Muslim Council called "A brief guide to al-haram al-sharif." Al-haram al-sharif, the Arabic name for the Temple Mount, is currently the site of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque. It is, according to Islamic tradition, where Muhammad ascended to heaven.

Yet it is also, according to the council's booklet, a site of uncontested importance for the Jews. "The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest (perhaps from pre-historic) times. Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute." And the booklet quotes the book of Samuel: "This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which 'David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offering and peace offerings.'" Later, the booklet says the underground structure known as King Solomon's Stables probably dates "as far back as the construction of Solomon's Temple." Citing the historian Flavius Josephus, it claims the stables were likely used as a "place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D."

So why do those like Mr. Tamimi deny what their predecessors acknowledged? To undermine Israel, which earned statehood in 1948 and captured the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War of 1967. Since then, Palestinian leaders have fought to erase any Jewish connection to sacred places, particularly the Temple Mount.

While Israel has never hesitated to acknowledge Jerusalem's holiness in Islam—albeit saying that it has less importance than Mecca—Palestinian leaders insist that Jews are transplants in the region, nothing more than white European colonialists. This denial has formed the foundation for their argument that Jerusalem should become Palestine's capital. This is why the previous mufti of the Palestinian Authority, Sheik Ikrama Sabri, dismisses the Western Wall as "just a fence." Yasser Arafat classified it, bizarrely, as "a Muslim shrine." As Saeb Erekat, Arafat's chief negotiator, said to President Clinton at Camp David in 2000: "I don't believe there was a temple on top of the Haram [holy site], I really don't."

These sentiments are echoed in Palestinian primary-school textbooks, preached at mosques, and printed in official newspapers. The Palestinian leadership isn't bellyaching over borders—it is stating, in full voice, that Israel has no right to its most basic historical and religious legacy.

This is no foundation for "peace talks."

Us and Gladstone

U.S. pledges to quash Goldstone recommendations

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration will not allow the Goldstone report recommendations on Israel's conduct in the Gaza war to reach the International Criminal Court.

A top White House official told Jewish organizational leaders in an off-the-record phone call Wednesday that the U.S. strategy was to "quickly" bring the report -- commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council and carried out by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone -- to its "natural conclusion" within the Human Rights Council and not to allow it to go further, Jewish participants in the call told JTA.

The report said the U.N. fact-finding mission investigating Israel's conduct during the January 2009 war found evidence of Israeli war crimes. Israel has denied the allegations and said the report's mandate was biased -- an opinion echoed by U.S. officials.

The Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the U.N. Security Council to deal with any other "difficulties" arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report's allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.

The official said the Obama administration's view was that the report was flawed from its conception because the mandate presumed a priori that Israel had violated war crimes and that the mandate ignored Hamas' role in prompting the war through its rocket fire into Israel.

Netanyahu at the UN

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an
ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral

I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I
speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.
The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the
horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of
such horrendous events.

Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault
on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium,
spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again
claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There,
on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and
decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that
meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy
of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to
carry out the extermination of the Jews.

Is this a lie?

A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original
construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those
plans are signed by Hitler?s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a
copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were
murdered. Is this too a lie?

This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did
President Obama pay tribute to a lie?

And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed
numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of
all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was
affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father?s two sisters
and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered
by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To
those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I
commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my
people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame?
Have you no decency?

A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who
denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe
out the Jewish state.

What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations!

Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only
the Jews. You're wrong.

History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the
Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto
the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries.

In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a
murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims.
It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and
many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of
this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.

Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women,
minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally
subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against
faith nor civilization against civilization.

It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th
century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.

The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of
the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach
of communications should surely win the day. Ultimately, the past cannot
triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent
bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially.

It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone,
decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few
years to get from the personal computer to the internet.

What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can
scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic
code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a
cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.

I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances ? by
leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology,
agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the
world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.

But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons,
the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated
victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only
after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind.
That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage
between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.

The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of
Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United
Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a
despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for

Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad
daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking
in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most
pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?

Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of
Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the
entire world?

The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of
goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been
protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not
encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian
patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a
recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those
they targeted.

For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars
and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles
were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was
passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing ? absolutely
nothing ? from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there
ever was one.

In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every
inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis.
We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty
miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a
nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they
increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.

Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally
forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one
example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's
civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities
during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities,
causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond
differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on
civilians while hiding behind civilians ? Israel sought to conduct surgical
strikes against the rocket launchers.

That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes
and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in
ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging
Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.

We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text
messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never
has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's
civilian population from harm's way.

Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN
Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately
defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and
given an unfair trial to boot.

By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged
Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of
truth. What a perversion of justice.

Delegates of the United Nations,

Will you accept this farce?

Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when
the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding
democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic
majority could declare that the earth is flat.

If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to
terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely
populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body
would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.

When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop.
Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international
legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What

The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our
right of self-defense now accuses us ?my people, my country - of war crimes?
And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report
is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will
you stand with the terrorists?

We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if
Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that
you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can
defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of Israel wants peace.

Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We
made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by
King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government,
and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a
defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish
two states for two peoples ? a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews
accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it.
We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62
years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a
nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to
recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not
foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of
peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war
no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years
ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the
streets of Jerusalem.

We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected
as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there
and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two
free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.
But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to
govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.

That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't
want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and
perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

We want peace.

I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces
of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and
overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community
is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the
"confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized
societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness
to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking,
the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation
strikes its jarring gong."

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the
"unteachibility of mankind" is for once proven wrong.

I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can
prevent danger in time.

In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago,
let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our
future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Arabs want Israel to attack

Israel: the Arabs' hope


Last Updated: 2:55 AM, September 24, 2009

Posted: 12:58 AM, September 24, 2009

President Obama tough ened his tone toward Iran a bit yesterday -- but the Is lamic Republic's fearful neighbors are looking elsewhere, to Israel of all places, for real toughness.

In his UN speech, Obama strayed a bit from his campaign talk of using personal charm to stop Iran's nuclear quest. Yes, he stuck to a promise of "diplomacy that opens a path to greater prosperity and more secure peace" on Iran. But he also hinted, a bit more darkly, that the international treaties that Iran and North Korea have violated "will be enforced."

Yet the small Gulf states are anxious. They don't believe that a shift in the president's rhetoric can stop Tehran -- and they don't see any sign of US action that will. These Arabs are reluctantly concluding that if anyone is going to help them, it's Israel.

Think of it: Does an Obama threat of "enforcement" instill fear in the hearts of the regional despots the way his predecessor's vow to enforce UN resolutions did? Without President George W. Bush's overthrow of Saddam, Moammar Khadafy would never have opted to become a UN "hero," as he did yesterday: Fear that the crazed cowboy might get him next was plainly part of his reason for dismantling Libya's nuclear-weapons program.

If Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (or the country's supreme leader, Ali Khameini) ever had similar fears, they're long gone. Iran's learned it can negotiate the West to death.

Last night, Ahmadinejad answered Obama with sheer audacity -- claiming, despite the disputed election still protested inside the country, that the Iranian people have "entrusted me once more with a large majority." He then offered anew to "engage" (Obama's favorite buzzword):

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, as one of the most democratic and progressive governments in the world, is ready to mobilize all its cultural, political and economic capabilities to engage into constructive process aimed at addressing the international concerns and challenges,"Ahmadinejad told an almost empty General Assembly hall. (US and European delegates walked out earlier, as the Persian Pariah begun to spew one of his anti-Semitic diatribes.)

Others joined Obama in talking tougher. Iran's leaders are "making a tragic mistake in relying on the passive response of the international community," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday.

But French signals are mixed: Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner expressed "doubts" about the wisdom of hitting Iran with the sharpest arrow in the Security Council's quiver, gasoline sanctions.

And France is the tough one in the group set to negotiate with Iran next month. (The foreign ministers of France, Russia, China, Britain, the US and Germany met yesterday and announced they'd start a "dual track" on Iran, devising a strategy in case Obama's negotiations with the mullahs fail).

All of which leaves the people who live closest to Iran feeling less than impressed. These Arabs yearn for a more active approach. "If Obama remains wishy-washy" on Iran's nukes, "we're going to be left to our own devices," the president of Kuwait's Center for Strategic Studies, Sami al-Faraj, told me this week.

The small countries near Iran -- including the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and his own Kuwait -- are looking for ways to hedge their bets, al-Faraj said. US promises of a security umbrella seem no more trustworthy than its promises to stop Iran's nuclear projects.

So these nations have increased their intelligence cooperation with Israel and other regional allies. They also increasingly see military force as the only way to stop the mullahs. And any attack, al-Faraj said, is best coming from Israel.

Kuwait has hosted US troops since the first Gulf War in 1991. Most of the troops we withdraw from Iraq but leave in the region will will end up there. If America attacks Iran's nuclear installations, al-Faraj said, his country would take the brunt of the Iranian retaliation. But if Israel attacks, Iranian missiles aimed at the Jewish state will "fly over our heads."

The region's Arabs are (too) secretly rooting for an Israeli attack to end their nuclear-Iran nightmares. By contrast, some Americans, like Zbigniew Brzezinski, advise Obama to tell the Israelis that, if they launch an attack on Iran, he'll order US planes to shoot their jets down.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that, in every conversation on the topic, Obama told him that all his diplomacy is aimed at preventing Iran from achieving nuclear-weapons capability. But, despite the Brzezinskis of the world, no Israeli official has ever taken any "option" off the table. ironically, Arab hopes are increasingly vested in the "Israeli option."

Russians too tougher on sanctions?

Big Oil Traders Cut Shipments to Tehran Amid Sanctions Talk

LONDON -- Some big oil traders have quietly scaled back or are preparing to halt fuel shipments to Iran amid uncertainty over whether the U.S. and Western powers will impose sanctions against the Islamic Republic for its nuclear program.

Talk of sanctions has ebbed and flowed in recent months as the West pressures Iran to curtail its nuclear program. On Wednesday, at the United Nations, Russian and U.S. leaders again raised the threat of sanctions, ahead of an Oct. 1 meeting.

Some big oil companies aren't waiting, and have been making preparations.

European oil giant BP PLC, which has extensive trading operations, stopped shipments of gasoline and other oil products to Iran at least six months ago, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person said the "overall environment," including the West's standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, had been behind the halt to shipments.

[Leveling Off chart]

An official at Total SA said the French oil major would stop gasoline shipments to Iran if the U.S. and other European nations were to approve measures calling for a halt on fuel exports to Iran. "If we get to that point and measures were put into law in the U.S. and Europe not to trade refined [oil] products to Iran, then we will follow the law," the Total official said.

Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell PLC, another gasoline shipper to Iran, declined to comment. U.S. oil companies are banned from selling petroleum products to Iran.

Although Iran is one of the world's biggest oil producers, it imports around 40% of its oil products. Iran's dependence on foreign gasoline and diesel is a soft spot the U.S. and some European nations could exploit if the country doesn't abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions over its nuclear program.

Iran is forced to import around 140,000 barrels a day of gasoline and diesel -- at a cost of $5 billion to $7 billion annually depending on oil prices -- because of inadequate refining capacity at home, a result of past sanctions and bureaucratic meddling in Iran that has stymied refinery development. Most of that oil product comes from European companies -- many of which have extensive U.S. operations -- and some Asian companies.

Even if gasoline sanctions come to pass, Iran has various outlets to buy oil products, though probably at higher prices. Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi told reporters in Vienna recently that Iran had made various arrangements to counter any cutoff in gasoline shipments; he didn't elaborate.

Venezuela said it planned on sending Iran about 20,000 barrels a day of gasoline starting next month.

China says officially it doesn't ship any gasoline to Iran, but Asian oil traders say gasoline originating from China is routinely blended with other supply and tankered to Iran. Mehdi Varzi, a London-based independent oil analyst who formerly worked for the Iranian National Oil Co., said existing shippers could sell product to Iran and hide the true origin of deliveries. Gasoline could also be trucked in from Iran's neighboring states, but it is unclear whether such countries, like Azerbaijan, a U.S. and European ally, would permit that.

Gasoline sanctions against Iran have been contemplated for months among Western policy makers, but the idea will gain impetus, at least in the U.S., if coming talks between Iran, the U.S., European nations, Russia and China yield disappointing results. Russia and China have previously signalled their opposition to sanctions against Iran's energy industry, but Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday reversed course and opened the possibility that he could back tougher sanctions on Iran.

"The Russian position is simple. . . . Sanctions rarely lead to productive results. But in some cases sanctions are inevitable," Mr. Medvedev said following a meeting in New York with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

American Govt official sponsors hate Israel event

Al-Quds Day – Celebrating Hate and Supporting Terror

IPT News
September 23, 2009
Multimedia for this item

Click Image to View Video Recording

It appeared to be a typical Al-Quds Day rally, replete with hateful speeches about the destruction of the State of Israel and the waving of Hizballah flags. The rally resembled other international versions of this year's Al-Quds Day celebration, an annual Islamist holiday initiated by Iranian revolutionary and terrorism exporter, Imam Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini. However, this event – held Friday, September 18th –wasn't in downtown Karachi or Damascus, but in downtown Washington, D.C's Sheridan Circle.

The rally was organized by an employee of the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, Faheem Darab. It even featured speakers as diverse as leaders from leftist organizations, a radical Reverend and homegrown American Islamists. The event was an expression of homegrown radicalism that sprouted from the seeds of a faraway revolution in Iran and was watered by local Jihadist sentiment.

Participants were greeted at the event by the prominent yellow flags of Hizballah – a group designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. In addition to this obvious display of support for a terrorist organization, the moderator of the event praised Imam Ayatollah Al-Khomeini, the initiator of Al-Quds Day and leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution. He even exhorted participants to carry posters with radical statements, including one with a quote from Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah:

"Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, illegitimate entity that has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto – Death to Israel

– Nasrallah."

Aside from the visual militancy on display at the rally, the speakers enflamed their followers with vocal calls for the destruction of Israel as well as support and justification for terrorism.

Afeef Khan, a leading associate of terrorism supporter Imam Mohammad al-Asi, was outspoken about his support for eliminating Israel and the worldwide problems it causes:

"And this is what I mean. That if we want a positive, a secure and a just future for the Palestinians and in fact for all the people of the Middle East and for all the people of North Africa, we cannot get away from the fact that the solution begins with the complete destruction, the annihilation, and the utter dismemberment of the State of Israel."

He also concluded that this would solve multiple global issues in a single move:

"Were it not for the state, there would be no lobbies all around the world sending money and arms to the State of Israel. Were it not for the state, all of these resources which are marshaled around the world to contribute to the injustice which comes out of that little country, that would not be possible. And so if you dismember the state, you dismember the world wide drug trade, the world wide trafficking of women, the world wide insecurity, the world wide financial crisis."

Finally, in a racist rant, Khan attacked President Obama for not having the courage to destroy Israel:

"And that the head politician on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – who of us has the courage to say to this politician that are you a regular house negro or are you the quintessential house negro? Who of us has the courage when we couch our presentation in suggesting that the problem can be solved by the dismemberment of the State of Israel and the support that state receives from the United States?"

However, well-known terror supporters like Khan were not the only supporters of extremism to speak. A representative of the Viva Palestina movement, rapper 'Ibrahim,' graced the audience with a spoken word performance: "My mind is in the zone of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, it's so powerful, we [are] so awesome." Izz ad-Din al-Qassam is the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization, which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis and Americans, and is banned under American law. He also called for another violent uprising in Israel and even the 'martyrdom' of Palestinian children.

He rapped:

"And I promise there will be another intifada. You think our children are scared to be martyrs?"

'Ibrahim' was followed by Reverend Graylan Hagler, the Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, Washington, D.C., and National President of Ministers for Racial, Social, and Economic Justice (MRSEJ). Reverend Hagler is no stranger to preaching for the destruction of Israel at anti-Israel rallies, as this March 30, 2002 quote illustrates:

"I am so glad that the silence is over, and just like the days in the anti-apartheid movement, we're going to stand up together until we dismantle the State of Israel!"

At this year's Al-Quds Day rally, Reverend Hagler discussed other forms of resistance:

"You don't need to be in Palestine to resist the structures of evil because the structures of evil have tentacles all over the world… And we've got to continue to resist settlements being placed on Palestinian territory. It's all against international law. It's against moral law and it's against the law of God. We need to continue to stand up and be the resistors."

Also appearing was conspiracy theorist Mauri Saalakhan, who discussed 'the Jewish lobby' and the need to continue Al-Quds Day in the memory of Iranian revolutionary Imam al-Khomenei. Saalakhan is the author of The Palestinians' Holocaust: American Perspectives, which discusses the 'Zionist' hand in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and around the world. However, in his speech this Al-Quds Day, Saalakhan was more open about his anti-Semitic sentiments:

"South African Emeritus, Arch Bishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu gave a stirring address, in which he declared, 'People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful.' Well, so what. For goodness sake, this is God's world. We live in a moral universe. Those that are powerful have to remember the litmus test that God gives to the powerful." [emphasis added]

Saalakhan also praised Imam Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian revolution, which has become the leading exporter of terrorism around the world today:

"I wanna thank the organizers for organizing this day, for remembering our Imam Khomeini, for blessing his memory, for honoring his spirit, by continuing this very important tradition."

Furthermore, Saalakhan praised attorney Bill Moffitt for his "brilliant" defense of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative Sami Al-Arian and Hamas agents Muhammad Salah and Abdel Haleem al-Ashqar.

With such an abundance of hate-filled speeches and chants, including, "Zionists, Hizballah is coming for you," "Israelis committing genocide, U.S. helping on the side" and "Cancer of the Middle East, Israel must not exist," one would expect the event to have been organized by someone other than a member of the Fairfax County Department of Zoning and Planning, Faheem Darab.

Like so many Al-Quds Day rallies around the world, this event disintegrated into support for violence and terrorism. Yet unlike others, the terrorism and hate in this instance were sponsored not by a radical mullah or mosque leader, but a local public official.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism

Liberman-get tougher on Iran

Lieberman: Get tougher on Iran

By Tony Romm - 09/23/09 01:06 PM ET

The Obama administration needs to get tougher on Iran if it wants to broker peace in the Middle East, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Wednesday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee member also reiterated his support for tough economic sanctions against Tehran, which he argued was the only way to show President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the United States was serious about nuclear non-proliferation.

"The original Obama administration position seemed to suggest the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East was the Israeli policy of building on territory [believed to be Palestinian]," Lieberman told MSNBC. "The real threat to peace in the Middle East is Iran."

"If you look at our policy, which is a global policy, to stop the Iranians from building nuclear weapons, everything we have done thus far has failed," Lieberman added, noting that he was preparing a bill that would levy new economic sanctions on the country. "I think the only way we're going to stop this development... is for us to make it clear to the Iranians that if they don't stop, they'll suffer."

As Lieberman voiced his concerns about U.S. policy toward the Middle East state, U.N. General Assembly members prepared to host Ahmadinejad, who will deliver a speech to the body on Wednesday afternoon. A number of delegates, including those from Israel, have already signaled they will not attend the speech. While it is unclear whether U.S. leaders will join them, the State Department did announce last week that Obama would not meet with the Iranian president directly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama's moral equivalency

Obama has chosen the path of moral equivalency. He equates Palestinian "encitement" with settlement growth by Israel. It's not INCITEMENT though. It's terrorism. He studiously avoids that word.
. Furthermore, Abbas is "king over nothing". He has no control whatsoever over Gaza and is losing more and more control in Judea and Samaria ( Netanyahu and Abbas could come to terms on virtually every point of discussion. Abbas has no way of delivering
anything because he's not in control. So there really is no use in negotiating at the present time. Any concessions on Israel's part today, would be the starting point for new negotiations if Hamas ever decided to come to the table, and they'd want much more (like destroying all of Israel?,

You can't equate the Gazan boy without water and country to the Israeli girl in Sderot. To the left it sounds heartless, but the Gazan boy has a choice (or more precisely, his parents do), while the Israeli girl has none. She has no control over the rockets. Indeed, her government gave Gaza to the Palestinians with no preconditions The Gazan boy's parents had some control over getting less of a country, and picking a government that would make water a priority over firing rockets into Israel.


I think we are unbelievably compassionate towards the Palestinians =
in Gaza because what we should really do is what America and Britain did =
to the Germans during WWII and that is bomb the entire country into submi=
ssion for having launched a war against us that we didn't ask for and did=
nothing to deserve. England and America killed tens of thousands of Germ=
an citizens and America - hundreds of thousands of Japanese - because the=
y refused to put their arms down, surrender and make peace. Israel has ne=
ver done anything like that at all. Personally I am saddened by only one =
aspect of the Cast Lead operation and that is Israeli soldiers died becau=
se we did not want to end these attacks by just bombing the Gazan cities =
into submission but rather went in with troops - lost precious Jewish liv=
es - in order to limit tremendously the number of civilian casualties. Th=
at was an great act of kindness and compassion on the part of Israel and =
some Israeli parents buried their sons because of that act of kindness an=
d compassion.

As for the Palestinians who lost their lives - I feel very bad for t=
heir families (assuming they weren't actually Hamas) and I say to them. Y=
ou elected Hamas - you stand by and let them attack a neighboring soverei=
gn nation - this is what you have brought upon yourself. And if you didn'=
t vote for Hamas - we are truly sorry for what your fellow Palestinians h=
ave brought upon you.

there are consequences to launching war and I'm sorry that you think the Palestinians should somehow be protected from those consequences. As for me - I'm worried about Israeli soldiers and the fact that Israel's gov't has it's hands tied and can't do the job necessary to end the necessity of soldiers going into Gaza.>


China Sends Fuel to Iran as U.S. Sanctions Loom - Report


Filed at 8:06 p.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) - State-run Chinese companies have started supplying Iran with gasoline in a move that could undermine U.S. pressure on Iran to give up its nuclear programme, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

Iran is the world's fifth-largest crude exporter but imports up to 40 percent of its gasoline as it lacks the refining capacity to meet domestic demand.

The United States and its European allies may target Iran's fuel imports if it refuses to enter talks over its disputed nuclear programme by the end of this month.

Iran's oil minister said last week the country was ready for any fuel sanctions and had signed deals with other countries to purchase more gasoline.

Traders and bankers familiar with Iran's purchasing told the British business daily China had already started supplying the country through intermediaries.

"We estimate, based on what we are hearing in the market, that 30,000-40,000 barrels a day of Chinese petrol is making its way from the Asian spot market to Iran via third parties," the newspaper quoted Lawrence Eagles, head of commodities research at JPMorgan, as saying.

Trader said the sales were legal as fuel imports are not yet included in sanctions against Tehran.

Oil traders told Reuters in late August Iran's imports were likely to be steady at around 128,000 barrels per day in September.

The U.S. Senate in July voted to ban firms that sell gasoline to Iran from also receiving Energy Department contracts to deliver crude to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

strike on iran?

Q+A-Could Israel strike Iran over nuclear concerns?

Sept 21 (Reuters) - Israel has not given up the option of a military response to Tehran's nuclear programme, Israel's deputy foreign minister said on Monday, after Russia had said Israel's president gave an assurance Israel would not attack [nLL693597].

Many analysts believe the risks of a strike by Israel, even one not endorsed by its ally the United States, are significant.

Here's where matters stand:


It's a poker game with high stakes and a degree of bluff. Israeli leaders refuse to rule out any option [ID:nLD462373]. They do not believe Iran's assurances it wants only nuclear energy. Noting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated assertions that Israel has no future [ID:nLI166069], Israel has said an Iranian bomb would be a threat to its very existence that it simply would not tolerate.

Last year, however, it emerged officials were making plans for how Israel might live with a nuclear Iran in a state of mutual deterrence. And a June poll [ID:nLE668763] showed Israelis would not expect a nuclear Iran to attack. Last week, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said even a nuclear Iran could not destroy Israel, stating: "Israel can lay waste to Iran." [ID:nLH395080]

Since becoming prime minister in March, Benjamin Netanyahu has, aides say, made ending threats from Iran a defining element of what he sees as his personal role in Jewish history. A 1981 Israeli air strike that destroyed Iraq's only nuclear reactor, as well as a strike in Syria in 2007 that is cloaked in mystery, set precedents. Despite a policy of silence, few doubt Israel has nuclear weapons and missiles that can hit Iran.


It is not clear how Israel would define achieving its goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But a pledge from Iran to forswear such arms, backed by some form of supervision and intelligence data, might be a minimum. Much will depend on Iran's actions and on U.S. President Barack Obama and others, who are pressing Iran through sanctions and diplomacy.

While many analysts doubt Iran's denials of military intent, some say Iran may be content with showing it has the potential to go nuclear quickly, without actually arming itself. Israel, however, might not accept that level of potential threat.

In the meantime, were Israel to consider a unilateral strike on it Iran it would have to weigh several major risks:

-- of retaliation, not just from Iran but its allied guerrilla groups, Lebanon's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas

-- of economic and diplomatic backlash from U.S. and allies

-- of a failed attack still triggering the above reactions


First, Iran's technology: Israel's national security adviser said in July it had passed a "red line" in terms of being able to make its own nuclear explosive but could not make significant amounts nor yet put viable nuclear warheads on its missiles.

Mossad chief Meir Dagan, seen as a key figure in Israel's Iran policy who has just had his mandate unusually extended to 2010, said in June Iran could have a viable warhead in 2014.

Second, diplomacy: Iran is to meet on Oct. 1 with six major powers concerned about its nuclear plans. In May, Obama told Netanyahu that "by the end of the year" he expected to judge whether diplomacy was succeeding. Last week, a former senior official said that if the West did not agree crippling sanctions by the end of the year, Israel would have to strike [ID:nLG58054].

Russia, a veto-holding member of the Security Council and potential arms supplier to Iran, has a major role [ID:nLK555856].


Obama, at odds with Netanyahu over Jewish settlement in the West Bank and peace moves with the Palestinians [ID:nLK558138], said in July he had "absolutely not" given Israel a green light to attack. He was responding to his vice-president saying that Israel had a right to act if it felt "existentially threatened". Israel would be reluctant to anger its key ally. It would not wish Washington to be surprised, might even want U.S. help. But many analysts believe Israel might yet go it alone [nL3237769].

Some question whether Israel's U.S.-armed military has the range and firepower to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities without U.S. help. Analysts say Israel might be content with slowing any nuclear arms programme, hoping for political change to end it.

Talk of an Israeli unilateral strike may also be part of a tactic of deterrence, or a bid to ensure U.S. cooperation.


Overt or covert? Israel has been developing "cyber-war" capabilities that could disrupt Iranian industrial and military control systems. Few doubt that covert action, by Mossad agents on the ground, also features in tactics against Iran [ID:nLV83872]. An advantage of sabotage over an air strike may be deniability.

Militarily Israel can also deploy the following forces:

AIR -- 500 combat aircraft, including F-15s and F-16s able to bomb Iran's west, and further with aerial refuelling, a technique for which the air force has been training. Planes can overfly hostile Arab states using stealth technology. Armed with "bunker buster" bombs that can be released with accuracy outside Iran's airspace. Israel is also assumed to have dozens of Jericho missiles designed to carry conventional or nuclear warheads to the Gulf. An Israeli nuclear strike is unlikely.

LAND -- Special forces could be deployed on the ground, to spot targets, and also possibly destroy them with sabotage.

SEA -- Israel sailed one of its three German-made Dolphin submarines into the Red Sea through Suez in June, opening a way to the Gulf. The submarines are believed to be capable of firing nuclear and conventional cruise missiles.

MISSILE DEFENCE - Israel is upgrading its Arrow missile interceptor, which is underwritten by Washington, and can also expect to avail itself of American Aegis anti-missile ships deployed in the Mediterranean. X-band, a U.S. strategic radar stationed in Israel, further cements the alliance [ID:nLH667845]. (Writing by Alastair Macdonald) (For blogs and links on Israeli politics and other Israeli and Palestinian news, go to

SOURCE: BBC, Monday, 21 September 2009 15:03 UK

Israel's 'options open' on Iran

Isfahan nuclear plant, file pic
Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes

Israel has not ruled out any options in dealing with Iran's nuclear programme, a senior Israeli official has said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said there was no guarantee Israel would not launch a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

The comments come after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Israel had assured him it had no such plans.

Tehran says its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes and denies it is seeking to build nuclear weapons.

In an interview with US network CNN, Mr Medvedev said Israeli President Shimon Peres had told him in person Israel was not planning any strikes on Iran.

According to a transcript of an interview released by the Kremlin on Sunday, the Russian president said such a strike would cause a "humanitarian disaster" and be "the worst thing that can be imagined".

But Mr Ayalon said that remark was "certainly not a guarantee" that there would be no military action.

"I don't think that, with all due respect, the Russian president is authorised to speak for Israel and certainly we have not taken any option off the table," he said.

Israel's leaders have consistently said military action is an option in dealing with what they see as a serious nuclear threat from Iran, and Mr Ayalon's comments were later echoed by Israel's army chief, Lt Gen Gabi Ashkenazi.
He told Army Radio that Israel had "the right to defend itself and all options are on the table".

SOURCE: Agence France Presse, Monday, September 21, 2009

Israel says all options still open on Iran

(AFP) – JERUSALEM — Israel is keeping its options open to deal with the Iranian nuclear programme, a senior official said on Monday, after the Russian president said he had been assured it would not take military action.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made the comments in an interview with US television, excerpts of which were released by the Kremlin on Sunday.

"When Israeli President (Shimon) Peres was visiting me in Sochi recently, he said something very important for all of us: 'Israel does not plan any strikes on Iran, we are a peaceful country and we will not do this'," Medvedev said.

Peres's office declined to comment on the remarks on Monday.

But Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon reiterated what Israeli leaders have said repeatedly -- that the Jewish state is keeping all options open when it comes to its arch-foe.

"All options remain on the table," Ayalon was quoted as saying by his spokesman. "It is certainly not a guarantee."

Ayalon later told Israel's army radio that Medvedev could have misunderstood what Peres said, or that his words may have been wrongly interpreted.

"Notwithstanding our respect for the Russian president, he is not in a position to speak in the name of Israel. There has been no change in our position."

Israeli chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi joined in the debate, saying a nuclear Iran would be a threat to the Middle East and "the entire free world" as well as the Jewish state.

"We all understand that the best way of coping is through international sanctions," he told army radio. "I hope that Iran will understand this.

"I think that if not, Israel has the right to defend itself, and all options are open. The IDF's (Israel Defence Forces) working premise is that we have to be prepared for that possibility, and that is exactly what we are doing."

Widely considered to be the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, Israel, like the West, suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of its nuclear programme, a charge Tehran denies.

Israel considers the Islamic republic its top enemy after repeated statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that it is doomed to be "wiped off the map" and that the Holocaust was a "myth."

SOURCE: Haaretz (Israeli), Monday, September 21, 2009

Deputy FM: Israel still has military option against Iran

By Haaretz Service and Reuters

Israel has not given up the option of a military response to Tehran's nuclear program, Israel's deputy foreign minister said Monday, after Russia's president said his Israeli counterpart had assured him the country would not attack Iran.

Danny Ayalon was asked by Reuters if the comment by President Shimon Peres, as reported on Sunday by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, was a guarantee there would be no Israeli strike on Iran.

"It is certainly not a guarantee," Ayalon replied. "I don't think that, with all due respect, the Russian president is authorized to speak for Israel and certainly we have not taken any option off the table."

In an interview with CNN released on Sunday, Medvedev described an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites as "the worst thing that can be imagined." He said Peres made the comment at a meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi in August.

"When he visited me in Sochi, Israeli President Peres said something important for us all: 'Israel does not plan to launch any strikes on Iran. We are a peaceful country and we will not do this'," Medvedev quoted Peres as saying in the interview, which was recorded on Tuesday, according to a Kremlin transcript.

Medvedev's comments came amid speculation that Israel was considering a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities in the belief the Islamic Republic is using them to develop atomic weapons.

The Israel Defense Forces chief staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, also said on Monday that he would not rule out a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, saying all options were open in self-defence.

"Israel has the right to defend itself and all options are on the table," Askenazi said during a rare interview on Army Radio when asked if Israel had the capacity to attack if it felt threatened by Tehran.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in comments published Monday that concern about Iran remains a top priority and that Israel wants the diplomatic efforts being pursued by the Americans to be limited, well defined and followed by tough sanctions. He reiterated that he removes no option from the table, a reference to the possibility of a military assault on Iranian nuclear facilities, according to the paper.

The minister also said a central challenge for the United States now was how to handle the nuclear weapons of North Korea, the paper reported, because that would greatly influence Iran.

"North Korea is developing long-range missiles in the backyard of China and Russia and nothing happens to them," The New York Times quoted him as saying. "When the Iranian leadership asks themselves, 'Should we be worried or just go through the ritual of defying and cheating?' the answer depends on what happens to North Korea. A coherent move toward blocking nuclear proliferation should start with North Korea. It would have very positive ramifications for blocking Iran."

SOURCE: Haaretz (Israeli), Sunday, September 20, 2009

Report: IDF, U.S. military to simulate Iran missile strike on Israel

By Haaretz Service

The Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. military will soon hold a training exercise in which they will simulate missile attacks on Israel from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Sunday.

The exercise will be carried out as part of the ongoing maneuvers between Israel and the United States, the London-based paper said, which will reportedly be the broadest-ever this year.

According to the paper, the drill is also part of U.S. President Barack Obama's new missile defense plan, under which the Pentagon will initially deploy ships with missile interceptors instead of stationing missile defense systems in Eastern Europe.

The objective of the missile plan is to counter the threat of missile attack from Iran, not Russia.

The report came shortly before Defense Minister Ehud Barak was to leave for the United States, where he was to meet with his counterpart, Robert Gates.

Only last month, the IDF held a joint naval exercise with the U.S. and Turkish militaries in the international waters off Israel's coast, according to Army Radio. Six missile boats, three helicopters and two jets participated in the drill, which simulated search and rescue operations, Army Radio reported.