Wednesday, November 25, 2009

won't play Hatikva

A new trend- Israeli athletes win international competitions, but the host countries can't seem to find a recording of the Israeli national anthem, so the athletes sing it unaccompanied .

Tuesday, November 24, 2009



Sands book a lie

Sands book a lie

Home / Articles / Jewish Peoplehood Denied, While Israel’s Foes Applaud
Jewish Peoplehood Denied, While Israel’s Foes Applaud
By Hillel Halkin
Published June 24, 2009, issue of July 03, 2009.
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Although there is probably no book too foolish to go un-admired by someone, there are subjects for which the market for foolishness is especially large. Any list of these would have to include “Jews” and “Israel” near its top, as has once again been demonstrated by the granting of this year’s prestigious Aujourd’hui Award to the French translation of Israeli academic Shlomo Sand’s book “The Invention of the Jewish People.” (This is the title of the English edition, due to appear in September from left-wing publisher Verso.)

Sand’s book, which argues that there was no such thing as a Jewish people until one was “constructed” by Zionism and Jewish nationalism in the 19th century, would have attracted little notice had it been written by a professor of history at the University of Damascus. As the work of a supposed historian at the University of Tel Aviv, it is a scandal, a fashionably phrased political screed against Zionism that cherry-picks its data while pretending to be history. Alas, it will be accepted as history by many readers who are as dutifully impressed by its 568 footnotes, as were, it would seem, the French journalists on the Aujourd’hui panel.

Not that Sand gets everything wrong. His book is full of perfectly correct and quite unoriginal observations: some elaborating why today’s Jews are not all descendants of biblical Israelites and stem in part from ancestors who joined the Jewish people by religious conversion over the ages (although Sand’s treatment of the considerable genetic research on the subject is shockingly shoddy, he is not wholly wrong about the matter); some pointing out that Diaspora Jews never shared a single spoken language or material culture, let alone territory, as do most peoples; and some dwelling on the problematic nature of the State of Israel, which aspires to be Jewish, democratic and secular while denying non-Jews certain privileges extended to Jews and defining Jewishness in terms of traditional religious law. These are all issues worthy of discussion, and there is nothing wrong with raising them.

And yet to go from there to Sand’s absurd conclusions that the Jews, who considered themselves a distinct people from their early history, were “invented” as one in modern times; that their historical connection to Palestine is “imaginary,” because they are not descended in their entirety from ancient Palestinian Jewry; or that the idea of a Jewish state is therefore less acceptable than the idea of a French or Spanish state, demands a thoroughly dishonest manipulation of the facts. Indeed, if one is talking about the “construction” of national identities, an enterprise that numerous post-modernist historians of nationalism to whom Sand is indebted have written about, it is the French and Spanish who are the parvenus, having undertaken the task only in the late Middle Ages. And if you are looking for peoples who accomplished this even later, in the last two or three centuries, say, you might consider the Italians, the Germans, the Americans, the Brazilians, the Indians and a host of others (including those latest of latecomers, the Palestinians). You would never, unless you wanted to flaunt your ignorance, mention the Jews, who had a fully developed national consciousness at least 2,500 years ago.

But of course, no one would ever write a book challenging the idea of an Italian, German or Brazilian state, much less win any French prizes for it. It is only the Jews in regard to whom it is nowadays increasingly bon ton to argue that a country of their own is not for them. And should you have the bad manners to object that it is antisemitic to deny them a right that is granted to other peoples, you can now look forward to being answered: “Ah, my friend, the Jews have only imagined they are a people! If even a Jewish professor of history says so, it must be true.”

And yet the embarrassment of Jewishness has always made certain Jewish intellectuals not the last, but the first, to seek to discredit the idea of Jewish peoplehood. From the age of the French Revolution, a time at which few European gentiles doubted for a moment that the Jews were a separate people (and on the whole, a heartily disliked one), there were plenty of Jews who insisted that they were really just Frenchmen or Germans or Englishmen of “the Mosaic faith,” with no national ties to other Mosaicists living elsewhere. And by the same token, in the 1940s, when Hitler and his legions were confident that they were exterminating a people and not a mere religious profession, the so-called Canaanite movement, born in the bohemian cafés of Tel Aviv, made similar claims for the Jews of Palestine — who, it was said, were proud, sun-bronzed “Hebrews,” not to be confused with the pale-skinned juifs, Juden and zhidi of Europe then meekly trooping off to the gas chambers.

Shlomo Sand is in this tradition, a post-modernist Canaanite who need not, he thinks, suffer the indignity of belonging to the Jewish people because — what a relief! — no such people exists. No doubt, not a few of the thousands of Israelis who helped put Sand’s book on the best-seller list in Israel experienced a similar epiphany upon reading it. Even in a Jewish state, we now know, there will always be Jews who would rather be something else. You can, to paraphrase an old Zionist witticism, take the Jew out of the non-Jewish environment into which he dreams of assimilating, but you cannot take the assimilationist out of every Jew.

Unfortunately, there are even larger numbers of non-Jews who will be happy to believe Sand’s nonsense. Once upon a time, antisemitism consisted of the belief that the Jews were an incorrigible and pernicious people who could never be absorbed by other peoples. Today, it is trendy to hold that they are a non-people masquerading as a people in order to justify stealing another people’s homeland. Le plus ça change, le plus ça reste le même chose. As discouraging as it is to see Jewish intellectuals like Shlomo Sand aiding and abetting their people’s enemies, this too is not new under the sun.

Hillel Halkin is the author, most recently, of “A Strange Death: A Story Originating in Espionage, Betrayal, and Vengeance in a Village in Old Palestine” (Public Affairs, 2005) and “Across the Sabbath River: In Search of a Lost Tribe of Israel” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002).

Israeli economic growth and innovation

Where Tech Keeps Booming
In Israel, a clustering of talent, research universities and venture capital..ArticleComments (5)more in Books ».EmailPrinter
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'There are more new innovative ideas . . . coming out of Israel than there are out in [Silicon] Valley right now. And it doesn't slow during economic downturns." The authors of "Start-Up Nation," Dan Senor and Saul Singer, are quoting an executive at British Telecom, but they could just as easily be quoting an executive at Intel, which last year opened a $3.5 billion factory in Kiryat Gat, an hour south of Tel Aviv, to make sophisticated 45-nanometer chips; or Warren Buffett, who in 2006 paid $4 billion for four-fifths of an Israeli firm that makes high-tech cutting tools for cars and planes; or John Chambers, Cisco's chief executive, who has bought nine Israeli start-ups; or Steve Ballmer, who calls Microsoft "as much an Israeli company as an American company" because of the importance of its Israeli technologists. "Google, Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, eBay . . . ," says one of eBay's executives. "The best-kept secret is that we all live and die by the work of our Israeli teams."

Israel is the world's techno-nation. Civilian research-and-development expenditures run 4.5% of the gross domestic product—half-again the level of the U.S., Germany or South Korea—and venture-capital investment per capita is 2½ times that of the U.S. and six times that of the United Kingdom. Even in absolute terms, Israel has only the U.S.—with more than 40 times the population—as a challenger.

As Messrs. Senor and Singer write: "Israel—a country of just 7.1 million people—attracted close to $2 billion in venture capital [in 2008], as much as flowed to the U.K.'s 61 million citizens or the 145 million people living in Germany and France combined." At the start of 2009, some 63 Israeli companies were listed on the Nasdaq, more than those of any other foreign country. Among the Israeli firms: Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world's largest generic drug maker, with a market cap of $48 billion; and Check Point Software Technologies, with a market cap of $7 billion.

Such economic dynamism has occurred in the face of war, internal strife and rising animosity from other nations. During the six years following the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000, Israel suffered one of its worst periods of terrorist attacks and fought a second Lebanese war; and yet, as the authors note, its "share of the global venture capital market did not drop—it doubled, from 15 percent to 31 percent."

View Full Image
.Start-Up Nation
By Dan Senor and Saul Singer
Twelve, 304 pages, $26.99
.One important question that "Start-Up Nation" raises is: Why Israel and not elsewhere? The authors—Mr. Senor, a foreign-policy official in the George W. Bush administration who now advises an investment fund, and Mr. Singer, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post—dispose, a bit too blithely, the argument from ethnic or religious exceptionalism, dismissing "unitary Jewishness" or even individual talent as major reasons for Israel's high-tech success. (George Gilder, in a recent book treating some of the same matters, "The Israel Test," disagrees: "Israel today concentrates the genius of the Jews.")

Instead, Messrs. Senor and Singer point to a "classic cluster of the type Harvard professor Michael Porter has championed [and] Silicon Valley embodies": the tight proximity of research universities, large firms and start-ups, a talent pool drawn from around the world, and an ecosystem of venture capital and military and other government R&D funding. In addition, they contend, Israel has a unique entrepreneurial culture that combines individualism, egalitarianism (a penchant for organizational flatness) and nurturing.

Where does this culture come from? Mainly, the Israeli military. "You have minimal guidance from the top," Messrs. Senor and Singer write, "and are expected to improvise, even if this means breaking some rules. If you're a junior officer, you call your higher-ups by their first names, and if you see them doing something wrong, you say so." High-school stand-outs are recruited into elite military units and trained intensively, with an emphasis on technology. When they're done, everything required to launch a start-up "will be a phone call away. . . . Almost everyone can find some connection to whomever he or she needs to contact to get started." Israel is a country, it seems, where everyone knows everyone.

It is also a country with mandatory military service before college. For nations that want to emulate Israel's start-up success, Messrs. Senor and Singer advocate similar mandatory service, military or otherwise, to get "something like the leadership, teamwork, and mission-oriented skills and experience Israelis receive." The trick is to combine what's learned in the Israeli Defense Forces (or its non-defense equivalent elsewhere) with an almost abrasive individualism and the kind of self-reliance that occurs in a country that has to go it alone to survive.

The authors give relatively short shrift to economic policy. In a regulatory straitjacket and dominated by a state-run banking system, Israel suffered a "lost decade" from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. Messrs. Senor and Singer give appropriate credit to the reforms (like eliminating a ban on performance fees for hedge funds) initiated by Benjamin Netanyahu, now the prime minister, when he ran the finance ministry.

The greatest strength of "Start-Up Nation" is not analysis but anecdote. The authors tell vivid stories of entrepreneurial success, such as that of Shai Agassi, the son of an Iraqi immigrant to Israel, with his electric-automobile technology, now in the process of creating "Car 2.0"; or Gavirel Iddan, who got his start as a rocket scientist, with his pill cameras that explore the inside of the human body, founding Given Imaging in 2001, "the first company to go public on Wall Street after the 9/11 attacks." In the end, it is not easy to discover why Israel, a tiny nation of immigrants torn by war, has managed to become the first technology nation. It may be enough, as this fine book does, to shine a spotlight on its success.

Mr. Glassman is executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, a think tank that is part of the Bush Center in Dallas, which will include a library and museum.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Iran behind Anti-Israel profs

In-Depth Issues:

Columbia, Rutgers on Iran-Controlled Foundation's Gift List - Isabel Vincent (New York Post)
Anti-Israel, pro-Iran university professors are being funded by a shadowy multimillion-dollar Islamic charity that the feds charge is an illegal front for the repressive Iranian regime.
The Alavi Foundation has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to Columbia University and Rutgers University for Middle Eastern and Persian studies programs that employ professors sympathetic to the Iranian dictatorship.
"We found evidence that the government of Iran really controlled everything about the foundation," said Adam Kaufmann, investigations chief at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
Federal law-enforcement authorities are in the midst of seizing up to $650 million in assets from the Alavi Foundation, which they charge funnels money to Iran-supported Islamic schools in the U.S. and to a syndicate of Iranian spies based in Europe.
The foundation donated $100,000 to Columbia University after the school agreed to host Iranian leader and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to the foundation's 2007 tax filings.
Rutgers professor Hooshang Amirahmadi, former head of the school's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and president of the American-Iranian Council, unabashedly has touted Hizbullah and Hamas as legitimate organizations and not terrorists.


Friday, November 20, 2009

J Street firmly in anti -Israel, pro Iran camp

J Street: Not Really So Concerned About Israel's Security

Another fun email from the NIAC treasure trove...Given that J Street blasted Sarah Palin for her support for the official policy of the government in Jerusalem, and given that even ADL chief Abe Foxman is questioning J Street's "pro-Israel" bona fides as a result, it's worth taking a look behind the scenes of J Street's campaign to scuttle new sanctions on Iran -- a campaign that the group coordinated with NIAC. Here's J Street political director Joel Rubin congratulating the legislative director of the National Iranian American Council, Emily Blout, on their successful push to defeat new sanctions legislation in late 2008:

From: Joel Rubin
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 21:30:43 -0400
To: Emily Blout
Subject: Re: Hi - get together in mid-October?

I just got airtight confirmation that no 362 language will be included in the Iran sanctions subsection of the India nuclear bill. My bet is that that subsection will get dropped in conference, if it even gets that far. Of course, who knows if they'll be back in November and if the other side makes another play. In any event, you guys did great work this year. Really great

I don't think anybody would make the claim that NIAC is on the "pro-Israel" side, so when Rubin talks about "the other side," it's the genuine pro-Israel community he's talking about, right? Sanctions are the number one priority for Israel and the pro-Israel community in the United States. Why is J Street conspiring with an organization run by an Iranian national -- an organization that Congress has asked AG Holder to investigate for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws -- to kill that legislation?

Parsi was invited to speak at J Street's conference last month. At the time, I asked Hadar Susskind, J Street's director of policy and strategy, what he was doing there. "Some people say Parsi is the regime's man in Washington," I told him. "Those people are wrong," Susskind said. He insisted that Parsi "supports the Iranian people, he is not here on behalf of the regime." Maybe, but that isn't the way the Iranian people see it. When Eli Lake first broke this story, he closed with a quote from Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the unofficial spokesman for Iran's Green Movement. "I think Trita Parsi does not belong to the Green Movement. I feel his lobbying has secretly been more for the Islamic Republic," Makhmalbaf said. It seems J Street isn't just redefining "pro-Israel" -- they're redefining "pro-Iran" as well.

Breakthroughs in israel again

# Israeli Invention Allows for Early Detection of Cancerous Skin Tumors - Dan Even
A new Israeli invention allows cancerous tumors on the skin to be detected and examined before they become visible to the naked eye, Ben-Gurion University announced. The developer of the new instrument, Ofir Aharon, a doctoral student at the electrophysiological department at Ben-Gurion University, said the technology "allows manipulation of different light frequencies and adjustments to electric fields to examine skin lesions." (Ha'aretz)

# Tel Aviv University Develops New Wound Dressing with Antibiotics
About 70% of all people with severe burns die from related infections. But a revolutionary new wound dressing developed at Tel Aviv University could cut that number dramatically. Prof. Meital Zilberman of TAU's Department of Biomedical Engineering has developed a new wound dressing based on fibers she engineered that can be loaded with drugs like antibiotics to speed up the healing process, and then dissolve when they've done their job. A study published in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Applied Biomaterials demonstrates that, after only two days, this dressing can eradicate infection-causing bacteria. The new dressing protects the wound until it is no longer needed, after which it melts away. (Medical News)
# Bone Repair "Breakthrough" at Hadassah - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich

A team at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Medical Center has managed to separate platelets and adult stem cells from the blood and bone marrow of patients with fractures and inject them - causing the bones to meld in a quarter to third of the time and repairing some breaks that would have failed to heal. (Jerusalem Post)
# Israel Water Tech Thrives in Weakened Economy - Ari Rabinovitch

Israel's water technology sector has prospered despite the global financial crisis, largely due to global stimulus packages and penetration in developing countries, officials said on Wednesday. Water companies benefit from both infrastructure and cleantech spending, both cornerstones of stimulus packages. Water recycling company Aqwise, whose system breeds bacteria to break down organic waste, saw its sales increase 50% in 2009. (Reuters)

Jihad at fort hood

In-Depth Issues:

Major Hasan's Islamist Life - Daniel Pipes (FrontPageMagazine)
Initial responses from the U.S. Army, law enforcement, politicians, and journalists broadly agreed that Maj. Nidal Hasan's murderous rampage had nothing to do with Islam.
But evidence keeps accumulating that confirms Hasan's Islamist outlook, his jihadi temperament, and his bitter hatred of kafirs (infidels).
One official at Walter Reed Army Medical Center told colleagues of his worries "that if Hasan deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak secret military information to Islamic extremists."
Another official reportedly wondered aloud to colleagues whether Hasan might be capable of committing fratricide, recalling Sergeant Hasan Akbar's 2003 rampage.
At Ft. Hood, his supervisor, Captain Naomi Surman, recalled his telling her that as an infidel she would "burn in hell."
The writer is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.
See also How Nidal Malik Hasan's Path Turned More Radical - Patrik Jonsson (Christian Science Monitor)
See also Senators Say Fort Hood Shooting Was Terrorism - Patrik Jonsson (Christian Science Monitor)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Brazen british Bigotry and Bias vs Israel

Another Vast Jewish Conspiracy
British media and society are gripped by lies about a "secret" Israel lobby controlling foreign policy.


Here is a small selection of events that have taken place in Britain since the end of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza earlier this year.

The government has imposed a partial arms embargo on Israel and failed to vote against the Goldstone report in the U.N . The charities War on Want and Amnesty International U.K. have both promoted a book by the anti-Israeli firebrand Ben White, tellingly called "Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide." The Trades Union Congress at its annual conference has called for boycotts of Israeli products as well as a total arms embargo.

In the media, the Guardian newspaper has stepped up its already obsessive campaign against the Jewish state to the extent that the paper's flagship Comment is Free Web site frequently features two anti-Israeli polemics on one and the same day. The BBC continues to use its enormous influence over British public opinion to whitewash anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the Middle East. Its Web site, for example, features a profile of Hamas that makes no mention of the group's virulent hatred of Jews or its adherence to a "Protocols of Zion"-style belief in world-wide Jewish conspiracies.

Readers may be surprised to learn, therefore, that the British media and political establishment is apparently cowering under the sway of a secretive cabal of Zionist lobbyists who have all but extinguished critical opinions of Israel from the public domain.

Such charges have been aired to mass critical acclaim this week in a landmark documentary, "Inside Britain's Israel Lobby," on Channel 4—the same outlet that offered Iran's Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an uninterrupted, seven-minute propaganda slot on Christmas Day last year.

The makers of the documentary—top Daily Mail columnist Peter Oborne and TV journalist James Jones—have also written about their program in the Guardian. Both furiously deny that they are peddling conspiracy theories. But the mindset we are dealing with was neatly exposed by the authors' own explanation on how their suspicions were aroused that something sinister is at work in the corridors of British power.

It all transpired, they told readers ominously, during an address earlier this year by Conservative Party leader David Cameron at a dinner hosted by the Conservative Friends of Israel.

"The dominant event of the previous 12 months had been the Israeli invasion of Gaza," they wrote. "We were shocked Cameron made no reference in his speech to the massive destruction it caused, or the 1,370 deaths that resulted, or for that matter the invasion itself. Indeed, our likely future prime minister went out of his way to praise Israel because it 'strives to protect innocent life.' This remark was not intended satirically."

Since it is inconceivable, the authors obviously believe, that anyone could honestly credit Israel with anything other than the most damnable motives it must therefore follow that those who do in fact praise the Jewish state must be being paid or bullied into doing so.

If you think this all sounds familiar, you'd be right. Messrs. Oborne and Jones produced an extensive pamphlet accompanying the documentary, which openly claimed inspiration from none other than John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"—another conspiracy theory alleging malign Zionist influence in the United States.

But if Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt at least felt the need to dress up their polemic in pseudo-academic wrapping paper, the sheer amateurishness of the British documentary they inspired is breathtaking. There was the endless superimposition of the Israeli Star of David on to the British flag, which, along with some absurdly melancholic background music, was presumably designed to prepare viewers for an astonishing series of revelations. But of course such revelations actually never materialized.

It turns out from the documentary itself that the allegedly secretive Jewish donors have been quite open in declaring their interests in accordance with the law. One of them, Poju Zabludowicz, the billionaire funder of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) is good friends with Madonna—not exactly the kind of company you'd choose if you were trying to hide behind a veil of obscurity.

Much is also made of the influence of Friends of Israel groupings in the British Parliament. Such allegations are, of course, rendered ridiculous with a moment's reflection on the countervailing influence of vast amounts of Arab oil money, not to mention the fact that membership in such groups for many parliamentarians is either purely formal or outright meaningless. Michael Ancram, for example, a former Northern Ireland minister and a member of Conservative Friends of Israel for more than 30 years, is famous for calling for talks with Hamas.

Given the paucity of the arguments, it would be tempting to dismiss the whole thing as unimportant. Would that we could. The documentary has already provoked a torrent of abuse against British Jews, not least on Channel 4's widely read Web site, whose moderators have seen fit to approve dozens of postings about the Zionist lobby's "seditious behavior," its "disgusting attack on British democracy," "the hand of global Zionism at work," and several along the lines of the following, which said flatly: "We want our country back. The agents of a foreign power embedded at all levels of our government and politics need flushing out."

If this sort of language takes hold, a bad situation in Britain may be about to get a whole lot worse.

Jewish leadership organizations have long feared accusations of divided loyalty between Britain and Israel and, ironically given the charges now being made against them, are frequently criticized in their own communities for failing to be sufficiently robust in Israel's defense. The risk is that some may now be panicked into silence.

Non-Jews who call for a more reasoned discussion of Israel—already a small and diminishing group in Britain—will likely face additional slanders against their integrity: Since there is supposedly no reasonable case to be made in favor of the Jewish state, we must have sold out to the "Lobby."

Such calumnies cannot be allowed to stand. Now more than ever, the forces of reason and decency must continue the fight to be heard.

Mr. Shepherd is director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society. His new book, "A State Beyond the Pale: Europe's Problem With Israel," has just been published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Palestinians going rogue?

Last update - 12:43 08/11/2009
PM heads to U.S. under threat of Palestinian statehood declaration
By Barak Ravid and Natasha Mozgovaya
Concerns are growing in Israel's government over the possibility of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence within the 1967 borders, a move which could potentially be recognized by the United Nations Security Council.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently asked the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama to veto any such proposal, after reports reached Jerusalem of support for such a declaration from major European Union countries, and apparently also certain U.S. officials.

The reports indicated that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has reached a secret understanding with the Obama administration over U.S. recognition of an independent Palestinian state. Such recognition would likely transform any Israeli presence across the Green Line, even in Jerusalem, into an illegal incursion to which the Palestinians would be entitled to engage in measures of self-defense.

Palestinian threatens unilateral statehood declaration

PM heads to U.S. under threat of Palestinian statehood declaration
By Barak Ravid and Natasha Mozgovaya
Tags: Netanyahu in Washington

Concerns are growing in Israel's government over the possibility of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence within the 1967 borders, a move which could potentially be recognized by the United Nations Security Council.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently asked the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama to veto any such proposal, after reports reached Jerusalem of support for such a declaration from major European Union countries, and apparently also certain U.S. officials.

The reports indicated that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has reached a secret understanding with the Obama administration over U.S. recognition of an independent Palestinian state. Such recognition would likely transform any Israeli presence across the Green Line, even in Jerusalem, into an illegal incursion to which the Palestinians would be entitled to engage in measures of self-defense.

Anne Roiphe's nonsense about Israel

In the Nov. 3 issue, (Wandering in the desert of occupation) Anne
Roiphe once again infuriates She speaks gently of a gentle Israel
which "would show the world how to be strong and good," and then goes
on to accuse Israel, especially its right wing, and people like me, of
being like cruel Brittania (with a picture of a British uniform
with the Star of David replacing the British head by the side of a
sword) ruling the weak world. Does she really believe that Arab
unfriendliness towards us began with her
so-called "Occupation?" What was the Mufti of Jerusalem doing in
Hitler's office in the forties? Why did seven armies invade us after
the UN gave us our birth certificate with the Partition Resolution?
What was Nasser trying to do to us before 1967? And Sadat in the Yom
Kippur War? Does she really think we are trying, even the yeshiva boy
settlers she loves to hate, to take over the West Bank and drive the
Palestinians out? She admits fearing suicide bombers. So what does
she want us to do? Accept Arab demands that we not be a Jewish State?
Go back to the lines of 1967? Allow Tel Aviv University professors
to deny us the right to national identity, and retain their tenure?
Stop building in Gilo? Tear down the wall that has kept suicide
bombers out of Israel? Bow to Obama's love-making with the Muslim
world and do exactly as he says? Study the peaceful visions of Isaiah
but not his predictions about Israel being served by the nations and
having its children nursed by gentile women?(see Isaiah 49.23 and
61.6)? We may be wandering in the desert of occupation, but that is
better than drowning in the sea.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Palestinians on peace

Jerusalem Report mag. states 66% support the general notion pf reaching a peace agreement in June and 68 percent think Hamas should stop calling for the elimination of Israel...51% in Gaza and 57% in West bank are for freezing all rocket fire.

Missile defense Jer. Report Nov. 17

The Arrow and the Phalanx reflect the changing nature of the military threat to Israel.
Rather than planes, tanks or suicide bombers, today an estimated 50,000 missiles of all sizes and trajectories in potential enemy arsenals could target the country. Indeed, for the Iranians, the Syrians, Hizballah and Hamas, the missile or rocket has long since become the weapon of choice. The result has been an evolution in Israeli military doctrine, ushering in "active missile defense" (AMD) systems, designed to shoot down incoming shells, rockets and missiles, as an integral part of military planning.

Barak advocates what he calls a "multi-
layered" missile defense, with a combination of complementary systems affording protection against attacks from just a few kilometers to over 1,000 miles. Ideally, the Phalanx would cover threats up to around 12 kilometers; the Iron Dome, being developed by Israel Defense Industries' Rafael and scheduled for operational deployment early next year, would deal with Qassams and Katyushas fired from between 4 and 40 kilometers; the American-made Patriot Advanced Capabilities or PAC-2 already in operation, and David's Sling (a.k.a. Magic Wand), being developed jointly by Rafael and Raytheon and scheduled for deployment in 2012-13, would meet medium-range threats like the Iranian-made Fadjr 3 and 5, Zelzal 2 or the Syrian Scud-C from 40 to several hundred kilometers; and the Arrow, which could also provide cover against the Zelzal or the Scuds, would take it from there for longer-distance missiles, like the Shihab.

Barak sees the creation of an anti-projectile shield around Israel as a "strategic goal." Not only would it protect civilians and strategic installations, but the knowledge that their missiles might be intercepted could deter potential aggressors from using them.

An effective missile shield could also give Israeli policy-makers added options: For example, they might feel more confident about withdrawing from the West Bank if they believed strategic installations like Ben-Gurion Airport were adequately protected against rocket attack.

Indeed, Barak has said if peace talks with the Palestinians bog down, he would advocate unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank, once a reliable system for intercepting short-range rockets is in place.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Japanese view of Palestinians

Japanese View of the Palestinians'

Is the world just plain stupid?
An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates
By Yashiko Sagamori

If you are so sure that " Palestine , the country, goes back through most of recorded history," I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine :

1. When was it founded and by whom?

2. What were its borders?

3. What was its capital?

4. What were its major cities?

5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

6. What was its form of government?

7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?

10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?

11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.

12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

You are lamenting the "low sinking" of a "once proud" nation. Please tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so proud of?

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won't work here.

The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel ; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it "the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza , Judea, and Samaria . How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza , respectively?

The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called "Palestinians" have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel , and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation" -- or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East . Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel 's ancient sovereignty over Gaza , Judea, and Samaria . That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?

Electing Kirk crucial for Israel

Click here: Dems at risk of losing Obama's old Senate seat :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Lynn Sweet,CST-NWS-sweet15.article

We have to make this happen!!!

Dems at risk of losing Obama's old Senate seat
2010 | Party lacks candidate able to scare off GOP contender Kirk

November 15, 2009
BY LYNN SWEET Sun-Times Columnist

WASHINGTON -- About a year ago, thousands jammed Grant Park in Chicago to celebrate Barack Obama's election to the White House, a communal civic defining moment. But those giddy days are long gone as Democrats in Illinois face the potential of losing the Senate seat President Obama once held next November.

The Illinois primary is Feb. 2, and the Democrat and Republican races are ripening, with the deadlines to file or withdraw nominating petitions now passed.
Democratic Party leaders in Washington -- and the Obama White House -- failed to recruit a candidate strong enough to scare Rep. Mark Kirk -- the Republicans' best bet -- from the race. The only luck they had was the decision by Sen. Roland Burris -- appointed by now-indicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill Obama's remaining term -- not to run to keep the seat.

On the GOP side:

The money: Kirk has $2.3 million to $340,048 for Hinsdale real estate developer Patrick Hughes (including $250,000 of his own money). The others on the ballot have a few thousand dollars.

Name recognition: Kirk, a veteran lawmaker from the North Shore 10th District, is a favorite of editorial boards. He's running a stealth primary campaign, however, refusing to disclose a political schedule. So far it has worked.

Endorsements: Kirk has GOP establishment in Washington and Illinois. Hughes hits Washington on Tuesday to seek backing from conservative groups, hoping to catch a conservative wave, similar to a New York House contest where the moderate Republican was forced out by conservatives.

Kirk, billed as a moderate, was caught up in a controversy last week when news leaked out that he solicited Sarah Palin for support.

Minus and plus: For Kirk, running to the right, a plus for the primary and a minus -- maybe -- in the general election.

Washingon Post Nov 16 Hassan ties and inspired by AlQ

Fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today," Aulaqi allegedly wrote on his Web site after Hasan's ties to him were reported after the shootings. "The only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal."

On Dec. 23, 2008, days after he said Hasan first e-mailed him, Aulaqi also posted online words encouraging attacks on U.S. soldiers, writing: "The bullets of the fighters of Afghanistan and Iraq are a reflection of the feelings of the Muslims towards America," according to the NEFA Foundation, a private South Carolina group that monitors extremist Web sites.

Obma hurts peace chances

The Real Problem with U.S. Involvement
Evelyn Gordon - 11.15.2009 - 9:10 AM

Writing in today’s Jerusalem Post, Liat Collins offers a pertinent observation on Thomas Friedman’s proposal that America stop pushing Israeli-Palestinian peace. Friedman argued that American intervention functions as “Novocain” for the parties: “We relieve all the political pain from the Arab and Israeli decision-makers by creating the impression in the minds of their publics that something serious is happening.”

But as Collins noted, “the pain, however, has tended to come with the peace process itself. … No Israeli — Left, Right or Center — can forget the exploding buses and cafes causing the sort of pain that Novocaine can never cure. … And the consequences of pulling out from Gaza and the security zone in Lebanon can, of course, still be felt today: No other country has had to resort to creating a rocket-proof indoor playground a la Sderot or a missile-proof emergency room such as was recently inaugurated at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.”

And that is the real problem with U.S. involvement in the “peace process”: not only, as Friedman correctly noted, has it wasted time, energy, and diplomatic capital that could have been better employed elsewhere; it has actually made peace less likely.

Clearly, the terror produced by every territorial concession since 1993 has decreased the Israelis’ appetite for such concessions. But even more important, U.S. involvement has reduced Palestinian willingness to make necessary concessions.

Over the past 16 years, “U.S. involvement” has largely become synonymous with pressing Israel for more concessions — both because Israel is seen as “the stronger party,” with more to give, and because it is far more vulnerable than are the Palestinians to U.S. pressure, given America’s status as Israel’s only ally. Palestinians have thus become convinced that they don’t need to make concessions; they can wait for Washington to deliver Israel on a platter.

For instance, Palestinians would be more likely to fight terror if they thought future withdrawals depended on it. But they don’t, and for good reason: the world has never demanded an end to terror as the price of further withdrawals; instead, it has consistently pressed Israel to keep withdrawing despite the terror. Under those circumstances, why bother fighting terror?

Similarly, Israel is routinely pressed to make upfront negotiating concessions: just last week, for instance, Hillary Clinton reportedly demanded that guidelines for renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks promise “a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and in Jerusalem,” meaning that Israel would have to fully concede two of the three core issues before talks can even begin (Jerusalem declined). But Washington has never demanded that Palestinians cede even an obvious deal breaker like the “right of return” upfront; this is always left to future negotiations.

As long as the Palestinians think they can rely on Washington to “deliver” Israel, they will never feel a need to make concessions themselves. And until they do, no deal will be possible.

Barack Obama isn’t likely to heed Friedman’s advice, but perhaps his successor will be wiser. The “peace process” will undoubtedly still be around.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We need a sustained, effective, movement against the delegitimization of Israel

Center Field: Delegitimizing the delegitimizers
Gil Troy

November 10 marked the 34th anniversary of the UN General Assembly's passage of the infamous "Zionism is racism" resolution. That day, noting that it was the 37th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazis' countrywide pogrom on "the night of broken glass," UN ambassador Chaim Herzog denounced the resolution.

"I stand here not as a supplicant... For the issue is neither Israel nor Zionism," Herzog said. "The issue is the continued existence of this organization, which has been dragged to its lowest point of discredit by a coalition of despots and racists. The vote of each delegation will record in history its country's stand on anti-Semitic racism and anti-Judaism. You yourselves bear the responsibility for your stand before history, for as such will you be viewed in history. We, the Jewish people, will not forget."

As he concluded, remembering how his father, Palestine's chief rabbi in the 1930s, protested the British White Paper restricting Jewish immigration, Herzog ripped up his copy of the resolution.

Herzog could tear the resolution to tatters. The UN could rescind it in 1991. Yet 34 years later this new Big Lie, the Soviet and Nazi roots of which historian Bernard Lewis uncovered­, sitll persists. Jews, long victimized by racists and disgusted by racism, have been tagged as racists.

Israel, the Jewish people's collective entity, has been compared to apartheid South Africa, with the Palestinian-Israeli national conflict cast falsely as a racial conflict. And just as anti-apartheid activists once nobly agitated to boycott South African products, divest from South African companies and sanction South African racists, an ignoble BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine) seeks to impose similar punishments on Israel.

BDS sounds like a new communicable disease - in many ways it is. It is viral and pathological; we ignore it at our peril.

One of the first sessions held as the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities convened this Sunday in Washington featured speakers who understand what Herzog understood, that this campaign reflects on its perpetuators its perpetrators. It reflects their bias, their double standards, their blindness to the sins of others and their myopic obsession with Israel's imperfections.

Herzog understood something else too. Israel's adversaries have given it a gift of sorts by drawing a clear line in the sand. The BDS debate is not about "occupation" or borders or peace processes. It is not about Likud vs. Labor or Meretz vs. Shas. The BDS campaign assails Israel's legitimacy, declaring it so odious that no one should drink any Israeli wine, no one should enjoy any Israeli film, no one should collaborate with any Israeli academic. This BDS movement is an obscene campaign of blacklisting, demonizing and slandering, as activists in Toronto have redefined it, understanding we must name, shame and reframe.

So far, the warfare has been asymmetrical. Facing the systematic BDS campaign to delegitimize Israel, Jewish groups have responded sporadically, haphazardly. But there is a growing awareness that the Jewish community needs a sophisticated, coordinated strategy. As Herzog's UN colleague Daniel Patrick Moynihan would later write:

"It would be tempting to see in this propaganda nothing more than bigotry of a quite traditional sort that can, sooner or later, be overcome. But the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist campaign is not uninformed bigotry, it is conscious politics... It is not merely that our adversaries have commenced an effort to destroy the legitimacy of a kindred democracy through the incessant repetition of the Zionist-racist lie. It is that others can come to believe it also. Americans among them."

At the session, which I moderated and which attracted an overflow crowd, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, called this fight "the defining issue of our time." He said the Jewish people, despite our pride in being a tolerant people, must have "zero tolerance for this intolerance."

Professor Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian minister of justice and attorney-general, analyzed the anti-Israel "lawfare," showing how the language of human rights,­ the important infrastructure of international law, ­ is hijacked to legalize and legitimize Israel's delegitimization.

He showed how this unrighteous assault using righteous concepts sought to make Israel today's "new anti-Christ." Cotler, a noted human rights activist, also reported that when he was invited to join a UN human rights inquiry whose biased anti-Israel mandate predetermined a guilty verdict, he said no. Cotler refused to be "a Jewish fig leaf" for a corrupted, anti-Israel, human rights-lynching, unlike his colleague Richard Goldstone.

The remainder of the session provided reports from the field of useful tactics to combat the Israel-haters. The Jewish community cannot do this alone. Relationships must be nurtured, grassroots must be tended to establish common cause against the forces of hatred. We must be proactive not reactive, nimble and subtle, mastering the insider lingo of each special interest group involved in a particular fight.

When boycotters targeted the Toronto International Film Festival, Hollywood heavyweights mobilized, not just to defend Israel, but to fight blacklists, which are anathema in that community. Corporations must realize how much money they will lose if the world market becomes a politically correct, divestment-strewn battlefield on which the world's despots target Israel, the perennial whipping boy, or some other perceived enemy.

And soldiers fighting terror all over the world must realize that if Israel's anti-terror squads are prosecuted in international courts one day, America's or England's or Canada's war heroes could be next.

The pro-Israel community can make lemonade from these BDS lemons. In Toronto, when the BDSers boycotted Israeli wine merchants, they triggered a wave of Israeli wine purchases; when they protested a Dead Sea Scroll exhibit and the Toronto International Film Festival's tribute to Tel Aviv, they guaranteed sold-out events.

More broadly, we should seize this opportunity to reframe the debate away from the messy complexities of Israeli politics and Israeli-Palestinian disputes to the simple question the blacklisters-demonizers-slanderers raise about accepting or repudiating Israel's right to exist. And we should recall, that just as 40 years ago the prospects of freeing Soviet Jewry seemed dim, just as a century ago the dream of a Jewish state seemed impossible, sometimes the good guys win, conditions improve, grassroots movements shape historical earthquakes.

The time to forge coalitions of the righteous against the hypocritically self-righteous has come. We need a sustained, effective, movement against the delegitimization of Israel, understanding that in defeating this Orwellian inversion of all that is good, we will restore the world's moral balance while defending the Jewish state, the Jewish people, and democracy from despots and terrorists.

The writer is professor of history at McGill University on leave in Jerusalem and the author of Why I Am A Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today and The Reagan Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My view of Fort Hood

My Opinion on Ft Hood
It was treason, motivated by Jihad.
1. He shouted allah akbar as he murdered our soldiers
2. Communicated regularly with a radical Iman who praised what he did
3. Spoke out against Muslims having to battle Muslims.
4. Posted regularly pro suicide bombings on radical websites
5. Terrorism usually is about civilians. He was US military killing US military, because he opposed US military policy. That is treason
See WSJ editorial Thursday quoted below

I think it is disgusting that much of the media is passing this off as mental illness. It is, only to the extent that hundreds of millions of muslims are then considered mentally ill for supporting violent jihad.
See my posts from WSJ quoted below

The Rabbinical Assembly has been debating this online recently, and I offered this as consensus and so far even the far left wingers have not contested it

1. Yes there are many terrorists groups and terrorists in the world, not all Muslim.
2. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but hundreds of millions of Muslims support violent Jihad
3. Every day there are Muslim terrorist acts in the world, see
You can't turn on yahoo or open the NYT without seeing daily acts of terror from Muslims, perpetrated to further the aims of Islam, in their view.
4. Many in Islam would like to bring the entire world under Islam, and destruction of Israel, the USA and Islamification of Europe is part of that plan. see
5. A substantial minority of Islamic youth in the USA support suicide bombing. The USA Today's headline was, POLL: 1 in 4 younger US Muslims support suicide bombiungs..
In Israel, Pew Study 2009: Bin Laden also has the support of most Muslims in the Palestinian territories (52%), Young Palestinians are far more likely to express positive views of the al Qaeda leader. Six-in-ten Palestinian Muslims under 30 say they have confidence in bin Laden;
6. Iran
a. is a Muslim nation
b.will most likely, if not already, develop nuclear weapons, and has stated it will share the technology with any Islamic nation
c. is a huge sponsor of terror worldwide and can be expected to give dirty nuks to terror groups
d. has threatened to destroy the USA and Israel

What to do about Fort Hood?
See if you agree with the editorial in the WSJ Tueday
essentially in light of Fort Hood they conclude it is clear
1. We have domestic Muslim terrorist problem
2. There will be Muslims in military. They must be vetted better and some may have to be mustered out
3. Let Lieberman's committee do a thorough investigation
"In the aftermath of these shootings, the best venue for exploring the domestic threat from radical Islam and what to do about it is Senator Joe Lieberman's proposed hearings into the Hasan murders"

From The Wall Street Journal editorial Tuesday
" Major Hasan is not just another nut. He volunteered himself into a larger Islamic jihad, whose political weapon of choice is the murder of innocents across the globe.
The Fort Hood massacre makes clear, again, that Islamic terror is unavoidably a domestic U.S. problem as well. There is a strain in American thinking that deludes itself in believing that somehow this force will occupy itself mainly with blowing up marketplaces in faraway Pakistan or Afghanistan. On Thursday, their problem was our problem...News reports piecing together Major Hasan's history suggest an association years ago with a pro-al Qaeda imam at a mosque in northern Virginia. That imam left for Yemen in 2002, and his lectures there in support of al Qaeda have appeared on the computers of terrorists suspects in the U.S., Canada and the U.K...Investigators are collecting information from Major Hasan's PC and his email traffic, with officials already noting that he spent time surfing radical Islamic Web sites. "

and from WSJ the same day

It can by now come as no surprise that the Fort Hood massacre yielded an instant flow of exculpatory media meditations on the stresses that must have weighed on the killer who mowed down 13 Americans and wounded 29 others. Still, the intense drive to wrap this clear case in a fog of mystery is eminently worthy of notice.
The tide of pronouncements and ruminations pointing to every cause for this event other than the one obvious to everyone in the rational world continues apace. Commentators, reporters, psychologists and, indeed, army spokesmen continue to warn portentously, "We don't yet know the motive for the shootings."What a puzzle this piece of vacuity must be to audiences hearing it, some, no doubt, with outrage. To those not terrorized by fear of offending Muslim sensitivities, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's motive was instantly clear: It was an act of terrorism by a man with a record of expressing virulent, anti-American, pro-jihadist sentiments. All were conspicuous signs of danger his Army superiors chose to ignore.What is hard to ignore, now, is the growing derangement on all matters involving terrorism and Muslim sensitivities. Its chief symptoms: a palpitating fear of discomfiting facts and a willingness to discard those facts and embrace the richest possible variety of ludicrous theories as to the motives behind an act of Islamic terrorism. All this we have seen before but never in such naked form. The days following the Fort Hood rampage have told us more than we want to know, perhaps, about the depth and reach of this epidemic.

and from today's WSJ opinion By JAMES TARANTO
In fact, this was not a terrorist attack. By definition, terrorism targets noncombatants. When an irregular force like al Qaeda attacks a military target, such as the bombing of the USS Cole, that is more accurately termed guerrilla warfare.

The real question here is not whether the attack was terrorism but whether it was an act of war as opposed to personal aggression. ABC News reports that "U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago" that the suspect "was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda," which if true certainly bolsters the case for the affirmative.

When a soldier attacks members of his own force in an act of war, it seems to us the most apt term is treason.
And Islam's responsibility? From WSJ Yesterday
From Berlin to Baghdad
Will the peoples of Islam tear down their walls as the people of Central and Eastern Europe tore down theirs?


For the peoples of Islam, the question can be squarely put: Will they tear down their walls in the manner in which the people of Central and Eastern Europe tore down theirs? The people of Islam are thus sorely tested. They will have to show their own fidelity to liberty. Strangers with big guns and ample means can ride into their midst with the best of intentions and skills, but it is their own world, their own civilization, that is now in history's scales.

Mr. Ajami, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, is the author of "The Foreigner's Gift" (Free Press, 2007).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Obama will meet with any crackpot dictator but sets conditions for Netanyahua

Obama will meet without conditions crackpot dictator and US enemy but sets conditions for Netanyahua.

Showing New Discomfort, White House Seeks Conditions to Meet

The White House waited several days to confirm that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could meet with President Barack Obama Monday, and sought conditions first -- underscoring the new depths of difficulty that Middle East peace efforts have reached in the last week.
U.S. officials said the delay, which stretched until late Sunday, stemmed from last-minute discussions aimed at gaining a more robust and public commitment to the peace track from Mr. Netanyahu. One official said the U.S. wanted Mr. Netanyahu to express stronger support for negotiations on an independent Palestinian state at his speech Monday before the Jewish Federations of North America in Washington. "We're in the part of the process where you can't expect something for nothing," the official said."
OK Obama-exactly with whom is Natanyahu supposed to talk negogiate? Hamas which pledges to destroy Israel, or Abbas, who does not want the job and doesn't even control downtown Ramallah? All Obama's Sec of State does is demand Jews not live in certain areas Jews have always lived. It is a blame Israel first administration. No wonder Obama has 4% approval in Israel. 96% of Israeli's aren't stupid. Does anyone not see that?

Daniel Pipes on The Jihad army assassin

The jihadi school, still
in the minority, perceives Hasan's attack as one of many Muslim efforts to
vanquish infidels and impose Islamic law. We recall a prior episode of
ial> jihad syndrome in the U.S. military, as well as the numerous cases of
non-lethal Pentagon
jihadi plots and the history of Muslim
violence on
American soil.

Far from being mystified by Hasan, we see overwhelming evidence of his
jihadi intentions. He handed
> out Korans to neighbors just before going on his rampage and yelled

Akbar," the jihadi's cry, as he fired off over 100 rounds from two pistols.
His superiors reportedly put
him on
probation for inappropriately proselytizing about Islam.

We note what former associates say about him: one, Val
ov07,0,3477020,print.story> Finnell, quotes Hasan saying, "I'm a Muslim
first and an American second" and recalls Hasan justifying suicide
gnsAheadOfUsArmyShootingUs/37485/> terrorism; another, Col Terry
d-shooting-Nidal-Malik-Hasan-said-Muslims-should-rise-up.html> Lee, recalls
that Hasan "claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans";
the third, a psychiatrist
who worked
very closely with Hasan, described him as "almost belligerent about being

Finally, the jihad school of thought attributes importance to the Islamic
authorities' urging American Muslim soldiers to refuse to fight their
co-religionists, thereby providing a basis for sudden jihad. In 2001, for
example, responding to the U.S. attack on the Taliban, the mufti of Egypt,
Ali Gum'a,
issued a fatwa stating that "The Muslim soldier in the American army must
refrain [from participating] in this war." Hasan himself, echoing that
message, advised a young Muslim disciple, Duane
ov07,0,4710653.story> Reasoner Jr., not to join the U.S. army because
"Muslims shouldn't kill Muslims."

If the jihad explanation is overwhelmingly more persuasive than the victim
one, it's also far more awkward to articulate. Everyone finds blaming road
rage, Accutane, or an arranged marriage easier than discussing Islamic
doctrines. And so, a prediction: what Ralph
zdsJ31vnJ> Peters calls the army's "unforgivable political correctness" will
officially ascribe Hasan's assault to his victimization and will leave jihad

And thus will the army blind itself and not prepare for its next jihadi

Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished
visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Danny Gordis on Israel

Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You
A Jerusalem Post Column
November 6, 2009
Saving Israel Gallery
Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End addresses in much greater detail the issue of creating an ongoing Zionist conversation in the Jewish State. It has now been published.
Nov. 5, 2009

It's been one of those months, with its renewed call for "balance" and "honesty" in discussion of Israel. First there was the Goldstone report, with its accusations that Israel committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Goldstone was followed by the J Street Conference, celebrated by many as an opportunity to demonstrate their devotion to Israel by encouraging the US to get tough with it, to force it out of the militant and pro-occupation mind-set it has allegedly forged for itself.

Then there was the appearance in English of Tel Aviv University Prof. Shlomo Sand's new book, The Invention of the Jewish People, with its claim that the concept of a Jewish people was a late invention, which the Zionists cynically manipulated to justify their taking land from the indigenous Arabs. Finally, verging on the surreal, Donald Bostrom, the Swedish journalist who authored the article accusing Israel of harvesting organs from Palestinian victims of Cast Lead, was invited to a conference in the Negev.

The utterly predictable responses are not terribly interesting. On one side of the divide, there are those who assail Goldstone for unfairness, J Street for allowing its campus activists to drop the "pro-Israel" portion of its "pro-Israel, pro-peace" moniker, Shlomo Sand for shoddy and self-hating scholarship and the Dimona Media Conference, which invited Bostrom, for utter naïveté.

There may be much merit to these accusations, but they have a serious downside, as well. Too often, those who rush to Israel's defense have no interest in the undeniable suffering on the other side of the border. In knee-jerk fashion, they strive to silence any criticism, even in cases when its policies might well be wrong.

But no society benefits from an absence of criticism, and no nation improves without vigorous debate. Could we be effective parents without letting our children know when they disappoint us? Citizenship may not be all that different. In the long run, support that seeks to suppress debate will do us as much harm as good.

BUT ON the other side of the divide is a growing group so insistent on dialogue that it's no longer clear to what they are most fundamentally committed. When a group of American rabbis visited Jerusalem last week, one of them remarked that it was unfortunate that Ramallah wasn't on the itinerary. "Why visit Ramallah?" another member of the group asked. "Because Ramallah is also part of our story," was the response. "More than Holon? Are you distressed that we're not visiting Holon?" was the question that followed. To that, the first rabbi had no response.

Why, indeed, should Ramallah matter to us more than Holon? And why hide our pro-Israel position (if that's really what we are) simply to appeal to more college students? Had Theodor Herzl adopted that stance with the sultan, or had Chaim Weizmann been bashful in London, would we have a state? Had Golda Meir been self-conscious about her convictions in the face of an American community not entirely certain that a Jewish state was a good idea, where would we be? One shudders to imagine.

Have we become so utterly addicted to dialogue with our enemies that we would rather visit their cities than our own? Have we lost the ability to say, "If you breathe new life into the age-old blood libel, we will shun you"? Would we invite Alfred Dreyfus's accusers here for dialogue, were they alive today? We have real enemies. Have we so lost sight of that that we forget that anything we say, to paraphrase Miranda, "can and will be used against us"?

If those who insist on silencing any critique of Israel fail us because their passion threatens to squelch the debate we desperately need, those passionately committed to open debate suffer from the opposite problem - they do not recognize that they are unwittingly playing right into the hands of those determined to destroy us.

Take Sand's book, The Invention of the Jewish People. It is, ostensibly, nothing but an academic hypothesis. Why all the tumult, numerous young American Jews have asked me. Perhaps Sands errs in some of his claims, but so, too, do many academic tomes.

What's so dangerous is clear on the Amazon page for Sand's book. Take a look at the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section. There's Avi Shlaim, the well known post-Zionist, and his Israel and Palestine: Reflections, Revisions, Refutations. Next to it, sporting a cover with both a swastika and a Star of David, Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides, as if there's actually something to debate. Then, Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide. And Palestine in Pieces: Graphic Perspectives.

Surely, Sand must have known how his book would be used.

But there are critics of Israel who genuinely do not wish to do it harm. And these people ought to bear one central fact in mind: In today's climate, anything we say can, and indeed will, be used against us.

Yes, there is moral failure and dangerous shortsightedness in refusing to hold ourselves and our government to standards of which we, and our children, will be proud. Of course Israel needs nuanced moral critique; no true lover of Zion would want that critique silenced.

But there is also suicidal folly in denying what we know: Were the UN to vote today on the creation of Israel, the motion would fail. The outcome of November 29, 1947 would not be repeated, for the world has decided that Israel was a mistake. No other country anywhere is subjected to debate as to whether it should exist. And that is the fact that matters more than any other.

Given that, the ultimate question is the one that the biblical Joshua posed to the angel (Joshua 5:13): "Are you with us, or do you seek our destruction?" It is frustrating, and tragic - but right now, in the world in which we live, those are our only choices.

Obama has it backwards on why Palestinian's dispair

In a speech to Israelis via satellite marking the Rabin's 14th anniv. of his murder, Obama said that "Israelis will not find true security while the Palestinians are gripped by hopelessness and despair." he is obviously suggesting it tis Israel's fault. he fails the Israel Test of George Gilder.

He has it backwards, just as he has it backwards on the US economy. He is suggesting it is Israel's fault. Israel is not causing their poverty. The Palestinians did great in relation to all their neighbors before all the foreign aid and have gone steeply downhill since. Before then, Israel's magnificent entrepreneurship spilled over to the territories. Even now, Israeli Arabs enjoy huge economic advantages over their fellow Arabs in neighboring states and throughout the region. Israel could uplift the Palestinian economy easily if they gave up terror and the dependency of foreign aid. Their despair is due to their leadership, not Israel. It is on their shoulders, not Israel, as Obama implied. All the evidence is in George Gilders book, The Israel Test. Israel built one of the world's greatest economic engines with no natural resources and a huge disadvantage in necessary percent of GNP devoted to military.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moselm soldier kills at Fort Hood

In Fort hood-Soldiers who witnessed the rampage reported that the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — an Arabic phrase for "God is great!" — before opening fire, said Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the base commander. He said officials had not yet confirmed that Hasan made the comment. Reportedly he posted pro suicide bombing notes on the internet. The morning of his rampage, he went to a mosque and was wearing moselm clothing in the am. In 2003 a US Moselm soldier tossed a hand granade at fellow US soldiers

UN moral bankrupcy on Goldstone

UN Report on Gaza

•The Goldstone Illusion: What the UN Report Gets Wrong about Gaza and War - Moshe Halbertal
In 2000, I was asked by the Israel Defense Forces to join a group of philosophers, lawyers, and generals for the purpose of drafting the army's ethics code. The aim of the IDF ethics code is to strike a coherent and morally plausible position that provides Israel with the effective tools to protect its citizens and win the war while also setting the proper moral limits that have to be met while legitimately securing its citizens.
Three principles are articulated in the IDF code concerning moral behavior in war. The first is the principle of necessity. It requires that force be used solely for the purposes of accomplishing the mission. If, for example, a soldier has to break down the door of a home in order to search for a suspected terrorist, he has no right to smash the TV set on his way in.
The second principle articulated in the code is the principle of distinction. It is an absolute prohibition on the intentional targeting of noncombatants. In the first minutes of the war, Israel targeted Hamas police, killing dozens. Goldstone's accusation that targeting of the police forces automatically constitutes an attack on noncombatants represents a gross misunderstanding of the nature of the conflict. Israeli intelligence claims that it has clear proof that in Gaza the police force was just a way of putting combatants on the payroll of the state, while basically assigning them clear military roles.
The third principle is proportionality, that the foreseeable collateral death of civilians will be proportionate to the military advantage that will be achieved by eliminating the target. The IDF code states that soldiers have to do their utmost to avoid the harming of civilians. The claim that Israel intentionally targeted civilians as a policy of war is false and slanderous.
To create standards of morality in war that leave a state without the means of legitimate self-protection is politically foolish and morally problematic; but real answers to these real problems cannot be found in the Goldstone report. What methods can Israel legitimately apply in the defense of its citizens when more lethal and accurate missiles strike the center of Tel Aviv, causing hundreds of civilian deaths? The writer is a professor of philosophy at Hebrew University and the Gruss Professor at New York University School of Law. (New Republic)
•A Blind Eye to Hamas Atrocities - Robert Goot
From the moment the UN Human Rights Council decided to establish a "fact finding" mission "to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression," it was obvious that it was not intended to, nor would it be an impartial inquiry. The terms of reference were crafted to ignore the hundreds of rockets deliberately aimed and fired by Hamas at civilians in Israel prior to the Gaza war, and to pillory Israel for defending its citizens. The writer is president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. (The Australian)
•To Shoot or Not to Shoot - Adam Kredo
At a Capitol Hill briefing, IDF Col. Ben-Tzion Gruber showed news footage of a wounded Arab man with a Kalashnikov rifle lying by his side, as an arm is suddenly seen removing the smoking weapon. This, said Gruber, was a media-savvy tactic to makes it appear as though the IDF has injured a civilian. According to military estimates, 295 civilians were killed during the Gaza war, compared with 709 known combatants. "The meaning of those numbers is that we work with a laser knife," Gruber said, labeling claims that the IDF intentionally targeted civilians nonsense. Gruber also showed footage of seven gun-wielding Hamas militants emerging from the back of a UN-marked ambulance. "They use almost every place as a shield," he said. (Washington Jewish Week)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

USA must bomb Iran's sites asap

what should be done. America must bomb all their sites asap.
We are not talking about ground troops, but a bombing campaign. The appropriate examples are Iraq 1991 and Syria last year, although this will be much tougher. The world now thanks israel for that. There is no option. if Obama allows Iran to get the bomb, it will be the worst Presidential decision in history, and worse than a nightmare for israel. Sanctions will do nothing to stop iIan.. It is too late and Iran is just playing the world for fools. Obama alone can stop it. USA has the bunker buster bombs and long range bombers to do it , a campaign of several weeks. Israel can't do nearly the same damage. I have many articles explaining the positive cost benefit (even as the cost in terrorism will be horrible) if people want.

Obama fiasco in Middle East from richard baehr

3. The fiasco of US policy in the Middle East gets clearer each day. We have never had such an amateur hour. Hillary Clinton praises Netanyahu for his concessions on settlements (after foolishly pressuring him for a total freeze), then gets flak about her praise for Bibi from the Palestinians and Eeyptians, so she misstates US policy and agrees publicly to maximalist Arab demands. Clinton is turning into Joe Biden in a pants suit in terms of the gaffes. As for Iran, I guess, the Iranians did not get the message about the new US negotiating strategy, as they try to send tons of new weapons to Hezbollah through Syria. Syria was another engagement target of the Administration. I can not recall an administration less willing to admit the blew it, so I do not expect to soon see them give up on the strategy that has allowed Iran to continue to slap us around, and develop their nuclear program while we try to engage.
List reader Rick Richman on Hillary's latest flub:
Jennifer Rubin on the policy failure:
All those Democrats in Congress who cry for Gaza (and the rabbis who fast for Gaza), might want to consider how it is that Hamas has the money to continue to smuggle in all those sophisticated weapons weas, now rockets able to reach Tel Aviv. They have chosen guns over butter. Is that our problem or Israel's?
David Hornik on bad tidings for Israel:
Israel's choices on Iran:

J street leads to anti-Israel votes from left wing dems

from Richard Baehr

The US congress considered a resolution to urge the Obama administration to fight any further consideration of the Goldstone Report at the UN or other international forums. . A fifth of the Democrats in Congress (and 3% of Republicans) either opposed the measure or gutlessly voted present ( a common vote for Barack Obama when he was in the Illinois State Senate). Even worse, many of these Democrats openly attacked Israel in the floor debate. This is a new thing in the US Congress , for which we can thank J-Street . Particularly odious is the behavior of Jewish California congressman Bob Filner who at the J-Street Conference, shilled for the Walt/Mearsheimer thesis of near unlimited Jewish power over congress. He was rebuked by a Jewish Congressman from Colorado -Jared Polis. Filner is the only Jewish Democrat who voted no on the Goldstone resolution in Congress. Most of the other Democrats who did so hailed from Massachusetts ( a one party state for many years), were members of the Black Caucus, or were far left Democrats from California. You would have to be blind at this point not to see that there is a growing problem on the left in the Democratic Party in Congress when it comes to support for Israel. What has changed in the last year, is that Barack Obama has enabled J-Street, which has enabled the Democrats on the left in Congress to "come out of the closet" and promote their negative views towards Israel. 44 member of Congress attended the J-Street dinner, and 3 three others (including Jan Schakowsky) were on a panel. 46 of the 47 were Democrats.
The votes on the resolution in the House :
The US delegation attended but did not speak when the Goldstone Report was discussed in the UN General Assembly. I guess Valerie Jarrett forgot to tell Susan Rice to speak truth to power.
A good statement from Congressman Howard Berman:

J Street No, Z Street Yes

November 05, 2009
At the J Street meeting

*By* *Lori Lowenthal

The Washington conference of the new organization "J Street" took place on
October 25-28. It was a fascinating but scary cultural experience.

For three days I watched hundreds of intensely pious people sitting under an
awning that reads "pro-Israel, pro-peace." But by far the dearest hopes of
the folks on J Street were for the well-being, and especially the
sovereignty, of a people whose leadership has stated repeatedly that its
goal is to destroy Israel and murder Jews.

I saw two overarching themes defining this conference: one, Iran is not a
problem we care about; and two, a Palestinian State must be created now (*What
do we want? A Palestinian State! When do we want it? Now!*), and both the
Israelis and the Palestinians are so dysfunctional that only the Obama
administration can achieve it. Palestine Now! was the battle cry of the
conference, but the utter lack of concern regarding the Iranian threat is
the real proof that J Street is not at its essence pro-Israel.

First, a fact: although it is difficult to get Israelis to agree on
anything, there is one issue on which there is near unanimity among them:
Iran presents an imminent and devastating threat to the existence of the
State of Israel. It is the single biggest security concern amongst nearly
all Israelis of every political and religious stream.

The J-Conference organizers devoted only one of the thirty-two sessions to
the issue of Iran, and that session focused solely on the success of
diplomacy. The speakers and the moderator of that session were aggressively
anti-anything-other-than-diplomacy, so there was nothing for audience
members to consider as a legitimate alternative.

But most disturbing was the nearly complete silence about Iran *other* than
by Israeli speakers and a few American politicians who, presumably, assumed
a "pro-Israel" gathering would want reassurances on the topic. Those
politicians were wrong.

In other words, the overwhelming majority of those who came to the J Street
conference understood the code words "pro-Israel" to have no bearing on what
Israelis might find most important to their security. The threat of Iran to
Israel simply plays no role in the narrative that motivated so many hundreds
of people to identify with and join the J Street team.

Think of it: an oil-rich nation near Israel pursues nuclear power, refuses
to eschew nuclear weapons, denies the Holocaust from the podium of the
United Nations, and threatens to wipe Israel off the map -- and the enormous
audience the J Street leadership claims as its own, an organization calling
itself "pro-Israel, pro-peace," doesn't really give a hoot.

This was too hard even for Obama political appointees to grasp. U.S.
National Security Advisor General James Jones, in his keynote address
attended by nearly all conference participants, did mention Iran as a threat
to Israel. Jones assured the sandwiched-in crowd that the United States
stands with Israel in facing Iran.

But there was little audience response. A far different reaction --
rapturous applause -- met nearly every mention of alleviating Palestinian
suffering and the "Palestine Now!" mantra.

I heard one or two mentions of Iran by non-Israeli "experts." Each time it
was discussed in the context of that country's hostility to Israel being
"neutralized" by the immediate creation of a Palestinian State.

The link between Iran and the posthaste demand for a Palestinian State, the
lectures went, was that taking that bold step would not only quell unrest
amongst Palestinians and Israelis, but it would also stabilize the entire
Middle East and end global terrorism.

A straight-up articulation of this Palestine Now! equals Global Peace theme
was by Salam al-Marayati, a source of acrimonious controversy in advance of
the conference. (Al-Marayati had immediately pointed to Israel as the likely
source of the attacks on the World Trade Center.) At J Street, Al-Marayati
informed his audience that the absence of a Palestinian State is a major
source of the current violence in Pakistan, and that it is *the* central
issue "critical to the hearts and minds" of all 1.5 billion Muslims

But it was not only controversy-generating Muslims who were intoxicated by
the desire for a Palestinian State. Former Israeli Minister of Foreign
Affairs Shlomo Ben-Ami explained that it is only President Obama who can
achieve this because "there is no chance whatever to reach settlement by
ourselves; it is entirely out of the question." This is because both Israel
and the Palestinians have such "dysfunctional political systems."

Several other Israelis who were once members of Israeli governments, or who
are aligned with former (but not current) leaders pushed the presto
Palestine line. Virtually every one of them was heavily invested in the Oslo
Accords and the Geneva Initiatives, both peace plans that literally blew up.
Of course, to the extent the failures of these "peace" efforts were
acknowledged at all, their failures were attributed to Israel's not having
capitulated far and fast enough. Like the food in the Jewish resort
described long ago: it tasted terrible and the portions were too small.

The desperation driving some of the rhetoric worked itself out in the form
of veiled threats. Ron Pundak, whose ink is on both the Oslo Accords and the
Geneva Initiative, and who is currently the Director General of the Peres
Center for Peace, was practically frenzied.

Pundak went beyond merely promoting Palestine Now! as a sure way to soothe
the Iranians and bring regional peace -- he said "the only real answer to
the Iranian threat is peace with the Palestinians." Pundak claimed that if
such a state is not created immediately, Arabs will live in ghettos in
situations even worse, possibly, than those of blacks in South Africa during
the eighties and nineties.

Many anecdotes have been reported about the conference, but I believe these
two themes offer an important insight. How does J Street's claim of
"pro-Israel" square with being deaf to the threat Iran poses to Israel's
security, and what does it mean for a group to be so utterly invested in
Palestine Now! that the participation of the parties and even the peace
process itself is jettisoned? Could it be that these themes are
complementary? The immediate creation of a Palestinian State will mean the
end of Israel, and therefore Iran will not pose a problem.

*Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the co-founder of Z STREET

*Page Printed from:* at n
November 05, 2009 - 07:06:50 AM EST

Celebrate israel capturing that iranian weaponms ship

who captured the Iranian weapons' ship going to Hizbollah and Hamas.
Goldstone and fellow J-Streeters will not come forward in print,

We hit a grand slam on Wednesday! When are you
going to throw the confetti down 5th Avenue for the heroes of the
civilized world. The Osirak reactor, the Syrian Reactor, the Katrina A,
the Iranian explosive ship - what next, America? Iran will in fact use
it's Atomic Bomb against the Jewish State, because Iran has shown the
world it flaunts civility. Wake up America.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Democrats turning against Israel?

21% of Democrats did not support pro-Israel House resolution on Goldstone report

Washington, D.C. (November 4, 2009) -- Yesterday, 33 Democrats voted "no" and 20 Democrats voted "present" on House Resolution 867, which condemned the "Goldstone report" on Israel's conduct in Gaza last winter. The final roll call vote on the House floor was 344 for, 36 against, and 22 present.

H. Res. 867, introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, calls on the Obama administration to oppose efforts by the Arab states in the UN General Assembly and other international forums to use the Goldstone report as a propaganda tool and a diplomatic weapon to attack Israel. In all, 21 percent of the Democratic caucus did not support this pro-Israel measure.

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said:

The Goldstone report was an egregious example of the United Nations Human Rights Council at work. At the instigation of the UN's powerful Organization of the Islamic Conference, UNHRC commissioned a report on Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last winter that was intended to portray Israel as the aggressor, as intentionally causing Palestinian civilian casualties, and as a violator of human rights. The resulting report was biased and inaccurate.

We are very concerned that 21 percent of the Democrats in the U.S. House (53 of 256) refused to support H.Res. 867, including many top Democratic leaders and important and influential House committee and subcommittee chairmen.

Democrats continue to campaign in the Jewish community as unwavering friends of Israel, but when it comes to acting on those promises, leading Democrats fall short.

Remember those congressman who support Goldstone trashing Israel

Congress debates Goldstone
By Ron Kampeas · November 3, 2009

The U.S. House of Representatives is debating a resolution condemning the Goldstone report, the U.N. Human Rights Council-mandated report into last winter's Gaza war, and which accuses Israel and Hamas of war crimes.

The non-binding resolution demands that the Obama administration do what it can to keep the report from advancing through the U.N. system.

It's an unusual set up. Debate on such resolutions, if they're mother and apple pie enough, are controlled by the resolution's sponsor; If it is on a partisan matter, or if there are two sponsors, one from either party, there are two traffic controllers, one for Democrats, one for Republicans.

There are three "traffic controllers" this evening: U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee who introduced the resolution; Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the committee chairman who co-sponsored the resolution; and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the member who visited Gaza in the war's immediate aftermath, and who opposes the resolution.

Another wrinkle:

Ros-Lehtinen objects to Ellison's request to enter the 574-page report into the congressional record. Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), who opposes the resolution and who accompanied Ellison to Gaza, objects to Ros-Lehtinen's objection, saying that an opening statement allowing the entry of extraneous documents applies generally.

Berman appears to back Ellison's request, although noting that there is a page limit -- no one seems to know what it is -- beyond which the clerk must estimate the cost. Ros-Lehtinen then emphasizes that she wants to know how much it would "cost the taxpayers for the printing of the biased report."

The resolution passes by acclamation -- the acting Speaker (whom I can't place) casts her eyes about the room and sees two thirds standing in "aye." Ros Lehtinen exercises her right to ask for a count, not because she can't believe she won, but because it's a fun way to target those who voted against come election time.

The count, ultimately, is 344 for, 36 against (all but three are Democrats) and 22 "present."

During the debate, much of the opposition has to do with how the House leadership placed the resolution on the "suspension calendar" which brings it straight to the floor, bypassing committees. This is not unusual -- for mom and apple pie resolutions (from commemorating major U.S. victories to naming post offices.) It is for controversial resolutions. I'll leave it to the reader to decide if 344- 36-22 is controversial. (Not being ironical, I genuinely am chickening out of this call.)

Here's Ellison:

Why are you voting on a resolution without holding a single hearing?

Ellison and others on his side want Goldstone to testify, and each person speaking in olpposition notes that Goldstone's report treats both sides in the conflict.

Other notable quotes from the opposition:

--Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) quotes David Ben-Gurion: "Without moral and intellectual independence there's no anchor for national independence."

--Baird holds up photos, first of Israeli children in Sderot undergoing a bombing drill, and then of a father mourning three dead toddlers in Gaza. He talks so long even Ellison asks him to shut up. Must have been a companionable trip.

--Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is one of several opposing the resolution who note that Goldstone's report has an out for Israel: Investigate yourself.

--Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) both argue that the resolution harms U.S. security by damaging its reputation as an honest broker. "American made white phsosphorous shells were used by Israel in civilian areas, causing horrible burns to Palestinian children," McCollum says. "There must be only one standard for respecting human rights."

--Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) says he will vote "present," because he is upset his colleagues haven't read the report. "I havent had the time to read 575 pages," he says. "The process has been totally inadequate."

--Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who sounds a little too practiced at sounding outraged, comes up with presidential debate -worthy quips about voting for up is down, night is day, etc. (Some anti-Kucinich bug erased my notes on his speech.)

In support:

--Most fiery in support is the majority leader, U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) Baird scored his colleagues for not even having visited Gaza; Hoyer bellows: "They (Hamas) targeted civilians. How do I know?" (Glares in Baird's direction.) "I've been there!"

Hoyer says he respects Kucinich and agrees that trhe Palestinians deserve Americans' empathy: "We ought to have empathy for the Palestinians who have been put at great risk by their leaders. Why are they there? because the Arab community does not want to absorb them and its leaders will not seek a meaningful peace.

Hoyer (and Berman in his wrapup) also note what they say are the dangers of allowing the report to progress: Inhibiting warfare against terrorists, dealing with "asymmetrical" threats.

--Ros Lehtinen keeps introducing colleagues by enumerating their committee memberships; it seems a lot of Republicans who don't like Goldstone serve on the Agriculture Committee.

--Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) imagines rockets raining into Indiana from Michigan. This metaphor usually invokes neighboring countries -- Hoyer mentions Canada and Mexico -- not states; My brain is stuck on a snapshot of thousands of infuriated Hoosiers paddling across Lake Michigan.

He also says his colleagues, well, bug him. "There shouldn't be one vote -- not one vote -- against Israel. These people who have been making these comments on the other side of the aisle really bother me."

--Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the minority whip, is one of several speaking in support of the resolution who note that Israel ceded Gaza in 2005. "Every time it (Israel) makes concessions in peace it results in terrorism."

--Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) is outraged that the report concludes that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians and says that the report -- and the process that led to it -- should prompt the Obama administration to reconsider its decision to join and fund the UNHRC.

--Berman wraps up and addresses his colleagues critiques. He too would have preferred more time, but nots that the UNHRC endorsement of the report is due to be debated tomorrow (Wednesday) in the U.N. General Assembly:

What's the rush? The only rush -- I would prefer we had more time, I would prefer we had more discussion -- but the U.N. General Assembly wants to send this to U.N. Security Council and then then to the International Criminal Court.

He also makes this eloquent point to those who opposed the resolution and noted Goldstone's record as a judge and prosecutor, helping to bring about an end to Apartheid in his native South Africa, find Nazis in Argentina, prosecute war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Some of Berman's favorite judges joined in the World War II-era decision to intern Japanese, he says. and continues:

They are still my favorite justices -- but they made a mistake.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How can minnesota Jews support ellison? It is mind boggling

This muslim anti_israel congressman is supported by Jews in minnesota!!

And he got a great deal of support from the Jewish community in Minnesota…

Read Goldstone's report on Gaza
By: Rep. Keith Ellison
November 3, 2009 05:11 AM EST

Who is afraid of Richard Goldstone? No one should be. Not even the U.S. Congress — yet it is poised on Tuesday to condemn the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Goldstone report on violations of international law related to the Gaza war of late 2008.

Why the fear? Judge Goldstone is no Israel basher. He is famous for apprehending Nazi criminals in Argentina, for serving as chief prosecutor for the U.N. International Criminal Tribunals and for chairing the Independent International Commission on Kosovo. He is motivated by his struggle against apartheid in South Africa. A self-described Zionist, he serves as a trustee of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has said that “bringing war criminals to justice stems from the lessons of the Holocaust.”

At the outset, note that four sections of the Goldstone report deal with abuses by Hamas, including the launching of rockets into civilian towns in Israel. The report explicitly states that these rocket attacks are war crimes.

Yet despite Goldstone’s stellar reputation, the veracity of the report — and his motives — has been challenged. The detailed Goldstone report concludes that “the Israeli military operation was directed at the people of Gaza as a whole, in furtherance of an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population, and in a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at the civilian population.”

I agree with my congressional colleagues — and with Goldstone — that the initial U.N. resolution of Jan. 12, 2009, calling for an investigation of abuses committed during the Gaza crisis was one-sided, focusing exclusively on Israel. That resolution was used by some countries to criticize Israel without acknowledging the abuses by Hamas. Goldstone initially refused to lead the investigation because of the original flawed mandate.

But Goldstone pushed back. He succeeded in expanding the scope of the mission to include an examination of the actions of both Hamas and Israel.

Israel, however, refused to cooperate with the investigation because of the original “one-sided mandate.” What if Israel had participated from the beginning? It could have pointed out that the U.N. Human Rights Council has a history of unfairly singling out Israel for criticism. It could have described Hamas’s abuses, and it could have elaborated on the context of the Israeli invasion of Gaza, which includes a long history of attacks on civilians. Israel could have observed the difficulties of combat in urban areas. But instead, Israel condemned the effort and then attacked the final product.

I visited Sderot in southern Israel and saw the havoc and trauma created by Hamas rocket fire. Israelis there live with fear. I have condemned these attacks as war crimes and will continue to do so.

I also visited Gaza and witnessed the devastation wreaked by the recent war. I toured an American school and medical clinics devastated by Operation Cast Lead. A blockade keeps out items such as paper for textbooks and nutritious food. Gazans live in poverty, and most cannot drink their own water. These are cruel violations against the people of Gaza, 56 percent of whom are children.

The Goldstone report does not assign blame. It lays out the facts, as best as Goldstone could ascertain them, and offers recommendations for the future. Congress should use this report as a resource to understand a critical part of the world and to grasp fully the devastating human costs of the status quo.

Instead, Congress is poised to oppose the Goldstone report without holding a single hearing on a document that few members of Congress, if any, have read.

This is a mistake. The stance of this Congress will erode U.S. credibility in the post-Obama world, and it will tarnish our commitment to the principle that all nations must be held to the same standards. Rather than undermine the report or Goldstone, we are at risk of undermining Congress’s and President Barack Obama’s reputation as honest brokers.

Israel can still pursue its own investigation, and critics of the Goldstone report should recognize that Israel is strong enough to withstand inquiry. Self-reflection is one of the hallmarks of a strong democracy. In fact, Israel has investigated itself in the past in connection with the Sabra and Shatila incidents. When nations like the United States, Israel, South Africa and others have pursued the truth through investigations — however uncomfortable — their people and politics have emerged stronger.

We stand for the values of democracy, truth and justice. There is no reason for Congress, Israel or any other party to fear an honest judge. Richard Goldstone is such a judge, and his report should be studied, not dismissed.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs