Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Basic framework for peace impossible without partner

There Is an Israeli Consensus on the Basic Framework of Peace - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister's Office)

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Jewish Agency Board of Governors on Tuesday:
We are fast approaching the time when the majority of Jews will live in the Jewish state. We [in Israel] already have the largest number of Jews in the world, but in a few years, we will do something that has defied the Jewish people for over two millennia, that is that the majority of the Jews will live in the Jewish state in the Jewish land.
The overwhelming majority of Jews in Israel and outside Israel, Israelis in Israel and friends of Israel outside Israel, agree on the basic framework of peace, assuming we had a peace partner who wanted to make peace with Israel.
We seek to achieve a peace and mutual recognition between two states, two nation-states for two peoples....This is the core of the conflict. This conflict is about the Jewish state. It's about the persistent refusal to accept that the Jews have a right for a nation-state of their own....It precedes the question of boundaries; it precedes the question of territorial dispute.
I said numerous times that I will accept a Palestinian state. Now President Abbas must stand before his people and he has to say these six words: "I will accept the Jewish state."...And the only way that it's going to happen is by the external pressure that says to the Palestinian leadership: "Just say it."
We don't want a repeat of what happened when we withdrew from Gaza or from South Lebanon. I believe that this will require for Israel to maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River. There will be arguments about sovereignty, about territory, but I think that the question of demilitarization and a long-term military presence along the Jordan River are essential to guaranteeing any peace. A peace you cannot defend will not hold. A peace you can defend will.
What we have to achieve is an end to conflict - not to create a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel to continue the conflict and try to dissolve Israel by flooding it with refugees or by inducing

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

huge natural gas find in Israel

Foreign Policy Specialist David Wurmser: New Gas Fields Could Make Israel Big Player
Tuesday, 28 Jun 2011 12:25 PM

By Jim Meyers

More ways to share... Mixx Stumbled LinkedIn Vine Buzzflash Reddit Delicious Newstrust Technocrati Share: More . . . A A | Email Us | Print | Forward Article Foreign policy specialist David Wurmser tells Newsmax that huge natural gas fields recently discovered off the coast of Israel will make the Jewish state a net energy exporter and have “dramatic effects” on the Israeli economy.

But the gas finds could touch off new disputes with Lebanon — and in particular, Iran’s terrorist client there, Hezbollah — over exploitation of the gas fields.

Wurmser was a Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and a special assistant to John Bolton at the State Department. He is also a former research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute.

Story continues below video.

In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Wurmser was asked about the significance of the natural gas fields found in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel.

“A series of private operators discovered two gas fields in the last two years off the coast of Israel that are world class production zones,” he responds.

“The first was discovered in early 2009, called the Tamar field. The second was discovered at the end of 2010, called the Leviathan field.

“Together, they represent about 24.5 trillion cubic feet of gas. That’s about 750 billion cubic meters. Europe consumes about 400 billion cubic meters a year. So it’s equivalent to about one and a half years consumption of gas by Europe. These are very significant finds. And the basin in which they’re found shows promise of a lot more out there.”

A smaller gas field called Dalit also was found near Tamar.

“Israel consumes only a small part of what is out there already discovered,” Wurmser says.

“It would be about 75 years to 100 years of Israeli consumption. This is obviously far beyond what Israel would need to keep, so Israel would become for the first time in its existence a net exporter of energy resources, which will strategically begin to transform the way the nation looks at itself and develops relations with countries around it.”

Regarding possible disputes the gas finds could produce with Israel’s neighbors, Wurmser tells Newsmax the fields are “pretty clearly within Israeli waters. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be some conflict or dispute that, say, Hezbollah in Lebanon presents.

“Hezbollah isn’t always run by lawyers so they would lay a claim whether there’s a real legal basis to it or not.”

Agreements with Cyprus and Egypt very likely will prevent any disputes with those countries over the gas find, Wurmser says.

“The bigger question is Lebanon, and every single norm of international law puts these fields way south of that possible line,” he adds.

“So there’s no real basis for conflict over these fields.

“That said, Hezbollah will use it because there are strategic implications for it. One is for Hezbollah itself. The second thing is that Hezbollah is an arm of Iran, which really doesn’t want to see the Eastern Mediterranean become a natural gas production zone that would make Europe’s ultimate reliance on Iranian gas less necessary.”

Israel has been importing about half of its gas and almost all of its coal and oil, so the natural gas finds “likely will have dramatic effects on Israeli economic growth, Wurmser says.

“Also, Israel could in many ways leverage this for strategic relationships with other countries like India, Japan, China, perhaps with Europe.

“And then Israel probably will develop a much broader energy policy that will seek to become a model for weaning modern industrialized countries off of oil, which could have major strategic effects for the United States and Europe.”

Read more on Foreign Policy Specialist David Wurmser: New Gas Fields Could Make Israel Big Player
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GLEN Beck one of Israel's biggest supporters helps

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Glenn Beck to teach MKs how to fight Israel's deligitimization
American talk show host Glenn Beck, known for his support of Israel, is soon to visit • Beck will explain to MKs how to fight delegitimization, ahead of an expected U.N. move this September.

Glenn Beck: ‘A friend of Israel who is sharing his talents.’ | Photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef

Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck will arrive in Israel in two weeks to teach Knesset members how to combat delegitimization as part of Israeli public relations preparations before the Palestinian Authority's expected unilateral request to the United Nations this September to be recognized as an independent state.

Over the past two years, Beck has served as one of Israel's greatest supporters and advocates in the U.S. Last month, he met with MK Danny Danon (Likud) to discuss Israel's global public diplomacy effort, focusing specifically on efforts in the U.N. Danon invited Beck to visit the Knesset to transmit his message to Israeli lawmakers and to give them tools to deal with one of the most complex arenas in which Israel operates. Beck will explain to MKs how to recruit friendly nations and U.S. public opinion to Israel's side.

Since the events surrounding the Turkish flotilla in 2010, Beck has intensified his pro-Israel stance, and his programs on Fox News and on the radio station that he owns have enjoyed immense popularity. However, as Beck's popularity has increased, so has criticism of him in the U.S., where he is considered a controversial media personality.

“As we face a foul wave of hatred of Israel and Jews in the world, it’s good that Israel has friends who can contribute their talents to our efforts to explain Israel's position,” Danon said. “The [Knesset] Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee will convene during Beck's visit to say in a loud voice that September is not just a crisis, it’s a historic opportunity to explain to the world that we are not conquering anything from anyone here.”

Senior government sources in Jerusalem expect that numerous states will change their minds and will oppose the creation of a Palestinian state.

Iran moves closes and closer to the bomb

Iran Unveils Missile Silos as It Begins War Games
Published: June 27, 2011

Iran unveiled underground silos on Monday that would make its missiles less vulnerable to attack, marking the country’s latest show of force in the long standoff with the West over its nuclear program.

Times Topics: Missiles and Missile Defense Systems | Iran
State television broadcast images of an unspecified number of silos deep underground, saying they held medium- and long-range missiles ready to hit distant targets. Subterranean silos are considered harder to destroy than surface installations, and Iran hailed them as a defensive asset meant to thwart attackers.

Col. Asghar Qelichkhani said the silos “function as a swift-reaction unit.” State TV quoted him as saying that the missiles were permanently in the vertical position and “ready to hit the predetermined targets.”

The silos were presented as Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards began 10 days of military exercises.

Western powers have long cited evidence that Iran was investigating the design of nuclear warheads for its missiles, a charge Tehran denies. It insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Western news organizations have reported sketchy evidence of the existence of Iranian missile silos near Tabriz and Khorramabad in northwest Iran. The presentation on Monday seemed to confirm the veracity of the scattered reports, if not the exact locations of the silos.

Last year, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, an arms analysis group in London, reported “emerging evidence” of Iranian silos that could fire missiles at Iraq, Israel, Turkey and countries throughout the Persian Gulf. It said the most logical reason for building silos was “to prepare to field larger missiles,” rather than creating rocky shields for underground forces.

Large missiles require fixed deployments in the form of launching pads or silos, whereas smaller ones can be fired from mobile platforms.

The state TV report showed footage of an underground launching pad for what it called the Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of about 1,250 miles. The report also showed a large metal roof opening atop the silo to allow the firing of the missile.

During previous drills, Iran has repeatedly shown the Shahab-3 resting atop a huge mobile transporter and launcher that has more than a dozen wheels.

Monday’s television report said the silos were linked to a missile control center. The commander of the Guards’ Aerospace Force, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, praised the silos as a crucial asset in Iran’s standoff with the West. With these installations, he said, “we are certain that we can confront unequal enemies and defend the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Another unidentified Guards officer told state television that “only few countries in the world possess the technology to construct underground missile silos. The technology required for that is no less complicated than building the missile itself.”

Israel, which views Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat, has accused Tehran of receiving assistance from North Korea in building underground missile sites.

But Colonel Qelichkhani, the spokesman for the war games, said the silos were based on Iranian technology.

Tehran is calling the war games “The Great Prophet Six” and says they will include tests of long-range missiles like the Sajjil, which has a longer range than that of the Shahab-3.

legality of Israel's response to the flotilla

Q&A: Is Israel's naval blockade of Gaza legal?

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By Jonathan Saul
LONDON | Wed Jun 2, 2010 9:16am EDT
(Reuters) - Israel has said it will continue a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip despite growing global pressure to lift the siege after a navy raid on a Turkish ferry carrying aid killed nine activists this week.

What is the legality of the blockade and did Israel's intervention breach international law? Below are some questions and answers on the issue:


Yes it can, according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law and codified in the 1909 Declaration of London. It was updated in 1994 in a legally recognized document called the "San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea."

Under some of the key rules, a blockade must be declared and notified to all belligerents and neutral states, access to neutral ports cannot be blocked, and an area can only be blockaded which is under enemy control.

"On the basis that Hamas is the ruling entity of Gaza and Israel is in the midst of an armed struggle against that ruling entity, the blockade is legal," said Philip Roche, partner in the shipping disputes and risk management team with law firm Norton Rose.


Under the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea a coastal state has a "territorial sea" of 12 nautical miles from the coast over which it is sovereign. Ships of other states are allowed "innocent passage" through such waters.

There is a further 12 nautical mile zone called the "contiguous zone" over which a state may take action to protect itself or its laws.

"However, strictly beyond the 12 nautical miles limit the seas are the "high seas" or international waters," Roche said.

The Israeli navy said on Monday the Gaza bound flotilla was intercepted 120 km (75 miles) west of Israel. The Turkish captain of one of the vessels told an Istanbul news conference after returning home from Israeli detention they were 68 miles outside Israeli territorial waters.

Under the law of a blockade, intercepting a vessel could apply globally so long as a ship is bound for a "belligerent" territory, legal experts say.


Under international law it can use force when boarding a ship.

"If force is disproportionate it would be a violation of the key tenets of the use of force," said Commander James Kraska, professor of international law at the U.S. Naval War College.

Israeli authorities said marines who boarded the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara opened fire in self-defense after activists clubbed and stabbed them and snatched some of their weapons.

Legal experts say proportional force does not mean that guns cannot be used by forces when being attacked with knives.

"But there has got to be a relationship between the threat and response," Kraska said.

The use of force may also have other repercussions.

"While the full facts need to emerge from a credible and transparent investigation, from what is known now, it appears that Israel acted within its legal rights," said J. Peter Pham, a strategic adviser to U.S. and European governments.

"However, not every operation that the law permits is necessarily prudent from the strategic point of view."


No, as under international law it was considered a state action.

"Whether what Israel did is right or wrong, it is not an act of piracy. Piracy deals with private conduct particularly with a pecuniary or financial interest," Kraska said.


None so far but the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), an association which represents 75 percent of the world's merchant fleet, has expressed "deep concern" over the boarding by Israeli forces, arguing that merchant ships have a right to safe passage and freedom of navigation in international waters.

"These fundamental principles of international law must always be upheld by all of the world's nations," the ICS said.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Boycott Delta till they stop this anti-semitic practice

Boycott Delta till they stop this anti-semitic practice is the CEO of Delta
and> is Vice President, Reservations, Sales and
Customer Care.

Delta will add Saudi Arabian Airlines to its SkyTeam Alliance of partnering companies and would require Delta to ban Jews and holders of Israeli passports from boarding flights to Saudi Arabia. The partnership was originally announced by Delta Airlines in a press release on January 10, 2011.

World Net Daily reported that this issue "first was presented to Congress, the public and others by talk radio host and former U.S. Rep. Fred Grandy, whose own battle against discrimination was documented when his former radio station demanded he tone down criticism of Islam on his program. He then left the station."

The article included correspondence from Kathy M. Johnston, Delta's coordinator of Customer Care, explaining that Delta does not discriminate nor condone discrimination against any protected class of passenger in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender. However, she stated , Delta must comply with all applicable laws in every country it serves. That means that if the Saudi government denies Jews from entering its country and Delta brings them there on its flight they can be fined.

The issue here is one of principle. Delta isn't being forced to include Saudi Arabian Airlines into its Sky Team Alliance. In fact, Delta could stand on principle and refuse to include Saudi Arabian Airlines based on its discriminatory policy. No, it's not Delta's fault that the Saudi government is anti-Semitic, but it doesn't have to go along with it. It's as if the Saudis are telling Delta that when it comes to Jewish passengers it's name should become an acronym: "Don't Even Let Them Aboard."

I know I'm not the only one who finds it troubling that Delta would go along with Saudi Arabia's policy of not allowing Jews on their flights. While I'm not planning a vacation to Riyadh any time soon, I would have a hard time flying with Delta knowing they are collaborating with the discriminatory government of Saudi Arabia.

The American Center for Law and Justice has already taken up this issue and I have no doubt that organizations like the Anti-Defamation League will not be far behind.
I have no doubt that this matter will not quietly go away. The Jewish community will not feel comfortable flying Delta knowing about its new association with Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bogus land swaps idea

‘Land Swaps’ and the 1967 Lines

When President Barak Obama first made his controversial reference to the 1967 lines as the basis for future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on May 19, 2011, he introduced one main caveat that stuck out: the idea that there would be "mutually agreed swaps" of land between the two sides. He added that both sides were entitled to "secure and recognized borders." But the inclusion of land swaps also raised many questions.

Several months after Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Six Day War, the U.N. Security Council defined the territorial terms of a future peace settlement in Resolution 242, which over the decades became the cornerstone for all Arab-Israeli diplomacy. At the time, the Soviets had tried to brand Israel as the aggressor in the war and force on it a full withdrawal, but Resolution 242 made clear that Israel was not expected to withdraw from all the territories that came into its possession, meaning that Israel was not required to withdraw from 100 percent of the West Bank.

Given this background, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin made clear in his last Knesset address in October 1995 that Israel would never withdraw to the 1967 lines. He stressed that Israel would have to retain control of the Jordan Valley, the great eastern, geographic barrier which provided for its security for decades since the Six Day War. He didn't say a word about land swaps. For neither Resolution 242 nor any subsequent signed agreements with the Palestinians stipulated that Israel would have to pay for any West Bank land it would retain by handing over its own sovereign land in exchange.

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So where did the idea of land swaps come from? During the mid-1990s there were multiple backchannel efforts to see if it was possible to reach a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians argued that when Israel signed a peace agreement with Egypt, it agreed to withdraw from 100 percent of the Sinai Peninsula. So they asked how could PLO chairman Yasser Arafat be given less than what Egyptian president Anwar Sadat received.

As a result, Israeli academics involved in these backchannel talks accepted the principle that the Palestinians would obtain 100 percent of the territory, just like the Egyptians, despite the language of Resolution 242, and they proposed giving Israeli land to the Palestinians as compensation for any West Bank land retained by Israel. This idea appeared in the 1995 Beilin-Abu Mazen paper, which was neither signed nor embraced by the Israeli or the Palestinian leaderships. Indeed, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) subsequently denied in May 1999 that any agreement of this sort existed.

There is a huge difference between Egypt and the Palestinians. Egypt was the first Arab state to make peace, and in recognition of that fact, Prime Minister Menachem Begin gave Sadat all of Sinai. Moreover, the Israeli-Egyptian border had been a recognized international boundary since the time of the Ottoman Empire. The pre-1967 Israeli boundary with the West Bank was not a real international boundary; it was only an armistice line demarcating where Arab armies had been stopped when they invaded the nascent state of Israel in 1948.

In July 2000 at the Camp David Summit, the Clinton administration raised the land swap idea that had been proposed by Israeli academics, but neither Camp David nor the subsequent negotiating effort at Taba succeeded. Israel's foreign minister at the time, Shlomo Ben-Ami, admitted in an interview in Haaretz on September 14, 2001: “I'm not sure that the whole idea of a land swap is feasible.” In short, when the idea was actually tested in high-stakes negotiations, the land swap idea proved to be far more difficult to implement as the basis for a final agreement.

After the collapse of the Camp David talks, President Clinton tried to summarize Israeli and Palestinian positions and put forward a U.S. proposal that still featured the land swap. But to his credit, Clinton also stipulated: “These are my ideas. If they are not accepted, they are off the table, they go with me when I leave office.” The Clinton team informed the incoming Bush administration about this point. Notably, land swaps were not part of the 2003 Roadmap for Peace or in the April 14, 2004 letter from President Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Land Swaps’ and the 1967 Lines
9:00 AM, JUN 20, 2011 • BY DORE GOLDSingle PagePrintLarger TextSmaller Text
It was Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who resurrected the land swap idea in 2008 as part of newly proposed Israeli concessions that went even further than Israel's positions at Camp David and Taba. It came up in these years in other Israeli-Palestinian contacts, as well. But Mahmoud Abbas was only willing to talk about a land swap based on 1.9 percent of the territory, which related to the size of the areas of Jewish settlement, but which did not even touch on Israel's security needs. So the land swap idea still proved to be unworkable.

Writing in Haaretz on May 29, 2011, Prof. Gideon Biger, from Tel Aviv University's department of geography, warned that Israel cannot agree to a land swap greater than the equivalent of 2.5 percent of the territories since Israel does not have vast areas of empty land which can be transferred. Any land swap of greater size would involve areas of vital Israeli civilian and military infrastructure.

Furthermore, in the summaries of the past negotiations with Prime Minister Olmert, the Palestinians noted that they would be demanding land swaps of "comparable value" – meaning, they would not accept some remote sand dunes in exchange for high quality land near the center of Israel. In short, given the limitations on the quantity and quality of territory that Israel could conceivably offer, the land swap idea was emerging as impractical.

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In Jerusalem, the old pre-1967 armistice line placed the Western Wall, the Mount of Olives, and the Old City as a whole on the Arab side of the border. From 1948 to 1967, Jews were denied access to their holy sites; some 55 synagogues and study halls were systematically destroyed, while the Old City was ethnically cleansed of all its Jewish residents. If land swaps have to be "mutually agreed" does that give the Palestinians a veto over Israeli claims beyond the 1967 line in the Old City, like the Western Wall?

The land swap question points to a deeper dilemma in U.S.-Israel relations. What is the standing of ideas from failed negotiations in the past that appear in the diplomatic record? President Obama told AIPAC on May 22 that the 1967 lines with land swaps “has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous U.S. administrations.” Just because an idea was discussed in the past, does that make it part of the diplomatic agenda in the future, even if the idea was never part of any legally binding, signed agreements?

In October 1986, President Ronald Reagan met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, and made a radical proposal that both superpowers eliminate all of their ballistic missiles, in order to focus their energies on developing missile defenses alone. The idea didn't work, Reagan's proposal was not accepted, and the arms control negotiations took a totally different direction. But what if today Russian president Dmitry Medvedev asked President Obama to implement Reagan’s proposals? Would the U.S. have any obligation to diplomatic ideas that did not lead to a finalized treaty?

Fortunately, there are other points in President Obama's recent remarks about Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that can take the parties away from the 1967 lines and assuage the Israeli side. At AIPAC, the president spoke about "the new demographic realities on the ground" which appears to take into account the large settlement blocs that Israel will eventually incorporate. Using the language of Resolution 242, Obama referred to "secure and recognized borders," and importantly added: "Israel must be able to defend itself—by itself—against any threat."

However, for Israelis, mentioning the 1967 lines without these qualifications brings back memories of an Israel that was 8 miles wide, and a time when its vulnerability turned it into a repeated target of hegemonial powers of the Middle East, that made its destruction their principle cause. Sure, Israel won the Six Day War from the 1967 lines, but it had to resort to a preemptive strike as four armies converged on its borders. No Israeli would like to live with such a short fuse again. The alternative to the 1967 lines are defensible borders, which must emerge if a viable peace is to be reached.

Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

why israel

why israel

Why is Israel so important?

At some point or another, this question has likely been asked of you as a pro-Israel supporter.

While we all may have varying ties to Israel, there are common fundamental reasons why modern Israel's existence today is so important.

An Idea to Build a New Nation in an ancient land.

Most Jews were dispersed following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., although Jews have maintained a presence in the Land of Israel for more than 3,000 years. Their yearning to return spawned Zionism-the idea that a Jewish state could be re-established in the historic Land of Israel. Read more...

The Holocaust: The Urgent Need for a Jewish State.

The murder of 6 million Jews demonstrated the vital need for a Jewish refuge. In 1947, the U.N. voted to partition Mandatory Palestine into two states-one Arab and one Jewish. The Jews in Palestine immediately accepted. The Arabs rejected the plan, and five Arab armies invaded Israel. Read more...

A Home for Immigrants from Around the World.

Israel has also faced the task of forging a unified nation from an incredibly diverse range of immigrants. Since its founding, the tiny state has absorbed millions of immigrants from more than 100 countries, including Jews from Europe, Ethiopia and those forced to flee from Arab countries. Read more...

A National Ethos: Repairing the World.

For Israel, it is not enough to serve as a safe haven for world Jewry. Israel has always strived to share its blessings with other countries that are less fortunate. Israel's government and people constantly strive to fulfill the principles of freedom, justice and peace. Read more...

A mere 60 years after its establishment, Israel has emerged as a thriving democracy, a global leader in the areas of technology, agriculture and medicine and one of the staunchest allies of the United States.

The modern State of Israel was established as the homeland of the Jewish people in 1948. Based on the basic tenet of Zionism-that Jews must have their own country to survive-Israel has served as a refuge for Jews the world over and has been built on the values of freedom and democracy, fulfilling both a political and historic imperative.

The Land of Israel had not been an independent political entity for the previous 2,000 years, and Jews suffered nearly two millennia of exile and persecution. Israel's creation allowed the Jewish people to control their own destiny in a sovereign state on the very land where ancient Jews had once established a great nation and built a thriving civilization.

don't mess with Israel

In a twist of irony, five of Russia's top nuclear experts who had a hand in designing an Iranian nuclear facility were among the victims of a plane crash near Petrozavodsk earlier this week.

Those killed include lead designers and technological experts who worked at the Bushehr plant after the construction contract passed into Russian hands in the mid-1990s.

Russian security sources reportedly called the deaths a great blow to the country's nuclear industry but don't suspect foul play. In recent years, top Iranian nuclear scientists have also been victims of plane crashes and other unexplained accidents.

To read more, click here.

Why Our Zoa work is so important

The collapse of Zionist leadership
06/23/2011 00:00

Candidly speaking: Today, we desperately need a global Jewish pro-Israel caucus which could emerge from a reformed Jewish Agency.

Talkbacks (6)
The Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization will be meeting in Jerusalem next week. Of late, the media have been conveying the message that many Diaspora Jews, especially youngsters, are becoming alienated from the Jewish state. It is sometimes even implied that more Jews are engaged in castigating than defending Israel.

This is certainly a wild exaggeration. Despite the combined impact of postmodernism and the hostile anti-Israeli environment, the majority of activists, including young people, remain faithful to the Jewish state, which represents the core of their Jewish identity.

However, it’s true that established Jewish leaders in many communities display a penchant to downplay pro-Israel advocacy and assume a low profile. This trend was boosted as the liberal media began highlighting and lauding as heroes Jews who demonize the Jewish state. This in turn emboldened them to demand recognition as legitimate members of the mainstream Jewish community.

Regrettably the response of many confused communal leaders was to prattle on about the virtues of enlarging the “Jewish tent” to include organizations like J Street, which inaccurately portray themselves as “pro-Israel, pro-peace” while shamelessly lobbying foreign governments to exert pressure on Israel. They failed to appreciate the incongruity of integrating into their ranks groups whose prime objective is to undermine Israel.

THIS CHAOTIC arena led to what can only be described as bizarre behavior unprecedented in Jewish communal life: “rabbis” claiming to promote “tikkun olam” by actively supporting and engaging with avowed enemies of the Jewish people; debates conducted within federations as to whether Jewish philanthropic funding should be directed to organizations promoting anti-Israel plays and films; the New York Jewish Federation bestowing $1 million of charitable funds on the fervently anti-Israel George Soros-sponsored group Jewish Funds for Justice; individual Hillel directors treating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a dispute between two morally equivalent parties, on occasion even favoring the Palestinians; and student activists in the UK, Canada and the United States being urged by Jewish establishment bodies to assume low profiles and avoid confronting anti- Israel demonstrations.

What typifies this insanity was a recent “very difficult decision” undertaken following a fervent debate at Brandeis University’s Hillel as to whether to exclude from the “big tent” Jewish Voices for Peace – an organization shamelessly calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The problem was resolved by endorsing a recommendation by Martin Raffel (senior vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs), who ruled that supporting boycotts of goods produced in the West Bank should be considered a legitimate (!) Jewish activity. However, as Jewish Voices for Peace also opposed an independent Jewish state, he felt that this “crossed a red line,” and the decision was made to exclude them! It is incomprehensible why preponderantly Zionist contributors to these philanthropic organizations tolerate such abuse of funds.

THE PRINCIPAL reason for the emergence of such troubling developments seems to emanate from inadequate leadership. During the early years of the state, Labor Zionist governments invested major resources toward nurturing links with Diaspora Jewish leaders.

No aspiring Jewish communal leader would conceivably contemplate criticizing policies which could have life-or-death implications for Israelis.

However, recent government leaders, including prime ministers, have neglected Diaspora Jewish leadership, and instead fawned over wealthy Jews, from whom they solicit support for their political and personal enterprises.

Historically, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the World Zionist Organization (WZO) were the principal parties responsible for promoting the Zionist cause within Diaspora Jewish communities. In fact, their program of Kibbush Hakehilot – the Zionist “conquest of Jewish communities” – succeeded to such an extent that support for the Jewish state from “Zionist” and Jewish communal leaders became virtually indistinguishable.

Alas, that activity eroded in the 1980s, as JAFI was largely reduced to a bloated bureaucracratic instrumentality occupied with activities that could equally be conducted by other state instrumentalities.

Nobody disputes that JAFI still operates important Zionist educational projects like Birthright and Masa.

The seminars on delegitimization which they will be conducting at their forthcoming board meeting are a commendable academic exercise, but are duplicated by virtually every major Jewish organization engaged in public affairs, and the participants are not necessarily likely to be indulging in Israel advocacy. However, beyond such projects, JAFI has abysmally failed to fulfill its principal obligation – promoting the centrality of Israel in Jewish communal life throughout the world.

Despite great expectations, the chairman of JAFI, Natan Sharansky, a hero of the Jewish people and the symbol for renascent Zionism, has until now proven a major disappointment. He is perceived as having capitulated to the demands of wealthy (primarily American) board members determined to dilute core Zionist projects and transform JAFI into a replica of the American Jewish fundraising federation system.

Many Zionists were deeply frustrated with Sharansky’s decision to substitute JAFI’s traditional primary goal of aliya (which was already operated by Nefesh B’Nefesh) and concentrate almost exclusively on the vague objective of “promoting Jewish identity,” which surely does not conflict with aliya, and which everyone supports. Ironically the aliya department was disbanded precisely when Western countries began to emerge as a major new potential source of immigrants.

The WZO, whose funding has been drastically curtailed and which is now totally separated from JAFI, is justly regarded as an utterly impotent body with marginal impact on the Jewish world. It continues convening global meetings and congresses in which nobody takes the slightest interest. Other than the Australian, British and South African Zionist federations, which carry on with minimal support from the parent body, its Diaspora offshoots have disintegrated.

TODAY, WE desperately need a global Jewish pro-Israel caucus which could emerge from a reformed JAFI. But it should not depend on existing personnel tainted with failure, or primarily on wealthy donors. It must incorporate a wide cross-section of Diaspora and Israeli Jewish activists engaged in public communal life and encompassing all sides of the political spectrum and religious streams within Judaism. The sole proviso for entry should be a genuine commitment to promoting Israel as the center of the Jewish people.

The principal objective of a reformed JAFI must be the reconstruction of an unashamedly pro-Israel Jewish leadership in Diaspora communities, including within the American federations, Hillel and rabbinical bodies. It should endeavor to ensure that only those willing to publicly support the right of Israel to defend itself will be elected to communal leadership roles.

Such an action group should speak out when establishment communal leaders remain silent in the face of anti-Israel activity. Importantly, it should promote Zionist education and ensure that every Jewish high school allocates at least a few hours a week to teaching about modern Israel, so that when students arrive on campus they are sufficiently informed to respond to the anti-Israel onslaughts.

In the profoundly challenging times now confronting the Jewish people, action to bring about such changes should be considered an absolute priority.

Representing the vast majority of committed Jews, a group dedicated to these objectives would have a dramatic impact on the quality of Jewish communal life, and help restore bonds between the Diaspora and Israel.

good time to travel to Israel

Mideast unrest causes travel prices to drop
Clashes in Libya, Syria and Palestinians' intention to declare statehood deter tourists from making reservations
Danny Sadeh
Published: 06.23.11, 14:28 / Israel Travel

Planning a trip to or from Israel for September? You might get unexpected aid from the brutal regimes in Syria and Libya, and the Palestinians' threat to declare independence. Recent months have seen a drop in the number of reservations made by tourists planning to visit the Holy Land – a result of the turbulent developments in the Middle East.

The air travel market has been facing a new threat in recent weeks in the form of the Palestinians' intention to declare statehood in September. The effect is already felt in the number of reservations made for the end of the summer and the Jewish holiday season, as well the month of November. As per the estimation of foreign air carriers, the number of reservations made for the fall has dropped by 15% compared to last year.
Downward Forecast
Drop in Israeli entries to US / Danny Sadeh
Number of Israelis expected to visit United States in 2011 down 7% compared to Israeli entries in 2000, a year before 9/11 attacks
Full Story

The airlines traveling from the Unites States to Israel have suffered the brunt of the slowdown. One airline CEO said that American tourists tend to reserve plane tickets several months in advance – something that they are currently not doing. "The (impending) declaration of a Palestinian state in September is causing many to sit on the fence and wait," he said.

Reducing prices to sell seats
"Those who intended to arrive over the holiday season and after in have stopped their reservations because no one knows what will happen here in September," a different CEO of a foreign airline said.

Another airline official added that he expects companies to launch promotions soon – which will benefit Israeli travelers. "The Israelis continue to travel, but they won't go at any price," he said. "If we won't be able to fill the planes with tourists, we will need to fill them with Israelis, and we can only do that if we reduce the prices."

According to the senior official, plane ticket sales have already started popping up on flights going to North American destinations for the end of the summer and September. "The company has reduced the prices by 20% because of the lack of tourist reservation from the United States," he said. "No one knows what will happen."

"In such situations we just have to reduce prices sell seats," he explained. "There's no doubt that the public will enjoy it, but the airlines will lose a lot of money."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If the Jews had acted like Palestinians

What If Jews Had Followed the Palestinian Path?

Postwar Jewish refugees left everything they had in Europe-no 'right of
return' requested.


It is doubtful that there has ever been a more miserable human refuse than
Jewish survivors after World War II. Starving, emaciated, stateless-they
were not welcomed back by countries where they had lived for generations as
assimilated and educated citizens. Germany was no place to return to and in
Kielce, Poland, 40 Jews who survived the Holocaust were killed in a pogrom
one year after the war ended. The European Jew, circa 1945, quickly went
from victim to international refugee disaster.

Yet within a very brief time, this epic calamity disappeared, so much so
that few people today even remember the period. How did this happen in an
era when Palestinian refugees have continued to be stateless for

In 1945, there were hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors living in DP
Camps (displaced persons) across Europe. They were fed and clothed by Jewish
and international relief organizations. Had the world's Jewish population
played this situation as the Arabs and Palestinians have, everything would
look very different today.

To begin with, the Jews would all still be living in these DP camps, only
now the camps would have become squalid ghettos throughout Europe. The
refugees would continue to be fed and clothed by a committee similar to
UNRWA-the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in
the Near East (paid for mostly by the United States since 1948). Blessed
with one of the world's highest birth rates, they would now number in the
many millions. And 66 years later, new generations, fed on a mixture of hate
and lies against the Europeans, would now seethe with anger.

Sometime in the early 1960s, the Jewish leadership of these refugee camps,
having been trained in Moscow to wreak havoc on the West (as Yasser Arafat
was) would have started to employ terrorism to shake down governments.
Airplane hijackings in the 1970s would have been followed by passenger
killings. There would have been attacks on high-profile targets as well-say,
the German or Polish Olympic teams.

By the 1990s, the real mayhem would have begun. Raised on victimhood and
used as cannon fodder by corrupt leaders, a generation of younger Jews would
be blowing up buses, restaurants and themselves. The billions of dollars
extorted from various governments would not have gone to the inhabitants of
the camps. The money would be in the Swiss bank accounts of the refugees'
famous and flamboyant leaders and their lackies.

So now it's the present, generations past the end of World War II, and the
festering Jewish refugee problem throughout Europe has absolutely no end in
sight. The worst part of this story would be the wasted lives of millions of
human beings in the camps-inventions not invented, illnesses not cured,
high-tech startups not started up, symphonies and books not written-a real
cultural and spiritual desert.

None of this happened, of course. Instead, the Jewish refugees returned to
their ancestral homeland. They left everything they had in Europe and turned
their backs on the Continent-no "right of return" requested. They were
welcomed by the 650,000 Jewish residents of Israel.

An additional 700,000 Jewish refugees flooded into the new state from Arab
lands after they were summarily kicked out. Again losing everything after
generations in one place; again welcomed in their new home.

In Israel, they did it all the hard way. They built a new country from
scratch with roads, housing and schools. They created agricultural
collectives to feed their people. They created a successful economy without
domestic oil, and they built one of the world's most vibrant democracies in
a region sadly devoid of free thought.

Yes, the Israelis did all this with the financial assistance of Jews around
the world and others who helped get them on their feet so they could take
care of themselves. These outsiders did not ignore them, or demean them, or
use them as pawns in their own political schemes-as the Arab nations have
done with the Palestinians.

I imagine the argument will be made that while the Jews may have achieved
all this, they did not have their land stolen from them. This is, of course,
a canard, another convenient lie. They did lose property all over Europe and
the Mideast. And there was never an independent Palestine run by Palestinian
Arabs. Ever. Jews and Arabs lived in this area controlled first by the Turks
and then by the British. The U.N. offered the two-state solution that we
hear so much about in 1947. The problem then, and now, is that it was
accepted by only one party, Israel. No doubt, the situation of Arab
residents of the Middle East back then may have been difficult, but it is
incomprehensible that their lot was worse than that of the Jews at the end
of World War II.

We don't hear about any of this because giving human beings hope and purpose
doesn't make great copy. Squalor, victimhood and terror are always more
exciting. Perhaps in the end, the greatest crime of the Jews was that they
quietly created something from nothing. And in the process, they transformed

Golda Meir is credited with having said that if the Jews had not fought back
against the Arab armies and had been destroyed in 1948, they would have
received the most beautiful eulogies throughout the world. Instead, they
chose to stand their ground and defend themselves. And in winning, they
received the world's condemnation. Meir said she would take the condemnation
over the eulogies.

Mr. Kozak is the author of "LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis
LeMay" (Regnery, 2009).

Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

land swaps bad off the table rabbi jonathan ginsburg

"Land Swaps" and the 1967 Lines - Dore Gold (Weekly Standard)
When President Obama first made his controversial reference to the 1967 lines as the basis for future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, he introduced the idea that there would be "mutually agreed swaps" of land between the two sides. Yet neither UN Security Council Resolution 242 nor any subsequent signed agreements with the Palestinians stipulated that Israel would have to pay for any West Bank land it would retain by handing over its own sovereign land in exchange.
So where did the idea of land swaps come from? During the mid-1990s, Israeli academics involved in backchannel talks accepted the principle that the Palestinians would obtain 100% of the territory, just like Egypt received 100% of the Sinai Peninsula, and they proposed giving Israeli land to the Palestinians as compensation for any West Bank land retained by Israel.
In July 2000 at the Camp David Summit, the Clinton administration raised the land swap idea that had been proposed by Israeli academics, but after the collapse of the Camp David talks, President Clinton stipulated: "These are my ideas. If they are not accepted, they are off the table, they go with me when I leave office."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resurrected the land swap idea in 2008 as part of newly proposed Israeli concessions. However, the Palestinians said they would demand land swaps of "comparable value" - meaning, they would not accept some remote sand dunes in exchange for high quality land near the center of Israel. Given the limitations on the quantity and quality of territory that Israel could conceivably offer, the land swap idea was emerging as impractical.
What is the standing of ideas from failed negotiations in the past that appear in the diplomatic record? Just because an idea was discussed in the past, does that make it part of the diplomatic agenda in the future, even if the idea was never part of any legally binding, signed agreements?

The writer, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Need stronger Iranian sanctions Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

Last summer, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act.

This historic legislation was overwhelmingly passed by Congress to help stifle Iran’s energy sector, restrict Tehran’s ability to conduct international financial transactions and hamper its ability to obtain components for its nuclear and missile programs.

While initial implementation of this law, as well as recently imposed international sanctions, are having a real impact in Iran, they have not yet brought about a change in the regime's behavior.

That is why members of the House just introduced The Iran Threat Reduction Act (H.R. 1905).

This new legislation would sanction Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and enshrine in law for the first time that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The bill also would increase sanctions against the regime’s human rights violators and sharply tighten the enforcement of existing sanctions law.

Please urge your Representative to cosponsor this important legislation and help prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Thank you in advance for your help and thank you for your continued support of AIPAC, the only organization working to ensure critical American support for Israel in these uncertain times.

Thank You,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

the disgusting things Palestinians say about us Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

Antisemitism in official PA daily:
Judaism is
a "distorted, corrupted, falsified religion"

The Jews' "evil nature
is drawn from Adam's first son" Cain fi=157&doc_id=5190

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Recently three Antisemitic articles appeared in the official PA daily with the following messages:
1. Judaism is a "distorted, corrupted, falsified religion."

2. The Jews are inherently evil and inherited this nature from Cain who murdered his brother Abel.

3. Zionism is a religious Jewish plan to rule over the non- Jewish world, and "Goyim [non-Jews] must submit to their will"

4. Since Islam's creation its "enemies" have agreed on "cultivating evil against Islam and uprooting Muslims."

5. The creation of Israel is a "malignant cancerous growth."

6. The conflict between Palestinians and Jews is not about "land and borders," but "faith and existence."

The following are two excerpts from the official PA daily's section on religion:
Sheikh Ishaq Feleifel teaches religion: "The old-new despicable plot: The struggle between truth and falsehood is as ancient as life upon this earth... yet the mighty Islam, from the breaking of its dawn and the spreading of its light up until our time, has been targeted by its enemies, who do not agree on anything as they agree on cultivating evil against Islam and uprooting Muslims. The challenge still exists; moreover, the enemies have announced in a clear and provocative manner their despicable and terrible plot. Sixty-three years ago, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ben Gurion, stood at the UN after the entire world granted recognition to the malignant cancerous growth known as the State of Israel... The Prime Minister of this destructive cancerous growth stood up to declare the religion of the Jews in Palestine to the entire world. I hope that the [Islamic] nation will study this faith in order to know with certainty that the Jews talk, in conferences and in negotiations, only through their distorted, corrupted, falsified religion which they have adopted, which they glorify and honor, and they are lying when they deny the owner of the right the right... And the conflict between us and the Jews is not a conflict about land and borders, but rather a conflict about faith and existence."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 3, 2011]

Sheikh Ishaq Feleifel teaches religion: "In this lesson I wanted to talk about Cain and Abel - that's the first story on earth, whose victim was Abel, at the hands of his brother Cain - because this story shows a similarity to the Jews and their crimes. The parallel is that when Allah mentioned the rebellion of the Children of Israel and their disobedience of Allah's commandment to wage war against the Giants, He mentioned the two sons of Adam and Cain's disobedience of Allah's words, and his unjust killing of an innocent soul, which Allah forbade. The Jews, by throwing off their yoke, followed in the footsteps of the first person on earth who threw off the yoke of Allah. Their [the Jews'] evil nature is drawn from Adam's first son... I chose this story because of the similarity it contains: here the Zionist Jews kill many of the Palestinian people every day... and they imprison their [Palestinian] youth who are defending their right and seeking by all means to restore the land to themselves. This is our right, and no one is permitted to prevent us from attaining it. We are destined to restore our homeland to ourselves, Allah willing, and we shall raise our flag over Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and the rest of Palestine, Allah willing."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 13, 2011]

The following is an excerpt from an article in the official PA daily:
Article in official PA daily: "There was no period [like it] in history, and no other nation has acted with such recklessness, expelling and spilling blood, as the Zionist movement did against the Arabs of Palestine. The source of the name 'Zionism' is 'Mount Zion', one of the four mountains upon which the city of Jerusalem was founded. The Jews believe that their God lives there. Zionism is an extreme religious ideology whose aim is political hegemony and the transformation of a Jewish monarchy in Palestine into a basis for their eternal rule over the world, [and] that others, "Goyim" [non-Jews], must submit to their will, [their rule] which is drawn from the will of God."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 15, 2011]

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Maybe Israel knows what it is doing

More Than Meets the Eye

Many wondered why Israel was repeatedly caught unprepared, and why its reactions repeatedly lead to PR disasters. With all of Israel’s resources, experience, and brainpower, could it really not come up with better solutions? But recent developments indicate Israel’s decisions, though criticized at the time, emerge from a coherent understanding of its security situation and from a plan, imperfect though it may be, for dealing with those challenges.

As time goes by, Israel’s strategic gains from the recent conflicts against them have looked more impressive.
On June 5, the date of the Naksa Day protests, the LAF did exactly what Israel hoped it would when the IDF decided not to release the surveillance footage. After the Lebanese Army declared the border a closed military zone, organizers of the march cancelled it altogether. Israel could not have hoped for a better LAF response. The decision not to release the tapes of the LAF firing on protesters, though damaging for short-term PR, had the effect Israel wanted. Thankfully, no more blood was spilled on the Lebanese border.

Though flotillas keep on coming, Israel seems to be in a much-improved situation following the May 31, 2010, incident. Subsequent flotillas, including the Malaysian Finch, were turned away with little effort or media attention.

The new flotilla organized by IHH, expected at the end of June, is feared to be a more aggressive version of the Mavi Marmara flotilla. However, quiet diplomatic efforts have begun to pay off for Israel. After repeatedly refusing to condemn the flotilla, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said last week that organizers should reconsider their plans, using the opening of the Egyptian-Gaza border as a pretext. Turkish newspapers also reported that the U.S. government was trying to convince Ankara to stop the flotilla in exchange for a Mideast peace conference in Turkey, a sign Israel’s diplomacy has convinced the Obama administration of the flotilla’s potential for violence.

Though often caught off-guard, the Israeli government and military learn quickly, understand the calculations of its enemies, and are able to minimize continued bloodshed by firm deterrent responses.
The threats posed by Hamas and Hezbollah are complex and ongoing, but as time goes by, Israel’s strategic gains from the recent conflicts against them have looked more impressive. As I’ve written in the American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Defense Studies blog, Israel’s approach to counter-insurgency (COIN) is based on deterrence, in which a few years of quiet is an important accomplishment. An expanded United Nations Interim Force in southern Lebanon, timid behavior from Hezbollah, and no response after the killing of Imad Mughniyeh is a significant strategic gain for Israel at the relatively modest cost of 122 military deaths. Before 2006, Hezbollah regularly fired rockets into Israel for a variety of reasons, but even at the height of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s campaign against Hamas in 2008-2009, it held its fire. There were certainly problems for Israel during the war, and both Lebanon and Cast Lead cost Israel PR points, but damaging terrorist organizations while deterring them for years is no mean feat.

Even the Palestinian plan to pursue UN recognition in September, hugely problematic for the Israelis, is beginning to fray. President Obama is firmly opposed to the plan, and other Western leaders, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, are publicly warning the Palestinians against making any unilateral moves. The AP is reporting that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas even wants to “climb down from the tree” and forgo the UN plan, but cannot because of public pressure. The impending September diplomatic tsunami may well turn out to be nothing but harmless ripples.

The Complexity of No Good Options

Evaluations of Israel’s actions must take into account the bewildering complexity of challenges it faces. Take the fight against Hamas, for example. Israel has tried the range of non-diplomatic and coercive means to discourage Hamas from targeting its citizens. It pulled every Israeli soldier and civilian out of the Gaza Strip, agreed to a series of cease-fires, and, with Egypt, blockaded Hamas’s territory. Still, Hamas launched Qassams, killed soldiers, and smuggled advanced weaponry. Israeli leaders faced a dilemma—continue the status quo and allow 1 million Israelis to live under Hamas attacks or move to a military option that will undoubtedly harm Palestinian civilians.

When Israel finally opted for a military operation, Hamas’s tactics forced the IDF to balance military necessity with its ethical restraints. Battling enemies who fire rockets from Palestinian schools and civilian areas as a matter of policy, the IDF compromised military effectiveness to protect enemy civilians, allowing Hamas more breathing room. In the words of British Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, “Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.”

Israel faces similar challenges across the spectrum—Iran’s nuclear program, Hezbollah and Hamas rockets, neighboring regimes falling, flotillas, protesters willing to die, international pressure, and terrorism, to name a few. Outnumbered by hostile forces, both on the ground and in the international community, Israel is further restricted by an ethical code that limits its responses to enemies for whom all Israelis are legitimate targets. Somehow, Israel usually manages to find a balance, striking a blow to its adversaries while remaining within the bounds of military and Jewish ethics. This is no easy feat. Though its responses often seem haphazard and excessively violent, the long view indicates that Israel’s mix of diplomacy, deterrence, and force keeps its citizens safe and minimizes extended bloodshed.

In a reality in which there are often no good options, Israel just might know what it’s doing.

Lazar Berman is the American Enterprise Institute’s program manager for foreign and defense policy studies.

Obama: Israel Can’t Keep Temple Mount, Western Wall or Eastern J’lem Jewish Neighborhoods Without Palestinian Approval

June 13, 2011
Contact Morton A. Klein at: 212-481-1500

Obama: Israel Can’t Keep Temple Mount, Western Wall or Eastern J’lem Jewish Neighborhoods Without Palestinian Approval

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized President Barack Obama for pressuring Israel on the basis that Israel must accept the proposition that it cannot retain Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the Western Wall, or the Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern half of Jerusalem, Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel’s Tomb, or anything past the ’67 lines unless the Hamas/Fatah PA agrees to it – remember only “mutually agreed swaps.”

On May 19, President Obama said that “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” Under President Obama’s policy, every Israel claim and interest in the territories beyond the 1949 armistice lines is subject to a Palestinian veto. Moreover, President Obama is also saying that, whatever Israel manages to retain with Hamas/Fatah PA agreement must be compensated by a land swap of equivalent territory.

In short, President Obama’s formula pressures Israel to give the Hamas/Fatah PA 100% of the total acreage of the disputed territory or its equivalent. It pressures Israel to relinquish previous understandings that the Western Wall and the Jerusalem neighborhoods and other areas would never be up for negotiations.

And why does the Hamas/Fatah PA deserve 100% of the total acreage of disputed territory or its equivalent, while Israel receives 0% of the total acreage of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem? After all, the PA’s conduct over 17 years scarcely entitles it to huge Israeli concessions, let alone concessions that would endanger its security. The PA has not arrested terrorists. It has not outlawed terrorist groups. It has not ended incitement to hatred and murder against Israel in its media, mosques, schools or youth camps. It has not renamed or stopped naming the streets, schools and sports teams named after terrorists who murdered Jews. President Obama’s policy rewards an unreconstructed, terror-promoting Hamas/Fatah PA. A negotiated “compromise” that results in Israel giving – and the Hamas/Fatah PA receiving – 100% of the territory, or at least equivalent amount of territory, is no compromise at all.

President Obama’s policy is also a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed in 1967, that does not require an Israeli return to the 1967 armistice lines and which recognizes the Israeli requirement of borders that are both secure and recognized. It also ignores President George W. Bush’s 2004 letter to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which stipulated that a negotiated outcome would be one that takes account of Israeli interests and Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

Now it has emerged that the White House is pressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly adopt President Obama’s view that the 1949 armistice lines should be the basis for future peace talks. Steven Simon, the new White House National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa, told representatives of the Jewish Community Friday during a conference call that the White House was looking to get both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to adopt Mr. Obama’s “principles as a basis for negotiation” (Eli Lake, ‘White House seeks Israeli agreement to negotiate on 1967 lines,’ Washington Times, June 12, 2011).

The ZOA is urging all American Jewish and pro-Israel groups to strongly criticize and oppose President Obama’s policy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Arabs forced Arabs out of Israel in 48

Published 02:11 10.06.11Latest update 02:11 10.06.11
Reclaiming a historical truth
The deliberate depopulation of Arab villages was a hallmark of the Arab campaign. In December 1947, villagers in the Tul Karm sub-district were ordered out by local leaders.

By Efraim Karsh

I agree with Shlomo Avineri, in his op-ed "Zionism needs no propaganda" (Haaretz English Edition, May 23 ), that the tragedy befalling the Palestinian Arabs in 1948 was exclusively of their own making, and that there is therefore "a grave moral defect in the Nakba discourse."

I am surprised, however, by his assertion that "despite decades of research, to this day no document or broadcast has been found confirming ... [any order] by the Arab leadership for the population to leave." This claim couldn't be further from the truth. While most Palestinian Arabs needed little encouragement to take to the road, large numbers of them were driven from their homes by their own leaders and/or the "Arab Liberation Army" that had entered Palestine prior to the end of the Mandate, whether out of military considerations or in order to prevent them from becoming citizens of the prospective Jewish state. Of this there is an overwhelming and incontrovertible body of contemporary evidence - intelligence briefs, captured Arab documents, press reports, personal testimonies and memoirs, and so on and so forth.

In the largest and best-known example of Arab-instigated exodus, tens of thousands of Arabs were ordered or bullied into leaving the city of Haifa (on April 21-22 ) on the instructions of the Arab Higher Committee, the effective "government" of the Palestinian Arabs. Only days earlier, Tiberias' 6,000-strong Arab community had been similarly forced out by its own leaders, against local Jewish wishes (a fortnight after the exodus, Sir Alan Cunningham, the last British high commissioner of Palestine, reported that the Tiberias Jews "would welcome [the] Arabs back" ). In Jaffa, Palestine's largest Arab city, the municipality organized the transfer of thousands of residents by land and sea; in Jerusalem, the AHC ordered the transfer of women and children, and local gang leaders pushed out residents of several neighborhoods, while in Beisan the women and children were ordered out as Transjordan's Arab Legion dug in.

Avineri mentions the strenuous Jewish efforts to persuade the Haifa Arabs to stay but not the AHC's order to leave - which was passed on to the local leadership by phone and secretly recorded by the Haganah. Nor does he note the well-documented efforts of Haifa's Arab leadership to scaremonger their hapless constituents, reluctant in the extreme to leave, into fleeing. Some Arab residents received written threats that, unless they left town, they would be branded as traitors deserving of death. Others were told they could expect no mercy from the Jews.

In the words of a British intelligence report: "After the Jews had gained control of the town, and in spite of a subsequent food shortage, many would not have responded to the call for a complete evacuation but for the rumors and propaganda spread by the National Committee members remaining in the town. Most widespread was a rumor that Arabs remaining in Haifa would be taken as hostages by [the] Jews in the event of future attacks on other Jewish areas: and an effective piece of propaganda with its implied threat of retribution when the Arabs recapture the town, is that [those] people remaining in Haifa acknowledged tacitly that they believe in the principle of a Jewish State."

Nor was this phenomenon confined to Palestinian cities. The deliberate depopulation of Arab villages too, and their transformation into military strongholds was a hallmark of the Arab campaign from the onset of hostilities. As early as December 1947, villagers in the Tul Karm sub-district were ordered out by their local leaders, and in mid-January Haganah intelligence briefs reported the evacuation of villages in the Hula Valley to accommodate local gangs and newly arrived ALA forces.

By February, this phenomenon had expanded to most parts of the country, gaining considerable momentum in April and May as Arab forces throughout Palestine were being comprehensively routed. On April 18, the Haganah's intelligence branch in Jerusalem reported a fresh general order to remove the women and children from all villages bordering Jewish localities. Twelve days later, its Haifa counterpart reported an ALA directive to evacuate all Arab villages between Tel Aviv and Haifa in anticipation of a new general offensive. In early May, as fighting intensified in the eastern Galilee, local Arabs were ordered to transfer all women and children from the Rosh Pina area, while in the Jerusalem sub-district, Transjordan's Arab Legion ordered the emptying of scores of villages.

To sum up, Zionism needs no propaganda to buttress its case, yet the historical truth needs to be reclaimed after decades of relentless distortion.

Efraim Karsh is research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King's College London, director of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia ) and author, most recently, of "Palestine Betrayed."

latest on the Scotch boycott rabbi Jonathan ginsburg

Rabbi Charles Simon NFJMC
Your letters are placing pressure on the West Dunbartonshire Council to reconsider their actions. Those of you who wrote to the Council directly and received responses learned the extent of their naïveté. Please continue to write to Council members directly and attempt to influence them to revisit their policy. They control £249m million pounds in funds. Please continue to write to the distributors and encourage them to educate and lobby the Council as well. The issue is not about drinking Scotch it is about changing Council policy.

I have been in contact with the leadership of Chivas and Morrison Bowmore in Scotland and the U.S. They are strong supporters of the Jewish community. Their cooperation, forwarding our letters to the Council and directly contacting Council members, continues to be helpful. I would hate to have their good efforts penalized. We have heard from all of the distributers on the original list with the exception of Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond bottles their own brand and Scots Earl and Distillery Select. They are located in Dunbartonshire. They can be contacted at:

I am grateful to our International Kiddush Club www for bringing this matter to our attention. The Kiddush club provides the FJMC with needed funds to send tefillin and mezuzot to developing and needy congregations in Europe, the FSU, Central and Latin America. For more information go to their website,

Thank you for your support. The letters and links follow: Shalom,

Rabbi Charles Simon

Letters received by FJMC
Dear Charles:
I've contacted MEP Struan Stevenson (a personal friend and Scottish Conservative Party leader) about this and his staff is asking the EU Human Rights commission to check whether the boycott might be a violation of the EU's charter on the right to free speech/publications.

Your campaign should be assertively applied.

Kol HaKavod Lekha.

Dear fine distillers,

I usually write my own letters, but after reading the letter below, I thought it would be hard to improve on it, so please consider it as part of my communication. I am greatly distressed by the West Dunbartonshire Council's action in voting to boycott products made in Israel. First of all, they are wrong about Israel. The problem is not that Israel won't let the Arabs have a state; it is that the Arabs won't let the Jews have a state. Jameel Rashid goes into this in wonderful detail. I hope you study his letter.

Boycotts are not appropriate. Rashid has called for a boycott of your products, because your council has called for a boycott of Israel's products. I have no doubt that if your sales fell and your employees lost their jobs or you were forced to close you would think that wrong. I would agree with you. But how can I enjoy whiskey made by your distilleries? Although I am American, not Israeli, I know Israel has been among the most humane nations of any in the world. Been there, seen that. I support Israel. If you boycott them, boycott me, too. Don't let me buy your whiskey.

I urge you to insist your elected officials become more educated about what is really happening in Israel and the Palestinian ruled territories, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. I have no doubt that if they took the time to rely on, unblinded by bigotry, they would revoke this hateful and groundless resolution. Or I will have to learn to like bourbon.

Best regards, John

Sent: 02 June 2011 21:13

To: Policy Unit; Business Support; Education Central Registry; Elections;Trading Standards Cc: Tricia.Marwick.msp@scottish.parliament.ukSubject:

Re: Bad Policy - BDS campaign (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions"

Dear Policy Board,

I was truly dismayed to read that the West Dunbartonshire Council in Scotland has decided to participate in the BDS campaign (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) against Israel has come to my attention Israel. Your position is sadly one-sided, and fails to recognize the targeting of innocent civilians by the Palestinians. The Palestinians have consistently targeted non-combatants by launching over 12,000 rockets at civilian targets (including public schools). They continue to educate their children to hate Jews. They use children's books that glorify Jihad and martyrdom in their schools. Hamas is not interested in peace, but they are committed to terrorism and Israel's destruction. In fact, their charter calls for the obliteration of Israel and says, "Kill Jews wherever you find them." They are a people that take pride in naming their public squares after terrorists.

Open your eyes and stifle your anti-Semitic outlook. The Palestinians strive for the death of Israel and the Jewish People.

I enjoy several of your fine whiskey but sadly will have to switch brands as I join in the counter-boycott of your products - because you feel that boycotting Israel is an appropriate response to their self defense efforts. I agree with the letter writer below, that if Scotland had received over 7000 rockets fired into the country with the goal of killing civilians, you'd have a different response than condemning the victim. Israel has made some mistakes no doubt but when the stated goal of Hamas is the destruction of Israel and death to all Jews worldwide (and actively working for that goal), you give yourselves black eyes suggesting a boycott of Israeli products. Hopefully if any of you need some of the many Israeli medical devices they've developed and shared with the world, you'll personally honor your boycott and make do without. In the meantime, for me, I guess no more Jameson's, Glenlivet or Chivas until you publicly retract the announcement of your boycott.

Anchorage, Alaska
Response from West Dunbartonshire Council
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2011 5:27 AM
To: Subject:

Re: FW: Bad Policy - BDS campaign (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions"
Dear Mr :
Please find attached statement issued by West Dunbartonshire Council: Over recent days there has been some highly misleading publicity in the national and international press concerning West Dunbartonshire Council's policy on the boycott of Israeli goods. In light of this publicity, the Council has received a number of complaints.
The facts are as follows.
The boycott on the purchase of Israeli goods followed a unanimous decision of West Dunbartonshire Council in January 2009. The boycott was in response to the Israeli state's policy and actions in the Occupied Territories . The boycott was not retrospective and applied only to purchases made from January 2009 onwards. The boycott has not prevented West Dunbartonshire 's library service from purchasing any book which it wished to purchase.
Accusations that Israeli books have been removed from the shelves of the West Dunbartonshire 's libraries or have been burned are entirely false and appear to be mischievously motivated. There are books by Israeli authors on the shelves of West Dunbartonshire Council's libraries. Attempts to depict this boycott as racist are also entirely inaccurate. The boycott was instigated in response to conduct by the Israeli state and applies to no specific ethnic or religious group. The Council has robust anti-racist and anti-sectarian policies and procedures.
I trust this information is helpful to you. Natasha BrooksCustomer Relations Officer
Responses from Scotch Distillers

Dear ,

We have received your email regarding West Dunbartonshire Council's boycott of Israeli products and your views on this decision. Neither Morrison Bowmore Distillery nor Auchentoshan take any political stance and this policy has been made independently from us and without our consultation.

Auchentoshan has invested significantly in working with its many friends and supporters around the world, including the Jewish community and the Kosher London Beth Din, where we recently certified our Auchentoshan Classic as a Kosher Single Malt Whisky. As a business we recognise the concerns you have expressed regarding this policy. We are forwarding your email and separately writing to the West Dunbartonshire Council to ensure it is made fully aware of the potential implications of its policy. As a valued friend of Auchentoshan we would very much appreciate your continued support.

Kind regards,

Head of Brands Marketing
Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd
Dear Rabbi Simon:

I wanted to thank you on behalf of Chivas Brothers and its sister company, Pernod Ricard USA, since we had not been aware of this issue. Please be assured that the West Dunbartonshire Council does not represent the views of Chivas Brothers and Pernod Ricard USA. Pernod Ricard USA is a long and proud supporter of several leading Jewish causes, including the UJA Federation of New York, which has worked for decades to improve the quality of life for millions of Israelis.

While some Chivas Brothers brands are bottled in Dunbarton, none of its whiskies are distilled in this region and both The Glenlivet and Chivas Regal are bottled at their site in Paisley and not Dunbarton. Also, Jameson, Paddy and Powers whiskies are produced in Ireland and are not products of Chivas Brothers.

Thanks again for sharing your concerns with us and we hope that this makes it clear that Chivas Brothers is not associated with the views attributed to the West Dunbartonshire Council. We have passed on your correspondence on this subject to the Council so they are fully aware of the potential implications of their policy. We respectfully ask that you pass on this correspondence to your mailing list, so they understand our position.


Jack Shea
VP, Corporate Communications, Pernod Ricard USA
Press Coverage

Obama bullies Israel; so much for promises at AIPAC Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

Obama bullies Israel; so much for promises at AIPAC
By Jennifer Rubin
Since the president’s Arab Spring speech, friends of Israel have been nervous about at least two issues: the promise Israel would not have to sit down with those who seek its destruction and the negotiations based on the “1967 borders with land swaps.” This weekend it became apparent that there is much to worry about and that the Obama administration has been playing a game usually practiced by the Palestinians, namely telling its domestic audience one thing and the negotiating parties something different.

The trouble for the administration began on Friday afternoon when Eli Lake published a story for the Washington Times.

Lake reported:

The White House is pressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly adopt President Obama’s view that Israel’s pre-1967 border should be the basis for future peace talks.

The Obama White House appealed to Jewish leaders on Friday that the request of Israel was part of an effort to head off Palestinian plans to declare an independent state at the United Nations in September.

The request of Mr. Netanyahu was made Monday to the prime minister’s top peace negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, at a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the National Security Council, according to an Israeli diplomat based in Jerusalem.

Lake also wrote:

Steven Simon, the new White House National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa, told representatives of the Jewish Community Friday during a conference call that the White House was looking to get both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to adopt Mr. Obama’s “principles as a basis for negotiation,” according to a recording of the call played for the Washington Times.

Mr. Obama’s position is “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”

Is the U.S. president pressuring Israel to adopt a position that is not its own and diminishes its bargaining position? And what happened to the statements in President Obama’s speech to AIPAC that Israel could not be expected to sit down with those who want to destroy it? After all Hamas has not yet agreed to the Quartet principles (recognize Israel, renounce terrorism and abide by past agreements), nor has Mahmoud Abbas separated himself from the unity government. To the contrary now he is renouncing past agreements including the Oslo Accords, which call for mutually negotiated final borders and prohibit the parties from taking unilateral steps that would impair negotiations.

I contacted the White House on Friday regarding the latter issue. I asked multiple times, “1.Can you confirm that the president’s position is that Israel should come to the table even without a commitment by Hamas to the Quartet principles and without Abbas breaking with Hamas? 2.If he is asking for 1967 borders from Israel, has anything been asked of Abbas before coming to the table?” Thomas Vietor, the NSC spokesman, refused to give a direct answer, referring me back to Obama’s speech:

1. The President was pretty clear about this in his speech. He said, “Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table. In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel — how can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question.” He also said that “We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing Israel’s right to exist and rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements.”

2. The President laid out several principles for negotiations in his speech. These include that “a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples,” with “Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people,” “a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all claims” and security arrangements that are “robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security” in a “non-militarized” Palestinian state. He also said that the “borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”

But that didn’t answer the question. Is the administration now asking Israel to sit down with Abbas absent a commitment by Hamas or a break-up of the unity government? By gosh, that should be an easy answer (“No!”) , yet the administration won’t say.

This is a very, very big deal. Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams explained to me Friday evening: “I hope news reports of what the Obama White House is privately demanding of Israel are wrong. If the reports are right, the U.S. is now abandoning the Quartet Principles — and asking Israel to negotiate with a Palestinian side that includes Hamas without Hamas taking one single step away from terror. The Palestinian ‘concession’ if these negotiations start would be to pull the plug on seeking U.N. membership.” Moreover, it is a “concession” with very little meaning. Abrams told me that the Palestinians “can’t get U.N. membership if the U.S. vetoes it, so this looks like a desperate White House effort to avoid having to veto. It would leave Israel negotiating with Abbas in the mornings while he is negotiating with Hamas in the afternoons.Then when he gets the Hamas deal the negotiations will collapse, just like they did last year.” He cracked, “The only thing left of that effort is the memory of Mubarak’s purple-black dyed hair in the East Room.” And like clockwork, Obama’s position now becomes the Palestinians’ latest precondition. It’s almost like they are on the same team.

Although it was a Friday evening, Capitol Hill was already rumbling. A GOP adviser told me, “If the administration really wanted to, it could pressure the Quartet to formally oppose the Palestinians’ unilateral move at the U.N. and nip the whole issue in the bud in a long weekend. Clearly, they would rather use this situation to box Prime Minister Netanyahu into a false choice between unilateral statehood and ’67 borders. The Congress will reject this false choice and so should the PM.” Moreover, Democrats who have been spinning the president’s conflicting statements as best they can may now feel burned. A longtime Middle East insider put it this way: “If there are preconditions [for Israel], then that is a change in policy. Just like the mistake we made over settlements, as Abbas said, leading him up a tree. And this time, not only creating a new Palestinian precondition to talks, but in essence giving the P.A. an excuse to pursue the U.N. track, if this latest gambit to wrest pre-negotiations concessions from the Israelis — and nothing from the Palestinians — ends in failure.”

Now what about the 1967 borders? Democratic defenders of the president have insisted that “1967 borders with land swaps” is nothing new. But it appears it certainly is. As the insider noted, “Yes, they are pressing for ’67 with swaps, not exactly ’67. But that’s not really the point — they’ve already adopted what was a Palestinian ‘goal’ as U.S. policy.”

And it is actually worse than that. On Saturday I asked a State Department official authorized only to speak on background: Does “1967 borders with land swaps” mean “1967 and then we discuss swaps” or does it mean “1967 borders plus the swaps that the parties previously agreed to in negotiations including the Jerusalem suburbs”? The latter, I pointed out is consistent with the 2004 Bush-Sharon letters, but the former is not. In fact, if it is 1967 and then they discuss land swaps, that is the same as starting with the 1967 borders. Period. And ure enough the State Department official tole me, “It means swaps that the parties will agree on in the course of direct negotiations.”

To be clear, Israel is being pressured to give up prior understandings that the Western Wall and the Jerusalem suburbs, for example, would never be part of a Palestinian state. A veteran negotiator explains, “This administration believes that every single deviation from ‘the 1967 borders’ must be paid for by Israel in a one to one swap. That has never before been the U.S. government’s demand, and it weakens Israel’s bargaining position.” In other words, there is zero difference in the Obama scheme between “1967 borders” and “1967 border with land swaps.” In both, the starting point is borders Israel has deemed indefensible.

Congressional friends of Israel are likely to be enraged A spokesman for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) conveyed the senator’s view: “The president’s insistence last month that Israel return to the pre-1967 borders represented a significant departure from past U.S. policy and has been roundly repudiated by members of both parties. Given this lack of support, even from his own party, it is inconceivable why the President would continue to undermine the position of our democratic ally Israel in its negotiations with a hostile neighbor.”

I spoke to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who plainly was angry over the continued effort to bully Israel. He said in a phone interview, “President Obama never learns. His real instinct is to weaken Israel. You don’t treat an ally this way.” He said he has never seen this sort of behavior from any U.S. president. After the apparent “rapprochement” following the Arab Spring speech, King says the current posture is “shameful.” Given the strong support in the Congress for Israel, will there be resolutions or a cutoff of funding for the Palestinians? He said firmly that it is time to start “fighting fire with fire.” In other words, as much as Obama seeks to pressure Israel while whispering vague promises to the American Jewish community, the Congress may very well try to recalibrate the balance. We should at least have one branch of government in our ally’s corner, right?

By Jennifer Rubin | 09:00 AM ET, 06/12/2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

do not drink CHIVAS Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

Kiddush clubs declare boycott on Scottish whiskey
06/12/2011 02:58

Move by Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs comes after Kiddush-favorite Chivas named in global boycott of Israeli goods.
Talkbacks (76)

The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC) – a partnership of 250 Jewish men’s clubs that claims more than 25,000 members throughout North America – has joined with synagogues both in Israel and in the diaspora in “suggesting a boycott of scotch from distillers located in West Dunbartonshire Council in Scotland at Kiddush and [in] public and private” celebrations.

The FJMC, which is affiliated with the Conservative movement, has called for Jews to avoid certain brands of spirits following a boycott of Israeli goods instituted by the local council of the whiskey-producing region.

Academic union in UK again votes to boycott Israel
'Israeli book ban may be imposed in Scottish libraries'

“A boycott is like a snowball heading downhill,” said FJMC Executive Director Rabbi Charles Simon.

“It begins at the top of a large mountain, and gathers momentum until it is transformed into an avalanche.

If we wish to stop it, we need to act as soon as possible.”

Among the distilleries named in the boycott are Morrison Bowmore, Loch Lamond and Chivas Brothers.

Chivas Brothers produces the well-regarded Chivas, Glenlivet and Ballantine’s brands which are the preferred spirits in many so-called “Kiddush clubs,” which gather following services in some synagogues.

The decision by Rabbi Simon to urge FJMC members to engage in a counter-boycott came after well known Israeli-Anglo blogger and pro-settlement activist, Jameel Rashid, publicized on his website a letter to several distilleries located within West Dunbartonshire. Rashid wrote: “the global counterboycott of Scottish whiskey products, distilled in the West Durbanshire council region, is beginning.”

Anglo-Israelis, an important target market for purveyors of liquor here, have been circulating e-mails calling on both Israeli and American Jews to cease consumption of Scotch whiskey, and urging supporters of Israel to send copies of Rashid’s missive to the distilleries in question.

When “your local council representatives boycott my country – under the most unethical and immoral of pretext – you cannot expect your market to sit idly and pretend you are not perverting justice,” wrote Rashid.

Both Rashid, the pseudonym for an anonymous Israeli who writes the popular Muqata blog, and the author of the widely read website Israellycool, have posted the home phone numbers of local council members, urging participants in the counter-boycott to call them to express their discontent.

Explaining his rationale for the initiative, Rashid stated that “its best to contact the whisky distillers directly, since the West Dunbartonshire Council of Wise Men couldn’t care less what a pro-Israel, proliberty, person might think... but they might listen to voices of their constituents – specifically the Scotch whisky distilleries in their council’s region.”

The boycott against Israel was initially introduced by the West Dunbartonshire Council in response to what councilmen described as “the disproportionate use of force used against Palestinians” during the IDF’s Gaza incursion in 2009.

The council resolved that it “recognizes the disproportionate force used by the IDF in Palestine and agrees to boycott all Israeli goods as a consequence. Officers should immediately cease the purchase of any goods we currently source, which were made or grown in Israel. Officers should also ensure we procure no new goods or produce from Israel until this boycott is formally lifted by WDC.”

Replying to the council’s assertions, Rashid excoriated the local representatives for whitewashing Hamas’ “barbarism” – citing the use of hospitals, schools and Mosques as cover by Gaza terrorists.

“Why was there an IDF operation in Gaza in the first place? To oppress poor Palestinian Arabs? How would you deal with Gazas’ Arabs targeting Scotland’s babies, other children, and other civilians. Have you not seen the pictures of atrocities the Arabs have visited on innocent children, or does your council not care?” Rashid, in an e-mail to The Jerusalem Post, stated that people have joined his counter-boycott from “all over” Israel and the US.

“The International Kiddush Club of America is giving us top billing as well,” he added.

The West Dunbartonshire Council, while it has not responded publically to calls endorsing a boycott of locally manufactured spirits, has defended the decision which sparked the protest.

The Council explained that it does “not in any way seek to censor or silence authors and commentators from Israel.” “The Council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. The vast majority of mainstream books by Israeli authors are published in the UK, and are therefore not affected by this boycott. Only books that were printed in Israel and transported to the UK for distribution would be potentially boycotted.”

Members of the council did not reply to requests for comment about the whiskey boycott made by the Post.

Kirsteen Beeston, a spokeswoman for Morrison Bowmore Distillers, told the Post that “Neither Morrison Bowmore Distillery nor Auchentoshan take any political stance, and this policy has been made independently from us, and without our consultation.”

Kirsteen highlighted Auchentoshan’s efforts to reach out to the Jewish community and its connections to the London Rabbinical court. She stated that she is forwarding all e-mails received to the council to “ensure it is made fully aware of the potential implications of its policy.”

Gary Sakol, the deputy director of the Zionist Federation of the UK, commented that “Whilst not from West Dunbartonshire, this makes me ashamed to call myself Scottish, and I truly hope those involved will reverse their action.”