Friday, December 28, 2012

the 5 nonsense Palestinian myths

The True Face of Hamas and the Five Myths That Obscure It

DECEMBER 27, 2012 12:23 PM 0 COMMENTS
Hamas New Security Forces in Gaza. Photo: Olly L.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshal used his recent, first ever visit to Gaza to tell a mass rally that he would never recognize Israel and pledged to “free the land of Palestine inch by inch.” His words revealed (again) the true face of Hamas: “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told the crowds, indicating that Hamas’ struggle is for all of the territory comprising modern-day Israel – hardly a formula for peaceful co-existence with Israel.
Did the “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, condemn such language? Unfortunately, he was as silent about Hamas’ hateful rejection of peaceful compromise as he was about Hamas’ missile attacks on Israeli civilians last month . Such quiet complicity is not surprising, given that Abbas seeks unity with Iran-backed Hamas. Why does the world ignore or downplay such troubling facts? There are many possible explanations, but these five myths – often propagated by the mainstream media – are part of the answer.
1) The weaker party is always right. Sympathy for the underdog notwithstanding, the weaker party can still be the one at fault, as a visit to any children’s playground can readily reveal. The same is true in military conflicts: Al Queda is the weaker party against the US, but that hardly makes them right.
2) Israel uses disproportionate force. But what force is proportionate to thousands of missiles raining down on your citizens? Must Israel wait until a Palestinian rocket hits a school bus or a hospital, causing mass casualties, before its response can be proportionate? Where was world outrage when Hamas fired 130 rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians in the weeks prior to Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari? Weren’t those 130 attacks infinitely “disproportionate” because they targeted innocent civilians who were just going about their lives? Such attacks have been going on since 2001. What kind of force would the US have used and how long would it have waited to use it? Critics also argue that Israel’s lower casualty count proves that Israel uses disproportionate force. But such twisted logic implies that Israel’s military response would have been acceptable if only Israel had done a lousier job of protecting its civilians or simply used them as human shields.
3) The parties in this “cycle of violence” are morally indistinguishable. But Hamas purposely targets Israeli civilians and uses Palestinian civilians as human shields to maximize their casualties and score sympathy points. Israel, on the other hand, protects civilians on both sides of the conflict by using bomb shelters and the Iron Dome defense system in Israel, and by warning civilians – with leaflets, texts, and phone calls – to clear targeted areas in Gaza. Israel also expends tremendous resources gathering military intelligence for pinpoint strikes on terrorist targets — operations that it sometimes abruptly aborts when civilians unexpectedly enter the targeted area. Critics forget that if Israel’s goal were to massacre the Palestinians, Israel could do so in a few hours of indiscriminate bombardment (as Assad has done daily in Syria) rather than in days or weeks of precise military actions.
4) If Israel just gave up more land, the conflict with its neighbors would vanish. History reveals how dangerously naive this idea is. Although Jews accepted the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan to divide the British Mandate between Jews and Arabs, the response from Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries was the 1948 war that nearly eradicated the nascent Jewish state. Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon in 2000, but in 2006 Hezbollah launched unprovoked attacks that led to war. When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the Palestinians used it to fire 8,000 rockets at Israelis. Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai is the only historical example of a territorial concession that brought peace to Israel, and the “Arab Spring” raises questions about how long even this cold peace will last.
5) Israel can make peace with Hamas. Can the US make peace with Al Queda? Appeasing extremists only defers the day of reckoning as history has often demonstrated. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren aptly describes Hamas as “a flagrantly anti-democratic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-feminist and anti-gay movement dedicated to genocide.” Real peace is impossible with such an organization and no prosperity will ever come to Gaza under the Hamas thugocracy that rules it. If world powers are genuinely concerned about Gaza, they should work to remove Hamas from power there.
Those who doubt that there is a serious bias in the mainstream media when it comes to Hamas should consider this example from the BBC’s reporting on the Gaza conflict last month or CAMERA’s more extensive analysis of general anti-Israel bias at the NY Times.
Indeed, the world must move beyond the media-driven myths above and recognize Hamas for what it really is: an Islamist terrorist organization dangerously allied with Iran in its mission to destroy Israel. Hamas states this goal in its charter and Iranian leaders declare their genocidal intentions publicly. These forces must be stopped before the doomsday described in my novel leaves the realm of fiction.

Noah Beck’s novel, The Last Israelis, published last July, describes an attack by Iran-backed terror groups in Gaza that was similar to the attacks of last month, when Tel-Aviv was directly targeted by missiles.

The good news

Written by an Israeli named Dan Sporn

אני יהודי
נכתב ע"י ישראלי בשם דן ספורן
Our condition, in Israel , has never been better than it is now! Only
The television and the media make people think that the end of the
World is near.. Only 65 years ago, Jews were brought to death like
Sheep to slaughter. NO country, NO army. Only 60 years ago,
Seven Arab countries declared war on little Israel , the Jewish State,
Just a few hours after it was established.

המצב שלנו, בישראל, מעולם לא היה טוב יותר מאשר עכשיו!
רק הטלוויזיה והתקשורת גורמים לאנשים לחשוב שסוף העולם קרב.
רק לפני 65 שנים, יהודים הובאו למוות כצאן לטבח. ללא מדינה, ללא צבא.
רק לפני 60 שנים, 7 מדינות ערב הכריזו מלחמה על ישראל הקטנה, מדינת היהודים, רק כמה שעות לאחר היווסדה.
We were 650,000 Jews against the rest of the Arab world.
No IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) or Air Force. We were only a
Small group of stubborn people with nowhere to go.
היינו 650,000 יהודים כנגד שאר העולם הערבי.
ללא צה"ל (צבא הגנה לישראל) או חיל אוויר. היינו רק קבוצה קטנה של אנשים עקשנים עם שום מקום לאן ללכת.

Remember: Lebanon , Syria , Iraq , Jordan , Egypt , Libya , and
S Audi Arabia , they all attacked at once. The state that the
United Nations "gave" us was 65% desert. We started it from
זכרו: לבנון, סוריה, עירק, ירדן, מצרים, לוב וערב הסעודית, כולם תקפו בעת ובעונה אחת.
המדינה שהאומות המאוחדות "נתנו" לנו הייתה 65% מדבר.
התחלנו את זה מאפס.
Only 41 years ago, we fought three of the strongest countries
In the Middle East , and we crushed them in the Six Day War.

רק לפני 41 שנים, נלחמנו נגד שלוש המדינות החזקות ביותר במזרח התיכון, וריסקנו אותם במלחמת ששת הימים.
Over the years we fought different coalitions of=2 0Arab countries
With modern armies and with huge amounts of Russian-Soviet
Ammunition, and we still won.

במהלך השנים נלחמנו בקואליציות שונות של 20 מדינות ערב עם צבאות חדשניים וכמות עצומה של תחמושת רוסית – סובייטית, ועדיין ניצחנו.
Today we have a beautiful country, a powerful Army, a strong
Air Force, an adequate Navy and a thriving high tech industry.
Intel, Microsoft, and IBM have all developed their businesses
היום יש לנו מדינה יפיפייה, צבא רב עוצמה, חיל אוויר חזק, חיל ים הולם ותעשיית הי-טק משגשגת.
אינטל, מיקרוסופט, ו- I.B.M פיתחו כולם את עסקיהם כאן.
Our doctors have won important prizes in the medical
Development field.

הרופאים שלנו זכו בפרסים חשובים בתחום הפיתוח הרפואי.
We turned the desert into a prosperous land.
הפכנו את המדבר לאדמה פורחת ומשגשגת.
We sell oranges, flowers, and vegetables around the world.

אנחנו מוכרים תפוזים, פרחים וירקות בכל רחבי העולם.
We launched our own satellite! Three satellites at once! We
Are in good company; together with the USA (280 million
Residents), Russia (220 million residents), China (1.3
Billion residents) and Europe ( France , England and Germany
35 million residents), we are one of the only countries in the
World that have launched something into space!
שיגרנו את הלווין שלנו! שלושה לווינים בעת ובעונה אחת! אנחנו בחברה טובה: יחד עם ארה"ב (280 מיליון תושבים), רוסיה (220 מיליון תושבים), סין (1.2 ביליון תושבים) ואירופה (צרפת, אנגליה וגרמניה 35 מיליון תושבים), אנחנו אחת מהמדינות הבודדות בעולם ששיגרו משהו לחלל!
Israel today is among the few powerful countries that have
Nuclear technology & capabilities. ( We will never admit it,
But everyone knows.)

ישראל היום היא בין המדינות הבודדות החזקות, שהיא בעלת טכנולוגיה ויכולות גרעיניות. (אנחנו לעולם לא נודה בזה, אבל כולם יודעים).
To think that only 65 years ago we were disgraced and

לחשוב שרק לפני 65 שנים היינו מבוישים וחסרי תקווה.
We crawled out from the burning crematoriums of Europe .
We won in all our wars. With a little bit of nothing we built
An empire.
Who are Khaled Mashal (leader of Hamas) or Hassan Nasrallah
(leader of Hezbollah) trying to frighten us? They are amusing us.

זחלנו החוצה מהמשרפות הבוערות של אירופה.
ניצחנו בכל המלחמות שלנו. עם מעט מכלום בנינו אימפריה.
מי אלו חלאד משעל (מנהיג החמאס) או חסאן נסראללה (מנהיג החיזבאללה) המנסים להפחיד אותנו? הם משעשעים אותנו.
As we celebrate Independence Day, let's not forget what this
Holy day is all about; we overcame everything.

בזמן שאנחנו חוגגים את יום העצמאות, בואו לא נשכח מהי המהות של היום הקדוש הזה: התגברנו על הכל.
We overcame the Greeks,
התגברנו על היוונים,
We overcame the Romans,

התגברנו על הרומאים,
We overcame the Spanish Inquisition,

התגברנו על האינקוויזיציה הספרדית,
We overcame the Russians pogrom,
התגברנו על הפוגרום הרוסי,
We overcame Hitler , we overcame Germany and overcame the
התגברנו על היטלר, התגברנו על גרמניה והתגברנו על השואה,
We overcame the armies of seven countries.
התגברנו על הצבאות של 7 מדינות
Relax chevray (friends), we will overcome our current enemies.
הירגעו חבר'ה, אנחנו נתגבר גם על האויבים הנוכחים
Never mind where you look in human history. Think about it,
The Jewish nation, our condition has never been better than now.
So let's lift our heads up and remember:

לא משנה לאן שנביט בהיסטוריה האנושית. תחשבו על זה, העם היהודי, מצבנו מעולם לא היה טוב יותר מאשר עכשיו.
אז בואו נישא ראשנו מעלה וזכרו:
Never mind which country or culture tries to harm us or erase us
From the world. We will still exist and persevere. Egypt ? Anyone
Know where the Egyptian empire disappeared to? The Greeks?
Alexander Macedon? The Romans? Is anyone speaking Latin
Today? The Third Reich? Did anyone hear news from them lately?
=0 D
לא משנה איזו מדינה או תרבות מנסה לפגוע בנו או למחוק אותנו מהעולם. אנחנו עדיין קיימים ושמורים.
מצריים? מישהו יודע לאן האימפריה המצרית נעלמה? היוונים? אלכסנדר מוקדון? הרומאים? האם מישהו מדבר לטינית היום? הרייך השלישי? האם מישהו שמע חדשות מהם לאחרונה?
And look at us, the Bible nation – from slavery in Egypt , we are
Still here, still speaking the same language.
Exactly here, exactly now.

והסתכלו עלינו, העם התנ"כי – מעבדות במצרים, אנחנו עדיין כאן, עדיין מדברים את אותה השפה.
בדיוק כאן, בדיוק עכשיו.
Maybe The Arabs don't know it yet, but we are an eternal nation.
All the time that we will keep our identity, we will stay eternal.

אולי הערבים עדיין לא יודעים את זה, אבל אנחנו עם נצחי.
כל זמן שנשמור על זהותנו, נשאר נצחיים.
So, sorry that we are not worrying, complaining, crying, or fearing…

אז סליחה שאנחנו לא דואגים, מתלוננים, בוכים או פוחדים.....
Business here is beseder (fine). It can definitely be much better,
But it is still fine. Don't pay attention to the nonsense in the media,
They will not tell you about our festivals here in Israel or about the
People that continue living, going out, meeting friends.
העסקים כאן בסדר. זה בהחלט יכול להיות טוב יותר, אבל זה עדיין בסדר. אל תשימו לב לשטויות בתקשורת, הם לא יספרו לכם על החגיגות שלנו כאן בישראל או על האנשים שממשיכים לחיות, לצאת ולפגוש חברים.
Yes, sometimes morale is down, so what? This is only because we
Are mourning the dead while they are celebrating spilled blood. And
This is the reason we will win after all.

נכון, לפעמים המורל נמוך, אז מה? זה רק בגלל שאנו מבכים את המתים בזמן שהם חוגגים על דם שנשפך. וזו הסיבה לכך שאנו ננצח למרות הכל.
Please forward this e-mail to all of your Jewish friends
Everywhere in the world. You are all part of our force to
Keep our existence.

בבקשה העבירו מייל זה לכל חבריכם היהודים, בכל מקום בעולם. כולכם חלק במאמץ שלנו לשמור את קיומנו.
This e-mail may help some of us lift our heads up and be
Proud to say:

מייל זה עשוי לעזור לחלק מאיתנו לשאת את ראשינו מעלה ולהיות גאים לומר:
אני יהודי

Khazar theory phony

Professor D.M. Dunlop of Columbia University was the most authoritative historian of the Khazar Kingdom. In his book The History of the Jewish Khazars, he explains that there is "little evidence" to substantiate the theory that after their defeat in 965, the Khazars sought refuge in Eastern Europe and became the basis of European Jewry.
    Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the advocates of the theory have persisted. In many cases over the last few decades, it appears that they are motivated mainly by a hostile political agenda which aims to advance the delegitimization of the Jewish state. The writer, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Israel Hayom)

so you think you can talk with Abbas?

Abbas, Sending Mixed Messages Is Not Peacemaking - Abraham Foxman
For more than two years, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - who is internationally portrayed as the moderate, peace-seeking, representative leader of the Palestinian people - has ignored repeated calls by Israel to return to negotiations, choosing instead to pursue counterproductive unilateral measures to promote Palestinian statehood.
    At the UN General Assembly, Abbas once again charged the Jewish state with everything from racism and genocide to ethnic cleansing. He made no mention of the violent terrorist actions committed by Hamas and other Gaza-based Palestinian factions against Israel, including last month's eight-day rocket bombardment of Israeli cities and towns.
    The Palestinian Authority must cease its stubborn refusal to negotiate with Israel and put an end to incendiary rhetoric and imagery. They must acknowledge that, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton so aptly put it, the road to Palestinian statehood runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, and not New York. The writer is National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. (Ha'aretz)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Israeli elections

The Israeli elections
Why is this man smiling, when the world is slamming Israel and his party’s slipping in the polls?Because four weeks before elections, for better or worse, voters see no credible alternative to Benjamin Netanyahu as prime ministerBy DAVID HOROVITZ

The main headline in Tuesday’s Yedioth Ahronoth blared in white on red that “Netanyahu is leading us to disaster.”

Quoting an unnamed “very senior diplomatic source,” the full story inside, under a headline most politely translated as “Netanyahu is thumbing his nose at the whole world,” listed a series of the prime minister’s ostensibly disastrous actions and inactions paving the dismal route to national catastrophe.

The prime minister’s stated crimes: Only caring about Iran. Placing impossible conditions on a return to talks with the Palestinians, when Mahmoud Abbas — who has kept the West Bank quiet, admirably supports an accord based on the pre-’67 lines, and has made plain that he seeks no personal refugee’s “right of return” — is Israel’s last realistic hope of a Palestinian partner. Infuriating the entire international community with his settlement building plans, and leaving a fuming US untenably isolated as Israel’s key strategic ally. Legitimizing Hamas by indirectly negotiating with it after last month’s Operation Pillar of Defense, weakening Abbas in the process. And refusing to apologize to Turkey despite the imperative for reconciliation given the savage instability in Syria.

Take that dire list of purported failures, add in the legal difficulties besetting his political No. 2, Avigdor Liberman, and the gradual decline in support for their joint Likud-Beytenu list as ex-right-hand-man Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home list rises, and you might think there’d be a crisis atmosphere in the Prime Minister’s Office with elections less than a month away.

You’d be wrong. The PMO, and the PM, sail serenely, undentably forward — whether to ever-greater national flourishing, as the Netanyahu camp would have us believe, or into the iceberg, as the critics are warning.

If he bothered reading the Yedioth piece at all, Netanyahu will doubtless have dismissed it as the typical ranting of an old-school Labor-leaning Foreign Ministry veteran too weak to so much as identify himself, given prominence by a newspaper that pursues a relentless anti-government agenda. That newspaper, furthermore, has long since lost its hold as Israel’s most-read daily, overtaken by the unstintingly pro-Netanyahu free daily owned by the prime minister’s multi-billionaire supporter Sheldon Adelson.

As for the specific charges, Netanyahu would plead unashamedly guilty to obsessing about Iran — the key threat to Israel’s physical well-being and an issue on which Israel faces the most acute of dilemmas: the US Air Force is increasingly well-prepared to surgically set back Iran years if President Barack Obama gives an order to strike; Netanyahu believes Obama is capable of giving such an order when the next round of diplomatic engagement fails (as the prime minister is convinced it will) but is by no means certain that the president would do so; Israel does still have a military option, but it’s less effective than that of the US and that window is closing; and Iran is showing no sign of reconsidering its march toward the bomb.


His aides will tell you that, far from seeking to avoid talks with Abbas, Netanyahu has repeatedly shown a desire to re-engage — and that this is recognized everywhere from Amman to Washington. The problem isn’t Netanyahu, it’s Abbas, they insist in the PMO. The PA president wants a state all right, but he doesn’t want to make peace with Israel — hence his material breach of the bilateral process and his scamper to endorsement by the UN General Assembly.

That breach simply had to be met by some kind of unilateral Israeli response, the PM’s circle would further argue — hence the rash of new building plans, including in the E1 corridor between Jerusalem and the settlement city of Ma’aleh Adumim. Israel needed to show that it does not accept the purported new legitimacy of “Palestine” and the consequent asserted international legal designation of the West Bank as occupied Palestinian territory — and will not be deterred from taking actions to underline its claims to that land, and to defend itself in the face of international criticism, potential legal rulings at the International Criminal Court, and even sanctions if necessary. (An Abbas effort to have settlements branded as war crimes by the ICC in The Hague is deemed to be a matter of when, not if.)

There is an acknowledgement in the PMO that Israel is firmly on the defensive where the Palestinians are concerned, and that some kind of “new focus” will have to be formulated for dealing with the PA to at least signal Israeli goodwill — perhaps by means of a declared building freeze in isolated settlements. But to echo that Yedioth headline, they most emphatically do thumb their noses at the assertion that building in E1 — which, it is claimed in the PMO, was on Ehud Olmert’s 2008 map for Abbas of West Bank territory Israel would retain — dooms a two-state solution. Gaza and the West Bank are 50 miles apart, and that’s no bar to a two-state solution, runs the derisive counterargument, but building in E1, where overpasses, underpasses and bypasses can maintain Palestinian contiguity, is the death blow?

As for strengthening Hamas in Pillar of Defense, Netanyahu warned in interviews last weekend that Israel’s “account” with Hamas is still open, and that the Islamists’ celebrations are premature. The military operation unfolded as planned, it is argued, and no less a routinely Israel-bashing NGO than Human Rights Watch this week hurled savage allegations of war crimes — not Goldstone 2009-style, at Israel, but at Hamas for its indiscriminate rocket salvoes and for deliberately placing Gaza’s civilians in the line of Israeli counter-fire.

And finally, on the Yedioth charge sheet, the riposte on the need to heal ties with Turkey is that Netanyahu absolutely wants to do so, that he hoped Ankara’s gesture of sending two fire-fighting planes to assist in dousing December 2010′s Carmel fire would open the path to reconciliation, but that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan just isn’t interested. He’s an Islamist, they note in the PM’s circle. Say no more.

As for Netanyahu’s domestic pre-election status, the slowly sliding polls have done nothing to dent his towering self-belief. He doesn’t want Bennett, or Shas for that matter, gnawing into support for Likud-Beytenu. But marginal difficulties for the Likud, and a few disgruntled not-going-to-be MKs low down the merged party list, are not desperate headaches for Netanyahu personally. The right-of-center bloc is holding at 65+ seats. His alliance with Liberman’s party means he’s certain to be heading the biggest faction come January 23. And he’ll have all manner of coalition options: Bennett’s Jewish Home to the right, the two ultra-Orthodox parties — desperate for their slice of the budgetary cake, no matter how earnest Shas leaders may sound when telling the electorate that they are prepared to sit in opposition — and that collection of mediocrities on the left and center-left, all too egotistical to join forces against him before January 22, and all ready to ride roughshod over each other in the scramble for ministerial positions the day after.

Hours of radio coverage were devoted Tuesday to claims and denials about contacts between Netanyahu’s people and Tzipi Livni’s people. Top-level officials on both sides have been talking. No they haven’t. She’ll take the Foreign Ministry job, but only if he promises to support a substantive peace process. No she won’t.

Likewise with Labor, whose Shelly Yachimovich might be given a “senior economic post” — but not the Finance Ministry — to bolster consensual support for Netanyahu on her pet socioeconomic issues. She’d say yes in an instant. She absolutely wouldn’t. And on and speculatively on.

The fact is that Netanyahu has long since learned the value of a center-left coalition ally — to keep doors open internationally, to offset hardline right-wing pressure, and to enable him to appear as the middle-ground Mr. Consensus. Ehud Barak filled the role admirably in the last government, and happened to be fairly good at defense ministering too. Yair Lapid might be the least ideological, the most personally palatable, the most like-minded when it comes to getting the ultra-Orthodox into the IDF and into the workforce, and the exploitably most inexperienced politically. But any one or more of those middle-rank parties could do the job, Netanyahu figures.

And central to his air of supreme self-assurance, to the current ease that marks his body language, to the semi-permanent little smile, is the fact that, even as the polls wobble, there is just no credible alternative prime minister in the public’s mind. Yachimovich? How many Israelis would want her finger on the red button? Livni? Her own party Kadima (that’s the second of the three she’s been in so far) booted her out as its leader. Lapid? A political neophyte. Naftali Bennett? Popular on the growing Orthodox far-right, but nowhere else.

A delightful Haaretz poll Tuesday found only 20% of Israelis would want to spend a night out with Netanyahu and only 9% would buy a used car from him. But those figures actually put him ahead of all his rivals in those categories. He was also polled as more believable overall than his rivals (at 18%, with Bennett at 14% and Livni at 10%), was far ahead as most dependable on economics (at 37%, with Yachimovich at 14% and Livni at 6%), and was out of sight as most dependable on security issues (at 38%, compared to Bennett at 9%, Livni at 8% and Yachimovich at 4%). Only when asked “which politician do you think cares most about you and your problems” did the respondents rank him second, at 9%, below Yachimoch at 17%.

That survey marked an unusually original path to a conclusion with which Netanyahu is cheerfully familiar. For better or for worse, in sharp contrast to 1999, there is next to no prospect of the Israeli public ousting him as prime minister four weeks from today.

Hence the indifference with which he meets criticism such as that leveled in Yedioth on Tuesday, be it spot on or way off, honestly or impurely motivated. Hence his Obama-esque supreme self-confidence. And unlike the US president, it is noted in the PMO, Netanyahu, 63, is not limited to two terms.

We should live so long.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hagel for defense proves Obama is anti Israel

Chuck Hagel's Jewish Problem - Bret Stephens
Chuck Hagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next Secretary of Defense, carried on about how "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here." The word "intimidates" ascribes to the so-called Jewish lobby powers that are at once vast, invisible and malevolent; and suggests that legislators who adopt positions friendly to that lobby are doing so not from political conviction but out of personal fear.
    In 2002, a year in which 457 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks (a figure proportionately equivalent to more than 20,000 fatalities in the U.S., or seven 9/11s), Hagel weighed in with the advice that "Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace."
    In 2006, Hagel described Israel's war against Hizbullah as "the systematic destruction of an American friend, the country and people of Lebanon." He later refused to sign a letter calling on the EU to designate Hizbullah as a terrorist organization. In 2007, he voted against designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. (Wall Street Journal)
Josh Rogin Foreign  Affairs
Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, rumored to be in contention for the job of defense secretary, has a long record of opposing sanctions on countries including Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, and Cuba.
Hagel, who serves as co-chair of President Barack Obama's intelligence advisory board, throughout his career has publicly supported the idea of engaging with rogue regimes and focusing on diplomacy before punitive measures. While in Congress, he voted against several sanctions measures and argued vociferously against their effectiveness.
"Engagement is not appeasement. Diplomacy is not appeasement. Great nations engage. Powerful nations must be the adults in world affairs. Anything less will result in disastrous, useless, preventable global conflict," Hagel said in a Brookings Institution speech in 2008.
In 2008, Hagel was blamed for blocking an Iran sanctions bill that Senate Democrats supported. That same year, he gave a speech calling for the opening of a U.S. diplomatic post in Tehran. As early as 2001, Hagel said that sanctions on Iran and Libya were ineffective. He was one of only two senators that year to vote against renewal of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, along with Sen.Richard Lugar (R-IN).
In his 2008 book, America: Our Next Chapter, Hagel wrote, "America's refusal to recognize Iran's status as a legitimate power does not decrease Iran's influence, but rather increases it."
That same year, Hagel praised the George W. Bush administration's deal with North Korea, which included lifting some sanctions on Pyongyang and removing North Korea from the State Department's list of states that sponsor terrorism in exchange for greater transparency into North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea later reneged on its side of that bargain.
"The last thing we want to do or should do in my opinion is try to isolate North Korea," Hagel saidin 2003. "They are very dangerous, they're unpredictable, and they have a past behavior pattern that's a bit erratic. That is not good news for any of us. So I think we keep the emotions down and keep working the channels."
On Syria, Hagel was a longtime supporter of engagement with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and his father before him, Hafez al-Assad. After meeting with Assad the elder in 1998, Hagel said, "Peace comes through dealing with people. Peace doesn't come at the end of a bayonet or the end of a gun."
In 2008, Hagel co-authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed with prospective secretary of state nominee Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), entitled, "It's time to talk to Syria."
"Syria's leaders have always made cold calculations in the name of self-preservation, and history shows that intensive diplomacy can pay off," Hagel and Kerry wrote.
Hagel has long been a critic of the multi-decade U.S. embargo on Cuba. He has said the trade embargo on Cuba "isolates us, not Cuba," and voted several times to ease parts of it.
"On Cuba, I've said that we have an outdated, unrealistic, irrelevant policy," he said in 2008. "It's always been nonsensical to me about this argument, 'Well, it's a communist country, it's a communist regime.' What do people think Vietnam is? Or the People's Republic of China? Both those countries are WTO members. We trade with them. We have relations. Great powers engage...  Great powers are not afraid. Great powers trade."
That same year, Hagel signed onto a letter to Secretary State Condoleezza Rice urging her to alter U.S.-Cuba policy. In 2002, Hagel called then leader Fidel Castro a "toothless old dinosaur" and said he agreed with former U.S. president Jimmy Carter on Cuba.
"What Jimmy Carter's saying ... is exactly right: Our 40-year policy toward Cuba is senseless," Hagel said.
In 2000, Hagel fought against legislation that would have granted citizenship to Cuban refugeeElian Gonzales.
"Chuck Hagel, like many other great national security strategists including Bob Gates and Brent Scowcroft, thinks that unilateral sanctions fashioned by emotion rather than strategic interests make no sense," said Steve Clemons, editor at large for the Atlantic and a longtime Hagel supporter.
"In many of the cases that sanctions resolutions appeared in the Senate," Clemons said, "sanctions by the U.S., unaccompanied by global support, actually reduce America's leverage in seducing or compelling a problematic nation from taking a different course."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Obama endangers Israel if nominates Hagel at Defense

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 09:34 AM PST
(Paul Mirengoff)
Last week, I asked: If Obama nominates Hagel, will that make Jews who worry about Iran but voted for Obama useful idiots? After all, Hagel voted against designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization; urged President Bush to open “direct, unconditional” talks with Iran to create “a historic new dynamic in U.S.-Iran relations;” was a reliable “no” vote on sanctions against Iran; and serves on the board of directors of Deutsche Bank, which is reportedly being probed by U.S. authorities for possible violations of the very kinds of sanctions Hagel opposed when he was in Congress.
Alana Goodman adds another dimension to the “useful idiot” question. She reminds us that Obama supporters in the pro-Israel community took pains during the election to assure us that Obama was serious about using military force against Iran, if need be. Thus Alan Dershowitz said in the Jerusalem Post:
There are some, in both parties, who wrongly believe that a policy of “containment” – that is, allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons but containing their use by the threat of tit-for-tat reprisal – is the right strategy. President Obama has explicitly rejected this benighted approach and has instead announced that his policy is to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it takes military action to do so. In the meantime, he has ratcheted up sanctions and diplomatic pressure while explicitly keeping the military option on the table.
Several months ago, President Obama invited me to the Oval Office to discuss his Iran strategy. He looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t bluff.” His actions with regard to Osama bin Laden and the Somali pirates who endangered Americans and threatened to kill them demonstrated his willingness to use force when warranted. So does his increased use of drones to target terrorists who are beyond the reach of capture. I believe President Obama when he says that Iran will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons on his watch.
Similarly, Jeffery Goldberg wrote in the Atlantic:
I run into people constantly who believe that the bluffer in this relationship is Obama. Their argument holds that Obama will move toward a strategy of containment soon after the election, and that there is no way he would ever use military force to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.
I’m in the camp of people, however, who take him at his word, in part because he’s repeated himself on the subject so many times and in part because he has laid out such an effective argument against containment and for disruption, by force, if necessary.
But, as Goodman shows, Hagel strongly opposes using force against Iran:
I do not expect any kind of military solution on the Iran issue. I think to further comment on it would be complete speculation, but I would say that a military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option.
In fact, Hagel opposes talking about using force against Iran, even as a bluff:
I think talking about going to war with Iran in fairly specific terms should be carefully reviewed. And that’s pretty dangerous talk. It’s easy to get a nation into war; not so easy to get a nation out of war, as we are finding out.
If Obama nominates Hagel as his Secretary of Defense, it will be a slap in the face for Dershowitz, Goldberg, and many other liberal American Jews. But that, or worse, is what normally happens to useful idiots.