Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Keep pressure up on Iran

  • EU Adopts Oil Embargo Against Iran
    The EU's 27 foreign ministers, meeting Monday in Brussels, imposed an oil embargo against Iran and froze the assets of its central bank, ramping up sanctions designed to pressure Iranian officials into resuming talks on the country's nuclear program. In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner welcomed the EU decision, calling it "another strong step in the international effort to dramatically increase the pressure on Iran." The EU sanctions include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products. Existing contracts with Iran will be allowed to run until July. (AP-Washington Post)
  • U.S. Sanctions Iran's 3rd Largest Bank - Jay Solomon
    The Obama administration has sanctioned Iran's third-largest bank, Bank Tejarat. "Today's action against Bank Tejarat strikes at one of Iran's few remaining access points to the international financial system," said David Cohen, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also EU Adds Iran's Bank Tejarat to Sanctions List (Reuters)
  • Britain, U.S. and France Send Warships through Strait of Hormuz - David Blair
    Britain, America and France delivered a pointed signal to Iran, sending six warships led by a U.S. aircraft carrier through the Strait of Hormuz. The deployment defied explicit Iranian threats to close the waterway. The USS Abraham Lincoln joined another carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, which has been in the Gulf for several months. Each of these vessels carries a complement of fighter aircraft with more striking power than the entire Iranian air force. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Martin Luther King and israel

    January 16, 2012

    MLK on Peace, Israeli Security and Anti-Zionism

    In light of the tendency by some propaganda films and anti-Israel speakers to posthumously enlist Martin Luther King, Jr., for their attacks on the Jewish state, it's worth noting what the civil rights hero actually felt about Israel and its situation.
    Those who knew King well have recalled his strong support for Israel, his understanding of the links between Israeli security and peace, and his opposition to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
    Rep. John Lewis, in his own right a leader in the civil rights movement, wrote an Op-Ed in 2002 describing King's "special bond with Israel":
    During his lifetime King witnessed the birth of Israel and the continuing struggle to build a nation. He consistently reiterated his stand on the Israeli-Arab conflict, stating "Israel's right to exist as a state in security is uncontestable." It was no accident that King emphasized "security" in his statements on the Middle East.
    On March 25, 1968, less than two weeks before his tragic death, he spoke out with clarity and  directness stating, "peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."
    During the recent U.N. Conference on Racism held in Durban, South Africa, we were all shocked by the attacks on Jews, Israel and Zionism. The United States of America stood up against these vicious attacks.
    Once again, the words of King ran through my memory, "I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to  uphold the fair name of the Jews -- because bigotry in any form is an affront to us all."
    The Op-Ed also pointed out that King was clearly against against attacks on Zionists. Lewis wrote that "During an appearance at Harvard University shortly before his death, a student stood up and asked King to address himself to the issue of Zionism. The question was clearly hostile. King responded, ‘When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.'" (This is not to be confused with a widely circulated hoax letter said to be written by King.)
    Clarence B. Jones, a friend and advisor to King, likewise recalled King's opposition to anti-Zionism. "I can say with absolute certainty that Martin abhorred anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism," he explained in a 2008 Op-Ed. Jones elaborated on that point in What Would Martin Say?, a book he co-authored with Joel Engel. Mainstream reporters, he argues, have given a pass to anti-Semitism by black leaders like Al Sharpton because they buy the rationale that Israel's existence is a provocation to Arabs. "Martin, for one, could see this coming after the Six-Day War in 1967, which is why he warned repeatedly that anti-Semitism would soon be disguised as anti-Zionism."

    While King would surely support better circumstances for both Israelis and Palestinians, it seems clear that he was unambiguously opposed to the Israel-bashing that counts as pro-Palestinian advocacy today. His strong statement about Israel's right to exist suggests he recognized the centrality of this issue to the conflict. And judging by his views on anti-Zionism, he would be outraged by the idea that an avowed anti-Zionist like Omar Barghouti, who openly calls for replacing Israel with a state in which Jews will be a minority, pretends King would back boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.


    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Palestine was Jewish

    There was a Palestine. It was Jewish. here is a stock certificate from Palestine company in 1944 to my dad
    and then the company changed its name to israel in 1948

    iran's danger

  • Reality Check: Shorter and Shorter Timeframe if Iran Decides to Make Nuclear Weapons
     - David Albright, Paul Brannan, Andrea Stricker and Andrew Ortendahl
    Some have sought to downplay Iran's nuclear progress by emphasizing that Iran has not yet "made the decision to build a nuclear weapon." But this does not accurately portray the real concern about Iran's nuclear program and progress since Iran has already made a series of important decisions that would give it the ability to quickly make nuclear weapons.
        Iran's strategy of "nuclear hedging," or developing the capability to rapidly build nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, is laid out in the evidence of work on nuclear weaponization, particularly efforts to make specific nuclear components, contained in the November 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards report on Iran. If Iran's ability to quickly build nuclear weapons increases during the next few years, this will only shorten the period of time between taking a decision to build a bomb and constructing one. (Institute for Science and International Security)
  • The Mortal Threat from Iran - Mark Helprin
    Without doubt, Iran has long wanted nuclear weapons - to deter American intervention in its and neighboring territories; to threaten Europe; to respond to the former Iraqi nuclear effort; to counter the contiguous nuclear presences in Pakistan, Russia and the U.S. in the Gulf; to neutralize Israel's nuclear deterrent; to lead the Islamic world; to correct the security imbalance with Saudi Arabia; and to threaten the U.S. directly. In the absence of measures beyond pinpoint sanctions and unenforceable resolutions, Iran will get nuclear weapons, which in its eyes are an existential necessity.
        Accommodationists argue that a rational Iran can be contained. Not the Iran with a revered tradition of deception; that during its war with Iraq pushed 100,000 young children to their deaths clearing minefields; that counts 15% of its population as "Volunteer Martyrs."The writer is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. (Wall Street 
  • media covers up Obama terrorist links

    Media covers up Obama's terrorist ties and anti Israel stance

    January 20, 2012
    A GOP Candidate's Bitter Ex-Wife Receives More Coverage Than a Video of Obama Dining with Terrorist-Supporters
    By Lauri B. Regan

    ...However, of greater importance in my view is the silence, save for a few journalists and pundits on the right, regarding exposing a videotape recorded in 2003 of Barack Obama at the farewell dinner for terrorist-supporting Palestinian Rashid Khalidi. News of the videotape's existence came to light while Obama was a candidate, and the free pass given to him by the mainstream media was only just beginning to come to light when the enamored Chris Matthews' shared news of the tingle up his leg.
    While the birthers' demands did draw some media attention, it was mostly negative and only made fun of the supposedly crazy loons on the far right who apparently were representative of all petty and irrational conservatives. No one seemed to notice that Obama had not written a single article while serving as editor of The Harvard Law Review, and no one pressed the issue of Obama's suppressed college and law school transcripts since it was a given that his brilliance was perhaps surpassed only by the likes of Albert Einstein.
    But there is a videotape sitting in the vaults of the Los Angeles Times, and every American should be screaming from the rooftops for its release. In light of the Arab Spring, Obama's endless attempts to bully Israel into succumbing to all sorts of unprecedented and unsafe demands in the hopes that he would go down in history as the POTUS who made peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the administration's ineptness in addressing Iran's nuclear program and military threats, exposing this videotape is of utmost importance.
    In April 2010, Roger L. Simon published an article on PajamasMedia entitled, "Why is the L.A. Times Burying the Obama/Khalidi Tape?" Of further consequence is why the media -- and Americans -- are not demanding that the L.A. Times immediately release the tape. Simon wrote:
    The Khalidi tape could be of tremendous significance in revealing the provenance of Obama's views on the Middle East and the degree to which the public was misled on those views during the presidential campaign[.] ...
    So what are we to think? We have an administration that not only ascribes most of the Middle East blame to Israel, but also has banned "Islamism" and all related words, even "Islam" and "jihad" from our national security documents. They're completely gone. Indeed, even the Fort Hood massacre, so clearly inspired by Islamic extremism, has now been shifted into the comfortable category of the lone, angry killer. Rashid Khalidi should be happy. And, in fact, he is.
    Sometimes I want to yell and scream. What is wrong with the Los Angeles Times? Are they a news organization or the propaganda wing of some leftover unit of the IWW? No wonder subscribers are deserting them in droves.
    While I am sure that Simon's questions were rhetorical, I will answer the obvious. Of course the paper is a propaganda tool. Were it not for the internet and cable television, true news organizations would no longer exist. It was recently reported that Jerusalem Post editor Steve Linde quoted Bibi Netanyahu calling The New York Times and Haaretz Israel's two main enemies because "they set the agenda for an anti-Israel campaign all over the world." Netanyahu denies making this exact statement, but there is no question that both papers' reporting reflects a bias that can be characterized only as anti-Israel propaganda. Taken a step further, there is no question that the mainstream media as a whole has become completely entrenched in propaganda, bias, anti-Israel and anti-American sentiment, and indoctrination based on liberal, progressive values that are completely out of the "mainstream."
    The public will never understand that the Islamists taking over the Mideast are not moderate, will not promote democracy, are not friends of the United States, and wish the ultimate destruction of the West if the public reads and relies upon only The New York Times, L.A. Times, MSNBC, or similar tools of the left for its "news" and information. Americans will not understand the implications of four more years of a pro-Islamist president if they do not understand what Islamism is all about. And they will not know who is sitting in the White House making policy decisions based on personal biases if the media continues to promote Obama's agenda rather than investigate and report.
    So why is the videotape of such paramount importance? Simon quotes from an article published in the L.A.Times discussing the tape and its contents:
    [A] young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."
    One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."
    Furthermore, rumors abound regarding additional messages that may or may not have been openly shared at the dinner in Obama's presence. Ted Belman reported at Israpundit that he has a reliable source that "the audio tape clearly picks up the toast 'death to Israel'." Did Obama drink to the death of an American ally that he has been actively intimidating, browbeating, and dissing since he phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on his first day in office? Does Obama liken Israelis living in the West Bank to Osama bin Laden, whose death he claims as his greatest foreign policy accomplishment?
    Simon concluded his article with a request that readers send in suggestions on how to make the contents of the tape public. Apparently Donald Trump missed this request when he wasted the media's energy pushing for the release of Obama's birth certificate -- something with which Obama is still having fun as he mocked the birthers at the Golden Globe awards last week.
    But I highly doubt that the POTUS, who had his worldview formed while sitting in the pews of Israel-bashing Jeremiah Wright and at the dinner table of anti-Semite Khalidi, will be mocking people who care enough to properly vet his credentials by urging the release of the tape. And I venture a guess that if the videotape is released, Barack Obama will be packing his bags at the end of this year. But that is a big "if" because until the media stops obsessing over the infidelities of the GOP candidates and starts doing its job, Barack Obama's chances of a second term continue to scare the living daylights out of those who understand its implications.
    Email Friend | Print Article | 13 Comments | Share

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/a_gop_candidates_bitter_ex-wife_receives_more_coverage_than_a_video_of_obama_dining_with_terrorist_s.html#ixzz1k0q9bP12
    As I watch the media circus surrounding Marianne Gingrich's interview regarding her relationship with her ex-husband and GOP candidate, Newt Gingrich, I am once again reminded of the double standard afforded to the Democrats and Barack Obama in particular. Coming on the heels of the Herman Cain mel...


    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Obama's anti Israel friends

    NY Post: The WH Israel-bashing pals

    Hide Details
    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 4:22 AM

    Message body

    The White House’s Israel-bashing pals

    Last Updated: 12:11 AM, January 18, 2012
    Posted: 10:53 PM, January 17, 2012
    Last December, a top anti-Semitism watchdog group accused the Center for American Progress, a prominent Washington think tank, of peddling anti-Israel and borderline anti-Semitic material on its Web site and Twitter feeds. Six days later, President Obama met for coffee with the man who oversaw the offending content — Faiz Shakir, the site’s editor-in-chief.
    That the president met with Shakir amid the ballooning scandal illustrates just how close the administration is with CAP. Now that association may come back to haunt the White House, as three leading Jewish groups — the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Simon Wiesenthal Center — have accused CAP and its staff of publishing “anti-Israel,” “hateful” and “toxic anti-Jewish” material.
    The Jewish organizations’ ire is directed even more strongly at Media Matters for America — another influential, activist liberal Washington group. But CAP’s failings are more significant, because it has been a revolving door to the administration.
    CAP founder John Podesta piloted Obama’s 2008 presidential transition team and now holds a State Department advisory role; founding board member Carol Browner served as Obama’s energy czar. CAP Action Fund President Jennifer Palmieri just joined the White House as deputy communications director.
    And Shakir has had multiple meetings with White House officials, including one last August with the National Security Council’s Quintan Wiktorowicz.
    Making these close ties to the administration especially troubling is CAP’s intensely anti-Israel slant.
    Speaking with the Jerusalem Post recently about CAP and Media Matters, the American Jewish Committee’s Jason Isaacson said, “Think tanks are entitled to their political viewpoints — but they’re not free to slander with impunity . . . References to Israeli ‘apartheid’ or ‘Israel-firsters’ are so false and hateful they reveal an ugly bias no serious policy center can countenance.”
    The Wiesenthal Center found the writers “are guilty of dangerous political libels resonating with historic and toxic anti-Jewish prejudices.” The ADL noted: “Most of their blogs come from a perspective of blaming Israel for the lack of progress in Israeli-Palestinian affairs and minimizing or rationalizing the Iranian threat.”
    The controversy reached a new height over the use of the term “Israel firster.” The phrase, popularized in White Power newsletters in the 1970s and ’80s, accuses American supporters of Israel of being more loyal to the Jewish state than to their own country. Later adopted by fringe pro-Palestinian groups, the slur has since become common on extremist white supremacist and anti-Israel Web forums.
    Then it surfaced in writings put out by Media Matters and CAP. “Waiting 4 hack pro-Dem blogger to use this [link] 2 sho Obama is still beloved by Israel-firsters and getting lots of their $$” wrote Zaid Jilani, a reporter for CAP’s site, on Twitter last July.
    At Media Matters, Senior Fellow MJ Rosenberg openly delights in using the term. “Cool. A major journalist, who I won’t name, gives me credit for making term ‘Israel Firster’ acceptable. I wish. But I’ll do my best,” he wrote on Twitter.
    While Rosenberg continues to use the term, the uproar prompted CAP’s Jilani to apologize, saying he hadn’t realized the connotations. CAP’s blog avowed, “We don’t endorse the term ‘Israel firsters’ or demonize the Jewish state on ThinkProgress. Further, there is no anti-Semitic or anti-Israel ‘hate speech’ written anywhere on this blog.”
    But American Jewish groups disagreed. The ADL pointed to a CAP article that suggested the Israel lobby had pushed America into war with Iraq. In another, its Middle East Progress director, Matt Duss, called “the entire Israeli occupation” of Gaza “a moral abomination” like the Jim Crow South.
    The AJC noted the odious “Israeli apartheid” references, such as a Jilani tweet: “So DC ‘liberals’ are going to spend a lot of time defending Obama against the charge that he’s not supportive enough of Israeli apartheid.”
    CAP hasn’t distanced itself from these comments or even acknowledged that they’re anti-Israel. If it deems them acceptable public comment, one wonders what the internal dialogue is like at the think tank — and among the alumni who have gone on to the Obama administration.
    At a minimum, the controversy highlights how progressive groups are working to undermine traditional Democratic support for Israel. Whatever problems Republicans had with demagogues like Pat Buchanan back in the ’90s, such fringe ideas are increasingly unwelcome in the GOP. Will the Democratic Party similarly reject these ideas now — or tolerate anti-Semitic canards and the demonizing of Israel by its top institutions?
    Alana Goodman is the assistant online editor of Commentary.


    Mortal threat from Iran

    WSJ: The mortal threat from Iran

    Hide Details
    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 7:37 PM

    Message body

    The difference between the NYT and the WSJ. Over the weekend, the Times ran two columns in their editorial section. One told Netanyahu not to strike Iran; the other said the situation with Iran can be resolved by having a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East (meaning Israel is stripped of its nuclear shield while its adversaries continue their programs in secret-much easier to do that in dictatorships and closed-societies).

    The Mortal Threat From Iran

    Iran can sea-launch from off our coasts. Germany planned this in World War II. If cocaine can be smuggled into the U.S. without interdiction, we cannot dismiss the possibility of an Iranian nuke ending up in Manhattan.


    To assume that Iran will not close the Strait of Hormuz is to assume that primitive religious fanatics will perform cost-benefit analyses the way they are done at Wharton. They won't, especially if the oil that is their life's blood is threatened. If Iran does close the strait, we will fight an air and naval war derivative of and yet peripheral to the Iranian nuclear program, a mortal threat the president of the United States has inadequately addressed.
    A mortal threat when Iran is not yet in possession of a nuclear arsenal? Yes, because immediately upon possession all remedies are severely restricted. Without doubt, Iran has long wanted nuclear weapons—to deter American intervention in its and neighboring territories; to threaten Europe and thereby cleave it from American interests in the Middle East; to respond to the former Iraqi nuclear effort; to counter the contiguous nuclear presences in Pakistan, Russia and the U.S. in the Gulf; to neutralize Israel's nuclear deterrent so as to limit it to the attrition of conventional battle, or to destroy it with one lucky shot; to lead the Islamic world; to correct the security imbalance with Saudi Arabia, which aided by geography and American arms now outclasses it; and to threaten the U.S. directly.
    In the absence of measures beyond pinpoint sanctions and unenforceable resolutions, Iran will get nuclear weapons, which in its eyes are an existential necessity. We have long known and done nothing about this, preferring to dance with the absurd Iranian claim that it is seeking electricity. With rampant inflation and unemployment, a housing crisis, and gasoline rationing, why spend $1,000-$2,000 per kilowatt to build nuclear plants instead of $400-$800 for gas, when you possess the second largest gas reserves in the world? In 2005, Iran consumed 3.6 trillion cubic feet of its 974 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves, which are enough to last 270 years. We know that in 2006—generation exceeding consumption by 10%—Iran exported electricity and planned a high-tension line to Russia to export more.
    Accommodationists argue that a rational Iran can be contained. Not the Iran with a revered tradition of deception; that during its war with Iraq pushed 100,000 young children to their deaths clearing minefields; that counts 15% of its population as "Volunteer Martyrs"; that chants "Death to America" at each session of parliament; and whose president states that no art "is more beautiful . . . than the art of the martyr's death." Not the Iran in thrall to medieval norms and suffering continual tension and crises.
    Its conceptions of nuclear strategy are very likely to be looser, and its thresholds lower, than those of Russia and China, which are in turn famously looser and lower than our own. And yet Eisenhower and Churchill weighed a nuclear option in Korea, Kennedy a first strike upon the U.S.S.R., and Westmoreland upon North Vietnam. How then can we be certain that Iran is rational and containable?
    Inexpert experts will state that Iran cannot strike with nuclear weapons. But let us count the ways. It has the aerial tankerage to sustain one or two planes that might slip past air defenses between it and Israel, Europe, or the U.S., combining radar signatures with those of cleared commercial flights. As Iran increases its ballistic missile ranges and we strangle our missile defenses, America will face a potential launch from Iranian territory.
    Iran can sea-launch from off our coasts. Germany planned this in World War II. Subsequently, the U.S. completed 67 water-supported launches, ending as recently as 1980; the U.S.S.R. had two similar programs; and Iran itself has sea-launched from a barge in the Caspian. And if in 2007, for example, 1,100 metric tons of cocaine were smuggled from South America without interdiction, we cannot dismiss the possibility of Iranian nuclear charges of 500 pounds or less ending up in Manhattan or on Pennsylvania Avenue.
    The probabilities of the above are subject to the grave multiplication of nuclear weapons. Of all things in respect to the Iranian nuclear question, this is the most overlooked. A 1-in-20 chance of breaking a leg is substantially different from a 1-in-20 chance of dying, itself different from a 1-in-20 chance of half a million people dying. Cost drastically changes the nature of risk, although we persist in ignoring this. Assuming that we are a people worthy of defending ourselves, what can be done?
    Much easier before Iran recently began to burrow into bedrock, it is still possible for the U.S., and even Israel at greater peril, to halt the Iranian nuclear program for years to come. Massive ordnance penetrators; lesser but precision-guided penetrators "drilling" one after another; fuel-air detonations with almost the force of nuclear weapons; high-power microwave attack; the destruction of laboratories, unhardened targets, and the Iranian electrical grid; and other means, can be combined to great effect.
    Unlike North Korea, Iran does not yet possess nuclear weapons, does not have the potential of overwhelming an American ally, and is not of sufficient concern to Russia and China, its lukewarm patrons, for them to war on its behalf. It is incapable of withholding its oil without damaging itself irreparably, and even were it to cease production entirely, the Saudis—in whose interest the elimination of Iranian nuclear potential is paramount—could easily make up the shortfall. Though Iran might attack Saudi oil facilities, it could not damage them fatally. The Gulf would be closed until Iranian air, naval, and missile forces there were scrubbed out of existence by the U.S., probably France and Britain, and the Saudis themselves, in a few weeks.
    It is true that Iranian proxies would attempt to exact a price in terror world-wide, but this is not new, we would brace for the reprisals, and although they would peak, they would then subside. The cost would be far less than that of permitting the power of nuclear destruction to a vengeful, martyrdom-obsessed state in the midst of a never-subsiding fury against the West.
    Any president of the United States fit for the office should someday, soon, say to the American people that in his judgment Iran—because of its longstanding and implacable push for nuclear weapons, its express hostility to the U.S., Israel and the West, and its record of barbarity and terror—must be deprived of the capacity to wound this country and its allies such as they have never been wounded before.
    Relying solely upon his oath, holding in abeyance any consideration of politics or transient opinion, and eager to defend his decision in exquisite detail, he should order the armed forces of the United States to attack and destroy the Iranian nuclear weapons complex. When they have complied, and our pilots are in the air on their way home, they will have protected our children in their beds—and our children's children, many years from now, in theirs. May this country always have clear enough sight and strong enough will to stand for itself in the face of mortal threat, and in time.
    Mr. Helprin, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, is the author of, among other works, the novels "Winter's Tale" (Harcourt) and "A Soldier of the Great War" (Harcourt).


    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    even moderate palestinians as bad as nazis

    Fatah's Top Religious Authority Calls for Genocide of Jews
    by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
    January 16, 2012 at 4:30 am
    Last week, the principal Palestinian Authority religious leader, the Mufti Muhammad Hussein, presented the killing of Jews by Muslims as a religious Islamic goal. At an event celebrating the 47th anniversary of the founding of Fatah, he cited the Hadith (Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad) saying that the Hour of Resurrection will not come until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them:
    "The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.
    The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.
    Then the stones or trees will call:
    'Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
    Palestinian Media Watch reported regularly during the PA terror campaign (Intifada, 2000-2005) on the repeated use of this Hadith by PA clerics on official PA TV to motivate Palestinians to terror attacks, preaching that Muslims had an Islamic obligation to kill Jews. The fact that the Mufti quotes this now indicates that this may have remained part of the PA's religious establishment's teachings, even though it is less frequently promoted on PA TV.
    The last time official PA TV broadcast a sermon during which this Hadith calling to kill Jews was quoted was in 2010.
    The years of PA promotion of killing Jews and PA religious leaders' citing this Hadith to justify it, may have contributed to the high acceptance of it in PA society. A poll sponsored by the Israel Project last year found that 73% of Palestinians "believe" this Hadith. [July 2011, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.]
    The moderator who introduced the Mufti at the Fatah event last week reiterated another Islamic belief; that the Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs:


    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    Repatriate Palestinians to Arab lands

    Palestinian Refugees, were denied resettlement opportunities

    Palestinian Refugees, unlike other refugees in the world, were denied resettlement opportunties, so that they could be used as political pawns. Over the last thirty-odd years, numerous projects have been proposed, international funds provided, studies undertaken, all indicating the benefits that could be derived by the Arab refugees from their absorption into the brethren cultures of the Arab host countries. Various international bodies and independent Arab voices over the years have clearly challenged as immoral the position of the Arabs in promoting the continued languishing of the Arab emigres who came within their borders; also deplored on occasion is the Arab states' departure from the free world's unvarying precedent: of granting to refugees around the world the dignity of resettlement within a compatible environment where they can become productive citizens. From the beginning, the Arab host governments were offered unprecedentedly broad opportunities based on the refugees' rehabilitation, which could help develop their countries' vast potential under the proposed aid programs.
    International experts reported and published undisputed evidence that integration and resettlement of those who were refugees, when implemented by the community of Arab nations, would benefit not only the Arab refugees but also the underpopulated areas within the Arab world, which needed additional labor forces to implement progress. Iraq and Syria were judged by many specialists in the area to be ideal for resettlement of the Arab refugees." Among many such findings was the report by President Truman's International Development Advisory Board. Headed by Nelson Rockefeller, the board asserted that under proper development Iraq alone could absorb an Arab refugee population of 750,000. According to the report,

    ... Israel [which] in the three years of its existence has absorbed a Jewish refugee population, about equivalent in number to the Arab refugees; ... in flight from Moslem countries in the Middle East and North Africa, cannot reabsorb the Arabs who fled its borders, but it can and indeed has, offered to contribute to a fund for Arab resettlement. The exchange of the Arab population of Palestine with the Jewish population of the Arab countries was favored by the ... League of Nations as an effective way of resolving the Palestine problem. In practical effect, such an exchange has been taking place. The resettlement of the Arab refugees is ... much simpler ... in Arab lands.*1
    Another of the authoritative studies reported:
    Iraq could contribute most to the solution of the refugee problem. It could absorb agriculturists as well. This would benefit the refugees and the country equally.2
    Pointing to Iraq's special availability for resettlement and countering the Arab argument that the Arab refugees were "unemployable"-the same study emphasized that
    In the years 1950-51 100,000 Iraqi Jews left the country.... They left a big gap in the life of the city. Many of them were shopkeepers, artisans or white collar workers, while 15,000 belonged to the well-to-do. The gap could be ... filled. ... Again Iraq would also benefit....
    The study concluded that "host countries should take over responsibility for the refugees at the earliest possible date," and that "redistribution of the refugees among these countries is a primary requisite."
    According to yet another study, by S.G. Thicknesse,3 Iraq's were the "best long-range prospects" for resettlement of the Arabs from Palestine. Herbert Hoover suggested that "this would clear Palestine ... for a large Jewish emigration. . . ."4

    El-Balad, an Arab daily paper in the Jordan-held "old city" of Jerusalem, stressed the value to the Arabs of the Jews' flight from Iraq, since "roughly 120,000" Jewish refugees had fled Baghdad for Israel, leaving all of their goods and homes behind them 5 Salah Jabr, former Prime Minister of Iraq and leader of Iraq's National Socialist Party had stated that

    the emigration of 120,000 Jews from Iraq to Israel is beneficial to Iraq and to the Palestinian Arabs because it makes possible the entry into Iraq of a similar number of Arab refugees and their occupation of the Jewish houses there.6
    A survey by the League of Red Cross Societies determined that thirty-five percent of the Palestine refugees were "townspeople" and could "easily fill the vacuum" left by the Jews.
    ... Their departure created a large gap in Iraq's economy. In some fields, such as transport, banking and wholesale trades, it reached serious proportions There was also a dearth of white collar workers and professional men.7
    Syria was also proposed by many experts as an area with great potential for absorbing refugees: according to one report, Syria required more than twice as many inhabitants as its then-current population of a little more than two million (after World War II.)8 According to Arab Palestinian writer Fawaz Turki, Syria "could have absorbed its own refugees, and probably those in Lebanon and Jordan."9 The British Chatham House Survey10 estimated that, with Syria's agreement, "Syria might well absorb over 200,000 Palestine refugees within five years in agriculture alone." Chatham House also recommended that about 350,000 refugees could be resettled in Iraq, further noting that the refugees themselves would "not offer serious resistance" if they were encouraged to realize that their lives would become more productive.
    In 1949 a newspaper editorial from Damascus stated that

    Syria needs not only 100,000 refugees, but 5 million to work the lands and make them fruitful.11
    The Damascus paper, earlier recognizing that Arab refugees were not to be "repatriated," suggested that the government place these "100,000 refugees in district[s] ... where they will build small villages with the money appropriated for this purpose." * 12
    [* On June 27, 1949, Near East Arab Broadcasting, a British-run station, broadcast (in Arabic): "The Arabs must forget their demand for the return of all refugees since Israel, owing to her policy of crowding new immigrants into the country at such a rate that the territory she holds is already too small for her population, is physically unable to accept more than a small number of Arab refugees. The Arabs must face the facts before it's too late, and must see to the resettlement of the refugees in the Arab states where they can help in the development of their new lands and so become quickly assimilated genuine inhabitants, instead of suffering exiles." "Daily Abstracts of Arabic Broadcasts," Israel Foreign Office. Similar broadcasts were recorded on 10/31/50, 11/11/50, 11/29/50, 12/31/50.]

    In 1951, Syria was anxious for additional workers who would settle on the land. An Egyptian paper13 reported,

    The Syrian government has officially requested that half a million Egyptian agricultural workers ... be permitted to emigrate to Syria in order to help develop Syrian land which would be transferred to them as their property. The responsible Egyptian authorities have rejected this request on the grounds that Egyptian agriculture is in need of labor.*
    [* 200,000 Arab "refugees" were languishing in Gaza, along with "80,000 original residents who barely made a living before the refugees arrived," according to the UNRWA report in 1951-52, yet a project with "hope" to accommodate "10,000 families" in the "Sinai area" was "suspended."]
    Near East Arabic Radio14 reported that Syria was offering land rent free to anyone willing to settle there. It even announced a committee to study would-be settlers' applications.

    In fact, Syrian authorities began the experiment by moving 25,000 of the refugees in Syria into areas of potential development in the northern parts of the country, but the overthrow of the ruling regime in August 1949 changed the situation, and the rigid Arab League position against permanent resettlement, despite persistence on the part of isolated leaders, prevailed.15

    Notwithstanding the facts, 16 the Arab world has assiduously worked to build the myth that no jobs were available in Arab lands for Arab refugees in 1948 or since, and that the refugees had become surplus farm workers "in an era when the world at large and Arab countries in particular already has too many people in the rural sector."17

    At around the same time, the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Muhammad Saleh ed-Din, in.a leading Egyptian daily, demanded the return of the refugees:

    Let it therefore be known and appreciated that, in demanding the restoration of the refugees to Palestine, the Arabs intend that they shall return as the masters of the homeland, and not as slaves. More explicitly: they intend to annihilate the state of Israel.18
    Thus, while the "refugee" count kept growing, Arab leaders' confusion over "return" or "not return" had been more or less clarified: they proclaimed that the "refugees" must indeed "return," but not before Israel was destroyed.
    The Lebanese paper AI-Ziyyad 19 anticipated a current expressed goal of the PLO charter, though it was less candid. In a sophisticated assessment, it suggested the recognition of Israel as a strategy that would accomplish the following results:

    The return of all the refugees to their homes would be secured, thereby we should, on the one hand, eliminate the refugee problem, and on the other, create a large Arab majority that would serve as the most effective means of reviving the Arab character of Palestine, while forming a powerful fifth column for the day of revenge and reckoning.
    Despite findings of the 1950 United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission,20 which recommended "concentration on Arab refugees' resettlement in theArab countries21 with both the technical and financial assistance of the United Nations and coupled with compensation for their property," the Arab League22 insisted that
    relief projects should not prejudice the right of the refugees to return to their homes or to receive compensation if unwilling to return...23
    The Revue du Liban was among many dissenters who challenged the Arab League's position and discouraged Arab refugees from "return":
    ... it is a fact that many Arabs leave Israel today of their own free will.
    The paper pointed out that "in the event of a return of the refugees they will constitute a minority ... in a foreign environment ... unfamiliar together with people who speak a language they do not understand." Also, the paper stated, the refugees would "encounter the economic difficulties of Israel," and
    their settlement in Israel will cost much more than their absorption in the countries where they live today. After three years it is not human and not logical to compel them to wait without giving them concrete help. Syria and Iraq can easily absorb additional refugees.... They should form a productive force which might help to improve the economic conditions in the countries where they will be absorbed.24
    Despite tacit recognition of the actual "resident"- as opposed to "refugee' - identity of so many of those involved, projects unparalleled for refugees else where continued to offer to facilitate the Arab world's resettlement of all it "refugees."25 Yet the Arabs rebuffed every effort to secure realistic well-being for their kinsmen. At a refugee conference in Homs, Syria, the Arabs declare that
    any discussion aimed at a solution of the Palestine problem which will not based on ensuring the refugees' right to annihilate Israel will be regarded as desecration of the Arab people and an act of treason.26
    In 1958, former director of UNRWA Ralph Galloway declared angrily while in Jordan that
    The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations, and as a weapon agains Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die.27
    And King Hussein, the sole Arab leader who, for reasons that later become clearer, directed integration of the Arabs, in 1960 stated,
    Since 1948 Arab leaders have approached the Palestine problem in an irresponsible manner.... They have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, even criminal.28
    Eleven years after the Arab leavetaking, the late United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjbld reiterated that there were ample means for absorb ing the Arab refugees into the economy of the Arab region; he asserted furthe that the refugees would be beneficial to their host countries, by adding needed~manpower to assist in the development of those countries. Hammarskjbld detailed the estimated cost of the refugee absorption, which he proposed be financed by oil revenues and outside aid. But again, plans for permanent rehabilitation of the refugees were rejected by the Arab leaders, because such measures would have terminated the refugees' status as "refugees"; the Arab leaders reasoned that once the refugees accepted their new homes, they would eventually abandon their desire to "return" to former homes, as have other refugees. Such action would have resulted in the Arab world's loss of a weapon against Israel,29 and would have falsely implied acceptance of the Jewish state.
    While the vast majority of refugees has now left the camps for greater opportunities among their brethren-many in the oil-rich Gulf states-most have been denied citizenship in the Arab countries to which they had moved. Regardless of their contributions as "law-abiding" citizens de facto, and regardless of their length of time there, they have largely been discriminated against. As one Palestinian Arab in Kuwait told Forbes editor James Cook in 1975,

    They owe me citizenship. I've been here for nearly 20 years and I helped create this country's great wealth. I did. I haven't simply earned my citizenship, they owe it to me.30
    This Arab refugee, whose plight is representative of so many, according to Cook, was "unlikely to get it," although it is said that some of the Arabs who left Western Palestine for Kuwait have finally obtained Kuwaiti citizenship. In Iraq, Palestinians have been "allowed to live in the country but not to assume Iraqi nationality," despite the fact that the country needs manpower and "is encouraging Arab nationals to work and live there by granting them citizenship, with the exception of Palestinians.31
    In this endeavor, the Arab world has received inordinate support from the United Nations, as a candid former United Nations Palestinian Conciliation Commission official admitted in 1966. Dr. Pablo de Azcarate wrote:

    ...solemn proclamation [of the "right of the refugees to return . . ."] by the [General] Assembly and its incorporation into the text of the resolution of December 14, 1948, have had three results.
    In the first place, a platform has been provided, of inestimable value to all those Arab political elements who are more interested in keeping alive the political struggle against the State of Israel than in putting an end, by means of a practical and reasonable compromise formula, to the tragic situation of the refugees. The truth is that since the resolution.... the Arab states, whenever the question arose, have done nothing but attack Israel....

    The second result of the proclamation ... has been complementary to the first - to paralyze any possible initiative on the part of those who would have preferred to give priority, not to the struggle against Israel, but to the solution of the refugee problem by means of a reasonable and constructive compromise formula.

    [And third,] the proclamation and the propaganda surrounding it have created a state of mind among the refugees based on the vain hope of returning to their homes, which has immobilized their cooperation.... an indispensable condition if a way is to be opened to a solution at once practical and constructive of their distressing problem....

    ... after years of effort, the sole achievement has been to feed and shelter the refugees in some sort of fashion, without taking a single step along the road to their economic and social rehabilitation.32

    Arab propaganda has also managed thus far to direct all attention to one aspect of the Middle East refugee problem as if it were the only aspect of that problem, and thus to mask the overall reality. One crucial truth, among many that have been obscured and deprecated, is that there have been as many Jewish refugees who fled or were expelled from the Arab countries as there are Arab refugees from Israel, and that the Jews left of necessity and in flight from danger.

    Palestinians burn effigy of Canadian minister

    January 17, 2001
    Palestinians burned an effigy of Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley on Thursday in a protest against Canada's offer to accept Palestinian refugees as part of a Middle East peace plan. Hooded gunmen fired into the air during the protest in Balata refugee camp near the West Bank town of Nablus and hundreds of demonstrators shouted slogans demanding the right of return to former homes. "We refuse resettlement of refugees," they shouted.

    Manley told the Toronto Star newspaper in an interview published on January 10, "We are prepared to receive refugees. We are prepared to contribute to an international fund to assist with resettlement in support of a peace agreement." Manley said there had been no discussion on the number of refugees to be resettled outside the Middle East.

    Canada heads the multilateral Refugee Working Group, a committee charged with trying to resolve the plight of Palestinian refugees.

    Arab League Summit in Beirut

    28 March 2002
    Following is an official translation of the full text of a Saudi-inspired
    peace plan adopted by an Arab summit in Beirut on Thursday...

    The Arab Peace Initiative

    The Council of Arab States at the Summit Level at its 14th Ordinary Session, reaffirming the resolution taken in June 1996 at the Cairo Extra-Ordinary Arab Summit that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East is the strategic option of the Arab countries, to be achieved in accordance with international legality, and which would require a comparable commitment on the part of the Israeli government...

    1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies...
    2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm...

    3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following...

    4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries.

    5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept this initiative...

    Section 4 effectively continues the policy of forcing the Palestinian refugees to remain camps in Lebanon and elsewhere as political weapons rather than absorbing them.

    1. International Development Advisory Board, Report, March 7, 1951.

    2. F. T. Witcamp, The Refugee Aroblem in the Middle East (The Hague: Research Group for European Migration Problems, 1959), pp. 39-41.

    3. S.G. Thicknesse, Arab Refugees: A Survey of Resettlement Possibilities (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1949), p. 51.

    4. Herbert Hoover, reported in the New York World Telegram, November 19, 1945.

    5. EI-Balad, September 13, 19, 1951, cited in Joseph Schechtman, The Arab Refugee Problem (New York: Philosophical Library, 1952), p. 91.

    6. Dewey Anderson et al., "Arab Refugee Problem and How It Can Be Solved," p. 39, citing EI-Balad (Jerusalem), September 18, 1951.

    7. Schechtman, Apab Refugee Problem, p. 91; p. 94, n. 41.

    8. Anderson et al., "Arab Refugee Problem and How It Can Be Solved," citing a report by Alexander Gibbs Co., "The Economic Development of Syria" (London, 1949).

    9. Fawaz Turki, The Disinherited: Journal of a Palestinian Exile (New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 1972), p. 37.

    10. Anderson et al., "Arab Refugee Problem," p. 50, citing a report by a study group composed of members and associates of Chatham House and members of the Royal Asian Society under the chairmanship of Sir Harold MacMichael on Arab refugee settlement possibilities. Arnold Toynbee was also a participant.

    11. Editorial in al-Qubs (The Torch), Damascus, January 1949. Quoted on March 28, 1949, in az-Sameer, an Arabic paper published in New York. Cited in Schechtman, Arab Refugee Problem, p. 80.

    12. al-Quk quoted in az-Sameer, March 28, 1949, cited in Anderson et al., "Arab Refugee Problem," p. 52.

    13. Musamaret El Geib (Cairo), June 3, 1951, cited in Anderson et al., "Arab Refugee Problem," p. 50. See Chapter 18 for interview with Syrian official who expressed similar needs in 1977.

    14. Near East Arabic radio, May 12, 1949, cited in Anderson et al., p. 51.

    15. W. de St. Aubin, "Peace and Refugees in the Middle East," Middle East Journal, Washington, July 1949, pp. 359-60. According to Schechtman, Arab Refugee Problem, P. 81, "In March 1951, premier Khaled el-Azarn stated in connection with the visit to Damascus of UN Secretary General Trygve Lie, Syria would be willing to accept refugees provided they were paid compensation for their property in Israel." (Emphasis added.)

    16. From 1949 until 1951 Egyptians were receptive to resettlement proposals. In September 1949, Egypt was planning to hire the refugees to dig wells in Gaza, conditional upon Israel's cooperation with irrigation methods, New York Times, October 1, 1949; in 1951, Egypt and UNRWA negotiated to resettle 50,000 refugees in the Sinai at one point, New York Times, August 18, 23, 1950, and March 23, 195 1; an additional 20,000 refugees were agreed upon for resettling in the same period, New York Times, December 26, 1950, Times, London, January 23, 1951.

    17. John Davis, "Why Are There Still Arab Refugees?", Arab World, December 1969- January 1970. Also see data on Syria and on Libya, etc., in UNRWA Annual Report of the Director, July 1952 to June 1953, General Assembly, 8th Session, Supp. No. 12 (A/2470), pp. 10-11; in UN Resolution 513 (VI) the General Assembly adopted the Authorization to '~ransfer" UNRWA funds "allocated for relief' into funds for "reintegration, " dated January 26, 1952, item no. 10. An American representative in Lebanon, Ambassador Ira Hirschmann, submitted a comprehensive report to the Assistant Secretary of State re: "Arab Refugee Situation," April 6,1968, Hirschmann to William B. Macomber, Jr.

    18. Dewey Anderson et al., "Arab Refugee Problem and How It Can Be Solved," p. 77, citing AbMisr4 October 11, 1949.

    19. Ibid., citing Al-Ziyyad, April 6, 1950.

    20. "General Progress Report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine," covering the period from December It, 1949, to October 23, 1950 (pamphlet), General Assembly Official Records, 5th Session, Supp. No. 18 (A/1367/Rev. 1).

    21. See UN Ad Hoc Committee Sessions, November 11, 29, 30, December 1, 1950, for positions of Denmark, Canada, Britain, Australia, Bolivia, Belgium, and Holland. Although giving perfunctory acknowledgment to the Arab position, a substantial bloc among the UN Ad Hoc Committee concluded that "the Arab refugees would have a happier and more stable future if the bulk of them were resettled in Arab countries."

    22. League Resolution No. 389, October 10, 1951.

    23. Mohammad lqbal Ansari, The Arab League 1945-1955 (Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim University, 1968), pp. 71-74.

    24. Revue du Liban (French), May 12, 1951, cited by Anderson et al., "Arab Refugee Problem," p. 38.

    25. For additional support of resettlement see Thicknesse, Arab Refugees~ pp. 38-58; Vahe Sevian, "Economic Utilization and Development of the Water Resources of the Euphrates and Tigris," E/Conf. 7/Sec/W.397, August 1, 1949, p. 16; Doreen Warriner, Land and Poverty in the Middle East (London and New York: Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1948), pp. 26-33, 75-80, 95.

    26. Berlut al Massa (Lebanese daily), July 11-12, 1957, 'cited by Terence Prittie and Bernard Dineen, The Double Exodus. A Study of Arab and Jewish Refugees in the Middle East (pamphlet), (London: Goodhart Press, n.d.), p. 13.

    27. Prittie, "Middle East Refugees," in Michael Curtis et al., eds., The Palestinians: People, History, Politics (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1975), p. 71.

    28. Ibid., citing Associated Press interview, January 1960.

    29. See Robert MacDonald, The League ofArab States (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965); also see Mohammad Khalil, The Arab States and the Arab League: A Documentary Record (Beirut: Khayat's, 1962), vol. 2, pp. 517-22, 9351f.

    30. "Biggest Little Superpower in the World," Forbes, August 1, 1975; author's interview with Jim Cook, January 5, 1979.

    31. Abbas Kelidar, "Iraq: The Search for Stability," Conflict Studies, No. 59, The Institute for the Study of Conffict, London, July 1975, p. 21.

    32. Pablo de Azcarate, Mission in Palestine 1948-1952 (Washington, D.C.: Middle East Institute, 1966), p. 191. Resolution 194 (111) of the United Nations General Assernbly, which de Azcarate dates December 14, 1948, is generally recorded as December 11, 1948. The UN "proclamation" referred to by de Azearate includes the following: "Resolves that the refugees willing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return, and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or inequity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible; "Instructs the Conciliation Committee to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations."

    This page was produced by Joseph E. Katz
    Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst
    Brooklyn, New York
    E-mail to a friend


    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Tenth Tevet Fast

    Today is fast day daylight hours mourning Jerusalem wall breach 2500 years ago by ancient Iraqis (Babylonia). This time the breach is happening through BDS Boycott Divest and Sanction and terrorism threats

    Tenth of Tevet - Fast Day Marks Siege of Jerusalem
    This Thursday, 10 Tevet, Jews fast in commemoration of the start of the siege of Jerusalem by Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar.
    By Hana Levi Julian
    First Publish: 1/5/2012, 9:56 AM

    Walls of Jerusalem at night
    Walls of Jerusalem at night
    Israel news photo: courtesy of Chabad.org

    The supermarkets may still be full of shoppers preparing for the advent of the coming Sabbath on Friday, but Thursday is not going to be a day in which observant Jews will be filling the kosher restaurants -- at least, until after sundown.

    On the Jewish calendar, this Thursday is the tenth day in the Hebrew month of Tevet -- the anniversary of the date on which the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar began his deadly siege of Jerusalem in the year 425 BCE. We mark the day by fasting from just before sunrise, until nightfall, and add the Selichot and other special supplements including a special Torah reading to the daily set of prayers. It is one of four fast days commemmorating the stages of the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples.

    Two other sad events were recorded by the Talmudic sages as having occurred on the tenth of Tevet, one the death of Ezra the Scribe who led the revival of Jewish adherence to the Torah when the Jews returned from Babylon to build the Second Temple. The other event is the translation of the Torah into Greek, known as the Septuagint, considered an event to mourn as well.

    Israel's Chief Rabbinate connected current Jewish mourning to the date and designated the Tenth of Tevet to serve as a "general Kaddish day" for victims of the Holocaust, many of whom were murdered on dates lost in time, and whose day of martyrdom is thus unknown.

    It took Nebuchadnezzar 30 months to breach Jerusalem's thick stone walls, but he finally managed it on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, in the year 586 B.C.E (some claim it was in 420 B.C.E).

    Only one month later, on Tisha B'Av -- the ninth of Av -- the Holy Temple was destroyed for the first time, and the Jewish People were sent out into exile to Babylonia for the next 70 years. The prophet Jeremiah wrote Lamentations to memorialize the tragedy.

    The Second Temple was built when the Jews were allowed to return by Cyrus the Great and destroyed in 70 C.E. by the Romans, also on the 9th of Av. Remnants of the Holy Temples still remain -- one outside retaining wall of the Second Temple is today referred to as the Western Wall, or the Kotel, or Wailing Wall -- the place where Jews weep for its destruction.

    The Temple Mount, over which such controversy with the Waqf Islamic Authority has raged for so many years due to its unwillingness to allow Jews to even murmur a prayer on the grounds, is the site of the Temple and its "holy of holies," an area which only the High Priest could enter on Yom Kippur. There is ongoing controversy over where exactly on the Mount this was located, so that prominent rabbis, among them the late Chief Rabbi Avraham Cahane Shapira of Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, forbade ascending the Mount. Others, who feel the location is known, stress that it is important to show Jewish presence on the Mount.

    The Islamic clerics who now inhabit the area, and deliver sermons in the Al Aqsa mosque built on the site, periodically express their intense fear of the day that a Third Holy Temple will rise from the site, and make enormous efforts to prevent at all costs the possibility that the Jews will help bring this about.

    Words of inspiration and arousal to repentance are delivered on fast days by prominent rabbis in Jewish communities around the world. They urge their followers to reflect on the tragic events of our history and to be motivated, encouraged and inspired to improve their ways in order to shape events to bring a better future and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.


    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Most important issue of the age-Iran and the election

    On the single most important issue of the age, Santorum is by far the best, Obama bad, Paul a nightmare-Iran and a nuclear weapon
    Santorum On His Plan To Attack Iran: ‘We’re Trying To Prevent A War’

    By Ben Armbruster on Jan 4, 2012 at 10:41 am

    The GOP presidential nomination’s newest “not-Romney” alternative Rick Santorum said last Sunday that a military strike is part of his plan in how he’d deal with Iran and its nuclear program should he become president. “You would order air strikes if it became clear that they were going to [get nuclear weapons]?” NBC’s David Gregory asked. “Yes, that’s the plan,” Santorum said.

    Glenn Beck yesterday on his radio show asked Santorum about that comment, seeming a little concerned. “There’s a strong part of me that says enough of the wars,” Beck said, saying he was “playing devil’s advocate.” But the former Pennsylvania senator said an attack on Iran would serve to prevent a war:

    BECK: There’s a strong part of me that says enough of the wars. Enough of the wars. What are fighting, five wars right now?

    SANTORUM: We’re trying to prevent a war. We’re trying to prevent the most nefarious regime in the entire world, you know this is the equivalent of al Qaeda, it’s maybe even worse than al Qaeda being in control of a country with enormous resources and capability.

    BECK: This is Hitler.

    SANTORUM: We’re trying to prevent them from having the fail safe so they can go out and rein terror around the world.


    Why the US Needs Israel www.rabbijonathanginsburg.com

    Commentary Dec 2011
    How Israel's Defense Industry Can Help Save America
    Arthur Herman — December 2011


    Kibbutz Sasa sits one mile from Israel’s Lebanese border. Founded in 1949, it is the site of the tomb of the second-century rabbi Levi ben Sisi. It hosts groves of fruit trees and a dairy farm and has 210 members. Kibbutz Sasa is also the home of the main factory of Plasan, a company that started out making hard plastic containers like garbage cans in 1985. For four years now, American soldiers have driven more safely in Iraq and Afghanistan, thanks to Kibbutz Sasa and Plasan’s CEO, Dani Ziv.

    It was Ziv who, in the 1980s, urged the company to take up the manufacture of protective ballistic vests for soldiers and police. In 1989, Plasan won its first contract to make body armor for the Israel Defense Forces, and then for IDF vehicles. When war came to Afghanistan and then Iraq, orders went through the roof, especially from the United States. Plasan’s profits soared some 1,500 percent, from $23 million in 2003 to $330 million in 2007. Today they stand at over $500 million, with 90 percent of the company’s orders coming from Europe and the United States.

    Plasan specializes in a very dense plastic composite product that affords ballistic protection without significantly adding to the weight of the vehicle. “Their work is exceptional,” says a senior Israeli defense industry executive about Plasan. “To convince the U.S. military that you are a reliable outfit is no mean feat. They did it all alone, without any help from a former ambassador or defense ministry director general.”

    Plasan-armored mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) have been serving in Afghanistan since August 2009, and contractor Oshkosh Company has another 8,800 on order. In 2009 Plasan even opened a factory in Bennington, Vermont, to do the work for its American contract. But while the 350 or so workers there are American, the technology is decidedly Israeli.

    That applies to an even smaller company in Netanya, Israel, called Camero. Its engineers have come up with a way to use ultra-wideband wireless transmissions to see through walls—literally—and detect armed men and explosives on the other side. The Xaver 400 is barely the size of a laptop computer, but it’s dramatically shifting the odds in urban fighting in favor of the technology user, whether he’s an IDF soldier or a United States Marine​. Indeed, in December 2010, one of Camero’s top clients became the Department of Defense.

    What’s happening at Plasan and Camero is part of a silent revolution sweeping the defense establishments of the United States and Israel. After decades of being the Pentagon’s dependent in terms of military technology, Israel’s defense industry is now gaining a competitive advantage over its overregulated, bloated and lethargic American rival. Indeed, the United States is becoming one of its best customers. Goliath is finding shelter under the shield of David.

    This situation is fraught with irony. It’s not only that America is now fighting the kind of wars Israel has been fighting for decades—small-scale, low-intensity, against an elusive terrorist enemy—and needs the skills and equipment Israel has to offer, including remote-detection devices such as unmanned drones, an area in which Israel has been on average 10 years ahead of the curve. Nor is it simply the fact that as U.S.-Israeli relations have cooled during the Obama years, Israelis are realizing that a strong and independent high-tech defense sector may be more crucial to Israel’s future than relying on U.S. help.

    The Israeli way of doing defense business is changing the shape of the military-industrial complex. Smaller, nimbler, and entrepreneurial, Israel’s defense industry offers a salutary contrast to the Pentagon’s way of doing things. With the spending and budget crisis in the United States already putting immense pressure on the Pentagon, with all-but-certain declines in the percentage of the U.S. economy that will be devoted to defense in the coming decade, a second “revolution in military affairs” is going to be necessary. We are going to have to get more for less—much less. Israel points the way.

    A good example coming from the more expensive end of the military-technology spectrum involving high-tech missiles is Rafael Advanced Systems. They’re the Israeli makers of the Iron Dome missile defense system, built to protect Israeli towns from mortars, rockets, and 155-millimeter artillery shells. Each Iron Dome unit fires four to eight missiles and is equipped with a Battle Management computer system designed by another Israeli company, MPrest Systems. It’s an all-weather mobile system with a range of 70 kilometers (about 43.5 miles).

    For the Pentagon, developing and deploying a major new system like this can take more than a decade. By contrast, the Israel Defense Ministry gave Rafael the contract for Iron Dome in 2007, and by March 2009 the system was fully ready for testing. The first true shoot-down test had to wait until July that year. More tests followed in 2010, and by March 2011 Iron Dome was declared operational and has been deployed in towns near the Gaza strip to protect against Hamas’s attacks.

    To intercept bigger ballistic missile, Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) developed the Arrow antimissile system in cooperation with the United States as part of Ronald Reagan​’s Strategic Defense Initiative. The agreement to build Arrow came in 1989. The first missile, the Arrow 1, got its first test launch in August 1990. Less than four years later came its first test interception.

    Although Arrow began as an American-Israeli joint initiative, the irony is that Israel’s interest in developing Arrow sprang from the failure of American-made Patriot antimissile batteries to intercept Scud missile attacks during the First Gulf War​. Arrow relies on a coterie of Israeli companies to provide the interception system’s components. Elta, a division of Israel’s biggest private arms firm, Elbit Systems​, provides the Green Pine early-warning radar. Tadiran (another Elbit division) makes the Communication, Control, and Command center. IAI devised the Hazelnut launch controls. Altogether, they have constructed one of the world’s most sophisticated defense systems. In 1995 the Arrow 1 was replaced with an even faster, more lethal version, Arrow 2, which, according to its developer, Dov Raviv, has a 90 percent probability of knocking out a ballistic missile—and can tell a warhead from a decoy.

    Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency​ considers itself fortunate when it gets any successful missile shoot-downs from its land-based system. The first successful test interception from the American version of Star Wars came in August 2005—more than 10 years after the Israelis had done the same thing. Now Israel is looking to sell Iron Dome in the United States. And Rafael’s American marketing partner? Raytheon, the same company that developed the Patriot.

    For decades Israel has been seen as the United States’ junior partner in all matters military and strategic. American defense companies were the unquestioned leaders in developing sophisticated modern weaponry, while Israelis focused on more standard items such as small arms (the classic Uzi) or weapons built to suit their unique battle conditions (the Merkava tank). The Patriot missile deployment in the First Gulf War only reinforced the perception that Israelis needed American military technology, and American military aid, in order to survive. Now it may be Israeli technology, in the shape of Iron Dome and Arrow, that ends up defending American cities instead.

    The changing situation has also affected the American attitude to technology transfers between the two allies. General Uzi Eilam, former head of the Israeli weapons research-and-development agency MAFAT, remembers that when F-15s and F-16s from the United States arrived in Israel, “they came with systems in locked boxes, which we were not allowed to open.” The rule was, the closer the Israelis were to attaining the same technical breakthrough, the more willing the United States would be to share the technology. Today the Pentagon is speeding up the cooperation process, if only to prevent Israeli advances from heading them off at the pass.

    It is striking how the Israeli defense sector keeps steadily leapfrogging from one challenge to the next. This is especially true for the acid test of any strong defense industry: foreign sales. Ten years ago Israel ranked 15th. In 2007 it surpassed the United Kingdom to rank fourth, behind the United States, Russia, and France. The day when it takes France’s place is not far off.

    This is a remarkable achievement for a country of some six million people that is treated as a virtual pariah by much of the world. But virtual is the mot juste—for even though Turkey virtually froze relations with Israel two years ago, it’s still among Elbit’s best customers.

    Of course, it will be a long time before America’s defense establishment, with its huge government-supported research-and-development resources and armies of engineers, will be outmatched by Israel’s. It is also true that Israel’s military doesn’t use big-ticket items like aircraft carriers, stealth aircraft, and nuclear submarines that are the major money pits of Pentagon procurement; nor does it maintain the kind of global presence that requires them. Israel also spends much more of its GNP on defense (roughly 6.7 percent), and having a conscript army avoids the high personnel cost problems that are the fastest growing expense of our all-volunteer force. Nor can it be denied that much of Israel’s high-tech weapons success has come with America paying a large portion of the research-and-development bill, as with both Iron Dome and Arrow. Still, that money is looking less and less like a way to prop up a beleaguered ally, and more and more like a capital investment in future systems for ourselves.

    How the Israeli defense industry, with a fraction of our capitalization and far fewer workers and engineers, has managed to move ahead at a time when our biggest defense contractors seem stalled offers some important lessons for a Pentagon beset by cost overruns and shrinking budgets. Indeed, learning from the Israeli way of doing things just might make the difference between a leaner, meaner U.S. military and hollowed-out collapse.


    Israeli defense companies owe their success to a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Having to fight for survival has always tended to focus Israeli energies and concentrate efforts. Terrorist-launched missiles raining down on civilian neighborhoods remain merely a conjectural possibility in the United States, but not in Israel. There is little margin for error in making major decisions about what kinds of weapons to develop and invest in, and even less for needlessly dragging out the timeline for the development of weapons systems that may be vital to national existence.

    Another advantage is that virtually everyone working for an Israeli defense firm has served in uniform. As Dan Senor and Saul Singer note in their book Start-Up Nation, thanks to military conscription, the Israeli Defense Forces—-“particularly elite units in the air force, infantry, intelligence, and information technology arenas”—have been the spawning ground for a myriad of Israeli technological companies. And the IDF experience has also led some of Israel’s best minds toward designing and developing military technologies.

    Indeed, it’s difficult to find a defense engineer or executive who doesn’t have some battlefield experience to draw upon. “We know what it means to sit in a military vehicle,” a Plasan employee told a reporter in 2008, “what it’s like to hit an explosive device or take a burst of gunfire.” It’s not unusual for a defense company engineer called up for reserve service to find himself at the controls of a weapons system he himself designed.*

    Other habits from the IDF experience rub off as well. One is its bias against hierarchy. In sharp contrast to the Pentagon, junior officers enjoy more responsibility and feel free to challenge their superiors. As Senor and Singer note, that makes for a chain of command flexible enough to adapt to unexpected changes and opportunities, whether it’s on the battlefield or in the boardroom.

    Another is a bias toward improvisation. Virtually every piece of equipment purchased from the United States, from F-16 fighter planes to Blackhawk helicopters, goes through immediate changes by its personnel and crews to fit Israeli battle conditions. When this happens in the American military (as when American soldiers in Iraq began self-armoring their thin-skinned Humvees), the result is confusion and panic. But accepting the reality of on-field modification means Israeli designers don’t have to worry about a weapon system that anticipates every contingency. They know the users will take care of minor problems along the way, which speeds up both development and deployment time—and gives important feedback for future improvements. It also reduces learning curves and provides unexpected opportunities for making lemonade from lemons.

    A good example is the Lavi in the 1980s. Israel’s Air Force was determined to get its own attack fighter after years of modifying American or French planes. Jointly funded by the U.S. and Israeli governments, produced by defense giant IAI and nicknamed the Lavi, the plane took four years and billions of dollars to develop—until the program was cancelled in 1987, in large part because the Pentagon became worried that it was funding a plane to rival its own top export fighter, the F-16.

    The cancellation sent shockwaves through the Israeli Defense Ministry​: Some still say the decision was a mistake. But “the project drove the whole industry towards the cutting edge of technology,” notes defense analyst Yiftah Shapir, no fan of the Lavi. “We still sell the sub-systems that were developed [specifically] for the Lavi,” especially in computer avionics (some of them are in the unmanned airborne vehicles, or UAVs, Israel makes for customers such as India, China, and Turkey). In addition, the 1,500 engineers working on the sophisticated Lavi systems soon found jobs in other Israeli defense companies, taking their experience and expertise with them.

    In short, what would have seemed a failure and giant waste of money to a risk-averse Pentagon and its congressional overseers became the springboard for still bigger advances, including, in 1988, the launching of Israel’s first communications satellite in space.

    The Lavi project and the space shot set the stage for the next major step for the Israeli defense industry, its radical reorganization in the 1990s. A combination of downsizing, deregulation, and privatizing forced the country’s major defense contractors to start thinking about new ways to make money, as well as weapons, and to see the high-tech frontier as an opportunity to get the jump on big international competitors, including the United States.


    As the 1980s ended, the Israeli defense industry found itself bloated, overregulated, and too costly, like the rest of Israel’s economy. The end of the Cold War​ forced change. Foreign buyers had liked Israeli defense products because they had been battle-tested against the Soviet-built systems of Israel’s Arab antagonists. With the end of the Soviet threat, that marginal advantage vanished. Israeli companies saw American defense firms, flush from the success of Desert Storm​, grabbing those contracts instead.

    From 1985 to 1995 Israel’s defense spending fell by 37 percent. Declining global demand was matched by falling domestic demand, while a dysfunctional corporate culture made it hard for Israel’s major government-owned firms to adjust. If Israel’s ability to develop and produce its own weapons was to survive, a drastic change in how companies operated and what they made had to take place.

    Major firms had to downsize their workforce and excess capacity; many smaller companies disappeared in a wave of consolidations. Elbit Systems emerged as a major contractor after absorbing smaller high-tech rivals like Elisra and Tadiran and old-line companies like Soltam Systems (founded in 1950), which made advanced artillery and mortars.

    As part of a larger shift of Israel’s economy to a more deregulated model, there was also a wave of privatization of government-owned enterprises. Rafael Advanced Systems, which had been a research lab working at the behest of the Israeli Defense Ministry, spun off as a private company. Other government-owned companies like IAI were encouraged to spin off separate commercial projects from their defense units, even when the research and development had begun in those divisions. After some false starts, most of those spin-offs have done well; and as defense exports rose, the commercial exports of spin-offs rose even faster.

    This was the other leg of the 1990s reorganization. It became clear that while Israel defense companies would continue to make Israel-specific weapons systems, there was a real future for the Israeli defense industry in the global marketplace, especially in the high-tech area that included retrofitting and upgrading older platforms built by the Cold War giants, Russia and the United States. Having a diversity of customers, beyond the IDF, would not only lower production costs and enhance economies of scale, it would also stimulate more technical innovation and more opportunities to sell Israeli products.

    The result was a steady climb in Israeli exports, starting in 2000 and then breaking through in 2007, when Israeli arms sales abroad passed the $4 billion mark. Elbit, the maker of the Arrow, saw a 38 percent growth in revenue in that year alone. In 2009, Israel’s defense exports reached $6.9 billion; in 2010, $7.2 billion. With defense budgets declining worldwide in 2011, those numbers may be hard to surpass. But the Israeli way of doing defense business is here to stay.

    Reorganization did not come cheap. In the end, Israeli taxpayers had to put up some $3 billion, the equivalent of one-third of the 2001 defense budget, to pay for the overhaul. The investment paid off. As Giora Eiland, one of Ariel Sharon​’s national-security advisers, puts it, Israel found the right balance between, on the one hand, government support and oversight and, on the other, private creativity and incentive, including encouraging independent research and development. When the country needs big conventional platforms like planes and helicopters and submarines, it buys overseas and then modifies the purchases to fit IDF systems and battlefield profiles. When the IDF needs high-tech weaponry, Israelis develop it themselves with an eye toward commercializing it abroad.

    That has caused some friction with Israel’s big brother. The United States views the advance of the Israeli David with some trepidation, especially when sales might mean transfers of sensitive technology. When Israel tried to sell four $250 million Phalcon early-warning systems to China, the Pentagon and Congress blocked the sale. When Israel agreed to upgrade the Harpy UAVs it had sold Beijing back in the 1990s, the United States retaliated by downgrading Israeli participation in the F-35 program.

    On the other hand, American defense companies are increasingly seeing cooperation with Israel as the key to their own future. In addition to Iron Dome, Raytheon has signed on with Rafael Advanced System for development of another antimissile missile, the so-called Magic Wand or David’s Sling. A two-stage interceptor, the Magic Wand is designed to take out the long-range rocket and cruise missiles possessed by Hezbollah. To Raytheon, the Israeli technology is helpful for its own future systems; for Rafael, the deal with Raytheon is largely a way to get U.S. funding. The technology they have; it’s the money and customers they need.

    One of those customers is the United States. Elbit makes 80 percent of the IDF’s UAVs and trails behind only the United States in the global marketplace for the craft we now all know as drones. Israel is not a player in the U.S. market—yet. “I don’t know why they don’t simply import UAVs,” says Elbit CEO Joseph Ackerman, including, of course, his own.

    It seems a good question. And since the United States has emerged as Israel’s single biggest arms customer in the last decade, with systems like Iron Dome and David’s Sling on the way, surely drones won’t be far behind.


    So does the future of American security have “Made in Israel” stamped on it? In one sense, it already does. At the Plasan plant in Kibbutz Sasa, the hallways are covered with poster-size copies of thank-you notes from American GIs. One of them is signed by Brian, an Army sergeant serving in Afghanistan who wrote that the Plasan armor saved him from a bullet that would have blown off his head if it had gone through the door.

    “American soldiers come up to us at exhibitions, and tell me that they won’t get into any vehicle that’s not been armor-protected by Plasan,” a Plasan employee says. To date, there’s not been a single soldier killed by fire while in a vehicle that we armor-protected.”

    The idea of Americans protected by Israel, however, may have broader applications than vehicle armor or antimissile defense, or even weapons systems in general. It could extend to the entire way Israeli military contractors give far more bang for the buck—and all with a Defense Ministry supervisory force of fewer than 300 people. Our Pentagon, by contrast, relies on some 30,000 bureaucrats to do the same oversight—the equivalent of two full Army divisions.

    Of course, Israeli companies take advantage of their niche selection and their concentration on the high-tech sector, with its relatively expensive development curve but low production costs, and ability to skip the big-ticket platforms. But can anyone doubt that if Dani Ziv or another Israeli defense contractor were asked to build the next-generation aircraft carrier, it would cost far less than the $1.3 billion currently slated—and be delivered much more quickly? With the final cost of our coming fleet of F-35 fighters approaching $1 trillion, it seems a highly relevant question.

    While the number of Pentagon bureaucrats continues to grow, the number of American students graduating with engineering degrees is steadily falling to less than 5 percent of the world’s total (China graduates more than half). Right now America’s leading defense contractors spend twice as much on lawyers than they do on research. There is a very real danger that in the next decade, if they are asked to arm America for the next major strategic challenge, as they did in the 1980s and again after 9/11, U.S. defense contractors will be unable to meet it. It’s time for the Pentagon and the American defense industry to develop a new way of doing business. They must look to Israel.

    * Streamlining that process is the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Talpiot unit, which targets very talented youths, some when they are in high school, for training in both high technology and military science, and on the necessary connections between them, before putting them into service with the IDF. Talpiot creates “a group unmatched anywhere in the world,” George Gilder​ writes in The Israel Test—with “its students designing [weapons] systems for 10 years before entering college” and with its former alumni serving as an unprecedented talent pool for Israel’s own defense companies.
    About the Author

    Arthur Herman​, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Built the Arsenal of Democracy that Won World War II, which will be published by Random House in April.