Tuesday, June 29, 2010

No peace quorum among Palestinians


Proximity Talks: Questions for Washington -Khaled Abu Toameh

Even if Israel and the Palestinian Authority were to reach a peace agreement in the near future, it is certain that the PA would not be able to implement it or sell it to a majority of Palestinians.

Therefore, decision-makers in Washington need to ask themselves: Is there a majority of Palestinians who are prepared to make far-reaching concessions in the context of a peace treaty with Israel? Is there a Palestinian leader who is willing to make compromises on explosive issues such as Jerusalem, settlements and the "right of return?"

Some Palestinians are convinced that if a free and democratic election were held tomorrow in the West Bank, Hamas would emerge victorious because most Palestinians still do not regard Abbas' Fatah faction as a better alternative to the Islamic fundamentalist movement. So what is the point of "proximity talks" if the partner in Ramallah would not be able to deliver his side of an agreement?

Perhaps before we search for ways to make peace between Jews and Palestinians, we first need to find a way to achieve peace between the two Palestinian states - one in Gaza under Hamas and the second in the West Bank under Fatah.
(Hudson Institute-New York)
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UPDATE:

Hamas' Two-State Solution: Eliminate Israel Later

In an interview with the Egyptian opposition newspaper Al-Wafd on June 23, 2010, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar said that Hamas advocates the liberation of all Palestine, from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. He said that Hamas' consent to a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders is part of a phased plan, the first phase of which is to liberate the West Bank and Gaza.
(MEMRI)

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Free Gaza from Hamas


Hamas Is a Threat to the Palestinian Cause -Richard Cohen

Israel could insist on a deal with the activists once again steaming its way:

You can proceed to Gaza if, once you get there, you demand that Hamas cease the persecution of women, institute freedom of religion, halt the continuing rocketing of Israel, release an Israeli hostage, ban torture and rescind an official charter that could have made soothing bedtime reading for Adolf Hitler.
(Washington Post)
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Israeli Arabs: growing Islamization?


Israeli Arabs "Inspired by Global Jihad" Murdered Jewish Taxi Driver
-Eli Ashkenazi

Israel Police said that three Israeli Arabs inspired by global jihad have been indicted for the 2009 murder of taxi driver Yefim Weinstein, 54.

According to police, they were part of a seven-man cell that regularly watched al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's speeches online and wanted to join the fight against Jewish and Christian "infidels." The suspects were also involved in several other attacks against Jewish and Christian targets.

The group was exposed after two of its members were arrested in Somalia, where they planned to fight against U.S. soldiers, and extradited to Israel.
(Ha'aretz)
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Palestinians in Lebanon


Thousands Protest for Palestinian Rights in Lebanon

Several thousand civil activists converged on central Beirut, demanding more rights for Palestinians [in Lebanon]. [S]ome 425,000 Palestinians are registered as refugees [there].

Palestinians in Lebanon are barred from working in dozens of professions and are generally paid lower wages than their Lebanese counterparts when they do find jobs. They are not allowed to benefit from public social or medical services.
(Reuters)
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Shift or Rift? Or Both!


Israeli Ambassador Denies Statement of "Rift" with U.S. -Glenn Kessler

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren [pictured] denied that he had told Israeli diplomats a "tectonic rift" was emerging between the U.S. and Israel.

Oren said that he had spoken of a "tectonic shift in American foreign and domestic policies" under President Obama and that "Israel has to adjust to that."

"I said 'shift,' not 'rift,'" he noted.
(Washington Post)
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

VideoBite: making the liberal case for Israel

An excellent concise video featuring journalist Bret Stevens
[Hat tip: MarshaW]

Return of The Ottoman Empire: Fantasia




Fantasia -David P. Goldman

Mickey Mouse must have felt a bit like this, midway through the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” episode of Fantasia. In the remake, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan plays the role of the runaway broom conjured up by President Barack Obama, who wanted a fresh set of allies to advance a 21st-century foreign policy that rejected U.S. hegemony. Now his inventions have taken on a life of their own, and the White House is awash in a flood of trouble.

The volatile Turkish leader was supposed to have been a key U.S. partner in a new world order founded on diplomacy rather than force. Obama reached out to him repeatedly, first in a high-profile pilgrimage just after taking office and most recently to mediate a secret nuclear fuel deal with Iran. But Erdogan has a different agenda, which a group of Turkish diplomats recently characterized as “neo-Ottoman.” He sees an opportunity to become the Mideast’s regional hegemon, as well as Russia’s strategic partner in oil and gas transmission. And to succeed he wants to rally the region’s extremists to his neo-Ottoman cause.

“Even despots, gangsters and pirates have specific sensitiveness, [and] follow some specific morals,” Erdogan said of Turkey’s erstwhile ally Israel, accusing the Jewish state of “piracy” and “war crimes.” He also vowed that Kurdish rebels who seek autonomy from Turkey will “drown in their own blood.” Evidently, Erdogan interpreted U.S. expressions of dependence on Turkish good will as an invitation to say and do whatever he wants.

Turkey’s public embrace of Hamas—which the European Union and the United States consider a terrorist organization—has undercut traditional U.S. allies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The biggest loser might be the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas. After a year of riding point for the Obama Administration’s Mideast policy, Abbas was cut off at the knees when Obama buckled to Turkish demands over Gaza.

The White House declared after the flotilla debacle that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was “unsustainable” and “must be changed” and announced a new $400 million Gaza aid package that will help resuscitate Hamas. Visiting the White House days later, Abbas reportedly begged Obama not to lift the Gaza blockade, which was sponsored by the Bush Administration after Hamas gunmen slaughtered Abbas’ security people during the June 2007 Gaza coup in order to squeeze Hamas into “reconciliation” with the Palestinian Authority.

U.S. enemies can get away with a great deal more than they dreamed only a year ago. When Obama proclaimed to the U.N. General Assembly in September 2009 that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation,” the message to world leaders in the audience recalls Robin Williams’s 1970s nightclub impression of Jimmy Carter addressing the world on the eve of World War III: “That’s all, good night, you’re on your own.”

With the United States seemingly committed to a general strategic withdrawal, the rest of the world has begun a wild scramble for position in a post-U.S.-dominated world. Every wannabe and used-to-be power has seen the opportunity to realize long-simmering ambitions that had been frustrated by decades of Cold War and another two decades of U.S. hegemony.

America has no influence now, because it’s not doing anything,” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the Italian daily La Repubblica last month. The United States is not to be engaged, but simply replaced, the Syrian leader said.

Turkey’s Erdogan sponsored the Gaza blockade-runners in order to make Hamas into a Turkish rather than an Iranian attack dog. Turkey has aligned with Iran, in open defiance of Washington’s desultory efforts to “isolate” the Tehran regime but with a view toward contending with Iran for leadership of the Muslim world.

In just two years Obama has become a figure of astonishment and contempt. In every field of foreign policy—Middle East peace, nuclear proliferation, dealings with the Russians, the Korean peninsula, relations with Japan, management of Latin America— the once-stable pillars of U.S. foreign policy are melting down.

Erdogan is the runaway broom of the sorcerer’s apprentice. He cannot be appeased, for he has staked his political future as well as his country’s position in the world on the extremist card. Obama now searches in vain for the magic formula that will put the Turkish broom back in the closet. And the water keeps rising.
[Tablet]
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

McChrystal affair reveals USA's losing strategy



The Western Way of War -Caroline Glick

US General Stanley McChrystal [pictured] has paid a huge price for his decision to give Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings free access to himself and his staff. But he performed a great service for the rest of us.

McChrystal forced the rest of us to contend with the unpleasant truth...

Hastings’ now famous article, “The Runaway General,” told the story of an argument. On the one hand, there are people who want to fight to win in Afghanistan. On the other hand, there are people who are not interested in fighting to win in Afghanistan. Obama – and McChrystal as his general – occupy the untenable middle ground. There they try to split the difference between the two irreconcilable camps. The inevitable end is preordained. [A]s NATO forces depart, the Taliban will return to power in a blaze of glory marching hand in hand with Al-Qaida.

[T]his sort of “half pregnant” strategy for war fighting has been the template for Western armies.

The US and its NATO allies first deployed in Afghanistan in October 2001 with the aim of toppling the Taliban regime and destroying Al-Qaida’s infrastructure in the country. They have remained in the country ever since with the goal of preventing the Taliban from returning to power.

In recent months Obama and his advisers have repeatedly attacked Afghan President Hamid Karzai for his problematic positions on the Taliban. But their criticism is unfair. They cannot expect loyalty from a man America is set to abandon in a year. It is up to Karzai and his fellow Afghans to cut deals with the Taliban while they still have something to bargain with.

[T]he US is repeating a sorry pattern of Western nations of not understanding – or perhaps not caring -- that if you are not willing to fight a war to victory, you will lose it.

To win, all the Taliban needs to do is survive. Once NATO is gone, like Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, the Taliban will be crowned the victors and from their failed state, they will be able to again attack the US and its allies.

[B]y effectively committing career suicide, McChrystal has posed a challenge to his country – and to the Western world as a whole. The Western way of war needn’t remain the path of defeat. That, still, is for the people of the West to decide.
[Jerusalem Post]
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VideoBite: laughing at the UN



A third video in a serious of political comedy from No Laughing Matter

"Decoy Jews"


Dutch consider 'decoy Jews'

A hidden-camera video showing Jews being harassed on the street in a Moroccan neighborhood of Amsterdam has led Dutch authorities to consider combating hate crimes with "decoy Jews" — undercover police officers wearing yarmulkes.

[T]wo youths and a Rabbi wearing yarmulkes went walking in a primarily Moroccan neighborhood in Amsterdam. The footage showed them quickly being subjected to a range of ill-treatment, from dirty looks to insults — and even, from one man, a Nazi salute.

The idea of using "decoy Jews" to detect and arrest bigots has been embraced by both a prominent Moroccan politician and by Amsterdam's acting mayor, who is Jewish.

"Jews are becoming unable to walk in public without being afraid of intimidation," said Ronny Naftaniel, the head of the Center for Information and Documentation Israel, a pro-Jewish group that has lobbied for the idea.
[Associated Press/Jerusalem Post]
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Creative advertisement


An excellent Israeli advertisement, would be a good candidate for a caption contest
[Click image for larger view]

Feeling Safe in Israel: a college student reflects



The reality of Israel -Ashley Gold

This is a place I feel safer in than anywhere else, where I sit down on the public bus and don't think anyone looks suspicious or is going to pickpocket me - far different than how I felt during my two weeks of travel in Europe, where I watched violent fights break out on the Brussels subway and constantly had to clutch my bag tightly in fear of being robbed.

The feeling of immense comfort and happiness that comes over me when an 18-year-old Israel Defense Forces soldier with an M-16 strapped across her body sits next to me, and she compliments me on my purse, is an everyday occurrence. Watching members of the IDF walk the streets or on campus at Tel Aviv University with you is even better.

This is a Middle Eastern country where you can walk the streets alone at night, wearing whatever you please, and have no fear of possible sexual assault or petty crime or theft.

This is the Israel I know. And it's the one I hope most of the world comes to know.
The writer, a print journalism major, will be a senior this fall at Penn State University Park. She spent the spring semester at Tel Aviv University.
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
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German Jews Attacked



Arabs Attack Jewish Dance Group in Germany -Kirsten Grieshaber

Arab youths threw stones at a Jewish dance group during a street festival in Hannover [Germany], injuring one dancer and forcing the group to cancel its performance, German police said.

Hannover prosecutors are investigating those involved on suspicion of incitement and causing serious bodily harm, prosecutor Irene Silinger said.
(AP-Washington Post)
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Birth Control Pill for Men: Israeli Breakthrough


Israeli Creates Birth Control Pill for Men -Karin Kloosterman

An Israeli professor has created a new pill that could finally place the responsibility of birth control with men.

Prof. Haim Breitbart of Israel's Bar-Ilan University has developed a number of novel compounds that have no affect on male sex drive, but succeed in impairing the reproductive ability of the sperm.

A new male birth control pill could be on the market within the next five years, he says.
(Israel21C)
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Straight talk from Peres



Peres Defends Israel's Policies as Vital to Security -Edmund Sanders

Q: Some Palestinians have called Gaza one big concentration camp.

Peres: "How? We left Gaza and didn't leave any guards behind. Have you heard of a concentration camp that fires thousands of rockets at us?"
(Los Angeles Times)
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Gilad's four years in captivity: dramatically remembered in Rome


Rome to Switch Off Colosseum Lights for Gilad Shalit -Ariela Piattelli

The lights of the Colosseum in Rome will be turned off Thursday evening in solidarity with kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

"This event is first and foremost an expression of our strong support for the State of Israel," said Riccardo Pacifici, the president of Rome's Jewish community.
(Jerusalem Post)


UPDATES:
A Kidnap Victim Held for Ransom -Bernard-Henri Levy

The fact that the Red Cross, which regularly visits Palestinians in Israeli prisons, has never been granted access to him is a flagrant violation of the laws of war.

But moreover and most of all: Shalit was not captured in the fury of a battle but during a raid in Israel, when Israel, having evacuated Gaza, was at peace with its neighbor. Shalit is not a prisoner of war but a hostage. His fate is comparable to that of, not a Palestinian prisoner, but a kidnap victim being held for ransom.
(Huffington Post)


Israel Won't Free "Mega-Terrorists' in Swap -Herb Keinon & Tovah Lazaroff

Israel has made clear it would not release what it has called "mega-terrorists" - those responsible for some of the worst atrocities, including those responsible for the attacks in Jerusalem at Sbarro restaurant where 15 people were killed in 2001; the Moment Cafe where 11 were killed in 2002; Cafe Hillel where seven were killed in 2003; the Rishon Lezion attack where 16 were killed in 2002; the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv where 21 were killed in 2001; and the Park Hotel in Netanya where 30 people were killed on Seder night in 2002.

Israel has made clear that these and other mega-terrorists would not be released because they would establish a "terrorist industry" wherever they were sent. Hamas, however, is demanding the release of these megaterrorists. They are also demanding they be allowed to return to the West Bank in order, according to Israeli assessments, to rehabilitate Hamas' military capabilities there.

According to Israeli figures, 45% of released terrorists return to terrorism.
(Jerusalem Post)

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Enforcing Segregation


Saudi Arabia Convicts 15 Men, Women for Mingling -Abdullah Al-Shihri

A Saudi court has convicted four women and 11 men for mingling at a party and sentenced them to flogging and prison terms.
(AP)


Iran Issues Warning to 62,000 "Badly Veiled" Women

Around "62,000 women were warned for being badly veiled" in the province of Qom, Tehran Emrouz newspaper reported. Police also confiscated around 100 cars for carrying improperly dressed women. (AFP)
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What the "easing" of the Gaza blockade may mean


As Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu [pictured above] caves to international pressure, Barry Rubin paints a gloomy picture of the implications


International Community Protects Hamas Regime -Barry Rubin

The international community's protection of the Hamas regime - even though it is a revolutionary Islamist, terrorist, genocide-intending, anti-Western client of Iran that will fight Israel and subvert Egypt - makes its overthrow impossible.

The government's new policy means Israel has given up the strategy of trying to reduce Gaza's economy and the rewards that Hamas can give its supporters.

So this is the future:
A revolutionary Islamist statelet, a long-term outpost of Iran, a base for spreading terrorism and subversion, a source for genocidal anti-Semitic propaganda has been established on the shores of the Mediterranean. Hamas will be in power in Gaza for a long time. It will return to war against Israel at the first opportunity.

What could be more ironic than the fact that Western governments, frantic for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, have just helped put one more gigantic roadblock in the way?

Even without Hamas ruling almost half of those under Palestinian rule, the PA probably wouldn't be able to make peace. The consolidation of a Hamas state makes that inability a certainty.

The world has no idea what it has done, or how much blood will flow as a result. The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of Middle East Review of International Affairs.
(Jerusalem Post)
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Children's Choir, Palestinian Style



This lovely video sports from an Islamic satellite channel for children: Birds of Paradise.
They broadcast from Bahrain and air in Gaza, among other places.
The satellite channel is run by Khalid Maqdad, a Palestinian Jordanian.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Did Bob Dylan Abandon Israel?


Bob Dylan at Israel's Western Wall during his son's Bar Mitzvah

Several reports had placed Bob Dylan in Israel for a concert in May. See here and here. Another report was very specific, placing Bob Dylan in HaYarkon Park in Tel Aviv on May 27th.

But there's no sign of Mr. Dylan. His current tour includes Istanbul, Turkey [!], but not Israel.

A Facebook page dedicated to pressing Dylan not to play in Israel is claiming victory.

However, this is probably premature. I hope.
[BrucesMidEastSoundbites]
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The Coming Storm: "Suicide Protestors"



Weathering the approaching storm -Caroline Glick

Israel has been stood before an international diplomatic firing squad led by the UN and Europe and supported by the Obama administration. Firmly backed by European and largely unopposed by Washington, the UN is moving swiftly towards setting up a new Goldstone-style anti-Israel kangaroo court.

Fearing this outcome, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bowed to US President Barack Obama's demand that Israel set up an Israeli inquest of the Mavi Marmara takeover and permit foreigners to oversee its proceedings. Netanyahu also agreed to scale-back Israel's blockade significantly, and allow international bodies to have a role in its far more lax enforcement. Netanyahu has made these concessions with the full knowledge that they will strengthen Hamas in the hopes that they would weaken the international onslaught against Israel.

[However,] Israel is facing threats that dwarf what it faces from the UN.

In the very near future, Israel will face off against Iranian, Lebanese, and Turkish ships complemented by ships full of Israel-hating German Jews and other Jewish and non-Jewish Hamas supporters.

Israel can bank on the prospect that all the ships they are dispatching will be populated by suicide protesters. [T]he passengers aboard the ships intend to force the IDF to kill them.

Israel can and should expect mobs of suicide protesters marching on Gaza to force Israel to surrender control over its borders. Israel can expect mobs of suicide protesters marching on Israeli embassies and other government installations around the world in an attempt to increase its diplomatic isolations.

In the air, Israel can expect charter flights to take off from airports around the world with a few dozen kamikaze protesters who will force the IAF to shoot them down as they approach Israeli airspace.

Iran and its allies have found a weak chink in Israel's armor. They will use it any way they can. Israel needs to quickly develop tactics and strategies for contending with this.

The Iranian ships are already en route, and the ships from Lebanon could appear at any moment. The mass demonstrations against Israel throughout the world and the threatened violence from the Hamas-supporting Israeli Arab leadership indicate that mobs of suicide protesters could appear anywhere with no prior warning.
[Jerusalem Post]
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Elton John takes Tel Aviv! [with video coverage]





Elton John began his Tel Aviv concert with "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," possibly an endorcement of Israel's stuggle with its neighbors

Elton John Slams Boycotting Artists at Israel Concert

[T]he British icon performed in Tel Aviv, despite pressure from pro-Palestinian activists and fellow artists to boycott Israel following the flotilla debacle off the coast of Gaza.

"Shalom, we are very happy to be here. Ain't gonna stop me [from] coming here, baby!" John said.

The piano man then took a swipe at those artists, including Elvis Costello, Santana, the Pixies and Devendra Banhart, who have bailed on concerts in recent weeks. "Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. That's what we do," he said. "We don't cherry-pick our conscience." [That was a swipe at] Costello [who] specifically called his decision to cancel a show a "matter of instinct and conscience."

As for the concert, the Jerusalem Post said John "turned into a human jukebox for two-and-a-half hours," mixing old and new favorites spanning his four decade career. Songs played included 'Levon,' Rocket Man' and more obscure hits like 'Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters' and 'Captain Fantastic.'

An estimated 50,000 fans crammed into Ramat Gan stadium in Tel Aviv.
[PopEater]
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Friday, June 18, 2010

VideoBite: "The Three Terrors"



Enjoy this great new Israeli-satire video from Latma TV
The video spoofs the leaders of [from left] Iran, Turkey & Syria

"Great Tower of Hypocrisy"


UN Condemns Israel First, Investigates Later -Rex Murphy

I don't suppose the world needs to remember Rwanda to note how sluggish in the face of imminent horror the UN is and can be. But on one subject, and toward one state, the UN acquires a strange and uniquely transformative power.

Bring Israel under its gaze and the diplomatic sloths at UN headquarters morph into the swiftest of gazelles. Quite amazing, really. When the so-called "freedom flotilla" roared into the headlines, the UN reacted at the diplomatic equivalent of the speed of light.

The Security Council issued its "condemnation," and in a wonderful reversal of cause and effect also called for an investigation into what it had "condemned." When Israel is in the dock, protest rage goes epidemic. When Israel acts in its self-defense, the response is extravagantly "disproportionate." I truly do not know why this is so. Israel is a sanctuary state established after one almost successful attempt just two generations ago to rid all the world of Jews. And Israel is now in the shadow of a fundamentalist, ferociously anti-Israel theocracy which is about to equip itself with nuclear weapons.

Yet somehow Israel is the rogue, the barbarian nation, the only state on earth that can energize the lethargic diplomats in the great tower of hypocrisy on the Hudson River.
(National Post-Canada)
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With Ease of Blockade, Gilad Shalit Slips Further Away


White House welcomes looser hold on Gaza

President Barack Obama's chief spokesman, Robert Gibbs, says Israel's decision to allow all foods and some construction materials into the Gaza Strip is a "step in the right direction."

International pressure against the blockade mounted last month...
(AP-Washington Post)

Eased Gaza Blockade Means Less Pressure on Hamas -Yaakov Katz

The [Israeli] government's decision to ease the blockade on Gaza will make it difficult for Israel to use its leverage over Hamas to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit [pictured above], cease terrorist activity and hold reconciliation talks with Fatah, Israeli defense officials said.
(Jerusalem Post)
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UPDATE/Alternative view:

Netanyahu: Security Blockade on Gaza Will Only Get Stronger -Barak Ravid

Senior Israeli cabinet ministers approved steps toward easing Israel's land blockade of Gaza.

"We have deprived Hamas of the ability to blame Israel for hurting the civilian population [of Gaza] and our friends around the world are getting behind our decision and giving international legitimacy to the security blockade on Hamas."

Sources inside the prime minister's office explained, "In the wake of this decision, the world's focus will be on the Kassam rockets Hamas is firing out of Gaza and not the coriander that Israel isn't allowing in." Another official said, "The new policy will prevent absurdities like blocking shipments of pasta to Gaza and will strengthen Israel's international position in enforcing a security closure. It will also strengthen Israel's moral standing in its demand to free [captured Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit."

Israel's new policy will allow an inflow of construction material into Gaza for projects approved by the Palestinian Authority or under the auspices of international supervision, including schools, health facilities, water treatment and sanitation. The new policy will also allow humanitarian aid to be brought into Gaza in a more effective way and to ease movement in and out of the territory.
(Ha'aretz)

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Understanding Iran's Threat


Gates: U.S. and Europe "Must Be Prepared for Iranian Missile Attack"
- Michael Evans

The U.S. and Europe need to be protected by 2020 from a potential attack from Iran that could involve "scores or even hundreds of missiles," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned as he defended a U.S. plan to deploy a new, advanced shipborne anti-missile system...
(Times-UK)


Iran Cannot Be Contained -Bret Stephens

Quietly within the foreign-policy machinery of the Obama administration - and quite openly in foreign-policy circles outside it - the idea is taking root that a nuclear Iran is probably inevitable and that the U.S. must begin to shift its attention from forestalling the outcome to preparing for its aftermath with a policy of long-term containment and deterrence.

Many of containment's current advocates are former supporters of engagement with Iran. Having invested their hopes in President Obama's "outstretched hand," they now understand that Iran's hostility is fundamental to the regime's identity. The Islamic republic, it turns out, really means what it says when it chants "Death to America."

To suggest that there is some universal standard of "pragmatism" or "rationality" where Iran and the rest of the world can find common ground is a basic intellectual error.

A nuclear Iran would be unlike any nuclear power the world has known. It would be dangerous and unpredictable. While it could well be that the regime would not consider using its arsenal if it believed it could get its way through other means, the calculus could change if it felt threatened from within. Indeed, the closer the regime got to its deathbed, the more tempted it would be to bring its enemies along with it.
(Commentary)
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pakistan incident the same day as flotilla


The Flotilla Debate Is Surreal -Joel Brinkley

Consider a co-incident on May 31, the day activists assaulted Israeli troops as they boarded the Mavi Marmara, prompting the Israelis to shoot and kill nine of them.

In Lahor, Pakistan, that same day, gunmen stormed into a hospital, where they shot and killed 12 badly wounded patients lying in their beds. Those victims were survivors of murderous attacks on two mosques a few days earlier, when 93 worshipers were killed. One hundred and five people shot and killed in a hospital and two mosques, but Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said almost nothing about the dead Pakistanis.
(San Francisco Chronicle)


UPDATE:

If Gaza Blockade Ends, Terror Attacks Will Intensify -Joel Mowbray

What few Western leaders seem to realize is that the blockade was working.

Hamas was in freefall, with its cash flow drying up and most Gazans turning on the party they had backed just a few years earlier. In March, according to Associated Press, the Hamas government was only able to pay most employees roughly half of their salaries. The culprit for Hamas' financial woes? "We are having difficulties in getting the money in (to Gaza) because of the siege," Deputy Finance Minister Ismail Mahfouz wrote on the Gaza Finance Ministry's website.

Economic revival in Gaza cannot help but reinvigorate Hamas, thus increasing terrorist attacks against Israel and dashing hopes for achieving peace.
(Washington Times)

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Moderate" Palestinian playing with fire


Why Is Fayyad Burning Israeli Products? -Dalia Itzik

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was photographed [above] tossing Israeli products into a large bonfire, an act that involves more than a small degree of incitement against a country with whom, so he claims, he wishes to establish peaceful and neighborly relations.

Some 25,000 Palestinians employed in Israeli factories beyond the "green line" have no other alternative employment. If their government succeeds in destabilizing their employers, they will be left with no income.

Particularly now, as proximity talks develop, one might expect the Palestinians to make efforts to calm things down, to strengthen relations between the two nations and not to be dragged into a campaign of incitement.
(Jerusalem Post)
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Obama & Iran's Green Movement



Iran’s Revolution: Year 2 -Reuel Marc Gerecht

President Obama — who only slowly came to recognize the Green Movement as a protest against tyranny — would probably ignore Iran’s democracy movement completely if Mr. Khamenei would just deign to talk to Washington about his nuclear program. The president seems irretrievably wedded to the idea of “engagement.”

The Green Movement is no longer just about liberalizing the state: it is now all about regime change.

[T]his is an instance in which playing power politics offers the United States tremendous upside. Ayatollah Khamenei is far more likely to compromise on nuclear weapons if he feels he’s about to be undone by the Green Movement. Common sense — let alone a strategic and historical grasp of what is unfolding in Iran — ought to incline President Obama to back the movement’s repeatedly made request of Washington: communications support.

More specifically, the opposition needs access to satellite-fed Internet connections across the country. Unlike landline connections, satellite-dish communications are difficult for the government to shut down.

The democracy movement also needs a large supply of digital-video broadcasting cards, which function much like prepaid telephone cards and allow downloading and uploading of digital content from satellites. The Green Movement’s technology experts have done back-of-the-envelope calculations: just $50 million per year could open the entire country to the Internet. Millions less would still allow the diverse range of pro-democracy groups to communicate with each other and more effectively counter the regime’s security forces. Compared to what the United States peacefully did to help anti-Communists during the cold war, such aid would be a pittance, financially and operationally.

President Obama doesn’t seem to grasp that the United States is unavoidably part of this increasingly violent struggle.
[New York Times]
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Muslim Student Union: suspension @ University of California-Irvine



UC Irvine Recommends Suspension of Muslim Student Group -Raja Abdulrahim, et al

University of California-Irvine officials have recommended the suspension of the university's Muslim student group whose members disrupted a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on Feb. 8.

Oren was shouted down repeatedly by Muslim students, and each time Oren attempted to resume his speech, another student jumped up with another outburst.

E-mails between members of the Muslim Student Union and detailed minutes from a Feb. 3 meeting described a "game plan" to disrupt Oren's speech, which also instructed students to deny that the Muslim Student Union organized the protest.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine's law school, said the ban was appropriate punishment and stressed it stemmed not from the students' speech but for misrepresenting their role in the incident.
(Los Angeles Times)
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Bypassing YouTube Ban: "We Con The World" is back

Eyeblast posts the video banned by YouTube!

UPDATE:

Israeli Group Asks YouTube to Repost Flotilla Video -Ben Hartman

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel on Monday criticized the decision made Friday by YouTube to remove the satirical video "We Con the World" lampooning the Gaza flotilla, saying that as satire, the video should remain posted.
(Jerusalem Post)
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Abbas Shocker: 'I support Israel's blockade'


Abbas to Obama: I'm Against Lifting the Gaza Naval Blockade -Barak Ravid

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas told President Obama that he is opposed to lifting the naval blockade of Gaza because this would bolster Hamas.

Abbas told Obama that easing the blockage should be done with care and undertaken gradually so as not to be construed as a victory for Hamas. European diplomats said Egypt also opposes lifting the blockade.
(Ha'aretz)


Mahmoud Abbas Lies as the Washington Press Corps Idly Looks On
-Stephanie Gutmann

PA president Mahmoud Abbas stood before the Washington press corps and the president of the United States [o]n Wednesday , and blatantly twisted the truth. Nobody called him on it.

Abbas said, "And I say in front of you, Mr. President, that we have nothing to do with incitement against Israel, and we're not doing that."

Yet according to Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors the PA's television channel and its newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, the amount of incitement to hatred and violence that was published, broadcast, or encouraged by the PA during the months of May and June alone is breathtaking. One can view a clip from PA TV which features zombie-eyed girls of about eight years of age, singing: "I want to carry a machine gun and a rifle."

But none of the reporters used their question time to challenge Abbas.
(Telegraph-UK)
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YouTube bans 'We Con the World' video


YouTube silences 'We Con the World' -Caroline Glick


As Israel went offline for the Jewish sabbath, YouTube removed most versions of Latma's hit parody song We Con the World. If you try to access the song on YouTube you receive the notification:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Warner/ Chappell Music, Inc. .

Copyright experts we advised with before posting the song told us in no uncertain terms that we were within our rights to use the song because we did so in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine. The Fair Use Doctrine stipulates that it is legal and permissible to use copyrighted material for purposes of parody.

[T]his is not YouTube's first move to silence Israeli voices. During Operation Cast Lead, the IDF Spokesman's Unit established a YouTube channel and began posting combat footage on its channel to bypass the anti-Israel media and go directly to news consumers. Shortly after the IDF channel began making waves, YouTube - which is owned by Google - removed IDF videos from the website.
[CarolineGlick.com]
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YouTube removes ‘We Con the World’ video -Noah Rayman

The parody video “We Con the World,” which mocked the international media coverage of the Gaza-bound “aid” flotilla that was stopped by Israeli naval commandos, has been removed from YouTube, where it received over 3 million views since it went up on June 3.

The song “We Are the World,” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, was first recorded in 1985 by an array of famous performers as part of a fund-raiser for Africa. It is among the bestselling singles of all time.

Other parodies of the song “We Are the World” are still available on YouTube, including a parody of President Barack Obama that garnered nearly 270,000 views.

Latma TV is waiting for advice from American lawyers before taking action to oppose YouTube’s decision.“If anybody thinks that this is going to intimidate us, then they’re sorely mistaken,” [Caroline Glick] said.
[Jerusalem Post]
Note: The video is still available from alternative sources
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Reflections on Obama, Israel & American Jewish voters


Obama, Israel & American Jews: A Symposium

Commentary Magazine asked 31 prominent American Jews to relect on Obama, Israel & the American Jewish community. Below are a few poignant replies. At least one is extremely partisan. It is included on this blog as an example of the breadth of opinion.


Poll data and impressionistic evidence suggest that American Jews are increasingly dubious about Barack Obama’s Middle East policy. Most major Jewish organizations, except those that exist solely to support the Democratic Party, have weighed in with anxious complaints, and Democratic politicians also have backed away from public support for the Obama approach.

What do American Jews do when a president presents a left-wing version of American security interests that says that Israel is a threat to American security? How do they react when a Democratic president seems intent on a personal rapprochement with the Islamic world and appears to view Israel as more obstacle and albatross than ally for our country?
[Elliot Abrams]


The administration has offered new protections to terrorists at Gitmo while threatening criminal prosecution of counterterrorist operatives who helped protect us from their murderous schemes. With similar blindness, the Obama team seems determined to punish the Israelis despite their innumerable risks for peace, while rewarding the Palestinians for their unshakable intransigence.
[Michael Medved]


Are you still glad you voted for Obama?” my grandfather is asking my mother over the phone, in his pre-Passover call from Jerusalem. With the time difference, he has precious little time before the start of the holiday; in America, we have hours still.

I slink away to avoid being pulled into the conversation that I know is to follow. In the days leading up to the election, my grandfather and I had our own heated discussion about Obama, my fervor for his candidacy contrasting with my grandfather’s immense dislike, and it’s not an argument I’m eager to repeat. My mother’s response, which I can’t avoid hearing, comes as no surprise: “I’m very angry at Obama,” she says, having reluctantly voted for him, one of many American Jews who were lifelong Democrats yet worried about his stance on Israel. I, like many American Jews, voted for him without reservation.

Once my mother gets off the phone, there’s no time to talk politics in the swirl of Passover preparations—too many bitter herbs to be sliced—but it’s still on my mind at the seder, where Jewish history is compressed into past, present, and future at once. The eternal optimist who says Next year in Jerusalem is side by side with the doomsayer who reminds us that in every generation, an enemy will rise up to destroy us.

Whether the perceived Obama shift away from Israel will translate into a concrete policy still remains to be seen. Even so, it’s the beginning for me of a painful, reluctant disenchantment. I’m feeling the classic discomfort of cognitive dissonance, supporting the Obama agenda on most other issues but adamantly disagreeing with much of the liberal political world when it comes to Israel. Whose blind spot, whose contradiction, is this? Mine or theirs?

“I get it,” Obama famously said in his State of the Union about the economy, and it is those words I want to hear him say, and say sincerely, regarding Israel’s history, its all-too-valid fears, its current plight. Without those words, these are lonely, uncertain times for this Obama loyalist. I feel this most keenly at the end of Passover when, at my Republican in-laws’, I await the subject of Obama and Israel to be raised. Whereas before I would have argued vehemently in his support, now, closing my mouth, not sure what to think anymore...
[Tova Mirvis]


"And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.” Yet in our own time in America, it is within a political rather than a religious context that the undying stubbornness of the Jewish people manifests itself most blatantly. Their early ancestors had the golden calf; they have the Democratic Party.

The American Jewish community of the 1930s and 40s has often been excoriated for its “silence” in the face of Roosevelt’s failure to do much about Hitler’s threat to rid the earth of Jews. But compared with the response of today’s community to Obama’s treatment of Ahmadinejad’s threat to do unto the Jewish state what Hitler did unto the Jews of Europe, the voice of yesteryear’s “Jews of silence” sounds like a mighty roar.

[T]he Democratic Party is a worthy descendent of the golden calf.
[Norman Podhoretz]


The last Democratic president who was perceived (correctly, as we now know) to be an opponent of the State of Israel and its policies was Jimmy Carter. His weak-kneed, idealistic, and na├»ve foreign policy—uncomfortably similar, in some ways, to that of Barack Obama—alienated millions who had previously supported him. In 1976 he had garnered fully 71 percent of the Jewish vote. Just four years later, he became the only Democrat in 80 years to receive less than 50 percent of the Jewish vote, and was driven from the White House by Ronald Reagan, who won a higher percentage of Jewish votes than any Republican since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Could something similar happen to Barack Obama?

Much could change between now and 2012, but signs abound that Jewish support for the Democratic administration is waning. The real question, looking ahead, is whether the Republicans will be able to use this to their advantage. To do so, history suggests, they will need to nominate a candidate whose views on American policy, foreign and domestic, comport with those most Jews hold dear. If Jews decide that the Republican candidate in 2012 more closely aligns with their views than Barack Obama, it is a safe bet that the Republican candidate will win many more of their votes than McCain and Palin did in 2008.
[Jonathan D. Sarna]


Two recent Jerusalem Post headlines on the same April day encapsulate our current moment. The first declared: “Most Americans unhappy with Obama’s handling of Israel ties.” The second: “Jewish leaders caught between criticizing, defending Obama.”

What a contrast. The U.S. has now reached a point where American citizens are so comfortable with Israel that they prefer the policies of Jerusalem to the policies of Washington. And yet, at this moment, American Jewish leaders are struggling over the question of criticizing the administration’s policies toward the Jewish state.
[Tevi Troy]


Far from putting American lives at risk, Israel has so far borne the brunt of anti-Western hostilities. America “brings its soldiers home”; Israel is the home that soldiers. American Jews bear a double responsibility to get behind both Israel and America in their common struggle against hostile leaders and rotten ideologies.
[Ruth R. Wisse]
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Barry Rubin Spears Obama MidEast Policy



Obama understands Neither the Middle East nor Islamism -Barry Rubin

President Barack Obama has announced an additional $400 million in aid for housing, school construction and business development in Gaza and West Bank in his meeting with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

He also urged the need to rush ahead on a peace process which has no chance of success, calling this situation 'unsustainable.' It is in fact Obama's policy which is unsustainable.

Obama said, "As part of the United Nations Security Council, we were very clear in condemning the acts that led to this crisis and have called for a full investigation."

What does this mean? Which acts? The acts of provocation and attacks on Israeli soldiers or is he blaming Israel? Who knows? Moreover, the president of the United States shouldn't hide behind the UN. What is his policy? Where is the leadership?

And then he repeated something he has done before--claimed that Israelis backed his policy-- which is blatantly untrue as polls show. ""What we also know is that the situation in Gaza is unsustainable. I think increasingly you're seeing debates within Israel, recognizing the problems with the status quo." The truth is that Obama understands nothing about Israel. He should leave the choice of Israel's government to its people and the setting of policies to its government.

Obama displays no strategic sense. He should make clear that the United States does not want an Iranian client, a revolutionary jihadists Taliban-like regime on the Mediterranean Sea. It should be the goal of U.S. policy to avoid this. Instead he deals with this as a "humanitarian" issue and makes no effort to get across what should be the main point.

Obama said:

"We agree that Israelis have the right to prevent arms from entering into Gaza that can be used to launch attacks into Israeli territory. But we also think that it is important for us to explore new mechanisms so that we can have goods and services, and economic development, and the ability of people to start their own businesses, and to grow the economy and provide opportunity within Gaza."

So he wants a prosperous Gaza Strip under Hamas leadership? Money will be pouring in, jobs will be created. Of course, only until Hamas decides to start the next war. What does he envision is going to happen under his strategy? That the lean and hungry leaders of Hamas will sell out to the infidels and open a chain of fast-food restaurants?

Who's really making the Middle East unsustainable? Barack Obama is, with a policy of weaken your friends and help your enemies get stronger.

The assessment in this article is a harsh one but is a disastrous one. To condemn the policy of this administration has nothing to do with party or ideology.

Obama may honestly believe that pumping money into specific projects in Gaza like houses, schools, and businesses is not a subsidy for Hamas. But of course that is what it will be.

And what happens when Hamas attacks Israel again? I can see the media coverage now, complaining that Israel is damaging all those beautiful U.S.-financed buildings, which are being used as rocket-launching sites and bunkers by Hamas.

The president of the United States has just announced that his country must give in to the defiance of a dictatorship with about 1.2 million people. He is going to subsidize a genocidal-intentioned, antisemitic, terrorist regime allied to Iran and he is eager to stabilize its rule.
[Weekly Blitz]
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"The moral decomposition of progressive intelligentsia"


The Flotilla's Terrorist Cheer Squad -David Burchell

Of all of the sad, tawdry features of the Gaza flotilla incident, surely none is sadder or tawdrier than the immediate assumption, leapt upon by so many people of good intentions, that the Israeli state is in the business of killing unarmed civilians for the pure sadistic pleasure of it. This view of Israel as a kind of devil-state, the spirit of evil made incarnate in the world, has been around in educated opinion since at least the late 1960s, when it buttressed enthusiasm for the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Since the PLO and its more militant siblings (Black September, Carlos the Jackal, the Entebbe hijackers) were not easy folks to like, it followed that Israel's motivations had to be made even blacker. Two generations of militants taught themselves that intoxicating Manichean logic, according to which the blacker one paints one's spiritual enemy, the more sheer awfulness one can tolerate in one's friends.

Of all of the signs of the moral decomposition of the progressive intelligentsia in my lifetime, none is more depressing or more shameful than the furtive, dishonest embrace of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood's terrorist arm, by thousands of otherwise intelligent, thoughtful people who probably imagine themselves as friends of civilization and basic human decency.
(The Australian)
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Israel: "guilty until proven guilty"


Guilty Until Proven Guilty -David Brog

On April 28, 2003, a crowd of Iraqi civilians gathered outside U.S. Army headquarters in Fallujah to protest the occupation of their city. As tension grew, U.S. soldiers began firing upon the crowd, killing at least 13 Iraqis and wounding more than 70. U.S. troops insisted that they fired only to defend themselves from gunfire coming from the crowd. The protesters claimed that they were unarmed and never fired at the soldiers.

The odds are that you never even heard of this incident, or of the tens if not hundreds of incidents like it, in which civilians have been killed as U.S. soldiers fought in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. But the odds are overwhelming that you have heard - repeatedly - of an Israeli operation last week aboard a Gaza-bound ship.

The term "double standard" does not sufficiently capture this phenomenon. It's not just that the Israelis are being held to a different - and immeasurably higher - standard than the rest of humanity. Israel is now being judged in the absence of any objective standard whatsoever.

As Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week, it seems that Israel is now "guilty until proven guilty."
(Foreign Policy)
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Israel Saving Arab Lives

Another Arab boy in an Israeli hospital


Israeli Hospital Saves Palestinian Boy from West Bank

15-year-old Muhammed Kalalwe was working in his family's fields in Jenin in the northern West Bank when he saw a deadly viper snake that bit his right palm.

The boy's father, Hafed, rushed him to Jenin Hospital, but they had no anti-serum, so they sent him by ambulance to the Emek Medical Center in Afula.

Hafed later related that he was genuinely afraid to be taken to Israel because he was sure that they would be ignored. At the hospital both the father and son were immediately greeted in Arabic and rushed into the ER where the multi-ethnic staff administered life-saving anti-serum and brought the boy back from the brink of death.

The boy's father later said, "Our people do not know the truth about you....My son and I are not the same as we were before this happened and I will share this with my family and friends. May Allah bless all of you."
(IMRA)
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yahoo Divides Jerusalem!


Yahoo uses iPhone application to back Palestinians

A few weeks ago, many iPhone users noticed that something had changed on their pre-installed weather application. The data for Jerusalem, as supplied by Yahoo, simply stopped updating. But this was no bug in the system. A new search for Jerusalem now gives users a choice between West Jerusalem in Israel and East Jerusalem located in the West Bank.

Yahoo has independently created the new East Jerusalem location.
[Honest Reporting]


UPDATE:

SUCCESS! - Yahoo Reunites Jerusalem

Following a flood of complaints to Yahoo, it appears that the internet giant has listened. A new search for East Jerusalem now returns no results while a search for Jerusalem (or West Jerusalem) sees Israel's capital reunited into one city located in Israel.

Yahoo is one of the Internet's largest companies. As the default weather application on one of the most popular smart phones, Yahoo's influence on the public cannot be understated.
[HonestReporting.com]

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New UN Iran sanctions: all bark, no bite!


The Iran Sanction Vote: A U.S. Diplomatic Triumph? -Jackson Diehl

The sanctions don't touch Iran's gasoline or its domestic energy sector. They will allow China to continue developing three large oil fields as well as oil refineries that will eliminate Iran's need for gasoline imports. They will permit Russia to switch on the Busheir nuclear plant this summer. The sanctions came six months later than the U.S. wanted. During that time Iran's centrifuges have enriched more than 2,000 pounds of uranium.

Ahmadinejad is getting stronger at home, as well. A few months ago he and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei were fighting with the opposition Green movement for control of the streets of Tehran and other major cities. Now, with the anniversary of the fraudulent election that touched off that rebellion approaching this Saturday, the streets are quiet. For now, at least, the Green movement has been quelled.
(Washington Post)


New Sanctions Fail to Impose Serious Costs on Iran -Paul Koring

"These are not the crippling sanctions that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had promised about a year ago," said James Lindsay, senior vice-president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

"China and Russia insisted that the resolution contain nothing that would impose broad costs on the Iranian economy - or damage Chinese and Russian commercial interests." The sanctions leave untouched the $100 billion in annual oil exports that underpin Iran's Islamic regime and pay for its nuclear program, which Washington says is an ill-disguised effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
(Globe and Mail-Canada)

See also What U.S. Paid for Iran Sanctions -Benny Avni (New York Post)
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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Going Cold: Turkey



Turkey Calling for Jihad Against Israel -Joshua Teitelbaum

The last time Turkish flags were carried through the streets of Middle Eastern capitals was during the first world war, as people took to the streets to support the Ottoman sultan-caliph against the Western entente powers. Thanks to Turkish government support of a blockade-running mission led by a group of Hamas sympathizers, no ruling Arab leader is as popular as Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan [pictured above], whose discourse amounts to calls for a jihad against Israel.

Israel's relations with Ankara have been sacrificed on the altar of Turkey's aspiration to lead the Islamic world and establish itself along with Iran as an alternative to American power.

It is difficult to imagine that Turkey would be engaging in this kind of behavior were the U.S. demonstrating world leadership and not abandoning the field to the likes of Erdogan. [T]he [Obama] administration has emboldened Israel's enemies by publicly pressuring Jerusalem at every turn, not taking decisive action against Iran, and singling out Israel - to the exclusion of Iran - at the nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference.
(Guardian-UK)


Turkey's IHH Involvement in Supporting Jihad and Radical Islam

IHH was mentioned in connection with the planned Millennium Attack in the U.S., when global jihad operators headed by Ahmed Ressam planned to set off a bomb in Los Angeles International Airport on the night of December 31, 1999.
(Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
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Dangerous Stakes -Leslie J. Sacks

Erdogan is likely entertaining different ploys:

* To engineer an even larger flotilla of ships sailing to Gaza, once again entrapping Israel in a violent confrontation. They sense Israel is on the mat and they are circling like vultures for the kill.

* To ensure Turkish marines sail with the Flotilla, upping the ante, so that Israel is forced to either let the embargo evaporate, or to provoke the war for which Erdogen seems to be itching.

* To do powerful damage to Israel’s critical deterrence – he will send the Turkish navy to escort the flotilla to Gaza, a serious escalation from which Israel may indeed calculate it cannot back down.
[Strength & Tolerance]
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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

VideoBite: Laughing at Hamas





A new video from No Laughing Matter

The Flotilla Aftermath


Israel Backlash Divides Turkey -Marc Champion

Turkey is dividing over the government's handling of the Gaza flotilla affair and the role of the Islamist charity that organized the aid convoy. Opposition politicians and some newspaper columnists have expressed concern that the government has been riding public anger at Israel's actions. That, they say, puts at risk Turkey's delicate balance between East and West and allows the charity, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH, to have a hand in determining the nation's political agenda.

"The [EU] and the U.S. consider Hamas as a terrorist organization. We should be careful," head of the main opposition [p]arty, told Turkish television, referring to the support the IHH and Turkey's government have shown to Hamas. He also demanded the government release communications with Israel prior to the incident, suggesting it let the flotilla proceed despite knowing that violence was likely.
(Wall Street Journal)


Managing the Gaza Blockade -Editorial

No one who supports a peace settlement in the Middle East can also favor the removal of all controls on ships traveling to Gaza. The result would be a repeat of what has happened in southern Lebanon since Israel's withdrawal: the massive supply of weapons, including medium-range missiles, to Tehran's client.

Hamas used Iranian missiles against Israel during their 2008 conflict, and an open sea border would only multiply the odds that such a war would be repeated. It would hand Hamas, which vehemently opposes an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, the means to interrupt peace talks at any time.
(Washington Post)
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A summary video of the entire flotilla incident
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A balanced 2 part investigative report on the flotilla incident

In the Media War: Israel Wins One


Israeli PR Machine Won Gaza Flotilla Media Battle -Antony Lerman

The Israeli PR machine succeeded in getting the major news outlets to focus on its version of events and to use the Israeli authorities' discourse for a crucial 48 hours.

The repeated screening of the video, taken from an Israeli assault craft, of the commandos abseiling down ropes onto the Mavi Marmara and then being set upon by the activists waiting for them on the deck, became the defining image of the capture of the boats.

The Israeli version of the events and the presentation of legal arguments to justify Israel's actions by friendly commentators continue to occupy significant media space.
(Guardian-UK)
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The Arab Press and the Flotilla Incident











The Arab Media's Response to Gaza Flotilla

Editorial cartoonists across the Arab and Muslim world have once again turned to using "deeply offensive and hateful caricatures of Israelis and Jews" in their criticism of Israel in the aftermath of the Gaza flotilla affair.

"The human conscience should wake up. The world should rise against this era's pirates, the killers of the prophets and the servants of the Satan…"
Saleh bin 'Afsan al-Kawari (editor in-chief), Ar-Raya, June 3, 2010 (Qatar)
(Anti-Defamation League)
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