Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 24, 2014, 04:21:56 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
79254 Posts in 2227 Topics by 1037 Members
Latest Member: DCoutinho
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Politics & Religion
| | |-+  Israel, and its neighbors
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 38 Print
Author Topic: Israel, and its neighbors  (Read 190713 times)
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #150 on: May 17, 2008, 01:00:51 PM »

Enabling Hezbollah   
By Ralph Peters
New York Post | Friday, May 16, 2008

AS Hezbollah's terror army dismantles Lebanon, the world whistles "Ain't That a Shame."
With its heavily funded proxies marching through an Arab democracy's ruins, Iran has arrived on the Mediterranean, outflanking Israel.

Syria's surrogates punish Beirut. Lebanon's crippled government cringes at the whims of Hassan Nasrullah, Hezbollah's strongman. Terror rules.

And not one civilized country lifts a finger.

This doesn't mean that war will be avoided at the "negligible" cost of Lebanese lives and freedom. It just means that the inevitable showdown with Hezbollah will be a bloodier mess when it finally comes.

When will we face reality? Hezbollah can't be appeased. Hezbollah can't be integrated into a democratic government and domesticated. And Hezbollah, whose cadres believe that death is a promotion, can't be deterred by wagging fingers and flyovers.

Hezbollah, our mortal enemy, must be destroyed. But we - Israel, the United States, Europe - lack the will. And will is one thing Hezbollah and its backers in Iran and Syria don't lack: They'll kill anyone and destroy anything to win.

We won't. We still think we can talk our way out of a hit job. Not only are we reluctant to kill those bent on killing us - we don't even want to offend them.

Hezbollah's shocking defeat of Israel in 2006 (when will Western leaders learn that you can't measure out war in teaspoons?) highlighted the key military question of our time: How can humane, law-abiding states defeat merciless postnational organizations that obey only the "laws" of bloodthirsty gods?

The answer, as Iraq and Afghanistan should have taught us, is that you have to gut the organization and kill the hardcore cadres. (Exactly how many al Qaeda members have we converted to secular humanism?).

Entranced by the military vogue of the season, we don't even get our terminology right. Defeating Hezbollah has nothing to do with counterinsurgency warfare - the situation's gone far beyond that. We're facing a new form of "non-state state" built around a fanatical killing machine that rejects all of our constraints.

No one is going to win Hezbollah's hearts and minds. Its fighters and their families have already shifted into full-speed fanaticism, and there's no reverse gear. Hezbollah has to be destroyed.

But we're not going to do it. And Israel's not going to do it. We both lack the vision, the guts, the strength of will. Hezbollah has all three. In spades.

As for Europe stepping in, it's got just enough UN peacekeepers in Lebanon to serve as hostages, but not enough to set up a convincing roadblock. (All the United Nations has done has been to direct traffic for Hezbollah arms smugglers.)

And Europeans won't fight to protect Jews. Even now, Europeans, high and low, wish they could find an excuse to pile on against Israel. The continent's shamelessly anti-Israeli media is doing all it can to give its audiences that excuse - witness the pro-Hezbollah propaganda reported as ground truth in 2006 - but Europe's still a bit too embarrassed by its recent past to actively aid in Israel's destruction.

Meanwhile, Israel's bumbling Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government remain focused on the chaos in Gaza generated by Hamas - another Iranian tool - while trying to ignore the existential threat metastasizing on its northern border. The "world community" wrings its hands about Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but does nothing - as Iran methodically sets the stage to launch volleys of medium-range missiles into Israel when the hour of reckoning comes.

The extremists running Iran today would destroy Israel. No matter the cost. And Hezbollah's happy to help.

Until that day comes, Tehran and Damascus are convinced that no one will stand up for Lebanon. They're savvier strategically than we are.

Before Israel squandered its credibility in the 2006 war, it briefly looked as though its Sunni Arab neighbors might rouse themselves to action to help thwart Tehran's ambitions. Those hopes have dissolved. Meanwhile, Jordan's rulers seem blithely unaware that they're next: Once Lebanon is under Hezbollah's thumb, Iran and Syria's next step will be to destabilize Jordan, surrounding Israel with active enemies.

Is there a good solution? No. Is there any solution? Yes. Backed by US air and naval power, Israel must strike remorselessly, destroying Hezbollah without compromise and ignoring the global save-the-terrorists outcry.

It's not going to happen. We lack the strength of will to do this right.

Israel or even the United States may feel compelled to intervene at some point. But we'll do too little too late and stop too soon.

Hezbollah would sacrifice women and children by the thousands to win. We rely on that fatal narcotic, diplomacy, as Lebanon shatters and our enemies pick up the pieces.

We're not Hezbollah's enemies. We're its enablers.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #151 on: May 17, 2008, 01:06:06 PM »

"Peoplehood" Based on a Big Lie   
By Eli E. Hertz
MythsandFacts.com | Friday, May 16, 2008

The Palestinians claim that they are an ancient and indigenous people fails to stand up to historical scrutiny. Most Palestinian Arabs were newcomers to British Mandate Palestine. Until the 1967 Six-Day War made it expedient for Arabs to create a Palestinian peoplehood, local Arabs simply considered themselves part of the ‘great Arab nation’ or ‘southern Syrians.’

“Repeat a lie often enough and people will begin to believe it.”
Nazi propaganda master Joseph Goebbels

“All [that Palestinians] can agree on as a community is what they
want to destroy, not what they want to build.”
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

There is no age-old Palestinian people. Most so-called Palestinians are relative newcomers to the Land of Israel

Like a mantra, Arabs repeatedly claim that the Palestinians are a native people. The concept of a ‘Stateless Palestinian people’ is not based on fact. It is a fabrication.

Palestinian Arabs cast themselves as a native people in “Palestine” – like the Aborigines in Australia or Native Americans in America. They portray the Jews as European imperialists and colonizers. This is simply untrue.

Until the Jews began returning to the Land of Israel in increasing numbers from the late 19th century to the turn of the 20th, the area called Palestine was a God-forsaken backwash that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey.

The land’s fragile ecology had been laid waste in the wake of the Arabs’ 7th-century conquest. In 1799, the population was at it lowest and estimated to be no more than 250,000 to 300,000 inhabitants in all the land.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Arab population west of the Jordan River (today, Israel and the West Bank) was about half a million inhabitants and east of the Jordan River perhaps 200,000.

The collapse of the agricultural system with the influx of nomadic tribes after the Arab conquest that created malarial swamps and denuded the ancient terrace system eroding the soil, was coupled by a tyrannous regime, a crippling tax system and absentee landowners that further decimated the population. Much of the indigenous population had long since migrated or disappeared. Very few Jews or Arabs lived in the region before the arrival of the first Zionists in the 1880s and most of those that did lived in abject poverty.

Most Arabs living west of the Jordan River in Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza are newcomers who came from surrounding Arab lands after the turn of the 20th century because they were attracted to the relative economic prosperity brought about by the Zionist Movement and the British in the 1920s and 1930s.

This is substantiated by eyewitness reports of a deserted country – including 18th-century reports from the British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, French author and historian Count Constantine Volney (Travels through Syria and Egypt, 1798); the mid-19th-century writings of Alphonse de Lamartine (Recollections of the East, 1835); Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867); and reports from the British Consul in Jerusalem (1857) that were sent back to London.

The Ottoman Turks’ census (1882) recorded only 141,000 Muslims in the Land of Israel. The real number is probably closer to 350,000 to 425,000, since many hid to avoid taxes. The British census in 1922 reported 650,000 Muslims.

Aerial photographs taken by German aviators during World War I show an underdeveloped country composed mainly of primitive hamlets. Ashdod, for instance, was a cluster of mud dwellings, Haifa a fishing village. In 1934 alone, 30,000 Syrian Arabs from the Hauran moved across the northern frontier into Mandate Palestine, attracted by work in and around the newly built British port and the construction of other infrastructure projects. They even dubbed Haifa Um el-Amal (‘the city of work’).

The fallacy of Arab claims that most Palestinians were indigenous to Palestine – not newcomers - is also bolstered by a 1909 vintage photograph of Nablus, today an Arab city on the West Bank with over 121,000 residents. Based on the number of buildings in the photo taken from the base of Mount Gerizim, the population in 1909 – Muslim Arabs and Jewish Samaritans – could not have been greater than 2,000 residents.

Family names of many Palestinians attest to their non-Palestinian origins. Just as Jews bear names like Berliner, Warsaw and Toledano, modern phone books in the Territories are filled with families named Elmisri (Egyptian), Chalabi (Syrian), Mugrabi (North Africa). Even George Habash – the arch-terrorist and head of Black September – bears a name with origins in Abyssinia or Ethiopia, Habash in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Palestinian nationality is an entity defined by its opposition to Zionism, and not its national aspirations.

What unites Palestinians has been their opposition to Jewish nationalism and the desire to stamp it out, not aspirations for their own state. Local patriotic feelings are generated only when a non-Islamic entity takes charge – such as Israel did after the 1967 Six-Day War. It dissipates under Arab rule, no matter how distant or despotic.

A Palestinian identity did not exist until an opposing force created it – primarily anti-Zionism. Opposition to a non-Muslim nationalism on what local Arabs, and the entire Arab world, view as their own turf, was the only expression of ‘Palestinian peoplehood.’

The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a charismatic religious leader and radical anti-Zionist was the moving force behind opposition to Jewish immigration in the 1920s and 1930s. The two-pronged approach of the “Diplomacy of Rejection” (of Zionism) and the violence the Mufti incited occurred at the same time Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq became countries in the post-Ottoman reshuffling of territories established by the British and the French under the League of Nation’s mandate system.

The tiny educated class among the Arabs of Palestine was more politically aware than the rest of Arab society, with the inklings of a separate national identity. However, for decades, the primary frame of reference for most local Arabs was the clan or tribe, religion and sect, and village of origin. If Arabs in Palestine defined themselves politically, it was as “southern Syrians.” Under Ottoman rule, Syria referred to a region much larger than the Syrian Arab Republic of today, with borders established by France and England in 1920.

In his book Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition, Daniel Pipes explains:

“Syria was a region that stretched from the borders of Anatolia to those of Egypt, from the edge of Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea. In terms of today’s states, the Syria of old comprised Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, plus the Gaza Strip and Alexandria.”

Syrian maps in the 21st century still co-opt most of Greater Syria, including Israel.

The Grand Mufti Al-Husseini’s aspirations slowly shifted from pan-Arabism – the dream of uniting all Arabs into one polity, whereby Arabs in Palestine would unite with their brethren in Syria - to winning a separate Palestinian entity, with himself at the helm. Al-Husseini was the moving force behind the 1929 riots against the Jews and the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt against two non-Muslim entities in Palestine – the British and the Jews. He gathered a large following by playing on fears that the Jews had come to dispossess, or at least dominate the Arabs. 

Much like Yasser Arafat, the Grand Mufti’s ingrained all-or-nothing extremism, fanaticism and even an inability to cooperate with his own compatriots made him totally ineffective. He led the Palestinian Arabs nowhere.

The ‘Palestinian’ cause became a key rallying point for Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East, according to Oxford historian Avi Shlaim. The countries the British and French created in 1918-1922 were based largely on meridians on the map, as is evident in the borders that delineate the Arab states today. Because these states lack ethnic logic or a sense of community, their opposition to the national aspirations of the Jews has come to fuel that fires Arab nationalism as the ‘glue’ of national identity. (see details on the ramifications of British and French policy, which plague the Middle East to this day in the chapter “The European Union.”)

From the 1920s, rejection of Jewish nationalism, attempts to prevent the establishment of a Jewish homeland by violence, and rejection of any form of Jewish political power, including any plans to share stewardship with Arabs, crystallized into the expression of Palestinianism. No other positive definition of an Arab-Palestinian people has surfaced. This point is admirably illustrated in the following historic incident:

“In 1926, Lord Plumer was appointed as the second High Commissioner of Palestine. The Arabs within the Mandate were infuriated when Plumer stood up for the Zionists’ national anthem Hatikva during ceremonies held in his honor when Plumer first visited Tel Aviv. When a delegation of Palestinian Arabs protested Plumer’s ‘Zionist bias,’ the High Commissioner asked the Arabs if he remained seated when their national anthem was played, ‘wouldn’t you regard my behavior as most unmannerly?’ Met by silence, Plumer asked: ‘By the way, have you got a national anthem?’ When the delegation replied with chagrin that they did not, he snapped back, “I think you had better get one as soon as possible.”

But it took the Palestinians more than 60 years to heed Plumer’s advice, adopting Anthem of the Intifada two decades after Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 – at the beginning of the 1987 Intifada.

Under the Mandate, local Arabs also refused to establish an ‘Arab Agency’ to develop the Arab sector, parallel to the Jewish Agency that directed development of the Jewish sector (see the Chapter “Rejectionism”).

In fact, the so-called patriotism of indigenous Muslims has flourished only when non-Muslim entities (the Crusaders, the British, the Jews) have taken charge of the Holy Land. When political control returns to Muslim hands, the ardent patriotism of the Arabs of Palestine magically wanes, no matter how distant or how despotic the government. One Turkish pasha who ruled Acco (Acre) between 1775 and 1804 was labeled Al Jazzar, The Butcher, by locals.

Why hasn’t Arab representative government ever been established in Palestine, either in 1948 or during the next 19 years of Arab rule? Because other Arabs co-opted the Palestinian cause as a rallying point that would advance the concept that the territory was up for grabs. “The Arab invasion of Palestine was not a means for achieving an independent Palestine, but rather the result of a lack of consensus on the part of the Arab states regarding such independence,” summed up one historian. Adherents to a separate Palestinian identity were a mute minority on the West Bank and Gaza during the 19 years of Jordanian and Egyptian rule - until Israel took control from the Jordanians and the Egyptians in 1967. Suddenly a separate Palestinian peoplehood appeared and claimed it deserved nationhood - and 21 other Arab states went along with it.

Palestinianism in and of itself lacks any substance of its own. Arab society on the West Bank and Gaza suffers from deep social cleavages created by a host of rivalries based on divergent geographic, historical, geographical, sociological and familial allegiances. What glues Palestinians together is a carefully nurtured hatred of Israel and the rejection of Jewish nationhood.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #152 on: May 17, 2008, 05:10:53 PM »

Rachel:

Glad to have you join the conversation.

Why do you think the Palestinian birthrate is overestimated?  By how much/what do you think it is?

TIA,
Marc
Marc-- This is a great forum.



There was a persuasive study released late in 2005. I admit to not having read all 94 pages of it but I went to a couple of lectures on the topic.

It is available here--- www.biu.ac.il/Besa/MSPS65.pdf
Here is  a summary  of the study by  one of the  authors in the Forward.

http://www.forward.com/articles/4221/

“The study, begun in March 2004, was recently released because we finally finished our exhaustive analysis and audit of the population figures released by the P.A. Central Bureau of Statistics. Annual data released by the P.A. Ministry of Health and data released by the P.A. Central Elections Commission with this month's election helped seal the conclusion: The P.A.'s reported 3.8 million population figure for the West Bank and Gaza was grossly overstated. Our analysis found only 2.4 million Arabs living in the territories at the start of 2004.
There were fewer births, emigration instead of immigration, and double counting of Jerusalem residents and individuals who have left the P.A. territories to live abroad or in Israel. The full report and methodology is available for review at www.pademographics.com.( This site no longer works)  Critics might benefit from actually reading the report and should understand that other documents they have seen, such as figures from the Jewish Agency, have simply plugged in numbers released by the P.A.”

The Palestinians have good reasons  to be less than truthful because there are military and economic advantages  of claiming a higher population. There are also political advantages for some on the Israeli side to accept those higher numbers

Also related

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1192380751772&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

In Israel 2006 Birthrate grew from  to 2.7 from 2.8   and Muslim Birthrate  is down  from 4.8 to 4.   
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #153 on: May 17, 2008, 05:30:05 PM »

Israel: A bit over 7 million

Egypt: 80,335,036, per the CIA world factbook

Lebanon: 3,925,502

Syria: 18.6 million per the US State Dept.

Iran: 65,875,223

Saudi Arabia: 28,161,417

Iraq: 27,499,638

Though outnumbered, thus far Israel hasn't been outgunned....
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 3793


« Reply #154 on: May 18, 2008, 08:43:12 AM »

Rachel,
Thanks for your thoughts.
I agree with you and doubt abortion is a major or significant factor in Jewish demographics.  Sometimes I am not sure of Buchanan's motives vis a vis the Jews.  Surely he is at odds with leftist Democrat Jews on issues of abortion, conservative vs. Liberal, etc.  I recall there was some rumors of his being antisemetic years ago.  But he generally has been a friend of Jews when it comes to their right to the State of Israel.  And I appreciate that.  And I agree with him on many issues of politics.
I still feel that many Jews love for the Democratic party and pure hatred of Republicans (more than ther hatred for Naziism IMO) is misplaced or outdated.
As for attrition, or assimilation I have a relative who is rumoured to be more or less a Jew for Jesus.  This seems nuts to me but what can I say.   




Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #155 on: May 18, 2008, 06:19:40 PM »

Rachel:

Thank you for the great specificity of your answer.

Concerning the birth rate number of 4.0 for the Palestinians, this still is a HUGE number given the magic of compounding.  I remember in the university reading that Latin American rates of 3.5 were yielding populations that had a median age of 16  shocked  $.0 is much worse than that, and add in the biological dynamics of sexual segregation in the Arab cultures and you have large all male groups wandering around with no jobs, nothing to do, and informed only by religious fascists. 

In a completely unrelated vein, here is this interesting tranlation of a speech by Qaddaffy of Libya:

http://www.memritv.org:80/clip/en/1731.htm
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 06:36:37 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #156 on: May 27, 2008, 11:56:39 AM »

REVIEW & OUTLOOK 
 

Al-Durra Case Revisited
FROM TODAY'S WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE
May 27, 2008

It's hard to exaggerate the significance of Mohammed al-Durra, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy allegedly killed by Israeli bullets on Sept. 30, 2000. The iconic image of the terrified child crouching behind his father helped sway world opinion against the Jewish state and fueled the last Intifada.

It's equally hard, then, to exaggerate the significance of last week's French court ruling that called the story into doubt. Not just whether the Israeli military shot the boy, but whether the whole incident may have been staged for propaganda purposes. If so, it would be one of the most harmful put-up jobs in media history.

You probably didn't hear this news. International media lapped up the televised report of al-Durra's shooting on France's main state-owned network, France 2. Barely a peep was heard, however, when the Paris Court of Appeal ruled in a suit brought by the network against the founder of a media watchdog group. The judge's verdict, released Thursday, said that Philippe Karsenty was within his rights to call the France 2 report a "hoax," overturning a 2006 decision that found him guilty of defaming the network and its Mideast correspondent, Charles Enderlin. France 2 has appealed to the country's highest court.

Judge Laurence Trébucq did more than assert Mr. Karsenty's right to free speech. In overturning a lower court's ruling, she said the issues he raised about the original France 2 report were legitimate. While Mr. Karsenty couldn't provide absolute proof of his claims, the court ruled that he marshalled a "coherent mass of evidence" and "exercised in good faith his right to free criticism." The court also found that Talal Abu Rahma, the Palestinian cameraman for France 2 who was the only journalist to capture the scene and the network's crown witness in this case, can't be considered "perfectly credible."

The ruling at the very least opens the way for honest discussion of the al-Durra case, and coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general. French media could stand some self-examination. The same holds for journalists elsewhere.

On that Saturday in 2000, Palestinians faced off against Israeli troops at Gaza's Netzarim junction. Two months before, Yasser Arafat had walked out of the Camp David peace talks. Two days before, Ariel Sharon had visited Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The second Intifada was brewing. The French network's cameraman, Mr. Abu Rahma, filmed the skirmishes and got the footage to the France 2 bureau in Israel. Mr. Enderlin edited the film and, relying only on his cameraman's account, provided the voice-over for the report. He suggested Israeli soldiers killed the boy. He didn't say he wasn't there.

Along with the Temple Mount incident, the al-Durra shooting was the seminal event behind the second Intifada. Israel apologized. But nagging doubts soon emerged, as Nidra Poller recounts here. An Israeli military probe found that its soldiers couldn't have shot the father and son, given where the two were crouching.

Others including Mr. Karsenty asked, among various questions, Why the lack of any blood on the boy or his father? Or why did France 2 claim to have 27 minutes of footage but refuse to show any but the 57 seconds on its original broadcast? Mr. Enderlin said, "I cut the images of the child's agony, they were unbearable."

Under pressure from media watchdogs, and after years of stonewalling, France 2 eventually shared the additional film. It turns out that no footage of the child's alleged death throes seems to exist. The extra material shows what appears to be staged scenes of gun battles before the al-Durra killing. For a sample, check out www.seconddraft.org, a site run by Richard Landes, a Boston University professor and one of Mr. Karsenty's witnesses.

Judge Trébucq said that Mr. Karsenty "observed inexplicable inconsistencies and contradictions in the explanations by Charles Enderlin."

We don't know exactly what happened to Mohammed al-Durra. Perhaps we never will. But the Paris court ruling shows that France 2 wasn't completely open about what it knew about that day. It suggests the Israelis may not have been to blame. It makes it plausible to consider -- without being dismissed as an unhinged conspiracy theorist -- the possibility that the al-Durra story was a hoax.

To this day, Islamic militants use the al-Durra case to incite violence and hatred against Israel. They are well aware of the power of images. Mr. Karsenty is, too, which is why he and others have tried to hold France 2 accountable for its reporting.

See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on Opinion Journal.

Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 3793


« Reply #157 on: June 06, 2008, 09:22:05 AM »

If BO is in power Israel can forget about US support for any military option.  It is off the table period. Dershowitz's and his (liberal/democrat to the death Jewish) crowd's  biased opinion notwithstanding. If Israel does anything it will have to be before Bush leaves office or only if McCain gets in.  If I was in Israel I would rather fight for my life than risk extermination because some G*D*M make love not war screw balls from the 60's want to sweet talk to enemies and be "nice" so we can be "liked" around the world. 

***Israeli minister says alternatives to attack on Iran running out     
Jun 6 03:36 AM US/Eastern
   
Iran, Mideast Peace on Bush-Olmert Agenda

      An Israeli deputy prime minister on Friday warned that Iran would face attack if it pursues what he said was its nuclear weapons programme.

"If Iran continues its nuclear weapons programme, we will attack it," said Shaul Mofaz, who is also transportation minister.

"Other options are disappearing. The sanctions are not effective. There will be no alternative but to attack Iran in order to stop the Iranian nuclear programme," Mofaz told the Yediot Aharonot daily.

He stressed such an operation could only be conducted with US support.

A former defence minister and armed forces chief of staff, Mofaz hopes to replace embattled Ehud Olmert as prime minister and at the helm of the Kadima party. ***
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #158 on: June 06, 2008, 04:13:50 PM »

You can thank the CIA's moronic NIE that assessed Iran as having suspended it's nuclear program for the delay in acting. Now we're almost out of time to do anything and Iran has had greater opportunity to harden it's defenses and disperse it's nuclear materials.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #159 on: June 06, 2008, 10:06:05 PM »

If BO is in power Israel can forget about US support for any military option.  It is off the table period. Dershowitz's and his (liberal/democrat to the death Jewish) crowd's  biased opinion notwithstanding. If Israel does anything it will have to be before Bush leaves office or only if McCain gets in.  If I was in Israel I would rather fight for my life than risk extermination because some G*D*M make love not war screw balls from the 60's want to sweet talk to enemies and be "nice" so we can be "liked" around the world. 



The last time Israel "  bombed a nuclear reactor the Republican President Regan was furious and voted with  the UN to sanction Israel.   To be fair  President Regan's treatment of Israel was mixed and he did some vary positive things for Israel but he did not support Israel's bombing of the nuclear reactor
http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/3779.htm
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #160 on: June 06, 2008, 10:50:25 PM »

And were it not for Israel's strike on Osirak, the 1st. Gulf war might have turned out quiet differently. Thank god Israel did what it did. Reagan isn't running for president. Barack Huissein Obama and John McCain are. Obama and his leftist cronies hate both America and Israel.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #161 on: June 07, 2008, 06:32:18 AM »

Rachel:

Thank you for that reminder-- I had forgotten that about Reagan.  (Is there a chance he was posturing for the Arab world?)

I would add though that here there is the matter of US control over Iraqi airspace.  Unless Israel launches missiles from its submarines (a rarely discussed capability) then to get to Iran and back US acquiescence would appear to be necessary.

MArc
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #162 on: June 07, 2008, 06:46:41 AM »

If we wish to critique Reagan's presidency, I'd start with his failure to engage Iran after Hezbollah killed lots of Americans, including 241 military personnel in Beirut. It took Israel to finally end Imad Mughniyeh's long and bloody career. Of course, we are living today with the spectre of a nuclear jihadist Iran thanks to Jimmy "The Dhimmi" Carter.
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 3793


« Reply #163 on: June 08, 2008, 09:41:56 AM »

***You can thank the CIA's moronic NIE***

GM,

What do you think was behind this?  Was this really the CIA's honest assesment?  Did they really believe this?  Was it political (my hunch)?

Rachal,
Yes, I forgot that about Reagan too. I agree with you on that!  Yes Reagan is over-rated with many of his polices. In another post I remind us the immigrant mess is directly due to *his* failure to deal with it except with a cheap and expedient pardon.  Now we have a much greater mess on our hands.  There is no comparison to earlier generations coming off the boat onto Ellis Island to those hoards of millions walking in now.  The savings and loan mess also ballooned out of control in part thanks to his failure to deal with it in any way shape or form.  The Beirut thing on one hand was a retreat. Nothing wrong with cutting one's losses.  But it certainly did embolden our enemies in the middle east.  I remember the Beirut bombing well.  I was one of the medical students in Grenada which occured at the same time.  I went to see Reagan speak on the White House lawn.  We were all so proud of our country, our President and our troups.  I was quoted in local newpapers praising troops who secured our safety.  The feeling that we were a great country was broght back.  The left's destroying our pride in our country and our military after Viet Nam and Watergate was being paved over by a new sense of our coutry's greatness again.  That was Reagan's gift to us. 

Now we are tilting back to another leftist elistist pompous jerk IMO.  We "must do this we must do that".  And in everything he voted for or people he surrounded himself with said  is an undercurrent of a theme that America is no good.  "First time I am proud of my country", "chickens coming home to roost", etc.  The BO campaign managers will fool a lot of people by trying to back peddle and white wash this up.  BO is not only no Abe Lincoln, he is no JFK or RFK.  At least those guys came from a family that fought and died for, and believed in this country.  How can we elect a guy who loathes our country like this guy?  Hear we go again with a lot of cleverly, lawyerly, and poll driven drivel.  The election process has become torture in this country IMO.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #164 on: June 08, 2008, 11:23:28 AM »

CCP, GM:

If  you want to discuss the NIE's assessment, that would belong on the Iran thread.  (BTW Stratfor's theory is that it was our way of telling the Iranians we would not bomb them as part on ongoing negotiations.)

Marc
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #165 on: June 15, 2008, 06:33:59 PM »

Rachel:

Thank you for that reminder-- I had forgotten that about Reagan.  (Is there a chance he was posturing for the Arab world?)


MArc

Happy Fathers Day!!!!

Apparently from his diaries Regan believed The French was going to save Israel which is about as intelligent as saying ketchup is a vegetable.

“Sun. June 7 • Got word of Israeli bombing of Iraq—nuclear reactor. I swear I believe Armageddon is near.
Returned to W.H. at 3 p.m. More word on bombing. P.M. Begin informed us after the fact.
Tues. June 9 • Ended day with an N.S.C. meeting re the bombing of Iraq. P.M. Begin insists the plant was preparing to produce nuclear weapons for use on Israel. If he waited 'til the French shipment of "hot" uranium arrived he couldn't order the bombing because of the radiation that would be loosed over Baghdad.
I can understand his fear but feel he took wrong option. He should have told us & the French, we could have done something to remove the threat. However we are not turning on Israel—that would be an invitation for the Arabs to attack. It's time to raise H—l world wide for a settlement of the "middle-east" problem. What has happened is the result of fear & suspicion on both sides. We need a real push for a solid peace.”
...
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/MidEast_tension_raised_fears_of_armageddon_0501.htm

Why does every President think that he is  the messiah and he  can just hold some peace talks and bring peace to the region?


23 of the previous US presidents have been lawyers including some of the greats.---Jefferson both Adams,  Lincoln etc. This Country founding documents were mostly written by lawyers educated far above most of the rest of the population. 


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Presidents_by_previous_occupation

Obama’s  background is much less privileged than Bush an Aristocrat with a Southern Drawl .  McCain is certainly not your average Joe with an  Navy Admiral for a Father and a  very wealthy wife.  Obama’s  Great Uncle served and his Father could not have served because he was not a US citizen.  I don’t think having a military background would necessarily make you a great president.   President Carter was a sailor. 
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #166 on: June 15, 2008, 07:13:37 PM »

You do not need to be a US citizen to serve in the US military. Currently, a "green card" is required to enlist, however in the past that was not required and many foreign nationals earned their citizenship by serving. Obama's father chose not to serve, just as he didn't choose to parent his many children from different mothers.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #167 on: June 15, 2008, 07:35:38 PM »

Rachel:

You are clearly a bright gal, so I will deny myself the cheap shot about reading comprehension and suggest you read this again:

BEGIN

Apparently from his diaries Regan believed The French was going to save Israel which is about as intelligent as saying ketchup is a vegetable.

“Sun. June 7 • Got word of Israeli bombing of Iraq—nuclear reactor. I swear I believe Armageddon is near.
Returned to W.H. at 3 p.m. More word on bombing. P.M. Begin informed us after the fact.
Tues. June 9 • Ended day with an N.S.C. meeting re the bombing of Iraq. P.M. Begin insists the plant was preparing to produce nuclear weapons for use on Israel. If he waited 'til the French shipment of "hot" uranium arrived he couldn't order the bombing because of the radiation that would be loosed over Baghdad.


END

The point is that delay would have meant that the French shipment TO SH/IRAQ would have taken place, thus making for a lot of collateral damage via radiation.

BTW, the French minister responsible for the nuke program with SH was one Jacques Chirac.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #168 on: June 15, 2008, 08:12:24 PM »

Marc,
I have certainly been wrong in the past and could be wrong now.

I was referring to this line.

"He should have told us & the French, we could have done something to remove the threat" Isn't that implying that the French would have changed their plans for shipping  uranium for the safety of Israel?  Am I reading that wrong?

Interestingly enough the French were the ones who helped Israel get nuclear weapons as well.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #169 on: June 16, 2008, 10:33:58 AM »

As far as this particular quote goes, fair enough-- but I am thinking the "we" envisions the US more than the US and France-- and not appearing here is Chirac's sordid history of personal friendship with SH dating back to those years, , , Furthermore, IMHO Chirac played a pretty despicable role during the UN's Oil for Food program and during the run up to the Iraq War.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #170 on: June 20, 2008, 01:53:13 AM »

Geopolitical Diary: The Growing Possibility of an Israeli-Syrian Deal
June 19, 2008
The Israeli-Syrian peace process lurched toward fruition today.

Middle Eastern — and especially Levantine — politics are sufficiently Byzantine to be classified as a health hazard in most Western states. We could weave you a story of how the Iranians fear losing their hold in Lebanon and so are pushing for violence, how the Americans are looking for subtle ways to sabotage the talks in order maintain leverage over Iran, or how Syria and Israel’s respective economic and military interests actually dovetail quite nicely in southern Lebanon. But sometimes it does an outside observer a great service simply not to get inside the minds of those involved. Wednesday was one of those days.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a man under considerable public pressure at home, announced that the time was rapidly approaching for Israel to open direct, public talks with Syria. And far from leaving such a meeting in the airy realm of maybe-land, Olmert even publicly indicated that he would be meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Paris on July 13.

As a general rule one does not garner a great deal of support among one’s people for posing for photo ops with the leaders of states who are considered enemies. So either Olmert has lost his mind (unlikely) or the informal peace talks which Turkey has been hosting for weeks are generating sufficient progress for Olmert to take the plunge. To take the historical view, Israeli leaders only met in person with their Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts when those respective peace deals were in the home stretch. Details of the deal are certainly nebulous at present, but we suspect they would involve a combination of land transfers and demilitarized zones that would secure Israel’s northern borders and guarantee Syria’s economic interests in Lebanon. Hezbollah would have to go, and it would probably be up to Syria to stuff it into a bag and throw it in the river.

An Israeli-Syrian deal would do more than remove the last major specter threatening Israeli security (existing deals with Egypt and Jordan already cover Israel’s other borders, and a deal with Syria would have to cover Lebanon as well). The Arab-Israeli conflict has been the key feature molding regional developments for 60 years. Its dissolution would fundamentally reshape the region.

Many of the United States’ rivals have used the Israeli-Arab conflict as a lever to pry open the region and challenge American power, with the most obvious example being the Soviet Union. Arab hostility toward Israel spilled over to the United States and caused the 1973 oil embargo. For decades Arab-Israeli disagreements have fueled Islamism and militancy throughout the region. In the case of a deal with Syria, the only remaining group with the opportunity to take a shot at Israel will be the Palestinians, a nationality with fewer friends, tools, money and options than ever before.

We do not mean to paint a picture of sunshine and joy for the region, and an end to the hot portions of the Arab-Israeli conflict should not be confused with regional “peace.” This is still the Middle East after all, and the role of Iran — a state that is not Arab and is not included in the pending deal — has yet to be determined and so remains at the very minimum an Israeli and American security concern. But an end to theArab-Israeli conflict cannot help but take some of the heat out of the region’s troubled politics. The United States, for one, will be glad to be able to turn at least some of its attention elsewhere.

Ironically, the greatest future challenge to U.S. power in the Levant may well come from the country that has long been America’s staunchest ally: Israel. Israel’s existence requires one of two things: a heavy qualitative technological edge over its neighbors, or an external sponsor willing to guarantee Israeli security. Should Syria join Egypt and Jordan in standing down from the regional cold war that has marked the years since the 1973 war, Israel would not only be freed from having to maintain a high alert status, but the rationale for a firm alliance with the United States would erode somewhat. That’s not to say that Israel is itching for a break with Washington or that the two powers’ interests would otherwise be diametrically opposed — far from it — but that if Syria and Israel can bury the hatchet, then Israel will have something that it has not had for some time: room to maneuver.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #171 on: June 20, 2008, 06:47:53 PM »

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3555682,00.html

US envoy slams Israel over 'illegal importation of pistachios from Iran'

As Iran’s nuclear threat intensifies, so does our addiction to what seems to be our only dispute with US over Iranian matters: Pistachios

Nahum Barnea
Published:    06.15.08, 07:36 / Israel Money

The US and Israel are at odds about Iran’s “weapon”: Ten days ago, US Ambassador to Israel Richard H. Jones wrote a severe letter to Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On, with copies sent to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and two of his ministers.

 

In the letter, Jones accuses Israel of secretly trading with Iran and transferring foreign currency to the country, in direct violation of an Israeli law prohibiting trade with enemy states.

 
The fuss is over something Iran is famous for, though perhaps less than its nuclear ambitions; namely pistachio nuts. The American government
accused Israel of buying Iranian pistachios under the guise of trade with Turkey, despite the US's objection.

 

The US ambassador’s letter reveals another amazing fact: Israel is the largest per capita consumer of the pistachio. “I am writing to draw your attention to the troubling issue of illegal importation of pistachio of Iranian origin to Israel,” writes Jones.

 

“Israel is the world’s largest per capita consumer of pistachio nuts and therefore an important market – estimated at $20 million – for pistachio producers. Of the two largest producers of pistachios – the Unites States and Iran – only the US has duty free access to the Israeli market under our Free Trade Agreement…while Iran’s product is banned by Israel’s Trading with the Enemy Act.

 

"Evidence strongly suggests that most, if not all, of the pistachios entering Israel are actually of Iranian origin.” Despite the close ties between Israel and the US, American producers hold only five percent of the market.

 
Soccer fans unwittingly supporting the enemy

Jones further claims that though the matter was brought to the Israeli government’s attention, nothing has been done as of yet. Israel, for its part, claims its pistachios are imported from Turkey.

 

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has looked into Turkey’s pistachio production and exportation and concluded that most of it is consumed locally. The small remaining percentage is exported to the US and the EU. Despite these findings Israel still maintains that 83% of pistachios consumed within its borders originate in Turkey.

 

The ambassador urged Bar-On to enforce the trade act – offering his help in a number of initiatives, including training Israeli customs officers on how to identify an Iranian pistachio.

 
The matter holds a special significance these days, as countless Israelis sit in front of their television screens watching the European Championship games and gobbling unfathomable amounts of pistachios, unwittingly supporting the enemy.

 

Every pistachio nut brings Iran another step closer to achieving nuclear capability, and though the US ambassador has placed responsibility for the fiasco primarily on the government’s shoulders, the pistachio crisis may require Israeli citizens to be more discerning in their eating habits.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #172 on: June 20, 2008, 08:36:58 PM »

Marc,
Do you  think there will be a peace deal between Israel and Syria or that it will be good for Israel in the end?  I normally don't think of Stratfor as being overly optimistic but I don't feel particularly hopeful about a swift solution to the conflict.  However, it not like that region has ever been short of miracles.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #173 on: June 20, 2008, 10:16:48 PM »

Hi Rachel:

I simply don't know.  IMHO I have Stratfor to be an unusually well-informed and thoughtful assessor of what goes in, particularly in the mid-east.   It does seem like SOMETHING BIG is going on-- particularly in the aftemath of taking out the NK reactor effort in Syria, and the change of power in the US, the success of the US in Iraq which apparently has BO beginning to backtrack on his "run away" statements. 

The Adventure continues!
Marc
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #174 on: June 21, 2008, 12:33:11 AM »

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/


About that Israeli Exercise

The New York Times is reporting that the Israeli military carried out a large-scale exercise earlier this month that, in the words of U.S. officials, appeared to be a rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran.

According to the Times, more than 100 Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-15s and F-16s participated in the drill, which was conducted over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece during the first week of June. Officials who spoke with the Times (on the condition of anonymity) described the exercise as an effort to “develop a long-range strike” capability, and “demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran’s nuclear program.”

We’d say it was more of an effort to practice long-range strike, since the IAF has had that sort of capability for decades. It’s been 27 years since Israeli jets destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Osirak, and more than a decade since the IAF flew across the Mediterranean and took out Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Tunis. In both cases, the Israelis achieved tactical surprise, demolished their targets, and suffered no losses of aircraft or crews.


As we’ve noted in the past, the IAF would almost certainly employ deceptive elements for a similar attack against Iran. That’s one reason that most analysts believe the strike package would be relatively small (no more than two dozen aircraft), with fighters flying in tight formation with their aerial tankers to minimize radar returns. The raid would likely follow an established air corridor, with Israeli aircraft mimicking the IFF “squawk” and radio callsigns of commercial aircraft.

By comparison, the “rehearsal” effort in early June was a much larger, and (arguably) more noisy effort, aimed at sending signals to the U.S., the Europeans—and Iran. As one American official told the Times:


“.. the scope of the Israeli exercise virtually guaranteed that it would be noticed by American and other foreign intelligence agencies. A senior Pentagon official who has been briefed on the exercise, and who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the political delicacy of the matter, said the exercise appeared to serve multiple purposes.

One Israeli goal, the Pentagon official said, was to practice flight tactics, aerial refueling and all other details of a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear installations and its long-range conventional missiles.

A second, the official said, was to send a clear message to the United States and other countries that Israel was prepared to act militarily if diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from producing bomb-grade uranium continued to falter.

“They wanted us to know, they wanted the Europeans to know, and they wanted the Iranians to know,” the Pentagon official said. “There’s a lot of signaling going on at different levels.”


Officials interviewed by the NYT said they do not believe that Israel has concluded that it must strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, and do not view such an attack as “imminent.” But, it’s worth remembering the U.S. was surprised by past Israeli air missions. Incorporating the expected deception campaign, the IAF could likely mask strike preparations and launch the raid without detection by American intelligence assets.


One unique feature of the recent exercise was the incorporation of Israeli helicopters, which could be used to rescue downed pilots. U.S. or Israeli officials have not revealed the extent of rotary wing activity during the drill, or its proximity to operating areas for fighter aircraft. Israeli helicopter crews routinely participate in search-and-rescue training in the eastern Mediterranean with American and Turkish units.

But combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) represents only one potential mission for the choppers. Israel’s long-range helicopters are a primary insertion platform for commando units, which could be used to designated targets, assist downed aircrews, or recover material after the attack. There are reports that Israeli special forces participated in last year’s strike on a Syrian nuclear reactor, scooping up evidence that was used to confirm its purpose.

More than two years ago, we reported that IAF officers told their American counterparts that planning for an Iran mission had largely been completed. Given Israel’s long concern about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, that claim seems entirely plausible. That would also suggest that the recent exercise was something of a rehearsal, not the “long-range strike development effort” suggested by the Times.

During the same 2006 encounter, IAF officials also suggested that special ops planning for an Iran operation had also been concluded. Without going into details, they indicated that Israeli helicopters, C-130 tankers (for refueling the choppers) and commando teams would be forward deployed in support of the raid. Turkey, a longtime ally of Israel, might be a possible basing location for SOF teams and support elements. A forward operating base in northern Iraq is another possibility.

While the recent exercise clearly served training (and diplomatic) purposes, we’d say it meet other needs as well. Given the mechanics of an actual raid against Iran, we believe the package would be significantly smaller, and incorporate deceptive elements not seen earlier this month. That’s why the early June drill may also support a disinformation campaign, aimed at confusing Tehran (and western intelligence) over the size, composition and tactics of a potential strike formation.

Here’s a historical fact: virtually every major IAF operation has been preceded by a carefully planned and executed deception effort. That’s why it would be a mistake for Tehran, the Europeans and the U.S. to accept this month’s exercise as the template for an actual strike. If past performance is any indicator, the Israelis still have a few tricks up their sleeve.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #175 on: July 13, 2008, 06:16:22 PM »


I just got back from an awesome vacation in Israel.  A tourist's viewpoint is not always accurate but  I feel  more hopeful about a more peaceful region  than I did when l was volunteering there in 2001 and 2002. 
 

I was disturbed that "Israeli Arabs"  now   refer to themselves as "Palestinians with Israeli citizenship", especially since they have no interest in giving up their Israeli citizenship. This was even in front of a Jewish audience in an appeal for funds for a day care center in Nazareth. 
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #176 on: July 13, 2008, 06:56:50 PM »

Welcome home Rachel.

Where is Nazareth?  In my ignorance, your final sentence leaves me confused.  embarassed
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #177 on: July 13, 2008, 06:57:19 PM »

Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.- Golda Meir

http://www.memritv.org/subject/en/178.htm

I'm not holding my breath.....
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #178 on: July 14, 2008, 10:19:45 PM »

Marc-- Thanks!
Nazareth is in Israel proper  not in the territories like Bethlehem.   Arab citizens of Israel are now  referring  to themselves as Palestinian with Israel citizenship  not Israeli Arabs.  They have changed their nationality to Palestinian from Arab and denied a tie to the county they have citizenship with.
 
 Wikipedia has decent articles about the situation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_Israel
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazareth


 The guy who committed the bulldozer attack had Israeli citizenship.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #179 on: July 15, 2008, 06:18:26 AM »

That is consistent with islamic theology. Loyalty to the "umma" over all others. The bitter fruit of multiculturalism.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #180 on: July 15, 2008, 08:38:21 AM »

We seem to be circling the vortex of genocidal logic here  cry cry cry
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #181 on: July 15, 2008, 08:52:53 AM »

That is consistent with islamic theology. Loyalty to the "umma" over all others. The bitter fruit of multiculturalism.

And you are saying, it is better to keep the race/group pure?
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #182 on: July 15, 2008, 02:20:46 PM »

No, it's important that immigrants and citizens be loyal to their nation. No hyphenated identity.
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #183 on: July 15, 2008, 04:28:48 PM »

I guess many so called "immigrants" might argue that in fact it's their land in the first place.
They might also argue that while a few may be "citizens" they are still not equal.

I think it's hard to support one's government when you are told that while you may
be allowed to be a citizen, all men (citizens) are not created equal.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #184 on: July 15, 2008, 04:32:47 PM »

Then they should move to the "palestinian" territories and enjoy the paradise the "palestinians" have made for themselves.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #185 on: July 15, 2008, 06:18:16 PM »

JDN,
Do you think it is  okay to respond to injustices real or imagined  with violence or sympathy to those who carry out violence?  If the Arabs had wanted a another state  they should have said yes in 1948  when offered one by the UN and they would have had one which would have included Nazareth.


Israel does need to treat all it citizens equally and it is problem they are working on. Israel is not a perfect country but it does try to treat all its  citizens fairly. Hence my presence at a program funded with Jewish money   for an Arab Day Care Center.

GM,
I don't believe in all moral relativism but I do  support religious plurality and I don't think multiculturalisms caused much if any of the problems in Israel.  The problems in Israel started hundreds maybe thousands of years before the idea of multiculturalism  existed. 
Logged
ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 3793


« Reply #186 on: July 15, 2008, 11:00:26 PM »

Rachel,

A  penny for your thoughts:

What is your sense of Israelis' thoughts about Iran going nuclear and what to do about it?  I would suppose there is a mix of opinion like here?

Also what do people think of the Olmert alleged bribe scandal?  It sounds fishy from what little I've read in the American press.

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #187 on: July 15, 2008, 11:32:32 PM »

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Content/displayPrintable.jhtml;jsessionid=A34GLEEZ5FJ2LQFIQMGSFFWAVCBQWIV0?xml=/opinion/2006/02/12/do1205.xml&site=15&page=0

We were brought up to hate - and we do
By Nonie Darwish
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 12/02/2006

The controversy regarding the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed completely misses the point. Of course, the cartoons are offensive to Muslims, but newspaper cartoons do not warrant the burning of buildings and the killing of innocent people. The cartoons did not cause the disease of hate that we are seeing in the Muslim world on our television screens at night - they are only a symptom of a far greater disease.

I was born and raised as a Muslim in Cairo, Egypt and in the Gaza Strip. In the 1950s, my father was sent by Egypt's President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, to head the Egyptian military intelligence in Gaza and the Sinai where he founded the Palestinian Fedayeen, or "armed resistance". They made cross-border attacks into Israel, killing 400 Israelis and wounding more than 900 others.

My father was killed as a result of the Fedayeen operations when I was eight years old. He was hailed by Nasser as a national hero and was considered a shaheed, or martyr. In his speech announcing the nationalisation of the Suez Canal, Nasser vowed that all of Egypt would take revenge for my father's death. My siblings and I were asked by Nasser: "Which one of you will avenge your father's death by killing Jews?" We looked at each other speechless, unable to answer.

In school in Gaza, I learned hate, vengeance and retaliation. Peace was never an option, as it was considered a sign of defeat and weakness. At school we sang songs with verses calling Jews "dogs" (in Arab culture, dogs are considered unclean).

Criticism and questioning were forbidden. When I did either of these, I was told: "Muslims cannot love the enemies of God, and those who do will get no mercy in hell." As a young woman, I visited a Christian friend in Cairo during Friday prayers, and we both heard the verbal attacks on Christians and Jews from the loudspeakers outside the mosque. They said: "May God destroy the infidels and the Jews, the enemies of God. We are not to befriend them or make treaties with them." We heard worshippers respond "Amen".

My friend looked scared; I was ashamed. That was when I first realised that something was very wrong in the way my religion was taught and practised. Sadly, the way I was raised was not unique. Hundreds of millions of other Muslims also have been raised with the same hatred of the West and Israel as a way to distract from the failings of their leaders. Things have not changed since I was a little girl in the 1950s.

Palestinian television extols terrorists, and textbooks still deny the existence of Israel. More than 300 Palestinians schools are named after shaheeds, including my father. Roads in both Egypt and Gaza still bear his name - as they do of other "martyrs". What sort of message does that send about the role of terrorists? That they are heroes. Leaders who signed peace treaties, such as President Anwar Sadat, have been assassinated. Today, the Islamo-fascist president of Iran uses nuclear dreams, Holocaust denials and threats to "wipe Israel off the map" as a way to maintain control of his divided country.

Indeed, with Denmark set to assume the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, the flames of the cartoon controversy have been fanned by Iran and Syria. This is critical since the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to refer Iran to the Security Council and demand sanctions. At the same time, Syria is under scrutiny for its actions in Lebanon. Both Iran and Syria cynically want to embarrass the Danes to achieve their dangerous goals.

But the rallies and riots come from a public ripe with rage. From my childhood in Gaza until today, blaming Israel and the West has been an industry in the Muslim world. Whenever peace seemed attainable, Palestinian leaders found groups who would do everything to sabotage it. They allowed their people to be used as the front line of Arab jihad. Dictators in countries surrounding the Palestinians were only too happy to exploit the Palestinians as a diversion from problems in their own backyards. The only voice outside of government control in these areas has been the mosques, and these places of worship have been filled with talk of jihad.

Is it any surprise that after decades of indoctrination in a culture of hate, that people actually do hate? Arab society has created a system of relying on fear of a common enemy. It's a system that has brought them much-needed unity, cohesion and compliance in a region ravaged by tribal feuds, instability, violence, and selfish corruption. So Arab leaders blame Jews and Christians rather than provide good schools, roads, hospitals, housing, jobs, or hope to their people.

For 30 years I lived inside this war zone of oppressive dictatorships and police states. Citizens competed to appease and glorify their dictators, but they looked the other way when Muslims tortured and terrorised other Muslims. I witnessed honour killings of girls, oppression of women, female genital mutilation, polygamy and its devastating effect on family relations. All of this is destroying the Muslim faith from within.

It's time for Arabs and Muslims to stand up for their families. We must stop allowing our leaders to use the West and Israel as an excuse to distract from their own failed leadership and their citizens' lack of freedoms. It's time to stop allowing Arab leaders to complain about cartoons while turning a blind eye to people who defame Islam by holding Korans in one hand while murdering innocent people with the other.

Muslims need jobs - not jihad. Apologies about cartoons will not solve the problems. What is needed is hope and not hate. Unless we recognise that the culture of hate is the true root of the riots surrounding this cartoon controversy, this violent overreaction will only be the start of a clash of civilis-ations that the world cannot bear.

• Nonie Darwish is a freelance writer and public speaker.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #188 on: July 16, 2008, 09:22:20 AM »

http://muttaqun.com/auliya.html

Auliya
(Friends, Protectors, Helpers, Supporters)

According to Quran and Sunnah

WWW.MUTTAQUN.COM



Christians and Jews


The Noble Qur'an: Al-Ma'idah 5:51
O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as 'Auliya' (friends, protectors, helpers etc.), they are but 'Auliya' to one another.  And if any amongst you takes them as 'Auliya' then surely he is one of them.  Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust)."


The Noble Qur'an: Al-Mumtahinah 60:1-9, 13
1. O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists, etc.) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism, this Qur'ân, and Muhammad  ), and have driven out the Messenger (Muhammad  ) and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in Allâh your Lord! If you have come forth to strive in My Cause and to seek My Good Pleasure, (then take not these disbelievers and polytheists, etc., as your friends). You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal. And whosoever of you (Muslims) does that, then indeed he has gone (far) astray, (away) from the Straight Path.

2. Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil, and they desire that you should disbelieve.

3. Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection (against Allâh). He will judge between you. And Allâh is the All-Seer of what you do.

4. Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrâhim (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allâh, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allâh Alone," except the saying of Ibrâhim (Abraham) to his father: "Verily, I will ask for forgiveness (from Allâh) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allâh ." Our Lord! In You (Alone) we put our trust, and to You (Alone) we turn in repentance, and to You (Alone) is (our) final Return,

5. "Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the disbelievers, and forgive us, Our Lord! Verily, You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise."

6. Certainly, there has been in them an excellent example for you to follow, for those who look forward to (the Meeting with) Allâh (for the reward from Him) and the Last Day. And whosoever turn away, then verily, Allâh is Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all Praise.

7. Perhaps Allâh will make friendship between you and those whom you hold as enemies. And Allâh has power (over all things), and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

8. Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity.

9. It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allâh forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zâliműn (wrong-doers those who disobey Allâh).

13. O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allâh (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have been in despair to receive any good in the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have been in despair about those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection).


Disbelieving Relatives


The Noble Qur'an: At-Tauba 9:23
O you who believe! Take not for 'Auliya' (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc).

Hypocrites


The Noble Qur'an: An-Nisa 4:88-89
Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites? Allah has cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray? And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him any way (of guidance). They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not 'Auliya' (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah (to Muhammad  ). But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither 'Auliya' (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them.


The Noble Qur'an: An-Nisa 4:139
Those who take disbelievers for 'Auliya' (protectors or helpers or friends) instead of believers, do they seek honour, power and glory with them? Verily, then to Allah belongs all honour, power and glory.

The Noble Qur'an: An-Nisa 4:144
O you who believe! Take not for 'Auliya' (protectors or helpers or friends) disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?

Muslims


The Noble Qur'an: Al-Ma'idah 5:55
Verily, your Walî (Protector or Helper) is Allâh, His Messenger, and the believers, - those who perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât, and they bow down (submit themselves with obedience to Allâh in prayer).


The Noble Qur'an: At-Taubah 9:71
The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma'rűf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islâm has forbidden); they perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give the Zakât, and obey Allâh and His Messenger. Allâh will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.


The Noble Qur'an: Al-Anfal 8:73
And those who disbelieve are allies to one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so (i.e. become allies, as one united block with one Khalifah - chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world to make victorious Allâh's Religion of Islâmic Monotheism), there will be Fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism, etc.) and oppression on earth, and a great mischief and corruption (appearance of polytheism).

No Muslims in Town to be Friends With?


The Noble Qur'an: Ash-Shura 42:9
Or have they taken (for worship) Auliyâ' (guardians, supporters, helpers, protectors, etc.) besides Him? But Allâh, He Alone is the Walî (Protector, etc.). And it is He Who gives life to the dead, and He is Able to do all things.


The Noble Qur'an: An-Nisa 4:119
...And whoever takes Shaitân (Satan) as a Walî (protector or helper) instead of Allâh, has surely suffered a manifest loss.



Action Items for the  uttaqun:

It is one thing to be friendly towards a non-believer, but you are commanded not to establish alliances or friendships with a non-Muslim.

Do not reach to non-Muslim family for help and support in times of crisis or otherwise.  If they seek the knowledge of Islam, share it.  But your loyalty is to Islam above all else; your priority is to the Islamic brotherhood/sisterhood.

You should not refer to or think of a non-Muslim as your friend.

When you need guidance, go to Qur'an, make Dua, seek Islamic council.  Do not rely on therapeutic counselors, guidance counselors, self-help books, non-Muslim family members, horoscopes, etc.

Deal justly and kindly with those who do not fight you on account of your religion.  However, do not rely on them for friendship/support if they are non-Muslim. 

The Arabic word "Auliya" is not interchangeable with "friend" in all uses of the word.  Note that it translates as "friends, protectors, supporters, helpers," i.e. it is referring to a certain type of friend - the type you count on for help, support, or protection.

You may count yourself as a friendly (kind) person to some disbelievers, but don't ever make the mistake of counting them as your friend.

If a Muslim friend clearly abandons his or her salah, s/he has engaged in an act of disbelief and you must not treat this person as an Auliya.

If a person puts on a cowboy hat, that does not make him a cowboy or farmboy, etc.  However, if that same person wears that same hat *every day* for several years in a row... eventually he's going to become more like a cowboy; he's certainly going to be treated like one, and he's eventually going to think like one.  If muslims abandon their Islamic clothes (or other fundamental behaviors of Islam) and dress like a kaffir - eventually they're going to be treated like one, become allies with the kaffir, and even begin to THINK like the kaffir.  Kaffir thinking and Muslim thinking are extreme opposites.  The kaffir way of thinking lends itself to believing that Jesus died on a cross to forgive all sins... why? Because it "feels" right.  The muslim way of thinking examines the evidence before coming to a belief.

If there are no Muslims where you live, remember that Allah, swt, is your closest Auliya and Wali.  To have anyone else but Allah, swt, his Messenger  or the believers as Auliya, is haram. 

Remember... Allah, subhana watala, sees everything we do!
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #189 on: July 16, 2008, 09:31:15 AM »

http://HTTP://WWW.impact-se.org/

Why peace isn't possible.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #190 on: July 16, 2008, 08:27:49 PM »

Rachel,

A  penny for your thoughts:

What is your sense of Israelis' thoughts about Iran going nuclear and what to do about it?  I would suppose there is a mix of opinion like here?

Also what do people think of the Olmert alleged bribe scandal?  It sounds fishy from what little I've read in the American press.

CCP
A nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel so  I 'm  definitely not a fan.  That question of what to do about it   was asked repeatedly  during our trip to all our speakers and tour guides etc and the answer  we always got was "its complicated". There  was an  interesting article about some of the problems about  a potential  attack  on Iran  recently in the Jerusalem Post which I will post next.


We heard  a very interesting response  to questions about The  Olmert bribery scandal .     Our tour guide said basically  bribery scandals are nothing new to Israeli politicians. There have always been stories about people giving  envelopes of cash to prime ministers from the very beginning of the State of Israel.  However Olmert is very disliked so the corruption and being disliked is too many strikes against him and the press is having fun at his expense.    Sharon was thought to be corrupt but he was really well liked  so it wasn't mentioned as much.
 
Gm
  I didn't  mean to imply the I thought the Arabs and the Israelis are going to start  singing Kumbuya together any time soon.    I just felt more hopeful about  Israeli's security  situation than I have in the past.    The  Security fence has really saved a lot of lives and the borders with Syria and Lebanon have been quieter.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #191 on: July 16, 2008, 08:29:47 PM »

Editor's Notes: No repeat of Osirak
Jul. 10, 2008
David Horovitz , THE JERUSALEM POST

  http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1215330934125&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

It was late afternoon, Sunday, June 7, 1981, and Zeev Raz was leading his squadron of F-16s across Iraq toward the Osirak nuclear reactor. Anxiously, he scanned the terrain ahead for the last checkpoint of their hair-raising mission, a little island in the middle of the Bahr al-Mihl Lake, about 100 kilometers west of the target, from which the pilots would calculate their final assault on Saddam Hussein's impending bomb factory.

At 5.34 p.m., bang on schedule, Raz spotted the lake. Or at least he thought he did. Except that it looked rather larger than it had in the satellite photos they'd pored over. And that little island - the crucial last reference point - was nowhere to be seen.

Flashing through Iraqi air space at 10 kilometers a minute, Raz was second-guessing himself. Had he miscalculated? Had he strayed from the meticulously planned route? Was he leading his colleagues to disaster? What had gone wrong?

Too late, Raz realized what had happened. The previous winter's heavy rains had swollen the lake and submerged the island. The satellite image was out of date. He had been in the right place, and should have trusted himself. Quickly, he reset his computer, inputting his new position, obtaining the adjusted parameters for the bombing run.

But minutes later, when Raz closed in on his target, it became appallingly clear that the miscalculation at the sunken island had profoundly distracted him. This expert airman, leading the pride of the Israel Air Force across vast swathes of hostile terrain on a mission deemed by prime minister Begin to be critical to Israel's very existence - a mission that the chief of the General Staff, Raful Eitan, had told them that day "must be successful, or we as a people are doomed" - found to his horror that he had, almost amateurishly, overflown the target. He had begun his bombing dive too late.

Israel's legendary destruction of Osirak - a near-impossible operation, pushing the F-16s further than they had been built to fly, evading enemy radar for hundreds of miles, to precision bomb a heavily protected nuclear target - has entered the pantheon of acts of extraordinary Zionist daring as a clinical example of pre-emptive devastation, executed with breathtaking, ruthless accuracy.

But as detailed in American journalist Rodger Claire's overlooked study of the mission, 2004's Raid on the Sun - in which he spoke, uniquely, to all the pilots, their commanders, and key players on the Iraqi side of the raid as well - the bombing of Osirak was far from error-free. It was an astonishing, envelope-pushing assault all right. It succeeded, utterly, in destroying Saddam's nuclear program - a blow from which he would never recover. It safeguarded Israel from the Iraqi dictator's genocidal ambitions. But Raz's mistake on the final approach was only one of several foul-ups that could so easily have doomed it.

Recognizing that Raz, the lead bomber, was not going to be able to hit the target, the No. 2 pilot in the squadron, Amos Yadlin, streaking along behind him, made the incredibly risky split-second decision to depart from the bombing sequence, cut in beneath Raz's plane, and try to drop his two 2,000-pound bombs first. As he would later tell author Claire, Yadlin thought to himself: "I'm not going to end up being hanged in some square in Baghdad because of a screwup."

Yadlin did indeed get his bombs away, and saw them pierce the Osirak dome and disappear inside as he peeled off.

Simultaneously, Raz was executing an astoundingly ambitious "loop-de-loop" in the skies above the reactor, and was able to come back over Osirak, at the correct angle this time, and hit the target.

The potential consequences of these radical departures from the intended bombing process - the potential for misunderstanding, for collision, for disaster - can hardly be overstated.

And that wasn't all that went wrong. The sixth pilot of the eight, Yiftah Spector, had not been one of the original octet selected for the mission, but, as commander of the base where the F-16s were stationed, had forced his way into the team late in the day. On the morning of the raid, he had woken with the flu, not told a soul, and spent the entire flight fighting to stay level-headed and focused. Come the moment of truth, perhaps because he blacked out, he too lost track of the target but, unlike Raz, was unable to recover and fired too late. One of his unexploded bombs was subsequently found inside the destroyed reactor.

The troubles had started even before takeoff. Lining up on the tarmac earlier, one of the planes, flown by Doobi Yaffe, had encountered a fueling malfunction, precluding the vital pre-takeoff final "top up" that was thought might be crucial for the pilots to cover the unprecedented distance to Osirak and back.

Another of the planes, that of Amir Nachumi, suffered complete electrical failure on the tarmac. Ten minutes before takeoff, Nachumi was forced to abandon the F-16 in which he'd trained for months and requisition a backup plane, which would inevitably handle a little differently, from the nearby hangar. (The next day, safely returned from their mission, when IAF ground crews rolled out the eight F-16s for maintenance checks, all eight failed to start, sporting an array of mechanical failures. As Claire quotes Nachumi remarking wryly: "Who says planes do not have souls.")

Potential disaster also struck when, as the eight F-16s violated Jordan's airspace en route to their target, flying low to evade radar, they were spotted by King Hussein, out sailing his royal yacht at Aqaba. The king phoned his defense headquarters in Amman to report the sighting of what, despite the camouflage paint, were all-too evidently Israeli F-16s streaking eastward on a bombing run. He was assured that his security apparatus had picked up nothing suspicious. If the king tried to alert the Iraqis, he evidently failed to do so.

And over the target zone itself, the operation was immeasurably eased by the fact that not only had the Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery units taken a break for their evening meal just prior to the raid - as the Mossad had established they would - but they had also, inexplicably, shut down their radar systems. These systems were still only warming up when the Israeli pilots bombed the reactor; the Iraqi defense teams thus had no radar or computer guidance as they tried to fire back and the Israelis - right through to the last, most endangered of the pilots, Ilan Ramon - were able to bomb and escape the scene. The only people hit by the panicked defensive fire, indeed, were Iraqi soldiers on the far side of the Osirak complex, several of whom were killed in the chaos.

AS ONE of his chapter headings, Claire cites the US Army maxim that "No plan, no matter how perfect, survives first contact with the enemy."

The raid on Osirak, though perceived as peerlessly clinical and precise, was certainly no exception.

And yet, compared to the challenge that Israel would face if it attempted something similar against Iran's nuclear facilities, Osirak was a walk in the park.

The potential Iranian targets are, obviously, significantly further away. The very success of Osirak has ensured that there can be no element of surprise. And if the Iranians were inclined to any relaxedness, the reported Israeli strike in Syria last September will have put them all on the highest of alerts. It's a safe bet that the teams protecting key installations across Iran don't troop out en masse for dinner, switching off their radar systems as they go.

The last few weeks have seen all kinds of warnings and counter-warnings, bluffing and counter-bluffing, playing out among Israelis, Americans, the rest of the international community and the Iranians: widely reported Israeli bombing drills as far out west over the Mediterranean as the IAF would have to fly east to target Iran; reports and denials about American coordination with Israel or, alternatively, American wariness about an Israeli attack; Iranian drills and missile tests and threats; new peaceful nuclear cooperation carrots being proffered by the West, and nibbled, then rejected, then nibbled again by Iran; new sanction sticks being wielded.

The Israeli defense establishment's tight-lipped insistence remains that Israel does have "a military option" for Iran. The Israeli political establishment's rather looser lipped position remains that we hope we won't have to use it.

But the key Osirak lesson to be internalized in the current face-off, the maxim that ultimately facilitated that operation's success, is to continue to expect the unexpected.

Saddam may have recognized that Israel might attempt an audacious raid on his French-supplied reactor; he may even have realized that the series of sabotage operations that had already blighted his nuclear project foretold an Israeli refusal to countenance its completion. But he had evidently not fully internalized the extent of Osirak's vulnerability; he hadn't put in place sufficient defensive provisions to safeguard it. He didn't really believe it was going to be hit.

Iran, for all of its leadership's derisive insistence that Israel would not dare attack, is clearly bracing for the possibility. Its entire nuclear project, indeed, has been constructed with paramount attention to defense and minimal vulnerability - constructed, that is, with Saddam's failure to adequately protect Osirak as a case study. It has placed sensitive installations deep underground. It has relentlessly sought to acquire the most advanced defensive missile systems. And it has worked to maintain the utmost secrecy around key elements of the project, to the extent that nobody can even be confident that all relevant Iranian nuclear facilities have even been located, much less that they can be put out of commission.

In short, if the IAF attempts some kind of Osirak replication - against targets such as the Natanz facility, where the Iranian enrichment centrifuges are spinning to hotly debated effect - Iran will be waiting. Israel knows this. As Osirak squadron leader Raz told this newspaper in an interview two years ago, "The IAF can do damage to some of the [Iranian] facilities, but cannot stop them as a whole."

And so, since Israel's position is that it cannot be reconciled to a nuclear Iran, one has to anticipate that Israel has other options in mind if international pressure fails to deter the ayatollahs. One has to hope that, however profound our concerns about the expertise of our political leadership and its ability to think outside the box, the glorious tradition of Israeli military innovation, creativity, dedication and daring that enabled operations such as Osirak, remains intact.

INTERESTINGLY, 27 years later, Amos Yadlin, the pilot who cut in under his commander's slightly errant F-16 to drop the first pair of bombs on Osirak, is now Maj.-Gen. Yadlin, head of IDF Military Intelligence.

Interestingly, too, David Ivri - the IAF commander who oversaw the Osirak raid, subsequently served as Israel's ambassador to the US and is now Boeing's Israel representative - is currently refusing to give interviews, as are many of the senior Israeli military figures who might have keen insights into the challenge posed by Iran's nuclear drive.

Given the spate of frequently contradictory reports about US-Israeli coordination or tension over a strike on Iran, it might be worth noting that in the more garrulous past, Ivri would occasionally speak with a certain quiet satisfaction about a treasured picture he kept hanging on the wall facing his desk in Washington. It features an enlarged black-and-white US satellite photograph of Osirak, taken a few days after the IAF raid had smashed the facility to pieces. And it bears a handwritten inscription that reads: "For Gen. David Ivri, with thanks and appreciation for the outstanding job he did on the Iraqi nuclear program in 1981 - which made our job much easier in Desert Storm." It is signed: Dick Cheney.

Such thanks, however profound, came belatedly. Although president Ronald Reagan reportedly responded to first news of Osirak's destruction with a lighthearted "boys will be boys" and later spoke admiringly of "a terrific piece of bombing," the US formally protested the raid and approved a condemnatory UN resolution which branded it a violation of international law.

Israel, of course, had chosen not to breathe a word to the Americans ahead of that attack.

(Raid on the Sun by Rodger W. Claire is published in paperback by Broadway books.)
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #192 on: July 16, 2008, 08:35:12 PM »

Rachel,

Funny, I feel worse about Israel's security situation. A nuclear Iran is a mortal threat that has a chance to be stopped, but the window gets smaller daily.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #193 on: July 17, 2008, 12:29:37 AM »

Great post Rachel.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #194 on: July 18, 2008, 06:57:01 AM »

http://www.danielgordis.org/Site/Site_Dispatches.asp
 Recent dispatches are displayed on this web site. The most recent dispatch is below, while previous dispatches are on the left. To sign up for these Dispatches, please enter your email address in the box on the right and click "Go."
When Mistakes Are Worth Making
18 July 2008
For some strange reason, I remember the scene with clarity. I was in the kitchen, early on a Friday afternoon about a month ago, cooking Shabbat dinner. Micha, our youngest, now 15, was hanging out in the living room. The radio was on in the background, and on the hour, the news came on. It was over in minutes, and then the music returned.

I hadn’t really paid attention to the news, but Micha apparently had. “Do you think we’re ever going to get Gilad Shalit back?” he asked. Without even looking at him, I said, without even thinking, “Of course we are. Definitely.”

“You don’t know that,” a different voice piped in. Now, I looked up. Avi, his older brother, was unexpectedly home. “We may get him back, and we may not. How can you possibly say that we definitely will?” But the conversation was over. Micha, overjoyed to see Avi, had quickly followed his brother upstairs, and I was left alone in the kitchen. So I never got to answer Avi.

But had he pressed, and had Micha not been around, I would have said to him, “Why did I say that? Because when he hears the news each and every day, the only thing that your brother thinks about is the fact that you’re about to get drafted. And he’s beyond worried he’s panicked. Because he worships the ground you walk on. And he needs to believe, to know. He needs to believe that you’re going to be OK. And he wants to know that though he lives in a country that asks its kids to do everything, to commit everything, that country also knows that it owes them everything in return. And getting them home – no matter what has happened to them – is part of that.”

I never said any of that to Avi, but I recalled that conversation several times during this agonizing week of prisoner exchanges, of returned coffins, of funerals expected but still tear-stained, of Hezbollah celebrations and of all the columnists who insist that the trade was a terrible idea, that you don’t trade Samir Kuntar for two dead bodies, that they were “deeply ashamed to be an Israeli [and] not very proud of being a Jew either,” that we’ve weakened our bargaining position in the future, and, according to Rabbi Menachem Froman, that we’ve even made peace more difficult to attain, that Israel is committing suicide, and that we have now officially given the Hezbollah the crown of victory in the Second Lebanon War.

So, in the face of all the good arguments about how no self-respecting country trades a almost two hundred dead bodies and several living terrorists including Samir Kuntar (who, we should recall, shot a man at point blank range in front of his four-year-old daughter, and then killed the girl by smashing her skull against a rock with the butt of his rifle – and all this at the ripe old age of 17) for two soldiers who were almost certainly dead, how does one justify this decision? Wasn’t it certainly a mistake?

Yes, in strategic terms, it was probably a mistake. But sometimes mistakes are worth making. Take the Disengagement. It is now clear that the Disengagement from Gaza was a horrifying, costly and still painful mistake. But – and I realize that this is not a popular position – it was a mistake that Israel needed to make. It was the mistake that proved, once and for all, that the enemies we face have no interest in a state of their own. They just want to destroy ours. That is what Israelis learned, now without a doubt, as a result of the Disengagement. There’s almost no one left around here myopic enough to imagine even for an instant that further retreats will get us peace. OK, there are still a few arm-chair peace-niks in the States, insisting that there is simply no conflict that cannot be resolved. But here? Precisely the opposite. Now we know that the right was correct – further retreats will only embolden our enemies. They’ll demand more. And more. Until we’re gone.

The benefits of that lesson are understandably of no consolation to the families who paid so dearly in the summer of 2005, who are still living in temporary housing, whose marriages didn’t survive, whose livelihoods have never been restored, whose children hate the country that did that to their parents – but despite all that, the Disengagement was probably a horrifying mistake that Israel needed to make. For now we know, even those of us (and I include myself) who were na&iumlve enough to imagine something else. Peace is not around the corner. Peace is not a year or two away. Peace is not possible. Not now. Not a year from now. Not a decade from now. Because their issue isn’t a Palestinian State it’s the end of the Jewish one. We learned that through the mistake we made in 2005, a mistake that we probably needed to make.

And that’s why we had to make the trade this week. Yes, according to a variety of strategic criteria, the trade was problematic. It may raise the price for Gilad Shalit (not that those negotiations have been going anywhere, of course). It may affect future prisoners of war.

But if it was a mistake, it was a calculated mistake, a mistake well worth making. It was a mistake worth making when we think about what is the real challenge facing Israel. The challenge facing Israel isn’t to win the war against the Palestinians. The war can’t be won. We can’t eradicate them, and they won’t accept our being here. The challenge that Israel faces is not to move towards peace. Peace can’t be had. No – the challenge facing Israel is to learn how to live in perpetual, never-ending war, and in the face of that, to flourish, and to be a country that our kids still want to defend. And that is what we did this week.

I didn’t watch much of the Hezbollah celebration on television. I just couldn’t stomach it. I watched enough, though, to see the crowd cheering a man whose main accomplishment in life has been smashing a girl’s skull with his rifle – after he made her watch while he killed her father. I watched enough to hear about how Mahmoud Abbas – our alleged peace partner – congratulated the same Kuntar on his release. I watched enough to chuckle at the sight of Kuntar in a decorated Hezbollah uniform – even though Hezbollah didn’t even exist when he perpetrated his murders and was captured. I watched enough to be reminded of what (the word “who” somehow doesn’t feel appropriate) it is that we’re still fighting.

But I’ll confess to having watched more than my share of the Israeli side. On the morning of the trade, I woke up and like many Israelis, I thought to myself, “Who knows, maybe all the intelligence reports are wrong. Perhaps one of them will walk across the border, or maybe still be on a stretcher.” Maybe. This is a county that doesn’t easily give up on hope. Our anthem, after all, says od lo aveda tikvateinu – “Our hope is not yet lost.” So I watched the live feed that morning, waiting along with the rest of this breathless nation, until we saw the two black coffins.

And I watched the soldiers standing at attention – and weeping – as the bodies were transported into Israeli trucks and driven into Israel. I watched the thousands of people who, the next day, lined the roads on the way to the cemeteries. I watched Karnit Goldwasser’s extraordinary eulogy for her husband (click on the picture of her to watch the video – it’s worth watching the full seven minutes even if you don’t understand Hebrew). I watched a country that is about life, and yes, even love, not about the celebration of death and hatred.

We did the right thing. We gave Karnit Goldwasser her life back. We gave Udi and Eldad the burial they deserved. We gave their parents some certainty, and with it, the hope that maybe, just maybe, they, too, can start to live again, even with the searing pain that will never subside. And perhaps most importantly, we showed the next generation of kids who will go off to defend this place that this is not a country about calculus, but about soul. We showed them what it is to love. We showed them that we’ll get them back. No matter what.

And I was proud, not ashamed. I wasn’t ashamed to be Israeli. I wasn’t ashamed to be a Jew. We proved to our kids once again that we’re the kind of country that’s worth defending.

There are those who claim that by making this trade, we’ve now formally admitted that Hezbollah won the Second Lebanon War. But, really, was there anyone who did not already know that? Have we forgotten the Winograd Commission and its two devastating reports about the government’s conduct of the war? Have we forgotten the report that showed that, weeks before Udi and Eldad were killed, the army knew that the reservists they were sending there were sitting ducks, but that no changes in deployment were made? Have we forgotten the IDF Chief of Staff who left the War Room in the first hours of the war to go sell part of his stock portfolio? Have we forgotten the most cynical of political arrangements that got us as a Defense Minister a labor organizer who didn’t even pretend to know the first thing about military matters, but who still insisted on playing a role in the conduct of the war? Have we forgotten the mayors of some towns in the North who fled their own cities when the rockets started to fall? Have we forgotten the horrific non-use and then mis-use of ground troops, the arrogance of a former Air Force commander who imagined that he’d win the war from the air? Have we really forgotten already how badly we lost? Does anyone really imagine that this trade gives them the victory? Please.

We lost. We knew that already. What we did this week is that we did right by the families who paid the price. We showed that at the end of the day, it’s not only strategic calculus that matters in this country. There will be other ways to get our deterrent edge back. We’ll get around to that there’s sadly no way that Hamas in the West, Hezbollah in the North, Syria to the east of them and Iran off in the distance will not force us to. We’ll attend to that in due course.

But in the meantime, we showed ourselves once again that this country is about soul. They won, and we lost. They celebrated, and we buried. They cheered, and we wept. And I’d rather be one of us, any day.

Wednesday night, we drove Micha to the airport to drop him off for his flight to the States. The radio was on during the entire drive, and we listened to the interviews with people who’d known Udi and Eldad, the constant updates on the plans for the two funerals to be held the following day. “I feel bad being excited about going on vacation,” he said to us on the road from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. “It’s a sad day here.”

“Yes,” we told him, “it’s a sad day, but it’s OK for you to be excited. Going to America is a big deal.” He didn’t say anything. We got off at the exit for the airport, pulled up to the security checkpoint, still surrounded by all those guys with the submachine guns at the ready, because the war’s not over and it’s not going to be. I turned off the radio so I could talk to the young woman manning the checkpoint. After a few quick words, we were ushered through.

It was quiet in the car. We followed the access road to the departure terminal, each lost in our own thoughts. I don’t know what Micha was thinking. But I’m pretty sure that it was about the two soldiers. About the funerals the next day. About his brother. And about America.

We pulled to the curb, still not saying anything. I stopped the car, and said to him, “OK, buddy, let’s go.” Micha looked at me. “I’m really going to miss this country,” he said.

I was stunned. Not, “I’m going to miss you,” but “I’m going to miss this country.” And then, if I’d had any doubt before, I knew. We did the right thing. If we made a mistake, we made the mistake that we just needed to make. We taught our kids that we may not know how to end this war, but we do know how to take care of them.

And he taught us, too. He reminded us that even the kids here understand what an extraordinary country it is that they call home. That this is sometimes a scary place. But that it’s also a country that a teenager knows he can love, that he’s going to miss and that one day, he’ll defend.

In the end, that’s what matter most. Even on the saddest of days. Especially on the saddest of days.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29663


« Reply #195 on: July 18, 2008, 08:48:22 AM »

Rachel:

I respect you and respect that you have experience in Israel whereas I have none.  That said, this piece strikes me a fairly clueless.  The lesson it thinks is being taught has been taught many, many times before. 

"Intelligence is the amount of time it takes to forget a lesson."

The author is not very smart.

TAC,
Marc
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #196 on: July 18, 2008, 09:05:41 AM »

The only thing the savages understand is violence. The weakness the idiot author lionizes is the way of those that passively shuffled into the death camps without protest, it's the making of the next shoah.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #197 on: July 21, 2008, 09:03:16 PM »

Marc,
I don't know whether the prisoner swap (really  dead bodies for live terrorists) was right.  I will post a blog post that lays out the other side very well next.   I'm sure there are any easy answers.  I also find it difficult to comment because it is not me who is standing on a border risking my life and it is not my kids who are serving. I'm not the one who has to regularly go to funerals for those younger than me.    Israeli parents have to deal with the fact that their is a clock over all their kids heads . When they are seven ( in 11 years you will be going off to war) when they are 15 ( in three years you will be going to off to war) etc.    At when they are 18 instead of packing them off to college  you pack them off to boot camp.  Daniel Gordis is an American immigrant to Israel and he struggles with the fact that by moving his family his  kids there   they will one day  have to risk their  life  and  make life and death decisions for themselves and others .    What are you willing to die for and what are you willing to kill for?   What awful things are you willing to do and what aren't you?  At stake is  theirs and Israelis survival and soul.       A comment  by a soldier that has always stuck with me is "It so easy to be a Likudnik (right winger) in America" because you are not paying the price for it.

Obviously these are questions that applies to America as well. I do understand that when you limit soldiers tactics you run the risk of increasing  the number of soldiers being killed and wounded  and that is devastating. However  I want the war  we are in to be about more than just land and survival.  I am not interested in fighting monsters just to become them.  I expect the  USA and Israel to Stand for something  and THEY  DO . 

GM- As I told you privately I find you comment about the Shoah disrespectful to those who were murdered ( I don't think that was your intent ) and painful to read and I would greatly appreciate it if you would edit out that comment .  This may be a  minority view because no one else commented about it.   However even though I waited a few days to post  I'm still angry and I have not moved on.
Logged
rachelg
Guest
« Reply #198 on: July 21, 2008, 09:05:15 PM »

http://bogieworks.blogs.com/treppenwitz/2008/07/let-the-enemy-d.html
By the time this is posted the so-called 'prisoner swap' will have been completed.  But we really need to be honest about this… it wasn't really a prisoner swap.  Prisoners are alive.

Only monsters hold dead bodies for ransom… and only fools trade live prisoners for dead bodies.

One can argue forever about whether or not the unprovoked cross-border attack in which Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were captured was reason enough for Israel to have gone to war.  But once that Rubicon was crossed and we'd accepted the attack as a 'Casus Beli' and sent troops into combat, there was no excuse for not using all means at our disposal to fight the war until our enemy was begging for terms of surrender.

Instead, our feckless leaders dabbled and deliberated and argued over whether to even call what they were waging a 'war'.  They squandered every advantage they held at the start of the war by installing lawyers and politicians to select bombing targets instead of allowing the IDF officers in the field do what they'd trained their entire lives to do; win!

We waited weeks to commit ground troops to battle, and when we finally did, we watched them being shuffled aimlessly around southern Lebanon without objectives or support.

Worst of all, we were forced to watch helplessly as Hezbollah conducted carefully orchestrated press tours painting Israel's pinpoint bombing as monstrous… while Ketyushah rockets were fired indiscriminately all over northern Israel.

Throughout the short summer war we heard voices from around the world - and even from within our own country - who argued passionately for restraint.  "The Lebanese people are not the enemy", they declared.  "Hezbollah is the enemy!"

These useful idiots pleaded for the IDF to spare the poor, hapless Lebanese who were caught between Israel's mighty army and Hezbollah's well entrenched forces… pointing out that the Lebanese deserved mercy because they are a modern, secular people just like us.

'Moderate' Lebanese blogs were linked, and the grand old days when Beirut was known as the 'Paris of the East' were invoked repeatedly… while doctored photos of burning Beirut neighborhoods became like fixed wallpaper behind the media's talking heads who dutifully read Hezbollah scripts about Israeli atrocities.

Ignored was the fact that these cosmopolitan Lebanese had watched approvingly for decades as Hezbollah set up rocket batteries and supporting military infrastructure in their towns and villages.  Ignored was the cover and support these poor secular Lebanese willingly provided to Hezbollah for a generation.

Nobody seemed particularly worried about Israel's blameless civilians who were forced to live in bunkers under relentless bombardment.  Israeli casualties were chalked up to 'the fortunes of war' while Lebanese casualties were paraded before the world as martyred innocents.

And when it came time to accept a shameful ceasefire that amounted to nothing more or less than surrender, Israeli leaders again failed (doomed, actually) the captured soldiers by refusing to establish enforceable terms for their safe return.

From the first moment of the attack that sparked the war, Hezbollah/Lebanon refused to abide by any modern conventions of warfare.  Not a single tenet of the Geneva conventions was honored by our enemy… yet we were inexplicably expected to fight the good fight according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules.

And even after the war's end, we had to have our face rubbed in how brutally we'd behaved by a couple of clueless Israeli journalists.  Under cover of convenient foreign passports, they traveled illegally to Lebanon in an effort to show how nice and normal these wonderful Lebanese people are… as if to say 'How could we have ever entertained such aggressive, warlike feelings towards people who are so much like us???'  Jane Fonda could have done no worse!

Where are these journalists now that their so called 'story' has come to its dénouement with the docile, cosmopolitan Lebanese we took such pains to spare holding massive state-sponsored celebrations for the return of heroes whose only fame comes from murdering Israeli civilians.  Could their silence indicate that even they are having a little trouble putting lipstick on this particular pig?

Enough!!!

When attacked by a wild animal you don't negotiate or ask what rules it wants to use in the fight.  You strike it down without mercy and without remorse.  If you are attacked by a pack of wild animals you fight savagely and without restraint until all of them are dead or neutralized.  To do otherwise doesn't mean facing ignominious defeat.  It means you move down the food chain and become an entrée!

The only way Israel can regain its deterrence in the region after this recent debacle is to make it clear to all that, from this day forward, we will play by whatever rules our enemies are willing to honor.

No Rules = No Restraint.

If our towns and cities are fair game… so are yours.  Don't complain that our weapons are better, or more powerful.  You should have thought of that before attacking us.

If you portray the killing of civilians as heroic, then we will surpass you in heroism.  Don't cry to the world about your precious civilians and then prepare a national celebration to honor a monster who deliberately destroyed a family, and whose final act before being captured was to gleefully crush the skull of a small child against a rock.

If our soldiers won't enjoy the protections of the Geneva Conventions… neither will yours.  A dead prisoner will be worth a dead prisoner in any exchange.  If we run out of dead prisoners to trade, we will make more.  As you've ably demonstrated today, live prisoners can be unapologetically turned into dead ones quite easily.

If this is the only way we can force our enemies to keep our POWs alive and to feel some accountability for their welfare… then so be it.  Otherwise our long-neglected death penalty will be dusted off and employed without hesitation or sentimentality.   And since those who attack us refuse to wear uniforms or insignia, henceforth they will not be entitled to the niceties of a trial or POW status.  Those we capture in the field will be summarily executed.

For more than 60 years Israel has dreamed of being accepted among the family of nations and being allowed to live peacefully within secure and recognized borders.  Yet again and again we've been forced onto the battlefield by our neighbors, and required by the world to engage a savage enemy as if we were chivalrous knights.

It is worth noting that even at the Battle of Agincourt (fought between the French and English in 1415), the accepted rules of Chivalry were set aside when one side was faced with an untenable choice between chivalry and victory:

After repelling two French attacks against their vastly outnumbered army, the English held more enemy captives than they themselves had soldiers in arms.  Upon seeing the French massing for a third attack the English King, Henry, ordered his men to begin killing the prisoners since he could not spare the soldiers to guard them… and if left alone the captive French knights could easily join the next French attack using weapons that still littered the field.

However, as soon as the next French attack failed to materialize, he ordered the execution of prisoners to be stopped.

Modern scholars nearly universally condemn Henry for his order to execute the French prisoners.  After all, the rules of the day required that those asking for quarter be granted protection without question.  However it is interesting to note that at the time, neither the French nor any contemporary commentators seem to have had a problem with Henry's decision. It was the only logical thing to do under the circumstances.

Given a choice between victory and chivalry, Henry chose victory.

In this day and age Israel can do no less.  We need not hold ourselves to a higher standard of conduct than our enemies… especially in conflicts not of our making.  Until we learn this simple lesson, we will have to endure many more shameful ceremonies such as we witnessed today.

Make no mistake; there will be another war in the not-too-distant future.  Our recent capitulation has all but guaranteed that.  Our appeasement and public displays of weakness have served only to whet the appetites of our enemies as they publicly proclaim that what the world witnessed today is proof that relentless armed struggle is the only way to confront and destroy the Zionist entity.

I can only hope that when the next war comes, we will have leaders in place who have the wisdom to first win the war… and only then, try to negotiate terms for peace.

May the families of those who were miserably failed by their government be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 11506


« Reply #199 on: July 21, 2008, 09:34:53 PM »

Rachel,

You are free to be angry at me. My intent was not to anger you, just to emphasize what's at stake and how stupid trading terrorists for corpses is. Showing weakness to the savages just encourages them, and the clock is ticking to the time when they'll have nuclear weapons.

Both America and Israel face the same enemy. This enemy has no rules. This enemy loves to target children. This enemy will destroy both nations if given the chance. They cannot be negotiated with, cannot be reasoned with. You can't teach them to love. There is no choice but to teach them to fear. The "old school Israelis" understood this. Somehow this seems to have been lost to many Israelis and Americans today.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 38 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!