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JDN
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« Reply #950 on: July 13, 2010, 01:17:23 PM »

And why did Israel build the barrier?


Did you read my LinK?

"The villagers are repeatedly shown saying they have no problem with Israel building a barrier to defend its citizens, but that the barrier should be built within Israel, not over the Green Line."

I wish we would build a "wall" within the USA, between Mexico and the USA.
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G M
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« Reply #951 on: July 13, 2010, 06:24:12 PM »

I doubt very much that the wall was built that way without good reason.
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rachelg
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« Reply #952 on: July 13, 2010, 07:51:42 PM »

Should the US give pack territory paid for  or won in a war they didn't start and if not why are you holding Israel to a different standard? 
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JDN
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« Reply #953 on: July 14, 2010, 04:48:19 PM »

Rachel, I'm a little confused by your question; to my recollection in the last 50 years,
despite all the wars/skirmishes we have fought, the USA didn't acquire ANY territory.  Further, I doubt
in the end we will have anything to show for our effort in Iraq and despite all the supposed
mineral wealth in Afganistan I doubt if we will end up with one piece of coal.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #954 on: July 14, 2010, 05:04:32 PM »

50 years is certainly a convenient cut off point as WWII was the last major point in time where a lot of territory and spheres of influence changed hands, witness arguments about US presence in Okinawa, etc. Speak to a Mexican nationalist, however, if you want to know why major chunks of the southwest, including your stomping grounds, should be ceded to our southern neighbor as they are said to have been unfairly gained by gringo conquest. Bet GM could enlighten you as to Native American feelings on the subject, too boot.

My take is that Rachel's question stands, unanswered.
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JDN
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« Reply #955 on: July 14, 2010, 06:23:25 PM »

I suppose you are right; we could could go back 150+ years to the Mexican American Wars, or even further, 200+ (although confiscation continued thereafter)
regarding the Native American Indians, but given my approximate lifetime I chose 50 years.  A round number.  Also, modern Israel is only approximately 60 years old.

Therefore my point/question is that in all the many wars we have fought in the last 50-60 years, while we clearly could have demanded/taken
territory/assets, to the best of my recollection, we NEVER did. 

Yet perhaps you are right.  Rachel's referral to "holding Israel to a different standard" is really referring to action the USA took over 50+ years ago? 
Before Modern Israel even existed?  Yet that doesn't seem like a reasonable comparison to me. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #956 on: July 14, 2010, 06:41:31 PM »

None of my business but now that the question is understood perhaps it could be answered rather than quibbling over the difference between 60 and 150 years.  Did core principles change in that time?

"while we clearly could have demanded/taken territory/assets, to the best of my recollection, we NEVER did."

I wonder if George Bush will get an apology from his critics.  "Iraq invaded for oil": one million Google hits on that.
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rachelg
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« Reply #957 on: July 14, 2010, 09:54:16 PM »

Lets hypothetically say in the last 50 years Mexico started a few wars  with the US  with the battles taking place in California.   We won the wars  at much cost to our soldiers and  civilians.  During the battles we acquired strategically important areas.   Keep in Mind during the battle  Mexico had been deliberately targeted  civilians including bombing  preschools kindergartens and school-buses. In this situation you think  that the US should give back the  strategically important land when building a fence to protect its civilians? Or do you think Israel should be treated differently?  The purpose of the fence in Israel is for security . It is not a political boundary.
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G M
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« Reply #958 on: July 14, 2010, 10:52:38 PM »

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2006/01/israels-trail-of-tears.html

"Land for peace" didn't work out so well for the native peoples of north america, right JDN?
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JDN
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« Reply #959 on: July 14, 2010, 11:06:24 PM »

Rachel, I was looking forward to your response.

I understand your point.  My objection was dragging the US into the comparison.  No offense, but in my opinion you drew a poor analogy.

If you don't mind, let's forget the US in the comparison.  Rather, let's look at the basic issue; acquired land.
You said, "The purpose of the fence in Israel is for security".

Frankly, I have no problem with the fence or the land.  Nor did the people of Budrus.  Or most Americans.  Israel is threatened on all sides.  They cannot lose; they do not get peace with a second chance nor will the Arabs forgive and forget as we have done many times.

However, my point, or should I say the documentary's point, is why build the wall in acquired territory?  You can keep the land, until
a reasonable treaty is established, but still build the wall inside Israel.  And why, as the movie documents, is it such a convoluted wall?
I for example am a fan of building a wall inside the US to keep illegal immigrants out, but I would expect the wall to be built within the US.

Back to the topic, the effectiveness of non violence.  IMHO I think others on this site underestimate the power and influence of world opinion.  As Rarick
mentioned, ""if they could get the kids to stop throwing stone and stand/sit fast in the tear gas....."
"The object is to make it clear WHO is initiating force above and beyond that used by regular police for normal crowd control."

The "battle" is not only being fought on the battlefield, but in the "court" of world opinion.  In my opinion, if the Palestinians are able to convey
an "oppressed" image, they will be far more effective than stones or even suicide bombers could ever be.

As I quoted, the Hamas lawmaker Aziz Dweik told the Wall Street Journal that "When we use violence, we help Israel win international support."

You are right, "the Palestinians actions seem to be more of a tactical switch than a philosophical one" nevertheless, IMHO it is "good" tactics. 

A tactic perhaps more dangerous than simple stones...


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #960 on: July 15, 2010, 09:30:47 AM »

I agree that were non-violence to be applied with some consistency and intelligence that it would be a formidable tactic.  Indeed, given the dishonesty and the bigotry aimed at Israel, it is likely to be a formidable tactic even when applied without consistency and/or intelligence.
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rachelg
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« Reply #961 on: July 18, 2010, 10:20:21 PM »

I don't think my analogy was a poor one. I think you are avoiding the question and holding Israel to a different standard than you would judge the US .   Israel has a right and a responsibility to protect its citizens and has a moral ,ethical, and legal right to  do so with territory over the green line.  The fence and the fences path was chosen for security reasons. You can ignore  security reasons for building  over the green line  but if you choose to do so you are either being  misguided or misinformed  about the necessities of Israel security or disingenuous. 

The fence  as it now stands including the parts over the green line  has saved the lives of many Israeli Citizens and probably the lives of some would be  homicide bombers. 

 
Success on the seas
The handling of the 'Amalthea' provides a lesson.
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editorials/Article.aspx?id=181735

The docking in El-Arish last Wednesday of the Libyan Gaza-bound “aid ship” marks – from the Israeli perspective – a desirable ending to another maritime provocation. In our circumstances, nothing is ever guaranteed outright, but this may signal a new approach following the Mavi Marmara fiasco. This latest installment in what doubtlessly is an ongoing saga may just possibly indicate that operative conclusions have been drawn from what went wrong last time.

It’s clear such stunts will continue. Every last drop of propaganda-profit will be squeezed out before these ships are abandoned in favor of new ploys.

The handling of the Amalthea provides an object lesson in just how to crisis-manage such challenges.

The approach may not always work. Much, crucially, depends on the degree of aggression and malice onboard. But some of the practicable rules followed in this case will be applicable henceforth.

Most prominent in the new approach is the resort to diplomatic channels. The advantage is twofold: world opinion is put on notice that Israel wishes to avoid confrontation without sacrificing its vital security interests. Simultaneously, indirect contacts are utilized to avoid confrontation, and lead to the sort of compromise that redirected the Amalthea to Egypt.

In a sense, Israel came out having its cake and eating it too. It deterred the Libyans without resorting to violence – and without the attendant bad press.

It’s obvious that, this time, the legal ramifications of blocking foreign intruders were taken into account. Hence the decision not to engage the Amalthea in international waters. The Libyans were shadowed and warned throughout, but they weren’t to be physically thwarted unless and until they were out of international waters.

THE ROLE of the Cuban captain also needs to be focused upon. The Mavi Marmara incident had shown ship owners that they have much to lose when collaborating in the Hamas-inspired campaign to embarrass Israel and create a false façade of starvation in Gaza. The Mavi Marmara isn’t back in the business of making money for its owners. It’s still moored at Ashdod Port and there is no telling when it will be released.

This certainly is another potent weapon in Israel’s hands and one which should not be relinquished too quickly.

The combination of military deterrent and diplomatic action had already proved itself in the cases of the Iranian and Lebanese/Iranian-proxy boats.

Although the intelligence services continue to keep watch for the possibility of such sailings, it wasn’t for nothing that they “rescheduled”/called off their much-touted plans.

Likewise, the outcome of the Libyan episode is nothing to downplay. Potentially the Libyans are no less dangerous. Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi now serves as Arab League chairman and apparently feels obliged to prove that Arabs can outdo anything the Turks boast about. He cannot let Ankara’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan become the new Muslim super-hero.

Hamas, for its part, has every incentive to escalate the “nautical intifada.” This is a surefire popularity booster in the Palestinian context as well as in the domestic contexts of assorted Arab states. The approaching month of Ramadan is only likely to raise flotilla-fervor and its demagogic value.


Hamas needs to crush the Israeli blockade to facilitate large-scale rearmament. This isn’t only an anti-Israeli gambit but one calculated to give Hamas the upper hand against Fatah. That is why Hamas refused to accept the Egyptian-brokered truce with the PA recently. This is all about creating a viable Iranian outpost in Gaza. And that is something Egypt also wishes to foil.

The way in which the Libyan maneuver was resolved serves all anti-Hamas/Iran forces in the region. With that in mind, the El Arish solution sets an important precedent for Israel, one it can cite as a workable solution and one which demonstrates Israel’s disinclination for belligerence.

The very establishment of this precedent will hopefully reduce at least some of the pressure on Israel – and take some of the wind out of the sails of Hamas and its well-
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Russ
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« Reply #962 on: July 19, 2010, 04:31:05 AM »

Frank Luntz on Why American Jewish Students Won’t Defend Israel
Evelyn Gordon - 07.18.2010 - 12:22 PM

PR guru Frank Luntz gave a lengthy interview last week to the Jerusalem Post’s David Horovitz. Much of it was what one might expect from a PR guru. But one incident he described was shocking: a session with 35 MIT and Harvard students, 20 non-Jews and 15 Jews:

    “Within 10 minutes, the non-Jews started with ‘the war crimes of Israel,’ with ‘the Jewish lobby,’ with ‘the Jews have a lot more power and influence’ – stuff that’s borderline anti-Jewish.

    And guess what? Did the Jewish kids at the best schools in America, did they stand up for themselves? Did they challenge the assertions? They didn’t say sh*t. And in that group was the leader of the Israeli caucus at Harvard. It took him 49 minutes of this before he responded to anything.”

After three hours, Luntz dismissed the non-Jews and confronted the Jews, furious that “you all didn’t say sh*t.”

    “And it all dawned on them: If they won’t say it to their classmates, whom they know, who will they stand up for Israel to? Two of the women in the group started to cry. … The guys are like, “Oh my God, I didn’t speak up, I can’t believe I let this happen.” And they’re all looking at each other with horrible embarrassment and guilt like you wouldn’t believe.”

But Luntz didn’t stop with illustrating this gaping hole in what American Jews are evidently teaching their children; he also explained it:

    “The problem that I see is that so many parents in the Jewish community taught their kids not to judge. I’m going to say something that’s a little bit ideological, but I find that kids on the right are far more likely to stand up for Israel than kids on the left. Because kids on the right believe that there is an absolute right and wrong; this is how they’ve been raised.

    Kids on the left have been taught not to judge. Therefore those on the left will not judge between Israel and the Palestinians; those on the right will.”

This is a travesty — because this particular right/left difference shouldn’t exist. First, it’s a travesty of everything the left once stood for — which was upholding a particular set of values, not refusing to judge between those values and others. Willingness to defend your own values shouldn’t be a trait limited to the right.

But it’s also a travesty because it shouldn’t be hard for any Jewish leftist to explain why Israel, for all its flaws, is still a far better example of the left’s one-time values, such as freedom, democracy, tolerance, and human rights, than any of its enemies. As Israel’s first Bedouin diplomat, Ishmael Khaldi, said in explaining why he chose to represent a country that allegedly oppresses his fellow Muslim Arabs, “We’re a multicultural, multilingual, multireligious country and I’m happy and proud to be part of it.”

Israel’s PR failings are innumerable. But if American Jews can’t get this particular message across to their children, the fault isn’t Israel’s; it’s their own. And only American Jews themselves can fix it.
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C-Bad Dog, Lakan Guro DBMA
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #963 on: July 20, 2010, 07:10:20 AM »

Why hasn't Israel bombed Iran yet? It's a question I often get from people who suppose I have a telepathic hotline to Benjamin Netanyahu's brain. I don't, but for a long time I was confident that an attack would happen in the first six months of this year. Since it didn't, it's worth thinking through why.

First, though, let me explain my previous thinking. In the spring of 2008, there was intense speculation that then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, fresh from ordering an attack on a covert Syrian reactor, was giving serious thought to an Israeli strike on Iran. President Bush—whom Israelis believed would give them the diplomatic cover and logistical support they would need for such a strike, especially if things went amiss—had only a few months left to go. The release of the December 2007 National Intelligence Estimate claiming (erroneously, as we now know) that Iran had halted its nuclear weaponization effort meant it was highly unlikely that the U.S. would attack.

Finally, Israeli planners understood that the longer they delayed a strike, the harder it would be to achieve meaningful effects. Iran would have more time to harden its facilities, improve its defenses, and disperse its nuclear materials.

So why didn't Israel act then? A variety of reasons, the most plausible of which was that Mr. Olmert believed an Israeli strike on Iran was a huge gamble, and that it would be rash to attack before every diplomatic, political or covert means to stop Iran's nuclear bid had been explored. Then came Barack Obama with his time-limited offer to negotiate with Tehran, followed by Iran's post-election unrest, which briefly aroused hopes that the regime might be toppled from within.

By the end of last year, it was clear that both hopes were misplaced. It was clear that the limited sanctions being contemplated by the Obama administration were not of a kind to deter Iran from its nuclear bids. It was clear that those bids were moving steadily closer to fruition. And it was clear that the administration was ill-inclined to take military action of its own.

All of which persuaded me that, having duly given Mr. Obama's diplomacy the benefit of the doubt, Israel—under the more hawkish leadership of Mr. Netanyahu—would strike, sooner rather than later. Plainly I was wrong.

What gives? Here are four theories in ascending order of significance and plausibility.

The first is that Israeli military planners have concluded that any attack would be unlikely to succeed (or succeed at a reasonable price). Maybe. But this analysis fails to appreciate the depth of Israeli fears of a nuclear Iran, and the lengths they are prepared to go to stop it. A successful strike on Iran may be at the outer periphery of Israel's capabilities, but senior Israeli military and political leaders insist it is not completely beyond it.

More
India Sees Hurdle in U.S. Sanctions
.A second theory is that Israel is biding its time as it improves its military capabilities on both its offensive and defensive ends. Yesterday Israel completed tests of its "Iron Dome" missile defense shield, designed to guard against the kind of short-range rockets that Hamas and Hezbollah might use in retaliation against an Israeli strike on Iran. The system will begin coming on line in November. Israel is also mulling the purchase of a semi-stealthy variant of the F-15 as an alternative to the much more expensive F-35, delivery of which has been delayed till 2015. What Israel decides could be a telling indicator of what it intends.

The third theory concerns the internal dynamics of Israeli politics. Mr. Netanyahu may favor a strike, but he will not order one without the consent of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, President Shimon Peres, Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and perhaps also Mossad chief Meir Dagan. This inner cabinet is said to be uniformly against a strike, with the wavering exception of Mr. Barak. But Mr. Ashkenazi and Mr. Dagan are due to step down within a few months, and who Mr. Netanyahu chooses to replace them will have a material bearing on the government's attitude toward a strike.

Finally, Israeli leaders are mindful of history. Put aside the routine comparisons between a prospective military strike on Iran with Israel's quick and effective destruction of Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981. As I'm reminded by Michael Doran, a Middle East scholar at NYU, Israel's leaders are probably no less alert to the lessons of the Suez War in 1956. Back then, a successful military operation by Britain, France and Israel to humiliate Egypt's Gamel Abdel Nasser (in many ways the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of his day) fell afoul of the determined political opposition of the Eisenhower administration, which mistakenly thought that it could curry favor with the Arabs by visibly distancing itself from Israel and its traditional European allies. Sound familiar?

There is now talk that the Obama administration may be reconsidering its military options toward Iran. Let's hope so. Israel may ultimately be willing to attack Iran once it reckons that it has run out of other options, as it did prior to the Six Day War. But its tactical margin for error will be slim, particularly since an effective strike will require days not hours. And the political risks it runs will be monumental. As Mr. Doran notes, in 1956 it could at least count on the diplomatic support of two members of the U.N. Security Council. Today, the U.S. is its last significant friend.

This is an unenviable position, and Israel's friends abroad would do well to spare it easy lectures. Iran is not Israel's problem alone. It should not be Israel's problem alone to solve, to its own frightful peril.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #964 on: July 20, 2010, 07:14:08 AM »

Second post of the morning:

By STEPHEN P. COHEN
Four years ago last week, Hezbollah launched a cross-border attack from Lebanon into Israel. Eight Israeli soldiers were killed and two reservists kidnapped. (They died sometime later, and their remains were subsequently returned to Israel in a prisoner exchange). This attack ignited a month-long war. Israel responded with an air, sea and ground campaign, while Hezbollah launched some 4,000 rockets and missiles into the Jewish state. Nearly 1,200 people in Lebanon and 160 in Israel died.

The summer 2006 war ended with United Nations resolution 1701, which imposed a blockade on weapons intended for Hezbollah and banned it from operating near the Israeli border. To implement its provisions, the resolution dispatched a U.N. peacekeeping force to Southern Lebanon which, as of April, numbers over 11,000 troops from 31 nations.

Israel recently embarked on an extraordinary form of deterrence against the possibility of a second Hezbollah war. Instead of engaging in a pre-emptive military strike, the Israeli military launched a public relations offensive. It broadcast and publicized highly detailed intelligence maps and aerial photographs depicting exactly where Hezbollah constructs and maintains missile and rocket caches, as well as command centers.

These maps show that Hezbollah's bases are located in villages in southern Lebanon near the Israeli border, in very close proximity to schools and hospitals. Its weapons are aimed at Israeli cities and civilian targets. If these missiles were to be launched, Israel would be required to defend its population by destroying the missile emplacements and depots.

"Hezbollah has worked to develop its readiness to rise to the challenge should it arise, and we can safely say that in the past four years we have prepared ourselves far more than Israel has," the group's second in command, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said in an interview published last week in the Arabic-language daily An-Nahar.

The Hezbollah plan of deployment means that any Israeli military response to a massive missile attack on its civilian population will involve civilian casualties in Lebanon. Because of its deliberate placement of these weapons, Hezbollah is condemning Shiite villages to destruction.

The U.N. now faces the test of whether it will do anything to assure the legitimacy of its 2006 resolution. If the U.N. does not act against Hezbollah's weapons caches, the resolution will be revealed as merely a stick with which to beat Israel and not the means to enforce the cease-fire the U.N. insisted Israel comply with to end the war.

Arab governments also face a critical test. By making its deterrence transparent, Israel is offering the governments of Syria, Lebanon and their Arab supporters, as well as world policy makers, an opportunity to protect Arab lives instead of blaming Israel after the fact for what can be prevented.

Now that Israel has taken the rare step of disclosing its valuable intelligence, will the U.N. enforce its own resolution to prevent war? Will the Arab governments in the region act?

Mr. Cohen is the author of "Beyond America's Grasp: A Century of Failed Diplomacy in the Middle East" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) and president of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development.
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JDN
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« Reply #965 on: July 21, 2010, 09:23:03 AM »

On the light side.
I'm sure none of us in our lifetime have ever exaggerated, lied, or misrepresented ourselves in a bar or over the internet to pick up a woman.   grin


July 20, 2010
In a ruling that could strike fear in the hearts of cads everywhere, a Jerusalem court has ruled that lying to a woman to get her into bed is a form of rape.

Sabbar Kashur, 30, an Arab resident of Jerusalem, pretended to be a Jewish bachelor looking for a relationship. He met a Jewish woman and they went to a nearby building to have consensual sex, according the account in the Haaretz newspaper. He split before she'd finished putting her clothes back on.

She filed a criminal complaint for rape and indecent assault, which authorities took seriously.
Sure, it wasn't "classic rape by force," reasoned Jerusalem District Court Judge Tzvi Segal, but if the woman "hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor ... she would not have cooperated."

The court rejected a plea bargain to serve community service and sentenced Kashur to 18 months in prison.
-- Los Angeles Times

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #966 on: July 23, 2010, 12:22:58 PM »


 
Hizbullah trying to stop UNIFIL patrols

UN Peacekeepers in southern Lebanon attacked

By YAAKOV KATZ
07/03/2010 22:20

A number of recent clashes between United Nations soldiers in southern Lebanon and local villagers could lead to an escalation along the Israeli-Lebanese border as Hizbullah works to prevent peacekeepers from implementing Security Council Resolution 1701.

On Saturday, two UNIFIL vehicles, including an armored personnel carrier, were blocked by a large group of civilians as the convoy traveled on a road north of the southern Lebanese village of Kabrikha. Stones were also thrown at UNIFIL forces in another village on Saturday.

The civilians stoned the patrol, which decided to leave the scene, hitting a motorcycle that had been parked blocking the road. The crowd then surrounded the patrol, punctured the vehicles’ tires, smashed the windows, and tried grabbing weapons mounted on the vehicles. In response, the soldiers, from the French Battalion, fired warning shots in the air.

The commander of the patrol was attacked and his weapon was stolen. A group of civilians took him to a nearby home where he received medical treatment, UNIFIL said in a statement.

UNIFIL reinforcements and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) troops arrived at the scene, recovered the weapons and restored calm.

UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas called on the LAF to ensure the security of UNIFIL forces. “It is incumbent on the Lebanese authorities to ensure the security and freedom of movement for UNIFIL within its area of operation,” Cuevas said.

Israeli defense officials say villagers affiliated with Hizbullah

Saturday’s clashes were the latest in a series of attacks against UNIFIL troops in southern Lebanon in recent weeks. Last Tuesday, residents of Kfar Kila hurled stones at UN vehicles. In the village of Hirbeit Sleim, where a Hizbullah arms cache hidden inside a home blew up last year, residents held a massive protest calling for an end to UNIFIL patrols in the village.

Israeli defense officials said that the escalation in violence was due to increased UNIFIL activity throughout southern Lebanon since Cuevas, a Spanish officer, took command of the peacekeeping force in January. The officials also said that the so-called villagers who attacked the peacekeepers were likely affiliated with Hizbullah.

“UNIFIL has been doing more in recent months,” one Israeli defense official said. “Hizbullah is not happy with this and is trying to deter the peacekeepers from entering the villages which is home to most of their arms caches these days.”

The attacks came just ahead of the fourth anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, following which UNIFIL was beefed up to its present force of about 13,000.
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Rarick
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« Reply #967 on: July 24, 2010, 07:46:42 AM »

I would not be surprised if the villiagers were told by their Hezboli handlers that the blue hats were spying for the Israelis? Heck, even Hezbollah might have reached that conclusion........
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #968 on: July 29, 2010, 01:11:20 AM »

DF Cpl. Elinor Joseph was born in Gush Halav in the Galilee to an Arab Christian family. Her father served as a paratrooper in the IDF. She identifies herself as “Arab, Christian, and Israeli.”


(Foto:  She is quite foxy)


“I was born here. The people I love live here – my parents, my friends. This is a Jewish state? True. But it’s also my country. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.  I believe that everyone should enlist. You live here? Go defend your country. So what if I’m Arab?”

“Look at the beret,” says Elinor, smiling from ear to ear, showing off the bright green beret that she earned after completing the trek which is part of her combat training in the Karakal Battalion. Her excitement is accompanied by a new historical precedent, since Elinor is the first Arab female combat soldier in IDF history.

Cpl. Elinor Joseph was born and raised in an integrated neighborhood of Jews and Arabs in Haifa, but attended a school in which all her classmates were Arab. Despite the fact that she would always wear her father’s IDF dog-tag around her neck from when he served in the Paratrooper’s Unit, she never thought she would enlist. “I wanted to go abroad to study medicine and never come back,” she said. To her father it was clear that she would enlist in the IDF, as most citizens in Israel do. This was something that worried her very much. “I was scared to lose my friends because they objected to it. They told me they wouldn’t speak to me. I was left alone.”

Despite their opposition, she decided to move forward and enlist. I understood that it was most important to defend my friends, family, and country. I was born here.” At the end of the day, she says she realized it was the right thing to do.

[Elinor] Joseph serves in the Caracal battalion, which operates on the Egyptian border to block the entry of terrorists and smugglers into Israel.

The difficult dilemma she felt in serving at a border crossing was not easy for her but she said during moments of difficulty and misgiving she would remember, “there was a Katyusha [rocket] that fell near my house and also hurt Arabs. If someone would tell me that serving in the IDF means killing Arabs, I remind them that Arabs also kill Arabs.”

http://barenakedislam.wordpress.com/...ombat-soldier/
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ccp
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« Reply #969 on: July 29, 2010, 01:03:44 PM »

"Arab Christian family"

I doubt she would feel this way if she were an Arab Muslim.

It is not so much the Arab part - it is the Muslim part that want the Jews wiped out.
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rachelg
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« Reply #970 on: July 29, 2010, 03:44:37 PM »

Some Bedouin--Muslim also serve in the IDF.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #971 on: July 29, 2010, 04:02:28 PM »

There has been some very poor behavior on the part of some Palestinian Christians enabling intifada and murder of civilians.  Pyschologically predicatably human I would say-- natural to look to find a way to bond with fellow Arabs.
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ccp
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« Reply #972 on: August 01, 2010, 02:30:59 PM »

Rachel,

"Some Bedouin--Muslim also serve in the IDF."

Perhaps my perception is wrong about the difference between Arab Christains and Muslims with regards to their perception, attitudes, and interaction with Jews.  Feel free to ellaborate and teach me.  I am not an expert in the area.
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rachelg
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« Reply #973 on: August 01, 2010, 09:03:53 PM »

CCP-- It  wouldn't  be hard to find an Israeli Arab Muslim who was not a fan of Israel.   It just when anyone speaks in absolutes it is easy to be wrong.  Jews/Muslims/Arabs are not a monolith.    I did happen to come across an article  today  that discussed  your question.


From Bedouin Shepherd to Israeli Diplomat
by Jenny Hazan
Ishmael Khaldi tells Aish.com what it's really like being a minority in Israel.

It was after Ishmael Khaldi, 39, visited the University of California, Berkeley campus as Israel’s Deputy Consul General to the U.S. Pacific Northwest in 2006 that he decided he needed to write a book. “People at Berkeley didn’t want to shake my hand because I was there representing Israel,” says Khaldi, author of the recently-released A Shepherd’s Journey, a biographical account of growing up as a minority in Israel. “This encounter, with such ignorance, deep criticism, and inflammatory rhetoric, was the most shocking moment of my career so far.”

Khaldi believes that much of the Western world – the Jewish community included – have a skewed and inaccurate picture of what Israel is all about.

Khaldi’s hope is that his book will help shed a little light on the subject, and provide an inside view of the country’s Muslim Arab minority. “Although Israel is part of Jewish identity and connects every Jew around the world, the state of Israel is not just Jewish and Zionist. It’s a country of all its citizens,” says Khaldi. “My very existence proves that Israel is one of the most culturally diverse societies and the only true democracy in the Middle East.”

The first Israeli diplomat of Bedouin descent, Khaldi grew up like most of Israel’s 180,000 Bedouin, as a shepherd in a tent in a traditional Bedouin village. He walked four miles round trip to school each day from his village of Khawalid, near the Jewish town of Kiryat Ata, in the Haifa region. Like most of Israeli’s northern Bedouin, his village established close ties with neighboring kibbutzim, and since the 1930s has had amicable relations with Jewish Israelis, who have played a big role in helping to advance Bedouin technological and agricultural production. Khaldi’s grandmother even learned to speak Yiddish!

Unlike most Bedouin, however, Khaldi, decided not to build a modest home nearby his parents and start his own family and herd. Instead, when he finished his national IDF service (a service both he and all of his brothers completed), he went off to see America. On his return, he earned a degree in Political Science at the University of Haifa, then an M.A. in Political Science and International Relations at Tel Aviv University. After this, he began working for the American embassy in Tel Aviv, then Israel’s Foreign Service, a move which landed him the job at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, and onto the Berkley campus.

Apartheid State?

Khaldi’s entire adventure – from tending goats on the hills of northern Israel to meeting North American volunteers from the neighboring Kibbutz Kfar Hamaccabi, to his first foray in New York, where he unknowingly runs across the subway tracks to get to the right side and is eventually “rescued” by a Haredi family in Borough Park, to his long-distance romance with a Bedouin girl from a village next to his family’s, to his formation of close friendships with secular and religious Jews and Muslims on two continents, and finally to his ascent to the Israeli Foreign Service – is recorded in his intriguing new book.

Khaldi attributes his own uncommon life trajectory to the opportunities available to minorities in Israel. “Israel is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious society,” says Khaldi, referring to the religious freedoms, women’s rights, equal educational opportunities, economic development, freedom of the press, and legislative representation. “Israel can be an example to the region and help facilitate the creation of regional wealth and development.”

Of course, Israel is not perfect. There is some level of bureaucratic discrimination and an unequal allocation of resources, both on ethnic and non-ethnic bases. But, says Khaldi, the situation of minorities in Israel is no different from the situation of minorities in the United States and other Western democracies.

“There are African American diplomats representing the United States – now there is an African American president – but that doesn’t mean discrimination does not exist in America,” says Khaldi. “It also doesn’t mean that, because there is discrimination, African Americans should wash their hands of their country of birth.”

Furthermore, says Khaldi, given that the U.S. is 234 years old, and Israel is a mere 62 (plagued by external threats, massive immigration, and internal tumult), the status of minorities in Israel is way ahead of the curve, particularly compared with the treatment of minorities in neighboring Arab countries.

Khaldi says that he is living proof that Israel is not the "Apartheid state" that some make it out to be. “Israel may be the only country in the Middle East, if not the world, where a Bedouin shepherd can become a high-tech engineer, a scientist or – a diplomat. The sky’s the limit.”

Arab-Israeli Integration

Admittedly, most members of Israeli minorities don’t make it as far as Khaldi. But he says this has less to do with the opportunities offered by the country than with a resistance to integrate; what Khaldi dubs “a self-imposed barrier to full integration into a modern life.”

Most Bedouin struggle between a desire to embrace modernity and at the same time preserve their heritage and customs. Khaldi is no exception. “In a lot of ways I am stuck between worlds,” he says. “We are a very traditional and conservative people, and it is difficult for us to integrate, particularly into modern, secular, liberal mainstream Israeli society.”

Interestingly, it is for this reason that Khaldi says he feels most comfortable in the company of religious Jews, whose culture and values tend to be much more conservative.

Khaldi recalls when he first landed at JFK International Airport, where he was shocked to be met by such a chaotic mix of people and graffiti, and cars and jet engines. “All at once, my exhaustion and anxiety broke open. I felt like the world was collapsing around me, and I cried like an orphan newborn lamb whose mother had just died,” he writes.

Then suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, he spotted a Hassid in the terminal, on the floor above him. “My heart swelled and my mood brightened immediately. I felt as if I had been lost at sea and suddenly spotted a beacon of light,” he writes. It was that Hassid that pointed him in the direction of Borough Park, Brooklyn, where he quickly found refuge with another Hassidic family.

Khaldi is confident that the resistance among Israel’s minorities to integrate will melt away with time. Already, the young Bedouin generation is much more integrated and modern than the one before. The same can be said for other Muslim minorities in Israel, although in general the level of resistance among other Arab Israelis is fiercer than among the Bedouin.

Unlike the Bedouin, who are by and large loyal to Israel, many other Arab Israelis are more politically-minded and align themselves with the Palestinians and their national aspirations. What accounts for the difference?

Khaldi explains that Bedouin, who by legend are said to be born of the wind due to their nomadic nature, don’t feel strong ties to any land in particular and never have; whereas the fellahin (Arab ‘farmers’) are agricultural and territorial by nature.

Khaldi came to understand this difference when he went to grade school in the nearby fellahin village of Ras Ali, and again in high school at the Haifa Arab Orthodox College, where he was chastised for his loyalty to Israel.

“I always thought I was an Arab, until I went to school with Arabs who told me no, that I was Israeli and Bedouin. Whereas we [Bedouin] consider ourselves Israeli first and Arab second, they consider themselves Arabs who happen to live in Israel,” he says.

One of his most bitter memories is of his first Memorial Day at the Haifa Arab Orthodox College, where he grew a great deal of attention to himself standing outside his class to observe the moment of silence. “This outraged my fellow students, who taunted, ‘The Bedouins standing with Israel are traitors,’” recalls Khaldi, whose brothers Hamudi and Amin were doing their service with the IDF at the time. “I felt miserable, but I stood there all the same. I am, after all, a proud Bedouin.”

He encountered the same sort of segregation from members of other Muslim communities. “Although I am an Arab Muslim, I am often greeted with suspicion by other Arab Muslims. They look at me first of all as Israeli,” says Khaldi, who now works as a political advisor to Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Yet things are changing. Khaldi says that at least among Israeli Arab fellahin, the sentiment is beginning to wane and that like Bedouin, Israeli Arabs are starting to integrate.

“The world is changing. The younger generation is much more exposed to other values and other cultures and the differences between them are disappearing,” he says. Khaldi points to the growing number of Arab high school girls participating in national service (Sherut Leumi).

This is just one example of many that Khaldi says fills him with hope for the future of Israel and its minority populations. “I am a proud third-generation Israeli. And while it will continue to be a challenge to preserve our culture, I look forward to raising a young generation that is even more Israeli than me,” he says. “There are differences in tradition and religion between us, but at the end of the day we are all Israeli citizens.”

A Shepherd’s Journey is available both on Amazon.com and at www.Ishmaelkhaldi.com.

This article can also be read at: http://www.aish.com/jw/id/98910714.html
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rachelg
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« Reply #974 on: August 02, 2010, 12:44:27 PM »

This article  is in response to an article that I  will not be posting

What’s in it for America?
By CHAS FREEMAN 
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=183319


Not just a strategic asset, but a bonanza
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=183321
By ROBERT SATLOFF
01/08/2010   
A cost-benefit analysis of the US relationship with Israel over the past thirty-plus years shows an Israeli ally at a bargain.
 
Adapted from remarks given at the Nixon Center (www.nixoncenter.org) debate “Israel: Asset or Liability?” with Chas Freeman on July 20.

I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree with the contention that there is no country in the Middle East whose people and government are so closely aligned with the United States; in some countries, the people are pro-American, in others, the government, but in Israel, it is unabashedly both.



Our two countries share ways of governing, ways of ordering society, ways of viewing the role of liberty and individual rights, and ways to defend those ideals. Some realists tend to dismiss this soft stuff as having no strategic value; I disagree. This commonality of culture and values is at the heart of national interest; it manifests itself in many ways, from how Israel votes at the United Nations to how its people view their role as being on the front line against many of the same threats we face.


It is to America’s advantage to have in Israel an economy that is so closely associated with ours and that is such an innovator in the IT field, in high-tech medicine, and in green technologies, like the electric car.

Indeed, the strength of our relationship helped turn Israel from an economic basket case into an economic powerhouse – and our economic partner. Just ask Warren Buffett and all the other American investors who view Israel as a destination worthy of their capital.

It is to America’s advantage to have had a close working partnership with Israel for the last thirty-plus years in the pursuit of Middle East peace. Some bemoan the peace process as “all process, no peace” and critique the strength of the US-Israel relationship as an impediment to progress, not an ingredient of it. I disagree. First, I would argue that a strong Israel, with a strong US-Israel relationship at its core, has been central to what we know as the peace process.

And second, in historical terms, the Middle East peace process has been one of the most successful US diplomatic initiatives of the last half-century.

In the words of one knowledgeable observer: “The peace process has been a vehicle for American influence throughout the broad Middle Eastern region. It has provided an excuse for Arab declarations of friendship with the United States, even if Americans remain devoted to Israel. In other words, it has helped to eliminate what otherwise might be seen as a zero-sum game.”

That sort of praiseworthy peace process was born out of the 1973 war, when two interlocking developments began to take shape – the growth of the bilateral US-Israel strategic relationship, which took off in economic and military terms, and the emergence of a peace process in its current, American-led form.

Since then, the Arab-Israeli arena has changed dramatically in favor of US interests. Over the past thirty years, we have seen peace agreements between Israel and the most powerful Arab state (Egypt) and the state with the longest border with Israel (Jordan). We have also seen thirty-seven years of quiet on the Syrian border and seventeen years of diplomacy between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. That is also a huge and positive difference.

INDEED, THE first twenty-five years after the establishment of Israel, the regional situation could be described as continuous war with periodic outbursts of diplomacy. The second thirty-five years – the period since 1973, the period since the take-off in US-Israel strategic relations – can be described as continuous diplomacy with periodic outbursts of war.

Since 1973, there has not been a regional war or a state-to-state conflict in the Arab-Israeli area. We have had limited wars – Israel versus Hizbullah, for example – but nothing that engulfed the region. That’s a huge and positive difference.

We tend to forget the context – the fear of regional war – that dominated the Arab-Israeli arena for years. For more than thirty-six years, it hasn’t happened. Of course, it may happen again and the circumstances on Israel’s northern border may be leading in that direction.

But let’s look at what we know: The peace process over the last thirty-five years has essentially evolved into a process to resolve issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

These issues are difficult, complex, and highly emotional. The failure to resolve them can lead to bloodshed and violence between Israelis and Palestinians, as we saw in the second intifada. But despite all those ups and downs, it has never reverted into regional war.

Indeed, one of the great achievements of USIsrael cooperation, manifested through their partnership in the peace process, is to have reduced the Arab-Israeli conflict to an Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Look at the experience of the second intifada, for example: approximately 4,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis dead in the worst outburst of intercommunal violence since 1948.

Despite this, the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan survived and not one Arab state intervened to provide military support to the Palestinians; in fact, the only state to lend military support to the Palestinians was Iran.

The observer I referred to earlier as praising the peace process for eliminating the zerosum game of Middle East politics – a peace process whose oxygen is the strength and vitality of the US-Israel relationship – was Chas Freeman.

AND THEN there is the long list of militaryrelated advantages that Israel brings to the United States directly, by its own actions and through the bilateral relationship. I will cite just a few: • Since 1983, American and Israeli militaries have engaged in contingency planning, and Israeli facilities can be made available to the United States if needed. American forces have practiced the use of many Israeli facilities, ranging from Ben Gurion Airport to pre-positioning sites. All four US armed services routinely conduct training at Israel Defense Forces facilities.

• The US has deployed an X-band early warning radar for missile defense on Israeli soil.

This facility supplements other American missile defense assets and is available for both America’s regional missile defense architecture and our own reconfigured missile defense concept for protecting Europe from longerrange Iranian missiles.

• America began stocking war reserves in Israel fifteen years ago. Those stockpiles are hardly “minimal”– the total value is approaching $1 billion. They’re US property and the Pentagon can draw upon them at any time.

America has shown it is able to move military supplies from Israel to the Gulf; for example, it sent Israeli mine-plows and bulldozers to Iraq during the first Gulf War in 1991.

• Israel has proven to be a prime source of effective counterterrorism/counterinsurgency tactics, techniques, and procedures, which have played a significant role in US success (thus far) in Iraq • Israel has also been an outstanding innovator in the technology, tactics, techniques, and procedures of unmanned aerial vehicles, which the US now relies upon so extensively in Afghanistan.

Add all this up: Israel – through its intelligence, its technology, and the lessons learned from its own experience in counterterrorism and asymmetric warfare – has saved American lives. And when you add to this Israel’s unique counterproliferation efforts – destroying nuclear reactors in Iraq (1981) and Syria (2007) – Israel’s contribution to our security is even greater.

DO A cost-benefit analysis of the US relationship with Israel over the past thirty-plus years and the US relationship with its Arab friends in the Gulf. What do you find? To secure its interests in the Arab-Israeli arena, the United States has spent about $100 billion in military and economic assistance to Israel, plus another $30 billion to Egypt and relatively small change to others. Our losses: a total of 258 Americans in the Beirut embassy and barracks bombings and a few other American victims of terrorism in that part of the Middle East.

Compare that with the Gulf. Look at the massive costs we have endured to ensure our interests there, the principal one being to secure access to the region’s energy resources at reasonable prices. The United States has spent more than $1 trillion – $700 billion on the Iraq war alone, according to the Congressional Budget Office – lost more than 4,400 US servicemen, fought two wars, endured thirty years of conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran and a global al-Qaida insurgency fed originally by our deployment of troops in Saudi Arabia. After all that, the Gulf region is still anything but secure. It’s when you boil it down to this very simple arithmetic that I can say that our relationship with Israel helped produce a strategic bonanza for the United States at bargain prices.

Is it a fairytale marriage? Of course not.

Do the two sides have differences, even profound ones, on some critical issues? Absolutely. Do certain Israeli actions run against the tactical advice and preference of various US administrations? To be sure.

But their common recognition of the strategic benefits they derive from this relationship has given the United States and Israel strong incentive to manage these differences fairly amicably over the years.

What about the argument that all this has come at a huge strategic price? I know it is de rigueur to cite Gen. David Petraeus on this issue. But look closely at what General Petraeus actually said in his prepared testimony to the Armed Services Committee. In the section of his remarks titled “Cross-Cutting Challenges to Security and Stability,” he cited eleven different items. The entire list bears mention: militant Islamic networks; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; ungoverned spaces; terrorist finance and facilitation; piracy; ethnic, tribal, and sectarian rivalries; disputed territories and access to vital resources; criminal activity; uneven economic development and unemployment; lack of regional and global economic integration; and, of course, insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace.

Would US interests be advanced if there were comprehensive peace? Of course.

Who argues to the contrary? But General Petraeus blamed neither Israel nor the USIsrael relationship for the lack of such progress; nor did he even hint that this issue is somehow the key to overcome the other ten major obstacles that he outlined.

And then there’s the argument about the US paying for Islamist recruitment because of its relationship with Israel.

Again, in an echo of the long list of factors that Petraeus said pose challenges to security and stability, radical Islamists also have a long list of complaints against America, of which US-Israel relations is only one among many and not nearly the most important.

If you think Osama bin Laden is all about Israel, and not about America, let me quote a very learned fellow: “Mr. bin Laden’s principal point, in pursuing this campaign of violence against the United States, has nothing to do with Israel. It has to do with the American military presence in Saudi Arabia, in connection with the Iran-Iraq issue. No doubt the question of American relations with Israel adds to the emotional heat of his opposition and adds to his appeal in the region. But this is not his main point.”

That very smart fellow was Chas Freeman.

Bottom line: a disinterested, professional net assessment of the impact of Israel and the US-Israel relationship on US strategic interests in the Middle East would show that the 63 percent of Americans who told the most recent Gallup poll that they sympathize with Israel – more than four times the percentage who sympathize with what the poll presented as the other side, Palestinians (I didn’t like the wording, but it’s their poll, not mine) – that those 63 percent are pretty good strategists. They know that our relationship with Israel is not just good for Israel, it’s good for America.

What we really need in the Middle East are more “Israels”– not more Jewish states, of course, but more strong, reliable, democratic, pro-American allies. It would certainly be nice to have one or two in the Gulf.

The absence of those sorts of allies is precisely what has gotten us into such deep trouble over the past thirty years.

The writer is executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.


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ccp
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« Reply #975 on: August 02, 2010, 01:34:13 PM »

Rachel,
Do you have any sense about what proportion of Muslims or Christian Arabs in Israel feel like Khaldi?

MSM like interviews with the disenchanted not people like Khaldi.  Particularly, if they fit into the liberal agenda.

For example I doubt Soledad O'Brien would want to interview this guy.  She would much more quickly jump to interview the angry Arab Muslim who exclaims discirimination.
 
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rachelg
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« Reply #976 on: August 03, 2010, 09:23:18 PM »

CCP,

I don't really know but I'm sure it is a lot smaller than I would like. It would be hard to find firm data. The questions of how much do you like your country would change depending on the political situation. Is is little like asking people how happy they are? Honestly though I don't know. 
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Rarick
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« Reply #977 on: August 04, 2010, 05:58:53 AM »

That is part of being a nominal outsider looking in.....  Was this a "cherry picked" individual?  (it does work both ways)  I lean toward hoping that it is not.  There have been articles that have mentioned in passing something like "The market, owned by a palestinian isreali, was heavily damaged by the suicide bomber", so we know that there are palestinian people considered citizens.  My question is how many of those are there and is their quality of life a second class, or just another citizen type of situation.   Questions and answers that are the job/ duty of the media to find out, but do not get answered because of the agenda.

Highly frustrating situation- all around.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #978 on: August 05, 2010, 12:39:05 PM »

The Regional Context of the Israeli-Lebanese Border Clash

Any clashes on the Israeli-Lebanese border normally involve Hezbollah guerillas. The last such incident happened four years ago and resulted in the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war. Tuesday, though, in an odd turn of events, Lebanese army personnel appeared to have opened fire on Israeli troops engaged in routine maintenance of the border fence. The Israeli troops responded with small arms as well as artillery and attack helicopters. A brief skirmish followed. Three Lebanese troops, one Israeli soldier and a journalist lost their lives in the clash.

Since the war in the summer of 2006 — especially given its outcome in which Israel could not decisively defeat Hezbollah — there has been a constant fear as to when the next war would take place between Israel and pro-Iranian Lebanese Shia Islamist movement guerillas. But in the latest skirmish, from very early on, both the Israelis and Hezbollah relayed that the clash was a minor incident that would not lead to a major escalation. Later in the day, though, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned that his group could respond to any Israeli attack on Lebanese army forces in the future.

There are various reports suggesting that Tuesday’s clash may have been engineered by Hezbollah to deflect attention away from the fact that the group is being implicated in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al Hariri. There are also reports that indicate that the opening of fire on the Israeli troops may have been the decision of a local commander. The precise reasons notwithstanding, we have an anomalous situation where Lebanese armed forces soldiers engaged in a rare attack on Israeli Defense Forces.

Not only was it a rare event, its timing was extremely intriguing. It took place at a time when there are multiple significant developments taking place. First and foremost, the clash took place within days of the joint visit of Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al Assad to Beirut — an unusual and unprecedented development. Abdullah’s trip to Syria and then Beirut is part of Riyadh’s efforts to pull Damascus out of the Iranian orbit and undermine Tehran’s ability to use Hezbollah as a proxy to expand its influence within the Arab world. While the Saudis have to a certain degree been successful in their efforts to create problems for Hezbollah — and by extension the Iranians — Tehran can be expected to do everything in its power to ensure that its premier regional proxy remains a formidable force within Lebanon.

“The clash was not only a rare event, its timing was also extremely intriguing.”
Hezbollah provides the Islamic republic with a significant amount of the leverage it needs to negotiate with the United States on Iraq and the nuclear issue. And we are seeing that both issues are fast approaching key impasses. At the end of this month the United States is scheduled to complete the drawdown of its forces from Iraq. At the same time, Tehran and Washington have reached a critical stage in their nuclear negotiations, where it appears the two sides could engage in some serious talks.

One of the key hurdles blocking a U.S.-Iranian understanding on these issues is that it raises fears among Washington’s allies in the Arab world (particularly Saudi Arabia) and Israel. In other words, the United States is having a hard time balancing its need to deal with Iran and maintain its commitments to the Arab states and Israel. A U.S.-Iranian settlement of sorts is far more problematic for the Israelis than the Arab states. This is because Israel’s immediate region has grown increasingly hostile in recent years. It has to deal with a Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip, a Turkey that is no longer an unquestioning ally of the Jewish state and an Egypt in transition.

Israeli fears about Egypt were heightened Monday when a couple of artillery rockets apparently fired from the Sinai landed in the Israeli port city of Eilat. A few days prior to that, Palestinian militants fired rockets from the Gaza Strip that struck the Israeli towns of Ashkelon and Sderot — the first in the area in quite a while. Thus, the Israelis experienced security incidents from three different directions in as many days.

The biggest threat undoubtedly comes from Hezbollah during a time when Iran is growing increasingly assertive given the United States’ need to negotiate with the Islamic republic. Although Tuesday’s incident on the Israeli-Lebanese border does not currently appear likely to flare up into a major conflict, it remains the main issue in the region, especially given the fact that the United States and Iran are gearing up for what could be a serious round of talks. From the point of view of the Israelis, those talks could undermine Israel’s national security interests.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #979 on: August 06, 2010, 06:55:42 AM »

An Israeli friend with an interesting background has posted the following on another forum:
=============================
I have had a long briefing from a contact at home. Look for a major war breaking out at the end of the month.

Evidence is building that shows things are marching toward a major war.

1. Hizbullah has dug tunnels into northern Israel.

2. Hizbullah has 60,000 rockets many with chemical war heads.

3. USA aircraft carrier was supposed to head back to USA and is waiting at Malta

4. Israeli satellite captured photos of submarine off loading weapons to Hizbullah in Northern Lebanon intelligence later showed weapons were special chemical weapons engineered to
eat through protective equipment. This agent may now be loaded on Hizbullah rockets.

5. Israel Air Force training in long range missions, jets, helicopters which would suggest commando raids a long way from home.

6. IDF reserves called up and trained at an abnormal pace.

7. Israel delivers letter to UN, Lebanon and USA showing where Hizbullah has hidden rocket in civilian areas. Israel tell Hizbullah to move the weapons or we will hit them where they are.

8. Israeli subs sitting off Iran

9. IAF has airbase in Saudi Arabia

10. Israeli intelligence has captured data showing Hizbullah will attack Israel at months end, objective to take out IAF bases so our planes cannot hit Iran.

What will Obama do?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #980 on: August 06, 2010, 07:57:53 AM »

Craftt  VERY interesting post, very plausible.  All makes sense except for asking what Obama will do?   Calculate exactly what the right thing is and he will do the opposite.  If a response fast and strong is called for, he will announce commissions, sponsor UN resolutions and condemn the wrong side.
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ccp
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« Reply #981 on: August 06, 2010, 10:47:44 AM »

"Israeli satellite captured photos of submarine off loading weapons to Hizbullah"

Whose Submarines?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #982 on: August 06, 2010, 11:55:34 AM »

Interesting question.  I am not aware of Iran having any , , ,
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #983 on: August 06, 2010, 02:40:59 PM »

North Korean, maybe?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #984 on: August 07, 2010, 07:06:47 PM »

Unlikely to have gone through the Suez Canal; so from NK, around the Horn of Africa, through Gibralter, and east to Lebanon?  That's a very long trip , , ,
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rachelg
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« Reply #985 on: August 08, 2010, 10:36:06 AM »

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/08/c_13435760.htm
TEHRAN, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Iran announced on Sunday that it has launched four domestically-made mini-submarines in the Persian Gulf.

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Vahidi hailed the occasion as a sign of progress in Iranian military ingenuity, local satellite Press TV reported.

Vahidi said that the stealth submarine is capable of launching torpedoes as well as precision targeting, the report said.

"The mass production of this strategic vessel has been carried out with the aim of increasing the defense capabilities of the Naval Forces, "and today four advanced Ghadir submarines joined the Iranian naval fleet," Vahidi was quoted as saying.

"With the mass production of this submarine alongside various guided-missile launchers the country's defensive production chain is complete, and these capabilities will be used to serve peace, stability and security in the Persian Gulf region and the Sea of Oman," said Vahidi.

Referring to the military presence of some western countries in the Persian Gulf, he said there is "no need for the presence of outside forces" in the region.

According to Press TV, the Ghadir submarine was first unveiled in 2007. The 120-ton vessel has excellent shallow depth performance, and can carry out long-term coastal missions. The Iranian fleet currently has 11 Ghadir submarines.

Apart from three Russian-built Kilo class diesel submarines, the Iranian Navy also operates another home-made 500-ton submarine in its patrol missions in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormu
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Russ
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« Reply #986 on: August 09, 2010, 04:21:45 AM »

The documentary takes a dramatic turn, though, when the infant’s Palestinian mother, Raida, who is being disparaged by fellow Gazans for having her son treated in Israel, blurts out that she hopes he’ll grow up to be a suicide bomber to help recover Jerusalem.

August 7, 2010
Steal This Movie
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

I just saw a remarkable new documentary directed by Shlomi Eldar, the Gaza reporter for Israel’s Channel 10 news. Titled “Precious Life,” the film tracks the story of Mohammed Abu Mustafa, a 4-month-old Palestinian baby suffering from a rare immune deficiency. Moved by the baby’s plight, Eldar helps the infant and mother go from Gaza to Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital for lifesaving bone-marrow treatment. The operation costs $55,000. Eldar puts out an appeal on Israel TV and within hours an Israeli Jew whose own son was killed during military service donates all the money.

The documentary takes a dramatic turn, though, when the infant’s Palestinian mother, Raida, who is being disparaged by fellow Gazans for having her son treated in Israel, blurts out that she hopes he’ll grow up to be a suicide bomber to help recover Jerusalem. Raida tells Eldar: “From the smallest infant, even smaller than Mohammed, to the oldest person, we will all sacrifice ourselves for the sake of Jerusalem. We feel we have the right to it. You’re free to be angry, so be angry.”

Eldar is devastated by her declaration and stops making the film. But this is no Israeli propaganda movie. The drama of the Palestinian boy’s rescue at an Israeli hospital is juxtaposed against Israeli retaliations for shelling from Gaza, which kill whole Palestinian families. Dr. Raz Somech, the specialist who treats Mohammed as if he were his own child, is summoned for reserve duty in Gaza in the middle of the film. The race by Israelis and Palestinians to save one life is embedded in the larger routine of the two communities grinding each other up.

“It’s clear to me that the war in Gaza was justified — no country can allow itself to be fired at with Qassam rockets — but I did not see many people pained by the loss of life on the Palestinian side,” Eldar told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Because we were so angry at Hamas, all the Israeli public wanted was to [expletive] Gaza. ... It wasn’t until after the incident of Dr. Abu al-Aish — the Gaza physician I spoke with on live TV immediately after a shell struck his house and caused the death of his daughters and he was shouting with grief and fear — that I discovered the [Israeli] silent majority that has compassion for people, including Palestinians. I found that many Israeli viewers shared my feelings.” So Eldar finished the documentary about how Mohammed’s life was saved in Israel.

His raw film reflects the Middle East I know — one full of amazing compassion, even among enemies, and breathtaking cruelty, even among neighbors.

I write about this now because there is something foul in the air. It is a trend, both deliberate and inadvertent, to delegitimize Israel — to turn it into a pariah state, particularly in the wake of the Gaza war. You hear the director Oliver Stone saying crazy things about how Hitler killed more Russians than Jews, but the Jews got all the attention because they dominate the news media and their lobby controls Washington. You hear Britain’s prime minister describing Gaza as a big Israeli “prison camp” and Turkey’s prime minister telling Israel’s president, “When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill.” You see singers canceling concerts in Tel Aviv. If you just landed from Mars, you might think that Israel is the only country that has killed civilians in war — never Hamas, never Hezbollah, never Turkey, never Iran, never Syria, never America.

I’m not here to defend Israel’s bad behavior. Just the opposite. I’ve long argued that Israel’s colonial settlements in the West Bank are suicidal for Israel as a Jewish democracy. I don’t think Israel’s friends can make that point often enough or loud enough.

But there are two kinds of criticism. Constructive criticism starts by making clear: “I know what world you are living in.” I know the Middle East is a place where Sunnis massacre Shiites in Iraq, Iran kills its own voters, Syria allegedly kills the prime minister next door, Turkey hammers the Kurds, and Hamas engages in indiscriminate shelling and refuses to recognize Israel. I know all of that. But Israel’s behavior, at times, only makes matters worse — for Palestinians and Israelis. If you convey to Israelis that you understand the world they’re living in, and then criticize, they’ll listen.

Destructive criticism closes Israeli ears. It says to Israelis: There is no context that could explain your behavior, and your wrongs are so uniquely wrong that they overshadow all others. Destructive critics dismiss Gaza as an Israeli prison, without ever mentioning that had Hamas decided — after Israel unilaterally left Gaza — to turn it into Dubai rather than Tehran, Israel would have behaved differently, too. Destructive criticism only empowers the most destructive elements in Israel to argue that nothing Israel does matters, so why change?

How about everybody take a deep breath, pop a copy of “Precious Life” into your DVD players, watch this documentary about the real Middle East, and if you still want to be a critic (as I do), be a constructive one. A lot more Israelis and Palestinians will listen to you.

Nicholas D. Kristof is off today.
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ccp
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« Reply #987 on: August 13, 2010, 10:57:02 AM »

Alright.  Is the killing suspect who is an "Israeli National" a Jew, a Christain, or a Muslim?

Notice the silence so far.   

To me it makes a difference.  Does he even have ties to Hazballah?

I am looking forward to this information.  I hope he ain't another David Berkowitz.


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rachelg
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« Reply #988 on: August 13, 2010, 03:26:28 PM »

The alleged serial killer  was born to a Christian family  from Ramle.



FYI-- Ramallah is in the west bank and often in the news. Ramle is a tiny town of mixed population and not very often in the news.  


edited per  Doug's request
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 05:51:23 PM by Rachel » Logged
G M
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« Reply #989 on: August 13, 2010, 03:31:16 PM »

It's an interesting case. I'm curious to see what the investigation brings forth.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #990 on: August 13, 2010, 05:03:33 PM »

"The alleged serial killer is a Christian from  Ramle."

I respectfully offer different wording, alleged Christian, former Christian, pretend Christian,was born to a Christian family, or raised Christian, etc.  Practicing Christians are constrained by the  Commandments.
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G M
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« Reply #991 on: August 13, 2010, 05:44:15 PM »

This assumes he didn't convert to the religion of pieces.

Not the only scenario. He could be a piquerist. This would be a very interesting case to work.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #992 on: August 17, 2010, 10:38:48 PM »

Woof,
 In light of Russia making a deal with Iran to complete its first nuclear plant capable of producing plutonium, I think it prudent to see what the consequences might be of Israel attacking Iran fairly soon.

 http://blogs.forbes.com/china/2010/08/16/if-israel-attacks-iran-what-about-china/

       www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/09/the-point-of-no-return/8186/1/

                                                                                                       www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/weekinreview/28sangerintro.html

     www.haaretz.com/news/iran-if-israel-attacks-us-we-ll-hit-its-neclear-sites-1.280702

       http://greathistory.com/what-happens-if-israel-attacks-iran.htm  

 Of course the consequences of Israel not attacking Iran could be even worse.
                                          P.C.    
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 10:40:54 PM by prentice crawford » Logged

ccp
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« Reply #993 on: August 18, 2010, 07:26:49 PM »


eom
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ccp
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« Reply #994 on: August 23, 2010, 02:07:26 PM »

Geraldo had a segment about Bama losing Jewish support, now "below 50%".  Jews calling themselves Republican I think he stated 33%!!

I cannot dream that most liberal Jews will vote can though.

They will stand by their man as long as they can.  If it looks bad for 2012 they will flock to the only other choice - Hillary.

I guarantee the reason we are starting to hear more about the greatness of the Hill in the news recently is partly from Jews who are abandoning the ONE.

For Israel, wipe out Iran if possible SOON or destroy all their military as best as can now and hope this will knock sense about regime change or put off the inevitable.

Or plan to move all Jews out of the country again and be driven off peacefully.  Or wait to die.

That is the choice given by Iran.

Great huh?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #995 on: September 09, 2010, 08:17:17 AM »

The West Bank Attack and Israel's Negotiating Strategy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington on Tuesday for peace talks to be held on Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Just three hours prior to his arrival, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a car at the entrance of the Jewish settlement Kiryat Arba near the West Bank city of Hebron. Four Israelis — two men and two women (one of whom was pregnant) — were killed in the attack.

Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was the first group to claim responsibility for the attack, followed by Fatah’s armed wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and a new group calling itself Al Haq. Multiple claims for attacks and collaboration among groups is common in the Palestinian territories, but the claim itself does not matter as much as the political message the attack intended to convey.

” Israeli military activity in the West Bank would deliver another big blow to the Palestinian leader’s credibility.”
Hamas, in particular, is signaling to U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel that they are dealing with the wrong man. Abbas certainly cannot claim to speak for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and has questionable authority in his own Fatah-controlled West Bank. As the Tuesday attack illustrated, Abbas cannot control the Palestinian militant landscape whether he wants to or not. In other words, if Israel and the United States are really seeking peace with the Palestinians, they need to open a dialogue with Hamas.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed that Israel would “exact a price” from those responsible for the killing of the four Israeli civilians. Hamas and its militant associates are hoping that price comes in the form of Israeli military operations in the West Bank. Abbas was already hanging by a thread politically, but Israeli military activity in the West Bank would deliver another big blow to the Palestinian leader’s credibility, potentially give Hamas an opportunity to regain influence in the West Bank and help derail Thursday’s peace talks.

But there wasn’t much to derail. The Palestinian territories are split geographically and politically between Hamas and Fatah, with no leader, political faction or militant group able to speak on behalf of the territories as a whole. Neither Israel nor the United States is blind to this reality. But every U.S. administration needs to take its turn at mediating Israeli-Palestinian talks, and though Obama has been preoccupied with more pressing issues since he began his presidency, he has found time to take another swing at brokering peace in the Middle East.

The more interesting question in our mind is what is compelling Israel to oblige with the U.S. wish for peace talks. Israel and the United States have been on rough footing since Obama took office, mainly due to Netanyahu’s failed attempt to pressure Washington into aligning with Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and Iran early on in the Obama presidency. The more Israel pushed, the more it came to realize that it simply cannot afford to alienate its only significant ally without bearing intolerable costs. Israel needed to find a way to clean up that diplomatic mess at low cost — hence the peace talks.

The cost for Israel to proceed with talks following this attack is still low, since Israel knows it can make tough demands and not expect the Palestinian side to deliver. More important, Israel knows perfectly well that the peace process in and of itself will generate an increase in militant acts, and that will allow divisions to persist within the Palestinian territories and excuse Israel from having to make meaningful concessions. The cost on Tuesday was four Israeli lives, but on the strategic level, Hamas gave Israel exactly what it was seeking in the lead-up to Thursday’s peace talks: the status quo.
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rachelg
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« Reply #996 on: September 12, 2010, 06:04:09 PM »

Editor's Notes: New Year’s wisdom
By DAVID HOROVITZ 
09/08/2010 16:35
http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Article.aspx?id=187481
I don’t know how Netanyahu conceives of the Almighty, but I picture him seeking divine guidance on Rosh Hashana.

   

My heart goes out to the prime minister this Rosh Hashana. It truly does. I envisage him at prayer, imploring the Almighty for the wisdom to make the right choices for his country, for his people.

There is arrogance in Netanyahu, of course. Nobody becomes the prime minister of Israel without the staggering arrogance, the elevated self-confidence, to believe that he (or, just the once, she) is uniquely capable of leading this country to tranquility or keeping it safe in the interim.


But one also senses a certain humility in him now, a humility that was not there the first time he was prime minister. An enhanced respect for the forces of history, perhaps, and a rueful appreciation of his own past mistakes, his foibles and limitations.

I don’t know how Netanyahu conceives of the Almighty, though I do promise to ask him when he gets around to giving proper interviews again. I cannot imagine he subscribes to Stephen Hawking’s newly argued theories of godlessness and existential self-ignition. At the very least, I can picture him looking at his children, as all parents do, and concluding that since nothing within his grasp could begin to explain their wondrous construction, there had to be some higher power.

And so this Rosh Hashana, much more fervently than last year, when the pressures had yet to pile up and the flush of victory was still brightening him, I see him reaching out to that vague unknowable spirit, and asking for guidance.

I THINK he’s put up a masterful performance these past few days, our prime minister.

Last November, when he emerged to announce the 10- month settlement moratorium, he looked like what he was: a torn, rattled man who had been forced to choose the least bad of two lousy options: infuriate and further alienate the United States, whose support and solidarity is indispensable to this country’s very survival, or infuriate and further alienate the settlement movement, whose ideals go to the heart of his conception of Jewish statehood. That day, as he unhappily saw it, survival trumped ideology.

These last few days, by contrast, he has looked serene and unruffled. He seemed at ease alongside US President Barack Obama at the White House a week ago, in such marked contrast to the body language of some of his earlier visits. He appeared gracious and deliberate when turning to Mahmoud Abbas the next day at the State Department, and describing this leader, of whom he had hitherto been so skeptical, as the “partner” in whose company he hoped to go such a long way, in such a short time, for peace.

And he has come across as firm and focused, since his return from Washington, in telling ministers, party colleagues and international visitors alike of his determination to make progress in negotiations to give independence to the Palestinians and to safeguard Israel.

Masterful, indeed, but still a performance. Beneath the calm surface, there must be turmoil. For there is no finessing the contradictions and conflicts that lie ahead.

THERE MAY be a short-term route out of the settlement freeze impasse. Formally, Netanyahu may not extend the moratorium, but on the ground not much will move outside the settlement blocs for the next few months. Obama won’t let Abbas escape the talks until the mid-term elections, and so that crisis will be staved off a little longer.

But the big decisions won’t go away, and Netanyahu knows it.

The big decision on Gilad Schalit. Whether to pay a price Netanyahu has written books opposing, with a near-certainty of so much further bloodshed and bereavement, or risk the death of a son of Israel, with incalculable implications for national morale.

The big decisions on Iran. Netanyahu emphatically sees parallels between the Islamic Republic and the Nazis. He knows that, in contrast to the Second World War, when an entire nation had to be won over and protractedly geared up for the mechanics of mass murder, murderous modern technology means millions can be wiped out nowadays with the flick of a switch. He cannot countenance the majority of world Jewry being regathered to our historic heartland only to again face genocide. He has profoundly internalized the Jews’ revived sovereign capacity to protect themselves here.

But when to act? When is it premature and when is it too late? Will the international community yet apply sufficient pressure? How to act? With whom?

And yes, the big decisions on Palestine. The Palestinian Authority, under Abbas and especially Salam Fayyad, is winning over the international community, cementing the concept of justified, imminent statehood, no matter what Israel’s objections may be.

When Israel’s most articulate advocate, Alan Dershowitz, pronounces the PA’s prime minister to be “probably the best” potential peace partner Israel has ever had, as he did in a phone conversation with me immediately after meeting Fayyad for 90 minutes last May, you know that every less discerning interlocutor will have been still more taken with the urbane, self-effacing statemaker, and never mind that Fayyad’s published program for Palestine-building barely hints at reconciliation with Israel.

Netanyahu came into office a year-and-a-half ago confident that he would be able to drive a better territorial bargain with Abbas than the deal proffered by the departing Ehud Olmert. But as the years go by, it is the Palestinians who remain steadfast, and the Israeli side that tries to sound tough while it offers ever more.

We’d speak about relinquishing a wrenching 85 or 90 percent of the West Bank in the 1990s, despite our insistent claims to the historic Jewish heartland; this jumped far above 90 percent at Camp David 10 years ago; then Olmert offered the whole West Bank with some land swaps, and Netanyahu has since hinted at concessions in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. But the Palestinians merely check off international agreements and resolutions, selectively interpreted, that belie any notion of territorial compromise.

Nobody knows this better than Netanyahu. At the State Department last Thursday, he paralleled Israel and the Palestinians with the biblical brothers Isaac and Ishmael, and declared, in what was by far his most conciliatory speech, that “President Abbas, history has given us a rare opportunity to end the conflict between our peoples.”

Abbas came back with a lawyerly recitation of demands and the risible, offensive assertion that the Palestinians have thus far respected all their past commitments and honored all their past agreements.

Given that this American presidency has demonstrated precious little sympathy for the notion of an Israel expanded beyond its 1967 dimensions, and that much of the international community is increasingly unimpressed by Israel’s existence at all, there seems no particular reason for Abbas to soften his position – especially given the hostility to Israel among his own people.

But if there is no better territorial bargain to be driven, what is Netanyahu planning to do at the peace table? Push and hope for an Abbas walkout, belying that rhetoric about a partnership? Agree to dismantle the vast majority of the settlements, and to rehouse a sizable minority of the settlers? Or try to play for time, even when he’s said that he wants to make rapid progress, and when he knows that stagnation will only weaken support for Israel, further bolster the Palestinians, and strain that vital alliance with America even as Iran closes in on the bomb?

How is Netanyahu, at one and the same time, to stay true to his ideological home – including his own father’s convictions – and retain his right-wing political base, without deadlocking the peace talks he has now so enthusiastically entered? But how, if the talks go nowhere, will he keep Labor in his coalition or entice Kadima to replace it, and how, amid such deadlock, will he maintain the improved climate of those crucial ties with Obama?

IN SYNAGOGUE this Rosh Hashana, I envisage all these challenges and contradictions running through Netanyahu’s head, and my heart goes out to him.

Being Israel’s prime minister is arguably the hardest job in the world. Safeguarding a tiny, mighty, vulnerable country in a vicious region that wants rid of you, and protecting a people worldwide whose existence is also inextricably tied up with yours. Leading a nation with the richest, most improbable of histories, in a world where nations can and do disappear. Surrounded by many who wish the worst upon you, and just a few who wish the best.

I picture Netanyahu seeking divine guidance in his New Year prayers, for a people that was sustained in exile for centuries by its faith. And I hope God, whatever that is, grants him the support and good advice of honest men, and the strength and wisdom to make nearimpossible decisions.

For this, I suspect, will be a fateful year for the feisty, illustrious, embattled and resilient people of Israel. And we will need all the strength and wisdom we can get.
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G M
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« Reply #997 on: September 12, 2010, 06:35:11 PM »

The "peace talks" are a waste of time and energy. The "palestinian" endgame is the end of Israel.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #998 on: September 13, 2010, 09:38:24 PM »

Woof,
 This makes me very nervous because I evidently don't share the same standards of what I construe to be the difference between an enemy and a friend with the current administration.
 U.S. near $60 billion arms deal with Saudis:

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39151164/ns/world-news-mideastn-africa

                        P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #999 on: September 13, 2010, 11:06:10 PM »

FWIW, the US's strategy in the mid-east has always been divide e.g. Kissinger-Nixon using the Shah's Iran against Iraq, then using Iraq against Khomeni's Iran.  Now that we have been outplayed and out testosteroned by Iran and its nuke program, we strengthen the Arabs (Saudi's et al) vs. the Aryans (the Iranians).  Note the serious rumors btw that the Saudis were willing to greenlight an Israeli strike on Iran via their airspace.

I agree though Israel and we patriotic citizens had best keep an eye on the Manchurian Candidate in Chief though , , ,
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