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ccp
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« Reply #1600 on: March 19, 2012, 10:21:39 AM »

There is also the obvious trend for those Jews who are against military action to be invested in Obama and the Democrat party elections.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1601 on: March 21, 2012, 08:29:55 PM »



Egypt Designates Israel Its Top Enemy — Obama Restores Military Aid
________________________________________
Egypt’s parliament, which is dominated by two pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists, voted unanimously last Monday to expel Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, and signaled that the Camp David Accords would soon be a thing of the past: Egypt, the parliamentarians declared, would “never” be Israel’s ally. In fact, Israel was Egypt’s “number one enemy.” And how did Barack Obama respond to this egregious trampling upon the agreement that has kept an uneasy peace between Israel and Egypt for thirty years? By announcing a resumption of military aid to Egypt.

From the beginning of the “Arab Spring,” I said repeatedly that it was not a democracy movement, as the Western press was claiming, but an Islamic supremacist takeover that would result in the creation of Sharia states that would be far more hostile to the U.S. and Israel than the Arab nationalist regimes they were supplanting. This assessment was greeted with the usual scorn: the Islamic supremacist media machine charged “Islamophobia,” on Fox Juan Williams said I was “fearmongering,” and the usual suspects made the usual ad hominem attacks. Yet everything that has happened since then has shown that the “Arab Spring” is indeed an Islamic supremacist winter, ushering in repressive Sharia regimes with the enthusiastic blessing of Barack Obama.

Yet even as Egypt’s Islamic supremacists rattle their sabers, their spokesmen, allies and useful idiots in the American mainstream media continue to peddle their soothing lies. The Islamic supremacist and adolescent mudslinger Reza Aslan was at West Virginia University last week speaking about the developments in the Middle East, and heaping more steaming piles of what he calls analysis on the hapless marks in his audience. “Believe it or not,” Aslan said, and anyone with eyes in his head will opt for “not,” “the greatest single aspiration in the region at this moment is to achieve democracy.” Slyly implying that those who have cast doubts on this alleged wonderful flowering of democracy are motivated by racism, he continued: “It does not matter where you pray or what skin color you were born with; democracy is a fundamental right of life.” He also, according to the report on his talk in the campus paper, “aimed to debunk that the Arab Spring is an Islamic takeover. This myth is simply an American paradox due to the primary belief that we live in a secular country that easily separates church and state, he said.” Ah yes, of course. “There is not much difference between us and them,” Aslan said. “These groups now have the opportunity to come out of the mosque and to market ideas and see how they can come to life in reality.”

Yes, “there is not much difference between us and them.” After all, we all want to cover women in burqas and enslave them to their husbands, brutalize and terrorize non-Muslims, murder apostates from Islam, and extinguish the freedom of speech, don’t we? And apparently one way these Egyptian parliamentarians hope to “come to life in reality” is by crucifying people and amputating their limbs. Yet as always, it doesn’t matter how outstandingly wrong and deceptive politically correct spokesmen are. It doesn’t matter that none of their predictions ever come true, or that everything they said was nothing to be concerned about turns out to be a matter of major concern. There is never any accountability for them at all — that a clown like Reza Aslan gets invited to speak at any university at all, while those who are consistently correct are demonized and marginalized, is a measure of how debased and politicized American academia and the public square in general have become.

Aslan also complained in January that “pundits and politicians are already ringing the alarm bells. The common refrain you hear in the US: The Middle East is being overrun with religious radicals bent on oppressing women and destroying Israel. That is nonsense, of course. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that political Islam will be a force in the new, democratic Middle East. And that is a good thing.” His comment on Egypt’s designation of Israel as its “number one enemy” was not recorded, but Aslan is no stupider or more malevolent than many other mainstream media and government spokesmen who assured us that the “Arab Spring” would bring a new flowering of freedom to the Middle East and North Africa. And chief among these was Barack Obama himself.

Speaking about the Libyan revolution in March, Barack Obama hailed “the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny,” and also praised “the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and in Egypt.” Now, as Egypt rushes headlong toward becoming a Sharia state and going to war with Israel, Obama is giving his blessing to the anti-Israel, anti-America forces he is largely responsible for unleashing.

Obama’s abandonment of the undeniably repulsive Mubarak regime paved the way for the ascendancy of the forces now in control in Egypt. Mubarak and his predecessors Anwar Sadat and Gamel Abdel Nasser kept a lid on the Muslim Brotherhood and other forces of Islamic fanaticism for decades. Now that they are gone, it is unlikely that the peace that Sadat concluded with Israel back in the 1970s will long survive.

According to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 54% of Egyptians want to scrap the Camp David accords that have kept an uneasy peace with Israel since 1979—in yet another blow to the credibility of Obama and all the analysts and commentators who assured the American people that the Egyptian uprising heralded the dawn of a new, secular democracy there. A significant percentage of Egyptians manifest a deeply ingrained Islamic anti-Semitism that leads them to hate Israel—and the Camp David accords—for religious reasons that are embedded within Islam, not political ones that may be susceptible to negotiation, compromise, or even rational consideration.

The resumption of military aid shows that Barack Obama doesn’t seem to mind that hostility one bit. A state can designate Israel its number one enemy and still receive military aid from the United States – military aid that it is almost certain to use against our putative allies in the Middle East, the Israelis.

Obama’s hostility to Israel runs throughout his administration. If he is reelected, and Egypt goes to war with Israel, it is not even certain that the United States would fight on Israel’s side.
Quote:
About Robert Spencer
Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of ten books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran (Regnery), and he is coauthor (with Pamela Geller) of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America (Simon and Schuster).
http://frontpagemag.com/2012/03/21/egypt-designates-israel-its-top-enemy-obama-restores-military-aid-to-egypt/
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G M
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« Reply #1602 on: March 21, 2012, 08:49:14 PM »

Wow. Who could have seen this coming?  rolleyes

"But he wore a kippa at AIPAC!"
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ccp
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« Reply #1603 on: March 22, 2012, 08:12:03 AM »

And let's not forget Hillary has responsibility here. 

The brave champion of women's rights around the world.

I suppose Zakaria will be out in full force this weekend spinning the tale of Obama's brilliance in all this.
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G M
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« Reply #1604 on: March 22, 2012, 08:25:17 AM »

I bet that tape of Obama's speech at the dinner for Rasheed Khalidi would shed some light on his attitudes towards Israel. I wonder why the LA Times is still hiding it....


Not really.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1605 on: March 22, 2012, 08:31:26 AM »

Good reminder there GM.

By RON PROSOR
'War is the unfolding of miscalculations." So noted historian Barbara Tuchman decades ago, yet this principle continues to fall on deaf ears in the international community. As terrorism in the Gaza Strip increases, threatening to set off instability across the region, the continued roar of rockets into Israel should keep world leaders up at night. But most remain mute and missing in action.

Their choice to stand idle is a grave miscalculation. The consequences for the region could be tragic.

This month, a targeted strike by the Israel Defense Forces canceled the travel plans of arch-terrorist Zuhair al-Qaisi as he headed from Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula. His itinerary included much more than snorkeling in the Red Sea. He aimed to launch another mass murder of innocent Israelis from the Sinai—and undermine the foundation of regional stability by driving a wedge between Israel and Egypt.

In the five days that followed, terrorists in Gaza stepped up their attacks on Israeli cities to 60 rockets per day (up from a years-long average of "only" two to four a day). As these terrorists sought to maximize civilian deaths, Israel worked to minimize them, with a precise and targeted offensive and defensive response.

Israel's new "Iron Dome" antimissile system intercepted more than 50 rockets over major cities, preventing more than 50 potential tragedies. Israel's Air Force hit Palestinian rocket squads with minimal civilian casualties, even though they had been intentionally using neighborhoods and schools as launching pads.

The situation in Israel's south remains as stable as a house of cards. Rockets continue to fly in from Gaza. Despite its spectacular performance, the Iron Dome is still only 90% effective at its best, whereas the terrorists in Gaza remain 100% determined to kill Israeli civilians. The clock is ticking until the next major escalation.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if rockets fall on your head, you have a right to defend yourself. It's a simple equation. Calm will return to Gaza when rockets stop falling on Israel. However, one rocket that explodes in the wrong place at the wrong time—in a grocery store, shopping mall or school—and Israel will be forced to respond in a completely different manner.

Time and time again, Israel has warned the world that Gaza is a disaster waiting to happen. Yet, over the past decade, the ratio of rocket attacks to words of condemnation from the United Nations Security Council is 12,000 to zero.

Instead of sending a clear message that terrorism in Gaza is a grave danger, much of the international community continues to point fingers at Israel for its legal and legitimate efforts to stop the flood of arms into the area. Energy that could have been spent preserving stability in the region has been diverted to attacking Israel's responsible policies aimed at preventing future escalations.

With the Middle East locked in a struggle for a democratic future, a significant escalation in Gaza would tip the scales toward the fundamentalists. From Marrakech to Manama, it would provide cannon fodder for radical clerics and politicians to promote their hateful ideology. The Arab world would be forced to drop its focus on the atrocities of the Assad regime, giving the region's most cynical eye doctor the opportunity once and for all to blind his people's vision for freedom.

Iran understands this well. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are loading Bashar al-Assad's tanks, funding his government, and training his troops—all while funneling weapons to Hamas and other terrorist proxies in Gaza.

Today, a conflict in Gaza would answer all the prayers of Iran's leaders, distracting the world as they take their final steps toward nuclear capability. For the Iranian regime, every dead Israeli or Palestinian provides an opportunity to install another centrifuge.

The terrorists in Gaza do not pose a threat only to the citizens of southern Israel. Each rocket is armed with a warhead capable of causing a political earthquake that would extend well beyond Israel's borders. Our message to the international community is clear: Your silence is pounding the drums of war.

Mr. Prosor is Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1606 on: April 05, 2012, 11:40:07 AM »


Obama’s Knife in Israel’s Back
Posted By David Meir-Levi On April 5, 2012 @ 12:11 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 9 Comments

In his March 28th article, “Israel’s Secret Staging Ground,” in Foreign Policy, Mark Perry revealed previously secret information about Israel’s dealings with Azerbaijan;  and many are now of the opinion that his article was in reality Obama’s knife in Israel’s back.  According to Perry, four unnamed senior diplomats and military intelligence officers leaked information indicating that Israel has purchased air force bases in Azerbaijan for use in preparation for an attack on Iran.
The likelihood that it is mere coincidence that four senior diplomatic and military intelligence sources separately leaked the same information at the same time is very small.  So John Bolton holds Obama responsible.  Bolton suggests that because Obama’s private efforts to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran have failed, he decided to ratchet up the pressure on Israel by revealing sensitive, secret information that, once available to Iran, will make an Israeli offensive less likely to succeed, and thus be a deterrent to such an offensive.[1]  This is surely not the sort of thing that a head of state does to an ally; but it might be the sort of thing that an unconscionably Machiavellian President running for re-election might do if he perceives that an Israeli strike on Iran might be a political liability for him.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry denies any collusion with Israel, and, indeed, Azerbaijan is a rather unlikely ally for the Jewish state; but Wikileaks gives a solid basis for such collusion, the motivation for which may be Azerbaijan’s perception of Iran as an existential enemy.
Some Israeli analysts deride the very idea that Israel could be in league with Azerbaijan for a variety of strategic and tactical, military, logistical and political reasons, including the fact that an Iranian revenge attack on Azerbaijan’s oil production facilities could easily destroy the country’s entire economy.
But these commentators all miss the point.  It does not matter whether or not the information is correct.  Those who leaked it presumably thought that it was.  It does not matter that the President says that he did not knife Israel in the back and has “no interest” in leaks of this kind, or that “…the US is crawling with thousands of intelligenceand former intelligence officials.”  The buck stops at Obama’s desk.  He is the Commander-in-Chief of those thousands.  Yet his response is dismissive, nonchalant, and insouciant:  hardly the appropriate attitude when an ally’s secret defensive plans have been compromised, with potentially existential consequences.
In the context of a broader perspective this incident takes on rather dire dimensions, as it is the latest in a long line of anti-Israel statements and actions originating with Obama or with those working close to him.
This past February Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told Iran that he thinks Israel will strike as early as April.  So Israel’s ally tells Israel’s enemy when Israel will strike.  Surely, for Iran, this is “news you can use.”  Was this just a gaff, or was it an intentional leak meant to undermine Israel’s military options?  Panetta answers to Obama, but Obama seems to be insouciant, saying nothing.
Another problem regarding Obama’s silence is the recent flap about a State Department official’s refusal to acknowledge that Jerusalem is the official capital of Israel.  This official is not to blame.  She was merely conforming to the directives of her employer, the U.S. Department of State, which, despite Congress’ Jerusalem embassy act of 1995, and the recent Supreme Court decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, continues to ignore U.S. law.   The State Department answers to the President, and the President is silent, insouciant, on this issue.
But he did have something to say about the status of Jerusalem on the White House website. Not too long ago Obama himself ordered the removal of all references to “Jerusalem, Israel” from the White House website, replacing them with “Jerusalem.”  What could be Obama’s motive for divesting Israel of its capital, and Jerusalem of its Jewish state?  Connecting some recent dots will offer an answer to that question.
To a mostly Jewish AIPAC audience on June 4, 2008, front-running Presidential candidate Obama announced that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.”     But only a few days later, after being assailed by Arab-American and Palestinian spokespersons, he told a mostly Arab audience that “…it’s going to be up to the parties to negotiate.” [2]  To which audience did he lie?
But as the world had already learned a few months earlier, he was willing to divide not only Jerusalem, but all of Israel. In January, 2008, Obama said he supported the division of Israel into two parts by a Palestinian state.[3] This stunning comment came as Obama, struggling to articulate his stance on key Mideast issues, asserted that “The Palestinians have a legitimate concern that a state have a contiguous coherent mass that would allow the state to function effectively.” Was Obama not aware that a land corridor between Gaza and the West Bank would effectively cut Israel in half, making it incoherent and non-contiguous, divided into northern and southern portions? Was this merely the gaff of an inexperienced, flustered and geographically challenged presidential candidate trying to accommodate Arab-American voters, or was Obama stating a priority that presaged a series of later presidential anti-Israel words and deeds?
Looking back a bit further into Obama’s not-too-distant past, one may be able to find the likely answer to these questions.
During his presidential campaign (2007-08) he revealed to the press the names of those to whom he would look for guidance on Middle East issues,  his “brain trust” as it were: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Anthony Lake, Susan Rice, Bettylu Saltzman, Robert Malley,[4]  and Samantha Power, among others  –  a dream team for the anti-Israel crowd at home and abroad.  Given his choice of advisors, it was not difficult to predict that he would be no friend of Israel.
And speaking of advisors, let’s recall Obama’s mentor and spiritual guide, the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright who glad-handed and honored the notorious anti-Israel and anti-Jewish and anti-homosexual Louis Farrakhan, and who is still active in anti-Israel activities with his most recent participation in the planning of the “Global March on Jerusalem” (GMJ).  Did Obama sit in Wright’s fire-and-brimstone anti-Israel church and never inhale?
It is also important to recall Obama’s comfort and conviviality with Arab and Arab-American anti-Israel leaders[5], some of whom saw him as a friend of “Palestine” whom they could trust to take strong pro-Palestinian positions once in the White House.  Such leaders included the likes of Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi and Ali Abunimah.  Obama’s attendance at a vociferously anti-Israel celebration with these and other Palestinian-American leaders back in 2003 was apparently something of a political embarrassment to Obama during his election campaign, so much so that The Los Angeles Times withheld the video of his participation.
It was at this event that Obama is said to have told Ali Abunimah not to press him about Palestinian issues, explaining that he would be able to do more for the Palestinians once he is elected a U.S. Senator.  Obama later denied saying that, but Abunimah never publicly retracted the statement and alluded to it several times in public appearanceswhere he expressed his disappointment in Obama’s positive statements about Israel.
Obama’s comment to Abunimah was an eerie precursor to his recent “hot mike” gaff with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.  Just as he did not want his voting constituency to know what he planned to do for the Palestinians once elected to the U.S. Senate, so too does he not want the American public to know what sort of flexibility toward Russia he looks forward to, regarding missile defenses, once elected to his second term as President.  Obviously in both cases the nature of this post-election flexibility is something that, if known, would reduce his chances of being elected.
Given the above, it may be premature to suggest that Obama wants Iran to win, but clearly he wants Israel to lose.
Notes:
[1] See http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0%2c7340%2cL-4209836%2c00.html for a comprehensive summary of the damage that this leak may cause for Israel.  For the most detailed, in-depth and objective summary and analysis of the issue of why an Israeli attack on Iran may create problems for the USA and constitute a liability for the President see http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R42443.pdf .
[2] The video of that speech is no longer available on line but see excerpts at http://obamalies.net/obama-flip-flops-on-jeruselem.html ; and for the flip-flop when speaking to Arab audiences see:  http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2008/06/obama-backtracks-on-jerusalem.html and http://hotair.com/archives/2008/06/05/another-obama-flip-flop-jerusalem/.
[3] Originally published with video in Israel Insider, Jan. 29, 2008.  The article and video are no longer on line, but available at http://focusonjerusalem.com/newsroom90.html .
[4] But see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Malley for a summary of his defenders on the issue of his attitude toward Israel.
[5] For details of Obama’s connections to radical Islam, CAIR and Farrakhan see http://www.danielpipes.org/5983/obama-would-fail-security-clearance;http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2008/10/more-on-the-links-between-obama-and ; http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/29709_Terrorist_Fundraisers_for_Obama; andhttp://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3602 (for his wife’s connections too).
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G M
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« Reply #1607 on: April 05, 2012, 11:54:59 AM »

Wow. Who could have seen this coming?  rolleyes
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JDN
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« Reply #1608 on: April 10, 2012, 11:07:56 PM »

And you wonder why Israel consistently gets bad press.....


latimes.com

Israel tries to save West Bank settlements it vowed to dismantle

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's approach appears designed to avoid eviction of Jewish settlers and appease conservative lawmakers.

By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times

4:01 PM PDT, April 10, 2012

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JERUSALEM —Israel's government is scrambling to find ways to save some of the unauthorized West Bank settlements it once promised to dismantle, including some that are built partly on private Palestinian land.

The new strategy seeks to retroactively legalize some outposts and, in other cases, relocate Jewish settlers to nearby land that is not privately owned, in effect creating what critics say would be the first new West Bank settlements in years.

The approach by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition government appears designed to avoid the need to carry out high-profile military evictions of settlers in order to appease conservative lawmakers, who have accused Netanyahu of betraying the settlers' cause.

But it raises questions about past promises by the succession of Israeli governments — to Palestinians, the international community and Israel's own Supreme Court — to stop building new settlements and evacuate many of the illegal outposts, particularly those built on Palestinian land without official Israeli authorization.

Though most of the world views all Jewish settlements in the West Bank as illegal, Israel makes a distinction between settlements it has approved and those, known as outposts, that arose over the last 20 years. Most are small communities of ideological religious families who put up temporary housing without the permission of the Defense Ministry. Though the government labels them illegal, it also provides implicit support in the form of security, roads, electricity and other infrastructure.

The fate of these approximately 100 outposts was thrust back into the spotlight last month when the Supreme Court reiterated an order that Migron, the largest outpost in the West Bank, be evacuated this year, though it delayed the deadline to August. In doing so, the court rejected a government request to delay eviction for three years more while settlers are relocated about a mile away.

A few other outposts are also facing demolition deadlines in the coming months in response to court challenges by Palestinian landowners and anti-settlement activists.

Facing a backlash from settler groups and right-wing politicians over the impending evacuations, Netanyahu announced this month that he was committed to "strengthening" Jewish settlements in the West Bank. He ordered his attorney general to search for ways to legalize three other unauthorized outposts — Bruchin, Sansana and Rechelim — and to block the planned demolition of a fourth, Givat Haulpana, near the West Bank settlement of Beit El.

The decision marked a reversal for the government, which previously assured the Supreme Court that it would dismantle Givat Haulpana by May because it was built on private Palestinian land.

Palestinians said Netanyahu's support of settlement expansion and the government's continued approval of new housing permits suggest that Israel is not serious about resurrecting the peace process. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet this week with Palestinian officials in an attempt to restart negotiations, but the Palestinians say they won't resume talks without a settlement freeze.

Meanwhile, conservative lawmakers are proposing legislation that would prevent the future dismantling of most existing outposts built on private Palestinian land by requiring Palestinian landowners to accept monetary compensation in lieu of the property.

Critics say the government's actions violate both the spirit of peace accords, including the 1993 Oslo accords and the 2002 U.S-sponsored "road map," and of explicit promises made to the Supreme Court in recent years.

"Legalizing these outposts would be a frontal assault on the Oslo accords and road map," said Israeli attorney Michael Sfard, who represents Palestinian landowners and the anti-settlement group Peace Now.

"Because of the absence of a peace process and significant American pressure, ideas that only six months ago were unheard-of are becoming a political reality," Sfard said. Israel is using the four outpost cases included in Netanyahu's order last week as "trial balloons" to gauge international reaction, he said. "So far the silence from the international community is just fueling the right-wing radicalization process in the government."

Netanyahu has defended the steps as legal and necessary to bolster Jewish communities in the West Bank. Government officials denied that their plans would violate the law or harm the peace process.

"If there is a legal solution or a possibility to legalize in certain places, then it will be done," said government spokesman Ofir Gendelman. He denied that the plans would violate the law or harm the peace process.

"I don't think we gave any promises to the Palestinians regarding outposts," Gendelman said, despite Israel's agreement under the road map to dismantle some outposts. "We have always made clear that settlements are an issue that can be resolved through negotiation."

He stressed that so far the policy affects only a few outposts, none included in the 2002 pledge. Most of those outposts are still standing.

The government first laid out the principles of its outpost policy in court filings over the last year. Before that, a succession of Israeli governments had lacked a clear, consistent strategy for coping with the sites.

In January, Netanyahu appointed a special committee to investigate the issue of outposts and make recommendations.

Aides said the prime minister was pursuing a strategy that involves legalizing outposts on land where no Palestinians have proved ownership. In cases where outposts are deemed to be located on private Palestinian land, the government is seeking voluntary relocation agreements with settlers and offering to move them at its expense to nearby land, often near existing settlements.

In the case of Migron, the government hopes to move about 50 families to land about a mile away. A similar agreement was made in December to move about half a dozen trailers in Ramat Gilad and reclassify the outpost as part of a nearby settlement.

Critics call the plan a shell game that will result in new settlements.

Anti-settlement expert Dror Etkes, who has advised the Palestinian Authority and others, credited the lawsuits in Israeli courts for pushing the government to finally take action on illegal outposts and clarify its stance. But the outpost opponents' efforts might backfire, he said, if the government's new tactics result in a net gain of settlements.

He predicted that in Migron, for example, settlers would move to a nearby temporary location first and ultimately a third permanent site, and the government is pledging nearly $7 million to build them new homes and roads.

"We could just end up with more settlements overall," Etkes said, adding that he doubted that the original Palestinian landowners would ever regain their property. "Sometimes you might find yourself in a position where you win legally but lose politically."

edmund.sanders@latimes.com
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G M
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« Reply #1609 on: April 11, 2012, 09:07:17 AM »

And you wonder why Israel consistently gets bad press.....

I don't. Anti-semites such as yourself look for any opportunity to Jew-bash. Funny how real atrocities in the region don't evoke your concern. I guess if you can't attack Israel, it holds no interest for you.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 12:49:21 PM by G M » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #1610 on: April 11, 2012, 11:01:27 AM »

One side threatens death, destruction and sends missiles into neighborhoods to prove they are serious - no comment.
The other side delays or refuses to kick private citizens out of their own homes - outrage.

To each his own conclusion.  Did I miss any relevant facts?
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JDN
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« Reply #1611 on: April 11, 2012, 11:24:57 AM »

The other side delays or refuses to kick private citizens out of their own homes - outrage.

To each his own conclusion.  Did I miss any relevant facts?

Yeah, I think you did ignore the facts.

If a private citizen squatted illegally in one of your buildings Doug, would you kick them out?  Would it be
outrageous of me to say that I agree; you should kick them out? 

Not to mention that the Israel Supreme Court has ruled that these "homes" are illegal.  Or would you support
the squatters and the governments attempt to keep the squatters in your building against law?

Or that international governmental promises were made that are are now being broken for political reasons....

Knowing you Doug, if I had to guess, you would be in an uproar if these squatters were in your building against court rulings
and international law, but supported by your government.
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ccp
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« Reply #1612 on: April 11, 2012, 11:46:08 AM »

Removing those settlements "100 or so" won't change a thing.  It is all a ruse to continue bashing the Israelis.
No one who is serious can believe that if these settlers squaters "illegal" intruders or whatever anyone wants to call them, leave, then Iran/hezbellah and much of Hamas, and  Muslim Brotherhood will give up their intention to wipe the Jews off the map.

And Doug is right.  All that is ignored and many including you harp on a few thousand settlers.

Obama and his Black Muslim and other Jewish hating friends agree with you.

The American liberal Jews who support him are more interested in the Democrat party than the survival of Israel in my opinion.

Apparantly many American Jews do not believe in the concept of a Jewish state.

I rarely see any of them calling for abolishment of Muslim countries.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1613 on: April 11, 2012, 12:21:34 PM »


While it is more than a little unfortunate that the illegality of these settlements plays into the hands of the gullible and serve as a tool for the malicious, it is REALLY unfortunate that "if these settlers squaters "illegal" intruders or whatever anyone wants to call them, leave, then Iran/hezbellah and much of Hamas, and  Muslim Brotherhood will (NOT) give up their intention to wipe the Jews off the map."
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G M
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« Reply #1614 on: April 11, 2012, 01:50:34 PM »

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/04/02/nancy-pelosi-syria-junket/

Remembering Nancy Pelosi’s Syria Junket


Michael Rubin | @mrubin1971 04.02.2012 - 1:30 PM


Five years ago this coming Wednesday, House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi defied President Bush’s request and his strategy isolating Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad by going to Damascus. “We do not encourage and, in fact, we discourage members of Congress to make such visits to Syria,” the White House spokesman said. “This is a country that is a state sponsor of terror.”
 
Pelosi would have none of that. She had known evil and to her, he resided in the White House. The Syrian dictator, however, was a reforming, Western educated eye doctor. Bilateral problems might be real, but they might be resolved through dialogue. “We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace,” she told reporters.
 


The Syrian regime used her meeting to its full propaganda advantage. After concluding his meeting with Pelosi, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, said, “These people in the United States who are opposing dialogue I tell them one thing: Dialogue is … the only method to close the gap existing between two countries.” Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Pelosi, Syrian officers and North Korean scientists scrambled to put the finishing touches on a covert nuclear facility, and Syrian dissidents dove for cover, interpreting correctly that Assad would interpret the end of America’s isolation of Assad as a green light for murder. Assad, in hindsight, welcomed Pelosi not as a politician with whom to have sincere dialogue, but rather as a useful idiot who might help relieve him of international pressure.
 
Five years later, Bashar al-Assad has not changed and, alas, neither has Nancy Pelosi.
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G M
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« Reply #1615 on: April 11, 2012, 02:13:17 PM »


http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/3389.htm

http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/3389.htm
 
March 23, 2012  Clip No. 3389 
 
Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad Slams Egypt over Fuel Shortage in Gaza Strip, and Says: "Half of the Palestinians Are Egyptians and the Other Half Are Saudis" 
 
Following are excerpts from an address by Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad, aired by Al-Hekma TV on March 23, 2012.


Fathi Hammad : Is Egypt incapable of supplying fuel for 1.5 to 2 million people in the Gaza Strip?

[...]

If you do not point your compass toward Palestine, Al-Aqsa, and Jerusalem, in order to uproot the Zionist enemy, the US will trample you underfoot. It will besiege you with its conspiracies and will finish you off.

Therefore, you must hoist the banner of Jihad, the banner of "there is no god but Allah."

[...]

Brothers, there are 1.8 million of us in Gaza. In Egypt, there are about 90 million people. We equal merely two percent of the Egyptian population. [Supplying us with fuel] would not burden you at all.

[...]

At Al-Aqsa and on the land of Palestine, all the conspiracies, throughout history, have been shattered - the conspiracies of the Crusaders, and the conspiracies of the Tatars. At Al-Aqsa and on the land of Palestine, the Battle of Hattin was waged. The [West] does not want this noble history to repeat itself, because the Jews and their allies would be annihilated - the Zionists, the Americans, and the imperialists.

Thus, the conspiracy is very clear. Al-Aqsa and the land of Palestine represent the spearhead for Islam and for the Muslims. Therefore, when we seek the help of our Arab brothers, we are not seeking their help in order to eat, to live, to drink, to dress, or to live a life of luxury. No. When we seek their help, it is in order to continue to wage Jihad.

[...]

Allah be praised, we all have Arab roots, and every Palestinian, in Gaza and throughout Palestine, can prove his Arab roots - whether from Saudi Arabia, from Yemen, or anywhere. We have blood ties. So where is your affection and mercy?

[...]

Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri ["Egyptian"]. Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.

Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called Al-Masri, whose roots are Egyptian. Egyptian! They may be from Alexandria, from Cairo, from Dumietta, from the North, from Aswan, from Upper Egypt. We are Egyptians. We are Arabs. We are Muslims. We are a part of you.

Allah Akbar. All praise to Allah. Allah Akbar. How can you keep silent, oh Muslims, when the people of Gaza are dying? You watch from the sidelines without providing them with the simplest thing, which you give to the West for the most meager price.

[...]
 
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bigdog
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« Reply #1616 on: April 16, 2012, 07:00:55 AM »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/iaf-plans-for-iran-attack/

A major Israel TV station on Sunday night broadcast a detailed report on how Israel will go about attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event that diplomacy and sanctions fail and Israel decides to carry out a military strike.
 
The report, screened on the main evening news of Channel 10, was remarkable both in terms of the access granted to the reporter, who said he had spent weeks with the pilots and other personnel he interviewed, and in the fact that his assessments on a strike were cleared by the military censor.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1617 on: April 16, 2012, 08:26:40 PM »

How very odd , , ,
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« Reply #1618 on: April 17, 2012, 08:47:18 AM »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/arab-seller-of-hebron-house-sentenced-to-death/

Arab seller of Hebron house said sentenced to death

Local settler leaders seek UN, US, EU intervention

April 16, 2012, 2:28

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jewish leaders in Hebron have called for international intervention to help the Palestinian man sentenced to death for selling a home near the Cave of the Patriarchs to Jews.
 
A letter on behalf of Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former intelligence agent for the Palestinian Authority, was signed by Hebron Jewish community leaders David Wilder and Noam Arnon, and addressed to, among others, the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; the president of the European Council of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy; and the director general of the International Red Cross, Yves Daccord, among others.
 
Shahala reportedly was sentenced to death for his part in selling what has become known as Beit Hamachpela (the Machpela House) to a group of Jews. He reportedly confessed to the sale after torture and was subject to a rushed trial, according to Arutz-7, which cited various news agencies. Palestinian officials said Shahala was not authorized to sell the home.
 
The death warrant still must be signed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to reports.
 
“It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a ‘capital crime’ punishable by death,” the Jewish leaders write in their letter. ” The very fact that such a ‘law’ exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages.
 
“What would be the reaction to a law in the United States, England, France, or Switzerland, forbidding property sales to Jews? Actually, less than one hundred years ago, such acts were legislated and practiced, known as the infamous ‘Nuremberg laws.”
 
At least seven Jewish families were evicted from the house earlier this month, a week after they entered the home in the middle of the night on March 28 armed with documents saying they had purchased the building from its Arab owner.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1619 on: April 24, 2012, 11:23:02 AM »

Looks like GM already got this story posted a week ahead of The Weekly Standard. (A year ahead of the LA Times?)  Still worth another look:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/palestinian-sentenced-death-selling-home-jews_640592.html

Palestinian Sentenced to Death for Selling a Home to Jews

“According to various news agencies, Mr. Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former intelligence agent for the Palestinian Authority, has been sentenced to death, following a hurried trial. His crime: selling property to Jews in Hebron,”
--------------
I'm sure the Obama EEOC is outraged.  I can't seem to find our beer guzzling Sec of State's speech denouncing this. 
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« Reply #1620 on: May 13, 2012, 04:44:27 PM »


The Geopolitics of Israel: Biblical and Modern
May 14, 2011 | 0500 GMT

 Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

The founding principle of geopolitics is that place -- geography -- plays a significant role in determining how nations will behave. If that theory is true, then there ought to be a deep continuity in a nation's foreign policy. Israel is a laboratory for this theory, since it has existed in three different manifestations in roughly the same place, twice in antiquity and once in modernity. If geopolitics is correct, then Israeli foreign policy, independent of policymakers, technology or the identity of neighbors, ought to have important common features. This is, therefore, a discussion of common principles in Israeli foreign policy over nearly 3,000 years.


.For convenience, we will use the term "Israel" to connote all of the Hebrew and Jewish entities that have existed in the Levant since the invasion of the region as chronicled in the Book of Joshua. As always, geopolitics requires a consideration of three dimensions: the internal geopolitics of Israel, the interaction of Israel and the immediate neighbors who share borders with it, and Israel's interaction with what we will call great powers, beyond Israel's borderlands.


.Israel has manifested itself three times in history. The first manifestation began with the invasion led by Joshua and lasted through its division into two kingdoms, the Babylonian conquest of the Kingdom of Judah and the deportation to Babylon early in the sixth century B.C. The second manifestation began when Israel was recreated in 540 B.C. by the Persians, who had defeated the Babylonians. The nature of this second manifestation changed in the fourth century B.C., when Greece overran the Persian Empire and Israel, and again in the first century B.C., when the Romans conquered the region.

The second manifestation saw Israel as a small actor within the framework of larger imperial powers, a situation that lasted until the destruction of the Jewish vassal state by the Romans.


.Israel's third manifestation began in 1948, following (as in the other cases) an ingathering of at least some of the Jews who had been dispersed after conquests. Israel's founding takes place in the context of the decline and fall of the British Empire and must, at least in part, be understood as part of British imperial history.

During its first 50 years, Israel plays a pivotal role in the confrontation of the United States and the Soviet Union and, in some senses, is hostage to the dynamics of these two countries. In other words, like the first two manifestations of Israel, the third finds Israel continually struggling among independence, internal tension and imperial ambition.

Israeli Geography and Borderlands
At its height, under King David, Israel extended from the Sinai to the Euphrates, encompassing Damascus. It occupied some, but relatively little, of the coastal region, an area beginning at what today is Haifa and running south to Jaffa, just north of today's Tel Aviv. The coastal area to the north was held by Phoenicia, the area to the south by Philistines. It is essential to understand that Israel's size and shape shifted over time. For example, Judah under the Hasmoneans did not include the Negev but did include the Golan. The general locale of Israel is fixed. Its precise borders have never been.

Thus, it is perhaps better to begin with what never was part of Israel. Israel never included the Sinai Peninsula. Along the coast, it never stretched much farther north than the Litani River in today's Lebanon. Apart from David's extreme extension (and fairly tenuous control) to the north, Israel's territory never stretched as far as Damascus, although it frequently held the Golan Heights. Israel extended many times to both sides of the Jordan but never deep into the Jordanian Desert. It never extended southeast into the Arabian Peninsula.


.Israel consists generally of three parts. First, it always has had the northern hill region, stretching from the foothills of Mount Hermon south to Jerusalem. Second, it always contains some of the coastal plain from today's Tel Aviv north to Haifa. Third, it occupies area between Jerusalem and the Jordan River -- today's West Bank. At times, it controls all or part of the Negev, including the coastal region between the Sinai to the Tel Aviv area. It may be larger than this at various times in history, and sometimes smaller, but it normally holds all or part of these three regions.

Israel is well-buffered in three directions. The Sinai Desert protects it against the Egyptians. In general, the Sinai has held little attraction for the Egyptians. The difficulty of deploying forces in the eastern Sinai poses severe logistical problems for them, particularly during a prolonged presence. Unless Egypt can rapidly move through the Sinai north into the coastal plain, where it can sustain its forces more readily, deploying in the Sinai is difficult and unrewarding. Therefore, so long as Israel is not so weak as to make an attack on the coastal plain a viable option, or unless Egypt is motivated by an outside imperial power, Israel does not face a threat from the southwest.

Israel is similarly protected from the southeast. The deserts southeast of Eilat-Aqaba are virtually impassable. No large force could approach from that direction, although smaller raiding parties could. The tribes of the Arabian Peninsula lack the reach or the size to pose a threat to Israel, unless massed and aligned with other forces. Even then, the approach from the southeast is not one that they are likely to take. The Negev is secure from that direction.

The eastern approaches are similarly secured by desert, which begins about 20 to 30 miles east of the Jordan River. While indigenous forces exist in the borderland east of the Jordan, they lack the numbers to be able to penetrate decisively west of the Jordan. Indeed, the normal model is that, so long as Israel controls Judea and Samaria (the modern-day West Bank), then the East Bank of the Jordan River is under the political and sometimes military domination of Israel -- sometimes directly through settlement, sometimes indirectly through political influence, or economic or security leverage.

Israel's vulnerability is in the north. There is no natural buffer between Phoenicia and its successor entities (today's Lebanon) to the direct north. The best defense line for Israel in the north is the Litani River, but this is not an insurmountable boundary under any circumstance. However, the area along the coast north of Israel does not present a serious threat. The coastal area prospers through trade in the Mediterranean basin. It is oriented toward the sea and to the trade routes to the east, not to the south. If it does anything, this area protects those trade routes and has no appetite for a conflict that might disrupt trade. It stays out of Israel's way, for the most part.

Moreover, as a commercial area, this region is generally wealthy, a factor that increases predators around it and social conflict within. It is an area prone to instability. Israel frequently tries to extend its influence northward for commercial reasons, as one of the predators, and this can entangle Israel in its regional politics. But barring this self-induced problem, the threat to Israel from the north is minimal, despite the absence of natural boundaries and the large population. On occasion, there is spillover of conflicts from the north, but not to a degree that might threaten regime survival in Israel.

The neighbor that is always a threat lies to the northeast. Syria -- or, more precisely, the area governed by Damascus at any time -- is populous and frequently has no direct outlet to the sea. It is, therefore, generally poor. The area to its north, Asia Minor, is heavily mountainous. Syria cannot project power to the north except with great difficulty, but powers in Asia Minor can move south. Syria's eastern flank is buffered by a desert that stretches to the Euphrates. Therefore, when there is no threat from the north, Syria's interest -- after securing itself internally -- is to gain access to the coast. Its primary channel is directly westward, toward the rich cities of the northern Levantine coast, with which it trades heavily. An alternative interest is southwestward, toward the southern Levantine coast controlled by Israel.

As can be seen, Syria can be interested in Israel only selectively. When it is interested, it has a serious battle problem. To attack Israel, it would have to strike between Mount Hermon and the Sea of Galilee, an area about 25 miles wide. The Syrians potentially can attack south of the sea, but only if they are prepared to fight through this region and then attack on extended supply lines. If an attack is mounted along the main route, Syrian forces must descend the Golan Heights and then fight through the hilly Galilee before reaching the coastal plain -- sometimes with guerrillas holding out in the Galilean hills. The Galilee is an area that is relatively easy to defend and difficult to attack. Therefore, it is only once Syria takes the Galilee, and can control its lines of supply against guerrilla attack, that its real battle begins.

To reach the coast or move toward Jerusalem, Syria must fight through a plain in front of a line of low hills. This is the decisive battleground where massed Israeli forces, close to lines of supply, can defend against dispersed Syrian forces on extended lines of supply. It is no accident that Megiddo -- or Armageddon, as the plain is sometimes referred to -- has apocalyptic meaning. This is the point at which any move from Syria would be decided. But a Syrian offensive would have a tough fight to reach Megiddo, and a tougher one as it deploys on the plain.

On the surface, Israel lacks strategic depth, but this is true only on the surface. It faces limited threats from southern neighbors. To its east, it faces only a narrow strip of populated area east of the Jordan. To the north, there is a maritime commercial entity. Syria operating alone, forced through the narrow gap of the Mount Hermon-Galilee line and operating on extended supply lines, can be dealt with readily.

There is a risk of simultaneous attacks from multiple directions. Depending on the forces deployed and the degree of coordination between them, this can pose a problem for Israel. However, even here the Israelis have the tremendous advantage of fighting on interior lines. Egypt and Syria, fighting on external lines (and widely separated fronts), would have enormous difficulty transferring forces from one front to another. Israel, on interior lines (fronts close to each other with good transportation), would be able to move its forces from front to front rapidly, allowing for sequential engagement and thereby the defeat of enemies. Unless enemies are carefully coordinated and initiate war simultaneously -- and deploy substantially superior force on at least one front -- Israel can initiate war at a time of its choosing or else move its forces rapidly between fronts, negating much of the advantage of size that the attackers might have.

There is another aspect to the problem of multifront war. Egypt usually has minimal interests along the Levant, having its own coast and an orientation to the south toward the headwaters of the Nile. On the rare occasions when Egypt does move through the Sinai and attacks to the north and northeast, it is in an expansionary mode. By the time it consolidates and exploits the coastal plain, it would be powerful enough to threaten Syria. From Syria's point of view, the only thing more dangerous than Israel is an Egypt in control of Israel. Therefore, the probability of a coordinated north-south strike at Israel is rare, is rarely coordinated and usually is not designed to be a mortal blow. It is defeated by Israel's strategic advantage of interior lines.

Israeli Geography and the Convergence Zone
Therefore, it is not surprising that Israel's first incarnation lasted as long as it did -- some five centuries. What is interesting and what must be considered is why Israel (now considered as the northern kingdom) was defeated by the Assyrians and Judea, then defeated by Babylon. To understand this, we need to consider the broader geography of Israel's location.

Israel is located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, on the Levant. As we have seen, when Israel is intact, it will tend to be the dominant power in the Levant. Therefore, Israeli resources must generally be dedicated for land warfare, leaving little over for naval warfare. In general, although Israel had excellent harbors and access to wood for shipbuilding, it never was a major Mediterranean naval power. It never projected power into the sea. The area to the north of Israel has always been a maritime power, but Israel, the area south of Mount Hermon, was always forced to be a land power.

The Levant in general and Israel in particular has always been a magnet for great powers. No Mediterranean empire could be fully secure unless it controlled the Levant. Whether it was Rome or Carthage, a Mediterranean empire that wanted to control both the northern and southern littorals needed to anchor its eastern flank on the Levant. For one thing, without the Levant, a Mediterranean power would be entirely dependent on sea lanes for controlling the other shore. Moving troops solely by sea creates transport limitations and logistical problems. It also leaves imperial lines vulnerable to interdiction -- sometimes merely from pirates, a problem that plagued Rome's sea transport. A land bridge, or a land bridge with minimal water crossings that can be easily defended, is a vital supplement to the sea for the movement of large numbers of troops. Once the Hellespont is crossed, the coastal route through southern Turkey, down the Levant and along the Mediterranean's southern shore, provides such an alternative.

There is an additional consideration. If a Mediterranean empire leaves the Levant unoccupied, it opens the door to the possibility of a great power originating to the east seizing the ports of the Levant and challenging the Mediterranean power for maritime domination. In short, control of the Levant binds a Mediterranean empire together while denying a challenger from the east the opportunity to enter the Mediterranean. Holding the Levant, and controlling Israel, is a necessary preventive measure for a Mediterranean empire.

Israel is also important to any empire originating to the east of Israel, either in the Tigris-Euphrates basin or in Persia. For either, security could be assured only once it had an anchor on the Levant. Macedonian expansion under Alexander demonstrated that a power controlling Levantine and Turkish ports could support aggressive operations far to the east, to the Hindu Kush and beyond. While Turkish ports might have sufficed for offensive operations, simply securing the Bosporus still left the southern flank exposed. Therefore, by holding the Levant, an eastern power protected itself against attacks from Mediterranean powers.

The Levant was also important to any empire originating to the north or south of Israel. If Egypt decided to move beyond the Nile Basin and North Africa eastward, it would move first through the Sinai and then northward along the coastal plain, securing sea lanes to Egypt. When Asia Minor powers such as the Ottoman Empire developed, there was a natural tendency to move southward to control the eastern Mediterranean. The Levant is the crossroads of continents, and Israel lies in the path of many imperial ambitions.

Israel therefore occupies what might be called the convergence zone of the Eastern Hemisphere. A European power trying to dominate the Mediterranean or expand eastward, an eastern power trying to dominate the space between the Hindu Kush and the Mediterranean, a North African power moving toward the east, or a northern power moving south -- all must converge on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean and therefore on Israel. Of these, the European power and the eastern power must be the most concerned with Israel. For either, there is no choice but to secure it as an anchor.

Internal Geopolitics
Israel is geographically divided into three regions, which traditionally have produced three different types of people. Its coastal plain facilitates commerce, serving as the interface between eastern trade routes and the sea. It is the home of merchants and manufacturers, cosmopolitans -- not as cosmopolitan as Phoenicia or Lebanon, but cosmopolitan for Israel. The northeast is hill country, closest to the unruliness north of the Litani River and to the Syrian threat. It breeds farmers and warriors. The area south of Jerusalem is hard desert country, more conducive to herdsman and warriors than anything else. Jerusalem is where these three regions are balanced and governed.

There are obviously deep differences built into Israel's geography and inhabitants, particularly between the herdsmen of the southern deserts and the northern hill dwellers. The coastal dwellers, rich but less warlike than the others, hold the balance or are the prize to be pursued. In the division of the original kingdom between Israel and Judea, we saw the alliance of the coast with the Galilee, while Jerusalem was held by the desert dwellers. The consequence of the division was that Israel in the north ultimately was conquered by Assyrians from the northeast, while Babylon was able to swallow Judea.

Social divisions in Israel obviously do not have to follow geographical lines. However, over time, these divisions must manifest themselves. For example, the coastal plain is inherently more cosmopolitan than the rest of the country. The interests of its inhabitants lie more with trading partners in the Mediterranean and the rest of the world than with their countrymen. Their standard of living is higher, and their commitment to traditions is lower. Therefore, there is an inherent tension between their immediate interests and those of the Galileans, who live more precarious, warlike lives. Countries can be divided over lesser issues -- and when Israel is divided, it is vulnerable even to regional threats.

We say "even" because geography dictates that regional threats are less menacing than might be expected. The fact that Israel would be outnumbered demographically should all its neighbors turn on it is less important than the fact that it has adequate buffers in most directions, that the ability of neighbors to coordinate an attack is minimal and that their appetite for such an attack is even less. The single threat that Israel faces from the northeast can readily be managed if the Israelis create a united front there. When Israel was overrun by a Damascus-based power, it was deeply divided internally.

It is important to add one consideration to our discussion of buffers, which is diplomacy. The main neighbors of Israel are Egyptians, Syrians and those who live on the east bank of Jordan. This last group is a negligible force demographically, and the interests of the Syrians and Egyptians are widely divergent. Egypt's interests are to the south and west of its territory; the Sinai holds no attraction. Syria is always threatened from multiple directions, and alliance with Egypt adds little to its security. Therefore, under the worst of circumstances, Egypt and Syria have difficulty supporting each other. Under the best of circumstances, from Israel's point of view, it can reach a political accommodation with Egypt, securing its southwestern frontier politically as well as by geography, thus freeing Israel to concentrate on the northern threats and opportunities.

Israel and the Great Powers
The threat to Israel rarely comes from the region, except when the Israelis are divided internally. The conquests of Israel occur when powers not adjacent to it begin forming empires. Babylon, Persia, Macedonia, Rome, Turkey and Britain all controlled Israel politically, sometimes for worse and sometimes for better. Each dominated it militarily, but none was a neighbor of Israel. This is a consistent pattern. Israel can resist its neighbors; danger arises when more distant powers begin playing imperial games. Empires can bring force to bear that Israel cannot resist.

Israel therefore has this problem: It would be secure if it could confine itself to protecting its interests from neighbors, but it cannot confine itself because its geographic location invariably draws larger, more distant powers toward Israel. Therefore, while Israel's military can focus only on immediate interests, its diplomatic interests must look much further. Israel is constantly entangled with global interests (as the globe is defined at any point), seeking to deflect and align with broader global powers. When it fails in this diplomacy, the consequences can be catastrophic.

Israel exists in three conditions. First, it can be a completely independent state. This condition occurs when there are no major imperial powers external to the region. We might call this the David model. Second, it can live as part of an imperial system -- either as a subordinate ally, as a moderately autonomous entity or as a satrapy. In any case, it maintains its identity but loses room for independent maneuvering in foreign policy and potentially in domestic policy. We might call this the Persian model in its most beneficent form. Finally, Israel can be completely crushed -- with mass deportations and migrations, with a complete loss of autonomy and minimal residual autonomy. We might call this the Babylonian model.

The Davidic model exists primarily when there is no external imperial power needing control of the Levant that is in a position either to send direct force or to support surrogates in the immediate region. The Persian model exists when Israel aligns itself with the foreign policy interests of such an imperial power, to its own benefit. The Babylonian model exists when Israel miscalculates on the broader balance of power and attempts to resist an emerging hegemon. When we look at Israeli behavior over time, the periods when Israel does not confront hegemonic powers outside the region are not rare, but are far less common than when it is confronting them.

Given the period of the first iteration of Israel, it would be too much to say that the Davidic model rarely comes into play, but certainly since that time, variations of the Persian and Babylonian models have dominated. The reason is geographic. Israel is normally of interest to outside powers because of its strategic position. While Israel can deal with local challenges effectively, it cannot deal with broader challenges. It lacks the economic or military weight to resist. Therefore, it is normally in the process of managing broader threats or collapsing because of them.

The Geopolitics of Contemporary Israel
Let us then turn to the contemporary manifestation of Israel. Israel was recreated because of the interaction between a regional great power, the Ottoman Empire, and a global power, Great Britain. During its expansionary phase, the Ottoman Empire sought to dominate the eastern Mediterranean as well as both its northern and southern coasts. One thrust went through the Balkans toward central Europe. The other was toward Egypt. Inevitably, this required that the Ottomans secure the Levant.

For the British, the focus on the eastern Mediterranean was as the primary sea lane to India. As such, Gibraltar and the Suez were crucial. The importance of the Suez was such that the presence of a hostile, major naval force in the eastern Mediterranean represented a direct threat to British interests. It followed that defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I and breaking its residual naval power was critical. The British, as was shown at Gallipoli, lacked the resources to break the Ottoman Empire by main force. They resorted to a series of alliances with local forces to undermine the Ottomans. One was an alliance with Bedouin tribes in the Arabian Peninsula; others involved covert agreements with anti-Turkish, Arab interests from the Levant to the Persian Gulf. A third, minor thrust was aligning with Jewish interests globally, particularly those interested in the refounding of Israel. Britain had little interest in this goal, but saw such discussions as part of the process of destabilizing the Ottomans.

The strategy worked. Under an agreement with France, the Ottoman province of Syria was divided into two parts on a line roughly running east-west between the sea and Mount Hermon. The northern part was given to France and divided into Lebanon and a rump Syria entity. The southern part was given to Britain and was called Palestine, after the Ottoman administrative district Filistina. Given the complex politics of the Arabian Peninsula, the British had to find a home for a group of Hashemites, which they located on the east bank of the Jordan River and designated, for want of a better name, the Trans-Jordan -- the other side of the Jordan. Palestine looked very much like traditional Israel.

The ideological foundations of Zionism are not our concern here, nor are the pre- and post-World War II migrations of Jews, although those are certainly critical. What is important for purposes of this analysis are two things: First, the British emerged economically and militarily crippled from World War II and unable to retain their global empire, Palestine included. Second, the two global powers that emerged after World War II -- the United States and the Soviet Union -- were engaged in an intense struggle for the eastern Mediterranean after World War II, as can be seen in the Greek and Turkish issues at that time. Neither wanted to see the British Empire survive, each wanted the Levant, and neither was prepared to make a decisive move to take it.

Both the United States and the Soviet Union saw the re-creation of Israel as an opportunity to introduce their power to the Levant. The Soviets thought they might have some influence over Israel due to ideology. The Americans thought they might have some influence given the role of American Jews in the founding. Neither was thinking particularly clearly about the matter, because neither had truly found its balance after World War II. Both knew the Levant was important, but neither saw the Levant as a central battleground at that moment. Israel slipped through the cracks.

Once the question of Jewish unity was settled through ruthless action by David Ben Gurion's government, Israel faced a simultaneous threat from all of its immediate neighbors. However, as we have seen, the threat in 1948 was more apparent than real. The northern Levant, Lebanon, was fundamentally disunited -- far more interested in regional maritime trade and concerned about control from Damascus. It posed no real threat to Israel. Jordan, settling the eastern bank of the Jordan River, was an outside power that had been transplanted into the region and was more concerned about native Arabs -- the Palestinians -- than about Israel. The Jordanians secretly collaborated with Israel. Egypt did pose a threat, but its ability to maintain lines of supply across the Sinai was severely limited and its genuine interest in engaging and destroying Israel was more rhetorical than real. As usual, the Egyptians could not afford the level of effort needed to move into the Levant. Syria by itself had a very real interest in Israel's defeat, but by itself was incapable of decisive action.

The exterior lines of Israel's neighbors prevented effective, concerted action. Israel's interior lines permitted efficient deployment and redeployment of force. It was not obvious at the time, but in retrospect we can see that once Israel existed, was united and had even limited military force, its survival was guaranteed. That is, so long as no great power was opposed to its existence.

From its founding until the Camp David Accords re-established the Sinai as a buffer with Egypt, Israel's strategic problem was this: So long as Egypt was in the Sinai, Israel's national security requirements outstripped its military capabilities. It could not simultaneously field an army, maintain its civilian economy and produce all the weapons and supplies needed for war. Israel had to align itself with great powers who saw an opportunity to pursue other interests by arming Israel.

Israel's first patron was the Soviet Union -- through Czechoslovakia -- which supplied weapons before and after 1948 in the hopes of using Israel to gain a foothold in the eastern Mediterranean. Israel, aware of the risks of losing autonomy, also moved into a relationship with a declining great power that was fighting to retain its empire: France. Struggling to hold onto Algeria and in constant tension with Arabs, France saw Israel as a natural ally. And apart from the operation against Suez in 1956, Israel saw in France a patron that was not in a position to reduce Israeli autonomy. However, with the end of the Algerian war and the realignment of France in the Arab world, Israel became a liability to France and, after 1967, Israel lost French patronage.

Israel did not become a serious ally of the Americans until after 1967. Such an alliance was in the American interest. The United States had, as a strategic imperative, the goal of keeping the Soviet navy out of the Mediterranean or, at least, blocking its unfettered access. That meant that Turkey, controlling the Bosporus, had to be kept in the American bloc. Syria and Iraq shifted policies in the late 1950s and by the mid-1960s had been armed by the Soviets. This made Turkey's position precarious: If the Soviets pressed from the north while Syria and Iraq pressed from the south, the outcome would be uncertain, to say the least, and the global balance of power was at stake.

The United States used Iran to divert Iraq's attention. Israel was equally useful in diverting Syria's attention. So long as Israel threatened Syria from the south, it could not divert its forces to the north. That helped secure Turkey at a relatively low cost in aid and risk. By aligning itself with the interests of a great power, Israel lost some of its room for maneuver: For example, in 1973, it was limited by the United States in what it could do to Egypt. But those limitations aside, it remained autonomous internally and generally free to pursue its strategic interests.

The end of hostilities with Egypt, guaranteed by the Sinai buffer zone, created a new era for Israel. Egypt was restored to its traditional position, Jordan was a marginal power on the east bank, Lebanon was in its normal, unstable mode, and only Syria was a threat. However, it was a threat that Israel could easily deal with. Syria by itself could not threaten the survival of Israel.

Following Camp David (an ironic name), Israel was in its Davidic model, in a somewhat modified sense. Its survival was not at stake. Its problems -- the domination of a large, hostile population and managing events in the northern Levant -- were subcritical (meaning that, though these were not easy tasks, they did not represent fundamental threats to national survival, so long as Israel retained national unity). When unified, Israel has never been threatened by its neighbors. Geography dictates against it.

Israel's danger will come only if a great power seeks to dominate the Mediterranean Basin or to occupy the region between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean. In the short period since the fall of the Soviet Union, this has been impossible. There has been no great power with the appetite and the will for such an adventure. But 15 years is not even a generation, and Israel must measure its history in centuries.

It is the nature of the international system to seek balance. The primary reality of the world today is the overwhelming power of the United States. The United States makes few demands on Israel that matter. However, it is the nature of things that the United States threatens the interests of other great powers who, individually weak, will try to form coalitions against it. Inevitably, such coalitions will arise. That will be the next point of danger for Israel.

In the event of a global rivalry, the United States might place onerous requirements on Israel. Alternatively, great powers might move into the Jordan River valley or ally with Syria, move into Lebanon or ally with Israel. The historical attraction of the eastern shore of the Mediterranean would focus the attention of such a power and lead to attempts to assert control over the Mediterranean or create a secure Middle Eastern empire. In either event, or some of the others discussed, it would create a circumstance in which Israel might face a Babylonian catastrophe or be forced into some variation of Persian or Roman subjugation.

Israel's danger is not a Palestinian rising. Palestinian agitation is an irritant that Israel can manage so long as it does not undermine Israeli unity. Whether it is managed by domination or by granting the Palestinians a vassal state matters little. Nor can Israel be threatened by its neighbors. Even a unified attack by Syria and Egypt would fail, for the reasons discussed. Israel's real threat, as can be seen in history, lies in the event of internal division and/or a great power, coveting Israel's geographical position, marshaling force that is beyond its capacity to resist. Even that can be managed if Israel has a patron whose interests involve denying the coast to another power.

Israel's reality is this. It is a small country, yet must manage threats arising far outside of its region. It can survive only if it maneuvers with great powers commanding enormously greater resources. Israel cannot match the resources and, therefore, it must be constantly clever. There are periods when it is relatively safe because of great power alignments, but its normal condition is one of global unease. No nation can be clever forever, and Israel's history shows that some form of subordination is inevitable. Indeed, it is to a very limited extent subordinate to the United States now.

For Israel, the retention of a Davidic independence is difficult. Israel's strategy must be to manage its subordination effectively by dealing with its patron cleverly, as it did with Persia. But cleverness is not a geopolitical concept. It is not permanent, and it is not assured. And that is the perpetual crisis of Jerusalem.
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« Reply #1621 on: May 18, 2012, 10:03:02 PM »

"Nakba Day" Fizzles
IPT News
May 18, 2012
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3584/nakba-day-fizzles

 
Upheavals in the Middle East have led to a de-emphasis on Palestinians and their cause against Israel. One symptom of this in recent days was a considerable decrease in participation in the so-called "Nakba" (Catastrophe) Day both in the Middle East and in the West.
Every May 15 (the anniversary of the day after Israel declared independence in 1948) Palestinian ideologues devote the day to mourning the "catastrophe" of the Israel's establishment and blaming it for the plight of millions of Palestinian "refugees."
A Nakba demonstration in midtown Manhattan Tuesday drew less than 35 people. Unfortunately for demonstration organizers, witnesses are more likely to remember an "only in New York moment," when Times Square's "Naked Cowboy" made his way through the small gaggle of demonstrators.
 
A pro-Palestinian advocacy group calling itself Existence is Resistance organized the rally. The group lobbies on behalf of Palestinian hunger strikers it claims are being illegally imprisoned by Israel. One of them is Abdullah Barghouti, a Hamas bomb maker who pleaded guilty to masterminding suicide bombings which killed 66 people and injured more than 500.
While there were instances of Molotov cocktail- and stone-throwing in Israel and the West Bank, this year's Nakba Day was subdued compared to last year, when tens of thousands of Palestinians and their supporters gathered on Israel's borders, and some attempted to cross into the country to assert their purported Right of Return.
Tuesday's demonstrations were limited: mobs didn't breach Israel's borders, and there were no reports of fatalities.
Last year's confrontation was stoked by Syrian operatives in Damascus and Lebanon, who reportedly bused Palestinian refugees to the Israel-Lebanon border. Lebanese troops and United Nations "peacekeepers" stood by as scores of Palestinians attempted to rush across the border into Israel.
Up to 35 infiltrators "managed to open the gates of the Golan," one triumphant rioter shouted after running through a minefield and crossing into Israeli territory. "They did what all of the Arab armies could not. We can liberate the Golan. We can liberate al-Aqsa. We can liberate Jerusalem. We can liberate Palestine and all of the occupied lands."
"God is great," the crowd responded triumphantly.
Violence also spread to parts of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Rioters at Kalandia refugee camp (located near the West Bank city of Ramallah) used ambulances for cover while throwing rocks at Israeli troops. At least 13 people were killed and hundreds more injured in last year's Nakba riots.
Several factors helped limit the spread of violence this year. Syrian President Bashar Assad – whose regime played a critical role in fomenting last year's violence – is preoccupied with brutalizing its own people in an effort to stay in power. And Israeli security forces, caught off-guard last year, were much better prepared this time.
At this year's demonstrations, the Palestinian Authority embraced the Right of Return – which most Israelis regard as a formula for the destruction of the Jewish state. At a rally in Ramallah, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad declared: "The right of return is sacred and cannot be compromised."
But the Palestinians' options for continuing their struggle against Israel have been limited by their own internal divisions and failed leadership.
"The back of Palestinian society has been broken by Hamas-Fatah separation," said Palestinian human- rights advocate Bassam Eid. In the West Bank (a region he referred to as "Fatahstan"), the infighting within Fatah is so deep that there was no hope of any coordinated uprising. "There cannot be an intifada (uprising against Israel) so long as we have an intrafada (Palestinian-on-Palestinian violence)," he said.
Writing in Commentary, Jonathan Tobin says the Palestinian focus on the events of 1948 doesn't bode well for the idea of territorial compromise. "For those who claim the Middle East conflict is about borders or Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the prominence given Nakba commemorations ought to be an embarrassment as it highlights something Israel's critics are often at pains to obfuscate. The goal of the Palestinians isn't an independent state alongside Israel. Their goal is to eradicate Israel and replace it with yet another Arab majority country."
Nakba Day should also serve as a reminder that during the past 64 years, the Palestinians have been prevented from assimilating into the Arab populations surrounding Israel. Instead, "they have been kept in poverty by a United Nations agency (UNRWA) supposedly dedicated to their welfare but which is, in fact merely interested in perpetuating their refugee status so they can remain props in the Arab War on Israel, " Tobin adds.
Commemorating Nakba Day is a part of that long term strategy. This year, at least, it didn't seem to work.
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« Reply #1622 on: May 19, 2012, 09:10:21 AM »


http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/18/how_obama_missed_an_opportunity_for_middle_east_peace
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« Reply #1623 on: June 04, 2012, 10:38:47 AM »



By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
Now that Israel has a broad and secure national unity government, the time is ripe for that government to make a bold peace offer to the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority refuses to negotiate unless Israel accepts a "freeze" on settlement building in the West Bank. Israel accepted a 10-month freeze in 2009, but the Palestinian Authority didn't come to the bargaining table until weeks before the freeze expired. Its negotiators demanded that the freeze be extended indefinitely. When Israel refused, they walked away from the table.

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The West Bank settlement of Mevo Horon
.There is every reason to believe that they would continue such game-playing if the Israeli government imposed a similar freeze now, especially in light of current efforts by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to form their own unity government, which would likely include elements opposed to any negotiation with the Jewish state.

That is why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should now offer a conditional freeze: Israel will stop all settlement building in the West Bank as soon as the Palestinian Authority sits down at the bargaining table, and the freeze will continue as long as the talks continue in good faith.

The first issue on the table should be the rough borders of a Palestinian state. Setting those would require recognizing that the West Bank can be realistically divided into three effective areas:

• Those that are relatively certain to remain part of Israel, such as Ma'ale Adumim, Gilo and other areas close to the center of Jerusalem.

• Those that are relatively certain to become part of a Palestinian state, such as Ramallah, Jericho, Jenin and the vast majority of the heavily populated Arab areas of the West Bank beyond Israel's security barrier.

• Those reasonably in dispute, including some of the large settlement blocs several miles from Jerusalem such as Ariel (which may well remain part of Israel, but subject to negotiated land swaps).

This rough division is based on prior negotiations and on positions already articulated by each side. If there can be agreement concerning this preliminary division—even tentative or conditional—then the settlement-building dispute would quickly disappear.

There would be no Israeli building in those areas likely to become part of a Palestinian state. There would be no limit on Israeli building within areas likely to remain part of Israel. And the conditional freeze would continue in disputed areas until it was decided which will remain part of Israel and which will become part of the new Palestinian state. As portions of the disputed areas are allocated to Palestine or Israel, the building rules would reflect that ongoing allocation.

I recently proposed this idea to a high-ranking Israeli official. His initial reaction was mostly positive, but he insisted that it would be difficult to impose an absolute building freeze in any areas in which Israelis currently live. He pointed out that families grow and that new bedrooms and bathrooms are needed in existing structures as a simple matter of humanitarian needs. I reminded him that Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that Israel is prepared to make "painful compromises" in the interests of peace.

An absolute building freeze would be such a painful but necessary compromise. It might also encourage residents of settlements deep in the West Bank to move to areas that will remain part of Israel, especially if the freeze were accompanied by financial inducements to relocate.

Such a proposal by Israel would be an important first step and a good test of the bona fides of the Palestinian side. Since their precondition to negotiation will have been met by the promise of a freeze (to begin the moment they sit down to negotiate), they would have no further excuse for refusing the Israeli offer to try to resolve the conflict.

The conditional freeze would also test the bona fides of the Israeli government, which would no longer have the excuse that any freeze would risk toppling a fragile coalition that relies on right-wingers who have threatened to withdraw in the event of another freeze. The new national unity government is now sufficiently large and diverse that it could now survive a walk-out by elements opposed to any freeze.

Once the parties reach a preliminary agreement regarding the three areas and what could be built where, they could get down to the nitty-gritty of working on compromises to produce an enduring peace.

These compromises will require the Israelis to give up claims to areas of the West Bank that were part of Biblical Israel but that are heavily populated by Palestinians. It will require the Palestinians to give up any claim to a massive "right of return" for the millions of descendents of those who once lived in what is now Israel. It will require an agreement over Jerusalem, plus assurances about Israel's security in the Jordan Valley and in areas that could pose the threat of rocket attacks like those that have come from the Gaza Strip in recent years.

Both sides say they want peace. In my conversations with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, I have repeatedly heard the view that "everyone" knows what a pragmatic, compromise resolution will look like. Each side claims that the other side has erected artificial barriers to reaching that resolution.

If the building freeze issue can be taken off the table, one of the most controversial and divisive barriers will have been eliminated. The Israeli government should take the first step, but the Palestinian Authority must take the second step by immediately sitting down to negotiate in good faith.

Mr. Dershowitz is a law professor at Harvard. His latest book is "Trials of Zion" (Grand Central Publishing, 2010).

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« Reply #1624 on: June 12, 2012, 12:55:50 PM »

These groups - which involve many entertainers - refer to Israel as an "Apartheid State."  How ignorant can they possibly be?

Time for Israel Supporters to Fight Back
Posted By Sammy Levine On June 8, 2012 Frontpagemag.com

With Israel’s vast military supremacy over its enemies—including Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran—the only effective weapon these Israel-haters currently have is the delegitimization of the Jewish State. This delegitimization campaign, which seeks to isolate Israel as a unique menace in the world, utilizes the media, world bodies such as the U.N., professors and entertainers, and complicit “peace activists” to tarnish Israel’s image and reputation. This campaign makes Israel out to be the aggressor and the obstacle to peace, in contrast to the poor Palestinians who just want their land back.

Perhaps it is no surprise then that Israel’s borders have been relatively quiet during the last couple years, as Hamas and Hezbollah are happy to let this worldwide public relations campaign—buttressed by the political left—play out. After all, why waste valuable resources and suicide bombers, when you can rely on Western “pro-peace” organizations and “useful idiots” to chip away at Israel bit by bit, to the point where the country is coerced into making one-sided concessions that embolden its genocidal enemies?

Left-wing, self-proclaimed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organizations such as J-Street and Americans for Peace Now, are unintentional accomplices to this cultural war against Israel, by placing most of the blame for the conflict on Israeli “settlements.” But blaming the Israeli “settlements” for the Israel/Palestinian conflict is like blaming Britain’s fire bombing of Dresden for World War II.

The Israeli “occupation” started 20 years after the failed genocidal war against Israel in 1948. The building of the “settlements” was initiated after the “Six Day War” of 1967, in an attempt to buffer the heart of Israel from its war-hungry enemies. The “settlements” are not the cause of the conflict, but rather a consequence of it.

Picking up on this false narrative, organizations such as “Big Campaign” are spearheading a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks to destroy Israel economically. Many popular entertainers, such as the Pixies, have cancelled their performances in Israel because of pressure from these anti-Israel hate groups.

Macy Grey had this to say before her performance in Israel: “I’m getting a lot of letters from activists urging/begging me to boycott by NOT performing.” She decided to perform, but other acts, such as U2, Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen, are simply refusing invitations to perform in Israel, in order to avoid aggravation from the Israel haters.

Roger Waters, former front man of Pink Floyd, has embraced the BDS campaign, and is encouraging others to join him. He said this about his decision to boycott Israel:

In my view, the abhorrent and draconian control that Israel wields over the besieged Palestinians In Gaza, and the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), coupled with its denial of the rights of refugees to return to their homes in Israel, demands that fair minded people around the world support the Palestinians in their civil, nonviolent resistance…For me it means declaring my intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their governments racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it satisfies three basic human rights demanded in international law.

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands [occupied since 1967] and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

It is important to note Roger Waters’ 3rd demand, the right of return, which would destroy Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and turn it into another Muslim-dominated country in the Middle East.

Elvis Costello also cancelled his scheduled performance in Israel a couple years ago, saying:

There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act … and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent…I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security[.]

Israel supporters must fight back against Roger Waters, Elvis Costello and the many others who are engaging in this cultural war against Israel. It is not enough to just fight back in the realm of ideas, although this is essential to combat misguided organizations such as J-Street. We must also fight fire with fire.

That is why I created Counter-Boycott, an organization that will inform Israel supporters about those who wish to economically destroy Israel.

Counter-Boycott will take out advertisements in cities where boycotting artists are performing, to encourage consumers not to purchase tickets to their shows. Lastly, Counter-Boycott will highlight those courageous musicians, such as Madonna and Elton John, who perform in Israel despite the onslaught of hate from the boycott organizations.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to remove the disgusting stigma of Israel as a racist, oppressive country. Performing in Israel should not be perceived as a political act. Artists should not be fearful or ashamed of performing in Israel.

With enough help, we can push back against those who are pressuring many entertainers to cancel their performances in Israel. We must make it clear that seeking to delegitimize and isolate Israel will not go unnoticed.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
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« Reply #1625 on: June 15, 2012, 01:59:12 PM »



No Honor Among Thieves: Infighting Dooms New Hamas Convoy
IPT News
June 14, 2012
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3626/no-honor-among-thieves-infighting-dooms-new-hamas

 
Participants in the latest convoy to deliver supplies to Hamas-controlled Gaza are lashing out at British MP George Galloway and his aides for "incompetence" and "increasingly bizarre and dangerous decisions" after the effort fell short of crossing into the Palestinian territory.

Original plans called for the convoy to leave England in April and cross into Gaza from Egypt by May 15. That date marks the "Nakba," or the "catastrophe" of Israeli independence in 1948. Instead, the sixth Viva Palestina convoy never reached its destination.

Egypt refused to let the convoy pass despite weeks of effort.

It clearly caught Galloway off guard. He wrote that the Arab Spring power change in Egypt erased a ban on his entry into the country and he promised to lead the convoy as it crossed the border into Gaza to deliver "50 packed vans and lorries."
Galloway, voted back into Parliament in March representing Bradford after being defeated in 2010, said his return to office "will be a boost to me in the fight for Gaza and Palestine and for all Arab and humanitarian issues. I will invest all the opportunities available to raise issues that we both believe in it."

Representatives of several countries bailed on Viva Palestina's "Right of Return Convoy" even before it stalled in Jordan after Galloway refused to chart a course avoiding Syria, where government forces continue to massacre civilians rising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The New Zealand delegation unanimously withdrew, saying it didn't want Assad's regime "making political capital from any humanitarian mission to Gaza."

But that's exactly what happened. Syrian officials, including military officials, feted the convoy. A governor of a major town greeted the convoy and an organizer wrote that the Syrian government "will provide us complete protection and security" while in the country.

Galloway has long enjoyed warm relations with the Assad government, working closely with it on past convoys. Last summer, he told Hizballah's Al-Manar channel that Assad was drawing international criticism "because of the good things that he did such as supporting Palestinian and Lebanese resistance and rejecting to surrender to Israel."

Galloway hailed Assad in a 2005 speech as "the last Arab ruler, and Syria is the last Arab country. It is the fortress of remaining dignity of the Arabs." "Syria," he said in a separate appearance that July, "is lucky to have Bashar Al-Assad as her president."

Galloway and his Viva Palestina (VP) acolytes seem to be in agreement, however, that Gaza is lucky to have the terrorist group Hamas in control. From Galloway's infamous display of a bag of cash given to a Hamas minister in 2009 to his and VP's frequent meetings with Hamas leaders, the group works to enhance Hamas' place as "the elected government of Palestine."

Galloway's refusal to avoid dealing with the unelected government of Syria prompted Turkish and Jordanian groups to distance themselves, too.

"I don't understand the purpose of those criticisms," Galloway said. "We travel through all countries that lead to Palestine."
"By going into Syria," a London-based supporter said, "they ARE taking sides" with the government.

A state-run Syrian news agency quoted a convoy official demurring about the country's strife. "What is taking place in Syria is a Syrian affair," the unnamed official reportedly said, "and we are guests of the Syrian people and respect their right to determine their destiny without foreign interferences."

The Syrian excursion may not have been the sole cause of Egypt's rejection. An analysis by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center pointed to violence that broke out between convoy participants and Egyptian officers during a January 2010 trip. "At that time they confronted the Egyptian security forces in a kind of rehearsal for the events aboard the Mavi Marmara a few months later."

That led Egypt to declare Galloway unwelcome in the country, a move since rescinded after Hosni Mubarak's ouster last year.
The Mavi Marmara was part of a Turkish-led flotilla which, deliberately aimed to confront Israel's embargo on shipments to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Nine people on the ship died in May 2010 after they attacked Israeli commandos with knives, clubs and other weapons as they soldiers tried to board.

Though a United Nations report found that the embargo is legal and rooted in "a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza stopping weapons from being smuggled," Galloway and flotilla organizers persist and provoke more confrontations.

Galloway's mishandling of the itinerary doesn't mean supplies aren't flowing into Gaza. A similar effort dubbed "Miles of Smiles" was greeted Sunday by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

"The arrival of the convoy is a new page of the Jihad against the occupation of the Palestinian territories," said the group's leader, Jordanian Sheikh Hammam Saeed, in an article published on the Hamas military wing's website. Saeed also heads the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Miles of Smiles convoy includes leaders from Interpal, a British organization designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2003 for supporting Hamas. Interpal is also a member of the Union of the Good, designated by the U.S. in 2008 for supporting and transferring funds to Hamas.

The convoy's general director, Essam Yusuf, also known as Essam Mustafa, is the managing trustee and vice chairman of Interpal.  The convoy also includes members of the New Zealand and Malaysian groups which broke off from Viva Palestina's latest convoy over the Syria issue.

One participant described meeting Haniyeh for lunch, calling the Hamas leader "a seemingly humble man with a kind face that emanates sincere respect for whoever he is speaking with."

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya welcomed the 13th Miles of Smiles convoy, presenting participants with a plaque showing "a shield surrounding Jerusalem, stressing that liberation has become closer than ever before."

Efforts like this helps them "feel that the date for the liberation of Jerusalem is soon," al-Hayya said, "and when you come and express solidarity with us, we feel that we are not alone but the entire free world is helping us and standing with us."

The convoy also met with Hamas hardliner Mahmoud al-Zahar, who told the group, "Today we begin a new cycle of civilization without injustice nor occupation nor colonization. The Arab revolutions today are the best proof to unity of peoples and their rallying around the choice of resistance and liberation. These convoys are only miles away from stepping towards the liberation of the man and Palestine from the filth of the occupation."

Despite Galloway's failure, the episode further reinforces that his Viva Palestina operation and those like it are rooted in an ambition to prop up the Hamas regime in Gaza more than in a desire to help Palestinians. Since its inception in 2009, Viva Palestina has sought to elevate Hamas politically and financially and has delivered millions of dollars to the Hamas government. Similarly, the Miles of Smiles convoys have met with Hamas leaders during their trips to Gaza, beginning in 2009. Interpal has played a key role in dispatching the Miles of Smiles convoys, and in providing funds to Hamas' infrastructure.

Earlier this month, the UK Charity Commission again cleared Interpal of any wrongdoing, despite the U.S. designation of the group. And the Commission cleared Viva Palestina for its support of Hamas in March 2010, despite the mounting evidence that Viva Palestina and Galloway delivered aid to the terrorist group
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« Reply #1626 on: June 16, 2012, 11:12:34 PM »

"The next time an Israeli official petitions the U.S. government to release American traitor Jonathan Pollard from prison, we should tell our friend and longtime ally in an unequivocal tone: He will die in an American prison, so stop asking!"

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/16/opinion/roland-martin-pollard/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
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« Reply #1627 on: June 17, 2012, 01:31:02 PM »

JDN,

I am certainly no expert on this case but at least one thing bothers me about it.  Listening to radio programs on this it is alleged that NO other person accused of passing information to an ally has ever been given a life sentence.   No one has ever served as much time for a similar crime.   Thus the question begets, what gives here?

It really does sound like some sort of vendetta.   I really don't understand why he is not by now released.  Is something else going on, we the publick are not privy to?

http://www.jonathanpollard.org/facts.htm

As for Roland Martin,  I again ask what liberal Black Democrat has ever spoken publically in defense of Jews, or Israel?

If ths Martin rant you posted does not have an anti-semitic "scent" to it, I do not know what does.

If you ask me, liberal Jews have done more than any other minority to stick up for Blacks.  This is an example of the thanks they get.

While I am Jewish I am not liberal.  That said I do sympathize with the history of the way Blacks have been treated in the in the US.

It is astounding how they have not been included in American life.   I still cannot believe that only a generation ago they were segregated let alone slaves a few generations ago.

That said, I don't feel like just rolling over and allowing that *angry* Martin guy to get away with this rant.

It is really interesting to see how so many Jews have helped Obama politically over the decades and still do.  Yet what he has done is write a book about his Muslim Communist probably Jew hating father who he never knew (Dreams FROM my father).  He joined a Church in Chicago when it was poltically expedient with a Reverend who is obviously NOT "enamored" with Jews (to put it mildly).

We see pictures of him wearing yamukahs and recently giving  the Medal of Freedom to Shimon Peres when he needs our votes.   He even has Peres make the ridiculous statement when accepting the award that he appreciates the "fact" that Obama "never took  all options off the table!!!"

Well excuse me, the military option was cearly NEVER on the table and I am not sure if it is now.  It was always about talks, sanctions and the rest of the soft stuff.  Any idiot could see that.   So did the Iran leadership.  Anyway I am going off on a tangent.
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« Reply #1628 on: June 17, 2012, 01:39:00 PM »

"During Pollard's trial, he was accused of also attempting to pass classified information in to Australia, South Africa and Pakistan."

Is this so?  If so, I have been unaware of it.

Separately, I note the author's lack of rage at the recent giving up of secret intel to the who fg world , , ,

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« Reply #1629 on: June 17, 2012, 02:10:22 PM »

"Separately, I note the author's lack of rage at the recent giving up of secret intel to the who fg world , , ,"

Great point.

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« Reply #1630 on: June 17, 2012, 09:14:27 PM »

George Tenet (Director of the CIA) said he then told Clinton that it was “the wrong thing to do” and that “if Pollard is released, I will no longer be the director of central intelligence in the morning.”

The President's willingness to consider clemency for Pollard so upset the intelligence community that its leaders took an unusual step: they began to go public. In early December, four retired admirals who had served as director of Naval Intelligence circulated an article, eventually published in the Washington Post, in which they argued that Pollard's release would be "irresponsible" and a victory for what they depicted as a "clever public relations campaign."

He is a despicable traitor that was lucky to only get life imprisonment.  Perhaps he should have been sentenced to death like the Rosenbergs were for being traitors.  Further, interestingly enough, much of the information Pollard had ended up in Russian hands; remember this was the Cold War. 

As for the military option never being on the table; well good.  We do NOT need another war in the middle east and war wit Iran would cost us greatly.  And frankly, I don't think
the majority of Americans want war with Iran either.  Or Korea, or....  anyone else for that matter.  The repercussions for America would be devastating. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1631 on: June 17, 2012, 11:06:36 PM »

I suppose the law and the punishment is the same whether you are spying for an enemy or spying for an ally, probably not contemplated in the law.

I don't have enough information to know what I think of the Jonathon Pollard case, but in that I hope we are in cooperation with Israel on intelligence and defense matters it would seem this is a case more suitable for a Presidential pardon than most of Hugh Rodham's bought friends.

If this were Russia, Communist China, Iran or VenezChavezuela, you know we would chomping at the bit to appease them.
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JDN
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« Reply #1632 on: June 18, 2012, 09:10:00 AM »

I suppose the law and the punishment is the same whether you are spying for an enemy or spying for an ally, probably not contemplated in the law.

I don't have enough information to know what I think of the Jonathon Pollard case, but in that I hope we are in cooperation with Israel on intelligence and defense matters it would seem this is a case more suitable for a Presidential pardon than most of Hugh Rodham's bought friends.


Doug, do you know of any crime, anyone more hideous and destructive to our country than a traitor?
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ccp
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« Reply #1633 on: June 18, 2012, 09:17:48 AM »

"Doug, do you know of any crime, anyone more hideous and destructive to our country than a traitor?"

How about a WH staff that releases sensitive security intelligence to the whole world for political gain?

Obama saying he did not "authorize it" bespeaks that he knew.

He didn't "authorize it" but he knew and winked.  At least that is what it sounds like to me.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1634 on: June 18, 2012, 10:27:19 AM »

"I don't have enough information to know what I think of the Jonathon Pollard case, but in that I hope we are in cooperation with Israel on intelligence and defense matters it would seem this is a case more suitable for a Presidential pardon than most of Hugh Rodham's bought friends."

I too make no pretense of sufficient knowledge of the case and certainly many of our people have a serious hard-on for Pollard (and I have no clear sense of what that means in that there are many seriously anti-Israeli players in the highest levels of our military (e.g. Gen. Zinni), agencies, and Foggy Bottom) but in passing I note I disagree with the logic of the relevance of the various purchased pardons from President Clinton (including the Marc Rich pardon shepherded to successful conclusion by now AG Holder  angry ) to any appropriate standard for pardons.   
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1635 on: July 13, 2012, 08:49:31 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/world/middleeast/service-to-israel-tugs-at-arab-citizens-identity.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120713
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1636 on: July 16, 2012, 06:26:39 PM »

This source is unknown to me:


July 16, 2012
Israel's Oil Weapon

Seemingly out of nowhere, geopolitics have been all but turned upside down in the Middle East, thanks to the discovery of massive energy resources in Israeli territory.  As a nascent Oil Power, the Jewish State is only beginning to contemplate the new dynamics of influence available to it.
The world knows Vladimir Putin as President of Russia; however, to Putin's official title, allow me to suggest a second appellation, unofficial, but no less descriptive:  Israel's New Best Friend.  Until recently, one could characterize Russia's position vis-à-vis Israel as, at best ambivalent:  cordial relations with Jerusalem on the one hand, while supplying weapons, nuclear technology and other assistance to her enemies on the other.
But Putin's late June visit to Israel signaled, and was meant to signal, a sea-change in Russia-Israel relations -- "sea" as in Mediterranean sea, where in 2009, 50 miles off the Israeli coast, geologists discovered "an estimated 8.3 tcf (trillion cubic feet) of highest-quality natural gas," to be surpassed just a year later with the discovery of a second field, named Leviathan, of an additional 16 tcf, "making it the world's biggest deep-water gas find in a decade" and causing Israel to go from "a gas famine to feast in a matter of months."  Other estimates put the Leviathan reserves as high as 20 tcf.
Needless to say, these discoveries could not be more timely, coming at about the same time as the Muslim Brotherhood's ascension to power and acts of sabotage in Egypt jeopardize the reliability of natural gas supplies to Israel from that country.  Who says that God does not retain a special place in his heart for His Chosen People?
But of more earthly, and material, concern than the Almighty's mysterious affection for an ancient tribe of itinerant sheepherders, is Russian energy giant Gazprom's love of lucrative gas extraction contracts with the Jewish state.  After all, oil and gas discoveries of such magnitude are about as rare as the sight of Vladimir Putin, praying at the Western, wall in a yarmulke.  Or taking the Palestinians' side against the Israelis' as energetically in the future as he has in the past.  For, as Jerusalem Post columnist Isi Leibler notes, while Putin "heads a country which has ties and provides weapons to some of [Israel's] greatest enemies including Iran and Syria" and "tends to support the Palestinian position, both as a member of the Quartet and at the UN",
[Putin's] visit to Israel unquestionably sends clear signals.  Even recognizing major divergence of policies in relation to Iran and Syria, and that Putin's tensions with the United States and interests in the Arab world preclude [Israel] from considering him a partner, it sends a message to the Arabs that Russia is not an enthusiastic ally in their efforts to undermine the Jewish state.
Or at least not while the rubles are flowing into Gazprom's coffers, anyway.  But it's not just the Benjamins (Netanyahu or $100 bills, take your pick).  Both countries share ambivalent and sometimes strained relations with Turkey; concerns about the dark side of the Arab Spring, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic fundamentalism; and concerns about events in Syria.
Some of Israel's European critics might also want to rethink their anti-Israel stances and the barely disguised anti-Semitism that inspires them, or at least tone it down a bit should they want, at some future time, a piece of the Israeli oil-pie.  As Victor Davis Hansen asks, "Will Europe still snub Israel when it has as much oil, gas, and money as an OPEC member in the Persian Gulf?"  Well, I'm pretty sure they'll want to, but as De Gaulle famously said, "France has no friends, only interests."  I suppose we'll find out soon enough whether France has no enemies, either.  In the meantime, Walter Russell Mead simplystates the obvious when he says that "
regardless of the simple economic impact, in different ways and different degrees the Gulf countries and Russia are going to lose a lot of the political advantages that their energy wealth now gives them.  They will have less ability to restrict supply and to manipulate prices than they have had in the past. Oil and gas are going to be less special when supplies are more abundant and more broadly distributed.
To which this writer would only add:  especially when a major source of these "more abundant and broadly distributed" supplies is a stable, democratic friend and ally.
And finally there is America.  For Russia, it's the traditional East-West rivalry.  But for Israel, it is not so much America the country as it is her current, and hapless, president, Barack Obama and the Israel-hostile fellow travelers who populate his administration.  For the first time since, perhaps, the Eisenhower administration, Israel has good reason, at least while Obama is in power, to question our reliability as an ally.  And Putin has an obvious incentive to exploit Jerusalem's doubts by moving closer to Israel in the hope of creating a concomitant distance between Israel and the U.S.  Indeed, he mayalready be doing so (emphases below mine):
Putin's arrival in the region must be viewed in contrast to President Obama, who has yet to visit Israel....  President Putin's visit was clearly calculated to be the mirror image of Obama's last visit to the region.  In a similar manner, while Obama chose to talk to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his first overseas telephone call as president, Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on the phone immediately after Putin's return to the presidency in May. [...]
What's more, not only did Putin begin his tour of the Middle East in Israel, he also made a point in visiting holy Christian and Jewish sites, while entirely skipping the Muslim shrines.  He met with Christian and Jewish religious leaders but avoided meeting any Muslim clergy.  Even when visiting the Palestinian Authority, Putin chose to come to Bethlehem -- a Christian site -- rather than Ramallah.  Whereas Obama chose to reach out to Islam and the Palestinians during his famous 2009 speech in Cairo, Putin chose to appear as the defender of Christianity in the Middle East, outreaching to Judaism and playing down the Palestinian case.  [...]
Indeed, when [Putin] insisted on negotiations instead of unilateral steps as the right path towards the resolution of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict, he practically endorsed Israel's stance on the matter.
I mention the above as a cautionary note.  Israel has a lot more than oil to offer Russia -- and China, and India -- than oil.  She also has brainpower and all the technological prowess that goes along with it, and here I mean, especially, military technology, which, I think we all can agree, our competitors and enemies would very much like to have.  What Israel does not have a lot of, is money.  But Russia, India and, especially, China, have oodles of the stuff, much of it formerly ours.  And I would not count the Israelis themselves out, either:  as more and more Israeli energy exporting infrastructure comes online, and the revenues start flowing in, Israel might, one day, have substantial funds of her own to put in the pot.  Yes, Israel loves us -- but do they love us enough to commit national suicide for us?  Israel is a tiny country, surrounded by enemies both potential and real, and like any country in such a situation, relies on alliances and partnerships with larger ones.  Which country, or countries, one allies with, however, is of considerably lesser importance when survival is the issue and let's be brutally honest, here.  If you were Benjamin Netanyahu, and Barack Obama were your ally, would you want to put all of your alliance eggs in one basket?
So as he continues to lambaste Israel on the one hand, while schmoozing Israel's rivals and enemies on the other, and assuming that an Israeli-designed anti-missile missile could shoot down an American missile as well as it can an Arab -- or Chinese, or Russian -- one, President Obama might wish to ponder the geopolitical implications of the day, if it ever comes, that the Israelis decide that they don't need us anymore.
But we were talking about oil, about how the new Israeli discoveries make Israel, for the first time in her history, both energy-independent and an increasingly desirable ally and partner for any number of rich, powerful and above all, energy-hungry, countries.  So let's look at the military implications of Israel's emergence as an "energy superpower" and how her energy independence can benefit not just her, but us, too.
Many of us older folks remember well the Arab oil embargo of 1973, Sheik Yamani, a sweater-clad Jimmy Carter turning down the thermostat in the White House and, above all, the breathless anticipation with which the world would await the result of each price-setting meeting of the then-all powerful (or at least so it seemed) Arab oil cartel.  Fortunately, we haven't heard from the cartel in a while and with an oil-rich Israel more than happy to help her Western friends -- and hurt her Arab (and Venezuelan) enemies -- by ramping up her own production to offset any lost production from production reductions elsewhere, we may never hear from them again.
But of course, any introduction of new supply will push oil prices down everywhere and reduce revenues for everyone.  Including, of course, Iran.  So if you're Israel, with an enemy as implacable -- and oil-revenue dependent -- as Iran, why wait for an embargo?  Why not flood the world with as much oil, as fast, and as cheaply, you can?  Need oil, mister?  Oy, have I got a deal for you....
And finally, regarding Iran, there is the military application:  Iran's nuclear facilities are hidden deep underground, but her oilfields are not.  Most, if not all, of Iran's oil production infrastructure is above ground, vulnerable to attack and, oh, by the way, oil is extremely flammable.  By impairing Iran's oilfields, which the Israeli air force probably could do, Israel could bring the Iranian economy, and the Mullahs who rule it, to its and their knees.  Indeed, one can only assume that the only reason the Israelis haven't already done so is the predicted effect on oil prices and the predictable cries of outrage from the "international community" guaranteed to arise therefrom.  But with Israel ready, willing and able to replace any lost Iranian oil in quantities sufficient to keep world oil prices stable or even lower...?
Since the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., through centuries of conquest, revolt and exile, Jews have dreamed of -- and fought for, and died for -- the day when a restored, militarily strong, truly independent Israel would rise and resume her rightful place among the nations of the world.
With Israel's newfound energy supplies, and the will and wisdom to exploit those supplies to her advantage, that day may not be far off.
Gene Schwimmer is the pundit-proprietor of Schwimmerblog and the author of The Christian State.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/israels_oil_weapon.html#ixzz20njeRQ8v
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bigdog
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« Reply #1637 on: July 18, 2012, 06:32:47 AM »

http://thehill.com/video/house/238505-house-votes-to-strengthen-ties-with-israel-sends-bill-to-obama
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1638 on: July 18, 2012, 09:45:43 AM »

Two Sides of the Same Flag: How Israel's Natural Gas Will Change the World
By Marin Katusa

Relations amongst the countries of the Middle East revolve around religion and historic allegiances. The region's Muslim countries are divided into Sunni and Shiite camps while Jews and Christians are in a constant battle for representation. The historic Camp David peace accord between Egypt and Israel has provided a cornerstone for regional relations for years (though it is showing signs of strain in the post-Mubarak era), and the United States has long supported these two nations alongside Saudi Arabia and its allies while Russia shored up Iran, Syria, and those in the opposing group. Grievances often go back decades, if not longer, and there are so many interested parties that it is nigh impossible to move without stepping on someone's toes.

But there is one force that is more powerful in the pulsing Middle East than even religion: energy.

Oil and gas mean money and power, two great enablers that make anything possible. Why else would one of the world's most conservative Muslim countries - Saudi Arabia - align itself so closely with the United States, a showcase of liberal thought and personal freedom?

As the birthplace of three major religions, the Middle East was destined for conflict, but the presence of vast energy wealth has amplified and complicated those tensions a hundredfold. It's a global truth that those with energy resources hold the cards and those without domestic energy supplies have to do whatever is necessary to ensure they are dealt a hand. The Middle East is home to a disproportionate number of countries in the former category - countries bloated with the power that comes with oil wealth.

Not every country in the region fits that bill, however. For years Israel's Achilles heel has been energy - or a lack thereof. Netanyahu's old joke is that Moses led his people through the desert for 40 years to the only place in the Middle East without any oil. Decades of drilling and digging yielded no significant hydrocarbons, leaving Israel with no choice but to spend 5% of its GDP buying fuel from neighboring suppliers... with whom its interests conflicted and its relations were uneasy at best.

Now that is all changing. In recent years, trillions of cubic feet of natural gas have been discovered in Israeli waters while 250 billion barrels of shale oil have been outlined in the country's rocks. Whether Israel will become a significant oil producer is still very uncertain, as the economics of its shale deposits are far from proven, but the nation is already preparing for a future funded by natural gas exports.

This shift will generate welcome cash flow for Israel, but even more significant than the country's newfound wealth will be its newfound political might. Israel is already receiving visits from new friends and potential business partners, some of them countries that have avoided or even opposed Israel until now. Russia is leading that pack, having pointedly placed itself at the front of the line of nations wanting to secure a piece of Israel's gas pie - and this is the same Russia that usually supports two of Israel's greatest enemies, Iran and Syria.

In the boiling, roiling Middle East, new allegiances are never simple. Befriending one nation almost always requires you to turn your back on another, and changing camps is not easily forgotten. Those wanting access to Israel's natural gas will also have to navigate a treacherous international obstacle course, as contested maritime borders mean that Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and even Gaza all lay some claim to Israel's vast offshore gas fields.

But remember: the wealth and power that come with energy are a great enabler. Israel will develop its gas riches. To do so, the country will need partners and buyers, and those who line up to participate will be doing so in the full knowledge that an Israel with energy wealth represents a completely new player in the Middle Eastern game (a development that could well ignite a "Cold War" over energy).

Israel's Natural Gas Revolution

The story of Israel's romance with natural gas starts in 2000, when a consortium led by Noble Energy drilled into an offshore target called Mari-B. A few holes later, the group had defined 1 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of recoverable natural gas, and by 2004 the Mari-B field was in full production. Israelis embraced a domestic energy resource: natural gas consumption rose as quickly as the country could build infrastructure to produce and transport it.
 
One good discovery often prompts another, and such was the case with Israeli gas and Noble Energy. In 2006, the American firm snapped up the chance to earn into the nearby Tamar block, which had not yet been drilled because the previous operator had shied away from the area's exceptionally high underground pressures. Noble's geologists ran every test they could and decided Tamar's potential was worth the risk. They were right: with two wells, Noble defined 9 TCF of gross natural gas resources at Tamar, of which 6.3 TCF are considered recoverable. It was the largest deepwater natural gas discovery in the world in 2009, and it came just in time.

As the graph above shows, Israel's natural gas revolution quickly pushed demand from almost zero to beyond Mari-B's ability to supply it. Fortunately, there was a country close by with lots of natural gas for sale: Egypt. In 2005, the East Mediterranean Gas Company pipeline opened, connecting the Egyptian city of El Arish to the Israeli port of Ashkelon. By 2008, Israel had 170 MCF of gas pouring in from Egypt every day. Mari-B supplied the rest, and Israel became dependent on natural gas to produce 20% of its electricity. However, all good things must come to an end.

Today, Mari-B is running dry, and relations with Egypt are on rough ground. The peace accord between Egypt and Israel only thinly concealed the never-extinguished Egyptian enmity towards Israel, and the Egyptian opposition - everyone from Islamists to Arab nationalists and leftists - has long regarded the Camp David accord with disgust. The gas deal that built and filled the pipeline was a tangible product of that hated peace accord, and the opposition has declaimed it since the day it was signed, certain that Israel and Mubarak had conspired to cheat Egypt out of its gas revenues.

Those opposition parties are now filling the seats of Egypt's parliament. The parliament itself is frozen, caught in a complex legal limbo, but no matter - a series of bombings disabled the gas pipeline to Israel last year, and it has not been operational since. The days of Israel relying on Egypt for gas - and of Egypt pocketing a nice stream of revenue from Israel - are over.
Thankfully for Israel, timing is everything. Development work at Tamar is running on schedule, and the first wells are expected to come online before the end of the year. A smaller field called Noa was sped into production to bridge the gap until Tamar can start supplying Israel's needs.

It won't be long, however, until Israel is pumping far more gas than it needs.

Beyond Tamar

Mari-B was a big discovery and Tamar was even bigger, but they both pale in comparison to the reservoir that Noble drilled into next. Shortly after delineating 9 TCF at Tamar, Noble spudded a drill into a nearby field call Leviathan and hit a home run. The Leviathan field is absolutely enormous, home to 17 TCF of gross natural gas resource.  Adding in a 7-TCF discovery in offshore Cyprus and several other, smaller discoveries near Leviathan, Noble has now discovered no less than 35 TCF of gross natural gas resource in the region. It is far more gas than Israel could ever use.
 
Export plans are already afoot. Noble and partners aim to build a liquefaction plant so that Tamar's gas wealth can be exported globally in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). They actually hope to build a floating facility, in large part because land is so precious in Israel, and to that end they are watching Royal Dutch Shell's progress as it builds and commissions the world's first floating LNG plant for use in a field off Australia.

Even though it will be years before any LNG is produced in Israel, Russia is so keen to get its hands on Israeli LNG that state energy giant Gazprom has already signed a letter of intent with the Noble group to discuss a deal to buy 2 to 3 million tonnes of LNG annually, starting in 2016. A few months later, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Israel, and among the announcements associated with that historic trip came news that Gazprom is setting up an Israeli subsidiary to help develop Leviathan.

Once the massive Leviathan field also gets into production, Israel will need every natural gas export avenue it can find. To that end, the country has been carefully cultivating its relationships with Cyprus and Greece, through which pipelines to Europe would pass (Turkey will not allow Israeli gas to cross its lands). It seems Israel's gas wealth is already generating new international allegiances: Israel, Russia, Cyprus, and Greece seem to be gravitating towards each other to form a new team in the Middle Eastern game.

New Camps in the Old Battleground

That things are changing so quickly is no surprise. The countries along both coasts of the Persian Gulf erupted into global prominence in the 1970s when world energy shortages catapulted them into previously unimagined wealth and political influence. If Israel emerges as a new power, those Arab countries will remain rich, especially because their energy is cheaper to produce than the more unconventional sources being outlined elsewhere in the world, including in Israel.

But what they keep in money, they may lose in clout. With other oil and gas streams coming on line, such as Canadian oil-sands crude and Arctic oil, we may be heading into a time when the world doesn't care all that much about what happens in the Persian Gulf (as long as nobody gets frisky with nukes).

OPEC nations will not be the only ones to cede ground to an energy-rich Israel - Turkey could be another big loser. For  years Turkey was governed by a secular party, which actively sought out closer relations with Israel. Now the Islamist AK party is in charge, and relations with Israel are on the outs. If Israel does emerge as a new energy powerhouse and establishes a cozy circle with Russia, Greece, and Cyprus, Turkey will feel like someone who ditched a long-time friend right before she won the lottery. More generally, Turkey's ambitions to play a larger role in the politics of the eastern Med will have suffered a significant setback.

Egypt will also struggle with Israel's rise. As much as many Egyptians decried the deal to sell their gas to Israel, the fact is the deal generated considerable incomes for state coffers. That income has now evaporated, just as the country convulses through the aftermath of a revolution. Moreover, Egypt's role as a regional powerhouse stemmed almost exclusively from its secular governance and its peace with Israel - these factors were so important in the old Middle East that the US government supported Egypt to the tune of $3 billion annually. Now Islamists are in power, and the path forward in Egypt's relationship with Israel is very uncertain. We see the country's power waning in the coming years as it finds footing in the new Middle East.

Then there's the United States, which will find its importance to Israel fade if the Jewish state becomes an energy giant with a dance card full of suitors. In the long run, the US could be hurt most of all if its best Middle Eastern friend, Israel, turns away from its embrace and towards the strong, strategic arms of Vladimir Putin.

It's a real possibility - Russia has already wooed Israel into several waltzes. In fact, the two nations have been growing closer for several years despite Russia's support for Iran, Syria, and even Hamas. Bilateral trade is approaching $3 billion annually; Russian immigrants make up 20% of Israel's population; Israel sold military drones and other high-tech weapons to Russia after Russia's poor military performance in Georgia in 2008; and following the Arab Spring, Israel and Russia share an interest in preventing the spread of radical Islam in the Middle East. If Israel can help stem the rising tide of radical Islam and provide Russia with another steady supply of natural gas, Putin must be thinking that perhaps this new friendship is worth the turmoil it will cause.

And cause turmoil it will, because even though alliances in the Middle East are forged over decades, they can also change overnight, especially when the new global currency of energy is at work. Russia is walking a tightrope in its efforts to woo Israel while still supporting Iran and Syria, and Putin may soon have to make a choice between old friends and new. If Russia abandons Iran and Syria, the Sunni-Shiite balance in the region will destabilize just as Islamists are taking power in several countries for the first time.

The old camps of the Middle East are changing. Transitions are rarely smooth, and these transitions in who holds power in the volatile Middle East will almost certainly provide some very rough patches.

Israel clearly sees the potential for trouble as it develops its newfound energy riches. The Israeli Defense Forces recently approved a navy request for four new warships, at a cost of about $750 million. The navy is concerned that the gas rigs being built in Israeli waters will be an attractive target for terrorist attacks, especially if Israel were to find itself in another war.

Israel knows Hezbollah has the capability to fire missiles from land to the gas fields. And Hezbollah may not be the only terrorist group with such lethal capacity - in February, the Israeli navy found an Iranian ship carrying six Nasr-1 radar-guided anti-ship missiles to Gaza; the navy believes the weapons were destined for al-Jihad. In addition, Syria also has its hands on an anti-ship missile that could reach the gas fields. Just imagine what a missile attack by an Islamist foe on an Israeli gas rig would mean for global politics (not to mention the environmental health of the Mediterranean Sea).

Of course, Israel's new warships will only add to a region that is packed with military capacity. Continued tensions over Iran's nuclear program have recently prompted the Islamic Republic and the United States to beef up their already impressive presence in the region. Just yesterday, those tensions led a gunnery team aboard a refueling tanker in the Persian Gulf to fire 0.50-cal rounds at a small, fast-moving boat, killing one person. It now seems the boat was a fishing vessel whose crew did not understand warnings to change course, but the navy personnel who decided to shoot were concerned it could have been an explosives-laden suicide skiff heading for an American warship.

While that altercation was seemingly unrelated to Israeli natural gas, in reality everything that happens in the Middle East is about energy. After all, the United States is drawn to the Middle East to protect its oil interests, and the reason it can act there with such force is because it buys billions of barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia and others in the region.

In a region that revolves around energy resources, Israel has long been at a major disadvantage, scrambling to secure supplies of the oil and gas it needed. Today, all that is changing, and Israel's newfound natural gas wealth will generate a sea change not only for the Jewish state but for the entire region and everyone involved in it. Israel is gaining clout, Russia might be changing sides, Iran is feeling vulnerable, Egypt is losing a major customer, regional and global allegiances are shifting, and we are being reminded that energy resources hold the real power in the world's most volatile region.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1639 on: July 23, 2012, 01:34:20 PM »

Please send any amount via PayPal to the addresses listed if you agree and can afford to do so:

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2012/07/we-must-run-these-pro-israel-ads-.html

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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
DougMacG
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« Reply #1640 on: July 31, 2012, 11:45:17 AM »

"forcibly taking over Jerusalem, giving no compensation, and calling land in the occupied territory your "capital" is illegitimate." - JDN from Glibness thread

Hate speech IMO if you won't back it up.  Defense of your country is "illegal"?  Please cite the law along with a complete list of countries who have broken it.

Singling out Israel while looking the other way for all others reeks of antisemitism.  The same group that puts Assad and Khadafy on the Human Rights Commission lashes out constantly at Israel for committing acts of self defense.

The real question IMHO is this:  Has our half-hearted, wishy-washy support for our best ally in the region* Israel featuring equal respect for the terrorists who attack them been helpful or counterproductive to Middle East peace?

* In your world, who is our best ally in the region?  Which country seeks peace than Israel and more representative of our ideals?

Meanwhile we bow to unelected Arab royalty, Pres. Assad of Syria is a reformer, and Mrs. Arafat is oh so kissable.
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JDN
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« Reply #1641 on: July 31, 2012, 12:37:00 PM »

Hate Speech?   huh  When the entire world agrees with you?  That's not hate speech, hahaha that's the TRUTH.

Israel in a 1967 offensive move invaded and forcibly took over East Jerusalem.  Israel acted like the conquer; it still occupies this foreign territory nor has it seeked compromise nor has any compensation be been offered.  Defense of your country is fine.  No one has a problem if you defend your country.  This is simply wrong.  Maybe Israel's next move will be to conquer all of Jordan and move Israel's capital to Amman? I'm sure you would agree that moving the capital into conquered land would be perfectly legitimate.  Per your request, I would provide a list, but I don't have one of any countries other than Israel in the last 50 years that have forcibly taken land from another nation and moved their capital onto the foreign land.

Quoting your Wikipedia "The international community has rejected the latter annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory held by Israel under military occupation.  The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies."

What part don't you get?  The entire world does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital; it's a military occupation of a foreign land.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1642 on: July 31, 2012, 01:32:37 PM »

And it wasn't hate speech for a certain chancellor if all of Germany agreed with him...  What a bizarre criteria for distinguishing between right and wrong.

While you were driveling around I think you forgot to answer the question, are they our best ally in the region?

Or are they a rogue nation ready to make more unprovoked attacks on neighbors as you suggest?

How can they be both?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1643 on: July 31, 2012, 02:05:19 PM »

Israel was the aggressor in '67?!?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1644 on: July 31, 2012, 04:02:13 PM »

"Israel was the aggressor in '67?!?"

For that to be true you would have to believe that all opposing air raids must complete their missions and all bombs must land and explode before it is "legal" to defend yourself.

FYI to JDN, if you wait until you are dead to respond, you did not act in self defense.  To the contrary, you failed to act in self defense.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1645 on: July 31, 2012, 06:03:56 PM »

On Death and Palestinian Culture
IPT News
July 31, 2012
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3691/on-death-and-palestinian-culture

 
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is taking criticism for remarks about culture in explaining Israel's economic success compared to Palestinians' during a speech in Jerusalem Monday.
"Culture makes all the difference," Romney said.
While Romney denied on Tuesday that his reference was a criticism about Palestinian culture, Palestinian leaders immediately slammed the comment. Palestinian Authority spokesman Saeb Erakat calling it "a racist statement" that ignores the effect occupation has on the Palestinian economy.
What makes Palestinians a unique race has not been explained. But just imagine the outcry if a sitting government official described Palestinians as developing methods "of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people death has become an industry at which women excel."
If a passing reference to "culture" set off Palestinian ire, what might they say about an official saying death is a Palestinian "industry?"
In this case, the comment drew no criticism. It came from Hamas MP Fathi Hammad in remarks broadcast on Hamas' Al-Aqsa television in 2008. According to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Hammad told the enemies of Allah that they "do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its (methods) of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people death has become an industry at which women excel and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly and the mujahideen in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.'"
That line – Palestinians desiring death more than Israelis value life – is invoked often by Palestinian leaders, their supporters and in their media. Three years before Hammad's comments, Hamas commander Raed Sa'ad summed up the distorted educational values that have been successfully instilled in the Palestinian younger generation.
"We have succeeded, with Allah's grace, to raise an ideological generation that loves death like our enemies love life," he said.
Such a message cannot be helpful in luring foreign investors. Political pundits are free to debate the wisdom of Romney's statement as a candidate for president, but abundant examples exist to show that Palestinian culture has embraced a celebration of violence and death in its educational and civic programs.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is credited for working to reverse this tide, building a growing economy on the West Bank and countering the Islamists' violent and extreme agenda. But the PA continues to undermine this effort by glorifying suicide bombers and naming schools, camps and sporting events after terrorists. For example, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) listed more than a dozen West Bank institutions in 2010 that are named for Dalal Mughrabi, who led a team that hijacked a bus packed with tourists in 1978, killing 37 people – 12 of them children – as the terrorists shot passengers and lobbed grenades at passing cars in what is known as the Coastal Road Massacre, one of the worst terrorist attacks in Israel's history.
Another PMW report in December showed how a youth magazine underwritten by the Palestinian Authority offset a generally positive message by publishing a student's praise for Adolph Hitler for killing Jews. Another article hailed a "mighty Jihad fighter [who] died as a Martyr and Jerusalem is proud of its heroes... Victory, victory, victory..."
"All Martyrdom Seekers"
 
Children's programming on the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television has featured a series of characters in recent years extolling the virtues of martyrdom and liberating Palestine from the "filthy" Jew – "enemies of Allah" – on a program called "Pioneers of Tomorrow." MEMRI has showcased a succession of characters and their violent messages for young Palestinians. It started with Farfour, a Mickey Mouse rip-off who was shown being beaten to death by a character playing an Israeli in June 2007. The host, a young girl, told the children watching that Farfour was "martyred at the hand of the criminals, the murderers, the murderers of innocent children."
He was succeeded two weeks later by Nahoul, a bee, who vowed "to continue the path of Farfour, the path of Islam, of heroism, of martyrdom, and of the mujahideen. Me and my friends will follow in the footsteps of Farfour. We will take revenge upon the enemies of Allah, the killers of the prophets and of the innocent children, until we liberate al-Aqsa from their impurity."
Children were shown Nahoul's death seven months later. He was replaced by Assud, a pink rabbit, who mourned Nahoul and asked the young host, ""We are all martyrdom seekers, are we not, Saraa?"
"Of course we are," she replies. "We are ready to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our homeland ... We will liberate al-Aqsa from the filth of those Zionists."
In response to a caller, Assud promises to "get rid of the Jews, Allah willing, and I will eat them up, Allah willing, right?"
"Allah willing," Saraa says.
In 2009, yet another character, a bear named Nassur, pledged to "join the ranks of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades [the Hamas military wing] and I will wage Jihad among them, and I will carry a gun," a MEMRI translation shows.
As if that were not enough, a 2007 episode featured a segment called "The Gifted," showed a child purported to be 2 years old, dressed in camouflage, acting out maneuvers with a toy automatic rifle.
"God planted in his heart love for our country so he'll become a holy warrior," the child host says. "For he has chosen this path and in his young age came to love the training methods of Holy Warriors and 'Shahids' (Martyrs) who serve God's ways. Let's see what the kid does. Let's get to know him."
After the video, the host explains "Our friend Ahmad continues in this path as do all Palestinian children ... We'll wear the 'battle-vest of self-sacrifice (explosive belt) and follow the path of the Shahids."
This is not to say all Palestinians agree with the message, or that it is the sole cause of Palestinian economic problems. But it is a theme consistently set by elected leaders of both Hamas in Gaza and of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
It bears repeating that the Hamas charter specifically rules out any peaceful settlement in the conflict with Israel, saying "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
In response to Romney's statement, Palestinians blamed Israeli occupation. But after Hamas took over Gaza after Israel's unilateral withdrawal, the group opted to rain thousands of rockets on civilian communities in Israel, drawing both retaliation and an embargo aimed at keeping Hamas from importing materials to make more weapons.
A United Nations report found that the embargo is legal and rooted in "a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza stopping weapons from being smuggled,"
And despite actions by the West in shutting down the airing of programs such as these, the incitement and spreading of conspiracy theories continue.
Leaders in both territories gave heroes' welcomes to terrorists freed last fall in an exchange with Israel. More than 1,000 terrorists, many with blood on their hands, were set free in exchange for Hamas' release of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, who had been kidnapped five years earlier.
Throngs of cheering people turned out to welcome the prisoners amid celebratory gunfire and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh greeted many of them personally.
Hamas deputy chief Mousa Abu Marzook hinted darkly that more kidnappings would follow. "The rest of the prisoners must be released because if they are not released in a normal way they will be released in other ways."
There is more to Palestinian culture than this. But the celebration of death and violence is far from isolated.
In a speech about women's rights in Islamist countries, Muslim reformist Irshad Manji drew information from Martin Luther King in noting a difference between equality among people and equality among cultures.
"[J]ust because human beings are equal, it does not mean cultures are, too," she said. "Cultures are not born, cultures are constructed... There's nothing sacred about culture, which means there's nothing blasphemous, sacrilegious, or inconceivable about reforming ... aspects of it."
Palestinian leaders need to find the courage to admit that glorification of violence is rampant in their society and do more to root it out. It's the right thing to do, and it may help build their economy.
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JDN
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« Reply #1646 on: July 31, 2012, 07:43:53 PM »

Israel was the aggressor in '67?!?

"After a period of high tension between Israel and its neighbors, the war began on June 5 with Israel launching surprise bombing raids against Egyptian air-fields. Within six days, Israel had won a decisive land war. Israeli forces had taken control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria."

Japan tried the same thing, claiming "high tension",  without nearly so much success.   smiley

Still, after soundly defeating Japan, we still didn't move our Capital to Tokyo.  Nor I bet if Japan had won the war would they have moved their capital to California.  But they might have moved the State capital to LA or SF.   smiley

It isn't just one country, or one group of people, but ALL, let me repeat, ALL nations think Israel is wrong, i.e. illegitimate, to make Jerusalem the capital. So Doug, quit making foolish analogies. And while I agree, Israel is our best ally in the region, even among friends, wrong is wrong.  I might point out that the the vast majority of Jews in America also support America's position and vote Democratic.  i.e. nearly everyone in the world thinks Israel is wrong on this issue.  As a side note, frankly, without us, Israel would have perished a long time ago.  They have no better friend.  Probably, they have no other friend, period.  Time for a little gratefulness.....

As for the other countries in the Middle East, I have also not forgotten that oil is oil.  Israel is our greatest ally, but let's be practical too.
Israel needs us a LOT more than we need them.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1647 on: August 03, 2012, 04:32:03 PM »

A trip down memory lane:

The bombing in 1946 was a tragedy. However, let’s add a little context of events surrounding this bombing:
1. British troops at the time had invaded the Jewish Agency June 29, 1946 and confiscated large quantities of intelligence documents and taken it to the King David Hotel and were holding it there.
2. British troops had just arrested and imprisoned more than 2,500 Jews from all over Palestine.
3. A week before, 40 Jews were massacred in the streets.
The bombing was not about “killing infidels” – keep in mind this is generally a term used by Muslims to kill anyone not Muslim or by Christians during the crusades to kill anyone not Christian. This is not something typically yelled by Israeli suicide bombers – oh wait – when did we have one of those? The bombing was about destroying stolen intelligence and retaliation for the imprisonment and murder of Jews. (Doesn’t make it right – but this was war not peace time terrorism).
Also important. This bombing was done by a faction acting against the direction of Jewish leaders. The Jewish leadership found out about the bombing and tried to stop it. They also called and contacted both the hotel and consulates to evacuate the hotel in an effort to save lives and prevent the disaster from happening. Their warnings were not headed. British officers who did hear the warnings (and left the hotel on their own and then survived) later testified that there were such warnings received from the Jewish leaders and that the calls were met with “We don’t take orders from the Jews” and hung up on the repeated phone calls. Nearly 100 people shortly there after died – including Jews.
The Jewish National council denounced the bombings.
(Note that this is very unlike the Arab attacks on Jews and others (US at 9/11 etc) in which they are widely hailed as heroic and claimed by the governments and Islamist groups taking credit for them and promoting and training for them).
Israel (like the US or any country) is certainly not without its faults and I am not arguing that they are. But they are by far in the minority on these events – it is actually difficult to find them. And when it does happen, they denounce them and try to prevent them. And they are not at all the “first terrorist”. Bombings and terrorism go way back before 1946. Knowing more about the facts in this case does not dismiss the incorrect action of the bombing. But it does add context.
Now, let’s talk about terrorism being done AGAINST Israel. Let’s talk about how the Christian church massacred thousands of Jews in forced conversions (Crusade days not today). Let’s talk about burning Jews in synagogues at the direction of Martin Luther (yup, modern protestants – take a look at your history too). Martin Luther’s writings were later used by Hitler in promoting the Holocaust and death of 6 million Jews. Let’s take a look at the modern day American church turning its back on Israel in her time of need out of antisemitism and marching on Jerusalem with calls to take down her walls (modern day – see Rick Warren and all the purpose driven church crowd and other prominent church leaders in America). (Keep in mind – despite this comment, most modern day Christians and churches still support Israel – we all need a reality check on the facts from time to time though and that’s why that is included).
Let’s talk about thousands of rockets being launched into southern Israel daily and the Palestinians, Iranians, Hezbollah, and Hamas doing that.. Let’s talk about the poor that live along the southern border there because that is all they can afford and who live with daily trips to bomb shelters and many have lost loved ones through this current day ongoing terrorism. Let’s talk about a tourist bus being exploded in Bulgaria a couple weeks ago. Let’s talk about suicide bombers who tend to be of Islamist faith more often than not due to the nature of what the religion teaches blowing up everything from cafes, trains, airplanes, and buildings. Let’s talk about peace in the middle east and why it isn’t working out well. How has it gone in the past when Israel has given up land in exchange for peace and get rockets and war in exchange instead?
If the USA had someone doing these things to us, we would certainly retaliate and defend ourselves. Just look at the last decade – and to put it into context, that was only over one bombing (granted it was 9/11, the world trade center, and 3.000 Americans killed). But we only experienced terrorism so infrequently (thankfully). Israel lives with this daily.
If we list out actual time line, events, and actually list the number of times attacks have taken place on one group or another and list them all together by shear number alone even, your comment calling the Israelis the terrorists sounds absurd.
•   http://personalliberty.com/2012/08/03/our-splying-frenemies/?eiid=
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JDN
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« Reply #1648 on: August 08, 2012, 12:55:05 PM »

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/07/mitt-hold-your-fire.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1649 on: August 09, 2012, 08:25:01 PM »

Does JDN know what he's posting?

a) Mitts is singular unless you've got two of them, and
b) the 'quote' is from Netanyahu, not Gov. Romney, and the source is unnamed.
c) The reference to Romney's policy is posed with a question mark! 
d) Both the headline writer and the poster did not read the article it appears, yet both found it worth passing on for others, lol.
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