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objectivist1
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« Reply #1650 on: August 14, 2012, 01:40:38 PM »

Jewicidals Condemn Pro-Israel Ads in San Francisco

Pamela Geller - August 14, 2012

Look how tough these Jews are when it comes to going after their own who are brave enough not to hide behind the genocidal rhetoric of the annihilators. Are we to understand that these liberal Jews sanction the jihad war on innocent civilians in Israel?

Where are their knee-jerk condemnations of the vile anti-Semitism on college campuses, in the Occupy movement, and in Muslim media? Why have they never condemned the anti-semitism in the quran?  It incites the Muslim world to Jewish genocide?  One Jew calls out annihilationists and this is their reaction? Even the Judenrat didn't protect and defend the Nazis' war on the Jews. They went along, but they didn't advance and promote it. This is just sick.

The Bay Area Jewish Community Condemns Anti-Muslim Muni Bus Ads
Statement from the Jewish Community Relations Council and the American Jewish Committee San Francisco


"Last week, a new advertisement appeared on Muni buses in San Francisco, placed by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The Bay Area’s organized Jewish community takes great offense to the ad’s inflammatory and anti-Muslim language. We are steadfast in our support of Israel and our concern about the growing threat of Islamic radicalism, and steadfast in our opposition to anti- Muslim stereotypes.

We have long been concerned that the repeated appearance of offensive anti-Israel ads would turn our local public transit system into a battleground for the Israeli-Arab conflict; we are no less concerned by offensive anti-Muslim ads. We urge all transit authorities to reassess their policies and to construct advertising policies consistent with laws governing protected speech that preserve public transit as a safe space for all passengers."


It's a staple of enemedia coverage that these ads are "anti-Muslim," but actually the words Islam and Muslim never appear in the ads. Nor does the ad say that all Muslims are savages -- again, contrary to media myth. The premise of my ad was that a war on innocent civilians is savage. And that is a fact. As long as the Palestinian Authority continues its savage policy of fomenting violence, promoting hatred, and teaching Palestinian children to hate, the number of young Muslims willing to blow themselves up or to slit Israeli throats will continue to increase. That is savage. The Palestinian Authority propaganda of Holocaust-denial, calls for the killing of the Jews, and glorification of bloodthirsty jihadis is savage.

Tell me again why the word "savage" is inaccurate. The targeting of civilians is savage. The relentless 60-year campaign of terror against the Jewish people is savage. The torture of hostage Gilad Shalit was savage. The bloody hacking to death of the Fogel family was savage. The Munich Olympic massacre was savage. The unspeakable torture of Ehud Goldwasser was savage. The tens of thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel (into schools, homes, etc.) are savage. The vicious Jew-hatred behind this genocide is savage. The endless demonization of the Jewish people in the Palestinian and Arab media is savage. The refusal to recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state is savage. The list is endless.

But note that this is the only press release the JCRC has issued in all of 2012. These dhimmis have nothing whatsoever to say about the genocidal rhetoric broadcast on official "Palestinian" Authority TV on a regular basis. They have nothing to say about Obama's ongoing harassment of Israel. The increasing levels of anti-Semitism in Europe and around the world? Not a word. The only thing that has moved the JCRC to speak are defiantly and forthrightly pro-Israel ads. The JCRC and AJC are a disgrace.

Supporters of the JCRC and the AJC who genuinely support Israel and the Jewish people should withdraw their support from those organizations -- and support AFDI.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 01:42:59 PM by objectivist1 » Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1651 on: September 01, 2012, 11:52:28 AM »


Moving Obj's post to this thread:

Exclusive: U.S. Scales-Back Military Exercise with Israel, Affecting Potential Iran Strike

A smaller U.S. contingent may make it more difficult for the Israeli government to launch a pre-emptive strike on Tehran's nuclear program.

By KARL VICK AND AARON J. KLEIN | August 31, 2012

Seven months ago, Israel and the United States postponed a massive joint military exercise that was originally set to go forward just as concerns were brimming that Israel would launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The exercise was rescheduled for late October, and appears likely to go forward on the cusp of the U.S. presidential election. But it won’t be nearly the same exercise. Well-placed sources in both countries have told TIME that Washington has greatly reduced the scale of U.S. participation, slashing by more than two-thirds the number of American troops going to Israel and reducing both the number and potency of missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise.


“Basically what the Americans are saying is, ‘We don’t trust you,’” a senior Israeli military official tells TIME.

The reductions are striking. Instead of the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops originally trumpeted for Austere Challenge 12, as the annual exercise is called, the Pentagon will send only 1,500 service members, and perhaps as few as 1,200.  Patriot anti-missile systems will arrive in Israel as planned, but the crews to operate them will not.  Instead of two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships being dispatched to Israeli waters, the new plan is to send one, though even the remaining vessel is listed as a “maybe,” according to officials in both militaries.


A Pentagon spokesperson declined to discuss specifics of the reduced deployment, noting that planning for the exercise was classified. But in an e-mailed statement, Commander Wendy L. Snyder emphasized that the Israeli military has been kept informed of the changes. “Throughout all the planning and coordination, we’ve been lock-step with the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and will continue to do so,” Snyder said.


U.S. commanders privately revealed the scaling back to their Israeli counterparts more than two months ago.  The official explanation was budget restrictions.  But the American retreat coincided with growing tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations on Israel’s persistent threats to launch an airstrike on Iran. The Islamic Republic would be expected to retaliate by missile strikes, either through its own intermediate range arsenal or through its proxy, the Hizballah militia, which has more than 40,000 missiles aimed at Israel from neighboring Lebanon.


In the current political context, the U.S. logic is transparent, says Israeli analyst Efraim Inbar. “I think they don’t want to insinuate that they are preparing something together with the Israelis against Iran – that’s the message,” says Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University. “Trust? We don’t trust them. They don’t trust us. All these liberal notions! Even a liberal president like Obama knows better.”

The U.S. anti-missile systems are important because while Israel has made great strides in creating anti-missile shields that protect its population, it doesn’t have enough of them to deploy around the entire country, even with the U.S. aid specifically dedicated to building more (as well as crucial offensive capabilities, such as mid-air refuelers and possibly bunker-busting bombs).  That makes the presence of the Patriots – first deployed to Israel during the First Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein fired Scuds toward the Jewish State — and other U.S. anti-missile systems extremely valuable.  Austere Challenge was billed by assistant secretary of state Andrew J. Shapiro last November as “by far the largest and most significant exercise in U.S.-Israeli history.”  A stated goal was to “improve interoperability” between American and Israeli anti-missile systems – which are already significantly linked. The U.S. maintains an X-band radar installation in Israel’s Negev Desert, pointed toward Iran and linked to Israel’s Arrow anti-missile system.


The radar is extraordinarily powerful, so sensitive it can detect a softball thrown into the air from thousands of miles away.  But as TIME reported earlier, only Americans are allowed to see what’s on the screens, a situation that likely serves to inhibit any Israeli decision to “go it alone” against Iran, because the U.S. array can detect an Iranian missile launch six to seven minutes earlier than Israel’s best radar.  Difficult as it may be to imagine U.S. decision-makers holding back information that could save Israeli lives, both by giving them more time to reach a shelter, or their interceptors to lock onto and destroy an incoming Shahab-3, the risk looms in the complex calculus of Israeli officials mulling an attack on Iran.

Inside Israel, reports persist that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense chief Ehud Barak are determined to launch a strike, and American officials continue to urge restraint.  Israeli analysts say Netanyahu wants Obama to send a letter committing to U.S. military action by a specific date if Iran has not acceded to concessions, but the U.S. administration does not appear to be complying.  U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters in London this week  that a military strike could damage but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, and added, “I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it.”



Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/08/31/exclusive-u-s-scales-back-military-exercise-with-israel-affecting-potential-iran-strike/#ixzz25EiGg9fw
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ccp
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« Reply #1652 on: September 01, 2012, 12:57:24 PM »

MR is waffling a bit with the "crippling sanctions" lines.  It is painfully obvious that there is no such thing and can be no such thin when we have China, Russia, and others not playing ball with us on that matter.

MR now is saying military option is "on the table".    Here we go again.  Same BS line that at this point has zero affect on Iran leadership.

Of course not much Mitt can do at this point unitl he is President.
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JDN
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« Reply #1653 on: September 01, 2012, 01:10:24 PM »

"U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters in London this week  that a military strike could damage but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, and added, “I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it.”


Just what we need, another war in the Middle East.....  It would be economically devastating for America.  We should as most American military men agree, "stay out of this war". 

If Israel wants to attack Iran, that is their choice.  But the United States should offer Israel no aid other than emergency aid. 

What's best for America?


Even Israeli experts think it's ill advised.
Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz, a former military chief, accused Netanyahu of "generating panic" by "rashly" leading an ill-prepared home front into conflict.
The Israelis are "scared of your lack of judgment, scared that you are being led and are not leading, scared that you are putting a dangerous and irresponsible policy into motion," he said in parliament, addressing Netanyahu.

You are risking a disastrous broad regional conflict and soaring global oil prices with little or no chance of complete success.


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ccp
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« Reply #1654 on: September 02, 2012, 03:53:32 PM »

"that a military strike could damage but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capability"

Well of course a country cannot forever stop another from seeking nuclear weapons.

It would always be delaying or temporarily stopping it.

The fact no military action has been taken for two decades has made it much harder.

Think if Israel had not struck Iraq in the early eighties or Syria when they did.  It could only be worse.

The point is Israel has NO choice.  Iran's intentions are quite clear.

What's best for America?


Apparantly the Obama people and perhaps the US military has decided a nuclear Iran is better than the alternative.


That is also clear.

This is not best for Israel.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1655 on: September 02, 2012, 08:57:48 PM »

Excellent (FT) article. Its focus concerns more the impact of all this gas,
and its riches, on Israeli society - and the Middle East - than on the
massive deposits themselves. Although it does not stint for coverage of
that topic.
David


*Field of dreams: Israel’s natural gas*
*By Tobias Buck*
*After decades of importing every drop of fuel, Israel has struck it rich,
uncovering vast reserves of natural gas in the Mediterranean*

[image: Inline image 1]

The black and yellow helicopter heads north from Tel Aviv, passing over
empty beaches, a yacht harbour and a string of sprawling seafront
residences that house some of Israel’s wealthiest families. After a few
minutes the pilot makes a sharp turn to the left and steers his ageing Bell
412 towards the open sea.

For more than half an hour, all there is to see is the blue waters of the
Mediterranean. Then suddenly a hulking mass of brightly painted steel rises
from the midday haze. Towering more than 100m above the water, this is the
Sedco Express, a drilling rig that has been operating in this stretch of
ocean for almost three years. As the helicopter touches down on the landing
pad, we see a small blue and white Star of David flag fluttering in the
wind. It is the only sign that the Sedco Express sits atop one of the
greatest treasures that Israel has ever found. Far below, connected to the
rig by a slender steel pipe that runs through 1,700m of ocean and another
4,500m of rock and sand, lies a vast reservoir of natural gas known as the
Tamar field.

The men on board the Sedco Express are busy testing the field’s multiple
wells in preparation for the long-awaited day next April, when a US-Israeli
consortium will start pumping the gas onshore. With reserves of almost 10
trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the Tamar field is a hugely valuable
asset for the Israeli economy. Discovered in January 2009, it was the
biggest gas find in the world that year, and by far the biggest ever made
in Israeli waters. But the record held for barely two years. In December
2010, Tamar was dwarfed by the discovery of the Leviathan gasfield some 20
miles farther east – the largest deepwater gas reservoir found anywhere in
the world over the past decade. The two fields, together with a string of
smaller discoveries, will cover Israel’s domestic demand for gas for at
least the next 25 years, and still leave hundreds of billions of cubic feet
for sale abroad. The government take from the gasfields alone is forecast
to reach at least $140bn over the next three decades – a staggering sum for
a relatively small economy such as Israel’s.

Experts are convinced that Tamar and Leviathan will not be the last big
Israeli discoveries. They point to the US Geological Survey, which
estimates that the subsea area that runs from Egypt all the way north to
Turkey, also known as the Levantine Basin, contains more than 120 trillion
cubic feet of natural gas. Israeli waters account for some 40 per cent of
the total. Should these estimates be confirmed through discoveries in the
years ahead, Israel’s natural gas reserves would count among the 25 largest
in the world, on a par with the proven reserves of Libya and ahead of those
of India and The Netherlands. For decades a barren energy island, forced to
import every drop of fuel, Israel today stands on the cusp of an economic
revolution, fuelled by the vast riches that lie below its waters.
. . .

It is a revolution that has gripped ministerial offices and corporate
boardrooms alike. Since the discovery of Leviathan, the country has been in
the midst of an intense and often controversial debate over how best to use
the new resources at its disposal. All the classic dilemmas associated with
hydrocarbon discoveries have resurfaced, though often with a surprising
Israeli twist. Should the gas be exported or used at home? What share of
the new wealth belongs to the government and what to the companies that
made the discoveries in the first place? And how far should Israel go
towards turning itself into a “gassified” national economy, in which power
stations, homes, industry and the transportation system alike all run on
natural gas?

A final issue, and perhaps the most poignant of all the questions facing
Israeli policy makers, is how the discoveries will affect the country’s
standing in the region. Some worry that fields such as Leviathan will
become a focal point for tensions, and perhaps even a target for Israel’s
many enemies. Others hope that the gas will serve as a force for good, and
help Israel build economic and political bridges to its neighbours, some of
whom remain as energy-starved as Israel was until recently.

The recent discoveries are so large, and have come so swiftly, that some
Israelis are having difficulty adjusting to the new reality. Even hardened
energy executives speak of a “miracle” when discussing Israel’s natural gas
story; others have resorted to the heavens to explain the new-found wealth.
No less a figure than Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, recently
compared the discoveries to “manna from heaven” – the mystical food that
sustained the Israelites during their 40 years in the desert.

Yet for all the talk of divine intervention, the discovery of Leviathan,
Tamar and other fields would not have happened without the fierce
determination of men like Gideon Tadmor. A cheerful, rotund 49-year-old, he
is widely regarded as the pioneer of Israel’s natural gas industry.

Tadmor trained as a lawyer and dabbled in the property business before
deciding more than two decades ago that it was time to turn his attention
to oil and gas exploration. It was not the most promising line of business.
Like all Israelis, Tadmor was only too familiar with the famous complaint
made by Golda Meir, and repeated endlessly since then. “Let me tell you
something that we Israelis have against Moses,” the then prime minister
remarked at a banquet in 1973. “He took us 40 years through the desert in
order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil.”

Over the years that claim became an article of faith for many Israelis. The
country’s conspicuous lack of natural resources chimed with the broader
national narrative of a state struggling and succeeding against the odds.
It even served to heighten Israeli pride in the country’s economic and
military achievements, which frequently outshone those of nearby countries
rolling in oil wealth. But, for many decades, Meir’s complaint was also
borne out on the ground, which stubbornly refused to yield all but the
tiniest amount of hydrocarbons.

The years of failure meant there was no competition when Tadmor started
knocking on the doors of the Israeli government to request exploration
licences. His company, Avner Oil & Gas, started drilling for oil onshore in
1991, before moving into the deep waters close to the Israeli coastline and
eventually pushing on into even greater depths. “We had looked at the vast
success and activity [of gas exploration] in Egypt,” he tells me, sitting
in the conference room of his headquarters north of Tel Aviv. “We all felt
that the geological trend would not stop at the political border – and
should extend into Israeli waters.”

Drilling in deep waters, however, required not only deep pockets but also
profound technical knowhow. Neither was at the disposal of the Israeli
upstarts. Tadmor and his partners decided to bring in a strategic partner,
launching a quest that turned out to be fraught with more obstacles than
anything the company had experienced to date. “It was an endless process.
We were willing to look everywhere. We knew that finding a strategic
partner would be fundamental for success, because in Israel there was no
expertise.”

Tadmor and his partners thought they had a compelling geological story:
they were proposing to drill in an area that showed much the same
characteristics as the nearby Egyptian waters where discoveries had been
made. Yet they were turned down again and again, fuelling suspicions that
the big oil groups in Europe and the US were unwilling to risk their vital
relationship with Arab countries by investing in Israel: “There is no
question about it. Anyone who knows anything about this industry knows that
there is an overwhelming geopolitical consideration with top companies when
they decide to enter or exit a country,” says Tadmor. “Even during the best
times, when Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed the Oslo accords in
1993, it was very obvious that for many of the big players there were
geopolitical considerations that clouded their approach towards Israel.”

. . .

Geopolitical considerations, of course, have been at the heart of the oil
and gas industry almost from the beginning. As the target of an Arab oil
boycott, Israel itself was forced to learn the hard way that energy
security and national security are closely entwined. Already scrambling to
secure supplies, the country was dealt another rude shock in 1973, when
Arab oil producers responded to Israel’s victory in the Yom Kippur war by
launching a sweeping oil embargo. It was a move that shaped the country’s
energy policy for years to come, instilling in Israeli leaders a desperate
desire for energy independence.

“A big part of the policy community in Israel was hugely affected by the
Arab oil boycott in the early 1970s,” says Brenda Shaffer, an expert on
Israeli energy policy at the University of Haifa. “It made people here give
an almost disproportionate importance to holding energy volumes.”

A quarter of a century later, Tadmor and his partners felt they were
finally close to delivering those volumes. Without money and expertise from
abroad, however, Israel’s hydrocarbon potential would remain untapped for
many years if not decades. And without a strategic partner or other signs
of progress, Avner Oil risked losing its offshore exploration licences. It
was time for desperate measures: “We sent a guy to Houston for three months
with one mission. I told him: go to Houston, open the phone book and go
through it company by company. Call every one of them, and bring us a
partner.”

After three months, only two companies remained on that list. Neither
seemed too keen, but Tadmor decided to take his lawyer and fly out to
Houston all the same. “At the time the price of oil was $15 per barrel.
That meant no one was taking any aggressive decisions to enter new
countries. The environment was very, very problematic,” he recalls. Indeed,
the macroeconomic environment was not the only inauspicious sign. As his
plane taxied towards the runway at Tel Aviv airport, Tadmor spotted
something unusual: “All of a sudden I see a black cat running down the
aisle. It was a chaotic situation. The stewardesses were running after the
cat with a blanket, trying to catch it. We eventually turned back, and the
cat was handed over. But one passenger decided to leave the plane. She
said: ‘With a black cat on the plane, nothing good can happen.’”

The plane returned to the runway and started accelerating for take-off.
Then Tadmor had a second nasty surprise: “I hear a huge blast – one of the
engines had exploded!” It was a near-miss: had the engine blown up in the
air, the plane might well have crashed, putting a premature end to both
Tadmor and Israel’s best hope of finding gas in the Mediterranean. “I told
my lawyer: ‘I don’t know if anything good will come of this experience.’
But everything that came out from this trip was good.”

In fact the ill-omened trip to Houston produced a deal with a small
Oklahoma-based exploration company called Samedan Oil Corporation. Samedan
was too small to worry about its relationship with Arab oil ministries, but
large enough to seek expansion abroad. It would later change its name to
Noble Energy, and emerge alongside Avner and Delek, an Israeli
conglomerate, as one of the three leading players in the Israeli natural
gas boom (Delek later bought out Avner, but kept Tadmor on to run the
combined group). To this day, the three groups control most of the big
fields discovered in the Levantine basin, with Noble holding the largest
individual stake in fields such as Leviathan, Tamar and Yam Tethys.

The partners drilled their first well in 1999, in a field known as Noa.
They found gas, but the quantity was too small to allow immediate
commercial exploitation. A year later, in a nearby field known as Mari-B,
they were successful, uncovering a field that contained about a trillion
cubic feet of natural gas. Four years later, the gas started to flow to the
mainland where it was used to generate electricity.

Tadmor and his partners had proved that Israeli waters did contain natural
gas, and that these reserves could be exploited profitably. But the
discoveries at Yam Tethys were a mere taste of things to come. In January
2009, a consortium that again included Noble, Delek and Avner, along with
Isramco and Alon, two Israeli companies, found Tamar. The following year
came Leviathan, the discovery that finally catapulted Israel into the big
league. Speaking days before the drilling that confirmed the huge find,
Yitzhak Tshuva, the Delek chairman and one of the wealthiest men in Israel,
made a bold pronouncement: “This is geopolitical power that Israel needs
now more than ever,” he said of the natural gasfields. “Israel will become
a big international player, and it will have geopolitical power vis a vis
many countries.”

. . .

One of the men whose task is to marshal that power is Uzi Landau, the
minister for energy. A slim, wiry man with a raspy voice and a hawkish
political outlook, Landau is at pains to accentuate the potential political
benefits not just for Israel but for the wider region. The minister says he
is keen to export some of the country’s natural gas to Jordan and the
Palestinian territories: “We believe this will not only be good business,
but also highly important for coexistence. This will eventually help a
peace agreement. Natural gas is also important for the political level. We
wish to develop our relations with the region,” he says.

Landau points out that Israel is already busy deepening its political and
economic relationship with Cyprus, which has itself found large gas
deposits in waters adjacent to the Israeli discoveries. There is even talk
of building a gas pipeline to Cyprus, and of connecting the Israeli power
grid to the divided island through an undersea cable. But not everyone is
convinced that Israel’s natural gas riches will be a force for regional
integration. The northern fields such as Tamar and Leviathan, for example,
are not far from the disputed line that separates Israeli and Lebanese
territorial waters. Hizbollah, the Lebanese Shia group that is one of
Israel’s most committed enemies, has already accused Israel of stealing
Lebanese gas. Farther to the south, snaking its way through the Sinai
Peninsula, is another example of the pitfalls created by regional gas
diplomacy: the pipeline that carries Egyptian gas to Israel.

Initially hailed as a sign of friendship and co-operation, the pipeline has
since emerged as an object of hate for many Egyptians, who resent the sale
of cheap gas to Israel at a time when Egypt itself faces chronic energy
supply problems. The pipeline has been blown up no fewer than 14 times
during the past 18 months, and the supply deal has now in effect been
cancelled.

“We tend to think that countries that hold a lot of oil and gas are very
powerful. But if you look at it more carefully, you see that this is a
double-edged sword. Countries that have large volumes of oil and gas tend
to have a lot more problems. They tend to get involved in conflicts more
often than other countries. There is a tendency towards war,” says Shaffer,
the energy analyst from Haifa University.

She points out that Cyprus is once again at loggerheads with Turkey over
the recent gas discoveries, and that Israel, thanks to its new alliance,
may yet find itself drawn into the escalation: “The gas finds have already
defrosted the frozen Cypriot conflict. So Israel is now finding itself
involved in a conflict that it has never been involved in before.”

But fear of conflict is not the only worry associated with the gas. As
delighted as they are over the recent finds, Israeli officials say they are
only too aware of the “resource curse” that afflicts countries with
abundant natural resources, whereby the discovery of great natural wealth
is often followed by disappointing economic growth and an erosion of
competitiveness.

“We have to be very careful not to think that with natural gas there is no
more need to continue in the same direction of the past: to focus on
education, focus on research and development and to do whatever we can to
solidify the social fabric of our society,” argues Landau. He points out
that “the political leadership of our country is very sensitive to that
problem”, but warns that the country will have to be careful “not to fall
into that pit”.

For the time being, Israeli leaders can claim with some justification that
their response to the new-found wealth has been measured and sensible.
There has been a notable emphasis on sustainability, not least in the way
the state intends to use the new resources. Though it will take years
before the government will reap meaningful gas revenues, it has already set
up a sovereign wealth fund to manage part of the new wealth. The fund,
which follows the model set by Norway, is expected to swell to $80bn by
2040, and is intended to provide a financial cushion for future crises. But
some of the expected government take (“some” meaning about $60bn over the
next three decades) will flow straight into the state budget to fund
education projects and bolster national security.

For a state that spent so many decades as an economic backwater, and that
continues to rely on financial support from the US, this new largesse will
take some getting used to. The same pleasing challenge faces Tadmor and the
handful of other businessmen who believed in Israel’s gas potential long
before the first drills broke through to fields such as Leviathan.

“It has topped all my expectations,” says Tadmor.“So what I need to do now
is raise my expectations,” he adds with a grin.

Tobias Buck is the FT’s Jerusalem bureau chief

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1656 on: September 03, 2012, 09:41:39 PM »

World


 Paper Details Obama Adminâ??s Alleged Secret Note Sent to Iran: If
 Israel Attacks, We Won't Get Involved

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 8:13am
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot published a startling report Monday detailing a message it says was conveyed by the Obama administration â?? via two European countries â?? to Iranian officials. The request: if Israel decides to strike Iranian nuclear facilities, the U.S. will not support it and the Islamic Republic should refrain from retaliating on U.S. military installations in the Persian Gulf.

From the report by the well-connected diplomatic correspondent Shimon Schiffer [translated via hard copy by TheBlaze in Israel]:

   The message that the U.S. conveyed to Iran via the most sensitive
   secret channels is unequivocal: if Israel attacks, we won't stand
   behind her and we won't be drawn into war.

   In recent days, senior American administration officials turned to
   their Iranian counterparts via two countries in Europe which act as
   a back-channel during times of crisis. They made clear to the
   Iranians that the U.S. does not intend to be sucked into a campaign
   if Israel decides to strike unilaterally and without advance
   coordination [with the U.S.], and they said that they expect from
   Iran that it will not attack strategic American targets in the
   Persian Gulf. That means, among other things, Army bases, Navy ships
   and aircraft carriers sailing in the region.

Report: Obama Administration Passed Secret Message to Iran: U.S. Wont Support Strike Against Iran <http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Israel-story-photo.jpg>

Israeli outlet Yediot Ahronot shows strategic U.S. military installments in the Middle East.

Accompanying the article, the newspaper created a graphic map (pictured above) of various U.S. assets in the region including troops in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia as well as U.S. vessels in the Gulf.

The secret contacts with the Iranians combined with a public statement last week by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey that he won't be complicit? <http://www.theblaze.com/stories/israeli-paper-details-alleged-tense-confrontation-between-netanyahu-and-u-s-ambassador-over-obamas-iran-policy-lightening-and-sparks-flew/> in an Israeli attack is being interpreted in Israel as a message from the U.S. that the Jewish state is on its own in stopping Iran from obtaining a doomsday weapon with which to threaten the very existence of Israel. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders have articulated a desire to wipe Israel off the map. Schiffer writes:

   Israeli sources point to the unprecedented low-point in relations
   between the U.S. and Israeli defense establishments. It appears that
   the Obama administration decided to warn decision-makers in Israel
   of the destructive results of an attack without coordinating with
   the U.S. [â?¦]

If true, the report begs the question: If he truly wants to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability, why is President Obama investing in secret contacts with Iran about an Israeli strike aimed at destroying â?? or at least setting back â?? the nuclear program? Wouldnâ??t his efforts be better focused on warning Ahmadinejad of the dire consequences of his apparently accelerated efforts at one day possessing a military nuclear capability?

The Wall Street Journal may have an answer in an editorial <http://www.theblaze.com/stories/wall-street-journal-slams-obama-for-his-head-in-the-sand-performance-on-iran/> this weekend. Though President Obama likes to say he has Israelâ??s â??back,â?? â??his Administration tries to sell to the public a make-believe world in which Iranâ??s nuclear intentions are potentially peaceful, sanctions are working and diplomacy hasnâ??t failed after three and half years.â??

Also on Monday, The New York Times reported <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/03/world/middleeast/us-is-weighing-new-curbs-on-iran-in-nod-to-israel.html?_r=1&hp> that President Obama is trying to find non-military ways to stall an Israeli attack and restrain Iranâ??s nuclear march, including naval exercises and new antimissile systems in the Persian Gulf. The Times reports that Obama officials are also considering implementing previously rejected covert activities as well as a new declaration by the president over what would prompt a U.S. military strike.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/paper-details-obama-admins-alleged-secret-note-sent-to-iran-if-israel-attacks-we-wont-get-involved/
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« Reply #1657 on: September 04, 2012, 10:42:10 AM »

"Baraq throws Israel under the bus"

No, he just said if you are going to take the bus without our permission, you (Israel) will be solely responsible.


"They made clear to the Iranians that the U.S. does not intend to be sucked into a campaign if Israel decides to strike unilaterally and without advance coordination [with the U.S.], and they
said that they expect from Iran that it will not attack strategic American targets in the Persian Gulf."


THAT is in America's best Interest. 

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1658 on: September 04, 2012, 02:04:07 PM »

Well, so much for "All options are on the table".  Never mind this http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/14/iran-admits-giving-wmds-to-terrorists/   

As feared, and as predicted here, we have been bluffing all along.
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JDN
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« Reply #1659 on: September 04, 2012, 02:28:51 PM »

Well, so much for "All options are on the table". 
As feared, and as predicted here, we have been bluffing all along.

Actually, that's not true.

Obama has not necessarily taken military action off the table.  Rather, appropriately so, he has taken "unilateral" action by Israel off OUR table. 
"Israel decides to strike unilaterally and without advance coordination [with the U.S.]..."

Until AMERICA decides it's in AMERICA'S best interest to take action, AMERICA should stay out of it.  Israel can do what it wants, but I'm glad/hope that Israel has clearly been told they are on their own if they act "unilaterally".  We should not be "sucked in" to their unilateral decision.

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objectivist1
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« Reply #1660 on: September 04, 2012, 03:17:59 PM »

President Obama has made it abundantly clear by his actions from the start of his term in office that he has zero interest in helping to defend the state of Israel.
He's also demonstrated that he doesn't believe a nuclear Iran poses a threat to the United States.

The idiocy of that belief is staggering.  I'd go so far as to say that Obama is exhibiting dereliction of duty when it comes to protecting the United States by ignoring the clear and present danger of an Iran with nuclear weapons.  I will also say that G.W. Bush ought to have done something about this before the end of his term, as was strenuously argued by Dick Cheney (according to Cheney's statements after he left office.)  Cheney correctly anticipated that if Obama were elected, he would do nothing to stop Iran from making a nuclear bomb.

Israel is only the canary in the coal mine, as understood by anyone who has paid attention to Iran's statements and actions over the past 10+ years.  Israel is only the "little Satan" in their eyes.  The U.S. is the "Great Satan," and we will be their next target after Israel.

Our leaders have failed us miserably in this regard.
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« Reply #1661 on: September 04, 2012, 03:25:25 PM »

Maybe Obama Has Israel's Back Or maybe it's time to realize that Israel is on its own.
By BRET STEPHENS

Maybe Martin Dempsey chose his words poorly.

Maybe the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff didn't mean to imply Israel would be committing a crime when he told reporters last week that the U.S. would not be "complicit" with an Israeli attack on Iran. Maybe he hadn't yet read the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, noting that Iran continued to enrich, continued to obstruct, continued to deceive. Maybe Gen. Dempsey wasn't speaking for the president at all, just offering opinions above his pay grade.

Or maybe he was speaking directly for a president who, politics being what they are, can't yet say such things himself.

Maybe it isn't true, as the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported yesterday, that the U.S. has told Iran via European channels that it would not back an Israeli strike provided Iran did not retaliate against U.S. assets in the Persian Gulf. Maybe it's a slur to suggest this administration would ever broach, much less cut, a deal with Tehran at the expense of Jerusalem.

Or maybe it would cut that deal in a heartbeat.

Maybe it's no big deal that the U.S. is walking away from a joint U.S.-Israeli military exercise scheduled for October and cited last year by the State Department as evidence of the "new heights" to which Mr. Obama had carried America's "unwavering commitment to Israel's security." Maybe "slashing by more than two-thirds the number of American troops going to Israel and reducing both the number and potency of missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise," as Time magazine reports, was merely the result of ordinary budgetary pressures.

Or maybe that's another piece of Gen. Dempsey's non-complicity policy.

Maybe the president is serious when he says he will prevent Iran from getting a bomb in the first place, rather than try to contain a nuclear Iran after the fact. Maybe the elaborate antimissile systems the U.S. is racing to set up in the region—so that, according to the New York Times, "even if [Iran] developed a nuclear weapon and mounted it atop its growing fleet of missiles, it could be countered by antimissile systems"—is not about containment at all.

Enlarge Image

CloseAssociated Press/Jacquelyn Martin
 
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.
.Or maybe the administration thinks containment is a viable option after all, or at least a better one than military strikes, which is why it's now spending its money on it.

Maybe the administration thinks that it can pursue an effective covert strategy against Iran while also telling the media that it is pursuing such a strategy. Maybe someone forgot to tell whoever is leaking the details of this strategy that "covert" is another word for "secret."

Or maybe the Obama administration is happy to brag about its covert accomplishments, even when the bragging betrays Israel's secrets as well.

Maybe the administration knows that diplomacy has run its course with a regime that has rejected one overture after another.

Or maybe the administration really thinks it can still tempt the mullahs with a grand bargain in which they give up their nukes in exchange for a U.S. embassy in Tehran (they loved the last one) along with spare parts for their airplanes.

Maybe President Obama is, as some senior Israeli decision makers claim, a sincere and fabulous friend of Israel.

Or maybe such statements are simply a matter of being polite about an administration that knows it has a problem with disenchanted Jewish voters and distrustful donors.

Maybe Mr. Obama has privately offered Israel realistic assurances that the U.S. is prepared to use force to stop Iran as soon as the election is behind him. Maybe the near-hysteria that has gripped the Israeli government is an ingenious head fake designed to make the Iranians think they can exploit the discord between the two Satans.

Or maybe the only head fake is the president's attempt to woo skeptical voters that he really has Israel's back.

Maybe, dear Western reader, you think the administration is right to stay Israel's hand—because you'd rather have the U.S. do the job cleanly, after exhausting whatever other options remain, rather than risk having Israel do the job messily. Maybe you have a fair and defensible point.

Or maybe you think that the mullahs nuclear ambitions are their own business and they'll leave us alone if only we leave them. Maybe you're Ron Paul.

Maybe, dear Israeli reader, you think it oughtn't be the responsibility of a small power to confront Iran alone, especially when Iran's threat goes well beyond Israel alone. Maybe you, too, have a fair and defensible point.

Or maybe you think that, whatever the merits of that argument, Israel will not find its security on the strength of its debating points. Maybe you think, too, that Israel puts its sovereignty and security at risk when it allows any other nation to seek a veto over its actions.

Maybe the risks of Israeli inaction—not least to its reputation and deterrent power—are greater than the risks of action, real as they surely are. Maybe it's true that those who dare, win. Maybe it's time to stop letting the Iranians do all the daring.

Write to bstephens@wsj.com
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« Reply #1662 on: September 04, 2012, 03:31:15 PM »

Top U.S. Military leaders Intelligence leaders are AGAINST the US taking action at this time.

Nearly everyone agrees that IF we take action, we need to do it on OUR timeline.  IF Israel takes unilateral action, that is their choice, but then they should be on their own; America should not get involved. 


Former CIA Director Says No Need to Attack Iran Now
A former U.S. Air Force General and CIA director says Iran cannot get the bomb before next year. "Let the US attack - it can do it better."
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/4/2012, 11:32 AM


US Department of Defense
A former U.S. Air Force General and CIA director says Iran cannot get the bomb before next year, when the US is better able to attack.

Michael Hayden, who headed the CIA when Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor under construction, told the Haaretz newspaper in an interview, "While it is probably true that the so-called 'window' regarding effective action is closing, there is still some time, as real decisions are to be made in 2013 or 2014."

Hayden added, "I do not underestimate the Israeli talent, but geometry and physics tell us that Iran's nuclear program would pose a difficult challenge to any military, as it is not a raid, and Israel's resources are more limited than those of the U.S.”

Now a security consultant and previously mentioned as a possible national security advisor during Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, Hayden is in Israel to attend an Institute for National Security Studies seminar on Tel Aviv.

He echoed several reasons stated by others who are against Israel’s staging a military strike to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

"There is no absolute certainty that all targets are known," according to Hayden. "They will have to be revisited - which only the U.S. Air Force would be able to do - and the operation will only set the Iranians back some time and actually push them to do that which it is supposed to prevent, getting nuclear weapons."

He also revealed that following the Israeli attack on the Syrian reactor site in September 2007, the United States feared that Syrian would retaliate and spark a war. Hayden said that the Bush administration coordinated with Israel that no statements would be made implying Israel carried out the pre-emptive strike.

Six months later, he estimated that the self-imposed gag policy no longer was necessary.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1663 on: September 04, 2012, 03:37:02 PM »

Agreed that the US military seems to have little desire for tangling with Iran.  (Perhaps we would have had a better hand if we had not bugged out of Iraq?)

A big part of the problem, not really addressed in JDN's posted piece, is the ongoing hardening of Iranian defenses.

Also, is the argument here that the US will do the job once Baraq has more "flexibility" after the election?  Or is this just disingenuous horse excrement?
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« Reply #1664 on: September 04, 2012, 03:40:15 PM »

Yes as feared the military option never was really on the table.  It was all talk the last couple of months to keep liberal Jews sending in the money for his campaign.

I am a bit concerned even MR is now equivicating by saying we need "crippling" sanctions.  It is painfully obvious this will not and cannot work.

The only ones who want war is Iran.

The Romans would have known what to do - "you want war we will give you war, you want peace we will give you peace".

John Bolton keeps saying as some of us here - if one thinks iran is a pain now just imagine what they would be like with nuclear weapons.

I guess the only other option would have been to take a John McCain route and have supported the protesters a few years ago and try to get them to overthrow the mullahs.
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ccp
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« Reply #1665 on: September 04, 2012, 03:45:34 PM »

"not really addressed in JDN's posted piece, is the ongoing hardening of Iranian defenses"

Precisely!   We keep hearing one excuse after another why not to attack.  "We don't know where all their targets are known".

This can always be the case.  So next year would be a better time to attack then this year?  These excuses have been ongoing for years now.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1666 on: September 05, 2012, 05:39:36 AM »

New Democratic Party Platform Betrays Israel

Posted By Joseph Klein On September 5, 2012 - www.frontpagemag.com

Despite some introductory bromides proclaiming the “unshakable commitment” of President Obama and the Democratic Party to Israel’s security, the 2012 Democratic National Platform, titled “Moving America Forward,” mirrors perfectly President Obama’s decision to turn his back on our closest ally in the Middle East. It represents a radical break with prior Democratic Party platforms, not to mention its counterparts issued by the Republican Party, that have expressed unequivocal support for the Jewish state.

Obama has demanded publicly that Israel agree to return to the indefensible pre-1967 armistice lines with some unspecified land swaps. However, he made no comparable demand on the Palestinians to give up their “right of return” claim under which millions of “refugees” and their descendants would be permitted to populate pre-1967 Israel and destroy the Jewish character of Israel in the process.

In keeping with this totally unbalanced approach, the 2012 Democratic Party platform removes language that has appeared in previous Democratic Party platforms on the Palestinian refugee issue.  The 2004 and 2008 platforms had stipulated that, as part of the peace process in creating a Palestinian state, “the issue of  Palestinian refugees” should be resolved “by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.” The 2012 Democratic Party platform is silent on the issue.

The 2012 Democratic Party platform is also silent about the status of Jerusalem. Again, while Obama has insisted that Israel negotiate a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 armistice lines, Obama does not appear to have a problem with the Palestinian demand that, as part of the final negotiations for a Palestinian state, the holy city be divided, with East Jerusalem (where Jewish holy sites are located) becoming the Palestinian capital.  This would mean that the people with the longest historical connection to the undivided city of Jerusalem as their most sacred ground have to give up control over their holiest sites based on an artificial division that occurred when Jordan illegally seized the eastern half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population and annexed it.

What a difference four years makes. The 2008 Democratic Party platform, on which Obama ran for president the first time, was unequivocally supportive of Israel’s position on Jerusalem: “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”

The only reason why the Obama administration did not insist on explicitly reversing this plank in the current platform and chose to remain silent is that they are afraid of the political repercussions among their key Jewish-American constituency.  Just remember Obama’s statement to former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” If re-elected, an unleashed President Obama will have the “flexibility” to side fully with the Palestinians’ demands.

The 2012 Republican Party platform has not broken faith with the Jewish state on the final status of Jerusalem:

“We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states – Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine – living in peace and security.”

The current Democratic Party platform omits any reference to the Hamas terrorists, let alone the decision of the supposedly more moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate a “unity” government with the terrorist organization while it still launches rockets against Israeli civilians.  The current Republican Party platform, by contrast, states that “radical elements like Hamas and Hezbollah must be isolated because they do not meet the standards of peace and diplomacy of the international community.”

The United Nations is a hotbed of Israel-bashing, among its many other failings.  Nevertheless, the 2012 Democratic Party platform calls the UN “a centerpiece of international order.” It takes great pride in the Obama administration’s “reversing the previous administration’s disdain for the UN.”

What the Obama administration has actually done is to engage the dysfunctional United Nations as if it were the central part of its foreign policy, as well as the sole arbiter of international law – all while the UN itself is rapidly succumbing to the influence of radical Islam.  Obama decided that the United States should join the travesty known as the UN Human Rights Council, which is dominated by the 57 member state Organization of Islamic Cooperation. When the Human Rights Council is not busy dutifully passing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s resolutions restricting freedom of speech that is critical of Islam, it goes after Israel while conveniently whitewashing the records of the real serial human rights violators the world over, some of whom sit on the Council.

Between the UN Human Rights Council, the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Human Rights Practices Affecting the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, more UN resources and time are devoted to the advocacy of the Palestinian cause than to any other issue. And the United States is picking up nearly a quarter of the tab.

Incredibly, the Obama administration wants to reverse years of bipartisan support for cutting off funding to any UN agencies that admit the Palestinians as a member state.  U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice testified before a House subcommittee in March 2012 that “longstanding legislative restrictions,” which require withholding of U.S. funding from such agencies “only harms U.S. interests.”  Which interests are those – to appease the Palestinians and pave their way for full UN member state status when they have not yet met the standards for international recognition of statehood including a viable governing authority?

This year’s Democratic Party platform claims that “the President and the Democratic Party” are “working to reform international bodies.”  Which international bodies would those be, since the Obama administration’s actions certainly do not indicate any seriousness about reforming the UN? This is evidenced in Rice’s own testimony that the Obama administration opposes “legislation that would link efforts to reform the UN to withholding dues.”

The Republican Party platform does not gloss over the UN’s failings, especially its use as a forum for Islamists and other human rights abusers to try and delegitimize the democratic Jewish state:

As long as its scandal-ridden management continues, as long as some of the world’s worst tyrants hold seats on its Human Rights Council, and as long as Israel is treated as a pariah state, the U.N. cannot expect the full support of the American people.

Anyone who cares about the future of the Jewish state of Israel need only look at the two major political parties’ platforms to see which of them also cares.
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« Reply #1667 on: September 05, 2012, 10:55:32 AM »

How can it be said that Israel didn't try to coordinate with the US on this. How can they know what the administration's position by judging their ever-changing, contradictory words.  Like it or not and take action or not, it affects us when our enemies and terrorists acquire nuclear weapons. 

If Israel strikes and if a drawn out war ensues, we are going to sit on the sidelines during the destruction of Israel.  REALLY?

If so, this is why we have elections. I don't wish to change your morally neutral mind. I wish to defeat that kind of dangerous indifference and elect responsible leaders interested in OUR security.
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JDN
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« Reply #1668 on: September 05, 2012, 11:21:10 AM »

Doug, perhaps Israel did try to coordinate with the U.S.  However in the expert opinion of our military, we rejected their conclusion and our military decided now is not the time.
OUR military is only interested in OUR security.  It's not indifference; in fact is unbridled loyalty to America.  What's best for America should be the only question on their table.

Frankly, I think it's absurd to think we would immediately come to anyone's aid if they took unilateral action directly against our advice.

Imagine for a moment the possible worldwide negative effects of a military attack on Iran. It's HUGE!
Especially when OUR military says now is not the time.

Why should we be be suckered in and suffer the negative consequences?

That said, if a drawn out war ensues, no one is saying that we won't step in before Israel is destroyed.  Of course we would.
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ccp
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« Reply #1669 on: September 05, 2012, 03:49:07 PM »

"That said, if a drawn out war ensues, no one is saying that we won't step in before Israel is destroyed.  Of course we would."

JDN this totally misses the point whether accurate or not.

Once Iran achieves a couple of deliverable nuclear devices Israel can be destroyed in minutes.

The whole point is Iran needs to be prevented from doing this at the outset.  The longer we wait the more difficult it becomes to stop them.

I suppose one other possibility is the US is waiting for more inside intelligence data to better prepare for as close to a knockout blow as possible but this seems very wishful thinking.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 03:58:53 PM by ccp » Logged
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« Reply #1670 on: September 05, 2012, 04:18:54 PM »

CCP; No Doug specifically referred to a "drawn out war".

My point CCP is not whether Israel should "unilaterally" attack Iran; that is THEIR choice.  Just don't ask us to fight and suffer
their war.

OUR choice is whether to become "sucked in" to an action America does not agree with;
my answer, and the answer of our Military and Intelligence Leaders is "don't do it". 

The question, as even you identified, is whether it is in America's best interest; do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

And the answer is a resounding "NO".  Not at this time according to our Experts.

I mean think about it CCP; if Taiwan who is also our ally unilaterally decided to attack China, should we be sucked in?
or IF South Korea unilaterally decided to unilaterally attack North Korea, should we be sucked in?

And the answer is clearly "No"; before we are "sucked in" we have a right to decide what's best and if they want us
to help, they better follow our advice or they are on their own.  The same should apply here.

I know you support Israel.  I respect that.  I too have a love and respect for Israel.  But.....
Don't you agree?
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ccp
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« Reply #1671 on: September 06, 2012, 12:24:35 PM »

Taiwan/China and the Koreas are at this time a standoff.

Iran leadership has made their intentions known.  Different situations.

As for our military we have a commander in chief who has made his intentions known.]

Top military brass traditionally do not contradict him in public.

I don't agree with the US taking the risk of Iran getting nuclear devices and possibly murdering tens of thousands or more.

Preemptive action should have been taken years ago in my armchair opinion.

The risk of nuclear war is going to be far higher when Iran gets nuclear weapons.   sanctions will not work and cannot work - not with China and Russia not supporting them.
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ccp
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« Reply #1672 on: September 06, 2012, 07:18:25 PM »

It is heartwarming to know that the US military agrees with Russia on this issue.  Israelis should sleep well at night:

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-says-attacking-iran-disastrous-ifax-064755751.html
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1673 on: September 07, 2012, 09:01:37 AM »

Reflections of a Diaspora Jew on Zionism, America and the Fate of the Jews

Posted By David Horowitz On September 7, 2012

Editors’ note: In the following speech accepting the Ben Hecht Award for Outstanding Journalism from the Zionist Organization of America, David Horowitz notes that he wants everything that the Zionists want–a muscular Israel willing and able to defy the growing Jew hatred in the world; a Jewish State “armed to the teeth” and ready to use its military; an Israel augmented by the addition of its historical birthright of Judea and Samaria. Yet the paradox is that until now, Horowitz notes, he has never considered himself a Zionist in the sense that Theodor Herzl and other founders used that term. Herzl’s dream was that a Jewish homeland would “normalize” the Jewish people in the eyes of an historically hostile world, end their persecution, and “solve” the “Jewish problem.” Horowitz states that he always considered this possibility to be a “fairy tale” because of his understanding of the way envy and hatred operate on the international scene, especially with the advent of “Third Worldism.”  In addition to becoming a refuge, Israel also became a magnet for homocidal intentions. The events of 9/11 changed everything. Because of the rise of Islamism in the U.S.–especially influencing those who were once Israel’s strong defenders–as well as in the Middle East, Horowitz says that “supporters of freedom are all Zionists now.” Below is the text of the speech that Horowitz gave last night, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, in Philadelphia.

Let me begin by saying how honored I am to be invited to this podium by the Zionist Organization of America and Mort Klein, its courageous leader.  For decades Mort Klein and the ZOA have stood on the frontline defending the state of Israel and American Jews, and they are doing it now in what is certainly one of the darker periods for the Jewish people – darker all over the world – in our 5,000-year history. I applaud you for supporting Mort Klein and his team. I am touched by the recognition of an organization like this for the modest work I have done in behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

Still, there is a paradox at the heart of this honor awarded me by the Zionist Organization of America, which will take me a moment to explain. It is true that I am widely attacked by anti-Semites and Jew-haters and the enemies of Israel as a Zionist — and an arch Zionist at that. I have been called variously a Zionist Jew, an “Israel Firster Zionist Jew,” “a rabid Zionist” (by Julian Assange no less), a “radical right-wing Zionist,” an “extreme Zionist,” an “extremist Zionist stalwart,” an “unrepentant Zionist,” an “ultra Zionist” and a “Zio-Nazi.”

Today, anti-Zionism is the cause of Jew-haters and anti-Semites the world over, and for Jews embarrassed by the fact that they are Jews and that others fear and despise them for that reason. Even the rare Jewish magazine of the left that is actually a supporter of Israel, is uncomfortable with the connotations of the Zionist label, and with what it means for Jews to defend themselves. In a recent unflattering profile, the Tablet magazine described me as touring the country “making the case for a muscular Zionism.”

I plead guilty to this charge. I plead guilty though I have never actually been a Zionist, or made a case for Zionism in the sense that Herzl and traditional Zionists understand it. Yes, I want muscular Jews and a muscular Israel. I want Jews proud of the extraordinary nation-state Jews created in 1948 out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. I want Jews who are armed, and Jews who will defend themselves with arms if necessary. Muscular in every way. Yes.

I want more than just individual Jews armed. I want a Jewish nation-state possessing in its arsenal the most advanced modern weapons available, a state that can be counted on to defend Jews from their global enemies, and particularly their enemies in the Muslim world who are legion and who have sworn our destruction, and who are openly planning to complete the job that Hitler started. I want a Jewish state, armed to the teeth, because Islamic Nazis, who are the storm troopers of a second Holocaust, are already mobilized, and because — as we discovered during the first Holocaust — there are not enough non-Jews in the world who are willing and prepared to defend us.

I am glad that Israel exists. I am glad that there is a country that will preserve Jewish culture, and be a model to the world of what Jews can do when they are given the chance. Today Israel is per capita the world’s leading scientific and technological innovator and contributor to human advancement. As a Jew I am proud of that.

I am also thrilled that in the creation of Israel Jews have regained their birthright. After 2,000 years of exile, the oldest surviving indigenous people in the world has won the right to some of its stolen homeland. I look forward to the day when Judea and Samaria, the historic centers of Judaism, become part of the Jewish homeland as well.

That homeland is now occupied by Palestinian Arabs who are at war with Israel, who have proclaimed their Jew-hatred to the world, and who have forfeited any right to the territories by conducting five unprovoked, armed aggressions against the Jewish state. The official policy of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is to make Jerusalem and the entire region of Palestine Judenrein. No other country in the world is expected to suffer such genocidal assaults without securing borders that are defensible, and Israel should not be expected to either.

Nonetheless, there is a paradox in this honor given to me, a Jew who has never been to Israel and who has never considered himself a Zionist in the sense that its founders intended. Theodor Herzl and his followers embraced the Zionist idea because they believed that the creation of a Jewish nation would provide a solution to the “Jewish Question” – the fact that Jews had been a homeless people for nearly two thousand years and were ghettoized and persecuted in the alien lands to which they were driven.

Herzl’s Zionist idea was grounded in the belief that the establishment of a Jewish state on Jewish land would finally “normalize” the Jewish people and end their persecution. The Zionist idea was that by including Jews among the nations, Jews would become ordinary, and like other peoples — that their inclusion would finally “solve” the Jewish problem. That was the meaning of Zionism as Herzl understood it, and indeed as it was understood until the Holocaust and the actual creation of the Jewish state.

But Herzl’s dream proved to be a fairy tale, as delusional in its way as the dreams of socialism, communism and progressivism, whose believers hoped would provide solutions to the conflicts and sufferings that blight our human state. All these isms took hold in the 19th Century, and became forms of modern faith. The traditional religions they supplanted had trusted in a Divinity for such a solution, but were forced into retreat before the advance of Darwinian theory and modern scientific developments. All the messianic visions of the modern age were driven by the desire for an earthly redemption that would resolve our human dilemmas and achieve what the heavenly redemption could no longer convincingly offer.[1]

Among these fantasies of a better world than the one we inherited, Zionism was the most conservative, and the most practical. The quests for a socially just future are based on no human reality but on the expectation of a human miracle, a transformation of who we are and what we have been into something wonderfully different. Zionism by contrast was based on the experience of actual peoples who had already taken their place among the nations. It was a quest for normality. Not for a world transformation but for an integration into the existing world of others.

But even this modest hope of the Jews has proved an impossible dream. It is true that half of Herzl’s goal has been realized, and in an astounding way. Yet its very realization has proved the hope that inspired it to be a folly. By all standards of civilization and modernity Israel should be admired and emulated by the rest of the world. Instead, the Jewish state is hated and is a pariah among the nations, just as Jews themselves are pariahs in most of the world outside America today.

Far from creating a refuge, Israel has become the focal point of all the genocidal intentions against the Jews, which have never been more overt or more global. Today Israel is the site of a Holocaust for which the Islamic world openly yearns, and which the rest of the world – with the possible exceptions of America and Canada — will not lift a finger to prevent.  This sobering reality has changed the meaning of Zionism, and has made it a more comfortable fit for me. Call it the Zionism of Survival.

In the household I grew up in, I was not brought up to be a Zionist because my parents were Marxist progressives who looked to a socialist future to provide an earthly salvation, and an end to the persecution of the Jews. My parents and their comrades believed that mankind’s conflicts would be resolved by a universal class whose revolution would abolish all nations and unite all peoples, and thus remove the distinctions that made them Jews.

My realization that this was not going to happen occurred through my relationship with a Marxist mentor named Isaac Deutscher. Deutscher had written a book called The Non-Jewish Jew, by which he meant Marxists like us – Jews who were of Judaism but not in it. By the time I came under his influence in the 1960s, he had become a defender of Israel and had been one since the Second World War. Deutscher viewed Israel as a “raft” state – a refuge that Jews could cling to after they had been shipwrecked in the storms that periodically engulfed them. The particular storm he was referring to was Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

During the interwar years, a debate had raged in Europe’s leftwing circles, which carried momentous consequences for those who participated in it. The debate was about how Jews should respond to the looming fascist threat. The Zionists were urging Jews to flee the continent and take refuge in the Palestine Mandate. Marxists like Deutscher argued that the Jews should stay in Europe and fight for the socialist revolution. But as Deutscher ruefully acknowledged later, the Jews who listened to the Zionists were still alive, while those who listened to Marxists like him were dead.

Under Deutscher’s influence, I became a quasi-Zionist, a believer in the raft state. Israel should exist and be defended until the socialist transformation abolished nation-states and solved the problem of the Jews once and for all.

Don’t think for a moment that this is some quaint Marxist delusion now consigned to the historical dustbin. The idea of a world without borders is alive and well in the international left and among liberals and progressives in America. It is the idea that animates the Democratic Party’s attacks on American sovereignty, and it is a vision whose intellectual leaders are Jews.

One of its canonical articles is called “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism” — for the latter and against the former. It was written by Harvard philosopher Martha Nussbaum.  According to Nussbaum, the cosmopolitan ideal which progressive people should aspire to is “the person whose primary allegiance is to the community of human beings in the entire world.” This attitude – that we are not Jews or Americans – but “citizens of the world” — explains why people on the left are so uncomfortable with — or simply hostile to — issues of national security and patriotism. It explains why progressive Jews can be indifferent to the survival of the Jewish state.

Even as I absorbed Deutscher’s lesson about the raft state, my belief in the progressive fantasy was rapidly eroding. I had begun to doubt the possibility of a redeemed future, a future fundamentally different from those with which we were historically familiar. As these doubts grew, they were changing my view of the unredeemed present. By the middle of the next decade I no longer believed in a new world order. This had immediate and profound consequences for my attitude towards Israel and my identity as a Jew, and as an American as well.

There was not going to be a future in which there were no longer nations or peoples in conflict; there was not going to be a future in which Jews would cease to be the objects of envy and resentment, and virulent hatred. There was not going to be a future in which a refuge – a raft state — was no longer useful.

Then came 9/11 and the Islamic attack on the World Trade Center. It was an event that made millions of people aware of the Islamist movement in the Muslim world and the fact that they were conducting a holy war against infidels in general, and Jews in particular. The incubator and leading force of this holy war is the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization founded by an admirer of Hitler and a godfather of the call to push the Jews of Palestine into the sea. Today, the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood is the Egyptian imam, Yusef al-Qaradawi, who has publicly prayed that the Muslim believers will finish the job that Hitler started.

Millions of Jews are in denial when it comes to the determination of Islamists to kill them. In part, this denial is psychological and familiar as when people face a prospect that is too terrible to contemplate. There are a billion and a half Muslims in the world today who worship a prophet who has told them that “the day of redemption will only come when Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, when the Jews hide behind the rocks and the trees, and the rocks and the trees cry out, ‘Oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him.’” For a billion and a half Muslims that is the word of God. Denial is one convenient way of dealing with this fact.

This particular death warrant for the Jews can be found on the official website of the University of Southern California, where it was placed by the Muslim Students Union, which is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. When I asked a leader at the Wiesenthal Center to demand that this genocidal incitement be removed, his initial response was, “But it’s a religious statement.” Well, yes, but it is also a summons to kill the Jews. Such is the force of denial.

One of the chief instruments of the Muslim Brotherhood is the Muslim Students Association, which sponsors “Israeli Apartheid weeks” at universities across America and throughout the Western world calling for Israel’s destruction. Muslim Students Association members chant “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea” – that is from the eastern boundary of Israel to the western one. It is a call for the liquidation of the Jewish state because it is Jewish. Yet all across America, campus rabbis hold ecumenical dialogues with the Muslim Students Association, and defend it against its critics.

I have traveled to many universities to oppose these Jew-haters, and everywhere I go I am protested against and defamed by the Muslim Students Association and by their Jewish enablers. I have met with numerous campus rabbis and asked them to set conditions for their ecumenical outreach: first, that their Muslim counterparts desist from sponsoring Israeli Apartheid Weeks, and denounce those who conduct them; and second, that they only hold dialogues with people who publicly support the right of a Jewish state to exist in the Middle East.

For these efforts I have been attacked by Hillel rabbis at Yale, the University of North Carolina, the University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Florida, and by Hillel student leaders at the University of Pennsylvania and other schools. For voicing these concerns, they have called me a bigot, a racist and an “Islamophobe,” which is a smear invented by the Muslim Brotherhood to silence its critics.

Last year I published a full-page ad in the Yale Daily News whose headline read: “The Palestinian Case Against Israel Is Based On A Genocidal Lie.” The genocidal lie is the claim that all of Israel – or any of Israel — is occupied Arab land. It is a claim used to justify all of the murderous acts committed against the Jews of Israel. In fact, Israel was created out of the ruins of the Turkish Empire, as were Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. The Turks are not Arabs, and Israel does not occupy any Arab land.

The Middle East conflict is not about land or a Palestinian state. It is a sixty-year war of aggression first by the Arab League and then by Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims to destroy the Jewish state and push the Jews into the sea. This war is now a religious war, an expression of Islamic Nazism.

To be perfectly clear, I am not referring to all Muslims as Nazis. I am referring to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic forces now ascendant in Egypt and the Middle East who are actively promoting a second genocide of the Jews, along with their supporters in America and their secular allies on the political left.

When my ad about the Palestinian lie appeared in the Yale paper, the Slifka Center, the focus of Jewish life on campus, was outraged. They were not outraged by the Palestinian lie but by my ad, which told the truth. They were outraged because the truth offended the Muslim Students Association with whom they wished to be friends. To counter my ad the Slifka Center published its own full- page statement. It affirmed the Slifka Center’s “respect” – and I quote their words – “for the Muslim Students Association, which does not spread hateful lies about Israel.”

The Slifka statement then attacked my ad as the purveyor of “hateful ideas,” which it said would “lead to tragic rifts between the Jewish and Muslim communities,” as though campuses across the country were not already reverberating to the chants of “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea,” or as though Muslim masses were not already chanting “death to the Israel” at the call of Hizbollah and Hamas and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Having made its commitments clear, the Slifka ad then invited students to an evening with the Ground Zero Mosque Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, hosted by Slifka Center director James Ponet, the celebrity rabbi who officiated at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.

The suicidal tendencies of the intended victims of Islamic supremacy are tragically familiar. They recall the sad delusions of members of the Judenrate – the Jewish Councils in the Nazi ghettos – who organized the Jews for Hitler’s death camps, while pretending to themselves that the Germans were too civilized to kill them.

Delusions about Islamic Nazis are hardly confined to Jews, however. In the eyes of the Islamic fanatics, Israel may be the “Little Satan,” but America is “The Great Satan,” the arch demon that must be destroyed in the name of Allah. In his fatwas Osama Bin Laden identified Islam’s enemies as “Jews and Crusaders,” America being Christian and therefore the “Crusader Nation.” Every Islamist leader and organization from Ahmadinejad to Qaradawi, from the Muslim Brotherhood to Hizbollah and Hamas has promised death to Israel and America as the necessary means to their malignant ends.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders – like the Jews — are asleep. It is an old story. Just before the Second World War, Whittaker Chambers, a Communist defector, attempted to warn Roosevelt that a White House advisor named Alger Hiss was a Soviet agent and that his administration had been penetrated by Communist operatives. When Roosevelt was informed of Chambers’ charges he laughed and dismissed them. Hiss then accompanied Roosevelt to Yalta where he helped conclude the deal that delivered Eastern Europe to the Soviet Empire and triggered the Cold War.

Here is a story that may prove worse than that of Alger Hiss. In a series of foreign policy disasters the Obama Administration has assisted the Muslim Brotherhood in transforming the Arab Spring in the Middle East into an Islamist winter, beginning with the toppling of an allied regime in Egypt and the accession to power of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its expansion throughout the region. In August, the new Egyptian president sacked his military commanders, abrogated the Constitution, and assumed dictatorial powers greater than those possessed by his predecessor, and transforming Egypt into an Islamist state. Opponents of the dictatorship were crucified – literally nailed to crosses – in front of the government headquarters. It was the Brotherhood’s way of dramatizing its intentions to turn Egypt into a Medieval totalitarian state.

This was exactly what the American State Department had assured the world the Muslim Brotherhood would not do as it paved the way for the Brotherhood’s accession to power. The intelligence chief of the Obama White House had officially described the Muslim Brotherhood as a “moderate” and “secular” organization, which had embraced democratic and constitutional government.

The betrayal of these promises, and the violation of every principle the American government claimed to be supporting in the Middle East’s most important state, took place without a word of protest from the American government or the American Secretary of State.

As it happens the chief adviser on Muslim affairs to the American Secretary of State is Huma Abedin, one of whose mentors was the Nazi imam, Yusef Qaradawi. Abedin is an operative for the Muslim Brotherhood and a lifelong servant of its agendas. In the twelve years directly proceeding her hiring by the U.S. Government, where she became deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton, Abedin worked for Abdullah Omar Naseef, one of the principal financiers of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and a Muslim Brotherhood eminence. Huma Abedin’s mother and brother are Muslim Brotherhood leaders, as was her father before them.

In their work for the Brotherhood, the Abedin family was specifically tasked with running Abdullah Omar Naseef’s jihad operation, the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs. The title sounds innocuous enough until you understand that the express goal of the Institute is to transform the Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries into Muslim majorities as part of the Islamic jihad, with the express intent of creating Islamic states — in short, to conquer those countries for totalitarian Islam. To accomplish this goal Muslim minorities must be prevented from assimilating into non-Muslim societies and also be indoctrinated in Islamic supremacist ideas. That was and is the mission of the Abedin family. In addition to the network of Saudi-funded mosques in target countries like the United States, the chief organizations for accomplishing this goal are the Muslim Students Association, on whose Executive Board Huma Abedin served, and its offshoot, the Islamic Society of North America, which is now the principal source of advice on Muslim affairs for the Obama administration.

In other words, at the right hand of the American Secretary of State and the center of American foreign policy, is a woman whose family are leaders of what the Muslim Brotherhood calls its “grand jihad” — its plan to infiltrate non-Muslim societies, and “destroy the Western civilization from within” — in those exact words. And what people do these jihadists regard as the chief obstacle to their sinister designs? The Jews.

In the words of their own manifesto:

“The greatest challenge that faces Muslims in America and Canada are the Jews, who take advantage of their material ability and their media to distort the image of Islam and Muslims thereby spreading lies in the minds of the people of these countries.” The Jews also “serve Zionist interests in the Arab regions.”

In the hands of the Islamists and their allies, Zionism has become the name of all the opponents of Islamist supremacy and its holy war against infidels, against Jews and Christians, Israel and the United States. Americans and Israelis, Jews and Christians have their backs to the same wall. One cannot be defended without defending the other. Supporters of freedom are all Zionists now. And that includes myself. That is the way this war of the civilizations, or — as I prefer it – this war between Islamist barbarism and civilization, will continue until it is finally concluded, and the next conflict begins.

I say this, because as a conservative I understand that conflicts are endless, and these battles are without end. To be a conservative is first to understand that there is no solution to the dilemmas of the human condition. Second, it is to understand that to escape these dilemmas, human beings will inevitably embark on desperate quests for redemptions in this life. These redemptions, in turn, will require holy wars to purge the world of demons – of those who do not share their faith, and who stand in their way. In this regard, totalitarian Islam is really no different in its heart from totalitarian socialism or progressivism, even though the latter are secular and the former is pursued in the name of a vengeful and malignant God. Both seek to cleanse mankind of its irreparable imperfections.

To remain free beings, we are continually forced to defend ourselves and our breathing space, against the efforts of the redeemers to perfect us — against the armies of the saints who are determined to make the world a better place than it can ever be. That is how I see the political wars we face, and why they will never end.

On a personal level, and to answer the question I raised at the beginning of this talk about my identity: I am comfortable being a Diaspora Jew, both in this present struggle with the enemies of America and Israel, and beyond. Diaspora is the name of our Jewish exile, but exile is also the name of our human condition. We are thrust into this life, and remain here for awhile, and then we are gone. If there is a home for us that is truly permanent, it is not of this time or of this place.

My country, America, and the country of my people, Israel, share a common destiny. They are the gathering places of exiles, of those who understand better than others that we have no permanent abode in this world. It is because of this that we cherish the freedoms and the homes we do have, and we are not afraid to fight for them.

Notes:

[1] This is the subject of my book, A Point In Time: The Search for Redemption in this Life and the Next, 2011.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1674 on: September 07, 2012, 12:41:03 PM »

God, Jerusalem and American foreign policy

Caroline Glick - September 7, 2012 - www.carolineglick.com


Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama and his supporters have been dogged by criticism of his position on Israel. From the very outset of his tenure in office, critics and supporters alike have not been able to shake the sense that Obama is deeply hostile to the Jewish state.

Obama and his supporters have responded to every criticism of his treatment of Israel by pulling out a list. Every time his record on Israel is criticized, Obama and his supporters pull out a list of the things he has done for Israel. Just this week, in an op-ed in The New York Times, Democratic donor Haim Saban pulled out the list to justify his support for Obama.

As the list notes, Obama has given billions of dollars in military assistance to Israel. He has gotten stiff sanctions passed against Iran by the UN Security Council. He has agreed to sell F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Israel. During his presidency, they say, the US has expanded its intelligence and military coordination with Israel. Obama has opposed some anti-Israel resolutions at the UN.

Obama's critics respond to Obama's list with a series of points. They note that in approving increases in US military assistance to Israel, including for the Iron Dome rocket defense system, Obama is simply carrying out a pledge made by his predecessor George W. Bush. They note that the UN Security Council sanctions have had no impact on Iran's nuclear weapons program.

So, too, Obama opposed even stronger sanctions against Iran passed with the overwhelming support of both houses of Congress.

He had to be forced, kicking and screaming, to sign those sanctions into law. And since he signed the sanctions law, he has used his presidential power to water them down.

Obama's critics mention that due to his insistence on appeasing Iran, last week Iran enjoyed its greatest diplomatic triumph since the 1979 Iranian revolution. More than a hundred nations sent representatives to Tehran to participate in the 16th Non-Aligned Movement Summit. And in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, those nations expressed support for Iran's nuclear program.

And while it is true that Obama has blocked two anti-Israel initiatives at the UN, he has been more supportive of the inherently anti-American and anti-Israel UN system than any of his recent predecessors.

As for Israeli-US intelligence cooperation, under Obama for the first time, the US has systematically leaked Israel's most closely guarded secrets to the media.

Indeed, critics of Obama's policy towards Israel have their own list. It includes Obama's repeated humiliations of Israel's prime minister. It includes the multiple clashes Obama has initiated with Israel with regards to Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. It includes Obama's adoption of the Palestinians' position on Israel's borders.

But still, as Obama and his supporters will say, facts are facts and they have a list. And because the list is true - as far as it goes - they can argue that Obama is supportive of Israel.

Given its superficially compelling argument, it is remarkable that Obama's list has failed to end the debate about his position on Israel. Today Americans have no interest in foreign policy.

They don't want to hear that by leaving Iraq as he did, Obama squandered everything that the US fought for. They don't want to hear that he effectively handed the country over to Iran, which now has the ability to use Iraq as its forward base for operations in Syria, Lebanon and beyond.

They don't want to hear that Obama's surgeand- leave strategy in Afghanistan is fomenting a US defeat in that war and setting the conditions for the reinstitution of the Taliban government.

They don't want to hear about how Russia and China view the US with contempt and challenge its economic and strategic interests every day.

They don't want to hear how Obama played a key role in overthrowing the US's key ally in the Arab world, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. They don't want to consider the implications of the fact that the US is now bankrolling the Muslim Brotherhood's transformation of Egypt into an anti- American, radical Islamic regime.

And yet, in the face of this absence of interest in the world outside their borders, Americans remain interested in the question of whether or not Obama is supportive of Israel.

There are two reasons for Americans' enduring interest and concern about Israel. And they were both revealed this week at the Democratic National Convention when the story broke about how this year's Democratic platform differs from its 2008 platform. First it was reported that the platform contained no mention of God.

Then it was reported that unlike the 2008 platform, this year's Democratic Party platform made no mention of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

This year's platform watered down the language on Israel in other significant ways as well.

It did not refer to Israel as the US's "strongest ally" in the Middle East. It did not call for the continued eschewal of the Hamas terror group by the international community. It did not mention US opposition to the Palestinian demand for the so-called "right of return" - through which Israel would be destroyed by an influx of millions of foreign Arabs in the framework of a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. But whereas these other deletions were generally ignored, the platform's silence on Jerusalem generated a maelstrom of criticism that exceeded even its deletion of God.

Significantly, rather than treat the deletions of God and Jerusalem as separate issues, the media and the Democrats themselves presented them as two sides of the same coin. When on Wednesday the party's leadership decided to restore the language of the 2008 platform on God and Jerusalem - but not on Hamas, the so-called "right of return," and Israel's strategic significance to the US - they opted to do so in the same amendment.

The widespread perception of God and Jerusalem as related issues tells us something important about the American character. And it tells us something equally important about Obama and the party he leads.

Prof. Walter Russell Mead described Israel's place in the American mindset last year. As he put it, "Israel matters in American politics like almost no other country on earth. Well beyond the American Jewish and the Protestant fundamentalist communities, the people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul. The idea of Jewish and Israeli exceptionalism is profoundly tied to the idea of American exceptionalism. The belief that God favors and protects Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects America."

Mead continued, "Being pro-Israel matters in American mass politics because the public mind believes at a deep level that to be pro-Israel is to be pro-America and pro-faith. Substantial numbers of voters believe that politicians who don't 'get' Israel also don't 'get' America and don't 'get' God."

By removing both God and Jerusalem from the platform, Obama and his fellow Democrats stirred the furies of that American soul at its foundations.

They showed they don't "get" Israel or God. And by extension, they don't "get" America.

The intellectually confusing decision to lump Jerusalem and God together in the same amendment no doubt owed to the fact that someone in the party recognized how disastrous the deletions were for their ability to convince wavering voters that the Democratic Party has their back.

And this brings us to nature of the Democratic Party today. For the amendment to the platform to pass, it needed the support of two-thirds of the convention's delegates. And so, on Wednesday morning, the convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, brought the amendment to the floor for a voice vote.

Much to his obvious shock, the amendment did not receive the requisite support. Calls supporting the amendment were met by at least equally strong calls opposing it. Villaraigosa was forced to call the vote three times before declaring - contrary to the evidence - that the amendment had passed.

More than anything else, the floor vote showed how out of step a large and significant constituency in the Democratic Party is with the basic character of their country. The spectacle should raise concerns among all supporters of Israel who believe Obama's pro-Israel list is proof they have a safe home today in the Democratic Party.

Jerusalem's conflation with God in the American imagination is not the only reason so many people attacked the platform's watered-down language on US-Israel ties. The second reason for the uproar explains why the issue of Obama's support for Israel is the only foreign policy question that has dogged his administration since he took office. It explains why American support for Israel is a more salient issue for Americans than Iraq or Afghanistan, Britain, Turkey or Russia.

Here, too, Israel's symbolic importance in the American imagination is central for understanding the matter. Beyond its religious significance, there is a widespread perception that Israel is on the front line of the war against America. As a consequence, Israel is the only foreign policy issue that telegraphs messages about the nature of America's foreign policy to an otherwise disengaged and largely indifferent American public.

For most Americans - if not for most Democrats - support for Israel is the most important plank of US foreign policy because it indicates the nature of that foreign policy as a whole. A president who supports Israel is a president who has his priorities straight. A president who is hostile to Israel is a president who can't be trusted on Iran or Russia or China or anything else.

In an apparent effort to end this state of affairs, Obama has adopted a policy towards Iran - whose nuclear program represents the greatest rising threat to US national security - that frames the issue as Israel's problem.

In so doing, Obama seeks to achieve two goals. First, he seeks to decouple Israel's national security from America's national security in the popular imagination. And second, he seeks to diminish popular support for Israel by presenting Israel as a country that is pushing America into an unnecessary war.

Obama's list of pro-Israel actions is essential to his ability to achieve this specific goal, and through its achievement to convince Americans of the overall success of his foreign policy. The list is essential because it transforms Israel in the public mind from a strategic ally into a strategic basket case in need of America's constant assistance.

In line with this, it is telling that the amendment of the Democratic platform did not return the 2008 platform's characterization of Israel as America's "strongest ally" in the Middle East.

But as the outcry the platform changes provoked demonstrated, Obama has failed to achieve this goal. And this is wonderful news.

On the other had, as long as he has supporters willing to publish op-eds and give interviews devoted to repeating the list, Obama will continue to make the case that he can be trusted on foreign policy despite his abandonment of God, Jerusalem and America's most vital interests.
 

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.
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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 #1675 on: September 12, 2012, 10:54:18 AM »

Who Else Opposes An Iran Attack?
by Ali Gharib  | September 11, 2012 8:45 AM EDT
The bad news is that most Americans are ill-informed about the Iranian nuclear program; the good news is that they still don't want to attack Iran. Those are results of the biennial Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey of public opinion on foreign policy (PDF).

The bad news first: Who can blame them? There's a constant stream of misinformation out there, and so a stunning majority of 66 percent of Americans don't know that U.S. intelligence agencies think Iran has not made a decision to build a nuclear weapon. Here's the chart from the Chicago Council:


Screen capture of a chart from Chicago Council on Global Affairs 2012 survey report.

While nearly two-thirds of Americans see Iran as a threat (down a bit from two years ago), slightly more still want their government to talk to the Iranians. What don't Americans want? A war with Iran, especially not a unilateral one (my emphasis):

A slim majority (51%) opposes UN authorization of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear energy facilities, with a substantial minority (45%) supporting such action. A far broader majority (70%) opposes a unilateral strike by the United States if Iran continues to enrich uranium but the Security Council does not authorize a military strike.

That means even some of those Americans who think Iran is hellbent on developing weapons—or that Iran already has them—don't support an attack.

Americans aren't that keen on the idea of an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program either: 59 percent of respondents to the Chicago Council said the U.S. shouldn't commit military forces to help Israel in the event that an Israeli initiated-strike touches off a broader conflict. Nearly four-in-ten said the U.S. should jump in.

Instead of an attack, Americans support unilateral and multilateral sanctions (such as pressure from the U.N. Security Council), and direct diplomacy. Whose policy does that sound like?
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« Reply #1676 on: September 12, 2012, 02:07:47 PM »

OK, I am in the minority.

I support an all out attack on Iran's nuclear facilities and whatever else it takes.  Should have been done years ago.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1677 on: September 12, 2012, 02:32:54 PM »

Well the original plan was to be in Iraq in support of its movement forward-- which sure would have facilitated things.  Being on its northern border in Afg and Azerbaijian also being part of the plan.  Also, if Bush had listened to Cheney and tumbled Syria in the early days of the Iraq War that too might have helped.  However, the fight will be what the fight will be and we are where we are. 

I think the numbers cited by JDN are probably fairly accurate.  As a war of choice, an act of Congress is necessary, yes?  And the chances of that are about zilch, yes?  So, the play would seem to back and enable Israel and then when the Iranians hit us to go after the Iranians.  Unfortunately Baraq seems to be intent on divulging intel (e.g. Israel's deal with Azerbaijian) so as to block it from acting.
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« Reply #1678 on: September 14, 2012, 03:54:45 AM »

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-AGD8AgY-94WVYtbGVhZW9mWmc/edit?pli=1

A look at the pros and cons of acting toward Iran. No recommendations; no conclusions. Endorsed by major players in national security.
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« Reply #1679 on: September 14, 2012, 10:14:51 AM »

By Danny Danon
September 14, 2012
JERUSALEM — As the war of words heats up regarding a possible Israeli military strike on Iran, now is the time to look at one of the key arguments used by those opposed to such an act of self-defense. Time and again we have heard the question "Why now?" asked whenever an Israeli prime minister must make a decision that placed our nation's very existence in jeopardy. Each time, our leaders knew to focus on the real question — "What is the alternative?" — and then go forward on the lonely path toward a more secure and free Israel.

There are many examples of such decision-making, but three key ones stand out.

In the spring of 1948, it was far from an obvious decision that the pre-state Jewish community would declare its independence the minute that the British Mandate rule ended. The nascent state had been, for all intents and purposes, at war since the approval of the November 1947 United Nations partition plan. As the British were preparing to leave, armed Arab militias were rising up throughout the Holy Land, and the Arab states that surrounded it had begun to amass troops and arms on the borders.

Meanwhile, the Jewish leadership in Palestine was at odds about how to act. Most analysts warned David Ben-Gurion, who would become Israel's first prime minister, that a declaration of independence would not be accepted by the international community, and the existing arms embargo and blockade on immigration would continue.

In May 1948, Ben-Gurion was finally able to persuade a majority of the People's Administration (the legislative precursor to the Knesset) to approve such a declaration. The final vote was 6 to 4, with three members missing. Almost half the members were positively considering the alternative of a U.S.-sponsored cease-fire and promises of support if they delayed the declaration. But Ben-Gurion understood that the time for a decision was upon them and that he could not worry about world opinion and warnings of doom if the Jews declared their independence.

Another example was the Six-Day War. In mid-May 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled the U.N. peacekeeping force in the Sinai desert, which served as a buffer between Egypt and Israel, and began amassing troops in the formerly demilitarized zone. On May 22, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping — a vital waterway that international law had declared must remain open to all countries. As Egypt increased the number of troops in the Sinai, Israeli fears were compounded when Nasser signed military pacts with Syria and Jordan.

During this tense time, President Lyndon B. Johnson implored Prime Minister Levi Eshkol not to attack the Arab countries and promised increased aid and oil supplies to Israel if it waited for an internationally accepted solution. The Israeli newspapers were full of editorials calling on the government not to attack without prior agreements with international powers.

In fact, in a Cabinet meeting June 2, 1967 the Israeli government decided not to attack and to continue to wait for the international community to provide a solution. By June 5, however, Eshkol and his Cabinet had had enough. They realized that no outside power, no matter how friendly, could be trusted to ensure Israel's security or even its survival. The decision was taken to launch a surprise attack that would guarantee Israel's security for years to come.

A more recent example that is perhaps most analogous to today's situation was Prime Minister Menachem Begin's 1981 order to destroy the nuclear reactor in Osirak, Iraq. As the evidence mounted in the late 1970s and early 1980s about Iraq's nuclear program, the Israeli government was faced with a difficult choice. Saddam Hussein declared repeatedly that his country was working on a civilian nuclear program. All of Israel's allies urged patience and spoke of the need to negotiate with the Iraqis for a peaceful resolution.

The prime minister was not exempt from criticism at home, either. Shimon Peres, then the opposition leader and candidate for prime minister, criticized the Begin government and warned against any strike on the facility without full cooperation from the international community.

Despite the immense pressure from abroad and at home, Begin made the difficult decision to send Israeli pilots on a complicated (many thought impossible) mission to disable the Iraqi nuclear program. International reaction was swift. The U.N. General Assembly and the International Atomic Energy Agency harshly condemned Israel. Even the U.S. voted for a Security Council resolution denouncing the attack and suspended a long-planned delivery of F-16s.

The international community, including the U.S., sounded very different in 1991 when they invaded Iraq to liberate Kuwait. Many of the same countries that condemned Israel in 1981 have since sung the praises of that preemptive attack and thanked Israel for saving them from dealing with a nuclear Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.

Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government are being told that the time for military action against the Iranian nuclear program is not yet upon us. Even as Iran continues to call for the destruction of the Jewish state while developing its nuclear program at an alarming rate, the Israeli government is urged to show restraint and to give time for negotiations and sanctions to work.

At home, we are again witness to a cacophony of experts and former officials who warn of international isolation and the destruction of our home front if we act alone. Peres, now Israel's president, has warned of dire consequences if we do not act in perfect union with other Western powers.

Once again, an Israeli prime minister is faced with a difficult choice. Once again, the international community is urging Israel to take a wait-and-see approach. In the end, this is a judgment that can be made only by Israel's democratically elected government. Whatever decision is ultimately taken, I know Netanyahu is a keen student of history who realizes that when it comes to protecting Israel's security, our very survival, there is no time like the present.

Danny Danon is deputy speaker of the Knesset and the author of "Israel: The Will to Prevail."
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« Reply #1680 on: September 14, 2012, 10:27:33 AM »


Morally the case is certainly there.

As a practical matter, a two year delay (see e.g. BD's post) with the price tag that would come with it presents some serious cost/benefit ratio questions , , ,
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« Reply #1681 on: September 19, 2012, 01:18:23 AM »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-armys-elite-undercover-unit-in-training-for-a-feared-third-palestinian-intifada/

Fearful that the current fragile calm in the West Bank could give way to a return to Palestinian violence, an elite Israeli undercover unit is carrying out nightly missions into Palestinian territory and training for the possible outbreak of a third intifada.
 
“We need to be alert and stay one step ahead,” the commander of the IDF’s Duvdevan unit told Israel’s Channel 10 news Tuesday night. “The potential for another uprising exists and we have to prepare ourselves for such an eventuality,” said the officer, a lieutenant-colonel who was identified only as S.
 
According to the TV report, Duvdevan soldiers take to the streets of West Bank cities on a nightly basis to arrest terror suspects and foil plots before they can come to fruition. Israel battled a mass uprising in the territories between 1987 and 1993 — the first intifada — and an onslaught of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks from late 2000 — the second intifada. That terrorism declined after Israel built a security barrier, physically cutting off access from the West Bank into Israel.
 
The PA has long been urging the Israel Defense Forces to cut back in operations inside territory that it controls. Tuesday’s report indicated that the Duvdevan unit, at least, is still routinely operating in PA cities.
 
The TV report said Israel was particularly concerned that the ongoing civil war in Syria, or the consequences of any upsurge in tension with Iran — Israel is widely reported to be contemplating carrying out a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities — might lead to an upsurge in Palestinian violence.
 
Last week, furthermore, saw large protests in several West Bank cities against the Palestinian Authority over austerity measures taken by the government, and calls for the resignation of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Some in Israel fear that Palestinian public bitterness in the West Bank could turn quickly against the Jewish State, the report said, with the PA already complaining that its interim peace accords with Israel are harming Palestinian financial affairs.
 
The last few days have also seen low-level Palestinian protests, directed at the US and Israel, over the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims” — underlining the potential for violence.
 
While the military, for the first time in several years, placed no extra restrictions on Palestinian movement during the Jewish Rosh Hashanah holiday this week, the army believes the current calm in the territories is misleading, the report said.
 
Later this month, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is set to fly to New York to again seek UN recognition for a Palestinian state. Stymied at the Security Council last year, he is set to seek upgraded status at the General Assembly this time, but is being pressured by the US to abandon the gambit. Tensions could flare on the ground over this issue too.
 
“Nobody knows what the future holds,” said S. “A year and a half ago, who could have predicted what’s taking place in the Arab world today. I’m sure we’re in for surprises,” he added. “We are getting ready, honing our skills, for when we are required to use them.”
 
The report said the army has set up a detailed mock Palestinian village, where soldiers train in carrying out surprise raids, with fellow soldiers playing the parts of Palestinians.
 
In the field, accompanied by Shin Bet intelligence officers, Duvdevan soldiers often work undercover, themselves dressed as Palestinians, swooping on suspects by closing in on them unnoticed.
 
The unit goes into Palestinian population centers with aerial drones flying above and scanning the territory, on missions referred to as “lawn-mowing” operations — aimed at ensuring that nascent terror plans do not grow into full-fledged bombings and other operations, by arresting conspirators.
 
S. said Duvdevan’s work has become more complex since the second intifada terrorism tailed off, because the PA now has a legally armed security force. ”It used to be a simple equation,” said S. “An armed person equalled a terrorist. Today there are Palestinian police and security officials carrying guns and rifles. There are many shades of grey in what was once a black-and-white world.”
 
Another new factor is that the unit has found itself arresting Palestinians only recently released from Israeli prisons. More than 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners were freed last October in a deal that saw Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped inside Israel and held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, finally freed after five years. According to the report, Duvdevan soldiers have arrested over 10 of the Palestinians who were freed in the Shalit deal, because they had resumed unlawful activities.
 
“Our job is to capture wanted men,” said S. “What the state does with them is not up to us.”
 
Still, remaining detached is not always easy, he said. S. and his men were the ones charged with capturing the perpetrators of a particularly brutal act of Palestinian terrorism last year, in which a mother, father and their three young children — one of them a three-month-old baby — were murdered in their beds in the West Bank settlement of Itamar last year. More than 100 people from a nearby Palestinian village were questioned over the killings of the Fogel family — which brought considerable criticism from human rights groups, S. noted — before the murderers were identified.
 
S. said he had expected to capture monsters, but that the young men appeared to be ordinary youths, at least superficially, with posters on the walls of their bedrooms. ”It reminds me of ‘Lord of the Flies,’” he said. “Anyone can turn into a beast.”

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« Reply #1682 on: September 22, 2012, 09:06:18 AM »



Border Shootout Tests Ties Between Israel and Egypt .
By MATT BRADLEY in Rafah, Egypt, and CHARLES LEVINSON in Tel Aviv

Militants crossed into Israel from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Friday and attacked an Israeli border patrol, leaving one Israeli soldier and three militants dead. The attack is the latest in a series that has heightened concerns on both sides of the border about growing lawlessness and instability in the Sinai.

The militants, armed with automatic rifles and at least one explosive device and wearing bulletproof vests, crossed into Israel at around noon Friday and opened fire on Israeli soldiers guarding the border, a spokesman for the Israeli military said.

During the ensuing gunbattle, one of the militants detonated an explosive device, an Israeli military spokesman said. A 20-year-old Israeli private, Netanael Yahalomi, was killed in the clash, the spokesman said.

Since last year's uprising in Egypt ousted former President Hosni Mubarak from power, relations between the Israeli and Egyptian military have frayed. Egypt's top generals and new political leadership have sought to distance themselves from the old regime's unpopular policies.

Meanwhile, since the revolution upended Egypt's former regime and crippled its once-powerful security services, the sparsely populated peninsula on Israel's southern border has slipped beyond the authority of the central government in Cairo.

Despite the new presidency of a former leader in the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Morsi, the violence along the border area has forced the two countries to cooperate to try to subdue militancy in the Sinai.

Israeli and Egyptian officials have acknowledged that the two sides have worked closely together over the past several months.

During Friday's cross-border attack, the Egyptian and Israeli militaries maintained "tactical cooperation throughout the event," an Israeli military official said. The two militaries have agreed to set up a joint committee to investigate the incident, Egyptian and Israeli military officials said.

Friday's violence was the deadliest since 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed on Aug. 5 when heavily armed assailants attacked an Egyptian military camp. The attackers stole a military armed truck and rammed it into the Kerem Shalom border crossing before Israeli Air Force jets destroyed the vehicle.

The incident set off a manhunt throughout Egypt's northern Sinai region. In response to the attacks, the Israeli government relaxed terms of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty that forbids military personnel from approaching the border.

Egyptian state press and the Israeli military said they didn't immediately know the militants' nationalities. In the past, Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have crossed into Israel from the Sinai to carry out attacks against Israel since that border is far more porous than Gaza's heavily fortified border with Israel.

But other extremist groups, Egyptian and otherwise, have also increasingly turned to the rugged and mountainous Sinai as a haven. Egyptian security forces have weak control of the governorate, which is populated largely by impoverished and disaffected Bedouin tribes.

Israel began construction of a fence along the 150-mile border with Egypt in late 2010. All but 18 miles of the fence have been completed. The militants crossed Friday at a stretch of border called Har Harif, which is roughly midway between the Gaza Strip in the north and Eilat at the border's southern tip.

It was unclear whether the militants intended to attack the Israeli soldiers or had their sights set on other targets inside Israel.

The border shootout was the latest incident to afflict Egypt's increasingly unstable border with Israel. Police and military authorities have suffered nearly constant harassment at the hands of local Islamist militants.
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« Reply #1683 on: September 25, 2012, 10:51:46 AM »

Before Palestinians Act at U.N., Israeli Officials Urge Other Steps
 
By JODI RUDOREN
 
Published: September 24, 2012

JERUSALEM — With the Palestinians planning to make their case this week to upgrade from organizational status to nonmember status at the United Nations General Assembly, one senior Israeli minister condemned the move as “the easy and wrong way out” on Monday, while another said the time had come for Israel to consider its own unilateral move toward a separate state: annexing parts of the West Bank and withdrawing from others.

The first, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, said at a briefing for journalists here, “The goal is not a statement but a state; the way is not condemnation of Israel, but negotiations.” Of the Palestinian bid, he said: “It’s easier, but it won’t bear fruit. A statement in the U.N. will give him some advantage in the public opinion, but this is it. Nothing will change on the ground.”

But even as Mr. Meridor, a veteran politician whose voice is one of the most moderate in Israel’s inner cabinet, emphasized the need to return to the negotiating table after a four-year stalemate, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the time might have come “to take action to start the separation process” without waiting for a deal with the Palestinians.

In an interview with the right-wing daily Israel Today, parts of which were published on Monday, Mr. Barak called for the annexation of three large settlement blocs — Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim and Ariel — where a vast majority of the 350,000 Jews in the West Bank live, and the removal of up to dozens of smaller settlements scattered across the area. He proposed that those in the farther-flung areas be offered money to move — as individual families or whole communities — either to the annexed blocs or to what is now Israel, and that those unwilling to leave remain under the rule of the Palestinian Authority for a five-year trial period.

“This will not only help us with the Palestinians, but also with other countries in the region, with the American administration, and of course ourselves,” said Mr. Barak, who mentioned his interest in unilateral action at a conference in May but did not provide details.

“This isn’t an easy decision,” he added. “The time has come to make decisions that are not only based on ideology and gut feelings, but also a cold, realistic reading of reality.”

The call for unilateralism is out of sync with the public diplomacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, particularly at a time when his office is criticizing the Palestinians’ unilateral attempt to upgrade their status at the United Nations.

Mr. Barak’s proposal is anathema to settlers and their supporters, who see uprooting so many people as unimaginable. They point out that a similar, though smaller, disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005 was traumatic for Israeli society and created an opening for the militant Hamas wing that now rules the area. The plan is equally derided by Palestinian leaders, who loathe the notion of having their future borders determined by Israeli’s decisions on annexations and withdrawals and complain that the large settlement blocs compromise the viability of a new state.

“What he’s talking about, if we’re going to think in terms of geography, is disastrous,” said Nour Odeh, a Palestinian Authority spokeswoman. “It represents an agenda that has nothing to do with a two-state solution.”

She noted that the Ariel bloc stretches more than 10 miles into the West Bank and sits on an important water source. “Ultimately all these settlements — their presence, their expansion, their expanded borders and so on — they’re all illegal, and we don’t recognize their legitimacy,” she said.

Many in Israel saw Mr. Barak’s statements less as a serious new policy initiative and more as an attempt to distinguish himself politically from the rest of the cabinet amid increasing talk of elections being called for early next year rather than as scheduled in October 2013. Mr. Barak, who is not a member of Mr. Netanyahu’s right-leaning Likud Party but leads his own small Independence Party, in recent weeks has spoken out against the elevation of an educational institution in Ariel to university status and has harshly criticized the prime minister’s budget proposal.

“As Henry Kissinger once aptly said, ‘Israel has no foreign policy, only a domestic political system,’ ” Dani Dayan, the head of the settler movement, said in an interview. “Barak’s plan is a nonstarter with the Israeli public that totally opposes unilateral withdrawals. It caters to a small portion of the electorate on which Barak bases his political calculations for his future.”
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« Reply #1684 on: September 28, 2012, 08:36:38 AM »

Are Jewish Settlements Built on Arab Land?
Posted By Rachel Neuwirth and John Landau On September 28, 2012 @ www.frontpagemag.com

Is it really true, as much of the European and American press have been reporting for years, that Jewish “settlers” in the “West Bank” (more properly known as Judea and Samaria) are living on land that they have stolen from Palestinian Arabs?

This is in fact utterly impossible. Every time that the Israeli government has proposed or given tentative approval for the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, it has first advertised its intentions in Arab newspapers, and invited any Arabs who have claims to the land to come forward with them. Only if no such claims were put forward for at least six months; or if, after such claims were made, the Israeli court system had ruled against them following a painstaking and thorough review of the facts, in which the courts bent over backwards to be fair to all Arab claimants, did the Israeli government actually authorize the construction of Jewish communities in this disputed area. Israeli courts have forbidden the Israel government from confiscating any Arab-owned land for Jewish settlement since 1980. And the Israel government has not authorized any new settlements since the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” began in 1993.

Not even the so-called “unauthorized” or “illegal” Jewish settlements, those that the Israeli government has not fully and expressly authorized, are built on Arab-owned land. Both the authorized and unauthorized Jewish communities were all built on what had been completely unoccupied, uncultivated and uninhabited “waste land.” No Arab homes were destroyed, no Arab residents were expelled, and no Arab farmland was seized in creating any of these Jewish communities—whether their construction was fully authorized by the Israeli government or not. And under the land ownership laws of Judea and Samaria — which date to when these territories were under Turkish rule, and which have been respected by all subsequent governments, including the Israeli administration — nearly all uninhabited and completely undeveloped “waste land” belongs either to the state, not to any private owner. While such land could legally be purchased from the state, there were almost no instances in which Arabs actually did purchase such “waste land,” because they would have had to pay taxes on it while deriving no benefit for the foreseeable future. Whatever few purchases of such land were made, were made by Jewish philanthropists hoping to provide land for future Jewish refugees or immigrants.

Why, then, have the notions that all of the Jewish “settlements” are “illegal” and, what is more, built on Arab-owned land taken such a firm hold on the belief-systems of the world’s governments and news media? One major reason has been the activities of Israel-based “Human rights” NGOs (“non-governmental organizations”) such as Peace Now, B’tselem, Yesh Din, Yesh Gvul and many others. These soi-disant human rights organizations, which are committed to ending the Israeli “occupation” of all land outside the country’s June 3, 1967 cease-fire lines, and to forcing the expulsion of the 300,000 Israelis who live outside those cease-fire lines (which were never legal borders), have published a series “reports” claiming that up to 30 percent of the land on which Israeli-Jewish “settlements” on the “West Bank” are built exist on what these groups describe as “privately owned Arab land” (or is it 38%? Or 32%? or 24% ? or 16%? Each “report” gives a different percentage figure, and sometimes there are even two contradictory figures within one “report”). These figures, as well as many other claims by the soi-disant human rights groups, are then immediately published as facts—first by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which despite being published in Israel is actually a mouthpiece for the Palestinian Authority and its network of affiliated organizations—and then by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the The Washington Times, NPR, the BBC and a thousand other newspapers and electronic media services throughout the Western world.

However, when one actually reads in detail the lengthy reports on the web sites of these “human rights” groups that purport to document the supposed settler “land grabs,” one finds no credible evidence for these percentage claims, despite many footnotes and long statistical tables, charts, etc. Either these “reports” a) fail to give any original source at all for the statistics, or b) they claim that they are supported by thousands of Israeli government documents that these groups have received under Israel’s Freedom of Information law—but without quoting from a single specific document that supports their claims about Jewish settlements on “privately owned Arab land.”

A report issued by Peace Now titled “Breaking the Law in the  West Bank,” first published in November 2006, is a case in point. It is the one that claims that “nearly 40 per cent” (later, in the report’s fine print, specified down to  “38.76” per cent”) of settlements are built on “privately owned Arab land.” The report is also filled with graphs and charts, much of them about irrelevancies such as the exact number of square kilometers in each settlement, maps of the settlements and of the entire “West Bank” showing the location of settlements, even photographs (some of them, ironically, showing the beauty of these communities), which give a semblance of verisimilitude and accuracy to the report. But whenever claims are made about the amount of land in the settlements that belongs to Arabs, no documentary source is given. Despite all the graphs, charts, tables and maps in the 21-page report, we are never told precisely how Peace Now reached its conclusions about the extent of land owned by Arabs in the Jewish settlements

After the 2006 report aroused some criticism and questions in Israel, Peace Now issued a second report a year later, “clarifying” and “correcting” the one issued a year earlier. Peace Now claimed that this report was based on more than 3,500 documents received from the Israeli government since the original 2006 report was published. This of course raised the question as to how Peace Now had compiled the earlier report, complete with all those statistics and other detailed data without these documents. Be that as it may, the 2007 Peace Now report admits that the previous report had been wrong in claiming that 83.4% of the “settlement” of Maale Haadumim (actually a suburb of Jerusalem less than 5 miles outside the city limits) was owned by Arabs, and scaled down that claim to 0.5 percent—a 99.95 percent decrease in the amount of land in the community that Peace Now claimed was “privately owned” by Arabs. The total percentage of land in Jewish “settlements” alleged to be “privately owned” by Arabs was revised downward from 38 percent to 32 percent in the 2007 report. At the same time, the revised report stood by Peace Now’s earlier claims about Arab ownership of land in the other Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and even increased the amount of land that it alleged was owned by Arabs in some of these communities. But even the “new” revised report, despite its claim to be based on Israeli government documents, fails to quote even one such document in support of these statistical claims, or even a specific document that states that any land at all in the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is owned by Arabs and illegally occupied by Jews.

The claims made in these Peace Now reports were further undermined by a successful libel suit brought against the organization by the Jewish community of Revava, which Peace Now had claimed was 71.15 percent owned by Arabs. The community was able to prove in court that Jews owned 100 percent of its land and Arabs owned none of it. Peace Now was forced to pay a settlement of 20,000 shekels (about $5,000) in compensation and issue an apology.

However, even though both reports have been proven to contain serious inaccuracies, and even though Peace Now has even admitted that its 2006 report contained at least one major inaccuracy, Peace Now continues to display both reports on its websites. It has not even removed the false allegations about Maale Haadumim and Revava from the two reports, which it continues to publish on both its Israeli and U.S. web sites.

The world’s media and governments have accepted the false accusations against Israel of Peace Now, B’tselem and similar Israel-based groups because they are supported by plausible, scholarly-sounding language, by detailed (although completely undocumented) statistics, graphs and charts; because the authors are Israelis and Jewish, and most people can’t imagine that anyone could be so self-destructive and disloyal as to lie  about their own country; and of course because the claims of the “human rights” NGOs confirm the anti-Israel prejudices and predilections of most of the world’s governments and news media. The claims of the Israeli “human rights” groups, like those of similar Palestinian and Israeli Arab groups, are nevertheless falsehoods. It is high time that honest and responsible journalists and scholars, Israeli and non-Israeli, Jewish and non-Jewish, expose them for the frauds and lies that they are.

Documentation

Israeli policies for establishing settlements on undeveloped state land:

See: David Bar-Illan, Eye On the Media, Gefen Books, 1993, available from Amazon; David M. Phillips, “The Illegal-Settlements Myth,” Commentary Magazine,  Dec 01, 2009; CAMERA, “Backgrounder: Jewish Settlements and the Media,” by Ricki Hollander, October 5, 2001, http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=10&x_article=259;  CAMERA report of July 7, 1995, “Media Mangles Land Issues”; CAMERA report, April 5, 2011; Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Israeli Settlements and International Law,” 20 May 2001.

Real property laws in force in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”):

See: “Mawat Land,” Zionism and Israel—Encyclopedic Dictionary, and “The Land Question in Palestine”; Nadia Forni, “Land tenure policies in the Near East”; Moshe Dann, “Blood Libel; The Myth of  ”private Palestinian land,” Jerusalem Post, December 28, 2011 reprinted; “Palestine Papers: Jews legally own land in the territories,” February 9, 2011, 2011; “ Maayana Misken, “Jews to Reclaim Land in Jordan?”; Green-lined, “PA: Jews Owned Land in Judea and Samaria,”  Feb. 10, 2011.

Peace Now reports and international media coverage of them:

See: Peace Now, “Breaking the Law in the West Bank — One Violation Leads to Another: Israeli Settlement Building on Private Palestinian Property”; “G U I L T Y! Construction of Settlements upon Private Land – Official Data”; and http://peacenow.org/entries/archive3189#more, all on Peace Now’s Israeli web site; Steven Erlanger, “West Bank Sites on Private Land, Data Shows,” New York Times, March 13, 2007; Nadav Shragai and Agencies, “Peace Now:: 32% of Land Held for Settlements is Private Palestinian Land,” Haaretz.com, March 13, 2007.

Critical analyses of errors in the peace now reports:

CAMERA , “Update: Peace Now Map Based Only on Palestinian Claims,” December 2, 2006; Alex Safian, CAMERA, “Peace Now’s Blunder: Erred on Ma’ale Adumim Land by 15,900 Per Cent,”March 16, 2007; “Subject: Civil Administration Response to the ‘Peace Now’ Report“; Moshe Dann “Peace Now Flakes Out”; Maayana Miskin, “Peace Now to Pay and Apologize for Maligning Town,” December 11, 2008; CAMERA, Alex Safian, “Israeli Court : Peace Now Lied, Must Pay Now,” December 23, 2008.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 06:12:55 PM by objectivist1 » Logged

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« Reply #1685 on: October 03, 2012, 04:07:30 PM »

About ten minutes, seems interesting to me , , ,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb6IiSUxpgw
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« Reply #1686 on: October 05, 2012, 09:57:17 AM »

A friend whose knowledge and astuteness I respect greatly comments:

Marc,

The Azerbaijani students who produce this channel do a good job with their videos.

It’s a very good summary of the history of the region that does not get taught to us.  It explains why Israel gets scapegoated by its surrounding nations.  It is a convenient punching bag that can cover up the natural tribal tensions that still exist today.  The explanation of the Hashemites is very good and accurate.  People forget that the Hashemites were in charge of Iraq before the Baathists and other military officers revolted.  I am surprised that the video did not mention or discuss Nasser’s intervention in Yemen that preceded the 1967 war with Israel. 

Another thing to remember about Israel:  initially it was more aligned with the USSR than the US.  However, the USSR decided that Nasser was the better bet in the region and Israel drifted into alignment with the western powers.  That led to its participation in the 1956 Suez crisis.
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« Reply #1687 on: October 13, 2012, 10:15:17 PM »



http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/10/13/243540.html
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« Reply #1688 on: October 14, 2012, 09:22:55 AM »

When the Arab Jews Fled
A new movement insists that the founding of Israel created more than one set of refugees.
By LUCETTE LAGNADO

Fortunée Abadie is still haunted by the day in 1947 when mobs stormed the Jewish Quarter of the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, shortly after the United Nations vote that laid the groundwork for the creation of Israel.

Aleppo, a city where Jews and Muslims had lived together for centuries, exploded with anti-Jewish violence. Mrs. Abadie, now 88, remembers watching attackers burn prayer books, prayer shawls and other holy objects from the synagogue across the street. She heard the screams of neighbors as their homes were invaded. "We thought we were going to be killed," she says. The family fled to nearby Lebanon. Mrs. Abadie left behind all she had: clothes, furniture, photographs and even a small bottle of French perfume that she still misses, Soir de Paris—Evening in Paris.

 
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis
 
A group of Yemenite Jews, newly arrived to Lod, Israel, in 1948 after being airlifted en masse.
.
The Abadie family's story is moving from the recesses of history to a newly prominent place in the debate over the future of the Middle East. Arab leaders have insisted for decades that Palestinian refugees who fled their homes following Israel's creation should be allowed to return to their former homes.

Now Israeli officials are turning the tables, saying the hardships faced by several hundred thousand exiled Arab Jews, many forced from their homes, deserve as much attention as the plight of displaced Palestinians. "We are 64 years late," says Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister. "The refugee problem does not lie only on one side." Mr. Ayalon, whose father is an Algerian Jew, led a U.N. conference last month sponsored by Israel and dubbed "Justice for Jews From Arab Countries."

Before the establishment of Israel in 1948, an estimated 850,000 Jews lived in the Arab world. In countries across the Middle East, there were flourishing Jewish communities with their own synagogues, schools and communal institutions.

Life changed dramatically by 1948 as Arab governments declared war on the newly created Jewish state—and on the Jews within their own borders. At the U.N., an Egyptian delegate warned that the plan to partition Palestine into two states, one for Jews and one for Palestinians, "might endanger a million Jews living in the Muslim countries."

Arab Jewish Life Before - and After - 1948
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Wedding of Mamus and Dora Rumani in Benghazi, Libya, circa 1955.
.
.Jews began fleeing—to Israel, of course, but also to France, England, Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. Yemen was home to more than 55,000 Jews; in Aden, scores were killed in a vicious pogrom in 1947. An airlift dubbed "Operation Magic Carpet" relocated most Yemenite Jews to Israel. In Libya, once home to 38,000 Jews, the community was subjected to many brutal attacks over the years. In June 1967, there were anti-Jewish rampages; two Jewish families were murdered—one family clubbed to death—and schools and synagogues were destroyed, says Vivienne Roumani, director of the documentary "The Last Jews of Libya." "We were there for centuries, but there is no trace of Jewish life," she says.

Among the Jews forced out of their homes was my own Egyptian-Jewish family, departing on a rickety boat in the spring of 1963. Egypt had once been home to 80,000 Jews. My parents, both Cairenes whose stories I chronicled in two memoirs, were especially pained at leaving a country they loved, without being allowed to take money or assets.

Within 25 years, the Arab world lost nearly all its Jewish population. Some faced expulsion, while others suffered such economic and social hardships they had no choice but to go. Others left voluntarily because they longed to settle in Israel. Only about 4,300 Jews remain there today, mostly in Morocco and Tunisia, according to Justice for Jews From Arab Countries, a New York-based coalition of groups that also participated in the U.N. conference.

Many of the Palestinians who fled Israel wound up stranded in refugee camps. Multiple U.N. agencies were created to help them, and billions of dollars in aid flowed their way. The Arab Jews, by contrast, were quietly absorbed by their new homes. "The Arab Jews became phantoms" whose stories were "edited out" of Arab consciousness, says Fouad Ajami, a scholar of the Middle East at Stanford's Hoover Institution. "We are talking about the claims of the Palestinians," he says. "Fine, but there were 800,000 Arab Jews, and they have a story to tell."

Palestinians bristle at the effort to equate the displacement of Arab Jews with their own grievances. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, says Mr. Ayalon "opened up a can of worms for political purposes" with the U.N. conference. She says that Israeli officials are trying to use a "forced and false analogy…to negate or question Palestinian refugee rights." The Palestinians, she says, "have nothing to do with the plight of the Jews or other minorities who left the Arab world." Still, Dr. Ashrawi recently proposed that Arab Jews should also have a "right of return" to the countries they left.

At the U.N. conference, Mr. Ayalon called Dr. Ashrawi's suggestion to have Jews return to Arab countries "totally ridiculous." Mr. Ayalon and the Israeli government are pushing ahead with efforts to raise the profile of Arab Jews. Israel has pledged to establish a national day in honor of Arab Jews and build a museum about their lost cultures. Mr. Ayalon has decided to make the Arab-Jewish refugees part of any negotiations, which has never been the case before. Looking ahead to a settlement, he would like to see both Palestinian and Jewish refugees compensated by an international fund. Meanwhile, the Israeli ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, has called on the U.N. to research the refugees' history.

Mrs. Abadie attended the conference with her son Elie, now a physician and rabbi who leads Congregation Edmond J. Safra, a Manhattan synagogue attended by Lebanese and Syrian Jews. Until 1947, Syria had an estimated 30,000 Jews living in Aleppo and Damascus. But like Mrs. Abadie, many departed in the wake of the violence that left 75 dead and synagogues in ruin.

The Abadies were refugees twice. After leaving Aleppo, the family ended up in Beirut, Lebanon. For a time, life was good in the cosmopolitan city. But by 1970, the climate had turned hostile. Armed militants appeared in the streets. Rabbis, including Elie's father, Abraham, had their pictures posted in the city's mosques, identifying them as "Zionist-Jewish leaders," an act the family took as a death threat. The Abadies decided once again it was time to move.

Some Jewish refugees, like Sir Ronald Cohen, find hope in the new initiatives to call attention to Arab Jews. Mr. Cohen, a London-based businessman, was a student at a French Catholic school in Cairo in 1956, friendly with his Muslim and Christian classmates. His father owned an import-export firm that specialized in appliances, and "Ronnie," then 11, loved to visit him and play with the radios.

Then in October 1956, Israel, France and England waged war against Egypt over the Suez Canal. Mr. Cohen's parents pulled him out of school after another Jewish boy was injured. His mother, a British citizen, was placed under house arrest. His father's business was "sequestered"—effectively taken from him—and he wasn't welcome at his own office. In May 1957, the family left on a plane bound for Europe. Mr. Cohen still remembers his father crying on the plane. "There is nothing left here," he recalls his mother saying. "It is all over."

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Jews continued to pour out of the Muslim countries. When Desiré Sakkal and his family left Egypt as stateless refugees in 1962, he says, "there were very few Jews left." Stranded in Paris in a hotel, Mr. Sakkal's little brother was diagnosed with cancer, and he still remembers how his parents went to the hospital every day. The brother died a year later in New York, at the age of 10. Mr. Sakkal went on to found the Historical Society of Jews from Egypt, which seeks to recall the life left behind.

The Six-Day War of June 1967 brought some of the most violent anti-Jewish eruptions. As Arab countries faced defeat by Israel, they turned their rage on their own Jewish residents—what remained of them. In Egypt, Jewish men over 18 were rounded up and sent to prison. Some were kept for a few days. Others, like Philadelphia Rabbi Albert Gabbai, a Cairo native, remained imprisoned for three years. Rabbi Gabbai was only 18 when he was thrown in jail, along with three older brothers. He still remembers the cries of his fellow prisoners—Muslim Brotherhood members who were being tortured—echoing through the jail. He and his brothers feared that they were going to be killed. After three years of "despair," he says, they were driven to the airport and escorted to an Air France AF.FR +0.76%flight.

Mr. Cohen, who left Egypt in 1957,grew up to become a pioneer in European venture capital and private equity. In recent years, he has worked to develop the Palestinian private sector. He believes that the focus on Jewish-Arab refugees could spur the Arabs and Israelis toward peace. "There are refugees on both sides, so that evens the scales, and I think that it will be helpful to the process," he says. "It shows that both sides suffered the same fate."

Write to Lucette Lagnado at lucette.lagnado@wsj.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1689 on: October 20, 2012, 07:16:44 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/world/middleeast/hamas-works-to-suppress-militant-groups-in-gaza.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121020
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« Reply #1690 on: November 14, 2012, 09:49:05 PM »

WSJ

Here's another post-election news flash: The tide of war is not receding. The latest Middle East flash point among so many is the Gaza Strip, where Israel on Wednesday launched retaliatory airstrikes on Hamas commanders and weapons storage sites.

The strikes were in response to the latest rocket fire from Gaza launched willy-nilly into southern Israel. Hamas has escalated its assaults, and in recent days the number of missile and mortar attacks has run into the dozens. It is only a matter of time before one of these attacks hits a school or shopping mall. Hamas's missiles may be inaccurate but their goal is terror, especially against civilian targets, and their range is getting close to the suburbs of Tel Aviv.

One of the Israeli strikes killed Ahmed Jabari, the chief of Hamas's military arm who is believed to be responsible for kidnapping Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Hamas promised to "open the gates of hell" in response, as if it already hasn't. Israeli officials said if Hamas does escalate, its ground forces are prepared to move into Gaza as they did four years ago.

All of this is more dangerous than four years ago because the entire Middle East is so much less stable. Egypt, which recalled its ambassador to Israel Wednesday, is now run by the Muslim Brotherhood that sympathizes with Hamas. Syria's civil war is spilling outside its borders. And Iran, which is Hamas's main weapons supplier, is that much more brazen as it watches the U.S. care more about deterring an Israeli strike against Iran than stopping Iran from getting a weapon.

U.S. influence is ebbing in the region, and the local thugs are filling the vacuum. As that retreat continues, the Obama Administration needs to give Israel the material and diplomatic support to defend itself.
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G M
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« Reply #1691 on: November 14, 2012, 09:55:07 PM »

I have been told that Obama wore a kippa at AIPAC, so there is no reason to worry.

WSJ

Here's another post-election news flash: The tide of war is not receding. The latest Middle East flash point among so many is the Gaza Strip, where Israel on Wednesday launched retaliatory airstrikes on Hamas commanders and weapons storage sites.

The strikes were in response to the latest rocket fire from Gaza launched willy-nilly into southern Israel. Hamas has escalated its assaults, and in recent days the number of missile and mortar attacks has run into the dozens. It is only a matter of time before one of these attacks hits a school or shopping mall. Hamas's missiles may be inaccurate but their goal is terror, especially against civilian targets, and their range is getting close to the suburbs of Tel Aviv.

One of the Israeli strikes killed Ahmed Jabari, the chief of Hamas's military arm who is believed to be responsible for kidnapping Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Hamas promised to "open the gates of hell" in response, as if it already hasn't. Israeli officials said if Hamas does escalate, its ground forces are prepared to move into Gaza as they did four years ago.

All of this is more dangerous than four years ago because the entire Middle East is so much less stable. Egypt, which recalled its ambassador to Israel Wednesday, is now run by the Muslim Brotherhood that sympathizes with Hamas. Syria's civil war is spilling outside its borders. And Iran, which is Hamas's main weapons supplier, is that much more brazen as it watches the U.S. care more about deterring an Israeli strike against Iran than stopping Iran from getting a weapon.

U.S. influence is ebbing in the region, and the local thugs are filling the vacuum. As that retreat continues, the Obama Administration needs to give Israel the material and diplomatic support to defend itself.

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bigdog
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« Reply #1692 on: November 15, 2012, 11:39:05 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/israel-hammers-hamas-gaza-offensive-004808421.html
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« Reply #1693 on: November 15, 2012, 03:50:43 PM »

What will Morsi and the MB do?
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Rachel
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« Reply #1694 on: November 16, 2012, 10:47:50 AM »

If you want to follow the war on Twitter

http://twitter.com/AmbassadorOren
http://twitter.com/IDFSpokesperson
http://twitter.com/haaretzcom
http://twitter.com/Jerusalem_Post


Gov Romney  would have certainly been better on  Israel and other foreign policy than President Obama but here is recent tweet from  AmbassadorOren  "Israeli Amb. Michael Oren praised "outstanding support from all branches of the US government. We could not ask 4 more" #Gaza".    President Obamas statements on Pillar of Defense  so far have been excellent.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-senate-unanimously-passes-resolution-supporting-israels-right-to-defend-itself/

THE SCROLL
Michael Oren: It’s May 1967—or May 1948
The ambassador talks Operation Pillar of Defense, ‘monumental threats’

http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/116870/michael-oren-its-may-1967%E2%80%94or-may-1948

Michael Oren has served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. for the past three years. But his real trade isn’t diplomacy, it’s the past: Before Oren took on arguably the toughest job in Washington, he wrote books about Mideast history. So when I spoke to the ambassador yesterday afternoon about Operation Pillar of Defense, I asked him what historical moment he’d compare this one to: “In the best of circumstances, it’s May 1967. And the worst, May 1948. Rarely in our history have we ever faced such a broad spectrum of monumental threats.”

There’s the Iranian regime bidding for nuclear weapons, a Muslim Brotherhood government running Egypt, Hamas ruling Gaza, Hezbollah controlling southern Lebanon, and the civil war raging in Syria that spilled into Israel earlier this week. Jordan, a reliable Israeli ally since the mid-1990s, has become even more critical since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in Egypt. But many suspect it’s only a matter of time before the Arab upheaval fells King Abdullah II—especially given current protests.

That would be a worst-case scenario for Israel. “Jordan is what keeps Iran out of our backyard,” said Oren. “Our defense border is the Jordanian-Iraqi border”—that is, not the Jordanian-Israeli one.

It’s difficult not to see this operation— pinpointing and targeting Hamas leaders, while taking out underground missile sites—as intended for an audience beyond the Strip, namely the one watching in Tehran. (The Iranians have undertaken major air drills in the past few days, and revealed new missile systems.) But Oren insists the Islamic Republic has nothing to do with this operation: “This is not about sending a message to Iran. This is a message about defending a million of our citizens,” he said. “It would be the equivalent of 40 million Americans in bomb shelters.”

And yet Iran was the subject we kept coming back to. “I think that the key to it all is Iran,” Oren said. “Gaza’s basically an outpost of Iran. Lebanon is an outpost of Iran. Assad is a lackey of Iran.” Indeed, one key lesson Oren draws from Israel’s previous territorial withdrawals is that Iran’s proxies tend to fill the vacuum left behind. “Wherever we have withdrawn, the Iranians have filled it. In Lebanon, in Gaza.”

Since Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon (2000) and Gaza (2005), the IDF has played an ongoing game of whack-a-mole with Hezbollah and Hamas. Oren argued that this tactic has been more successful than some have claimed. “After the Lebanon war [of 2006] we were very tough on ourselves, with the whole Winograd Commission. But I think we were too tough on ourselves. In fact, we deterred Hezbollah” in that war.

Four years since Operation Cast Lead, deterrence is once again the name of the game for the IDF in Gaza: “Hamas may have to just be reminded again, and reminded in large scale, that we will not allow our citizens to be shot at with impunity,” Oren said. “It will go on for as long as Hamas continues to escalate.” Israel said Wednesday that it is prepared to expand this campaign into a ground operation.

“We have nothing to be ashamed about, nothing to apologize for. This is our right,” said Oren. “Ahmed Jabari killed dozens and dozens of Israelis.”

And what would victory look like? “Victory looks like security restored to the inhabitants of the south,” said Oren. Longer term, the goal is a change in mindset. “The Palestinian people have to internalize that as long as they choose leadership like Hamas, that will bring them no closer to statehood, no closer to economic and social development, and no closer to peace.”

With weeks until Israelis go to the polls, some see a clear connection between the election and this operation. Oren dismissed the question: “This is not about the elections. We didn’t want war,” he said. “This government has exhibited superhuman restraint: 2,500 rockets since 2009. Last month, 800 rockets. In the last week, 300 rockets. What government in the world wouldn’t have responded with war a long time ago?”
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G M
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« Reply #1695 on: November 16, 2012, 05:44:51 PM »

Gov Romney  would have certainly been better on  Israel and other foreign policy than President Obama but here is recent tweet from  AmbassadorOren  "Israeli Amb. Michael Oren praised "outstanding support from all branches of the US government. We could not ask 4 more" #Gaza".    President Obamas statements on Pillar of Defense  so far have been excellent.

I doubt that if Romney were president elect, that Israel's (and America's) enemies would feel like this was a good time to launch an attack. Israel is smart enough to not say anything that would antagonize Rev. Wright's most famous parishoner, who aside from being hostile to "imperialist countries" (meaning Israel and America) is famously thin skinned and vindictive.
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ccp
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« Reply #1696 on: November 16, 2012, 08:27:00 PM »

Agreed GM.   Certainly more resolve on the part of the US to defend and fight with Israel might have prevented this flagrant militancy,

but that is all water under the bridge now.
--

The ongoing war is escalating.  Israel might be better off dealing with Hamas and probably Hezbelloh first before attacking Iran nuclear sites.

Maybe they could dampen or weaken the inevitable counterattacks that would come if they went after Iran first.

It clearly remains to be seen if Obama will in fact lift a finger for Israel.  (hopefully not his middle finger).

Whether or not he does will never change my disgust at my fellow Jews for helping this monstrosity into office not once but twice.

The dismantling of our beloved country continues.  The flower children haven't a clue what they are unleashing. And the rest are bribed.  Sorry Bobby J. Romney is right.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1697 on: November 16, 2012, 08:48:17 PM »

As has been discussed in the Egypt thread, Egypt faces very serious issues of food shortage in very short order in the absence of US money i.e. WE HAVE THE MEANS TO YANK ON MORSI'S LEASH.

We shall see what happens.

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G M
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« Reply #1698 on: November 16, 2012, 08:59:41 PM »

As has been discussed in the Egypt thread, Egypt faces very serious issues of food shortage in very short order in the absence of US money i.e. WE HAVE THE MEANS TO YANK ON MORSI'S LEASH.

We shall see what happens.



You think the president that put the Muslim Brotherhood into power is going to undercut them now?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1699 on: November 16, 2012, 09:11:51 PM »

Intelligent conservatives, a term which excludes the Rep leadership, can point this out i.e. Baraq will have no "But what can I do excuse". 

We shall see , , ,
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