Friday, March 2, 2012

US Liberals Don't See the Whole Picture


by Ron Jager

Can a liberal American Jew support Israel?

If we accept the thesis that most American Jews are predominantly liberal and vote Democratic, and that most Liberals are concerned with human rights and social justice, a simple question begs to be asked;

Can American Jewish Liberals who detest war and violence, who believe that fighting is not ‘the Jewish way;’ who willingly believe that Jews have their own higher standards of behavior, support Israel today?

Can American Jewish Liberalism "co-exist" with an Israel that refuses to enforce Democratic principles and values on behalf of Jew-hating enemies sworn to its destruction?

For many in the Liberal camp, all Jews should adhere to the 60's slogan "make love not war, see driver for details".

You can hear them saying: After all, if I adhere to Liberal values, how I can possibly support Israel as she is increasingly projected, spoken about, and portrayed, as a country that is becoming right-wing, increasingly religious, increasingly foreign to the very liberal values that I have sworn by and believe in.

Can an American liberal Jew identify with an Israel that is constantly vacillating in a dialectic relationship between Democratic principles and her Jewish Character? Can an American Jewish liberal identify with a nation that reveres The Temple Mount, the Tomb of Joseph (Kever Yosef), the Tomb of Rachel (Kever Rachel Imanu), and the Patriarch's Machpela Cave?

For many in the Liberal camp, the very notion of Jewish sovereignty based on religious and historical claims misrepresents the essence of what Israel should be. War and violence, creating an army and projecting Jewish strength is not the Jewish way, so they believe.

The Liberal perception of Palestinian terrorism and support for the Palestinian Arabs is very much at the heart of why so many Liberal Jews find themselves becoming more detached and alienated from Israel every day.

In acknowledging Palestinian terrorism as a response to a specific cause, in Israel’s case, “the occupation,” - which has become a brand-name for legitimizing the killing Jews and demonizing Israel - many Liberal Jews choose to ignore the hypocrisy of Liberal values implicitly condoning of indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians.

The danger in associating terrorism to grievances and causes is that it rationalizes murder and justifies those who perpetrate it.

Arab Palestinian terrorists, who plan and train for meticulously murderous attacks on Jews, don’t seek political compromises; their goal is jihad, total elimination of Jews, and the State of Israel. They don’t even think about a “peace process” or human rights, or even accepting Israel's right to exist, but are committed to the total annihilation of their enemies. They see themselves as “martyrs,” glorified by their communities and by the Palestinian Authority. Most major Arab Palestinian towns have pictures of “martyrs,” terrorists who have committed acts of murder against Jews, hung high on light poles throughout major streets and boulevards for all to see as role models.

It seems as though some Liberals will forever remain blind to this Palestinian elevation of glorifying death as a central belief in the Arab mindset and culture.

These Liberals also always seem to belittle the success of Israel's vibrant democracy, diminishing the significance of Israel being the single Democratic nation in all of the Middle East. This amazing success has become even more challenging because of two major competing factors: the first, Israel must constantly navigate the inherent tension between Israel's democratic structure and her Jewish character and do this amidst the reality of being surrounded by Jew hating enemies calling to "wipe her off the map" and "throw all the Jews in the sea".

Why is it that so many Liberals take everything for granted concerning Israel's democracy, yet explain away these phrases by Israel's enemies as nothing more than expressions of free speech?

Israel's need to constantly navigate the tension between its democratic ideal and its Jewish character. while being surrounded by Jew-hating enemies sworn to its destruction has made Israel's democratic journey that more turbulent. So if we want to gauge how democratic Israel really is, I would suggest that all Liberals ask themselves to what extent Israel enables the unrestricted expression of liberal ideas and liberal freedoms.

Here are some actual examples: Israeli academicians call for the boycott of Israel, Israeli Arab NGO's actively campaign to deligitimize the continuing existence of Israel as a Jewish state, Israeli leftists actively participate in anti-Israeli activities such as violent opposition to the security barrier created to prevent the free passage of Arab terrorists into the center of Israel. They continue to receive funding from foreign governments hostile to Israel, and arrange the organized badgering, photographing, and heckling of Israeli soldiers at military checkpoints.

Israel allows anti-Israel groups to visit the family of the barbaric murderers of the Fogel family from the community of Itamar and hears them publicly condemn the Israeli investigation. Liberals would be wise to wake up to this complicated reality of Israel's vibrant democratic society before they donate a dime to organizations that falsely claim to be combating Israel's democratic institutions.

Today's Israel can justifyingly claim to be a vibrant democracy, with progressive social values, industriousness, with ingenuity, with sensitivity and respect for human rights in the midst of a protracted, existential struggle - that is the true narrative of Israel.

Liberal Jews can easily identify and defend this kind of Israel, all they have to say is "yes we can".

Ron Jager, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer and Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Contact: medconf@netvision.net.il

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11324#.T0_tq1FvIi4

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

WikiLeaks: Russia Gave Israel Codes for Iran’s Missiles


by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Russia gave Israel codes for breaking Iran’s missile defense system in return for codes of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Israel sold to Georgia, WikiLeaks claims.

The information was among 5 million emails released this week by WikiLeaks, which said it worked in cooperation with the Anonymous hacker group. The leaked information focused on the U.S.-based Stratfor global intelligence company.

A source identified as “A” was quoted in an e-mail from a Stratfor employee as having heard from a “former Mexican cop” and military analysts that "the Georgians are frantically looking for a replacement for the Israeli UAVs that were compromised.”

The Israeli-based Elbit company had sold UAVs to Georgia since 2007, and earlier this month Georgia said it is replacing the Hermes UAVs.

“Met with my Mexican source/friend again today and dude is getting shadier by the day. We followed up on our past discussion on Russia compromising the Israeli-made Georgian UAVs prior to the August war,” said one e-mail.

“I inquired more about the compromised Israeli UAVs,” it continued. “What he explained was that Israel and Russia made a swap -- Israel gave Russia the 'data link' code for those specific UAVs; in return, Russia gave Israel the codes for Iran's Tor-M1s [missile defense system].

“I asked about the S-300 (source tracks a lot of defense deals for Jane's). He doesn't think the Russians will give it to the Iranians. Besides, he said... Israel and Turkey have been collaborating very closely on the S-300s….The gist of what he said is that Turkey has been cracking the S-300 since the Crete sale and has been sharing intel on the S-300 with the Israelis to ensure that they retain an advantage over Iran should Iran get them from the Russians.

“SOURCE DESCRIPTION: MX301 - Former Mexican cop, Latam military analyst, writes for Jane's; SOURCE RELIABILITY: A

“The Russians got the data link for the UAV (there is some suspicion that the Israelis after the war may have given this to them…. So, since the Georgian UAVs were compromised, they then tried to sell them to the Azerbaijanis. I don’t know if that deal went through.”

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153273#.T0_s-lFvIi5

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

A Wake-up Call for the Prime Minister's Office


by Isi Leibler

Thankfully, the unsavory allegations of harassment against the former Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) are behind us. But the fallout from further impending resignations and bitter infighting amongst key officials remain the order of the day and continue inhibiting one of the most important divisions of government from fulfilling its primary obligations.

Yet the reality is that the shortcomings of the PMO long precede the Netanyahu government and are not primarily related to personality conflicts. One of the principal weaknesses has been the long standing failure to ensure that vital government information services are efficiently managed and coordinated at the political and military level. One would have expected that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, sensitive to the importance of the war of ideas, would have regarded rectifying this state of affairs as a priority.

Alas, this failed to eventuate and despite possessing a powerful case to justify our actions and display our bona fides to the world at large, due to a combination of incompetence and failure to respond in a timely manner as issues arise, our cause continues to be ineffectively advocated.

This was exemplified by the appalling manner in which we mishandled the recent breakdown of negotiations with the Palestinians.

We had agreed to discussions without preconditions. It was the Palestinians who broke up the talks on the grounds that we rejected their outrageous demands to accede to another settlement freeze and recognize the 1967 armistice lines as the opening benchmark for negotiating borders. Yet Palestinian spokesmen succeeded in convincing the global media that it was due to our intransigence that the talks had collapsed.

Only several days later did an Israeli government spokesman belatedly explain that the Palestinians refused to even consider our security requirements, making it inconceivable for us to start drawing maps.

In the global battle to obtain public support, our government seems oblivious to the critical imperative of promoting our narrative in a timely and effective manner. In stark contrast, the Palestinians, repeatedly and systematically, articulate their distorted and false version, which alas, much of the world now blindly accepts.

Again and again the media recycles the false Palestinian narrative of our having indulged in ethnic cleansing in 1948 and were responsible for the “expulsion” of millions of displaced and suffering Palestinian refugees. We seem to have given up refuting these lies.

It is also only recently that we began drawing attention to the massive expulsion of Jews from Moslem countries and the appropriation of their property without any restitution that was cruelly orchestrated at the time of Israel’s establishment. And yet, in stark contrast to Arab refugees, they were fully integrated within Israeli society.

On the other hand, we frenziedly concentrate on justifying our "legitimacy" and “right to exist as a nation” to the point where it has become a counterproductive exercise.

During his June visit to Washington, Netanyahu adamantly conveyed to President Obama why ‘67 borders plus “agreed” swaps were a prescription for disaster. Yet we became silent when the Europeans and others subsequently pressed us to implement this formulation. Israeli spokesmen should be vigorously rejecting this demand, pointing out that it conflicts with 1967 UN Resolution 242 and conflicts with undertakings made to Israel by the former Bush Administration. Besides, the intransigent Palestinians have clearly stated that they would reject “swaps” enabling us to retain the major settlement blocs and Jewish Jerusalem, thus ensuring that the indefensible armistice lines of 1948 would de facto become the borders. If we fail to firmly repudiate these demands today, a possibly re-elected Obama will be encouraged to seek to impose these disastrous borders upon us in the future.

Likewise, we should be far more aggressive in urging the US and others to formally endorse our rejection of the Palestinian refugee “right of return” to Israel, on the grounds that implementation of such a procedure would effectively result in the demise of the Jewish State.

It is only recently that our Prime Minister has belatedly begun hammering the truth about the all-pervasive Palestinian culture of death and criminality and the barbaric indoctrination of children from kindergarten level sanctifying the murder of Jews. It is only now that we have begun stressing that this incitement to genocide emanates no less from the PA than Hamas, highlighting the charade of portraying any Palestinian leader as a genuine peace partner.

We must also actively refute the bizarre liberal Western and US efforts to depict the hate-filled Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a moderate group. Otherwise a future US administration will be more likely to seek to placate the new Islamic regimes by pressuring us to make further unilateral concessions to the Palestinians. We must explain that appeasing extremists not merely harms us but poses no less a threat to Western interests and will inevitably serve to embolden Jihadists to extort more in order to achieve their ultimate goal of global domination.

In this context, we should not overestimate the impact on us of the conflicts between the Sunnis and Shiites. Yes, the Saudis would be overjoyed if we intervened to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear status. But we should not overlook the fact that the one issue which continues to unite extremist Sunnis and Shiites is their ultimate objective of eliminating Jewish sovereignty in the region, even if genocidal means are required to achieve that goal.

Benjamin Netanyahu is blessed with an extraordinary gift of articulating the case for Israel. But unless he also ensures that the government employs competent people capable of expeditiously responding in the war of ideas, he must be held accountable for our failures in this area.

In the coming months we will be confronting grave diplomatic challenges with existential implications. Netanyahu must recognize that one of the highest priorities of his office is to provide effective liaison between the IDF, the Foreign Ministry and other divisions to ensure that Israel responds speedily and acts efficiently in the face of the ongoing defamatory campaigns being launched against us.

Only too often we remain the last cab off the rank when it comes to damage control. By the time we respond to Palestinian lies and subterfuge, it is invariably too late and the initial falsehoods which dominated the media cannot be undone.

Examples abound. One need only recall the Jenin “massacre”, the Muhammad Al- Dura libel, the Goldstone Report, the Mavi Marmara flotilla and the ongoing stream of false allegations in which our responses were always far too late and frequently ineffective.

We have a powerful even irrefutable case based on facts. But it must be communicated clearly and professionally. It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister’s Office to implement this and it is Netanyahu’s direct obligation to ensure that his office is manned by the best available staff. Until now, notwithstanding a number of talented individuals serving in the PMO, overall the information services remain an abysmal failure. The time is long overdue for the Prime Minister to intervene. If some of his current staff are incapable of fulfilling their obligations, he should replace them with personnel competent to do so.

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post

Isi Leibler may be contacted at ileibler@netvision.net.il

Source: http://wordfromjerusalem.com/?p=3918

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Struggle for Civil Rights, 2012


by Frank Gaffney, Jr.

As we witness surging Muslim violence against non-Muslims in Afghanistan, Egypt and even here, the response seems increasingly that the victims must apologize to the perpetrators. In particular, the United States government – from President Obama on down – has been assiduously seeking forgiveness for giving offense to Islamic sensibilities by accidentally burning Qurans. This was felt necessary even in a case where the books had been defaced by captured Afghan jihadis as a means of encouraging their comrades to further acts of violence against us.

It seems that Christians are also widely considered to be at fault for having churches, Bibles and religious practices that offend the ascendant Islamists in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Certainly, no apologies are forthcoming when the Christians are murdered or forced to flee for their lives, their churches and sacred texts put to the torch, etc.

And in America last week, a Pennsylvania judge felt the need to dress down a man assaulted for parading in a Halloween costume he called “Zombie Mohammed.” Far from punishing the perpetrator, a Muslim immigrant, Judge Mark Martin sympathized with him for the offense caused, noting – seemingly without objection – that it was a capital crime to engage in such free expression in some countries.

Worse yet, the judge suggested that the victim in this case had exceeded the “boundaries” of his “First Amendment rights.” Such a view seems to track with the Obama administration’s collaboration with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in fashioning international accords that would prohibit “incitement” against Islam.

This is a short step from – and enroute to – the OIC’s larger goal of banning and criminalizing any expression that offends Muslims or their faith. As such, it poses a mortal peril to the Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech.

What is going on in country after country, in international forums like the UN Human Rights Council and even in some American courts is a calculated effort, backed by terrifying violence or its threat, to make us “feel subdued,” as the Quran puts it. The idea is to use Western sensibilities and civil liberties, notably, respect for the free practice of religion, to deny the rest of us our fundamental freedoms. These include the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and, yes, freedom of religion.

The trouble is that when we accommodate such demands, it is seen by Islamist enemies of liberty as evidence of our inevitable submission. According to the doctrine of shariah, they must, under such circumstances, make a redoubled effort to achieve their ultimate triumph, including through the use of violence.

So, far from alleviating the threat posed by shariah’s adherents when we accommodate, apologize and appease, we are actually exacerbating it, at home as well as abroad.

In short, we find ourselves in what is, properly understood, the civil rights struggle of our time. Those who stand up for freedom against shariah are quite literally protecting the rights of women, children, people of faith, homosexuals and other minorities sure to be abused by its misogynistic, intolerant and domineering doctrine. That means protecting, as well, Muslim Americans who have come to this country to escape the long arm of shariah law. In due course, though, shariah’s repressive strictures would not simply be a threat to these communities. They would be a toxic blight upon all of us.

Ironically, today it is defenders of our freedoms who are being denounced as “racists,” “bigots” and “Islamophobes.” Such terms are, in truth, being used in much the same way and for precisely the same purpose as the Ku Klux Klan's members reviled an earlier generation of civil rights activists for loving Negroes: to defame, threaten and isolate their opponents. We cannot, and certainly must not, tolerate the Islamists’ intolerance.

Muslims are, of course, free to practice their faith in America like anyone else – provided they do so in a tolerant, peaceable and law-abiding way. What they are not entitled to do, in the name of religious practice, is subvert our Constitution, deny us our rights or engage in sedition without facing concerted opposition – if not prosecution.

Today, every bit as much as in the civil rights struggles of the past, there are those who are prepared to go along with what they know is wrong, in order to get along. Now, as then, the few who recognize that any such accommodation makes more certain the ultimate triumph of evil, may be vilified and even harmed. But now, as then, more and more Americans are emerging who see the danger posed by our time’s totalitarian threat – shariah – and who will do their part to secure freedom against it, both here and, as necessary for that purpose, elsewhere.

Frank Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for the Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9:00 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.

Source: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p18936.xml

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Two More Troops are Dead - Shot by Afghan Soldiers


by Rick Moran

We can't disarm the entire Afghan army. But something has to be done to stop this madness.

CBS News:

Two U.S. troops were shot dead in southern Afghanistan when three assailants, two of whom were believed to be Afghan soldiers, turned their weapons against American troops on Thursday.

Afghan and U.S. military officials confirm to CBS News that the dead were U.S. troops, and that a third American servicemember was wounded in the attack. U.S. forces responded with gunfire and killed the two assailants in Afghan army attire, wounding a third Afghan shooter in civilian clothing. The wounded shooter was identified as a teacher and is in custody.

CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark reports the shooting occurred inside a joint Afghan-U.S. base in Kandahar province.

Thursday's shooting is the latest case of Afghan policemen or soldiers - or militants disguised in their uniforms - killing NATO troops.

Six Americans have now been killed and at least 15 wounded in attacks in Afghanistan since the Islamic holy books were burned at a U.S. base there. Dozens of Afghans have been killed or wounded in riots.

Where is President Karzai? Ultimately, it is his responsibility. And why isn't the president demanding an apology from the Afghan government?

This is insane. Why are we fighting for people who would just as soon kill us? They deserve to live under the jackboot of Taliban authoritarianism. They certainly don't deserve the selfless courage and dedication to duty being exhibited by our troops.

Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/03/two_more_troops_are_dead_-_shot_by_afghan_soldiers.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Ecologists against the Jews


by Giulio Meotti

“The desert is groaning”, declares Cornerstone magazine, the Palestinian Sabeel Theology Center’s publication. “The Israeli army and settlers have polluted the Palestinian areas,” writes Reverend Naim Ateek, who heads the notorious anti-Jewish Christian center.

Despite the fact that Israel is the only country to enter the 21st century with a net gain in forest growth, Green activists today are among the most virulently anti-Jewish. The Green Party mayor of Aachen, Hilde Scheidt, has just waged a media campaign against Israel. Prominent German author Henryk Broder called her a “Green anti-Semite,” after she defended a cartoon depicting a man sporting a Star of David on his bib as he devours a young Palestinian boy with a fork draped in an American flag and a knife with the word “Gaza” written on it.

Back in 1991, German Green Party’s spokesman Hans Christian Stroebele defended Saddam Hussein’s rockets on Tel Aviv because “Iraq’s attacks are the logical, almost compelling, consequence of Israel’s politics vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the Arab states,”

The Green lies about “the ecology of occupation” are now spreading at the highest European levels. The French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee recently published an unprecedented report accusing Israel of implementing “apartheid” in its allocation of water in Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile, environmentalists accuse Israel’s army of being a major cause of cancer in Palestinian children. This blood libel began in 1999, when Suha Arafat declared that Israeli gas is poisoning Arab children: “Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.” She also said that Israel has “chemically contaminated about 80% of water sources used by Palestinians.”

Nazi-style rhetoric

The pollution myth spread through the literary milieu as well. British dramatist David Hare wrote that the Jews have “polluted” the Promised Land and “do not belong here.” According to this racist belief, “native species” originate in a certain place and that is where they “belong.” Hence, Israel’s “colonization” threatens the “original” Arab environment.

Green NGOs accuse Israel of “warfare ecology,” “deforestation,” “erosion of agricultural lands,” and “expropriation” of Arab land for Israel’s national park. European geographers denounce settler “cementification” and the “architecture of occupation” in a growing topography of hatred.

Elsewhere, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine,” led by the British Richard Rogers, has called for a boycott of architects, planners and companies involved in building the security fence, which stopped the suicide bombers. Eyal Weizman, an Israeli architect living in London, calls it a “war crime.”

Elements within the Green movement have adopted Nazi-style rhetoric to blast Israeli businesses. Literature distributed by the boycotters outrageously describes Judea and Samaria citizens as “parasites.” Products from the Golan Heights, such as wines, mineral water and milk are targeted. Flowers are targeted by the BDS movement, because since Israel entered the flower export market in the 1970s this business has been blooming.

The Ahava cosmetics company is also targeted by Green activists. In the last three years, thousands of Western women in bikinis, belonging to the feminist association Code Pink, protested outside Ahava shops in the US and in European capitals. They are usually streaked with mud, some featuring the words “Ahava is a dirty business.” The slogan of the campaign is fashionable and catchy: “Stolen Beauty.”

Dutch government promoted an investigation to determine whether Ahava should enjoy tax privileges granted to foreign goods. Elsewhere, Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis was suspended by humanitarian group Oxfam International after joining an Ahava advertisement campaign.

In the final analysis, environmentalists have launched a primitive diatribe against Israel that smacks of classic, medieval-style anti-Semitic blood libels. It demonizes the Jews for “dispossessing” and “polluting” a fabricated, “archetypical Palestine.” Yet this campaign has proven, again, that anti-Semitism is the most dangerous pollutant.

Giulio Meotti

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/03/01/ecologists-against-the-jews/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

What Is Right About Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer


by Eric Allen Bell

[FrontPage Editor's note: The article below is written by Eric Allen Bell, a filmmaker who was recently banned from blogging at the “Daily Kos” because he wrote three articles that ran afoul of the mindset there, specifically naming “Loonwatch.com” as a “terrorist spin control network.” Don't miss Eric Bell on Frontpage's television program, The Glazov Gang.]

I write this mainly for the benefit of so many of my Liberal friends. I know you have good hearts, but have been badly deceived by your peers and leaders when it comes to the threat of Jihad, and the character of those few brave individuals, who have had the courage to risk everything, to stand up for liberty and human rights…

BACKGROUND:

In the summer of 2010 I was invited to write an article for Michael Moore. I was in production on a documentary I was calling “Not Welcome” regarding the backlash against construction of a 53,000 square foot mega mosque in the middle of the American Bible Belt. His endorsement gave me a huge boost with the Hollywood crowd. Having worked in the entertainment industry for years, this was not my first film, but it was to be my first documentary. So when I went on to write a few more articles for MichaelMoore.com the wheels were greased for me to get into a room with the right people, and secure the finishing funds I needed to complete post production. And if there is one thing Hollywood loves (almost as much as congratulating itself), it’s the story of an innocent minority group being wrongly persecuted, preferably in the South, especially if the antagonist happens to be the Religious Right. And as my editor and I assembled the first 25 minutes, of the 300 hours of footage shot, this film promised to deliver just that. “Wow, I really wasn’t expecting this. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, Michael Moore and the Prophet Mohammed for making all of this possible…”

But then the winds changed direction. It seems that fate had issued a Fatwa against my perfect plan. The Arab Spring sprang into action and ruined everything, as it degenerated disappointingly into the Islamist Winter. It was as if I had been slapped upside the head by reality, thus knocking off my blinders and causing me to ask a lot of inconvenient questions. I was left wondering if there was perhaps more to the story of so-called “revolution” than what had been portrayed on Al Jazeera and “Democracy Now with Amy Goodman”. You can read more about this in an article I wrote for Front Page Magazine here: “The High Price of Telling the Truth About Islam”.

I took a second and more critical look inside Islamic scripture, comparing and contrasting the countless acts of Islamic terrorism, with specific commands to carry out these violent and barbaric attacks on innocent infidels as ordered in the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sunnah. And after much difficult soul searching I had realized I was making more than just a documentary. I was making a terrible mistake. So I went back to my backers and told them how I had changed the outline of the documentary, to include a critical examination of the violent dimension that informed so much of the Islamic world today, and throughout history, and how desperately this story needed to be told, and I consequently lost the backing to my film.

As a writer who had written over a hundred articles for The Daily Kos, a liberal blog which receives about a million visitors a day, I wrote 3 articles outlining what I had learned about Islam, it’s execution of homosexuals and how hundreds of millions of women around the world were living under Islamic gender apartheid. I called attention to this as a human rights issue, human rights being in theory a big concern among Liberal audiences. The warm reception that followed included being labeled a “bigot” a “right winger” and an “Islamophobe” in the hundreds of subsequent reader comments, demanding that my “hate speech” be banned. And after that the Islamophobia watchdog site, Loonwatch.com created a link for readers to write directly to the editors of DKOS, demanding my voice be silenced. And I was immediately banned from ever writing for The Daily Kos.

In the weeks that passed I received many “goodbye” texts and emails from friends letting me know that we were no longer friends. I saw my name get smeared in print – lies, misquotes, distortions, character assassination. Loonwatch.com named me the “Loon At Large”

(UPDATE: Since appearing on the Michael Coren show and telling my story about how Loonwatch put my name out on the street in the Islamic world, Loonwatch has since pulled that article from their site. Thank you very much Michael Coren!).

My friend count on Facebook took a hit. My blog, which has had over 23 million visitors and usually receives at least a million visitors per month, got hacked over and over for weeks before my traffic rebounded. And, many of my subscribers left the site, telling me that I was “spreading intolerance and ignorance”. On donations and ad revenue I took a massive financial hit. For so many who had known me for so long, I had become nothing more than an “intolerant hate monger”

PAMELA GELLER:

In the process of defending myself from all of these accusations, in a desperate attempt to distance myself from those names that had become synonymous with “Islamophobia” at least in my circle, I made critical remarks about Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller – comments meant to distinguish myself from the real “hate mongers” but comments that turned out to be uninformed and just simply just not true. I thought they were true at the time. But having only recently sipped from the well of knowledge, I had not yet flushed all of the Kool Aid out of my system.

For example, in a Daily Kos piece (before my excommunication for blasphemy) I wrongly lumped Pamela Geller in with Pastor Terry Jones, a religious zealot who preaches burning the Koran. A simple YouTube search will yield no shortage of remarks made by Geller, stating she opposes the burning of books, all books, and that furthermore she is not anti-Muslim, does not advocate persecution or hatred of Muslims, and even goes so far as to point out that it is in fact Muslims themselves, who are the biggest victims of Islamic violence. The number of times she has spoken out for the hundreds of millions of Muslim women, who suffer under gender apartheid alone, is evidence that Pamela Geller is not a hate monger, but rather a fearless advocate for human rights – including the rights of Muslims.

It is amazing, the human capacity for seeing only what we want to see. And it is especially humbling, I can tell you, when one identifies that unattractive quality within oneself. But the freedom that comes with trading in your cozy conclusions for difficult questions is well worth the cost. Everything is up for grabs. You evolve.

In taking the time to really get to know who Pamela Geller is and what she has done to earn this sensational media status, as some sort of evil hate monger, this intolerant fanatic who opposes religious freedom, I finally did some long overdue research of my own. And soon after simply scratching the surface, it was immediately clear that the bold stance Pamela Geller took publicly against the Ground Zero Mosque was absolutely right. Spot on, in fact damned near clairvoyant.

This shameless shrine, this 13 story Islamic gloating tower was to be financed with $100 million from the “Cordoba Initiative” an organization with very questionable ties to Jihadi interests – to be ran by Imam Raouf and promoted by his wife Daisy Khan (pronounced “Con”).

Cordoba, by the way was at one time the capital of an Islamic Caliphate and the city where Muslims had converted a Cordoba church into the third largest mosque in the world – an inconvenient truth that those of us in the Liberal world were told was simply misunderstood. But when the spin doctors at CAIR failed to convince the skeptics, this mysterious $100 million Islamic fund rebranded the name of the victory mosque, to simply “Park 51”. It kind of sounds like an exclusive night club from the seventies, except without the liquor or cocaine, and where the women must throw a sheet over their heads and keep their mouths shut.

No matter how the Cordoba Initiative tried to spin this story, Pamela Geller kept on insisting this was a mosque. According to press releases parroted by left leaning media outlets, “Park 51” was more like a YMCA, where old people could play bingo or shuffle board or whatever they do. There would be Mommy and Me classes and the center just happened to have a prayer room on the top two floors for Muslims to pray. (also known as a mosque). Never mind that this mosque would overlook the site of the collapsed World Trade Center, where thousands of innocent people lost their lives after Islamic terrorists struck on 9/11. And never mind that construction of a mosque this close to Ground Zero was perfectly consistent with 1,400 years of Islamic conquest. This was to be a victory mosque the whole family could enjoy. And if you don’t like it, then you’re a racist and a bigot and a right wing Islamophobe. Did I mention that the new facility was designed to “bring the whole community together”?

As an advocate for cultural sensitivity for the American people (we could use more of those), Pamela Geller gave numerous television interviews. She was hammered and grilled mercilessly as an intolerant fanatic by a highly biased media, but she did not back down. She kept her cool and she stuck to the facts. For instance, fragments of a hijacked airliner had reportedly landed on the Burlington Coat Factory (the piece of Ground Zero real estate which was swooped up using questionable sources, to become the Victory Mosque). She asserted that the proposed site was in fact sacred ground, a war memorial, and not at all an appropriate place to build a $100 million “shrine to the very ideology that inspired the attacks of 9/11”.

I used to think that this was too broad a statement to make. I used to think that connecting Islam to 9/11 was somehow unfair. I used to not think, and think that I was thinking. And it seems for many of us Gen X’ers “educated” in government run schools, this type of not thinking was how we were taught to think. And the institutions of “education” told us that this type of not thinking was called “tolerance”. Applied evenly, one could learn to tolerate Communism, Nazism or even the President of Iran. See Oliver Stone’s son and recent convert to Shia Islam as Exhibit “A”.

So why did Pamela Geller call Islam an “Ideology” and not a religion? Perhaps this was because Islam is only a small part religion. In large part Islam is a tyrannical political system, and very much a barbaric legal system (the Sharia) practiced by hundreds of millions of Muslims in Islamic countries around the world and growing. And all three components go together to form what is known as “Islam” the so-called “religion of peace”. And yet so many in the mainstream media twisted Ms. Geller’s words to make it sound as if she were a crackpot, who actually thought that a mosque was going to be built on the site of the actual Twin Towers, while ignoring her valid points, or else cutting her off before she could finish making a valid point. And this is what so many of us wanted to believe, what we needed to believe – because the alternative meant that maybe she was right, and this went against a culture that raised us to believe all belief systems are of equal value and must be respected equally because anything less was unfair.

A huge portion of American culture is dominated by a naïve and usually well-intentioned view – that one must always side with the perceived victim in any conflict. And terrorist-linked organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) have done a masterful job of manipulating this predisposition in painting a picture of Islam in America as the victim. Never mind the fact that Islam itself is perhaps the greatest victimizer in the world today. The perception that Islam is the underdog in America has allowed CAIR to bully and infiltrate the media, either by calling them out whenever they feel that Islam has been slighted or, more recently, creating an atmosphere where media outlets such as the New York Times are voluntarily censoring themselves.

For a religion that is so easily offended by the simplest slight, such as drawing a cartoon or burning a book, one would hope that a Muslim cleric with a hundred million dollars behind him could find another location – one that does not offend millions of Americans. And this was a point that Pamela Geller never backed down from, even though she knew that she could be risking her life.

ROBERT SPENCER:

There were two defining incidents that caused me to eventually do a full 180 on my views concerning Islam as a mostly peaceful religion with a few bad apples. The first one I have already mentioned in “The High Cost of Telling the Truth About Islam”. Briefly:

“I flew back to Nashville to shoot a conference on whether or not Islam was conducive with Democratic Values and on the way to my hotel room I learned that my cab driver was from Egypt. I asked him how he felt about the fall of Mubarak, a dictator worth over $70 billion dollars while so much of his country was living in poverty and he told me he was concerned. Concerned? Wasn’t this good news? The cab driver was a Coptic Christian and he told me that he feared for his family back home. “If the Muslims take control, and they will, it will be very dangerous for my parents and my sisters. I’m scared for them right now”. After that conversation, I started to pay more attention to the news coming from the Islamic world in the Middle East. Over the coming months I watched as the Muslim Brotherhood gained political power in Egypt. I saw that cab driver’s worst fears come true as Coptic Christians were attacked by Islamic mobs. I saw Tunisia institute Sharia, the brutal Islamic Law. After Libya fell, the Transitional Council also instituted Islamic Law. The nuclear armed Islamic government of Pakistan arrested and punished those who cooperated with the United States in killing Osama Bin Laden. A woman under the Islamic government of Afghanistan faced execution for the crime of being raped. Similar news stories emerged from Iran. A man who typed “there is no god” as his Facebook status in Indonesia, the largest Islamic country in the world, was arrested for blasphemy.”

Also, I read a book by Robert Spencer called “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion”. I knew his reputation for being an “Islamophobe” as I had been a reader of Loonwatch.com for over a year – a site which is obsessed with Robert Spencer, and is aligned with another site called SpencerWatch.com – both of which go to great lengths to depict him as the worst human being in the world.

When I picked up “The Truth About Mohammed” I kept waiting for that moment when he would reveal himself to be the “Loon” they said he was and I could stop reading. But that moment never came. As it turns out, all of these horrible things I was reading about Mohammed could not possibly be “Islamophobic” because they were all coming directly from Islamic scripture. Everything he said was based on what Islamic sources, the Koran, the Hadith and the Sunnah, were saying about Mohammed. There was very little editorializing. Spencer was merely reporting in a very non-sensational way, what Muslims are taught about the life of their prophet.

I checked this out for myself. Not only did I want to disbelieve what I was reading, but I needed to disbelieve it. If what Robert Spencer was saying about Mohammed was true, then I had to rework my entire documentary, rethink my entire worldview, possibly lose backing (that hurt) and even have to go back and admit to my readers that I had it all wrong. I really, really wanted Robert Spencer to turn out to be a “Loon”. But he simply is not.

In fact, Robert Spencer is one of the only people out there telling the truth about Mohammed and successfully getting through to a significant number of people. And although I had seen him appear on news shows that I don’t like, being interviewed by people that I don’t agree with, there was absolutely nothing in his book that promoted his religion or promoted a partisan political point of view. He was simply stating the facts. And if I could detect any kind of agenda from this at all, any hint of this being in any way personal for him, it was pretty clear that his concerns had to do with protecting human rights.

From there I watched a documentary that Robert Spencer was featured prominently in (which I very highly recommend) called “Islam: What the West Needs to Know”. Again, I did my homework and it all checks out. From that point I watched nearly everything I could find on YouTube with Robert Spencer in it. Then I read “The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran”.

Since first sharing my change in perspective on Daily Kos and later on Front Page Magazine, I had the honor of speaking with Robert Spencer on a number of occasions. In fact it was he who reached out to me when my articles on Daily Kos got me banned. We have since been on radio programs together and I receive his JihadWatch.com email regularly. In keeping with the style of his books, Jihad Watch merely reports the facts concerning all the many acts of Jihad that have happened that day or week, with plenty of links to independent news sources from around the world, to substantiate what is being said. JihadWatch.com more than anything has been, and continues to be, incredibly eye-opening and an excellent source of reference material, for anyone who is serious about understanding the very real threat of Jihad – including Stealth Jihad, both here at home and around the world.

Countless millions of people fall victim to Jihadists every single day. This is perhaps the worst human rights nightmare facing the world in our time. And, there are tragically so very few people out there who are risking their neck, quite literally, to bring us accurate information concerning this. Quite frankly I find most (but certainly not all) of the sites that are critical of Islam to be either hateful or else too religiously motivated for me. And my sense is that this has a lot to do with maintaining the false perception that the Counter Jihad movement is partisan or religiously motivated. JihadWatch.com is the best, as far as I am concerned, when it comes to getting the facts in a reliable, non-partisan, non-proselytizing format.

SUMMARY:

So why would I have had such a wrong perception about Spencer and Geller? In the Liberal world, the world I now mostly just see in my rear view mirror when it comes to many issues I am reconsidering, there is not much tolerance for a diversity of opinion – something which was made abundantly clear when I was 86’d from Daily Kos, as punishment for not singing off the same sheet of music, when it comes to Islamic Supremacy. So I wrongly and naively thought that the Conservative world must work the same way. Huge mistake. The truth is, not only are there a wide range of views within the Conservative world, but even in the subculture of Counter Jihad there are many points of view as to what exactly the threat is and what to do about it.

This simply does not exist so much on the Left. And that is unfortunate, because I believe that America could benefit from having a healthy dialogue between those who are more cautious, respectful of traditional values and those who question whether the way we have always done things is the best way to move forward.

Perhaps no Americans understand better the threat of Jihad more than our brave men and women in uniform. Today as I write this article, in places such as Afghanistan, our troops face the very real threat of being shot in the back by a Muslim ally in uniform who is willing to murder them in cold blood because someone, somewhere burned a book. A book!

What we are seeing is an escalating battle between the civilized world and uncivilized fanatical masses, shaking their fists yelling “Death to America! Death Israel” burning our flags, storming our embassies, beheading our journalists, developing nuclear bombs to point at our ally, Israel and blowing themselves up yelling “Allahu Akbar!” while killing innocent children because they are Jewish.

I often wonder if there are more Islamic Supremacists in the Middle East today who want to see the Jewish race exterminated than there were Germans who wanted the same thing during World War II. This is how serious the threat is from Orthodox Islam. And it is only getting worse.

A new holocaust is brewing and it’s coming from Hamas, Hezbollah, state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and it finds its roots in the history and the teachings of Orthodox Islam. And this is being taught in the Islamic schools of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories – but even more disconcerting is that the hatred of Jews is found in literature sent over to far too many American mosques, from Egypt and Saudi Arabia and published by the Muslim Brotherhood. Anyone who is not concerned about this, anyone who is saying nothing, doing nothing – anyone who thinks this whole thing is an overreaction, ask yourself, “How did Hitler pull off the Holocaust?” and then look in the mirror.

My fellow infidels, you are right to be concerned. No, you are not a bigot or an “Islamophobe” if you speak out. Yes, there are lots of peaceful Muslims all over the world who share our concerns – who are our partners in this effort, who tell their stories and love their children and love America just like we do. You do not need to hate or fear Muslims. Information is the number one enemy of Islamic Supremacy. Spread it!

Whatever I’ve lost, whatever I’ve endured is nothing at all compared to what Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer courageously endure, day after day, year after year, nonstop as they are pummeled by the media, their words distorted, their characters assassinated, portrayed as hate mongers, fear mongers, bigots and fanatics – their pictures pasted onto Islamic websites all over the world, constantly, with the very clear message that these people are the “enemies of Allah” and have “insulted Islam”.

Whether protecting the rights of people abroad – their right to free speech, their right to leave their religion without facing the penalty of execution, the right not to be falsely imprisoned, the right to report if you have been raped and not be punished for it, by being stoned to death or forced to marry your rapist – make no mistake about it – these two courageous truth tellers are risking everything to protect what we all hold dear.

They will most likely have to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders, given the amount of violence so far that has been perpetrated on those who have been murdered in the past for simply speaking out against “the religion of peace”. And they risk their lives for you and for me, and for the liberty and the protection of human rights for billions of people around the world, every single day, year after year.

And although there are many people who are fighting this fight every day, many unsung heroes, when it comes to speaking out in the media, no one has lead the charge more effectively, with moral clarity and courage than Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

What is right About Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer – is what is right about America.

Peace,

Eric Allen Bell

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/03/01/what-is-right-about-pamela-geller-and-robert-spencer/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Tunisia: From One Dictatorship To Another


by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

The Ennahda Party, elected to rule for one year, looks as if it is planning to stay a while.

Voices of concern have been growing louder in Tunisia as the Islamist party, Ennahda, which won a relative majority and is presently leading the interim government coalition, is acting as though it is planning to stay a while longer than its allotted one year. Several Tunisian commentators have therefore begun wondering aloud whether the country has just switched from one dictatorship to another.

On October 23, 2011, Tunisia held the first free and democratic elections in the history of the country. Tunisian voters were called upon to elect 217 members of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), whose task was to appoint an interim government, to draft a new constitution within a year, and to prepare the country for general election.

Recently, however, the media outlet africanmanager.com published an article by Khaled Boumiza, comparing the present Ennahda-led government to that of the former Tunisian dictator, Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, to outline the authoritarian turn the country has been taking. "Ennahda resembles more and more the Ben Ali couple's regime … we can see that their [authoritarian] approach is the same and also the means that they use. Similarities are striking between the two."

According to Boumiza, one similarity is the "non separation between State and Party." Ben Ali was the president of his party, the Rally for Constitutional Democracy [RCD], and also the country's president, whereas the secretary-general of RCD became prime minister. Similarly, Hamadi Jbali was secretary-general of Ennahda before and after the revolution, and now that he is the prime minister, he still holds that position.

There is also the assumption of all the powers. One of Ben Ali's first acts was to amend the Constitution to concentrate all the powers in his hands. Likewise, Jbali, in assuming the position of PM, concentrated in his hands all the powers previously held by Ben Ali. The only difference is that now the strongman of the regime is the prime minister and not the president as it had been in Ben Ali's era.

Further, there is the threading of party representations throughout the country. Ben Ali had created a well-knit network of RCD party offices in the different regions of Tunisia in such a way that RCD became "the best social elevator of the country." This strong presence not only eliminated all possible political opposition, but at the same time promoted those people considered reliable by the regime. When Ennahda came to power it immediately dismantled all RCD structures, but it soon replicated them almost identically in all the cities and towns of Tunisia.

The RCD also had created the so-called "district committees," a form of security services that allowed the party to be informed about what was going on in the country. Likewise, Ennahda's Interior Minister has sent a letter to all governors and delegations to revive the "district committees." At the same time, the prime minister has created monitoring cells within all ministries. The idea, as in Ben Ali's time, is to place everywhere the "party's eyes and ears."

Another feature in common is the use of militant groups to sustain power. In the Ben Ali era, the RCD used to organize cheering crowds anywhere the president went. Whether there was a public speech or an "improvised" visit, the party sent buses loaded with supporters to cheer the president and deter any possible opponent. Likewise – according to Boumiza -- groups of Ennahda's supporters have been used to disrupt strikes and sit-ins by policemen and strikes or to counter anti-government rallies.

Silencing unfriendly press is yet another of these features. In 1987, when Ben Ali became president, he immediately started to apply censorship to journalists who were not aligned with the policies of his regime. A blacklist of unfriendly journalists was prepared, effectively silencing any sign of dissent. Similarly, a few weeks after his appointment as prime minister, Hammadi Jbali started a campaign against the media.

Boumiza concludes his article by saying that all these similarities reveal that after Ben Ali's departure, the culture of power is not dead. The present leadership has gone through a series of blunders, the most outstanding of which was evoking the establishment of a Caliphate. Ennahda has still to demonstrate that the democratic way in which the Islamist party was elected is also the way Tunisia is going to be governed going forward. So far it is not.

Anna Mahjar-Barducci

Source: http://www.stonegateinstitute.org/2902/tunisia-dictatorship

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The "Apartheid State" That Minorities Keep Struggling To Get Into


by Ramzi Abu Hadid

Has Ashrawi, the self-declared human rights advocate, never heard of the thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who try to infiltrate into Israel every morning in search of work and a better life?

Prominent PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi is demanding that the international community declare Israel an "Apartheid State." Her demand was included in a statement she published in Ramallah this week: she accused Israel of incitement against Arabs and of violating international laws.

How come she never mentions the incitement of Palestinians against Israelis in the Palestinian government-issued textbooks, or in the schools and summer camps named after terrorists, or in the government-controlled TV stations which just last week again glorified terrorists with video celebrations again and again of the tenth anniversary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group that over the years has killed dozens of Israelis, including many children?

How come Ashrawi never mentions that in Saudi Arabia there is not only gender apartheid -- in which women have virtually no rights and are kept as virtual prisoners, unable to travel without the permission of a male guardian or relative, even if he is a child or retarded or mentally defective -- but also that there are separate roads marked for Muslims to drive on and for non-Muslims to drive on? You are not even allowed to bring a Bible into the country. How come those acts are not "Apartheid"?

How come Ashrawi never mentions that here in Jordan the government has been trying to strip thousands of us Palestinians of our Jordanian citizenship -- a move Israel never made against its Christians and Muslims.

As an Arab Christian, Ashrawi would have done better if she had chosen to focus on the plight of her fellow Christians in the Palestinian territories, many of whom continue to complain about persecution and harassment from Muslims.

Has Ashrawi, the self-declared human right rights advocate, never heard of thousands of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who try to infiltrate into Israel every morning in search of work and a better life?

Why has it become the dream of many Arab Christians and Muslims to emigrate to the "Apartheid State"? Is it possible that all these people are uninformed? Or do they really know the truth about Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East? In Egypt, Syria, and Iran, for example, government officials put journalists in jail, but Israel is the only country in the region where one small journalist nobody has ever heard of can put a government official in jail.

In the past few decades, many Christian families from Bethlehem and even the Gaza Strip have moved to live in Israel because they feel safer in the "Apartheid State" than they do among their Muslim "brothers".

Has Ashrawi ever asked herself how come dozens of Christians and Muslims from neighboring Arab countries and Africa try to infiltrate the border into Israel every day, or how come so many of her fellow Christians want to live in the "Apartheid State"?

Is Ashrawi aware of the fact that while Christians are being persecuted and slaughtered in the Arab world and Africa, the Jewish state remains the safest place for them to live? Is she aware that the Christian population in Israel is on the rise while in the Arab and Islamic world it is dwindling -- and even faster in places such as Nigeria, Egypt and the Sudan where Muslims are slaughtering Christians?

What has Ashrawi done to promote the rights of women and freedom of speech under Hamas and Fatah?

On the same day that she issued her appeal to the international community, a Palestinian court in the West Bank sentenced a man to only five years in prison for murdering his sister. And on the same day also, Palestinian policemen raided a university campus near Ramallah and threatened peaceful protesters and reporters.

Tens of thousands of Arabs and Muslims have put their lives at risk by crossing the border into Israel from Egypt, where border guards often open fire at women and children.

Does Hannan Ashrawi really care about Palestinians, or is she just being paid by Europeans and Western NGOs to keep bashing the region's only democratic country, which, though admittedly not perfect, still tries harder than any other to treat all of its people with decency and equality?

Ramzi Abu Hadid

Source: http://www.stonegateinstitute.org/2903/apartheid-state

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Lieberman: There's No Security Without the Jordan Valley


by Elad Benari

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday stressed the importance of the Jordan Valley for Israel’s security.

Lieberman made the comments during a visit with his colleagues from the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov and Immigration Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, to the Tamar, Megilot and Jordan Valley regional councils.

“From this place we can best see the importance of the Jordan Valley to Israel's security,” Lieberman said as he visited an observation point at the Jordan Valley. “It would be impossible to ensure the security of the State of Israel without an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley and we cannot settle for the presence of international forces, especially when we see what's happening in our region, in Syria and elsewhere. The Jordan Valley is the key to protecting Gush Dan and the most important barrier we have against the threats which we face.

“In the political situation in the Middle East, we certainly should not and cannot trust anyone but ourselves on matters of national security,” added Lieberman. “The Jordan Valley is one of the main and most sensitive points in future negotiations, but with all our desire and willingness to make bold moves, the Jordan Valley is not the place to conduct experiments which may produce irreversible results.”

Lieberman was asked whether he also meant that there should be Israeli civilian presence in the Jordan Valley and not just military forces, to which he replied that his comments relate to both military and civilian presence in the Jordan Valley. He added that the communities in the Jordan Valley have made a major contribution to the State of Israel and its security and said, “They will remain in place and we will work to strengthen them.”

Recently it was reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had agreed to relinquish sovereignty over the Jordan Valley.

In a speech to the Knesset plenum last year at its special Herzl Day session, the Prime Minister laid down five conditions for a peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority – but the Jordan Valley was not listed among the items.

Netanyahu later clarified that Israel will not leave the Jordan Valley, regardless of whatever final status agreement is made with the Palestinian Authority.

“I will sign a final status agreement only if Israel remains in the Jordan Valley. I believe that we are thus acting sensibly, and looking out for the welfare and security of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Elad Benari

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153309#.T0_hClFvIi5

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Not a Parody: Peace Now Shocked to Discover Arabs Don’t Want Peace


by Jonathan S. Tobin

What will it take to convince supporters of Peace Now the imperative of their organization’s name depends on the Arabs rather than the Jews? After 18+ years of Arab terrorism and rejection of peace offers since the Oslo Accords, it’s hard to say whether anything the Palestinians could do or say would cause them to rethink their myopic view of the world. But give Americans for Peace Now’s Lara Friedman a little credit. After schlepping to an Arab League conference on Jerusalem, she at least had the wit to notice that just about everybody else there was focused on delegitimizing Israel, denouncing its existence within any borders and denying thousands of years of Jewish history.

However, it’s hard not to chuckle a little bit at the indignant tone affected by Friedman in her op-ed published in the Forward as she conveys her shock and dismay to discover the Arab world believes Jews have no rights in Jerusalem or any other part of Israel. She and her group had so convinced themselves all it will take to create peace “now” was for Israelis to support a two-state solution and negotiate, it appears they never took the time or effort to realize the other side has little interest in peace, now or at any other time. This gives her piece the tone of a parody worthy of The Onion even though it was written in deadly earnest. Indeed, it must be considered in writing such an article she has demonstrated the utter cluelessness of her group better than anything the group’s critics could have come up with.

What is so touching (as well as more than a bit comical) about Friedman’s piece is that much of what she says in it is true. For example:

If President Abbas cannot acknowledge Jewish claims in Jerusalem, even as he asserts Palestinian claims (a problem Yasser Arafat suffered from), he should not be surprised if it is more difficult for Israelis and Jews, wherever they are, to believe that he can be trusted in a peace agreement that leaves Jerusalem sites precious to Jews under Palestinian control.

If representatives of the organization that sponsored the Arab Peace Initiative cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the legitimacy of Jewish equities in Jerusalem, they should know that they discredit their own professed interest in peace. …

All throughout the day, it was unfortunately the same story. Participants talked about Jerusalem as if Jewish history did not exist or was a fraud — as if all Jewish claims in the city were just a tactic to dispossess Palestinians.

Friedman is quite right about all of this. But does it really need to be pointed out that she needn’t have traveled to Doha to figure this out? The Palestinians and their cheerleaders have been making this clear for decades. That is why Peace Now in Israel has been discredited by the events that have transpired since the Oslo Accords were signed, and their political supporters in the Knesset have been trounced in election after election. The traditional left in Israel, at least as far as the Palestinian issue is concerned, is barely alive, though you wouldn’t know it from the way many on the Jewish left in the United States talk. The conceit of groups like Americans for Peace Now and J Street — that Israel must be pressured to make peace by the United States for its own good — makes no sense once you realize the Jewish state has repeatedly tried and failed to trade land for peace and the Palestinians have little interest in a two-state solution no matter where Israel’s borders would be drawn.

Friedman archly compares the Arab hate fest she is attending to Jewish conclaves where only pro-Israel speakers participate. This is a bit much as is her insinuation no one who cares for Israel’s future can possibly oppose a partition of Jerusalem that would place Jewish holy places in the tender care of Abbas and his Hamas allies. As she has discovered to her consternation, Palestinians don’t care about Jewish sensibilities, let alone Jewish rights. Her failure to draw any rational conclusions from what she has heard in Doha tells us all we need to know about the irrelevance of Peace Now to any serious discussion about the future of the Middle East.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/02/28/peace-now-shocked-arab-league-jerusalem/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Israel and Truman’s Lesson for Obama


by David Meir-Levi

More than one hundred years ago, George Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.1 But Friedrich Hegel is quoted as saying: “What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.”2 In other words, all that we learn from history is that we never learn anything from history.

Today our president must decide from which philosopher he takes his inspiration.

Preaching on January 7, 2012 at a Jerusalem rally marking the 47th anniversary of Fatah’s founding, Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Hussein (the highest religious authority among Palestinian Authority Muslims) quoted a Hadith (an extra-Qur’anic text attributed to the Prophet Mohammad) predicting the ultimate annihilation of all Jews by Muslims: “The hour of judgment will not come until you (Muslims) fight the Jews,” he said. “The Jew will hide behind the stone and behind the tree. The stone and the tree will cry, ‘Oh Muslim, Oh Servant of God, this is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’.” A video of the rally, circulated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), showed the rally’s moderator introducing the mufti by saying: “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs [i.e. Jews] is a war of religion and faith. Long live Fatah!”

Although the Mufti described his speech as nothing more than an “end-of-times” prophesy3, and not an incitement to mass murder, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Mufti’s speech as hateful and inciting to war, and called upon Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the Mufti’s words. Abbas did not.

Vitriolic and incendiary rhetoric by Muslim religious leaders against Jews and Israel is certainly nothing new in the history of the Arab-Israel conflict; and incitement to terrorism and mass murder by Yasir Arafat and other Palestinian leaders is well documented.4 Leaders from just about every Arab terror organization have for decades used references in Muslim religious texts to justify the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of its Jews and to re-cast their own attempts at mass murder of Israelis as an Islamic obligation. The Mufti Hussein himself used similar language during a sermon at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque in January, 2010 (see addendum), where he was unambiguous in exhorting Muslims to kill Jews because they are “enemies of Allah.

Shortly after the Mufti’s speech, the National Conference on Jewish Affairs (NCJA) called upon President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the leadership of the House and Senate and the chairmen and ranking chairpersons of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to condemn this explicit call to the genocide of Jews. The NCJA also exhorted the Secretary General of the United Nations and leaders of human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, to join in this condemnation.

The UK’s foreign minister, Congressman Howard Berman, and Americans for Peace Now have condemned the Mufti’s genocidal diatribe and urged PA President Abbas to do so as well. Candidates for the Republican nomination have strongly and consistently condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel and criticized Obama and his cabinet for their silence on this issue. Our President has remained silent.

Given our President’s attempts to represent himself as our country’s most pro-Israel president ever, it is strange that he does not speak out, even thought his silence risks losing Jewish votes; especially since history provides us with an amazingly similar situation 66 years ago.

In 1946, when Harry Truman was President,5 the current Mufti’s predecessor, the Hajj Amin el-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem6, delivered similarly blood-curdling diatribes calling on the entire Arab world to unite, kill all the Jews, and turn the Mediterranean Sea red with Jewish blood. Coming in the immediate aftermath of World War II and the emergence of the mind-numbing truth about the Holocaust, Husseini’s genocidal vitriol caused an uproar among many worldwide, including, but not limited to, supporters of Zionism in the USA. As the 1948 presidential elections loomed near, Republican candidates used Husseini’s words as the springboard for their condemnation of Arab intransigence and anti-Jewish harangues. Republican presidential candidates Sen. Robert Taft and Gov. Thomas Dewey repeatedly spoke out in favor of the creation of a Jewish state, and they harshly criticized the Truman administration for its failure to do so.

While the Democratic Party followed with its own endorsement, being the first meant something to even the Jewish and Christian Zionist voters who were registered Democrats, hence the Republican landslide in the 1946 midterm congressional elections, and the election of the first Republican senator from New York in 30 years.

Whatever influence President Truman’s personal feelings about Jews may have had on his political decisions7 evaporated in light of the obvious political gain to be had by courting pro-Israel voters. In 1946, he endorsed the idea of a Jewish state and expressed support for the UN Partition Plan, just before Governor Dewey did so. At midnight, May 14, 1948, the Provisional Government of Israel proclaimed the new State of Israel. On that same date the United States, in the person of President Truman, recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the new Jewish state (de jure recognition was extended on January 31, 1949).

Again, being first counted for something, as did choosing right over wrong and putting our nation’s priorities over his personal predilections. Truman won in 1948.

Now, as then, choosing right over wrong and putting our nation’s priorities over personal predilections counts for something. And especially now, when nations and leaders worldwide are quick to condemn Israel’s construction of homes for its growing population but stand mute, inert and complicit in the face of the palpable evil of Arab incitement to genocide and terrorist mass murder, speaking out counts for something.

Will our president learn from his illustrious predecessor’s history? Will he recognize evil for what it is as Arab diatribe resurrects the Nazi Final Solution? Will he understand that silence in the face of evil is complicity, and complicity with evil is evil? Or will he stand idly by, complicit in his silence?

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End Notes

1. Reason in Common Sense, vol. I, The Life of Reason, 1905-6. Winston Churchill and others have made similar quips. http://www.quotes-daily.com/2009/09/winston-churchill-quote-those-that-fail.html.

2. Quoted in http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6188.Georg_Wilhelm_Friedrich_Hegel.

3. Judging from the actual words the Mufti used in his speech, it is difficult to believe that he was merely quoting a Hadith, but rather was indeed rallying his audience to war against modern Israel and Jews everywhere: “The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’ Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent (because it is the tree of the Jews)].Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees] surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies..”

4. http://www.palwatch.org/; http://www.memri.org/ and http://www.imra.org.il/

5. Much of the following, unless otherwise indicated, is taken from Rafael Medoff, “How the Mufti of Jerusalem Once Impacted America’s Presidential Election — and Could Do So Again,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 1, 2012, at http://www.nysun.com/foreign/how-the-mufti-of-jerusalem-once-impacted-americas/87688/.

6. For a biographical review of Amin el-Husseini, see http://books.google.com/books/about/Icon_of_Evil.html?id=QMts5Z36kjAC and its review, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/books/review/Segev-t.html.

7. For insight into Truman’s vacillation about policy decisions related to Israel and about his personal anti-Jewish sentiments, see http://www.mideastweb.org/us_supportforstate.htm; http://www.adl.org/anti_semitism/oped_truman.asp and http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/index.php

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Addendum

The message in this sermon is unambiguous: “Today’s Jews and Israelis are enemies of Allah and humanity – Kill them!”

“The loathsome occupation in Palestine – its land and its holy places – by these new Mongols and what they are perpetrating upon this holy, blessed and pure land – killing, assassination, destruction, confiscation, Judaization (sic!), harassment and splitting the homeland – are clear proof of [unintelligible word - Ed.] hostility, of incomparable racism, and of Nazism of the 20th century. The Jews, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger! Enemies of humanity in general, and of Palestinians in particular – they wage war against us using all kinds of crimes, and as you see – even the mosques are not spared their racism…

“Our enmity with the Jews is a matter of [or 'based on'] faith; our enmity with the Jews is a matter of faith, more than an enmity owing to [or 'arising from'] occupation and the land.”

“Were the Palestinian people not the owners of the orchards of Haifa and Jaffa? Were the Palestinian people not the owners of the buildings of Sheikh Munis [today's Ramat Aviv], Safed and Acre? And from [a situation of] orchards and the citrus exports [they have been reduced] to UNRWA and to food stamps, and from buildings and from the Mediterranean beaches to refugee camps and to exile. Why, Oh nation of victory and of Shahada (Martyrdom)?! Why, Oh nation of Islam?! Because we forgot that which we were told [in the Quran], because we forgot that which we were told, and Allah allowed the Jews to punish us.”

“Oh Muslims! The Jews are the Jews. The Jews are the Jews. Even if donkeys would cease to bray, dogs cease to bark, wolves cease to howl and snakes to bite, the Jews would not cease to harbor hatred towards Muslims. The Prophet said that if two Jews would be alone with a Muslim, they would think only of killing him. Oh Muslims! This land will be liberated, these holy places and these mosques will be liberated, only by means of a return to the Quran and when all Muslims will be willing to be Jihad Fighters for the sake of Allah and for the sake of supporting Palestine, the Palestinian people, the Palestinian land, and the holy places in Palestine. The Prophet says: ‘You shall fight the Jews and kill them, until the tree and the stone will speak and say: ‘Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah’ – the tree and the stone will not say, ‘Oh Arab,’ they will say, ‘Oh Muslim’. And they will not say, ‘Where are the millions?’ and will not say, ‘Where is the Arab nation?’ Rather, they will say, ‘Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah – there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’ Except for the Gharqad tree [tree mentioned in the Quran - Ed.], which is the tree of the Jews. Thus, this land will be liberated only by means of Jihad…”

David Meir-Levi

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/02/29/israel-and-trumans-lesson-for-obama/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Striking Iran and the Myth of Regional War


by Daniel Greenfield

In 2007, Israeli Air Force jets crossed into Syria and destroyed an Iranian-backed nuclear reactor. The operation had the backing of the United States and employed intelligence derived from an Iranian defector. There was no regional war afterward. Not even an exchange of fire at the Israeli-Syrian border.

In 1981, Israel struck deep inside Iraq, destroying Saddam’s Osirak reactor. The attack was universally condemned at the United Nations and even by Israel’s allies. Had Saddam used it as the basis for a war, Israel would have had no international support at all. But again no war followed.

Today, Iran and opponents of any attack on its nuclear program hold up the specter of a regional war that will drag in the United States, devastate the region and drive up oil prices. This is the only card in their deck until the mullahs have their own bomb, and it’s an effective card to play. But is any of that a serious risk?

Let’s start by looking at the current state of the Iranian regime. The regime is wildly unpopular at home. It had to use its Revolutionary Guard corps to violently suppress protests against the regime, it does not trust its own military and without troops loyal to it close to home, the regime would be gone faster than you can say Nicolai Ceausescu. (If you have trouble saying that, substitute the fallen dictator of your choice.)

Iran has repeatedly attacked American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan; its terrorists have attacked Israel and Jews around the world, but those attacks amount to terrorism and guerrilla warfare mostly carried out by secondary actors. It’s quite different from committing to a major conflict, which will give the regime a choice between either keeping its loyalist Revolutionary Guard at home and sending unreliable conventional troops off to fight and possibly turn on it, or sending off its trusted troops and leaving its leaders naked to the people’s wrath.

Another option is more terrorist attacks, which are already being carried out anyway. And as their recent attacks showed, Shiite terrorists aren’t all that much better than the Sunni kind. Their latest round of attacks mostly ended with dead terrorists killed by their own bombs. And it is only common sense that a regime this violent and stupid can no more be allowed to have nuclear weapons than Corcoran State Prison should allow Charles Manson to build his own flamethrower.

The only card in the Iranian deck is a naval conflict. The last time it tried one of those, the result was a decisive defeat for Iran, but that was back in the late ’80s. The Persian Gulf is vital to Iran’s assertion of power over the region. It has invested in developing its navy and a strategy that will allow it to take on greater powers.

This scenario is only plausible if we assume that Iran will begin a conflict that it is bound to lose in order to avenge the loss of a nuclear program that it no longer has.

There are two possible attack scenarios. First, Israel carries out a unilateral attack on Iran’s nuclear program. This is the most likely scenario under the Obama administration, which has made it clear that it wants a conflict with Syria, but will not back any Israeli attack on Iran. Second, in a very unlikely scenario the administration, for some reason, changes its mind and decides to take out Iran’s nuclear program.

In the first and likeliest scenario, Iran would have to begin a war with the United States over an attack carried out by Israel. A war that it’s bound to lose. Like the lunatic with the lug nuts, the folks in Tehran are crazy, but they’re not stupid. If they were going to begin a war with the United States over something Israel did, they had plenty of opportunities with Stuxnet and the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists.

Daniel Greenfield

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/02/29/striking-iran-and-the-myth-of-regional-war/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Wash. Post's Palestinian Propaganda Falsifies History and the Bible


by Leo Rennert

At first blush, it seems a fairly innocent tale - even an inspiring one.

In its Feb. 29 edition, the Washington Post runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg about Tel Aviv naming a square in memory of an Arab physician who treated both Arabs and Jews before Israel's War of Independence in 1948. The occasion also marked a homecoming for a daughter and a son of Fouad Dajani to their ancestral neighborhood of Jaffa ("In Israel, a square for a Palestinian doctor" page A11).

But Greenberg badly misuses the dedication ceremony to inject his piece with anti-Israel poison pills in an attempt to undermine the very legitimacy of Israel's nationhood.

Greenberg reports that the physician's daughter Najwa Dajani, 75, arrived from her current home in Jordan. She "had not been back since she left for Cairo with her mother and siblings in January 1948 as fighting raged between Arabs and Jews in the war that accompanied the creation of Israel," Greenberg writes.

This, of course, stands history on its head. It makes it seem that Israel's creation prompted the 1948 war, when it actually was a concerted aggression against the nascent Jewish state by half a dozen Arab armies intent on its destruction. Israel was on solid, internationally sanctioned legal ground to plant its flag on Tel Aviv and Jaffa under the 1947 UN partition plan. The UN called for creation of two states -- one Jewish, one Arab. Israel accepted partition; the Arabs flouted the UN mandate and went to war against the Jewish state.

Greenberg's formulation of 1948 as a "war that accompanied the creation of Israel," is in sync with Palestinian propaganda that this was a Naqba -- a Palestinian catastrophe due to Jews claiming their nationhood -- a myth that ignores the historic fact that it was Arab rejection of the two-state UN mandate that fostered the 1948 war.

In the same propagandistic vein, Greenberg misreads and misrepresents history when he writes that the Dajani family's decision to leave in January, 1948, four months before Israel's Declaration of Independence, was "part of a mass Palestinian exodus, supposed to be temporary until the hostilities died down, but became a lifelong exile."

Again, Greenberg jettisons factual history by failing to tell readers that the family left before Israel's creation because, with many thousands of other Arabs, they were urged in Arab radio broadcasts to decamp and get out of the way of an Arab military offensive to wipe out the Jewish state and then return to an Arab-ruled single state in what had been British Mandate Palestine -- despite repeated pleas by Israeli leaders to stay put and become citizens with full civil and political rights in the new Israel.

With Greenberg, the sad tale of the Dajani family is turned into Palestinian victimhood rather than the outcome of massive self-inflicted wounds by Arab leaders. The 1948 debacle was caused entirely by Arab rejectionism, not by Israel's creation.

Not content to engage in revisionist history, Greenberg goes on to revise the Bible as well -- again to suit Palestinian mythology.

He quotes Omar, the surviving family son, as remarking at the dedication of the square, while "choking back tears, that he hoped the day's events would be "an example to the two peoples, descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael, to whom God promised this land."

Sorry, Omar, but God did NOT promise "this land" equally to Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, and to Ishmael, the son of Abraham and his concubine, Hagar. The Bible couldn't be clearer that "this land," i.e. Israel, was solely the inheritance of Isaac and his descendants.

As is told in Chapter 25 of Genesis, verses 5 and 6: When Abraham neared death, he "gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines (including Hagar), that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and he sent them away from Isaac, his son, while he yet lived, eastward unto the east country (i.e. Arabia).

In other words, the Biblical Holy Land was promised exclusively to Isaac and his descendants. At the same time, Ishmael was given great gifts, including inheritance of lands elsewhere for "12 princes according to their nations," as we read in verse 15 of Chapter 25.

The Bible couldn't be clearer about the political separation of Abraham's two sons. Each was to reign over his own nation. Call it the Biblical version of the two-state solution.

Thus, Omar Dajani was flat wrong in asserting co-equal divine claims by the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael to "this land." Isaac's descendants, and only his descendants, are given Biblical title to "this land."

Which poses a familiar challenge to journalists. Do you run with a quote which is demonstrably a lie, but is an integral part of the story? The answer is yes, but if you do, you have a concurrent responsibility to point out to readers that son Omar was engaged in Biblical revisionism to suit a Palestinian agenda. Without such a cautionary signal, Greenberg becomes an enabler of Biblical falsification.

One last comment about Greenberg's unfortunate misuse of a worthy example of Arab-Jewish co-existence: The Dajani pater familias deserves kudos for treating Arabs and Jews alike. But so does Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem and many other top-of-the line Israeli hospitals, which continue to treat without distinction Arab and Jewish patients, including many ailing Palestinians from Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Shouldn't their remarkable example also prompt equal coverage in the Washington Post? Of course, it should. But sadly, such exemplary Israeli medical stories go unreported by Greenberg and the Washington Post.

A journalistic selectivity which tells worlds about the paper's anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian bias in its news columns.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington ureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/02/wash_posts_palestinian_propaganda_falsifies_history_and_the_bible.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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