Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Party of Victory



by Caroline Glick

 
Next to the American people themselves, Israel is no doubt the biggest immediate loser in the U.S. presidential election. President Obama's foreign policy is predicated on the false notion that the U.S. and Israel themselves are the principal causes of the Islamic world's antipathy toward them. Consequently, Obama has cultivated the anti-American, genocidally anti-Jewish Muslim Brotherhood and facilitated the Brotherhood's takeover of Egypt and Tunisia and its gains in strength throughout the Middle East. In addition, Obama has appeased Iran's Islamist regime and has enabled it to reach the cusp of nuclear capability.

Obama's policy of relying on the United Nations has placed Israel's diplomatic viability at risk as the Palestinians and the international Left that supports and feeds on their cause use the U.N. to delegitimize Israel's right to exist. Finally, Obama's animosity toward Israel has strengthened the hand of anti-Israel forces within the Democratic party. In the coming years, Israel will become an increasingly partisan issue in American politics.

While Obama's reelection clearly places Israel in jeopardy, the plain truth is that the inevitable continuation of his foreign policies places the United States at risk as well. The jihadist assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi must be viewed as a sign of things to come, just as al-Qaeda's 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole were precursors of the 9/11 attack on the U.S. mainland. Obama is empowering the United States' worst enemies in the Sunni and Shiite Muslim worlds alike. Thereby emboldened, they place America at increased risk.

Israel can and must take the actions necessary to mitigate the dangers that Obama's reelection poses to its national security and indeed its very survival. It must embrace its advantages in economic growth, the domestic support it can count on from its deeply patriotic populace, and its demographic advantages -- it is the only Western country with a high and growing fertility rate. It must boldly assert its national rights. In its relationship with the U.S., it must move from being a dependent to being an ally. It must take the military steps necessary to prevent Iran from making good its promise to annihilate the Jewish state. It must deter the Muslim Brotherhood-led Egyptian military from making war against it.

As for the U.S., Israel's allies in the Republican party and the conservative movement must now take a serious look at their own foreign policy positions and reassess them in the light of the Republican defeat in Tuesday's elections and in the face of the growing dangers to the country that are the inevitable consequence of Obama's reelection. This is not merely a partisan interest. It is a matter of the United States' own national security.

For a host of reasons, Republicans have failed to make the case for an alternative to Obama's policy of appeasement. During the election campaign, Mitt Romney embraced Obama's support for the establishment of a Palestinian state. He refused to say that the U.S. must take military action to thwart Iran's nuclear aspirations, despite the clear failure of the current bipartisan policy of sanctions against Tehran. Justifying Obama's abandonment of the United States' longtime ally Hosni Mubarak, Romney said that he would have abandoned Mubarak as well, even though Mubarak was the anchor of the United States' alliance system in the Arab world. Romney failed to criticize Obama's open-door policy for friends of the Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government.

Romney's "me too" foreign policy was not simply a consequence of his hope to make suburban mothers in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Ohio feel comfortable voting for him. Rather, it was a function of his political camp's greater failure to recognize and contend with the unpleasant and hard realities of the world as it is. The conservative camp in general has been too timid to face the strategic implications of the Islamic world's embrace of the cause of jihad and its goal, Islamic world domination.

During the Bush years, the so-called neoconservative camp believed it had formulated the means of convincing an American electorate dominated by the leftist media to support the projection of American power in the Islamic world. Claiming, and believing, that the purpose of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was to liberate otherwise tolerant and liberal-minded Muslims from the yoke of authoritarian governments, neoconservatives promoted an argument that permitted Republicans to avoid making the hard case for victory.

Even more destructively, the neoconservative campaign to make the Islamic world ripe for democracy necessarily ignored the larger pathologies there that rendered the totalitarian dogma of the Muslim Brotherhood the most salient and popular ideology among Sunni Muslims. The neoconservatives' focus on democratization blinded them to the fact that authoritarian and problematic allies like Mubarak were often the only possible allies available to the United States. Finally, the neoconservatives' insistence that the urge toward democracy and freedom is universal led to their failure in places such as Iraq and Egypt to use U.S. resources wisely. If everyone is just like us, then there is no reason to cultivate the habits of liberty. There is no reason to empower women. There is no reason to financially and politically support nascent and weak democratic forces or to postpone elections until the scales are properly tipped in the direction of moderate forces congruent with U.S. interests. There is no reason to support Christian minorities. There is no reason to insist on the normalization of relations between countries such as post-Saddam Iraq and Israel.

Instead, elections were perceived as a panacea. Give the Arab world the vote and all will be well. In the event, the result was just the opposite. The Palestinians elected Hamas -- their branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptians and Tunisians elected the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Bush administration's false claim that the masses of the Islamic world share the values of the American people led to other problems as well. First and foremost, it confused Bush and his advisers about the distinction between Israel and its neighbors and so brought about Bush's full-throated support for Palestinian statehood. His endorsement came even as it was becoming undeniable that the Palestinians, with their addiction to terrorism, their support for jihad, and their anti-Americanism and genocidal anti-Semitism, are the embodiment of all the pathologies of the larger Arab world. If you believe that Israel is no better than the Palestinians, then it is a short step to concluding that weakening Israel on the Palestinians' behalf is only fair.

Losing sight of what makes Israel America's closest strategic ally, the Bush administration relegated it to the uncertain category of "special friend," sending to the Arab world the message that the U.S. was a treacherous ally and fundamentally confused about its interests in the global arena. If the so-called "peace process" was America's chief concern in the region, then it followed that the U.S. should empower its worst enemies at the expense of its closest ally.

And indeed, by supporting Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and insisting on an Israeli ceasefire with Hezbollah in the 2006 war in Lebanon and northern Israel, the U.S. did in fact help its worst enemies. In Gaza, it supported the establishment of a jihadist state that has since contributed to the transformation of Sinai into a jihadist base of operations, and it emboldened the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan. And it facilitated Hezbollah's -- that is, Iran's -- takeover of Lebanon.

The Republican party's failure to reconsider the ill-founded assumptions of Bush's foreign policy toward the Islamic world led inevitably to Romney's adoption of it in the election campaign. And as a consequence, his endorsement of Palestinian statehood and of Obama's abandonment of Mubarak made it impossible for Romney to draw a meaningful distinction between Obama's foreign policy and the foreign policy Romney himself would follow if elected.

There are two reasons that it is essential today for the Republican party and the conservative movement to reassess their foreign-policy positions and sharpen the distinctions between their positions and those of the Obama administration. First, while we cannot say exactly how Obama's policy of appeasing jihadists will play out, its trajectory is clear, inevitable, and dangerous for America. When the dangers become obvious to the American public, the Republicans will have to have a clear, distinct vision and plan for American foreign policy. If they fail to present one, they will not only hurt themselves. They will hurt their nation.

Second, today and in the coming months and years, there will be a lot of soul-searching in the Republican party and the conservative movement over what went wrong in the 2012 elections. And with that soul-searching will come the inevitable temptation to adopt the Democrats' policy of appeasement in a bid to woo various constituencies -- suburban mothers, for example, and perhaps Muslim communities in Michigan, Tennessee, Minnesota, and other states. But Republicans must understand that, while this is tempting, it is a recipe for repeated electoral defeats. Democrats will always and forever be able to out-appease Republicans. And so constituencies that want the American government to appease our enemies will always and forever vote for them. If the Republicans wish to return to power in the foreseeable future, they must boldly draw a distinction between themselves as the party of victory and the Democrats as the party of defeat. 

Caroline B. Glick is senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Postand director of the Israel Security Project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Los Angeles. She is currently writing a book (Crown, 2013) setting out a new U.S. and Israeli policy toward the Palestinians. 

Originally published on National Review Online

Source: http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2012/11/national-review-article---the.php

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

The Protocols of the Elders of Islam



by Salubrius


You have heard of the infamous Czarist forgery "The Protocol of the Elders of Zion". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion . I doubt, however, that you have heard of a document called "The Project" found by Swiss authorities in a luxurious villa in Campione, Switzerland in November, 2001, two months after 9/11.  It is a 100 year plan for world domination, not just by violence but also by immigration, infiltration, surveillance, propaganda, protest, deception, political legitimacy as well as terrorism.  It is in effect "The Protocols of the Elders of Islam".

It supplements the document found in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, "An Explanatory Memorandum of the General Strategic Goals of the [Muslim Brotherhood] Group in North America."  That document was found with a transmittal letter to the Shura Council [Board of Directors] of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US stating that it is being circulated to the members of the group to read and for their approval.  It was identified as an update and restatement of the plan the group had adopted in 1987.  The plan was to engage in a "grand jihad" eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, and "sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions."  Some 15 or 20 main stream Muslim organizations including CAIR, (Council on American Islamic Relations - that refers to itself as a civil rights organization) were named as participants in the plan.  It was entered into evidence in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism case without objection to its authenticity.

The Potocols of the Elders of Zion has been circulated around the world and is currently a best seller in Egypt, despite the fact that it has been identified as a forgery since 1921.  Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the US in the 1920s.  The two documents to which I have referred above are in effect the Protocols of the Elders of Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood Project by Patrick Poole, Front Page Magazine
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readarticle.aspx?artid=4476

For an English translation of the project document
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readarticle.aspx?artid=4475


Salubrius (Wallace Edward Brand) is a retired lawyer. He worked for several government agencies, among which were the Federal Power Commission and the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice. As a result of the attacks on 9/11, he has become an activist against terrorism.


Original Posting:http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com


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Voter Fraud: Obama Won %108 of Registered Voters in Ohio County



by Daniel Greenfield




Let’s face it. Obama won the election. Just like Putin and Ahmadinejad did theirs. The only difference is that unlike Iranians and Russians, Americans won’t be gathering in the streets to protest their disenfranchisement at the hands of the corrupt Democratic Party machine.
First, he received over 99% of the vote in districts where GOP inspectors were illegally removed. Next, he won 100% of the vote in 21 districts in Cleveland. Well, he’s gotten another lucky break!
Mr. Obama won Wood County in Ohio this year. That’s right, Mr. Obama won the majority of Wood County’s 108% of registered voters. That’s not a typo.
In 2012, 106,258 people in Wood County are registered to vote out of an eligible 98,213.
Secretary of College Democrats Morgan Holliger chimed in, “We won Wood County, we won Ohio.”
Mr. Obama did indeed win Wood County, along with its 108% of voters.
Half the Democratic ground game is voter turnout. The other half is voter fraud. Voter ID would make an impact on this game, but that would be just like the return of Segregation or something.

Daniel Greenfield

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/voter-fraud-obama-won-%108-of-registered-voters-in-ohio-county/

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The Convenient Resignation of General Petraeus



by Robert Spencer


Apparently overcome with guilt over an extramarital affair, General David Petraeus abruptly resigned as director of the CIA Thursday. A suddenly socially conservative Barack Obama accepted his resignation Friday, as Petraeus explained in a statement made public Friday afternoon (the time when all stories that the administration wants to bury are released). But Petraeus’s statement simply didn’t hold water — not only because it assumed an Obama as strait-laced as Pat Robertson, but also because it comes just after the House Foreign Affairs Committee asked him to testify in its investigation of the Benghazi jihad attack and subsequent Obama administration cover-up. 

“Yesterday afternoon,” Petraeus wrote, “I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.”

Parson Obama, that well-known moral crusader who praised Ted Kennedy as an “extraordinary leader” and Barney Frank as “a fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans everywhere who needed a voice,” may indeed have been so indignant over Petraeus’s affair that he accepted his resignation with alacrity. On the other hand, maybe his willingness to see the last of Petraeus had something to do with the statement that the CIA issued on October 26: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”

This came after Fox News had reported that same day that “sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to ‘stand down’ rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”

But if it wasn’t Petraeus who ordered that no help be given to Ambassador Chris Stevens and his staff when jihadists attacked the embassy, the order would have had to come from someone who outranked even the director of the agency. Thus Petraeus’s denial that the order had come from him pointed the finger directly at Barack Obama. And while the mainstream media buried that fact before the election, probably the House Foreign Affairs Committee would have asked Petraeus just who did give the order.

For surely it was just a coincidence that Petraeus resigned on Thursday, the very same day that Fox News reported that the Foreign Affairs Committee was planning to call him to testify at their Benghazi hearings, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Surely that had nothing to do with Petraeus’s decision to submit his resignation. This couldn’t have had anything to do with his quitting. It is much more likely indeed that suddenly, just as the news that he was going to be summoned to testify came in to his office, Petraeus was overcome with remorse over his affair, and decided – although apparently the affair began some time ago, since there were rumors about it while he was still in Afghanistan – that Thursday was the day, right then and there, to come clean and resign his position.

The preposterousness of this scenario is obvious. And the convenience of the timing for Barack Obama cannot be overlooked. Now Petraeus will not be testifying at the House hearings, and so, barring a subpoena, the primary witness to who ordered the CIA to stand down in Benghazi has been removed.

The transparently flimsy justification given for the resignation is also troubling, reminiscent as it is of the charges that Stalin suddenly brought against his former friends and comrades in the Soviet Union of the 1930s, when overnight heroes of the revolution became hated class enemies. That a Democrat administration as socially to the Left as Obama’s would use a charge of adultery as an excuse to remove a hitherto respected public official already strains credulity well beyond the breaking point. It also has more than a whiff of totalitarian-style denunciations and purges. Will a show trial follow?

And the worst part of all this is that the election is over, the opposition to Obama is reeling and toothless, and clearly the man believes that he can behave this way without worrying about any accountability. And he is probably right.

Robert Spencer

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/robert-spencer/the-convenient-resignation-of-general-petraeus/

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Voters Support Conservative Values



by Arnold Ahlert



Now that the election is over, a bit of post-mortem analysis is in order. Before getting into the details, one salient reality should be noted: America was, and remains, a deeply divided nation. And there is more than a little irony attached to six billion dollars worth of election spending that, in the end, did nothing more than maintain that status quo: the presidency and the Senate remain in Democratic hands, while the House remains Republican.
 
Breitbart News and Judicial Watch teamed with Public Opinion Strategies to conduct an election night survey. 800 people were contacted and, unlike most other surveys, this one included contacting people on their cells phones (30 percent) as well as landlines (70 percent). This is important, given today’s technology. Many of the less accurate surveys were likely skewed, not so much by over- or under-representation according to party affiliation, but by too much reliance on contacting people by landline. Many Americans no longer have a landline and, barring something unforeseen, the number of cell phone-only users is likely to keep increasing. Breitbart, et al., had a D+3 skew to their respondents, well within the margin of error for national exit polls, that skewed D+6.

To begin with, 71 percent of the respondents agreed, and 49 percent “strongly agreed,” with the following statement: “The larger the size of government the more opportunities it creates for possible corruption.” 85 percent were concerned and 53 percent were “very concerned” about the corruption in Washington, D.C. Respondents gave a slight edge to Democrats over Republicans as the party more likely to clean up that corruption, 37 percent to 34 percent. In other words, the best rating either party gets still leaves 63 percent of Americans convinced neither party is capable of doing the right thing. Real Clear Politics puts an exclamation point on that reality: in the month leading up to the election, a whopping 75 percent of Americans disapproved of the job Congress was doing.

Yet as poorly as Americans view Congress, even more disapproval is directed at the media. 77 percent of voters agreed with this statement: “The press is more likely to favor one candidate for office over another at the expense of their journalistic objectivity.” Unsurprisingly, 92 percent of Republicans were on board with that assessment, yet even 58 percent of Democrats thought the media showed bias.

Breitbart further noted, and a quick Google search confirmed, that much of the media, both liberal and conservative, are convinced that the Republican party must embrace immigration reform, or it is headed towards electoral oblivion. Yet “reform” is an ambiguous term, as revealed when the survey posed the following question: “Would you favor or oppose a law requiring local law enforcement to verify the immigration status of people they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally?” 61 percent would favor such a law, while 34 percent would disapprove. Hispanics were another story: 58 percent opposed such a law, while only 40 percent were in favor.

An equally loaded word is amnesty. Breitbart’s survey reveals that 40 percent were in favor, and 37 percent opposed, to “President Obama’s recent immigration policy (as they understood it).” Understanding may be the key. The left derides the right defining ”amnesty” a policy that grants two-year work permits to illegal immigrants between 16 and 30, who came to the U.S. as children, and have since led law-abiding lives. Yet those permits are renewable. What the left really objects to is the reality that when Americans are asked if they favor amnesty, it’s a losing proposition: an exit poll commissioned by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), also of 800 Americans, reveals that 52 percent want immigration laws strengthened, compared with just 31 percent who support legalization of people here illegally.

The Breitbart survey also explored the issue of vote fraud. Despite the American Left’s disingenuous effort to conflate the issue of photo ID with voter suppression, Americans weren’t buying it. Fully 70 percent believe vote fraud is a problem, and 76 percent think voters “should be required to show a government issued photo identification before being allowed to vote on Election Day.” And in spite of Attorney General Eric Holder’s ham-fisted efforts to turn photo ID into a racial issue, 66 percent of blacks, and 74 percent of Hispanics approve of photo ID, along with 59 percent of Democrats overall.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the survey is the breakdown of voters referred to as “those who depend on federal assistance.” Of the 23 percent surveyed who identified themselves as such, 46 percent voted for Mitt Romney, and 51 percent for President Obama.

Regarding the survey’s results, a couple of conclusions were offered. Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, sees an electorate that is ”closely divided on who our nation’s political leadership should be,” but one that retains “strong voter support for core conservative values: limited, honest and transparent government; the rule of law approach to illegal immigration; and strong election integrity measures, namely voter ID.” Larry Solov, CEO and President of Breitbart News Network, believes that the Republican Party’s failure to convince voters that they are “the better vehicle for their conservative values and policy preferences…requires a significant re-branding of the Republican Party for a new era.”

With all due respect to Mr. Solov, that last bit is nonsense. The Republican party’s problem isn’t “branding.” The problem is a steadfast refusal to offer the electorate a clear-cut–and conservative–alternative to Democrat progressive/socialism. Furthermore, the old-guard Republican leadership is apparently incapable of understanding that, while George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” won him two elections, the resultant tsunami of irresponsible Republican spending thoroughly alienated a substantial number of Americans. And as the last two presidential latest elections demonstrated, millions of them were potential Republicans: Bush received 62 million votes in 2004, McCain received nearly 60 million votes in 2008, and Mitt Romney got only 57 million votes in 2012. Thus, despite the reality that Barack Obama got 10 million fewer votes this time around than he got in 2008, he was still able to win the election.

In short, Republicans need to stand for something other than a watered-down version of Democratic ideology. Furthermore, they must be willing, not just to endure the inevitable slings and arrows aimed at them by the media, but stand tall and firm for conservative convictions. When confronted by the media, far too many GOPers sound like they are apologizing for their beliefs, a remarkably unseemly reality in and of itself. In the context of a public overwhelmingly disgusted by media bias, it is an unconscionable capitulation–one many Americans instinctively recognize.

That’s not a branding problem. It’s a lack character of and core convictions problem, one that won’t be fixed by emulating Democratic ideology in order to satisfy a hostile media, or placate their Democratic opponents. Conservative stalwart Mark Levin explains why. “We conservatives, we do not accept bipartisanship in the pursuit of tyranny. Period.”  

Republicans need to embrace that message, or they are indeed headed for oblivion for the simplest of reasons: one Democratic Party is more than enough.

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/arnold-ahlert/voters-support-conservative-values/

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Belgium Will Become an Islamic State



by Soeren Kern

The statements of Mark Elchardus, author of a 426 page study, who linked Islam with anti-Semitism, earned him a lawsuit filed by a Muslim group, which said that his comments violated Belgium's anti-discrimination law of 2007, which forbids discrimination on the basis of "religious convictions," and Article 444 of the Belgian penal code as his statements appeared in a newspaper and were therefore repeated extensively in print. Belgian law, however, apparently did not prevent Muslims from resorting to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
Two Muslim politicians, who just won municipal elections in Belgium's capital, Brussels, on October 14, have vowed to implement Islamic Sharia law in Belgium.

The two candidates, Lhoucine Aït Jeddig and Redouane Ahrouch, both from the fledgling Islam Party, won seats in two heavily Islamized municipalities of Brussels, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and Anderlecht, respectively.

During a post-election press conference in Brussels on October 25, the two future councilors, who will be officially sworn in on December 3, said they regard their election as key to the assertion of the Muslim community in Belgium.

"We are elected Islamists but above all we are Muslims," Ahrouch said. "Islam is compatible with the laws of the Belgian people. As elected Muslims, we embrace the Koran and the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed. We believe Islam is a universal religion. Our presence on the town council will give us the opportunity to express ourselves," said Ahrouch, who refuses to shake hands or make eye contact with females in public.

A one-hour video of the press conference in French has been posted on YouTube. At one point in the video (0:07:40) Ahrouch, 42, says he will strive to make sure that the town council's "motions and solutions are durable and definitive and will emanate from Islam."

Ahrouch, who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2003 for the assault and battery of his disabled wife, also spends considerable time talking about ethics in politics and "respect for the other."

Elsewhere in the video (0:25:40), Aït Jeddig, 50, commends Islam as having paved the way for "the emergence of European civilization." (He makes no mention of Europe's Judeo-Christian or Greek-Roman roots.) He also insists that Islam is compatible with freedom and democracy.

The video ends with an interview of a third Islam Party candidate, Abdelhay Bakkali Tahar, 51, who did not garner enough votes to secure a seat in the district of Bruxelles Ville.

The Islam Party, which plans to field candidates in European-level elections in 2014, campaigned on three core issues: ensuring that halal meals are served in public school cafeterias, securing the official recognition of Muslim religious holidays, and pushing for a law that would legalize the wearing of Islamic headscarves in public spaces.

Ahrouch has run for political office before. In 1999, he founded a political party called "Noor: Le Parti Islamique," which promotes a 40-point program based on Islamic Sharia law. These points include, among other items: 7) abolishing interest payments [riba] in the Belgian banking sector; 10) redesigning the Belgian judiciary to comply with Islamic law; 11) restoring capital punishment; 12) prohibiting alcohol and cigarettes; 15) promoting teenage marriage; 16) segregating males and females in public spaces; 20) outlaw gambling and the lottery; and 39) creating an official Islamic alms fund [Zakat].

Ahrouch says that his ultimate goal, creating an Islamic state in Belgium based on Islamic Sharia law, has not changed.

Speaking to a reporter from Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), the public broadcasting service of the French-speaking part of Belgium, Ahrouch said: "The agenda is still the same, but our approach is different now. I think we have to sensitize people, make them understand the advantages to having Islamic people and Islamic laws. And then it will be completely natural to have Islamic laws and we will become an Islamic state."

The reporter interjected: "An Islamic State in Belgium?" Ahrouch replied: "In Belgium, of course! I am for the Sharia. Islamic law, I am for it. It is a long-term struggle that will take decades or a century, but the movement has been launched."

The rise of the Islam Party comes amid a burgeoning Muslim population in the Belgian capital. Muslims now make up one-quarter of the population of Brussels, according to a book recently published by the Catholic University of Leuven, the top Dutch-language university in Belgium.

In real terms, the number of Muslims in Brussels -- where half of the number of Muslims in Belgium currently live --- has reached 300,000, which means that the self-styled "Capital of Europe" is now the most Islamic city in Europe.

In practical terms, Islam mobilizes more people in Brussels than do the Roman Catholic Church, political parties or even trade unions, according to "The Iris and the Crescent," a book that is the product of more than a year of field research.

The book's author, the sociologist Felice Dassetto, predicts that Muslims will comprise the majority of the population of Brussels by 2030. In Belgium as a whole, Muslims now comprise roughly 6% of the total population, one of the highest rates in Europe. This number is expected to rise to more than 10% by 2020.

Most of the Muslims in Brussels are from Morocco (70%) and Turkey (20%), with the other 10% from Albania, Egypt, Pakistan and North Africa. They began arriving in Belgium in the 1960s as guest workers. Although the guest-worker program was cancelled in 1974, many immigrants stayed and, using family-reunification laws, brought over their families.

Today the Muslim community continues to grow through both high birth rates and marriage migration. More than 60% of Moroccan and Turkish youths marry partners from their home countries.

As in the other European countries, the Muslim population in Belgium is young. Nearly 35% of the Moroccans and Turks in the country are below 18 years of age, compared to 18% of the native Belgians.

Since 2008, the most popular name in Brussels for baby boys has been Mohammed. It is also the most popular name for baby boys in Belgium's second-largest city, Antwerp, where an estimated 40% of elementary school children are Muslim.

The growth of the Muslim population has been accompanied by an increase in violent crime, which has made Brussels one of the most dangerous cities in Europe, according to an exposé produced by the ZDF German television in April 2012.

Much of the crime is being attributed to shiftless Muslim youth, especially in the Anderlecht and Molenbeek districts, where "the police have lost control."

In Molenbeek, where an estimated 25% of the population is Muslim, the growing insecurity has forced multinational companies to leave the municipality. In June 2011, for example, the American advertising agency BBDO abandoned Molenbeek after citing over 150 assaults on its staff by local youth.

In an open letter addressed to the then-mayor Philippe Moureaux, BBDO reported that each one of its employees had been the victim of crimes in Molenbeek. The letter states: "Youngsters who forcibly rob our bags. Youngsters who smash car windows. Youngsters who verbally corner us so that we become paralyzed with fear. Young people who are not afraid to even point a gun at one of our male colleagues." BBDO criticized Moureaux, a Socialist, of inaction due to his multicultural notions of political correctness.

On November 5, the Belgian Interior Ministry reported that gang rapes in the country have reached epidemic levels. It reported an average of five new cases of rapes each week involving two or more offenders, in addition to an average of 57 rapes per week involving single violators.

The rise in Muslim immigration has also contributed to an increase in anti-Semitism. Fully one-half of the Muslim students in Brussels are anti-Semitic, according to a 426-page study entitled, "Jong in Brussel" [Young in Brussels], produced by the Youth Research Platform.

In an interview with the Belgian newspaper De Morgan, Mark Elchardus, one of the authors of the report, said: "What is alarming is that you can describe half of the Muslim students as anti-Semitic, which is very high. What is worse is that those anti-Jewish feelings have nothing to do with a low educational level or social disadvantage, which is the case with racist Belgians. The anti-Semitism is theologically inspired and there is a direct link between being Muslim and having anti-Semitic feelings."

Elchardus's linking Islam of anti-Semitism earned him a lawsuit filed by Vigilance Musulmane [Muslim Vigilance], a Muslim activist group. Vigilance Musulmane said Elchardus' comments violated Belgium's anti-discrimination law of 2007, which forbids discrimination on the basis of "religious convictions." They also said his statements violated Article 444 of the Belgian penal code because they appeared in a newspaper and therefore were repeated extensively in print.

Belgian law, however, apparently did not prevent Muslims from resorting to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism during the municipal elections in October. Yves Goldstein, a Jewish candidate for the Socialist Party in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek was singled out by Turkish political activists as "an active Zionist and enemy of Islam." This smear was echoed by a Moroccan political party called the "Equality Party," which distributed an e-mail telling voters that casting their ballots for Goldstein would be like "stabbing Palestinians in the back." The Equality Party's platform includes removing Hamas from the Belgian government's list of terrorist groups.

"The Iris and the Crescent" matter-of-factly sums it all up: "Islam is definitely part of the reality of Brussels." 

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.
Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3442/belgium-islamic-state

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

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at CAIR Tampa



by Joe Kaufman

Those who attend CAIR's fundraising banquet in Tampa tomorrow should understand that they are bringing money to an organization that employs radicals – a group that raises many "red flags" if not black flags.
Tomorrow, November 10, the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will be sponsoring its Mid-Florida Region's 8th Annual Banquet at a hotel on the campus of the University of South Florida (USF) -- a fundraising event featuring a number of questionable individuals, from its speakers to its attendees to its organizers.

One of the advertised speakers at the banquet is Siraj Wahhaj, named an "unindicted co-conspirator" for a federal trial dealing with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Other named co-conspirators for the trial were, among others, Osama bin Laden and bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam.

Wahhaj has been linked to the bomb maker of the attack, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, and during the trial, was a character witness for the spiritual leader of the bombing, "the Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman, whom Wahhaj has openly praised.

According to the Facebook page for CAIR-Tampa's banquet, also attending the event will be Yahia Megahed. In October 2007, Megahed was accused by U.S. prosecutors of signing and using coded language to communicate with his brother, Youssef, who at the time was in prison and charged with illegally transporting explosive materials.

Yahia's own Facebook page contains a photo of himself brandishing a rifle, while prosecutors argued against his brother's release due to what was called his brother's "growing interest in firearms."

Hassan Shibly, the Executive Director of CAIR-Tampa since June 2011, had, before that, been the subject of a number of controversies.

In December 2004, while heading back from a radical Muslim conference in Toronto, Shibly was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, "singled out," as one publication put it, "as a possible terrorist." According to court documents, the CBP "received intelligence that gave them reason to believe that persons with known terrorist ties would be attending certain Islamic conferences to be held during the year-end holiday season of 2004, including the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada."

Following the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, Shibly defended Hezbollah, a Lebanese group on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). In October 1983, Hezbollah was responsible for a suicide bombing that murdered 241 U.S. Marines. He stated, "Hezbollah is basically a resistance movement supported by people in Lebanon… They're absolutely not a terrorist organization."

This past September, Shibly, as a guest on WMNF-Tampa's Last Call show, downplayed the attack on the U.S. embassy in Egypt as a "sort of protest." When asked about the attacks in Libya and Egypt on September 11, and about the black flag of Islam, often associated with al Qaeda, with which Egyptians had replaced the American flag they tore down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, he evasively said: "[T]hey wanted to show that, no, we will not let the flag of hatred, the flag of bigotry rule over our identity as Muslims. So they put up a flag that had the Muslim creed… and they rose that flag up high to show that we will not let these insults go higher than our culture and our identity."

Shibly likes to portray himself as a "mainstream" Muslim. He throws around the term "extremist," as though it is something foreign to him personally. Yet, the group he represents, in addition to his own past statements, leads one to understand that he too is an extremist.

When CAIR's banquet takes place tomorrow, those who attend should understand that they will be bringing money to an organization that attracts participants and attendees with questionable pasts, and an organization that employs radicals. They will be bringing money to a group that raises many "red flags," if not black flags. 

Joe Kaufman is a former candidate for United States Congress. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America.
Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3443/cair-tampa

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

Facebook Campaign: 'The Uprising Of Women In The Arab World'



by B. Chernitsky


Introduction
Inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings, four Arab women have launched a campaign titled "The Uprising of Women in the Arab World," aimed at gaining "freedom, independence and security" for Arab women. The campaign promotes gender equality in accordance with the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and calls to grant women freedom in the domains of expression, thought, schooling, employment, and the freedom to dress as they please, as well as political rights. The campaign's Facebook page[1] features the full text of the Human Rights Declaration in Arabic, and there is also an official Twitter account.[2] 

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The campaign's logo (the woman's hair is a map of the Arab world)[3]

The campaign, which was launched online on October 1, 2012, has so far received the support of over 55,000 men and women from around the world, including prominent women activists such as 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman; Egyptian physician and writer Dr. Nawal Al-Sa'adawi; Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian activist who exposed the virginity checks performed by an Egyptian military doctor on female protestors during the revolution; Saudi women's rights activist Manal Al-Sharif; and Tunisian actress Hend Sabry.

At the suggestion of the campaign organizers, supporters have uploaded images of themselves holding up signs explaining why they back the campaign (see below). The supporters express protest over the patriarchal character of Arab society and the attitudes that objectify women and regard them as servants of their husbands and families; over the oppression of women and discrimination against them, and over such phenomena as child marriages, sexual abuse and harassment, and female circumcision. It should be mentioned that among the supporters who have uploaded pictures are many men, who cited the same reasons.

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Amal from Saudi Arabia: "I support the Uprising of Women in the Arab World because I am  tired of asking my guardian's permission for everything, including opening a bank account, traveling, seeking medical treatment, working, buying real-estate, conducting any business transaction, and  calling a driver. Enough!"[4]

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Saba from Yemen: "Even though I am completely covered, I still suffer harassment, which is why I support the Uprising of Women in the Arab World."[5]

The Motivations For Launching The Campaign

The campaign initiators are human and women's rights activists Diala Haidar and Yalda Younes from Lebanon; Farah Barqawi, a Palestinian; and Sally Zohney from Egypt. According to Barqawi, the main motivation for launching it is the need to complete the Arab Spring revolutions by attaining rights for women. She said: "After women took part in the revolutions, and after the regimes in their countries changed, they were once again banished from the political arena and the attack on their rights began."[6]

In several of her articles, women's rights activist Nawal Al-Sa'adawi stressed that, after the rise of Islamist regimes, women suffer discrimination and oppression, mentioning the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the post-Arab Spring Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. Referring to the Egyptian revolution, Al-Sa'adawi asked: "Is this [i.e., the oppression of women] the result of the popular mass-revolution in Egypt, which ousted the leader of the previous corrupt regime? Did we take to the streets and squares on January 25, 2011 in order to cover up the faces of girls, or to [enforce] the so-called shari'a directives?" According to Al-Sa'adawi, "religion must be separated from education, culture, art, the constitution and the legal code – especially from family law."[7]

In another article, which was also posted on the campaign's Facebook page, Al-Sa'adawi wrote that "the freedom, justice, and honor [of the Egyptian people in general, and Egyptian women in particular] will only be achieved by inculcating these values from childhood... so that Egyptians respect them automatically, not out of desire to win a reward, or out of fear."[8]

In yet another article, Al-Sa'adawi wrote: "The liberation of women is not separate from the liberation of Egypt as a whole... One would think that the issue of the Egyptian woman would be among the political, social, and cultural issues [to be discussed] after the January 2011 revolution... since women participated in [this revolution] alongside men... [But the problem is that] women are excluded from the [new] regime. Most of them sit at home, wearing the hijab, subject to the absolute control of their husbands, as dictated by the patriarchal family law..."[9]

It should be mentioned that, much like Al-Sa'adawi, who links the liberation of Egyptian women to the liberation of the country as a whole, the campaign received support from various political forces that are promoting revolutions against oppressive Arab regimes. For example, among its supporters is a group named "Young Women For Syria," which describes itself as a Syrian youth organization opposing the Syrian regime, and which opened a Facebook page expressing support for Syrian women who went on a hunger strike in Egypt in September 2012 to express solidarity with Syria.[10]

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Samira Ibrahim, who exposed the virginity checks performed by a military doctor on women who participated in the Egyptian protests: "I support The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, because [they] are the womb of the revolutions."[11]

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'Alia Magda Al-Madhi from Egypt, who published nude photos of herself during the revolution in protest of oppression and attacks on freedom of expression: "I support The Uprising of Women in the Arab World because I was threatened with rape, incarceration, and murder. I was abducted, abused, and almost raped for posting an artful nude picture of myself and discussing women's rights on my blog; for having sex with my lover; and for leaving my parents' home."[12]


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Hend Sabry, a Tunisian actress and international activists in the fight against global hunger: "I am with The Uprising of Women in the Arab World because free women raise free men... and a revolution that doesn't acknowledge women['s] rights is not a revolution, it's a regression."[13]  

The Case Of Dana Bakdounis – Facebook Partially Censors The Campaign
As part of the campaign, Dana Bakdounis, a young Syrian oppositionist, posted a photo of herself holding up her passport photo, in which she is wearing a hijab. She wrote: "I support the Uprising of Women in the Arab World because for 20 years I was forbidden to feel the wind on my body and hair." According to the campaign organizers, the picture was removed from the campaign page several days later by Facebook due to complaints from Islamist elements, who described it as "offensive." In addition, the Facebook page of campaign initiator Diala Haidar, who uploaded Bakdounis' picture to the campaign page, was suspended for 24 hours.[14]
 
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The photo of Dana Bakdounis that was removed from the campaign's Facebook page.[15]

The incident sparked an uproar, especially on the social networks, with many people expressing solidarity with Bakdounis. Several girls followed her example and posted photos of themselves with and without the hijab.

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A woman named Fatima posted pictures of herself with and without a hijab in solidarity with Bakdounis.[16]


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Message posted by the campaign initiators urging supporters to continue spreading Bakdounis' picture on Twitter.
Men Support The Campaign As Well

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Egyptian film director 'Omar Salameh: "I support the Uprising of Women in the Arab World. How can we pretend that we're fighting dictatorship, when each of us behaves like a dictator towards his mother or sister or wife or daughter? If we treat them like slaves they will only bring up [more] slaves."[17]

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Palestinian Muhammad Nasser and his daughter Nour: "How can I not support the Uprising of Women in the Arab World when most people insist on calling me 'Abu Watan' instead of 'Abu Nour' because Watan is a boy and Nour is a girl, even though Nour is the eldest[?]"[18]

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Monther from Jordan: "I am with the Uprising of Women in the Arab World because humankind is made up of two sexes, women and men. And how is it possible for humankind to grow by the improvement of only one part while the other part is ignored?"[19]

* B. Chernitsky is a research fellow at MEMRI.



[6] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), October 21, 2012. Yalda Younes made similar statements on the TV show "Meeting Point" on BBC Arabic. She said that women's situation was bad before the revolutions but has since become even worse. She added that the revolution must be completed by establishing a democratic regime guaranteeing rights to all. For a video of the program, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKy8wlZIpvo.
[7] Menbar-alionline.info, October 23, 2012; Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 1, 2012.
[9] Al-Hayat (London), August 29, 2012.
[14] Haidar wrote on her Facebook page that the picture had been removed due to complaints by "extremist Islamist women-haters" and slammed Facebook for stifling free speech while "pretending to support it." http://www.facebook.com/diala.haidar.9?fref=ts
[19] https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=482847585079403&set=pb.279245495439614.-2207520000.1351424558&type=3&theater

B. Chernitsky

Source: http://memri@memri.org

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

Dore Gold: Obama's Second Term and Israel



by Dore Gold


President Barak Obama's re-election raises the question of what will happen to U.S.-Israel relations during his second term. What marred his relationship with Israel during his first term were the broad conceptual gaps between Washington and Jerusalem over key issues in the Middle East. Obama began his term advancing a policy of "engagement" with Iran, while Israel had witnessed all the failed attempts at diplomacy with Iran that were tried in the past and believed that Tehran was simply playing for time. In the peace process, Obama appeared to believe that achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement was a pivotal factor in stabilizing the Middle East and in removing the main obstacle that prevented America from forging a close relationship with the Arab world.

According to The Washington Post, during a famous meeting with American Jewish leaders in July 2009 that was widely quoted during the presidential campaign, President Obama was critical of how his predecessor, President George W. Bush handled U.S.-Israel relations: "During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states." 

The underlying assumption in Obama's analysis was that showing Israel a cold shoulder would get it to make new concessions in the peace process while at the same time elevating America's standing in the Arab world. According to this strategy, however, the administration was still willing to maintain close military ties between Israel and the U.S. security establishments and even enhance aspects of strategic cooperation. 

What will happen now? Obama's foreign policy has been a mixture of his own personal convictions and the conventional wisdom that came out of the American foreign policy establishment back in 2009 through its think tanks and newspaper pundits inside the capital beltway. Regarding the 2003 Iraq War, as a senator he proved to be an independent thinker who expressed his opposition to the war well before it became a popular position. But on Iran, the call for diplomatic engagement with Tehran was already a popular position when he was elected president that was backed by former secretaries of state like James Baker and even Henry Kissinger.

President Obama still wants to try negotiations with Iran one more time. It has been rumored that the administration has opened a channel with Tehran by using Obama's close adviser, Vallerie Jarrett, who spent many years in Iran earlier in her life. The administration will have to face Iranian recalcitrance if these talks become serious. What Obama has demonstrated in the past is that he is capable of shifting course and adopting policies he previously opposed as his own, if he becomes convinced. It is useful to recall that the administration originally rejected Congressional proposals for new severe sanctions on Iran in late 2011, fearing that they would lead to a rise in the price of gasoline. But Obama changed course and featured his Iran sanctions in the election campaign as one of the pillars of his foreign policy.

Like in the Iranian case, Obama's positions on the peace process can also be traced to intellectual currents that had been promoted in Washington during the previous eight years before his election in 2008. After the failure of the 2000 Camp David Summit and the 2001 Taba talks, a whole cottage industry of former officials from the Clinton administration popularized the idea that "we all know what the shape of the peace settlement is and all we have to do is create a political bridge to get there." 

There were also Israeli ex-officials coming to Washington in that period perpetuating the myth that Israel and the Palestinians had been extremely close to reaching an agreement and that just a little work was left to bridge the gaps. The popularity of this belief created a rising degree of impatience in Washington with Israel. For these impressions had a strong impact on several of the key individuals who surrounded Obama at the beginning of his first term and helped cloud the U.S.-Israeli relationship 

In the meantime, while this American consensus about the peace process grew, the people of Israel had gone through the Second Intifada, marked by a wave of suicide bombings in most of Israel's major cities, an escalation of rocket attacks on southern Israel after the Gaza Disengagement and most recently rising strategic uncertainties surrounding the Arab Spring. 

True, there were some experienced officials, like Dennis Ross, who did not buy into the popular mythology about past negotiations. Nonetheless, a gap began to grow between how many U.S. experts of the Middle East perceived the requirements of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy and what the vast majority of Israelis thought. In summary, the problems that Israel faced with the Obama administration during its first term were based on much broader trends, about how the American establishment came to perceive the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that were not necessarily specific to Obama himself.

The White House learned that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was far more complicated than what many experts in Washington described back in 2009. At the beginning of President Obama's first term, the Palestinians felt they were perceived by the White House as a close partner for peace and hence all U.S. diplomatic pressure would be placed on Israel. But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not prove to be a reliable partner. In fact, it soon became clear that his expectations were so high at the time that he believed Washington would deliver Israel on a silver platter. In May 2009, he told Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post that his only role was to wait for the Obama administration to force Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept a settlement freeze. 

And two years later, he criticized Obama in a Newsweek interview and rebuffed repeated U.S. requests to not get the U.N. involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which would force the U.S. to use its veto in the Security Council. Obama was told that if he just used the phrase "1967 lines" in a public address, then Abbas would come back to negotiations with Israel without prior conditions. More than a year after Obama went out on a limb and made reference to the "1967 lines," Abbas has still refused to negotiate with Israel. 

It is probable that President Obama will look at the Middle East peace process far more realistically in his second term. It is now obvious that the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Middle Eastern stability is much harder to argue, since it has become clear as day that the series of revolts known as the Arab Spring had nothing to do with the Palestinian issue. U.S. diplomatic traffic from its posts in the Arab world that are now public due to WIKILEAKS indicate that the Iranian threat is a far more urgent issue than what happens with the Israeli settlements for many Arab leaders. 

It is now clear that the key to U.S. relations with the Arab leaders of the oil-rich Persian Gulf would be an effective policy to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program as well as its regional adventurism. Equally, given the daily violence in Syria between the pro-Iranian Assad regime and the Syrian rebels backed by the Sunni Arab states, it will be vital for the administration to provide a more effective approach to bringing that bloodshed to a halt. 

Obama still believes that U.S. diplomatic involvement is important, though it would be surprising if he expected that a full Israeli-Palestinian final status agreement were possible at this stage, in contrast with the conventional wisdom when his first term began. Of course if Israeli spokespeople were now to raise this possibility, they could set the administration down this path again. But right now with Abbas continuing down the unilateral path by seeking to upgrade the status of the Palestinian observer mission at the U.N. to a non-voting member, the prospects for serious negotiations do not look promising.

Historically, when U.S.-Israeli relations have undergone tense periods, realities on the ground in the Middle East brought the U.S. and Israel closer together. In the far more severe cases of U.S.-Israeli disagreements, President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Ben Gurion had their troubles over the Sinai Campaign in 1956. At the time, the U.S. was seeking to build a bloc of Arab states against the USSR known as the Baghdad Pact. But when the Hashemite regime in Iraq fell and Nasserist forces threatened Lebanon, the U.S. and Israel were drawn into new levels of cooperation. Similarly, though President H.W. Bush had tense relations with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir over the issue of settlements, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the U.S. and Israel drew together as allies very quickly. 

Presently, there are a host of Israeli commentators who foresee a difficult period for Israel because, as they argue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bet on the wrong horse. Never mind, as David Makovsky writes in Foreign Policy, the Israeli leader never came out and endorsed President Obama's opponent, Governor Romney, they still are trying to paint baseless scenarios of doom and gloom. Over the last four years, there is no escaping the fact that the U.S. and Israel had real differences over policy. But at the end of the day, the U.S.-Israeli relationship is based on common interests and shared values and those will continue to form the fabric of the ties between the two countries in the years ahead.

Dore Gold

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2846

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