Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Annapolis meeting - Lessons to be learned from history

Jeff Robbins was a U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission during the Clinton administration. He, therefore, brings some experience to the table when he writes about American intervention in foreign affairs.

He writes in today's Opinion Journal on,
It is increasingly de rigueur around the world and, for that matter, in certain segments of the Democratic Party, to place responsibility for all international crises on the U.S. government. Unsurprisingly, therefore, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, it has attained the level of high fashion to ascribe the persistent absence of peace to a lack of adequate U.S. "engagement" in resolving it.

Mr. Robbins is on to something. A review of the New York Times archives in 1967 shows a willingness to misread the Arab-side of the Mid East conflict and to find hope where none existed. Failure at Annapolis will be placed at the feet of the US. Those who fail to understand Arab-Israeli history from 1948 to the present time and recognizing the truth in it, do a disservice to their country.

Monday, November 19, 2007

They've Got to be Taught

Rodgers and Hammerstein had Lt. Cable singing "You've got to be taught, to hate and fear..." In 2007, we are a far way from the prejudice Cable laments. Here's what the editors of the New York Sun have to say about teaching the young. The stakes are a bit higher than ever imagined on Broadway.

They've Got to be Taught
New York Sun Editorial November 19, 2007

This struggle... will continue in this manner until the complete victory over the world of unbelief and arrogance, the eradication of any oppression, the appearance of the Master of the Age [the Shiite Hidden Imam], and the realization of the world government of Islam.
* * *
To know how a regime might behave look at what it is teaching its children. The above is from a middle-school textbook in a mandatory course inside the
Islamic Republic of Iran called "Islamic Culture and Religious Instruction." It is quoted with other textbook passages in a new report from the Brussels- and Jerusalem-based think tank, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education. "What the regime is trying to do is to indoctrinate Iranian children into making them into radical Muslims, ready to sacrifice their lives for the revolution and spreading Khomeini's revolution throughout the west, and destroy the west," a researcher who helped compile the study for the institute, Shayan Arya, told us Wednesday.
Mr. Arya is a member of the Constitutionalist Party of Iran, a monarchist grouping that supports a referendum on Iran's system of government; he left Iran in 1984. He says the textbooks he surveyed, which are from 2004 during the rule of President Khatami, have for the most part failed to make the citizens of Iran, a nation of a little fewer than 70 million people, into Islamic revolutionaries. "Most of the young people reject these lessons," he said. But he worried that even if a small percentage of Iranian students today became indoctrinated, his country and the world would be dealing with hundreds of thousands of terrorists.
Reading through the new report, one can understand why Mr. Arya is worried. Iranian schools teach reading to eight year olds with phrases about Israeli soldiers bloodying the heads of three year old Palestinian Arabs. Nine year olds are encouraged to join the brown shirt religious militia; an art class text book instructs that drops of blood in the homeland are necessary for the sprouting of tulips. Had this kind of thing been taught anywhere except the Middle East there would be bipartisan outrage. But to assert that kind of thing nowadays about Iran draws contempt from pundits and politicians committed to stopping Bush's next war.
The Bush administration has done its best to appease its critics. Secretary of State Rice has been arguing that a recent Senate resolution suggesting that Iran's Quds Force be labeled a terrorist organization would not authorize the bombing of Iran's nuclear infrastructure. Admiral Fallon of our Central Command said there are currently no plans to authorize any military strikes either. All the while, too little attention is paid to the Iranian leaders themselves and what they have in mind.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What the Palestinians must do - Uri Savir in the Jerusalem Post

With the Annapolis conference between Israel and the Palestinian Authority set to soon take place, Uri Savir, a member of the Israeli "peace camp" weighs in on the parties' responsibilities to make the conference a success.

Shades of Oslo or the gray skies many predict? He writes:

It is essential that the impending regional meeting in Annapolis be successful. Failure at Annapolis would translate into a victory for the extremist elements in Israel, Palestine and throughout the region. Without success at Annapolis the next phase of the Palestinian-Israeli relationship will find a far less forthcoming Israeli government squaring off against an implacable Hamas.

Savir, who never leaves home without carrying his moral equivalence regarding extremism, advises that the Palestinians must make some serious choices if the Annapolis conference is going to be successful. Among them, a renunciation of the right of return and a postponement of the discussion about Jerusalem to future talks.

Those who have suffered at the hands of terrorists know that the stakes are too high to infuse the conference with much hope, if any. I, for one, do not place much stock in the ability of the Palestinians to replace their baser nature of opposition to the very existence of a Jewish Israel with one representing peaceful co-existence.

The Jerusalem Post

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jersey's Counterterrorism Farce - Let's fight radicalism

Several weeks ago, I addressed the goings on at the New Jersey State Department of Homeland Security. I chastised the department for inviting Georgetown Professor John Esposito as a speaker at a counterterrorism forum to discuss radicalism.

I've now joined with Steve Emerson in bringing our readers up to date on the report issued after the forum.

"THE New Jersey De partment of Home land Security's counterterrorism conference last month turned out to be a textbook case of exactly what's wrong with many U.S. counterterror and outreach efforts - a farce that had apologists for terrorism and radical Islam writing the "script" for how to protect Americans from the terrorist threat."

The full article appearing in The New York Post is Jersey's Counterterrorism Farce

Friday, November 9, 2007

Dancing with Desmond Tutu - Can words lead to terror?

In an insightful article in the November 8, 2007 edition of The Jewish Exponent, executive editor Jonathan S. Tobin examines the invitation extended to Archbishop Desmond Tutu by the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. After protests by local Jewish organizations, Tutu was uninvited and then re-invited when other Jewish groups weighed into fray.

Tobin's thesis is "Who cares about a South African cleric's false charges?" His answer, "Maybe we all should!"

In the face of the soon to be held peace summit at Annapolis, Md. Tobin notes, "Given the fact that the history of Mideast "peace" summits shows that such conclaves are as likely to increase violence as they are to engender reconciliation, the stakes for Israel's future at Annapolis are enormous. Placed in this dramatic context, can there be anything more inconsequential than arguments among American Jewish groups over the rights and wrongs of responding to Israel's foes?"

"On first glance, the answer to that question is a definite 'no.'"

But Tobin then proceeds to examine remarks recently made by Tutu at a Boston conference sponsored by "the Friends of Sabeel, a virulently anti-Zionist, left-wing, Christian Palestinian group, held at Boston's historic Old South Church. Those who don't want to trust accounts of the speech can go straight to the transcript at: www. "

Tobin writes, "As in the past, Tutu claimed to speak as a friend of the Jews and a "spiritual descendant" of Judaism. But his rhetoric was aimed at de-legimitizing the Jewish state. He falsely asserted that its efforts to defend itself against Palestinian terror and an ongoing war of annihilation on the part of the Arab and Muslim worlds (subjects he thinks unworthy of mention) are the same or worse than the apartheid he fought against in South Africa.

But going further, Tutu invoked the Bible and Jewish history against the Jews: "Remembering what happened to you in Egypt and much more recently in Germany -- remember, and act appropriately." Invoking the Exodus from Egypt, as well the Holocaust, the South African preached that the God of Israel would judge and punish the Jews for their alleged offenses against the Palestinians.

"One day you will implode," thundered Tutu."

"Hairsplitters are invited to debate whether this is anti-Semitism or merely a lesser variety of hate speech. The fact that he spoke about the supposed sins of the "Jews" rather than the State of Israel was interesting. Considering also that his Sabeel hosts have repeatedly invoked the deicide myth about the killers of Christ in their rhetoric against Israel, it's hard to give Tutu the benefit of the doubt. But however you wish to label this talk, and others like it he has made before, in which he has said that, like Hitler and other tyrants, Israel and "the Jewish lobby" would be brought down, the implications are ominous."

The debate about him and Tutu's remarks left Tobin "wondering whether we shouldn't be paying even closer attention to what people like Tutu are saying."

"Compared to the events that will soon unfold at Annapolis, the tedious flaps over Tutu may be unimportant and counterattacks from pro-Israel forces focused solely on him are a waste of time and effort. But those wondering about whether the administration's obsession with Palestinian statehood will blow up in Olmert's face need to think long and hard about the way the chattering classes in this country are talking about the conflict.

"The growing acceptance of anti-Israel invective which, at the least, seems to border on indictments of Jewry as a whole, aren't merely deplorable. They are the context in which the post-Annapolis debate on Israel and the Palestinians will be played out.

"The battles waged by American Jewish groups against each other may not be worth more than a yawn. But Tutu, Jimmy Carter, and books like Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby will surely play a crucial role in determining how the Jewish state is viewed in the coming crisis and those that follow. The influence of these figures and the falsehoods they have championed will aid those intellectual forces deployed to blame everything on Israel -- no matter how much it concedes -- and to hold the Palestinians innocent -- no matter what atrocities they commit.

"And that is something about which friends of Israel should be very worried indeed."

For the full article, go to