Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Caroline Glick on "Israel's Arab Cheerleaders"

It is a strange situation when Egypt and Jordan feel it necessary to defend Israel against American criticism. But this is the situation in which we find ourselves today.

That's Caroline Glick's take on developments in the Middle East, especially with regard to American posturing on Iran's development of nuclear weapons. (You don't really believe they're going to provide nuclear generated electricity to Tehran, do you?)

Let's look at some recent happenings.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that Arab support for Israel's bid to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is contingent on its agreeing to support the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state. In her words, "For Israel to get the kind of strong support it's looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts." As far as Clinton is concerned, the two, "go hand-in-hand."
But just around the time that Clinton was making this statement, Jordan's King Abdullah II was telling The Washington Post that he is satisfied with the Netanyahu government's position on the Palestinians. In his words, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has "sent a message that he's committed to peace with the Arabs. All the words I heard were the right words."
As for Egypt, in spite of the Israeli media's hysterical reports that Egypt won't deal with the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration's warning that Israel can only expect Egypt to support its position that Iran must be denied nuclear weapons if it gives Jerusalem to the PLO, last week's visit by Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman clearly demonstrated that Egypt wishes to work with the government on a whole host of issues. Coming as it did on the heels of Egypt's revelation that Iranian-controlled Hizbullah agents were arrested for planning strategic attacks against it, Suleiman's visit was a clear sign that Egypt is as keen as Israel to neutralize Iranian power in the region by preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

What's going on here? Frankly, those closest to Iran understand and appreciate the threat posed by an out of control Iran to American allies in the Middle East and, by extension, to Europe.
As one American who recently met with Persian Gulf leaders explained last week, "As far as the Gulf leaders are concerned, Israel cannot attack Iran fast enough. They understand what the stakes are."

The threat of a nuclear weapon armed Iran is global. The reality could be catastrophic. President Obama's belief that all will be well if Israel would just pull its citizens out of the disputed territories and turn Jerusalem over to the PLO is not only naive, it's dangerous, too.

Read the full article Israel's Arab cheerleaders.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Seven Jewish Children, a play for Gaza

For those who have asked, my op-ed in the New Jersey Jewish News of April 2, 2009 can be read by going to "From new anti-Zionism to theater of the absurd."

There is no denying that anti-Semitism has been making a comeback in the past few years. But it’s not the old fashioned anti-Semitism of the Ku Klux Klan or the “dirty Jew” or Christ-killer epithet that I had thrown at me in the 1950s. The new anti-Semitism is subtle. It is masked as criticism of Israel, its army, and its politicians. Its proponents claim to be anti-Zionist. They purport to be concerned about Jews, but they stress that Israel is a brutal, belligerent country that dispossessed native inhabitants, keeps others living as second-class people, and has a total disregard for the rule of law.

I welcome your comments.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hamas Terror Tactics Revealed in Video

The Israel Defense Forces has released a video outlining Hamas's use of civilian shields during Operation Cast Lead. Using modern technology and live action, the IDF chillingly displays the callous disregard, indeed cowardice, displayed by Hamas terrorists towards their fellow Palestinians.

Watch the video, Hamas Terrorist Tactics in the Gaza Strip.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Terror and Human Rights Violations, both begin with tyrants

"In 1948, the United Nations recognized the "inherent dignity" and "the equal and inalienable rights" of all human beings when it ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Though this week's U.N. conference in Geneva claimed to stand for these noble values, the world's dictators were the real winners."

So says Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a former guest of Hosni Mubarak's prisons and now a visiting professor at Harvard.

  • Too many official country delegates didn't come to Geneva to stand up for the oppressed. They came to condemn the "colonial powers" of the West and Israel.
  • The deep divide between those who seek to expose human-rights abuses and those who only use the language of human rights as a shield is not new.
  • Rightly anticipating that the Geneva conference would be a forum for anti-Western and anti-Israel propaganda, the U.S. and a score of Western democracies boycotted the conference entirely.
  • Unfortunately, lost in this circus were the real victims who suffer at the hands of autocratic and theocratic regimes.
  • Though the decision to boycott the conference was understandable, I believe it was a mistake.

Read Professor Ibrahim's complete Op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal On-line, "Tyrants Get Another U.N. Platform."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Those Nice Folk at Hamas - Well, maybe they are not so nice, after all

The Washington Post features an Op-ed by Richard Cohen (not to be confused with the NYTimes's Roger Cohen) that talks about Hamas doings during the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza (Operation Cast Lead.)

Cohen writes, "Some residents of Gaza were taken from their homes and shot in the legs or feet. Some were brutally beaten, and some were simply murdered, sometimes after hideous torture. If you are expecting -- based on everything that has happened -- that the awful Israelis did this, guess again. It was Hamas, the authentic and genuine government of Gaza. Well, no one's perfect."

Based on a report issued by Human Rights Watch, no friend of Israeli policies, Cohen points out that Hamas's actions were not taken in the chaos of war, but with deliberation-- "the murders and maimings were not a consequence of chaos but of government policy."

You can only imagine what would happen if Israel dealt with its internal political enemies or dissenters in such a fashion. Last month, for instance, Israel got a heap of criticism and abuse when it was reported in the Israeli media that some Gaza civilians had been unjustifiably shot by Israeli soldiers. The report was widely cited, not just for its shocking allegations but also because it was supposedly indicative of the sort of place Israel has become. The government said the allegations were based on hearsay. We shall see.

Hamas, hiding behind civilians during war, and social services at other times, is nothing less than a repulsive terror organization. Its fellow Palestinians are to be used, abused and killed as part of Hamas's desire to destroy Israel. No other people are so self-abusing.

Read Hamas's Bloody Hands

Friday, April 17, 2009

Indonesia's Elections- Two stories, two different views?

Indonesia recently held its third democratic elections since the end of General Suharto's rule in 1998. According to a news story in The New York Times, the election results may be nothing to celebrate. That is in contrast that with an Op-ed by Sadanand Dhume in the Wall Street Journal On-line that claims the elections "reflect the strides made by a country that not so long ago was in danger of becoming a byword for chaos and random violence."

Perhaps it is the old half-empty, half-full analogy at work here. Perhaps the Times is just not capable of recognizing good news coming out of a country that has had some dark days when it sees it.

You be the judge.

The Wall Street Journal piece is Indonesia Rejects Extremism.

The New York Times article is President’s Party Grabs Early Lead in Indonesian Vote.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

American on Trial in Iran- where's the liberal West's condemnation?

Today's newspaper brought word that Roxana Saberi, a 31-year-old with dual American-Iranian citizenship, was arrested in January and is now on trial in Iran for spying on behalf of the United States.

The New York Times reports,
An Iranian judiciary official said Tuesday that the trial of an American journalist accused of spying for the United States had begun on Monday in secret, and that a verdict was expected within two weeks. The journalist, Roxana Saberi, a 31-year-old with dual American-Iranian citizenship, was arrested in January and initially accused of working without press credentials. But last week an Iranian judge brought the far more serious charge of spying for Washington.

Note that the trial is "in secret." So where, we must ask, are the anti-Guantanamo forces? Where's their outrage and anger? Why are they now silent?

Ms. Saberi is being held in Evin prison in northern Tehran. Her lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorasmshahi, refused to speak to reporters, saying he was not authorized to talk about the case until after the trial. The trial comes at a sensitive moment in relations between Iran and the United States. President Obama has expressed a willingness to talk with Tehran after years of strained relations under the Bush administration.

"Sensitive?" To whom? Does this mean the US will keep silent when one of its citizens is in a circus trial so as to not upset proposed discussions with the mullahs in Tehran?

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said that the United States is “deeply concerned” about the espionage charges and has asked Iranian diplomats for help in obtaining Ms. Saberi’s immediate release.

Here's the report from The New York Times.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Saving Captain Phillips - Not your ordinary terrorism story

The "Easter Sunday rescue of cargo ship Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates is a tribute to his personal bravery and the skill and steel nerves of the U.S. Navy." So says an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal On-line, and I couldn't agree more.

While not terrorism in the typical sense, the pirates did succeed in terrorizing their captives, and paid the price for it. The greater issues are the rules of law on the high seas, and for how much longer will piracy be tolerated. If the surviving pirate is tried in the United States, incarceration appears to be in the cards. If in Kenya or elsewhere in Africa, we're not too sure.

Somali pirates are turning the high seas into a state of anarchy not seen in a century or more. They'll continue to terrorize innocents until what we call the "civilized world" demonstrates that they will suffer the same fate as the pirates who made the mistake of kidnapping Captain Phillips.

Read the full article.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Starbucks and the Jihadis

Starbucks Coffee shops are in for it in the Middle East. There's a video making the rounds of the Internet that has a Muslim cleric calling for the boycott of Starbucks because its logo is, ready for this, an image of Queen Esther, the "queen of the Jews."

Anyone with some Internet access could search Starbucks and its logo and quickly find that the logo image is that of a Siren, not from Israel, but Greek mythology. C'mon guys, get your act together.

Watch the video.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jeff Jacoby writes: In Israel, a voice of realism

Jeff Jacoby writes,
"IF AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN'S first speech as Israel's new foreign minister did nothing else, it certainly vexed the media."
The Associated Press called it a "scathing critique of Mideast peace efforts" that had diplomats "cringing," while other reports said Lieberman had "dropped a political bombshell," "sparked an uproar," "repudiated a key accord," and "reinforced fears." The New York Times pronounced Lieberman's remarks "blunt and belligerent," describing the foreign minister as a "hawkish nationalist" who is "not known for diplomacy" and heads an "ultranationalist" party that is "seen by many as racist." Headlines summed up Lieberman's debut as an attack on peacemaking: "Lieberman dashes peace hopes," "Israeli official hits peace efforts," "Lieberman dumps peace deal." Links as in original.
Jacoby believes those fears are wrong. Lieberman is advancing a peace agenda, but one "with the respect and realism it deserves." In other words, no lip service to peace but a need for the Road Map to be strictly followed.

Is that too hard to do? Maybe because the Palestinians are yet to deliver on a single item of the Road Map. Is it too late for that too happen now?

Read "In Israel, a voice of realism"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hezbollah Doesn't Have Wings

A silly heading in the April 1, 2009 edition of the WSJ On-line's Best of the Web caught my attention. How else can you respond to In That Case, We'll Have the Mozzarella Sticks but by clicking on the link. When you do that, you wind up at Commentary Magazine's Contention where Michael J. Totten discusses a recent British government decision to talk to the "political wing" of Hezbollah, an organization officially designated a terrorist group by the civilized world.

According to Totten,

"A few weeks ago Britain decided to unfreeze “diplomatic relations” with Hezbollah, and the nonsensical phrases “political wing” and “military wing” have been used to describe the Iranian-backed militia ever since. Britain now says it’s okay to meet with members of Hezbollah’s “political wing” while maintaining the blacklisting of its “military wing,” but these “wings” don’t exist in any meaningful sense."
The concept of "wings" in terror and other violent organizations is not new. For instance, the IRA had a military and a political wing. Hamas has both, too.

"If Hezbollah were actually two distinct entities with separate policies it might make sense for British diplomats to do business with one and not the other, but that’s not how Hezbollah is structured. Of course Hezbollah’s fighters and members of parliament aren’t the same individuals, but Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah is the leader of the entire organization."
Go figure what goes through the minds of politicians around the world, I cannot.
Read the full article.