Monday, January 31, 2011

From the Jerusalem Post -- Editor's Notes: Missing a moment of truth

Just having returned from 10 days in Israel, I can testify to a big news story that is not getting much coverage here in the West. I'm referring to the leak of cables and other items relating to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Rather than building on the leaked items, the PA is denying their authenticity.

Here is David Horovitz's take on PaliLeaks.

Instead of denying the charges of seeking a viable peace accord, Abbas should be telling his people that that’s exactly what he and his negotiators have been doing.

Shame on you, apoplectic analysts and commentators at Al-Jazeera and the Guardian.

And learn to live with it, Palestinians. These are your lives and ours. This is your future and ours.

Potentially, this could be your moment of truth – of awkward, hard-to-swallow, unavoidable truth. Your decades-belated 1948 moment, the beginning of your reluctant internalization that this small, glorious, bloodied land is fated to be shared.

Read the full column, Editor's Notes: Missing a moment of truth.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Israel's Netanyahu must make a bold move

Frida Ghitis lays down a challenge to Israel's current policy towards the Palestinians-- Make a bold move. While she mentions that Israel has made what are called unilateral moves in the past, only met with Palestinian violence, she feels that "Israel must remain in the forefront of the quest for peace. That should never change."

I don't think anyone could argue that it was Israel, not the Palestinians or Arab countries, that has sought to end conflict since 1948. But actions by the Palestinians, those in Gaza and the West Bank, and all those who claim to be protecting them, e.g., Hezbollah, the Syrians, the Iranians, speak otherwise.

Anyway, read the full article. Netanyahu must make a bold move

Well, that's what I have to say. Stephen M. Flatow

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hezbollah Forces Collapse of Lebanese Government -

This breaking story on the New York Times, Hezbollah Forces Collapse of Lebanese Government, points to Hezbollah's efforts to shift attention away from a soon to ber released report on the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri.

It is surmised that Hezbollah will be be accused of having a role in the assassination. That's certainly not good news for Hezbollah or its masters, Syria and Iran.

So, what's next? It depends on how desperately Hezbollah feels it needs to direct Lebanese civilians attention away from the report. How does starting a war with Israel sound as a means of accomplishing that misdirection? Don't be surprised if it happens.

Friday, January 7, 2011

This Week in History: ‘The Engineer’ is assassinated

From the Jerusalem Post, an analysis of the effect of killling of a terrorist responsible for the deaths of scores of innocent civilians in Israel and Gaza. (Why an analysis is necessary, I don't know.)

For instance,

"the assassination of Yehiyeh Ayash was a consequential event for the peace process, terrorism and Palestinian politics."

"When the traditional 40-day Muslim mourning period ended following the terrorist’s assassination, Hamas undertook a wave of vicious and especially deadly terror bombings in Israel. In the period between February 25 and March 4 of that year, four bombings rocked Israel, killing dozens and wounding hundreds. Perhaps as a result, Ayash’s family home in the West Bank town of Rafat was demolished by the IDF using explosives, the first demolition since the beginning of the peace process several years earlier."
Direct linkage? I don't think so. A convenient "excuse" to the mind of Hamas murderers? Most likely.

Yehiyeh Ayash was a murderer. In the same way that civilized society through history has resorted to the removal of murderers from society, so Israel acted towards him.

Hamas would have killed Jews regardless of Ayash's death. And what if, just perhaps, his death discouraged some young Palestinian from following in Ayash's footsteps.

Read the full column, This Week in History: ‘The Engineer’ is assassinated.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Jews did it! Iranian says Mossad behind Egypt church blast

You might ask how long it would take for an Iranian to blame Israel and the Jews for the devastating terror attack in Egypt that left more than 20 people dead and scores injured. Well, we didn't have to wait long as Iran's Press TV has published an op-ed blaming Israel's Mossad and Zionists for the bomb attack.

One Hassan Hanizadeh, an editorial writer at the Tehran Times but no apparent relation to Baghdad Bob, has written,

Although, at first glance, the finger is pointed at extremist Wahabi or Salafi groups, it goes without saying that no Muslim, whatever their political leanings may be, will ever commit such an inhumane act.

Attacks on churches in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia can be analyzed in the context of a Zionist scenario aimed at driving a wedge between Muslims and Arab Christians.
The goal of the attack was "aimed at creating a rift between Muslims and Christians."

Read the full column, PressTV - Mossad behind Egypt church blast

The scary aspect of his column is actually found in the comments that follow. They tend to demonstrate that Hanizadeh is not alone in his let's point the finger at Jews world. Enough said.

Monday, January 3, 2011

David Cole - Reform Material Support Laws for Terrorists

David Cole is a university professor with whom I do not necessarily see with eye-to-eye. In an Op-ed appearing in the New York Times on January 3, 2011, Cole discusses a problem with statutes that make it a crime to speak in favor of organizations classified as terrorists by the U.S. government.

DID former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Tom Ridge, a former homeland security secretary, and Frances Townsend, a former national security adviser, all commit a federal crime last month in Paris when they spoke in support of the Mujahedeen Khalq at a conference organized by the Iranian opposition group’s advocates? Free speech, right? Not necessarily.

Cole has been outspoken against the criminlzation of such conduct and brought suit to overturn its application. Unfortunately for him, the Supreme Court blocked speech or conduct that may be of indirect support to a terror organization.

I'm not sure how this should go. Who should be the arbiter of how much you can say, how much material, i.e. financial or goods, support can you provide, before it constitutes a benefit to a terror group. Where do we draw the line?

Read the full column, Reform Material Support Laws for Terrorists

What do you think?

Christians in Egypt are sitting ducks

I have written recently about the attack on Christianity in the Middle East. Now we have two stories this weekend point to the perilous lives led by Coptic Christians in Egypt.

From the New York Times comes the news of a bombing, a suicide attack, against
"worshipers outside of a Coptic Christian church in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt, early Saturday, killing at least 21 people in the worst attack against Egypt’s Christian minority in recent memory."
Read, Coptic Church in Egypt Is Hit by Fatal Bomb Attack.

The follow-up story is how the community responded.

Amid shattered glass and scenes of grief, congregants returned to the Saints Church early Sunday for the morning Mass, passing a chain of riot police who patrolled the streets nearby without incident after a bomb exploded here Saturday and killed at least 21 people in the worst attack against Egypt’s Christian minority in recent years.
So, what is the rest of Egypt doing? President Hosni Mubarak blames outside forces. Christians want to know what the reaction would have been if the victims were Muslims. One man whose "cousin was injured in the blast and would have his leg amputated. “'I don’t feel afraid,” he said. “The only thing that makes me scared is the police.'”

The bottom line is that a two thousand year old community in Egypt is on the verge of being forced from the country they call home. And the world remains silent. Where is the outrage on America's college campuses against this human rights abuse?

Well, that's what I have to say.

Stephen M. Flatow