Monday, December 30, 2013

A reasonable suggestion to counter missiles and rockets

OK, OK, it's not a serious suggestion, but it does demonstrate the frustration felt by the many Israelis living within rocket and mortar range of the terrorists in Gaza.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Boycott of Israel defies logic, morality. Couldn't agree more.

Frida Ghitis writes, Boycott of Israel defies logic, morality -
If you want to work against peace between Israelis and Palestinians, if your aim is to ensure the two sides never work out their differences, then it’s a really good idea to support the boycott of Israel.
Ms. Ghitis is not being ironic; she's pointing out that efforts such as these undermine Israeli willingness to trust the "other side" in any sort of negotiations.

In my opinion, it is the bedfellows of anti-Israel and Jew-hatred incitement, and anarchistic groups, that causes Israel to hunker down.

As she says,
Boycotts against Israel are the worst possible way to help Palestinians. They are such a terrible idea that even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared he opposes them.
Boycotts are a bad idea, a very bad idea when it comes to singling our Israel and its Jews.

That's my opinion.

Monday, December 23, 2013

After 3-Year Freeze, Government Seeks "Prompt Resolution" of Al-Arian Case

This is from the truth is stranger than fiction department.  Terror supporter Sami Al-Arian is still waiting a decision in his contempt of court case after everyone was promised one three years ago.

Here's the incredulous report from the IPT.

After 3-Year Freeze, Government Seeks "Prompt Resolution" of Al-Arian Case :: The Investigative Project on Terrorism

By way of background, Al-Arian is an admitted supporter of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) that was responsible for the April 9, 1995 terror attack that murdered Alisa Flatow and 7 others.  Unfortunately, his trial did not result in any convictions of the more serious charges.  He pleaded guilty to the support charge to avoid a re-trial.

He should be thankful that he has not been deported where a crueler fate could await him.

Well, that's what I have to say.

Stephen M. Flatow

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Saudis looking to Israel for defense? Allies, Adversaries and the Right to Self-Defense :: Gatestone Institute

Ali Salim, writing for the Gatestone Institute, issues a warning about the perceived decline in American power and, I guess, worth overseas.
One view of diplomacy, deemed misguided by leaders such as Churchill, is to abandon one's friends and court one's enemies in the assumption that the friend is yours and will not abandon you. The United States deserted the Shah for the Ayatollah's Revolutionary Guards; it abandoned Mubarak for the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist Mohamed Morsi, and it has abandoned Iraq and Afghanistan to domestic chaos, growing terrorism and the approaching Islamist takeover.
America's withholding of aid to the Egyptian government and Saudi Arabia's refusal to accept a seat on the UN Security Council don't bode well for American influence in the Middle East.  Add to that the shopping for a new ally to take the place of the US.

While Israel's nuclear umbrella may work for a while, no Islamic nation will rely on it for too long (the Israelis are Jews, after all), a nuclear arms race in the Middle East may be on the table.

So, rather than criticize America's eavesdropping and drone attacks, the world should focus on destroying terrorism now, rather than later.

That's what I think.

The full report will be found here - Allies, Adversaries and the Right to Self-Defense :: Gatestone Institute

Stephen M. Flatow

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Drone strikes - what's the fuss?

The fuss over drone strikes against terrorists?  "Innocent" bystanders.  OK, so you are going to ask what they had to do with the dead terrorist?  All I'm saying is that there's a larger question, one not being asked.

The question - what happens when you allow terrorists to use your country, your neighborhood, your streets, and you, as a ploy to avoid attack?  These guys are counting on, they're absolutely depending on, those tasked with the job of removing these creeps from society on stopping cold in their pursuit when their target is in the midst of a public situation involving people on the street.

But isn't a missile strike from the air better than armies moving into the streets using tanks, artillery and other large weapons?

Isn't this a war?

Read from Voice of America -

From Al-Jazeera -

Well, that's what I think.

Stephen M. Flatow

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

With neighbors like these....Mosaic Magazine - Tunnel Vision

Leave it to the gangsters and thugs from the Hamas in Gaza to never surrender, never quit trying to figure out ways to kill or injure Israelis.

As Israel has feared, building supplies intended for civilian use found there way into a tunnel over 1 mile long from Gaza under the Israeli border to the gates of a Jewish community.  What should one expect from those who brought Israel the saga of Gilad Shalit?

So, Israel will punish Hamas by limiting the importation of building supplies to organizations directly responsible for construction projects.  And they'll still be criticized.

Read the full report here - Mosaic Magazine - Tunnel Vision

Well, that's what I have to say.

Stephen M. Flatow

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who's watching the hen house at the White House?

Douglas Murray at Gatestone Institute invites us to Bizarro world [OK, you have to have read Superman comics to know that in Bizarro world everything was backwards] asks:
Imagine that in recent weeks alone, dozens of Muslims around the world had been murdered by Christian extremists armed with suicide belts and similar paraphernalia.
Imagine that at the same time, around other parts of the world, Christian mobs had set fire to, and burned to the ground, the holy places of some of the oldest and most established Muslim communities in the world.
Do you think there would be a reaction to such events? Probably yes.
Would that reaction be wholly negative and unceasing in its condemnation? Probably yes.
Would it be remotely conceivable that a senior U.S. government official or advisor would have used the opportunity to claim that Muslims who had been targeted had brought it upon themselves? Probably no.
Welcome then to the mirror-image of the real-world persecution of Christians that is going on across the globe today.
And say hello again to two of the most appallingly over-promoted and sinister figures involved with the current U.S. government: Mohamed Elibiary and Dalia Mogahed.
Elibiary and Mogahed are shining lights in the Obama Administration's attempts to reconcile America's role in the world with its perceived bias towards thing Western.  Unfortunately, the president didn't pick the best of the best to assist him.

Read the full article - New Extremist Foxes Welcomed into U.S. Chicken Coop and I think you will agree.

Well, that's what I have to say.

Stephen M. Flatow

Monday, September 30, 2013

Scary plot for a B-movie!

A plot right out of a scary B-movie!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Only Commonality is Mass Killing

Temptation to compare acts of mass violence around the world is overwhelming.  But as Anat Berko points out, you have to be careful.
Aaron Alexis murdered 12 people and injured at least eight more at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard before he was shot and killed by law enforcement professionals. It is tempting to compare Alexis to a suicide bomber, especially now that we have heard rumors he opened a website under the name "Mohammed Salem." However, clear thinking demands that temptation be resisted. Let me explain why.
As an Israeli criminologist who has studied suicide bombers for almost two decades—making extensive observations of and conducting numerous interviews with those who failed, as well as with those who dispatch the bombers, with family members of suicide bombers and decision makers and elites in their society— I can say with confidence that the differences between mass killers in the West such as Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris at Columbine, and yes, Aaron Alexis at the D.C. Navy Yard, and suicide bombers are categorical and insurmountable.
Commenting on the comparison of events such as Sandy Hook and suicide bombers, she writes
The overriding distinction between the two is their native cultures: the suicide bomber's education and attack preparations are diametrically opposed to that of mass killers, as is their socialization. Suicide bombers are radical Islam's celebrated heroes, its darlings, whose acts are viewed by the larger culture as exemplary and heroic; in contrast, the West's mass killers are aberrant individuals isolated from their resolutely life-affirming culture.
Read the full article The Only Commonality is Mass Killing

Nairobi and other things

It's kind of hard to write about the terror in Kenya.  The disregard for any sanctity of life by the terrorists who perpetrated this act and the people who sent them are beyond words.

At the same time, we see the Palestinians gearing up for a new round of violence directed against Israel.  Two murders of soldiers during the past week, continued incitement in the Palestinian media, and total silence from Palestinian leadership, do not bode well for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

Was Rabin right in telling me that the PA leadership is nothing but a bunch of terrorists?  Where are the moderate voices in the West Bank that condemn violence and the glorification of murder?

Well, that's all I have to say right now.
Stephen M. Flatow

Monday, August 26, 2013

Israel’s Enmity?

OK, I admit it, I am a fan of the New York Sun and its editorial staff led by Seth Lipsky.  But reading the editorial set out below reinforces my belief that there is still hope for editorial integrity in America's media.

“President Rouhani is sending strong signals that he will dispatch a pragmatic, experienced team to the table when negotiations resume, possibly next month. That’s when we should begin to see answers to key questions: How much time and creative thinking are he and President Obama willing to invest in a negotiated solution, the only rational outcome? How much political risk are they willing to take, which for Mr. Obama must include managing the enmity that Israel and many members of Congress feel toward Iran?”
* * *
We’ve read our share of editorials in the New York Times, but it’s hard to recall a paragraph to match the above, issued Sunday under the headline “Reading Tweets From Iran.” It’s not altogether surprising that it took the new Persian president, Hassan Rouhani, only a few keystrokes on the social media to send the Gray Lady into a swoon of appeasement. But the suggestion that for President Obama this “must” include “managing the enmity that Israel and many members of Congress feel toward Iran”? Neville Chamberlain call your office.

The idea that the little difficulty with Iran has something to do with an enmity that Israel and many members of Congress feel toward Iran is just a classic of Timesian logic. What does the Times figure — that the poor, innocent mullahs were promulgating their peaceable revolution when the dastardly Israelis turned on them for no good reason other than bigortry, and the Congress the Times must imagine was bought and paid for by the Zionists suddenly turned against the Iranians? Just out of plain anti-Persian prejudice?

Maybe the Times figures that it’s similar to the enmity that FDR (and the Jews, for that matter) maintained for Nazi Germany. We understand that the Times strove to maneuver itself above that fray, too; it thought our enmity could be managed. But one would have thought that history would have taught it a lesson. The mistake wasn’t just the sacrifice of Czechoslovakia. It was the going to Munich in the first place. That was the mistake. The way we have put it before is that the talking is the appeasement.

As for President Obama, he rode into office on a promise of good will. He went to Cairo and reached out to the Muslim world. He said he would meet with the Iranians, and he’s taken every opportunity to talk to probe for possibilities. He pulled out of Iraq and is retreating in Afghanistan. This vast display of good will has delivered a Middle East in flames, a region where America’s standing is lower than at any nadir ever reached by any previous president. The fact is that a deal with the mullahs would be a defeat for freedom. Wisdom for Mr. Obama can only start with the comprehension that whatever enmity fuels this fight, it did not begin in either Israel or the Congress of the United States.
 You can read the on-line version Israel’s Enmity?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How to watch Al Jazeera America -

One thing that Americans should not have to be told is how to watch the news.  But some of us who have been watching news reports over the years know that things aren't always what they appear to be.  Case in point, Al Jazeera.

Now that Al Jazeera is coming here, Frida Ghitas writes a primer on who to watch its programming.

For those of us who believe the American public deserves and needs to know much more about what goes on in the rest of the world, the arrival of a television network determined to focus on hard news, to “make news the star,” to quote my old boss Ted Turner, should be cause for celebration. But when that network is Al Jazeera, we all need to take a few steps back and prepare before we start watching.
The first fact to keep in mind when watching the just launched Al Jazeera America is that the new network is, like the other Al Jazeera channels, owned by the royal family of Qatar, which has used Al Jazeera to spread its influence, raise its global profile, influence public opinion and try to create its desired outcomes.

Read more here:
 Doesn't sound good does it?  Read the full story.  How to watch Al Jazeera America

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Headline reads - Terror victims in call for new deal - but it's not the Mid East

A terrorist victims group has marked the 25th anniversary of the IRA’s Ballygawley bus bombing by calling for the full implementation of their “charter for innocent victims”.
The story can be found in the Belfast News Letter, about terror victims in Northern Ireland.  Called "the Troubles," the people of Northern Ireland suffered from Irish Republican Army terror attacks in their attempt to unite Northern Ireland with Ireland.

While now at peace, the people still struggle with the consequences of years of troubles.  This is a story about the aftermath.  Read it here - Terror victims in call for new deal.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Palestinian Heroes - Releasing murderers will not advance the peace process.

The release of Palestinian prisoners caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal editors.  The write of the "Palestinian heroes" otherwise known as murderers released by Israel in the first step of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
I am in agreement with the concluding sentence- Perhaps the larger question is why anyone should expect that a peace process that begins by setting murderers free is likely to result in peace.
Because of website restrictions at, I've printed the entire editorial. If you wish to read it on line, try Palestinian Heroes.

Are you in favor of the release of convicted murderers?  Let me know what you think.

Stephen M. Flatow

Palestinian Heroes: Releasing murderers will not advance the peace process 

South Africa has Nelson Mandela, Poland has John Paul II, and Burma has Aung San Suu Kyi: Though the measure isn't exact, one way to judge a nation is by looking at its heroes. So what does it say about a prospective state of Palestine that among its heroes is Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mugdad?

Mugdad is among 104 prisoners Israel intends to release as part of a deal orchestrated by Secretary of State John Kerry to resume peace talks with the Palestinians. In 1993, Mugdad killed hotel security guard Israel Tenenbaum "by beating him in the head with a steel rod," according to the Times of Israel. Tenenbaum was 72 at the time of his murder.

Also being released is Salameh Abdallah Musleh, imprisoned for the murder of convenience-store owner Reuven David. "Abdallah, together with an accomplice, entered David's convenience store on May 20, 1991, bound David's arms and legs and beat him to death, before locking the store and fleeing the scene," the Times reports.

Ditto for other Palestinian prisoners. Every society has its criminals, psychotics and killers, and Israel is no exception. But it says something about the current Palestinian leadership that it has made the release of killers a condition of peace talks. It also says something about the moral values of too many Palestinians that they should treat the returning prisoners not as pariahs but as heroes.

The Israeli decision to release the prisoners was shortly followed by the approval of additional construction permits for housing in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements. The move elicited howls of condemnation from the usual suspects, as if building houses is more objectionable than murdering people in cold blood. Perhaps the larger question is why anyone should expect that a peace process that begins by setting murderers free is likely to result in peace.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rubbing salt into the wounds? Northern Ireland faces a test

From the BBC, a series of reports on a proposed march of IRA supporters in the village of Castlederg.

A victims group from west Tyrone is to meet Secretary of State Theresa Villiers later to express opposition to a republican parade in Castlederg.
The DUP's Arlene Foster will be among the politicians accompanying them at the meeting.
Sinn Féin are supporting the Tyrone Volunteers Day Parade which is due to take place on Sunday.
Unionist politicians have called on the secretary of state to ban the parade or at least condemn it.
Why?  The wounds of years of violence between Nationalists and Unionists have not healed.  Victims and their families are upset.
They say it will glorify terrorism and traumatise families affected by IRA violence.
Maybe the Irish will understand the feelings in Israel whenever the Palestinian Authority glorifies mass murder.  Then again, maybe not.

That's what I think.
Stephen M. Flatow

Read the report and find links to related stories -
BBC News - West Tyrone victims group in Castlederg parade meeting

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

America overreacting to terrorism? Ted Koppel thinks so

The following appeared in the Wall Street Journal.  It is set out in full because you can't read it on line with out a subscription.

Do I agree with his conclusions?  Yes, I do.  What do you think?

Ted Koppel: America's Chronic Overreaction to Terrorism The country's capacity for self-inflicted damage must have astounded even Osama bin Laden
 June 28, 2014, will mark the 100th anniversary of what is arguably the most eventful terrorist attack in history. That was the day that Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb, shot and killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.
 In one of those mega-oversimplifications that journalists love and historians abhor, the murder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife, Sophie, led directly and unavoidably to World War I. Between 1914 and 1918, 37 million soldiers and civilians were injured or killed. If there should ever be a terrorists' Hall of Fame, Gavrilo Princip will surely deserve consideration as its most effective practitioner.
 Terrorism, after all, is designed to produce overreaction. It is the means by which the weak induce the powerful to inflict damage upon themselves—and al Qaeda and groups like it are surely counting on that as the centerpiece of their strategy.
 It appears to be working. Right now, 19 American embassies and a number of consulates and smaller diplomatic outposts are closed for the week due to the perceived threat of attacks against U.S. targets. Meantime, the U.S. has launched drone strikes on al Qaeda fighters in Yemen.
 By the standards of World War I, however, the United States has responded to the goading of contemporary terrorism with relative moderation. Indeed, during almost a decade of terrorist provocation, the U.S. government showed the utmost restraint. In February of 1993, before most of us had any real awareness of al Qaeda, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who would later be identified as the principal architect of 9/11, financed an earlier attack on the World Trade Center with car bombs that killed six and injured more than 1,000.
 Five years later, al Qaeda launched synchronized attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 220 and injuring well over 4,000 people. In October 2000, al Qaeda operatives rammed a boat carrying explosives into the USS Cole, which was docked in Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed and 39 were injured.
 Each of these attacks occurred during the presidency of Bill Clinton. In each case, the U.S. responded with caution and restraint. Covert and special operations were launched. The U.S. came close to killing or capturing Osama bin Laden at least twice, but there was a clear awareness among many policy makers that bin Laden might be trying to lure the U.S. into overreacting. Clinton administration counterterrorism policy erred, if at all, on the side of excessive caution.
 Critics may argue that Washington's feckless response during the Clinton years encouraged al Qaeda to launch its most spectacular and devastating attack on Sept. 11, 2001. But President George W. Bush also showed great initial restraint in ordering a response to the 9/11 attacks. Covert American intelligence operatives working with special operations forces coordinated indigenous Afghan opposition forces against the Taliban on the ground, while U.S. air power was directed against the Taliban and al Qaeda as they fled toward Pakistan.
 It was only 18 months later, with the invasion of Iraq in 2003, that the U.S. began to inflict upon itself a degree of damage that no external power could have achieved. Even bin Laden must have been astounded. He had, it has been reported, hoped that the U.S. would be drawn into a ground war in Afghanistan, that graveyard to so many foreign armies. But Iraq! In the end, the war left 4,500 American soldiers dead and 32,000 wounded. It cost well in excess of a trillion dollars—every penny of which was borrowed money.
 Saddam was killed, it's true, and the world is a better place for it. What prior U.S. administrations understood, however, was Saddam's value as a regional counterweight to Iran. It is hard to look at Iraq today and find that the U.S. gained much for its sacrifices there. Nor, as we seek to untangle ourselves from Afghanistan, can U.S. achievements there be seen as much of a bargain for the price paid in blood and treasure.
 At home, the U.S. has constructed an antiterrorism enterprise so immense, so costly and so inexorably interwoven with the defense establishment, police and intelligence agencies, communications systems, and with social media, travel networks and their attendant security apparatus, that the idea of downsizing, let alone disbanding such a construct, is an exercise in futility.
 The Sunday TV talk shows this past weekend resonated with the rare sound of partisan agreement: The intercepted "chatter" between al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri and the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was sufficiently ominous that few questions have been raised about the government's decision to close its embassies.
 It may be that an inadequate response to danger signals that resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi last September contributed to an overreaction in the current instance. Clearly, it does not hurt, at a time when the intelligence community is charged with being overly intrusive in its harvesting of intelligence data, that we be presented with dramatic evidence of the program's effectiveness.
 Yet when all is said and done, al Qaeda—by most accounts decimated and battered by more than a decade of the worst damage that the world's most powerful nation can inflict—remains a serious enough threat that Washington ordered 19 of its embassies to pull up their drawbridges and take shelter for fear of what those terrorists still might do.
 Will terrorists kill innocent civilians in the years to come? Of course. They did so more than 100 years ago, when they were called anarchists—and a responsible nation-state must take reasonable measures to protect its citizens. But there is no way to completely eliminate terrorism.
 The challenge that confronts us is how we will live with that threat. We have created an economy of fear, an industry of fear, a national psychology of fear. Al Qaeda could never have achieved that on its own. We have inflicted it on ourselves.
 Over the coming years many more Americans will die in car crashes, of gunshot wounds inflicted by family members and by falling off ladders than from any attack by al Qaeda.
 There is always the nightmare of terrorists acquiring and using a weapon of mass destruction. But nothing would give our terrorist enemies greater satisfaction than that we focus obsessively on that remote possibility, and restrict our lives and liberties accordingly.
 Mr. Koppel is a special correspondent for NBC News and news analyst for NPR.
 A version of this article appeared August 7, 2013, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: America's Chronic Overreaction to Terrorism.

Stephen M. Flatow

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Israel's Prisoner Release, my two cents

Much has been written, pro and con, about Israel's release of convicted terrorists from prison.  It's an upsetting event.  The following is from the New York Post-

Will my daughter’s killers go free?

Last Updated: 12:33 AM, July 31, 2013
Posted: 10:15 PM, July 30, 2013
My stomach flipped when I heard the news this week that Israel is releasing more than 100 imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, including many who’ve murdered civilians.
My daughter Alisa was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995. Some of those terrorists or their co-conspirators were killed by Israeli security forces; some were arrested by the Palestinian Authority, then released soon afterward. Two have been in an Israeli prison since 1995, serving life sentences.
Unlike the United States, Israel doesn’t have the death penalty for terrorists, but I thought these guys would be behind bars for, well, life — because Israel, our family was told, wouldn’t use terrorists as political bargaining chips. That was a “red line” that Israel would supposedly never cross.
I’ve always accepted the fact that Israel would have to make hard decisions when it came time to negotiate a solution to 65 years of Arab hostility and warfare against the Jewish state. I understood this when an Israeli prime minister shook hands with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in 1993.
And I didn’t complain to the Israeli government when, after Alisa was murdered by Islamic Jihad, some Israeli officials called her a “casualty of the peace” — when she was, in fact, murdered by Palestinian Arabs freely operating with the knowledge of the Palestinian Authority and some of her killers were roaming free under the noses of Arafat and his deputy — now Palestinian president— Mahmoud Abbas.
But then Israel began to breach the red line on releasing terrorists. Small numbers of Palestinian terrorists — although not those directly involved in murders — were set free as “good-will gestures” to either revive a stagnant peace process or because Israel’s hand was forced because of some political or military blunder.
Perhaps one could understand the logic of releasing prisoners to establish good will with the Palestinian public or to strengthen the Palestinian leadership. But it became clear to me, and (according to poll after poll) the Israeli public, that these efforts were not met with any reciprocity from the other side.
Terrorists are idolized by the Palestinian people; their leaders name parks, stadiums and athletic events after mass murderers.
As a result, I thought that by now Israel would have learned the first lesson of negotiating: Never negotiate with yourself.
I appear to be wrong, because, apparently at the behest of Secretary of State John Kerry, over 100 terrorists are going free, including many directly involved in multiple murders — as a good-will measure to “bolster” Abbas and to give Kerry something to say he accomplished after racking up so many frequent-flyer miles traveling to the Middle East.
What will Israel get in return? From all news accounts, it appears the answer is nothing more than the Palestinians returning to the negotiating table.
So I ask Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Will my daughter’s murderers, now in an Israeli prison, be released for the sake of good will? Can you show me anything concrete that will come from this action that will allow my son and his family, citizens of Israel, to sleep safely in their home in Jerusalem?
Show me something that will allow me to go to my eventual rest knowing that my personal efforts to assist in the ongoing development of the state of Israel weren’t a waste of time. Show me something, anything at all, and I will support you.
Unfortunately, I don’t think you can. Your present course of action will only lead to more tragedy.
Stephen M. Flatow lives in New Jersey; his daughter Alisa was murdered in an April 1995 terror attack at Kfar Darom.

Read more: Will my daughter’s killers go free? -

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Detaining enemy combatants, score one for the good guys

From the Wall Street Journal editorial pages commenting on the court decision supporting the government's detention policies-
"President Obama was a late convert to the Bush Administration's antiterror detention policies, but his latter-day position has now been vindicated. A panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals voted 3-0 last week to reject a lower court order that would have limited the ability of Congress to authorize the President to detain enemy combatants and those who aid and abet them.

"Hedges v. Obama was brought by former New York Times stalwart Christopher Hedges and other anti-antiterror activists who claimed that the Obama Administration's use of the National Defense Authorization Act was unconstitutionally vague. Because the law allows the government to detain those who "substantially support" terrorism or "associated forces," the plaintiffs said they were afraid they could be imprisoned because of their work.

"This was preposterous, but in September District Court Judge Katherine Forrest declared section 1021 unconstitutional. In overturning her decision, the Second Circuit panel wrote that the NDAA says nothing about the feds' ability to detain American citizens, and "the non-citizen plaintiffs have failed to establish a sufficient basis to fear detention under the statute to give them standing to seek preenforcement review."

"That point was made at oral argument by Baker Hostetler's David Rivkin, who represented Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte as amici in the case. The NDAA explicitly says that "[n]othing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force."

"The plaintiffs say they'll appeal to the Supreme Court, but don't expect the Justices to take the offer. The legal war on the war on terror continues, but the Constitution gives the President broad wartime powers. As for Judge Forrest, an Obama appointee, she ought to be embarrassed to have been overruled so decisively."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

NYPD: Guilty! Of saving lives

From NY's Police Commissioner Ray Kelly writing in the Wall Street Journal-
Since 2002, the New York Police Department has taken tens of thousands of weapons off the street through proactive policing strategies. The effect this has had on the murder rate is staggering. In the 11 years before Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, there were 13,212 murders in New York City. During the 11 years of his administration, there have been 5,849. That's 7,383 lives saved—and if history is a guide, they are largely the lives of young men of color.

To critics, none of this seems to much matter. Sidestepping the fact that these policies work, they continue to allege that massive numbers of minorities are stopped and questioned by police for no reason other than their race.

Racial profiling is a disingenuous charge at best and an incendiary one at worst, particularly in the wake of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. The effect is to obscure the rock-solid legal and constitutional foundation underpinning the police department's tactics and the painstaking analysis that determines how we employ them.
Read Ray Kelly: The NYPD: Guilty of Saving 7,383 Lives and let me know what you think about the Commish's arguments.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Some kids go to summer camp, others to terror camp

News out of Florida about indictment of would-be terrorist Shelton Thomas Bell.
A 19-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. man trained for violent jihad and traveled to the Middle East in hopes of joining a notorious al-Qaida branch. Shelton Thomas Bell was charged Thursday with two counts of conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group Ansar al Sharia, also known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
AQAP is the al-Qaida branch which successfully got would-be suicide bomber and Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab onboard a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day in 2009. Abdulmutallab hoped to bring the plane down over Detroit, but the bomb sewn into his underwear failed to detonate.
Keep up the good work men and women of law enforcement.

Want to read more?  From For the Record, the IPT blog, Indictment: Jacksonville Man Tried to Join AQAP, by Abha Shankar.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The 'Sex Jihad' from IPT News

The 'Sex Jihad'

News emerged a few weeks ago in Arabic media that yet another fatwa had called on practicing Muslim women to travel to Syria and offer their sexual services to the jihadis fighting to overthrow the secularist Assad government and install Islamic law. Reports attribute the fatwa to Saudi sheikh Muhammad al-'Arifi, who, along with other Muslim clerics earlier permitted jihadis to rape Syrian women.

Pretty scary reading considering we're getting in bed with some of them.  Read the full article here.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Middle East - Israel and the slander of its self-defense

This blog is dedicated to the memory of terror victim Alisa Flatow who was murdered by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in 1995 and her fellow terror victims everywhere.

* * *
[A] blind eye is willfully turned to the lethal stockpiles amassed against Israel while simultaneously unconscionable efforts are intensified to tarnish Israel, ostracize it and turn it into a global pariah.

This is not merely an issue of image and of public relations. The slandering and censoring of Israeli self-defense efforts diverts attention from the existential travails with which Israel must contend. Instead of bolstering the sole democracy in the Middle East, fellow democracies often weaken Israel.
Thus concludes an editorial appearing the Jerusalem Post via JPost dot com.  The editorial is commenting on the need for Israel to hold a nationwide emergency drill dealing with the possibility of the Jewish State coming under attack by missiles - nuclear, chemical or conventional - from neighboring states.  It is especially important in light of the possibility that the jihadi Islamists now fighting in Syria will get their hands on those weapons.

I recommend the full editorial be read here and let me know what you think.

Stephen M. Flatow

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

9/11 Victims Lose in Appeals Court

Some bad news for victims of 9/11 and their families in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The hopes of plaintiffs who attempted to hold dozens of foreign organizations and individuals responsible for aiding and abetting al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks were dashed yesterday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In three separate decisions in multi-district litigation over the attacks, the circuit upheld the dismissal of claims brought against most of the defendants, including the bin Laden family's construction company, Saudi and Sudanese banks and Islamic charities under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victim Protection Act and common law tort.
I'm personally familiar with the efforts required to obtain compensation from terrorists and their supporters.  The plaintiffs should not be discouraged by this turn of events.  It's just time to regroup.

Read the article from the New Jersey Law Journal here.
Alisa Flatow
Stephen M. Flatow

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Confronting Terror in Boston

One's personal reaction to hearing of the news of a terror attack varies with time and place.  An attack in London will not generate the same kind of emotions as one in Israel or here in the United States.  But there are ways to confront terror even when it does not strike close to home.

Here's a wonderful article written as a follow-up to the Boston Marathon attack, Confronting Terror in Boston.

In the meantime, we pray for the full and complete recovery of the wounded, comfort to the families of the murdered, and the apprehension of the perpetrators.

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

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Storm brewing over Jimmy Carter award by Yeshiva University's law school

Looks as though the Jewish community has its fill of sycophants who love to pay tribute to those who hold them in contempt.  Case in point, the news that Yeshiva University's Cardozo Law School's Conflicts Resolution Journal board will be presenting an award to former president Jimmy Carter.

This is the same Jimmy Carter who, while brokering the Camp David agreements between Egypt and Israel, has become an opponent of Israel going so far as to brand it an "apartheid" state.  So, one would think that a Jewish sponsored institution might stay clear of presenting him with an award.  Not to be the case, and YU and the law school are proud of it.

Several campaigns are under way to get the award rescinded, but that's not going to happen.  In any event, I sent the following email to the president of YU and the dean of the law school:

Dear President Joel and Dean Miller-

As the father of Alisa Flatow, a murdered terror victim, and her sisters, Gail and Ilana, Stern College graduates, I can only say I am appalled that Cardozo Law School and Yeshiva University supports the granting of an award to Jimmy Carter by the student editors of the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Whatever Mr. Carter might have accomplished in connection with the Camp David agreements between Israel and Egypt 30 years ago, he has long since wasted that merit by trivializing the murder of innocent civilians, including my daughter Alisa, and his demonization of the State of Israel as an apartheid state.

I understand that educational institutions are reluctant to interfere with the thought processes of their students, but they do act in loco parents. In this situation, a good parent would have said “no” to honoring Mr. Carter.

Stephen M. Flatow

You can read some articles here and here.

Will anything result from the protest?  Nothing but embarrassment for the university.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Terrorism database

I guess everything boils down to statistics.  Here's a database from the International Institute for Counter-terrorism that is "summary and analysis of the terrorist attacks and counter-terrorism operations that occurred during the month of February 2013, researched and recorded by the ICT database team."

The following is a summary and analysis of the terrorist attacks and counter-terrorism operations that occurred during the month of February 2013, researched and recorded by the ICT database team. Important events this month included the following:

Taliban militants disguised as policemen killed 17 Afghan police officers at a base in Ghazni province during an overnight attack where they infiltrated the base, poisoned the dinner food of the other officers and then proceeded to shoot the officers at close range. Authorities said the militants then stole their weapons and fled after setting a police vehicle on fire.

A bomb, containing 2kg of explosives, wires and a mobile phone, was discovered on the Saudi-Bahraini causeway. Authorities believe the intended target was tourists from Saudi Arabia. Bahrain's Interior Minister announced eight people had been arrested suspected of being part of a militant cell that was linked to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. They did not confirm if the two cases were linked.

And the list goes on.  To read the full report, go to ICT Database Report.  It's an eye-opener.
alisa flatow stephen flatow israel kfar darom terror attack

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Turkey’s Erdogan Calls Zionism A “Crime Against Humanity” at UN Conference at View from Geneva

Just finished reading Gil Troy's fabulous book, "Moynihan's Moment" about Sen. Pat Moynihan's efforts to stop the UN from adopting its infamous "Zionism is racism" resolution and his battle to combat that belief during the remainder of his life. 

Today's news about Turkey's prime minister calling Zionism a crime against humanity demonstrates that the fight started by Moynihan must still be waged.

By the way, it took place at a UN event.

Here's the blog posting from UN Watch - Turkey’s Erdogan Calls Zionism A “Crime Against Humanity” at UN Conference at View from Geneva

Friday, February 15, 2013

Organ donation and the Jews

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, writing for the Orthodox Union's on organ donation, does much to demonstrate that Jews, including religiously observant Jews, can donate organs.  For one family's path along the road of organ donation, run a Google search on Alisa Flatow organ donation.

I recommend that you read the full article. This Article Could Save a Life

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In Israeli politics, not all is at it seems

This from Jonathan Tobin at Commentary -

Lapid is not that far different from Netanyahu.  And I think that's a good thing.
Lapid’s rise reflects the way the overwhelming majority of Israelis have moved on from their prior obsession with the peace process. Since the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected peace and used Israeli withdrawals to create terror enclaves like Gaza, there is a consensus that until a sea change occurs among Arabs, more such concessions are unthinkable.
Essentially, the response (or lack thereof) by the Palestinian Authority to first Barak's, then Sharon's, then Olmert's offers or steps towards a settlement with the PA, has irked the Israeli in the street.
So, anyone who thought that Yair Lapid was the messiah of Israeli politics is in for a rude awakening.  Israeli politics is never boring.

Read the full column.

Stephen M. Flatow

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What is Fatah celebrating today?

Caroline Glick asks What is Fatah celebrating today?  The answer is not a pleasant one.
Today [January 2, 2013] Fatah members in Dehaisheh, outside Bethlehem celebrated the terror group's special day by parading around in paramilitary uniforms, khafiiyehs and ski caps while brandishing rifles, axes, mock-up rockets and other terror paraphernalia.

But what so far has gone unnoticed by the media here -- and of course the media worldwide - is that today is not the anniversary of anything. It is not Fatah's 48th birthday. Arafat established Fatah in either 1957 or 1959 in Kuwait.

On the night of December 31, 1964-January 1, 1965, Fatah conducted its first terrorist attack against Israel. So today's 48th birthday celebrations are not honoring Fatah's birth, but Fatah's first terrorist attack, which took place 48 years ago, yesterday. Incidentally, and rather poetically, the attack was a failed attempt to bomb Israel's national water carrier, (that is, to poison Israel's wells...).
So much for the alleged moderation of Abu Mazen and his cohorts. Yitzhak Rabin was right, Abu Mazen is a terrorist and will always be one.  If only Shimon Peres would see it, the Middle East would be a different place.

Well, that's what I have to say.

Stephen M. Flatow