Friday, November 30, 2012

Open Letter to British Foreign Secretary William Hague

Written by Mindy Wiesenberg:

Dear Mr Hague

You have stated that if Israel tries to defend its population through a ground offensive in Gaza "it risks losing the sympathy of the international community."

Let me tell you something about the sympathy of the international community Mr Hague. My father was liberated from Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945, having lost his entire family but gaining the sympathy of the international community at the time. After 6 million Jews had been annihilated at the hands of the Nazi regime, the international community had plenty of sympathy for the Jewish people. There is always plenty of sympathy for victims.

Israel doesn't need the sympathy of the international community. What it needs is to defend its citizens.

When as a tiny country it gained its independence in 1948 it had to absorb 800,000 Jews who were thrown out of Arab lands in the Middle East, and it did so without fuss and with dignity giving them shelter and a place of security in which their children could grow up to become productive citizens. When Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria tried to destroy Israel in 1948 and again in 1967 they took in hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs, but did they give them dignity or shelter? No they left them to rot in refugee camps in order to maintain a symbol of grievance against Israel and use them as a political tool against the Jewish state.. What has arisen in those camps is a complicated situation, but it is what has led to Gaza today.

So don't lecture Israel on international sympathy Mr Hague. Not when Israel has just sent in 120 truck loads of food into Gaza to feed the Palestinian people there, because their own leadership is more interested in using its population as human shields, launching rockets against Israel from within major civilian centres.

Don't lecture Israel on international sympathy Mr Hague. Not when Israel targets with as much military precision as it can, only terrorists and their bases, trying its utmost to prevent civilian casualties.

Don't lecture Israel on international sympathy Mr Hague. Not when the Palestinian media deliberately uses images of victims of the Syrian civil war and presents them as casualties in Gaza to gain international sympathy.

Go read your history books Mr Hague, go see that since the beginning of the twentieth century all the Arabs wanted to do was destroy Israel. Go look at the country of Israel now since the Jews have established a state there. Go read what advances in science, medicine, biotechnology, agriculture and high tech Israel has developed, and dedicated that knowledge to making the world a better place for humanity. Can you imagine any other country that after 60 years of continuously being under attack could have achieved so much.

So Mr Hague don't lecture Israel on international sympathy. Israel will do whatever it takes to defend itself from outright attack on its citizens, whether it be from Hamas, Hizbollah, Iran or any other country or terrorist group that attacks it.

And if it loses the sympathy of the international community so be it. We don't need the international community's sympathy. We don't need another 6 million victims.

Yours sincerely



Editor's Note:  I don't know who Mindy Wiesenberg is, but I certainly like her tone. - Mike L.

Latest Times of Israel Piece

Mike L.

Time to Stand Up

Maybe it truly is time to stand up and say, NO.

No to an Obama administration that thinks it has the right to tell Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live.

And NO to a United Nations that seems to exist for little more reason than harassing the Jews.

If we do not stand up for ourselves, Israeli and diaspora united, then you can be sure that no one else will.

That much, at least, is certain.

Obama Stands With Hamas

Mike L.

This was originally published under the title Obama Has Hamas' Back at the Times of Israel.
Activists protesting against Operation Pillar of Defense call for "Freedom for Palestine,"the destruction of Israel.
Israel’s eight-day military operation to stop Hamas rocket fire from entering the country prompted two fiercely anti-Israel protests in the Austrian capital...    
The anti-Israel activists yelled “Freedom for Palestine” and “Down with Israel,” and a group of Austrian Muslims blasted repeatedly in Arabic “Death to the Jews.” Laster said the Austrian authorities, including the domestic intelligence agency (Verfassungschutz), must increase their efforts to combat “Islamic extremism.” He criticized the lax approach of Austrian police officials who waved off the anti-Jewish rhetoric as merely a protest against Israel.
It seems obvious that the first thing we must acknowledge is that the Jewish Israelis are in a strictly no-win situation. At this point it doesn’t matter what they do, they will be excoriated in the most violent terms by both the western “progressive” community and almost the entirety of the world-wide Muslim community.

The Jihadis will call for the slaughter of the Jews on religious grounds and their western allies will tell one another just why that slaughter is justified, amazingly enough, on the grounds of social justice.

And both will agree that the Palestinians are innocent victims of a brutal Israeli (Jewish) occupation and that, therefore, Arab “resistance” is perfectly understandable and should even be supported.

And this after Hamas shot 800 + rockets into southern Israel throughout 2012 and then capped things off with an onslaught of around 200 rockets within just a few days in the middle of this month. Almost the entire southern part of the country was under violent siege. People were constantly running into bomb shelters. Children are growing up with Post-Traumatic Stress. People are moving out of the area and the economy is brutalized.

Nonetheless, throughout that entire period of Arab-Persian-Muslim violence against the Jews of the Middle East, the progressive left was entirely silent.

They spoke not a word.

But as soon as Israel struck back they screamed from the heavens about Israeli aggression and how the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors had become Nazis. As soon as it looked like the Jews might strike back and remove the fascists in Gaza the Obama administration rode in to save it and this means that Israelis get to fight another day.

The Obama administration has the backs of the Big Brotherhood in Cairo and the Little Brotherhood in Gaza City. Obama encouraged the Arab Spring and the Arab Spring is the rise of radical Islam. This can only mean that, whatever his best intentions, Barack Obama supports the rise of radical Islam throughout the Middle East, despite the fact that radical Islam is the most violent and reactionary conservative movement in the world today.

If radical Islam means anything it means the oppression of women, the murder of Gay people, genocide for the Jews, and the chasing out of non-Muslims from the Middle East. Radical Islam means the reintroduction of Sharia and Sharia means all of that and more. And, yet, somehow against all reason, the Obama administration supports this entirely non-democratic movement on the grounds of democracy.

This represents an American foreign policy that is so twisted and wrong-headed that it’s hard to even imagine. It has to be acknowledged, for example, that Obama considers al-Qaeda to be the enemy, al-Qaeda is the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood, and yet somehow the Muslim Brotherhood is a friend to the administration.

Does that make the least little bit of sense?

Barack Obama is no friend to the Jewish people and certainly no friend to the Jewish State of Israel. His intentions may (or may not) be entirely honorable, but if this is the case then there is a streak of stupidity and incoherence that runs straight down the center of his foreign policy. One cannot oppose al-Qaeda and yet befriend the Muslim Brotherhood. One cannot simultaneously oppose radical Islam even as one ushers the Brotherhood into office in Cairo. This is not just inconsistency, it is toxic, incoherent, and dangerous.

What we are going to see over the next four years is more of what we have seen over the last four. That is, Israel can expect radical Islam, generally in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, to consolidate its power throughout the Middle East and this will mean increasing hostility toward the state of Israel. The Hamas rocketeers will likely start up again shortly and, just as before, the world will give its silent consent to the violence against the Jews.

And if Israel dares to strike back not only will the world community castigate Israel for aggression, but the Obama administration will be there to protect Hamas from Israeli retaliation, just as it did with this most recent “ceasefire.”

I have no doubt that Israel will survive and thrive over the next four years, but you cannot in any honest way count on this president of the United States. Whatever cooperation that may exist between Israel and the United States is entirely overshadowed by Obama’s support for radical Islam.

3,000 homes beyond Green Line okayed

Mike L. 
Less than 24 hours after General Assembly recognizes Palestine as non-member state, government's top nine ministers respond by approving construction of new housing units in Jerusalem, West Bank. Canada says will review its whole relationship with Palestinian Authority 
In addition, the planning procedures of thousands of additional housing units in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs will be furthered, including in the segment connecting Ma'ale Adumim with Jerusalem, known as the E1 project. 
State officials said Israel was considering further moves in response to the United Nations General Assembly's recognition of Palestine as an observer state.
One of the biggest mistakes that we've made as a people was in legitimizing Palestinian and Arab anti-Jewish racism through agreeing that Jewish Israelis should not be allowed to live, and thus build, in Judea and Samaria.

And, yet again, this was mainly a problem that came out of the Jewish left.  Barack Obama could never have made such a big stink about the so-called "settlers" if his Jewish friends and advisers had not given him the green light by agreeing with dictator Abbas that it was OK for Jews to live here, but not over there.

There is absolutely no reason in this world why Jews should not be allowed to live, and thus build, in Judea.  Now, of course, if the Palestinians actually did have a state on that land then they could enact whatever racist laws that make them happy.  But since they don't, they can't.

They could have had a state, but they threw every single opportunity into the toilet going back to the Peel Commission of 1937.

Tis a shame, I suppose... maybe.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The UN Vote


Watching live the UN vote/debate:  For -138   Against -9     Abstentions-41. Place erupts in thunderous applause. G-d help us all.

US speaking to result....reiterates goal of negotiated peace so we oppose this "unfortunate and unproductive," resolution. "Today's grand pronouncement will soon fade and Palestinians will wake up tomorrow to see that little has changed." "We will oppose all unilateral actions. We will stand up against anything/anyone that seeks to delegitimize Israel  or affect her security." This is NOT a declaration of a State.

My take: only 9 world States do not want a terrorist, genocidal, intifada State next to Israel. G-d bless Israel because other than that you are in almost 100% hostile territory.
 One senior official said that the recent fighting in Gaza tipped the European scales, with the Europeans worrying that if PA Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would not gain some kind of diplomatic victory, he would loses all stature and authority.
"Had the vote taken place before the Gaza operation, the EU would have voted differently," one official said.
Yeah, right. Maybe some 4 or 5 would have voted no. Big deal. Here's who voted NO: The United States, Israel, Panama, Palau, Canada, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Czech Republic and Micronesia. What hurts is how few of her so called "friends," did so.

BTW hope you like the pic I added. Rumour has it that the t-shirt was donated to Abbas by a million dKos posters for good luck.

{And it was personally signed by Heathlander. - Editor's note.}

The One State Solution


Here's a modest proposal

Seven steps to a fair and reasonable peace that might even satisfy the Gareth Evans/Bob Carr/Bob Hawke school of solving the problem of Israel.

For the benefit of readers outside Australia, my country has decided to abstain on the vote that admits "Palestine" to the same status as the Vatican at the UN. It probably already has by now.

There's something strange and unnatural about that,  don't you think? Something vaguely threatening in the air for the future of civilisation. A bad omen. Like when Gandalf gets word that the bad guy wizard in the next tower might be experimenting with mixing the seed of men and orcs to get a better class of warrior.

I am not of course talking about how Australia voted in the UN. I'll get back to my gutless country in another post. In particular to those three gentlemen. For now it is perhaps enough to quote my old dad word for word when he heard our Prime Minister had been rolled when she tried to stand by the US and Canada and stand up for Israel on such an important principle.

I feel diminished as an Australian

 "Palestine" in the same pew as the Pope?

If it were the Protestants you could perhaps more easily understand.

The most consistent thing you hear from the Israel critics in the West after they run out of everything is Israel is the strongest party. Solve it. Otherwise they don't want peace. Go away.

Often they mean that literally.

OK. Why not do what they advise? Israel has the "power". Use it.

Step One

Israel annex Judea and Samaria and declare the borders where they are and at the river with Jerusalem the eternal capital of the Jewish homeland.

Step Two

The entire population of the Land of Israel are declared citizens with equal civil and political rights guaranteed irrespective of race, religion and sex. All rights of Israel's secular liberal democracy are available to all of her citizens
The right to hold, buy and sell property without coercion and to whoever irrespective of race or religion prevails over all commerce.

Step Three

Israel is relieved of all responsibility for the population of Gaza.  The role of feeding them and providing all other services goes to the Australian Council of Churches, the British Methodist Conference, the Republic of Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Elvis Costello and Malcolm Fraser.

Step Four

All countries committed to the international rule of law recognise the new borders and move their embassies to Jerusalem with all due ceremony and celebration. Each guarantees the peace of Israel by bilateral treaty and commit to solving the problem of the "refugees" once and for all

Step Five

All these countries cease funding UNRWA forthwith. It is an obstacle to peace. It gets in the way. So do all people wearing blue helmets. Besides these countries are going to need the money. (See Step Four).

Step Six

Israel acts immediately to enforce the law across the land

Step Seven

Israel works to a constitution with a bill of rights that protects all citizens. Education is compulsory and is the exclusive  responsibility of the state as are all branches of civil law such as marriage law . Any form of forced marriage and marriage of minors are outlawed.  Religion is free and the right of citizens to move between or abstain from religion is enshrined. Religious practices and education that encourages violence or  racist or religious incitement are outlawed just like political violent incitement.


We can't expect this to be done and dusted in one day. Obviously it is a big ask. However by 31 October 2017 would be nice, The one hundredth anniversary of the taking of Beersheba by the Australian Light Horse from Turkey and her German allies two days before the one hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

International Law Rules! OK?

What is wrong with this plan?

Demographics? I don't buy that. Two reasons.

There could be as many as about one million fewer "Palestinians" in Judea and Samaria than official UN figures.

For sure the "Palestinian Territories" have among the lowest death rates in the world.  Much lower  than Israel or Australia but there are two things that drive that apart from living under relative peace and prosperity with free quality medical services on tap especially  in Judea and Samaria.

The first is the high birth rate, again among the highest in the world.  Over five births per woman which is as about as high as anywhere in the impoverished Third World.. This is because females are forced into marriages at fifteen instead of going to school hence ensuring a life of drudgery and dependence..

The other is the strong material incentive for people not to die. An UNRWA card carries with it benefits for the individual and the number on issue is important to the  group. Why would a mere death get in the way of that?

Before the Islamic Revolution the women of Iran were among the most liberated in the Muslim world at least in the cities. They began to go to universities and have careers just like in the West. As  result the birth rate fell.  That comes with prosperity, freedom and women's liberation. That is why the Iranian regime has moved to restrict female access to higher education. With a measure of freedom comes fewer babies.

In a generation Muslim  young people of Judea and Samaria will look less like this:

... and more like Ceylan Özbudak

Mark my words.

Then would Gareth Evans decide that he and his colleagues (and Israel, United States and Canada) are back on the right side of history?

Any better ideas Gareth? How about you Bob? Either of you?

cross posted Geoffff's Joint

The Likud is Turning Away

Mike L.

At some point during the last twenty years of the failed Oslo process the Likud moved left and, for the most part, endorsed two-states for two peoples.  Benjamin Netanyahu who, as a younger man, opposed the creation of a Palestinian state has acquiesced to it in recent years.  This is because there was hope in Israel.  The refusal of the Palestinians to accept a state for themselves in peace next to Israel, combined with this most recent example of the never-ending violence against the Jewish people of the Middle East, killed that hope and is now turning the Likud back and away from the two-state solution and the Oslo peace process.

One name that is getting considerable attention within the Likud leadership, as Israel heads towards elections, is that of Moshe Feiglin.

Feiglin is an interesting guy, from a policy perspective, but he is also an exceedingly hard-line guy, a deeply religious Jew, and a man who advocates for the annexing of Judea and Samaria, as well as bribing Arabs to leave.

I am not particularly religious, so I find his integration of scripture with politics to be somewhat rankling.  However, he is also a proponent of civil marriage, which I very much believe should be instituted in that country.

Also, needless to say, I cannot see bribing Arabs to leave Judea and Samaria.  We don't want them to leave, we just want them to accept a state for themselves in peace next to Israel, which they consistently refuse.  Heck, the only reason that Jews even insist upon two-states is because of 14 centuries of consistent violence and hostility toward the Jews among the large Arab majority in the region.

I certainly do not endorse this guy, but I would like to give him a fair listen.  He definitely holds a stark view that can probably best be described as consistent with Sam Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" thesis.

In any case, he's out there and we need to know what he's saying.

Brief Notes: The Jerusalem Post is a Mess

Mike L.

Among the newspapers that I consult regularly on Israel-related news none are so messed up, from a readability standpoint, as is the Jerusalem Post.  The Jerusalem Post is a mess.  It's almost as bad as the Huffington Post.

I'm not referring, here, to content, but to all the noise throughout its on-line presence; all the pop-ups and extraneous bullshit and advertising.  Not only is the Jerusalem Post one of the ugliest newspapers that I have ever read, but it is also one of the slowest and hardest to engage with.

When it comes to Israeli news sources I look mainly to Y-Net, the Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post, and less and less frequently, Ha'aretz.  In fact, Ha'aretz I've basically cut out from my regular reading because any journal that publishes the likes of Gideon Levy or Amira Hass cannot be taken seriously as pro-Israel or pro-Jewish.  Also, of course, Ha'aretz does not really represent an Israeli perspective because it is not written for Israelis.  It is written for the western intelligentsia.

The Times of Israel is, naturally, my favorite of these publications in part because I blog there, but also because it has the freshest look  and quickest downloads and has embraced new media in a way that these others have not.   Nonetheless, the Jerusalem Post has more gravitas.

I just wish to G-d that they would clean up the code on that site.  It's just awful.  It looks terrible and they throw so much garbage into your face that you spend half your time simply deleting various pop-ups and other intrusive material.

Will somebody kindly let them know this?  David Horovitz (not to be confused with David Horowitz) is the editor-in-chief of the Times of Israel and was, until fairly recently, a primary editor at the J Post.  He seems to have figured a few things out because the TOI does not suffer this same hideous malady.

Just sayin.'

In any case, where do you guys get your Israel-related news and opinions from?

Suggestions are welcome.

And to what extent are we intimidated into avoiding certain sources out of fear of the disapproval of others?

That's an interesting question, if you ask me.

The wielding of social intimidation, threats (violent or otherwise), and shunning in political discourse is just the kind of meta-question that perhaps we should discuss.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Official: Palestine established on PM, Lieberman's watch

Mike L. 
Day before UN expected to approve non-member state status for Palestinians, top Israeli official says 'when Lieberman butts heads with Abbas, this is the result.' Another official says Israel 'weaker in international arena'

"A Palestinian state was established on Netanyahu and Lieberman's watch. It will be inscribed forever in the name of Netanyahu and Lieberman," a senior Israeli official said Wednesday, a day before the UN General Assembly is expected to vote on a Palestinian bid for recognition as a non-member observer state.

The entire political establishment agrees that the Palestinian bid, which is expected to pass, constitutes a major defeat for Israel. "(Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and (Foreign Minister Avigdor) Lieberman boasted in the UN last year that the 'moral majority' of Western states are cooperating with Israel. Now it turns out that the Palestinians not only have an automatic majority, they also have the support of Western countries Israel could not recruit in its favor," one official said.
I am not exactly sure just what to make of all this, yet, but I do not know that it really reflects much on either Netanyahu or Lieberman.  The fact of the matter is that the Palestinians have an automatic majority in the General Assembly and, therefore, could do this no matter the Israeli leadership.

The implication seems to be that if only Lieberman or Netanyahu were somehow nicer to Mahmoud Abbas then this would not be happening, but that's always the way of things in western minds around the Arab-Israel conflict.   No matter what happens, it's Israel's fault.

The real question, tho, is what are the consequences for this move?  The UN will recognize "Palestine" as a "non-member state"?  So, it will be a state without borders, but with the ability to bring suit against Israel before the United Nations.  But if it is a state, then it will also have responsibilities and can more easily be held to account for failure to live up to those responsibilities.  Responsibilities such as, for example, seeing to it that factions under Palestinian sovereignty do not shoot rockets into Israel.

There is also the huge question around the split between Hamas and Fatah.  If the UN grants "Palestine" status as a state, does that include the Gaza strip?  It would have to, no?  Will this force a reconciliation between the two terrorist groups or will they go to war with one another?  I'm guessing the former.  In either case, let the defenestrations begin!

Also, this would seem to kill off the Israeli right's desire for Greater Israel.  I mean, how can Israel possibly annex Judea and Samaria if large swaths of those areas constitute "Palestine"?

Perhaps Israel should look at this as an opportunity to move beyond the status quo.  What I think that Israel should probably do... and I say this with considerable tentativeness, because there's an awful lot of moving parts here... is take this as an opportunity to declare its own final borders.  If the Palestinians do not wish to negotiate final borders then let Israel, after "Palestine" is recognized as a "non-member state," declare its own final borders and be the first country to welcome the newly formed state of Palestine into the community of nations.

Of course this should mean that they get none of Jerusalem and can use beautiful downtown Ramallah for the headquarters of whatever vicious criminal-terrorist government that they sling together.

{Good-bye.  And good luck with that, fellahs.}

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Letter to Christian Critics of Israel (updated)


Operation Christian Pillar of Defense -- Caergwrle Wales

At Connexions the blog of Richard Hall, a Methodist Minister in Wales, there is this discussion in the immediate wake of Pillar of Cloud. At the start of Pillar of Cloud Richard Hall linked with approval an article in The Conversation by an Australian academic that condemned Pillar of Cloud as illegal within hours of the killing of Ahmed Jabari.

This  is a comment from Kim Fabricius  also a Methodist Minister.
Kim 11.21.12 at 6:22 pm 
Personally, I think the Palestinians should be grateful for the generous humanitarian gesture of the Israeli minister that “the goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” Compared, say, to US General Curtis LeMay’s May 1964 message to the Vietnamese that “they’ve got to draw in their horns or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.” I mean, the Stone Age ended between 4,ooo and 6,500 years ago, so a send-back to the Middle Ages, a mere few centuries, constitutes real moral progress, the war-plan of a truly civilised society. 
I suppose it would be churlish to mention that, of course, LeMay lived to eat his words. Churlish too to mention that in Amos 1-2, the prophet pronounces judgement on the war-crimes of Israel’s neighbours — including Gaza! (1:6-8) — his hearers no doubt shouting in righteous triumph, until — what goes around, comes around — he pronounces that same judgement on the people of Israel themselves (2:6ff.). 
By the way, on “just war” doctrine, Judaism has developed its own ethical norms. Interestingly, however, unlike traditional Christian jus in bello doctrine, these do not include “proportionality”. 
This a letter that I have left for Richard Hall and his readers:

Good morning Richard.

I promised you another comment and I have waited until the dust has settled in Gaza and tempers in the West have cooled as the hudna holds and the news cycle moves on.

Let’s reflect on Pillar of Cloud for a moment in isolation and see if there is anything in it that the outspoken West has to learn.

I use the word hudna carefully by the way. This is a hudna. It is not a cease-fire or a truce and even less an armistice and it would be a good idea for those with an opinion to learn the difference.

From the standpoint of Hamas and its defenders (the entire Islamic world and especially Iran, of which Hamas is a proxy) this is a tactical cessation of just one form of the attack on Israel and the West while Hamas regroups and rearms.

From the standpoint of Israel and its defenders they don’t care what you call it so long as Hamas and the other killers agree to stop trying to murder people at random in Israel in this way. And if they do try again they and the world can expect another "Pillar of Cloud."

The process of rearming Hamas and the other terrorist gangs has already begun.  Iranian missiles have already been intercepted on their way to Gaza.

That is what the “blockade” is about incidentally.  The one do-good-pests from Europe like to try to run for the stunt-mad international media.

It is not a blockade on Gaza at all. It is a blockade on Iran and and al-Qaeda and the Salafist gangs many of which are based in Egypt

Israel supplies Gaza. Egypt does not. Nor does Jordan. Even at the height of Pillar of Cloud Israel was still able to get vital supplies of food, medicines, and other essentials through to the civilian population

Even after Hamas shelled the crossing.

No doubt Hamas and its occasionally warring allies and their armies totalling 20,000 or more ate the food, too, and drank the water and used the power nearly all of which Israel supplies.

I am going to make a proposition that I think cannot be honestly denied.

There is nothing to celebrate about Pillar of Cloud.  It’s cost in resources is enormous and together with Iron Dome, the other wing of Israel’s defense, it is a heavy burden that Israelis must bear.

But that it was extraordinary skilful, and achieved a level of precision and sheer moral care for the innocents tragically caught up in war, never before approached by a modern military and way beyond the capability of any European country is just the simple truth.

The suggestions that it breached international law are absurd.

I invite you and others to examine your instinctive reactions to this affair from the start, because it is an on going affair.

What we have here is the double standard that has become so much a part of the West’s and especially European perspectives that it is barely noticeable. In fact the double standard is so vast in this case it is obscene.

Israel has behaved far better in the face of these attacks on her civilian population than any European country ever has or would or could if faced with anything like what Israel faces. Another simple truth.

I suppose we could excuse Czechoslovakia that when betrayed simply surrendered. Is that what you would have Israel do?

The Jews of the Middle East in living memory were once dispersed throughout Muslim lands but are concentrated now almost entirely in one remarkable little country where they form about half the Jewish population. The other half (and they are quickly intermarrying) are largely the descendants of Jews that in living memory were dispersed throughout Christian lands in Europe and who, too, were uprooted and dispossessed.

Someone here said that these Jews acted disproportionately.  Christians would not do this was the clear inference or at the very least Christians should not do this.  This is not a religious argument for me . By any common definition I am not a religious man. I have not seen the inside of a functioning synagogue for more than forty years. I take no pride in that. It just is, is all.

But I call bullshit.

You can not expect the Jews to behave with more care for the civilian population of an enemy regime than they do for their own. You can not expect them to stand by while their own are threatened and murdered and to do nothing because they value the lives of their own less than they do the lives of others.

Christians never have.  Christians never would.

What do you expect these Jews in their own homeland to do when faced with such unrelenting genocidal hatred on such a scale and subject to continuous attacks with a ferocity that almost ranks among the attacks by the Muslim states and groups on one another?

Behave like Super Christians?

That is not a rhetorical question. Because this double standard has become so universal that it strikes me that it now amounts to this.


Richard Hall replies:

Richard 11.28.12 at 2:50 pm
I’m sorry geoff: I don’t see that we’ve got any basis on which to continue this conversation. Your presentation of Israel simply as an innocent victim of Arab aggression suggests we have no common ground at all. Let’s leave it there.

And indeed the traffic from the UK in the last day or two has been negligible. They are just not interested. I get more curiosity  about what I have to say from the Palestinian Territories or Qatar than I get from Wales. That can't be good.

Still this is progress of a sort.  It was only a few weeks ago that I got banned (temporarily) by Richard Hall from a thread    for saying that antizionism was just another form of antisemitism. I was then deemed off topic on another thread for saying this

cross posted Geoffff's Joint

I Love This Story.


Yael Matzpun was sleeping in a room with her four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son when she was awoken by heavy footsteps in the hall. She knew that her husband, an IDF officer, was not due at home.

“Suddenly I saw a terrorist in a kefiyyeh [head scarf] standing opposite me,” she told Maariv. “I decided that if I didn’t fight, he would murder me and my four children, there would be a massacre like in Itamar, where the Fogels and three of their children were murdered in their home.”

The terrorist turned on the light and said something in Arabic, she recalled. He had a knife in one hand and a metal pipe in the other. Suddenly he lunged at Yael, stabbing her in the face and shoulder.

What the terrorist did not know is that Yael is an athlete trained in Krav Maga, Israeli military hand-to-hand combat. She used her skills to drive him back and into the bathroom, and locked him in. At the same time, she pushed her young children to safety.

Once the terrorist was locked away, she called for help. IDF forces arrived only to see the terrorist escaping through a bathroom window. They gave chase and attempted to arrest him, but were forced to open fire when he refused to drop his weapons. The terrorist was killed.
I LOVE this story. Especially the ending.

Obama's Silence

Mike L.

{Cross-Posted at Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill and Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

 Thousands of Egyptians gather at Cairo’s Tahrir square for anti-Morsi rally

CAIRO — Thousands flocked to Cairo’s central Tahrir square on Tuesday for a protest against Egypt’s president in a significant test of whether the opposition can rally the street behind it in a confrontation aimed at forcing the Islamist leader to rescind decrees that granted him near absolute powers. 
Waving Egypt’s red, white and black flags and chanting slogans against President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, the protesters joined several hundreds who have been camping out at the square since Friday demanding the decrees be revoked...

The president’s declaration last week of new powers for himself has energized and — to a degree unified — the mostly liberal and secular opposition after months of divisions and uncertainty while Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups rose to dominate the political landscape.
When Barack Obama made the foolish decision to support the "Arab Spring" he claimed to do so out of support for democracy and support for the people's wishes throughout the Middle East.  I have never understood how supporting theocratic dictatorships in the movement for political Islam could possibly be considered support for democracy when those dictatorships are anything but democratic.  Yet this is what we were told and Obama supporters lapped it up like cream.

And now that the Obama administration has helped install the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt, and now that Morsi and the Brotherhood are beginning the process of stripping the Egyptian government of its democratic institutions, will Obama speak up?

So far nothing.  Silence.

Just as Obama was silent when the Iranian people took to the streets in opposition to their theocratic regime, so Obama is silent now as the Egyptian people take to the streets in opposition to their theocratic regime.

I do not know why Obama does what he does.  Some claim that he's a Jihadi, which is to say, some think that he wants to see the spread of political Islam throughout the Middle East and, although that is not my interpretation, it is not particularly difficult to see why many people would draw such a conclusion.  The so-called "Arab Spring" was / is the rise of political Islam and if you support the "Arab Spring," whatever your best intentions, then you are supporting political Islam, which is the most viciously reactionary conservative political movement in the world today.

My own sense is that Obama supported the "Arab Spring" for the same reason that so many well-meaning progressives did so, because he honestly thought that it was the great up-welling of Arab democracy.  Those of us with a little more basic common sense were willing to wait and see before jumping to any such conclusions, which is why I have concluded that Obama is not particularly bright.  He has intelligence in the way that George W. Bush had intelligence, which is the intelligence of the crafty politician, but he didn't have enough intelligence to see either the Muslim Brotherhood or the "Arab Spring" for what they are.

He can have no such delusions now, however, because Muhammed Morsi just did what people like Barry Rubin told us he was going to do all along.  He is stripping back the thin veneer of Egyptian democracy because the goal of the movement was never democratic to begin with.  Dictators may very well use the ballot to come to power, but just as Hamas has not had an election since coming to office, do not expect to see another national Egyptian election in 4 years or 6 years or 8, unless the Brotherhood is toppled by secular, democratic forces, which is an eventuality that seems highly unlikely.

If I were a betting man, which I am, I would put down good money on the wager that there is no way that the Muslim Brotherhood is going to risk losing power through the ballot box now that it has finally, after almost 90 years struggling in the opposition, come into its own.

And for that we can, at least in part, thank Barack Obama.

Perhaps now we can finally put away the silly notion that Obama is playing three dimensional chess in an effort to outfox political Islam.  That was never the case.  Obama is not some sort of grand thinker, above the scene, moving the pieces of a vast and complex geopolitical chess board.  He is rather, like most presidents, a guy of slightly above average intelligence in a job that is way over his head.  I am certain that he means well, but I also do not care what his intentions are as I look at the results.

So many of us were so hopeful for this presidency (and remember, I voted for him, as well, the first time around) that we were, and are, willing to overlook almost anything that he does in order to maintain the delusion that Barack Obama represents the greatness of progressive political craftsmanship.  The truth of the matter is that he represents nothing so much as the failed aspirations of one struggling to maintain some measure of control in a world that is significantly different from what Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said told him it is.

His supporters will never admit this to themselves, however, because that would require looking at the last four years with fresh eyes and open minds.

I wouldn't gamble on it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Converting to Islam

Mike L.

Say hello to my new friend Ceylan Özbudak.

 I had never heard of this young lady before today but, damn, she certainly makes an excellent first impression.
Ceylan Özbudak is a Turkish peace activist. She graduated from Istanbul University as a language major and is Executive Director and TV host on A9 TV, a satellite TV network based in Istanbul. Ceylan also hosts the Building Bridges Show, which has featured many prominent Middle East experts, authors, academician and religious leaders.
I have to say, she doesn't much look like a "peace activist."  I mean, I've known quite a few "peace activists" in my time and... well... never mind.

So, today I published a brief piece at the Times of Israel and so, naturally, I found myself noodling around that site when I came across Ceylan.  She's apparently a media personality out of Istanbul and she's started up a blog for TOI.

Her first piece is entitled, As a Muslim I say Hamas is harming Palestine.

She writes:
If the Palestinians wish to enjoy greater justification, the way to do this is not by slaughtering innocent people on the other side. Such attacks during a state of peace will attract a reprisal anywhere in the world. Civilian people in Israel are living in fear in shelters due to the rockets fired from Gaza. There has been blind conflict between the two sides for many years now; the children of Israel on the one side and the children of Ishmael on the other. These two peoples that should be living side by side in peace in those ancient, lovely lands are fighting one another instead.
Well, as a Jew I say that not only is Hamas harming Palestine, but that I am ready to move to Istanbul.

She writes:
As a Muslim I am reaching out with love and compassion to the people of Israel and the people of Palestine who are both our brothers. As Muslims, we should work together and strive for a union among our brothers living in the Holy Lands. Turkey and Israel working together hand in hand, will be a step toward the establishment of a new pact.
I don't mean to be too flip, really, and I certainly do not mean disrespect to Ms. Özbudak, but every once in awhile you run across something completely unexpected. I would say that Ceylan Özbudak is, as testament to my ignorance, completely unexpected. Here we have an amazingly beautiful Turkish Muslim media personality who also happens to be pro-Israel. The truth is that she represents a human type that I have simply not met before.

This is a person, whatever else anyone may make of her, that blows cultural stereotypes right out of the water.  I am a little surprised that the Turkish government allows Ceylan to be Ceylan.  Given its tension with Israel, and the fact that Tayyip Erdoğan is increasingly of the Jihadi persuasion, it reveals something of the complexity of Turkish society that Ceylan is, at least for the moment, free to be herself.

Beautiful, blonde, Turkish, Muslim, and pro-Israel.

I'm sorry, but how often do we run into this?


{I am just speechless.}

So, anyway, my bags are packed and Ceylan says that she'll pick me up at Atatürk International upon my arrival.

I wish you guys nothing but the best and... y'know... Salaam Alaikum, my brothers.

Peace be unto you.

Latest Times of Israel Piece

Mike L.

Obama Has Hamas’ Back

We have to acknowledge something that may be exceedingly discomforting to many of us.  The Obama administration is friendly toward radical Islam.

What they call the "Arab Spring" is / was the rise of radical Islam and the Obama administration supported the Arab Spring.  This by logical necessity means that, whatever his best intentions, Obama supported the rise of radical Islam throughout the Middle East.

Furthermore, what we saw in this most recent round of anti-Jewish violence in the Middle East was Hamas attack Israel all year long with virtually no Israeli response and with the silent consent of the world community.  As soon as Israel struck back the progressive-left howled in outrage and the Obama administration rode to the rescue of Hamas.

Thus Obama has Hamas' back, not Israel's.

I don't make this stuff up.  I just report the news.

Israel Report --- 26 November 2012 ... elinor



You try holding your breath for 24 hours—and then have a thunder storm so severe that bombing and sirens couldn’t possibly be heard. The cease fire seems to be holding; quiet nights have passed. The children in the south went back to school—albeit heavily accompanied by parents.

The communications network during war is amazing. Two seconds after the cease fire, everyone knew. But then, every time there was a strike, someone would ring someone and strangers would stop each other on the street to pass along the information. And yet, when my grandson was on a field trip in Jerusalem and there was a code red, the entire grocery store we were in knew nothing. Someone didn’t ring someone. Instead, he rang and said I’m OK, don’t worry. About what? Who ever expected Jerusalem to be a target?


Breath is being held. This might become a permanent activity.

They said and we said and since nothing was written or signed, who knows what will tip the balance back into war? Not us. So we go back to whatever we were doing before war broke out and hope for the best.

Problems post bellum: Are the trains and planes back to their normal schedule? We’re not hearing the planes overhead any more. Do the old men with the antiquated grocery store—and lower prices—carry walnuts, or will it be necessary to buy them at the big expensive store we don’t like? Ordinariness feels so good.


Day 3 of the cease fire. War is painful and expensive and I refuse to believe that anyone actually wants it, Pat Condell notwithstanding.

Breath is still being held.


cross posted Geoffff's Joint

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Peace in the Middle East --- In your Dreams: Pat Condell


cross posted Geoffff's Joint

"I Want to Fire Missiles at the Jews and be Martyred Like My Father."

Mike L.

This is not about ending the so-called "occupation."

This is about Koranically-based, genocidal Jew hatred and it is precisely the kind of thing that the progressive movement constantly ignores.

No matter how often, and how intensely, these Middle Eastern Jihadi-types tell us about their desire for martyrdom in the service of killing Jews, progressives honestly believe if we say, "Hey, look, they're calling for the genocide of the Jews" it makes us racist.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fresh shipment of Iranian-made rockets reportedly already en route to Gaza

Mike L. 
Cargo of ship loaded a week ago in Bandar Abbas may have included Shahab-3 ballistic missiles to be stationed in Sudan, Sunday Times reports 
Hamas boasting of an imminent increase in military aid from Iran, Israeli satellites have spotted a ship at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas being loaded with rockets and other military supplies ostensibly bound for Gaza, the British Sunday Times has reported.

The report cites Israeli intelligence sources who surmised that the cargo would be shipped to Sudan and from there smuggled over land to Gaza.
Whatever his best intentions... and you know what they say about good intentions... Obama's foreign policy has been pro-Hamas and pro-Brotherhood.  There is no other conclusion that we can draw.  Hillary Clinton flew to Jerusalem to yank Hamas' chestnuts from the fire and now their violence toward Israel results in further Israeli concessions and further economic and military assistance to the terrorist organization from Iran.

Part of the problem that we have, it seems to me, is that progressive-left Jewish ideologues absolutely refuse to acknowledge the obvious.  This has been a theme that has run through this blog from the beginning.  I remain perpetually flabbergasted that obvious truths, such as that BDS is a mainly a movement of the left, are either ignored or denied entirely by those who seem to think that truth is a function of one's political disposition.

It isn't.

Che Goes Back To University ...


A human rights activist at a university?

How quaint. Just like the seventies. How long before he is outed?


Che Gorilla has been let loose on another thread at The Conversation 

You may recall he took control of this blog's Ministry for Inter-Blog Relations and Political Affairs after the last election. Just like Hamas there is not a thing that can be done about it,

The article is here.
Another expert opinion on international law from the armchair..


The United States and Australia made it clear during the war that they stood firmly with Israel. No objections to Israel’s disproportionate use of force. No condemnation of civilian death during Israel’s air raids. No questioning of the Israeli interpretation of self-defence. The Obama administration found the perfect opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the special bi-lateral relationship which had become somewhat of a hot topic during the electoral campaign. But this was not a campaign trick. This reaffirmation came after Obama’s electoral victory and pointed to an established pattern of pro-Israeli policies which has been the subject of heated debate in the United States.
For its part, Israel demonstrated once again that it has no regard for international law. The Israeli leadership and the great majority of the Israeli public work on the assumption that the world is ready to sacrifice Israel. This is the dominant political point of view, with obvious reference to the WWII experience and regenerated through institutionalised reminders of the Holocaust. Consequently, Israel has simply ignored UN rejection of its occupation of Palestinian lands.

and so on...
read it all in fairness to the man

Says Che:

Che Gorilla

Human Rights Activist
It is simply untrue to say that Pillar of Defense was in breach of international law. No respectable legal expert could say that.
To conclude as the writer has done is to consciously exclude the remaining Jews of the Middle East from having any legal or human rights. Though most of them are descended from Jews once wide spread through Muslim lands but dispossessed and now concentrated in one remarkable little country
We have just witnessed the most moral and strictly legal military operation in the history of the world. It has left military tacticians everywhere quietly astonished. Ask anyone at the ADF what they think of this.
On the other hand Hamas and its vile allies have carried out appalling war crimes that in a sane world would see their leaders dragged before the ICC.
Those that are left.
Go to this blog and in particular spend eight minutes listening to Colonel Richard Kemp for an expert military opinion on this operation. No military man in the West would disagree.
With that evidence no judge in the West could convict Israel of war crimes. Not if she was an honourable person.
Israel has far more respect for the rights of the civilian population of this vile and illegal regime in Gaza than the regime does.
If you are going to pictures of a family accidentally killed then why not include images of kids killed by Hamas misfires?
Like this one

Hamas and its Salafist and al-Qaeda allies are as guilty of crimes so barbaric that charges of genocide should be among those considered at the ICC.
Firing missiles from under the shelter of one civilian population into another.
Cowards and war criminals of the worst kind. They should be given no pass in any civilised land under the true rule of law.

cross posted Geoffff's clean up the joint

Israel eases Gaza border restrictions after truce

Mike L. 
Israeli state officials on Saturday confirmed that Israel has started introducing easements for civilians in Gaza in accordance with the ceasefire understandings.  
Meanwhile, Hamas' Deputy Politburo chief Mousa Abu Marzook said Hamas won't stop making weapons in Gaza or smuggling them to the territory.
 So, let me get this straight.

Hamas pounds southern Israel with over 800 rockets during the course of the year and the entire world is silent.

Then, as of a few weeks a go, they step up those attack with several hundred rocket attacks over the course of a few days prompting Israel to finally respond.

As soon as Israel responds to protect its citizenry the progressive-left screams from the hilltops about Israeli aggression and the Obama administration steps in to protect Hamas and to reward it for its violence with an easing of the blockade?

Yes, Obama is clearly Israel's Best Friend Forever.

Who could possibly doubt it?

He's the first Jewish president, after all.

What does he need to do to show his friendship to Israel, join the IDF?


Friday, November 23, 2012

Conversing With Christians In The Shade Of The Truce


A conversation in progress at Connexions the blog of British Methodist Minister Richard Hall that I think deserves a wider audience

The interview with Colonel Richard Kemp to which the conversation has now turned  deserves the widest audience possible.


Statement on Gaza

by RICHARD on NOVEMBER 22, 2012
Mark Wakelin, President of the British Methodist Conference, has made the following statement on the crisis in Gaza
“The ceasefire is good news and we will be praying that this will lead to a lasting truce and progress on the political front. One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent round of violence is the implication that violence might serve some constructive end. Rather violence diminishes us all. It represents a failure of all of us who are engaged with the region to convince parties that real progress can only be achieved when respect and dignity is afforded to every individual. Many Methodists have links with the people of Israel and Palestine, all of whom long to see security, justice and peace for everyone in Israel and Palestine.”
{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }
PamBG 11.23.12 at 12:11 am
Waiting to see how this gets construed as being anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.
geoffff 11.23.12 at 3:11 am
I have no idea why you should feel so defensive about antisemitism and anti-Israel Christian hysteria, PamBG. Honestly I have no idea at all.
That is an issue that only you can deal with.
The statement is a humane and perfectly reasonable observation by someone who is obviously a good and decent man.
I just wish all Christians could be like that.
Richard 11.23.12 at 8:42 am
Come, come, geofffffffff. If PamBG is being defensive (and I’m not at all convinced that she is) you know exactly why that is.
As to the President’s statement, for once we are in complete agreement. It has been very carefully written to offend none. I’m heartened that you agree that “One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent round of violence is the implication that violence might serve some constructive end.”
PamBG 11.23.12 at 11:45 am
Yes, Mark is a good and decent man and he’s also a friend of mine.
Good first approach, there, Geofffffffffffffffffffffffffff: “hysterical”. Projection, maybe?
geoffff 11.23.12 at 7:28 pm
I did not say I agree with the statement. All I said is that it is a humane and perfectly reasonable observation by someone who is obviously a good and decent man.
You sound disappointed that I have not accused him of antisemitism.
As it happens I do not agree. with him. There has been no implication from Israel or her supporters that violence serves some useful end. There is no celebration among Israelis about this.
Nor has there been any such implication from the “Palestinians”. (Another thing I disagree with by the way. Indulging these killer criminal regimes as if they are a legitimate expression of national aspiration equivalent to Israel)
The “Palestinians” haven’t implied it either. They have shouted from every roof top in Gaza that the murder of Jews is a divine duty. You would have to be deaf not to hear them.
The Jews are not deaf.
Richard 11.23.12 at 10:48 pm
OK, so we’re not in agreement after all. No surprise there, then.
Your position appears to be that Israel does no wrong. It merely responds to the evil of the Palestinians.
Mine is that all the violence in the Holy Land is wrong, but that Israel bears the greater responsibility (because it occupies the position of power).
And I’m the one that’s biased. Right.
geoffff 11.24.12 at 12:08 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
No. You are just wrong is all.
You are wrong because your frames of reference are too narrow.
You look at what you call the Holy Land and you see terrible violence and you are appalled by that as you have absolutely every right to be as a Christian and as a decent man.
You also see Israel as the overwhelmingly most powerful party and you deeply resent being suspected of antisemitism for pointing out what is to you an obvious fact.
I don’t blame you for that either.
I just wish you and all colleagues would stop being wrong.
You are much closer to Jerusalem than I am and I see something entirely different. Not just a little bit different. All the difference in the world.
I suppose you would expect that.
Richard, I want to continue this discussion but could I ask a small favour?
I believe it is important.
Will you visit my blog and listen to a short video of Colonel Richard Kemp just a few hours ago.

cross posted Geoffff's Bar and Grill