Archive for December, 2006

Olmert is like Pharaoh’s baker

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

“What [Israel] need[s] now is a leader who will level with us about our situation, just asOlmert Churchill did when he told the British people: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” No more promises of a fun society for those tired of being brave, tired of winning.” — Jonathan Rosenblum, in the Jerusalm Post, on why the Prime Minister is irrelevant.

Read it here.

My 2007 resolution: to help friends think clearly

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

By Vic Rosenthal

I’ve more or less had it with muddled thinking.

I am fed up with reflexive and irrational left-wing Israel bashing (I will also no longer listen quietly to right-wing reductions of every problem to ‘socialism’ or ‘political correctness’, but that’s another article).

I want my friends to look closely at events and understand their uniqueness. Forcing chaotic reality to fit procrustean ideologies may be satisfying, but it does violence to truth. Sometimes there isn’t a simple answer.


Ethical considerations of ‘restraint’ and targeted killings

Friday, December 29th, 2006

What other nation would even ask these questions?  Read the interview with Prof. Asa Kasher, IDF advisor on ethical issues here.

Moshe Sharon explains the bazaar

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

This is one of the most important and relevant short pieces that I’ve read in years. If you still think in your heart that peace can result if we just work out the necessary details and compromises, you must read this.

Read No Peace, No Peace plans, No price for Peace here.

Israel arms Fatah against Hamas

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

…as if they don’t have enough weapons!

By Vic Rosenthal

The NY Times reports today that Egypt has sent a shipment of small arms to Mahmoud Abbas’ ‘Presidential Guard’, with Israeli and US coordination. According to various reports, the shipment includes 2,000 AK47’s and 2 million rounds of ammuntion.

Since Fatah has never officially changed its charter to recognize Israel’s existence, and since the Al Aksa Martyr’s brigades, a group currently firing Kassam missiles at Israel, is part of Fatah, this is hard to understand.


In a perfect world, Jordan could be Palestine

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

…but it can’t.

By Vic Rosenthal

We are fast approaching the point at which the Palestinian question will get an imposed solution. Israel is not strong enough or unified enough to be the imposer; it will be the United States and other ‘interested parties’ such as Russia and the EU which are not great friends of Israel. We can easily imagine the outlines of such a solution: a Hamas state in Gaza and much of the West Bank, militarized, stuffed with rockets, busily tunneling.


Headline of the century

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

From the Jerusalem Post:

Peres: Fatah-Hamas cooperation essential to peace

Words fail me.

Without Eretz Yisrael, it’s just Unitarianism

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Liberal Judaism and Zionism

By Vic Rosenthal

Many of my liberal Jewish friends have tried to disconnect their Jewish spirituality, ethics, ritual, and peoplehood from Eretz Yisrael. Although there are, of course, Orthodox anti-Zionists who think that only the mashiach can return the Jews to their homeland, the position is quite different: the liberal Jew believes that the Jewish state is simply irrelevant to Jewish life in the Diaspora. Some of them can even support the replacement of Israel by a Palestinian state. This essay is intended for them.


Bugs in Western software?

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

“…however strong the Western hardware, its software contains some potentially fatal bugs.”

Daniel Pipes explains how it’s possible for radical Islam to defeat the West here.

The prisoners must not be released

Monday, December 25th, 2006

By Vic Rosenthal

On 25 June 2006, several well-armed Hamas terrorists emerged from an almost ½ mile long tunnel they had dug near the Keren Shalom border crossing between Israel and the southern Gaza strip. The tunnel opened 350m inside Israeli territory, making it possible to attack a nearby IDF position from the rear. Two Israelis were killed and five wounded; Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19, was lightly wounded and was dragged back across the border.


A degree of hatred beyond our experience

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

Antisemitism in the Arab world

By Vic RosenthalAl-Watan, Qatar

I wrote this a few months ago, but the recent Holocaust denial conference in Iran has made it current. I suppose it’s an attempt to answer the question “why can’t we get along with them?”


Friedman’s first rule

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

“What people tell you in private in the Middle East is irrelevant. All that matters is what they will defend in public in their own language. Anything said to you in English, in private, doesn’t count. In Washington, officials lie in public and tell the truth off the record. In the Middle East, officials say what they really believe in public and tell you what you want to hear in private.”

Thomas Friedman finally gets something (mostly) right.  Read all 15 rules here.