Archive for January, 2007

Hezbollah takes Lebanon to the brink…and backs off

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

NasrallahHezbollah’s strike on Tuesday totally paralyzed the capital and resulted in five deaths. There’s no doubt that Nasrallah can topple the government whenever he wants. Either some external force dissuaded him, or — now that he’s shown what he can do — he prefers to get control by means of threats. You can read the details in the Lebanon Daily Star.

A Lebanon under Hezbollah control is an even greater threat to Israel than a weak Lebanon which can’t control it. Remember that the Lebanese army is supposed to prevent Hezbollah guerrillas from deploying on the border and even disarm them (according to UN resolution 1701)!

If Lebanon becomes Hezbollastan, it will be a piece of the Shiite crescent being established by Iran in the heart of the Mideast — Iran, Iraq (after the US leaves), Syria, and Lebanon. This is more or less exactly the opposite of what US policy was supposed to achieve.

Will the US and Israel permit this to happen? Can they do anything about it?

Update [25 Jan 1114 PST]: Lebanese students fight it out, two more dead.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Mainstreaming antisemitism

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

What we are facing today is nothing new. Jews are being wronged in many ways: in the political, economic, and social arenas; both as an identity as well as individually. The purpose of this is to intimidate us, to silence us so that we will not speak up. In my opinion, the British model is what the United States will experience in the near future, where there will be an increase of anti-Semitism on campuses and in societies, and what is marginally acceptable will become commonly acceptable.

We have seen many intellectual elites bitten with this cancer in Britain and worldwide, such as the revival of the Durban process to delegitimize Israel by 2009…We have seen the impact of the inflow of Saudi money into British campuses. More mosques have been built in the US in recent years, in which most of them Wahabism is taught…It is time for us to think anew as we see the marginally acceptable ideas becoming visibly accepted by the mainstream. [my emphasis] — Malcolm Hoenlein, at the Herzliya Conference

There can be no doubt that there is a deliberate plan to delegitimize Israel in part by weakening her natural suppporters, the Jews. The latent power of the antisemitic virus is so great in the West that it doesn’t take much to stimulate its flowering, and a lot of money is flowing from the twin poles of radical Islamism, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The themes adumbrated in the ‘academic’ work of Mearsheimer and Walt and the popularization of Jimmy Carter now find expression even in discussions of real estate.

Relations with the Israeli Arabs: Dr. Dan Schueftan

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

“The main issue is the nationality issue. No matter what we do in the area of equality, Israel will not be legitimate.”

I think this is the second most serious (after Iran) issue faced by Israel today. I’m reproducing in full the remarks made Tuesday at the Herzliya conference by Dr. Schueftan, Deputy Director, National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa. Unfortunately, the difficulties he describes will not go away by themselves. — Editor.


The real threats to Israel and the US

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Barry Rubin had a very good column in the Jerusalem Post yesterday: Weakness and bad strategy. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but what struck me appears at the end, almost as an afterthought:

Partly due to its insolubility and partly to the many regional crises elsewhere, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue to decline in regional importance.

As for the Arab-Israeli conflict (as distinct from the Israeli-Islamist or Israeli-Iran conflicts), it exists only in demagogic speeches and the illusions of Westerners who know little about the region.

The real threats to Israel come from the soon-to-be nuclear Iran, as well as the Islamist Hamas and Hezbollah, funded and supported by Iran. So making an agreement with the Palestinians, as Peretz would like to do, can only increase the threat as long as the Palestinians are dominated by Hamas. And the same goes for Syria, where Hezbollah’s influence grows from moment to moment.

For us in the United States, there’s a lesson as well. The line of reasoning so beloved by James Baker and his Saudi patrons that says that the Israel-Palestinian dispute is at the root of the conflict in the Middle East has got it backwards. Trying to fix the region by forcing Israel to make concessions is actually strengthening the enemies of the United States — radical Shiite Iran and Sunni Islamists, solidifying their control of the area rather than cooling the conflict down.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Antisemitism in everyday life

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Editor’s note: ‘Gary’ (not his real name) is an acquaintance. I’m posting the following in order to illustrate how some antisemitic notions – especially the ideas that the Jews control the mainstream media and use this control to prevent exposure of the their conspiratorial influences on everything else, are remarkably prevalent today.

I found the statement that the antisemite was just exercising his right of free speech somewhat strained, but it just could have been about not understanding the difference between ‘censured’ and ‘censored’.

I’ve obscured various details, such as the name of the blog from which he quotes, and so forth. Otherwise this is exactly what he sent me. I would especially like to receive comments about this.