Archive for October, 2010

Shorts: Carlos, Hannah, Jewish state

Thursday, October 14th, 2010


So somebody made a 330-minute film about Ilich “Carlos the Jackal” Ramírez Sánchez.

Do you think this fat little dick is worth 5-1/2 hours? He killed and injured numerous innocents in support of the ‘Palestinian cause’, to settle grudges (he seems to have had one against France), for money, in the name of Marxism, and to make a name for himself. He was narcissistic, vain, sadistic, a Jew hater. Finally the French put him in jail for life.

That took about 20 seconds to read. I just saved you five hours, twenty-nine minutes, and 40 seconds.


Hannah Rosenthal is the Obama Administration’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.  Here’s what she had to say as a member of a panel at the Catholic University of America in Washington:

What we are seeing now is not just anti-immigrant sentiment with Muslims. Almost all immigrant communities in any country face integration challenges, but the experience of Muslims now is different because of 9/11. If for instance two immigrants could come from India to the US at the same time and in the same socio-economic status, one Hindu and one Muslim, no one would ever ask the Hindu to prove that he or she is a “moderate Hindu”. While deeply troubling and unfortunate – it is a reality. And I believe discrimination and prejudice need to be called out and condemned.

Yes, Americans are nervous about Muslims because of 9/11 (and numerous other things that I don’t need to list) which were done in the name of Islam. Apparently she noticed this.

So why is it ‘troubling and unfortunate’ that people aren’t equally nervous about Hindus, who, as far as I know, have not committed one single act of terrorism in the US?

I’d call it logical.


The (ridiculously long) Quote of the Week is from P. J. Crowley, US State Department spokesman, at a press briefing on Tuesday:

QUESTION: P.J., do you recognize Israel as a Jewish state and will you try to convince the Palestinians to recognize it?

MR. CROWLEY: We will continue our discussions with the parties. I would expect, following up on the Arab League meetings of late last week that George Mitchell will go to the region at some point. I’m not announcing anything, but I – it would be logical for us to follow up directly with the parties, see where they are. We will offer our ideas on – based on our conversations what our assessment is that – of what each side needs to be able to make the political commitment to remain in these direct negotiations.

QUESTION: And do you recognize Israel as a Jewish state?

MR. CROWLEY: We recognize the aspiration of the people of Israel. It has – it’s a democracy. In that democracy, there’s a guarantee of freedom and liberties to all of its citizens. But as the Secretary has said, we understand that – the special character of the state of Israel.

QUESTION: Is that a yes or no?

QUESTION: P.J., it’s – do you want to answer his question or —

QUESTION: Did you say yes or no to that question from Michel?


QUESTION: Michel’s question was a yes or no sort of question. I was wondering whether that was a yes or no.

MR. CROWLEY: We recognize that Israel is a– as it says itself, is a Jewish state, yes.

QUESTION: Did you say that you recognize Israel as a Jewish state?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not making any news here. The President, the Secretary, and others have said this before.

QUESTION: Because Abbas said they recognize the state of Israel. Does the U.S. want the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state?

MR. CROWLEY: Look, I will be happy to go back over and offer some – I’m trying – I’m not making any news here. We have recognized the special nature of the Israeli state. It is a state for the Jewish people. It is a state for other citizens of other faiths as well. But this is the aspiration of the – what Prime Minister Netanyahu said yesterday is, in essence, the – a core demand of the Israeli Government, which we support, is a recognition that Israel is a part of the region, acceptance by the region of the existence of the state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and that is what they want to see through this negotiation. We understand this aspiration and the prime minister was talking yesterday about the fact that just as they aspire to a state for the Jewish people in the Middle East, they understand the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own.

I think he said it, don’t you?

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J Street co-founder lacks moral sense

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Daniel Levy is one of the co-founders (with Jeremy Ben-Ami) of the phony pro-Israel organization J Street. He took part in a panel discussion called “The Future of Palestine: in Search of Alternatives,” which seems to have taken place this May in Doha, Qatar.

Following is a short (2 minute) video clip in which Levy says two notable things:

One is that the creation of Israel was an “act that was wrong”, although it was “excused” for Levy by “the way Jewish history was in 1948,” apparently a reference to the Holocaust. And he adds that “there is no reason for a Palestinian to think that there was justice in the creation of Israel.” This is perhaps reminiscent of Ahmadinejad’s comment that the Palestinian Arabs should not be made to suffer for the mistreatment of the Jews in Europe (although maybe it didn’t happen).

The other is that murderous Arab violence is normal, if ill-advised. “It’s a human reaction, when a foot is held to your throat, to respond violently,” says Levy. But “it’s not the most strategic thing to do always, it’s not the most effective thing.” Just like Mahmoud Abbas, who cannot bring himself to criticize the murder of Jewish children on any but practical grounds, Levy seems to be lacking in moral sense.

Watch the video and then decide if J Street — which, incidentally, denied that Levy had said what he said and provided a cropped video as proof (really) — can be called a pro-Israel organization.

And then ask yourself what Daniel Levy should be called.

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What’s really wrong with the ‘peace process’

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

I hate to write about the ‘peace process’, because even to write about it is to suggest that it’s a process that under the right conditions might lead to peace. As has been clearly demonstrated in the past few days, there is an unbridgeable gap between the parties — and it isn’t construction in settlements.

At this point both sides are trying to explain why it is the other side which is intransigent, when really the problem is that there is no intersection between their objectives:

  • Israel: live at peace in the Mideast
  • Arabs: get rid of the Jewish state

Netanyahu has insisted that the Palestinian Authority (PA) recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a condition for extending the construction freeze. And predictably, the PA has refused. They say that such recognition would result in the expulsion of Arabs who are now citizens of Israel, and that it would contradict the “right of return” for the descendants of the Arab refugees from the 1948 war.

The first objection is absurd — Israel has always defined itself as a Jewish state and has not kicked out its Arab citizens, even when mightily provoked as in 2000 when ‘Israeli Arabs’ rioted — perhaps ‘engaged in rebellion’ would be better — killing Jews and destroying their property. So why should PA recognition have this effect now?

The second objection is correct. But Israel does not agree that the so-called refugees have any such right, and practically speaking understands that a ‘return’ would be the end of Israel. So the refusal of recognition amounts to a demand that there shall be no obstacle to the destruction of the state.

Recognition is the most important issue at stake in the entire process, because what has prevented peace — what prevented the Arabs from accepting partition proposals in 1937, 1947, 2000 and 2008 as well as other land-for-peace initiatives, is the fact that they do not accept the existence of a Jewish state within any borders.  Without recognition there can be no end of the conflict, no peace. So if this is unacceptable, what is there to negotiate?

From the Palestinian point of view, the negotiations are useful because each ‘obstacle’ that must be ‘surmounted’ amounts to yet another concession by Israel, a concession in land, security or sovereignty. Although there may never be agreement, concessions once made are difficult or impossible to unmake, and they advance the Arab goal little by little.

From the American point of view, the negotiations are useful because Barack Obama has promised that he would bring peace between Israel and the Arabs, and there’s an election coming up. They are also useful because the administration has promised its Arab allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, that it would squeeze concessions out of Israel.

But what good are they from an Israeli point of view? Ami Isseroff agrees that the Arabs are not interested in peace; rather they are interested in blaming the failure of the talks on Israel. Then they can unilaterally declare a state within the 1949 lines with (at least) EU support, and Israel will be left without Judea and Samaria or East Jerusalem, and without international support. Better, says Isseroff, to give them what they want and then Israel will have the “moral high ground” when the Arabs pay it back with war.

But the “moral high ground” is a laughable concept to the realists who make policy in the US, the EU, the UN, etc. Indeed, look how the US administration is already spinning this:

One Washington source suggested that Netanyahu’s move had not worked well with American officials, as it hadn’t come across as a sincere bid to resolve the issue given that the Palestinians were sure to reject it.

“It just looks like he doesn’t want to do it [extend the freeze], and he just wants to put it on the other side,” he said of Netanyahu apparently trying to shift responsibility – and blame – to the Palestinians.

“I don’t think it plays well here,” he said of Netanyahu’s gesture, “but I don’t think anybody wants to criticize it.”

The hypocrisy is blinding. The Arab demand for a freeze — something which is at bottom irrelevant to the outcome of the negotiations — is considered legitimate, while Netanyahu’s insistence on the most substantive issue of all is seen as a trick. In other words, we’re going to blame Israel no matter what.

And this is the US, arguably Israel’s closest ally. The EU doesn’t think that Israel should receive anything in return for extending the freeze, because their position is that settlements — that is, Jewish communities east of the 1949 line — are illegal, even communities that were occupied by Jews prior to 1948. This is simply racism covered with legalistic trappings, but there it is.

There is no reason to expect fairness from these venues, and Israel must not base policy on such an assumption.

It is also essential to keep in mind the overall situation — the threat from Hizballah, Syria and Iran, which is not disconnected from the ‘peace process’, because the various Palestinian terror groups may constitute an additional front in the next war.

But most important is the political content and psychological impact of the piecemeal surrender that is represented by the talks. The whole premise is that the Palestinian Arabs deserve a state, and Israel, which has wronged them, must be cajoled and pressured into giving it up.

The onus for the conflict is therefore placed on Israel rather than the Arabs, who, after all, violently resisted the international consensus to create Israel, engaged in continuous terrorism against the Jews that lived there, and to this day demand a right of self-determination for themselves while denying it to the Jewish people.

The one-sided “Arab (or Saudi) Initiative”, which has been praised by Barack Obama, is a perfect example of this kind of thinking. Israel is required to withdraw to 1949 lines, provide a solution for the Arab ‘refugees’ and for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Only then will there be some form of ‘normal relations’ granted to Israel (but not recognition as a Jewish state).

The implication is that because Israel is responsible for the conflict, it must first make amends — and then it will be allowed to live, although probably not for long if the ‘refugees’ are allowed to ‘return’.

By suggesting that Israel must honor the ‘peace process’, Ami Isseroff and others are in effect validating this concept. What they understand as the moral high ground is actually an admission of immorality — of guilt — and of submission to ‘morally superior’ Arab victims.

As long as Israel participates in a process that assumes its guilt, the outcome will be its punishment.

US administration speakers often say things like “how can we get to a Palestinian state?” But nobody talks about the need to protect Jewish sovereignty, which is endangered by the piecemeal concessions in return for nothing which characterize the ‘process’.

The correct framework for a ‘peace process’ would start with the recognition that Israel is the state of the Jewish people — just as ‘Palestine’ wishes to be the state of a ‘Palestinian people’ — and has a right to be at peace in its land. A corollary is that Israel must have, in the words of UNSC resolution 242, “secure and recognized boundaries,” rather than being based on the 1949 lines.

There is no reason to think that justice for both Jews and Arabs could not be obtained under such a framework.

Israel needs to take the initiative rather than allow the terms of the engagement be dictated by the Arabs, the EU and the Saudi-influenced Obama Administration.

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Where Muhammad isn’t

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Daled Amos talks about the cartoon that the Washington Post would not print, here. This  is important for the following reason:

One can argue that it is rude to deliberately provoke religious people, and maybe that is a reason not to publish cartoons that violate their taboos. For example, I know lots of Christians who find Serrano’s “Piss Christ” in poor taste. Actually, I do too.

The issue was never about insulting Islam or Muslims — it was about Muslims violently interfering with freedom of expression among non-Muslims. But this was obscured by the fact that it was necessary to insult Muslims to make the point.

Now Wiley Miller has found a way out of this. It is not about insulting Muslim religious sensitivities anymore. His cartoon expresses a political idea, not a religious one. And the fact that the Washington Post declined to publish it shows that we in the West are nothing more than cowards in the face of Muslim bullying.

Here’s the cartoon:

The cartoon makes a political point, not a religious one

The cartoon makes a political point, not a religious one

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Terrorism, major and misdemeanor

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

It’s Palestinian projection time. The Palestinian Maan News Agency reports,

Israeli violations against Palestinians were escalating with an intensity that had not been seen in decades, [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] told [Arab League] leaders convened for an emergency session in Sirte, Libya.

A process of ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem was being implemented, Abbas said, under which home demolitions, evictions, land confiscation, and settlement building had become daily occurrences. The president said the separation and “judaization” [sic] of the holy city bluntly violated signed agreements and commitments, and aimed to destroy the peace process.

In fact, what has been escalating is Arab terrorism, both the major, murderous kind, and minor, ‘misdemeanor terrorism’. Israeli motorists in East Jerusalem are being mobbed on a daily basis, and then blamed if anyone is hurt in the confrontation. The most recent case was a car attacked by stone-throwing kids — accompanied by at least seven or eight photographers. The car hit two of the kids (it seems that only one was slightly hurt, although the video is frightening).

One wonders whether an injury — apparent or real — wasn’t the intention? Barry Rubin has an analysis here, and see also Elder of Ziyon here. Suffice to say that the ambush composed of adult photographers and teenage (maybe even younger) boys raises disturbing questions about the motives of the adults, not to mention the responsibility of the parents of the boys.

Meanwhile, two of the Hamas operatives responsible for the murder of four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, in a drive-by shooting on August 31, were killed when Israeli security forces tried to arrest them on Friday morning. The Palestinian Authority (PA) had arrested hundreds of Hamas-connected men and proudly announced that they had found the car used in the shooting attack, but (I’m shocked!) missed the real culprits. Naturally, the PA complained about the Israeli operation:

Once again, the Israeli occupation chooses violence and death and we denounce this incident, regardless of its circumstances.

The PA denounced the incident

The PA denounced the incident

The ‘occupation’ chooses? The Hamas gunmen chose to do the drive-by, and to shoot at the police instead of surrendering. But from the Arab point of view, an Arab may kill a Jew but not vice versa, “regardless of circumstances.”

As always, we can see the multiple functions of Arab terrorism. The more serious incidents, like drive-by shootings, are intended to hurt Jewish morale and build Arab self-esteem as they recover some of their lost ‘honor’ (there is an almost infinite amount that they must regain in order to avenge the nakba). They create a sense of urgency — that is, a reason for the US administration and the EU to demand more Israeli concessions in the name of ‘peace’. And then if the perpetrators should be killed either during or after the attack, martyrs have been created and reasons for revenge attacks established.

The ‘misdemeanor terrorism’ — throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Jewish vehicles, theft and vandalism at Jewish farms, etc. has some of the same functions, especially the effect of demoralizing Jewish residents and making a statement about whose land it is. As in the Jerusalem stone-throwing incident, it can be used to create some priceless propaganda footage, maybe even a new Mohammed Dura.

And it can easily become major terrorism if, for example, a bottle of flaming gasoline crashes through a car window and burns the occupants to death.

Cars burning in Silwan (East Jeruslem) after being struck by Molotov cocktails hurled by Arab youth

Cars burning in Silwan (East Jeruslem) after being struck by Molotov cocktails hurled by Arab youth

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