Archive for July, 2011

Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity wants unilateral ‘Palestine’ declaration

Friday, July 15th, 2011

NGO Monitor reports:

JERUSALEM – The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement (SJSM), in cooperation with “flightilla” activists who are part of the Global BDS movement, [today] will hold a demonstration beginning at Jaffa Gate in support of a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) at the UN in September. The UDI represents the opposite path of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to end the conflict, says Jerusalem-based research institution NGO Monitor.

“The SJSM and other groups are funded via the New Israel Fund, which promotes a two [state] solution and Zionist principles. In contrast, as Palestinian leader Abbas wrote in his New York Times op-ed, unilateral recognition via the UN ‘would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict’ and for pursuing ‘claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.’ This strategy is the antithesis of the direct negotiations necessary for a stable peace between Israel and Palestinians,” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor.

Here is how Ishay Rosen-Zvi of SJSM describes it:

This march will not be yet another demonstration in support of the negotiations; not a call for an end to violence nor for a bilateral two-state solution. We’ve had enough of those. This time Israelis, Jews and Arabs, will show our support for the unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence expected in September; a free state in the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem. No more favors, thank you very much.

SJSM has been holding weekly demonstrations in Jerusalem for about two years in support of Arab squatters in the Sheik Jarrah / Shimon ha-Tzadik neighborhood, after Israel’s Supreme Court — normally very protective of Arab rights — decided that they could not continue to live rent-free in property owned by Jews.

However, their anti-Zionist ideology extends far beyond squatters’ ‘rights’. By calling for a UDI, they are in essence demanding that Israel surrender control of the territories with no agreement from the Arabs on

  • security arrangements,
  • recognition of the Jewish state,
  • end of the conflict,
  • end of Arab claims against Israel, especially for ‘right of return’.

And as Abbas explained, the Arab plan is to pursue its claims aggressively through international diplomatic and legal fora if and when ‘Palestine’ becomes a sovereign state. Judging by past experience, they will doubtless pursue them by terrorism as well, carried out by ‘extremists’ with whom they will disavow any connection, of course.

SJSM, like many anti-Western organizations populated by westerners, has an ideology suffused with obsequious worship of the ‘noble savages’ whose cause it is promoting. Get your barf bags out as I continue to quote Rosen-Zvi (who, by the way, is a “professor of Talmudic Studies in Tel Aviv university”):

This way is unequivocally better than yet another statement of support in negotiations, which in turn is nothing more than the continuation of the occupation  by other means, that of negotiations without end. At the same time, we must ask what the role of the Jewish marchers is in this march. Is not the Palestinian state a Palestinian project? Is it not our role to just stand back and not interfere? Is it not better that we fight against the occupation, and leave the founding of the state to those whose state it will be? Is it not just slightly offensive? Hast thou conquered, and also rejoiced?

Please, spare me your public expressions of guilt. God forbid that we should ‘offend’ those whose aim is to destroy our state!

Not only is this Talmudist a fool, he has a remarkably counter-factual view of recent events:

We claim that the illusion that the end of the occupation will bring with it a separation from the Palestinians is the root of all evil. What lies behind the various “disengagement plans”, especially the greedy “separation wall”, if not the desire “not to see them anymore?” This land and its peoples have no future without cooperation. Not just because the opressor will be free only when the oppressed will be free (as Hegel well understood in his master and slave dialectic), but also because after their respective freedoms, the two sides are destined to sit together, to share a land, its resources and history. Solutions based upon separation (always unilateral), are bound to fail (see under: Gaza).

Unbelievable. We don’t want to see them? Could it be that we don’t want to see them blow us up or shoot us? He hasn’t noticed the 100-year Arab war against the Jews? He’s for cooperation? Then why does he think that the Arabs should give absolutely nothing in return for the territory that they claim? Wouldn’t it be more cooperative if they recognized Israel as a Jewish state?

But most outrageous is his reference to Gaza. According to Rosen-Zvi, the disaster that followed Israel’s unilateral withdrawal of every Israeli soldier, every civilian, and even the exhumation of every dead Jew from there, was Israel’s fault — probably because free passage was not granted to the terrorists who had to content themselves with firing thousands of rockets into Israeli towns instead of the up-close and personal forms of torture and murder that they prefer!

As NGO Monitor’s Steinberg mentioned, the New Israel Fund provides a conduit for tax-deductible contributions from the USA. Here’s a snippet from a 2011 SJSM brochure:


I am not sure of the legality of this arrangement, but certainly it should send a signal to the liberal Jews who support the NIF that perhaps this organization is not as pro-Israel as it claims to be.

In particular, I would like to ask — although I will not get an answer — Rabbi Richard Jacobs, the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism, who proudly described his participation in an SJSM demonstration last year in a Yom Kippur sermon — if he still supports SJSM and the NIF (of which he is a board member, albeit on temporary leave).

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Right-wing neo-cons proven correct!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

News item:

The foreign ministers of the Middle East Quartet failed to reach an agreement on Monday surrounding the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and therefore did not issue a public statement on their meeting meant to renew Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Western diplomats and senior officials in Jerusalem said Tuesday.

“The goal was to give each side something that was important to them,” a Western diplomat said. “The Palestinians were supposed to get 1967 borders with land swaps and the Israelis wanted to receive in return the recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland, but there was no agreement on this matter.”

A senior Israeli official said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took mostly pro-Palestinians positions in the Quartet talks and would not allow the inclusion of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the concluding statement of the meeting.

Could anything be more clear?

Let’s understand exactly what this means. The Arabs are being offered another state in the Middle East. There are clearly questions to be decided about precise borders and security arrangements for Israel, but that is the essence of the matter. If an agreement were to be reached along these lines, “the occupation” that the Arabs and their friends have been claiming to be the main problem in the Middle East would be over.

Why should they care that Israel is defined as a Jewish state? If Canada were to announce tomorrow that it was the state of the Inuit people, would the US have the right to object? Why do the Arabs get to decide what Israel is?

If you ask them they will say that it presupposes that there is no Arab right of return to Israel. Well, that’s clearly true — there is no such right by law and there cannot be one in practice because it is equivalent to the replacement of Israel by an Arab state.

Oh, right — that’s what they wanted all along!

So would all of you who claim that the conflict is about borders or ‘occupation’ or ‘human rights’, please, finally, shut up? It is about the existence of any Jewish state with any borders in the Middle East, as I and my ‘right-wing neo-con’ friends have been saying for years.

One more thing: if the Russians are representing the Palestinians in the Quartet, who represents Israel? Not the US, which is sticking to the Obama parameters of pre-1967 borders plus swaps. Shades of Munich, 1938!

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Rabbi justifies murder of Jews

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

You are probably sick of reading about how the leaders of the anti-Zionist movement — that is, the leaders of the effort to dispossess the Jewish People from their state and end their right to self-determination — are Jews. The irony has warn off by now, and the man-bites-dog stories have turned into dull, routine dog-bites-man copy.

In fact, probably even the ‘rabbi vs. Israel’ theme is old hat today, what with Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the anti-Zionist rabbinical students, and last but not least, Rabbi Brant Rosen.

So this guy, Rabbi David Mivasair, of Ahavat Olam of Vancouver BC doesn’t seem remarkable. Just another anti-Zionist who happens to earn his living by being a rabbi.

But he may be the first rabbi to actually attempt to justify the firing of deadly missiles into southern Israel. In this video taken at a demonstration in favor of the flotilla to Gaza, Rabbi Mivasair speaks from about 03:00 to 06:15. Here are some of his remarks:

There’s really no justification whatsoever for a blockade in Gaza. Just absolutely none whatsoever. There’s over 150 million absolutely innocent people who live in Gaza. Most of them live there only because their homes and villages were taken from them and destroyed in 1947 and 1948. They fled and the place they ended up was Gaza.

Of course the population of Gaza is more like 1.6 million, but never mind — what’s a factor of 100 if your heart is in the right place? He argues that the blockade of Gaza is unnecessary because “the Palestinians can smuggle rockets in through tunnels.” Therefore, Israel should not try to prevent unrestricted access for the genocidal Hamas to all kinds of weapons, explosives and terrorists! This is as crazy as his population estimate.

Whenever we read about … I have to say about a puny, ineffective rocket fired into some place like Sderot, something to think about is very likely that very likely the people firing it are the children or grandchildren of people who perhaps once lived in Sderot. But it wasn’t Sderot, it was a Palestinian village that had existed there for centuries that had several hundred people who were forcibly expelled at gunpoint and when the place was empty, then Jews moved in and built a town…

OK, try to follow this. Because the Palestinian Arabs were allegedly expelled by force from Israel — something which in fact is true of only a very small number out of the 650,000 who fled after their leadership started a war whose aim was to kill or disperse the Jews — then it is understandable that their descendents try to kill Israelis, since their rockets are puny and ineffective and have so far only killed a few tens of people! Of course some of their rockets are military-use Grad missiles, not puny and ineffective at all, but never mind that either. And never mind what they could and would do if there were no blockade.

Rabbi Mivasair — “Reb David” to his congregants — gives us more of his ideology in a blog post he wrote in 2010:

The writer [of a right-wing sermon] avoids any mention that both the US and Israel might have done something to elicit such enmity [from radical Islamists]. It is as if it arose spontaneously, a completely irrational aberration in human thinking, with no relationship whatsoever to anything that the USA and Israel have ever done…

The lachrymose emotional appeal of the piece is an attempt to lead its readers to ignore Israel’s near total dispossession of the entire population of Palestinian Arabs, 43 years of brutal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, decades of occupation of southern Lebanon, massively disproportionate lethal attack on Gaza only two years ago and other continuing acts of aggression. It is not Israel’s mere existence which has led to growing enmity but rather Israel’s actions. Similarly, the reader is expected to forget current US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and decades of history, for instance, that the dictatorial regime in Saudi Arabia which produces Wahabi extremists and exports “radical Islam” is itself a direct creation British imperialism at the end of World War I and would not have survived without United States support.

‘Reb David’ suggests here that Arab wars and terrorism against Israel, as well as 9/11 and other acts of terrorism against the US are the results of the actions of Israel and the US. Is he unaware that 9/11 and various other terrorist attacks on the US were perpetrated before the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan? So Osama bin Laden was justified in murdering 3,000 Americans because of US support for the Saudi monarchy? What about the hundreds of Americans murdered by Hizballah in the 1980’s — was that justified by then-current American policy to try to stabilize Lebanon?

With regard to Israel, the learned rabbi accepts word-for-word the Arab narrative of dispossession and expulsion, which for the most part never happened. And he doesn’t mention the long history of violence by Arabs against Jews in the land of Israel which goes back at least 100 years and includes several major wars — wars which, by the Arabs own words, were intended to destroy the Jewish state — and an unending string of the most vicious and brutal terrorist murders, more often then not with Jewish children as targets. I’m sure Rabbi Mivasair can explain why 2-month old Hadas Fogel deserved to have her throat cut, too.

I expect that Rabbi Mivasair can list ‘atrocities’ against Arabs by Israelis as well — except that his list will be made of exaggerations and outright lies, just as the “massively disproportionate lethal attack on Gaza” was nothing of the sort, and indeed  was carried out in order to stop a massive and lethal attack on Israel.

I don’t know why Mivasair and others like him believe every word that comes from Arab sources but none from pro-Israel or pro-US ones. I don’t know why he hates Israel and America so much that he thinks a few thousand [not so] “puny and ineffective” rockets striking civilian populations, or a small number of aircraft dumping burning fuel into buildings are understandable, if not justified. I don’t know why he so loves the ‘Palestinian people’ who would cut his throat like Hadas Fogel’s if they could.

Perhaps what the Jewish people needs is a massive army of psychiatrists to deploy throughout the world (Israel too) and deal with the problems of the Mivasairs before it’s too late.

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US makes Egypt more dangerous

Sunday, July 10th, 2011
An Egyptian Abrams tank in Tahrir Square.

An Egyptian Abrams tank in Tahrir Square.

News item:

On Friday, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible sale of 125 M1A1 Abrams tank to Egypt – the first large arms deal since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in February – including associated weapons, equipment, parts, training and logistical support at an estimated cost of just over $1.3 billion.

If approved, the deal would increase the number of Abrams tanks in Egypt from around 1,000 to 1,130.

What?

Egypt is headed for a huge economic/food crisis. David P. Goldman (‘Spengler’) writes,

The numbers thrown out by the IMF are stupefying. “In the current baseline scenario,” wrote the IMF on May 27, “the external financing needs of the region’s oil importers is projected to exceed $160 billion during 2011-13.” That’s almost three years’ worth of Egypt’s total annual imports as of 2010. As of 2010, the combined current account deficit (that is, external financing needs) of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Morocco and Tunisia was about $15 billion a year.

What the IMF says, in effect, is that the oil-poor Arab economies – especially Egypt – are not only broke, but dysfunctional, incapable of earning more than a small fraction of their import bill. The disappearance of tourism is an important part of the problem, but shortages of fuel and other essentials have had cascading effects throughout these economies.

So, how will they pay for these tanks? Well, I suppose we US taxpayers will, through the military ‘aid’ that we’ve provided to Egypt ever since we supplanted the Soviets as their patron. I presume our government thinks that it’s more important to ‘aid’ the Egyptian military complex than to feed the people. And then there’s our own debt crisis.

A more important question is “what do they need these tanks for?” Egypt’s armored brigades are already far superior to those of Iran. There is only one possible use for them, and that is to fight Israel.

Nobody knows at this point who will be in charge in Egypt in the next few months. Demonstrators presently camped in Tahrir Square include not only “pro-democracy” elements, but also Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood and more radical groups. Can we trust them? Does it sound ridiculous to even ask that question?

There is perhaps no place on earth as dangerous today as Egypt, a huge country where political instability, economic crisis and a massive military establishment are coming together.

Should the US be making it even more dangerous?

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Moty & Udi: shavua tov (have a good week)!

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

JERUSALEM (AP) — Some 120 foreign activists were being held in Israeli jails Saturday, awaiting possible deportation, after arriving at Tel Aviv’s airport over the weekend as part of a solidarity mission with the Palestinians, a government official said.

Others who managed to get through Israeli border controls traveled to the West Bank where some joined a demonstration against Israel’s separation barrier. Associated Press Television footage showed some foreign activists, along with Palestinians, cutting through the barrier’s barbed wire fence with clippers. Another protester started a small brush fire.

The Israeli military said about 150 protesters gathered near the barrier just north of Jerusalem. Some threw rocks at soldiers who fired tear gas to disperse them, the army said…

When several of the ‘activists’ unfurled Palestinian flags at the airport yesterday, they had to be rescued by police from normal Israeli passengers, who beat them and told them to go to Syria to demonstrate.

Need it even be said: what other nation in the world would allow foreigners to come in to their country and commit acts of vandalism while agitating for its destruction?

***

Another news item:

The United States’ elimination of Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin-Laden has paved the way for Israel to renew plans to eliminate Hizbulla terrorist leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, according to European diplomatic reports cited by Lebanese newspaper Al-Dayar.

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the start of the Second Lebanon War, the newspaper said the plans were approved but shelved under American and European pressure as deviating from the ceasefire agreement that ended the war.

So a) the US can kill the guy who orchestrated an attack on it but Israel can’t, and b) after Hizballah has been allowed to receive tens of thousands of rockets and every other manner of arms, to retake control of southern Lebanon and rebuild fortifications in direct contravention of UNSC resolution 1701 with nary a peep, the Americans and Europeans are suddenly concerned about a possible Israeli violation of it.

Keep in mind that the rearming of Hizballah has made another war a virtual certainty, regardless of what happens to Nasrallah.

***

Finally, the spoiled brats of the Middle East (see my piece from Friday) are outraged that the US Congress thinks that we shouldn’t pay to keep enemies afloat:

The Palestinian Authority has protested this week’s decision by the United States Congress to cut off funds to the PA if it unilaterally declares itself a sovereign state and seeks United Nations recognition in September. A statement by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction said the decision would push the region into violence. — IsraelNN

This is a perfect example of the Palestinian Arabs’ collective personality disorder: everything is someone else’s fault. If the region erupts in violence — that is, if the Arabs start another intifada — then it will be because the US has pushed them into it by not giving into their demands.

One might think that this sounds like plain old blackmail, but it’s worse than that. They really believe that they are owed a living and a state (at Israel’s expense), and that if we don’t give it to them, we are responsible for their misbehavior.

The really, really bad thing about this is that some elements of the US administration — including the President — seem to agree with them.

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