Archive for November, 2013

Breaking: American people smarter than they look

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Al Jazeera America ad

Al Jazeera America ad

A few months ago I viewed with alarm the huge investment made by Qatar in setting up Al Jazeera America:

Presently available in only about 40 million US households — some cable companies, like Time-Warner Cable, decided that it wasn’t in their best interest to support the network that brought us Bin Laden’s taped threats — AJA has fancy studios (including one in the Newseum in DC, not far from the White House), a plush headquarters in New York and 12 US bureaus. It is working to get more cable outlets.

… the 24-hour channel will provide 14 hours of news, with only 6 minutes of commercials per hour (US cable channels have 15 minutes). It plans to do longer, in-depth stories on all kinds of national and international issues. You can bet that it will have a slant significantly different from that of Fox News, or even CNN or MSNBC.

AJA has hired some 800 to 1000 employees (sources vary), including big names like Soledad O’Brien, John Seigenthaler, Ali Velshi, Antonio Mora, Michael Viqueira, Joie Chen, Sheila MacVicar and others. Its president will be former ABC executive Kate O’Brian.

AJA is pushing hard to get into more households, placing ads in print and broadcast media asking potential viewers to contact their cable providers. Even NPR is running them.

But the network owned by the Hamas-supporting Emir of Qatar is, pardon the expression, bombing.

The US offshoot of the Mideast news outfit managed fewer than half of the viewers who tuned in to its predecessor, Al Gore’s Current TV.

Al Jazeera America has averaged just 13,000 viewers a day since its Aug. 20 launch — on par with a public access channel. In the 25 to 54-year-old audience sought by advertisers, it drew 5,000 viewers.

The ratings are so low, they are considered a “scratch” and aren’t reported by Nielsen.

There are blogs with more readers (not this blog, but there are). The Huffington Post had over 8 million unique user accesses yesterday. Fox News has 355,000 daily viewers.

AJA says it is continuing to invest, but Americans seem to have voted with their fingers against the network that served as Bin Laden’s mouthpiece. I’m hoping it won’t take too long for all of those expensive whores journalists they hired to be out on the street where they belong.

As my father used to like to say, “the American people are smarter than they look.”

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How to keep a sovereign state

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
The funeral of Eden Atias, 19, murdered yesterday by an Arab terrorist

The funeral of Eden Atias, 19, murdered yesterday by an Arab terrorist

There is a lesson to learn from the murder of Eden Atias.

Yes, there have been hundreds, thousands, of similar murders. But it seems to me that we are reaching a tipping point now. Several factors are coming together:

Israel has, for the first time, released murderers en masse for absolutely nothing in return.

This action has been forced by an American administration which, for the first time, is tilting hard toward the PLO and away from Israel.

The US attitude has not been lost on the Arabs. Just in case they didn’t notice, John Kerry threatened Israel with a third intifada the other day.

Incitement against Israel has reached a fever pitch, and PA officials are not even pretending to want to stop it.

As a sovereign state, Israel must maintain its right to protect its people against internal and external threats. It must not castrate its own justice system, or — worse — allow foreign pressure to do so.

The Arabs understand the US position as tacitly approving of terrorism, whether or not Kerry and others who speak similarly do. If they also understand the Israeli position as tolerance of a certain amount of it, then we can expect more Jewish lives to be lost in the near future.

There are a few steps that Israel can — must — take to make clear that it will not allow its people to be victimized:

A death penalty for terrorist murder must be implemented. Israel can’t be blackmailed into releasing dead murderers.

It goes without saying that the two remaining prisoner releases should be canceled, and it should be announced that this is because of the murder of Atias.

Terrorism of any kind — including rock throwing that doesn’t happen to end in murder — must be taken seriously.

Self-respect demands that Israel not negotiate with the Palestinian Authority while it is inciting its people to murder Jews. Negotiations must stop and not resume until official incitement stops.

Israel must protest in the strongest possible terms to the US for the statements of Secretary of State Kerry, and explain that the biased Kerry is not an acceptable choice to mediate between Israel and the PA.

Israel will not stay a sovereign state if it won’t act like one.

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John Kerry expressed “strong support” for Gaza flotilla activists

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Thanks to Ma’ariv’s Ben-Dror Yemini (Hebrew) and to, we present the following for your enjoyment:

Letter written by John Kerry in 2009, supporting activists from Massachusetts on their way to join a blockade-breaking "Gaza Flotilla"

Letter written by John Kerry in 2009, supporting anti-Israel activists on their way to join a blockade-breaking “Gaza Flotilla”

Here’s the text:

December 23, 2009
To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to express my strong support for members of the humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts that will be traveling to Israel and the Palestinian Territories from December 27th to January 15th. The humanitarian delegation from Massachusetts is sponsoring this visit and they plan to meet with non-governmental organizations, assess the health care system and observe human rights and trade union conditions among Israelis and Palestinians.

I respectfully request that every courtesy be given the members of the delegation during their visit. My staff has met with members of this group and is impressed with their ability, dedication and commitment to the peace process. We look forward to seeing them again upon their return and hearing about their visit.

For any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Christopher Wyman in by Boston office at 617-565-8522.

Thank you for your cooperation in this very important matter.

John F. Kerry
United States Senate

Of course there was nothing ‘humanitarian’ about the flotilla, which was an attempt to aid Hamas by breaking the Israeli blockade.

From Algemeiner:

Ma’ariv said the delegation that used the Kerry letter included vocal anti-Israel activists Ali Abunimah and Jodie Evans. The newspaper said that the clout of Kerry, who was then chair of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and had been a U.S. presidential candidate, was apparently not as esteemed as the group had hoped, as their letter was ignored by Cairo as they tried to cross into Gaza from Egypt.

The team then joined the Mavi Marmara Flotilla, and “the rest is history,” Ma’ariv said.

So this is the ‘even-handed’ mediator whom Israel is expected to trust in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and Iran!

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It’s over

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Eden Atias, z"l. Murdered by an Arab terrorist.

Eden Atias, z”l. Murdered by an Arab terrorist.

Yet another Israeli Jew was murdered today by a Palestinian terrorist. Eden Atias was stabbed to death while he slept on a bus near the Afula bus station.

Security guards stopped the assailant, Hussein Jawadra, a 16-year-old Palestinian from Jenin who is residing in Israel illegally, and turned him over to security forces. Jawadra’s two cousins are both held in Israel. One of them was sentenced to three life sentences for the murder of two Israelis and for several counts of attempted murder. The other was jailed for 12 years for attempted murder.

Another news report tells us that

Northern District Police Commander Maj. Gen. Roni Atiya told Army Radio that the teen confessed to the act, saying he sought to avenge relatives who are imprisoned in Israel. “He told us he left his house this morning with a clear intent to harm Israelis because his uncles are jailed in Israel,” Atiya said.

MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) blamed the continuous incitement by the Palestinian Authority:

Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] is fostering an indirect tactic of harming Israel. The killing of Jews is no longer perpetrated by the PA’s branches but by the ‘Palestinian street,’ which is fed, daily, by anti-Israeli propaganda. We cannot continue to negotiate peace when the PA clearly pursues terror.

And Meir Indor of the Almagor Terror Victims Association said,

the hand that held the knife today may have been that of a Palestinian teenager, but he was sent by Abu Mazen and his associates in the PA, who offer released murderers a hero’s welcome in Ramallah. By doing that they are raising another generation of young killers who grow up hoping to become Palestinian heroes.

Palestinian Arabs are doing their best to kill Jews every day, throwing rocks and firebombs or shooting and stabbing. The 16-year-old murderer in this case is following a family tradition, or should I say, a national one. I would go farther than Hotovely and Indor and say that Abbas and other PA officials responsible for creating these killers are themselves guilty of murder, and should be treated appropriately.

What every organ of the PA, media, schools, mosques, etc. are telling them is that the Jews stole their country and their honor, all their land is ‘occupied’, and that any action against occupiers is justified. Their greatest heroes are terrorists and the greatest honor is to become a martyr for the Palestinian cause.

Somehow, despite the fact that war is being waged against Israel, the nation is expected to respond by voluntarily giving up critical strategic ground to their enemy. This is supposedly the responsible, moral thing to do.

It is not. Suicide is not responsible or moral. I believe that it is time for Israel to say to the world “it’s over.”

The results of the Oslo experiment — which, in the best interpretation, was intended to test if the PLO could be serious about peace — are in: the PLO is a murderous terrorist gang which has never wavered from the vision of Yasser Arafat. It remains faithful to the PLO Charter:

Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. Thus it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it. They also assert their right to normal life in Palestine and to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty over it.

Article 10: Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war. This requires its escalation, comprehensiveness, and the mobilization of all the Palestinian popular and educational efforts and their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution. It also requires the achieving of unity for the national (watani) struggle among the different groupings of the Palestinian people, and between the Palestinian people and the Arab masses, so as to secure the continuation of the revolution, its escalation, and victory.

This charter was never revoked, and Arafat and his successors have not abandoned it.

“It’s over” means that the Oslo process, which granted the PLO authority to form the PA is over, and the Oslo Accords are dead. The PLO abrogated them in any event by applying for statehood at the UN, and now it must (finally) be recognized that it did so by making war, both in 2000 and today.

It means that the so-called ‘peace’ negotiations with the PLO are ended, and the ideas that have been promulgated in opposition to international law — that the 1949 armistice lines are borders, or that the ‘Palestinian people’ have national rights west of the Jordan, or that Jewish settlements outside the Green line are not entirely legitimate — are repudiated.

It means that the PLO is a terrorist organization, and should be treated as such.

It means that PLO/PA security forces can be disarmed. Terrorists — even (especially) PLO/PA leaders — can be expelled. Perhaps the Arab nations and EU that have been so concerned for the Palestinian Arabs will give them a home.

Israel can’t afford to any longer.

Updated [1711 PST].

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Cut the apron-strings

Monday, November 11th, 2013
The Lavi -- an Israeli-developed fighter aircraft which never made it into production, to a great extent because of US pressure.

The Lavi — an Israeli-developed fighter aircraft which never made it into production, to a great extent because of US pressure.

This guy (Steven Strauss) is right for the wrong reasons:

It’s been over 15 years since PM Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress stating Israel’s goal of economic independence. In 1997, Israel received $3.1 billion in aid from the U.S. In 2012, Israel was still receiving $3.1 billion annually in U.S. aid. We haven’t made much progress towards PM Netanyahu’s goal. For Israel’s sake, as well as for America’s, it’s time to reduce U.S. annual aid to Israel — to 0 — over some reasonable adjustment period (perhaps 5 to 10 years), leaving open the possibility, of course, for emergency aid.

Before I explain why he’s right, let me make clear what he’s wrong — offensively wrong — about. While he also says that US aid could better help bankrupt Detroit, the real meat of his argument is here:

Israel and the United States have increasingly different visions about the future of the Middle East. We shouldn’t subsidize a country (even an ally) that is undermining our policy goals. The U.S. has long-term goals in the Middle East (including avoiding the humanitarian and financial catastrophe of another major war in the region). A major (bipartisan) goal of the United States has been the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel has legitimate security concerns, and a just peace will not be easy to achieve.

However, the current Israeli government is clearly not committed to the U.S. vision, and has done everything possible to sabotage American efforts. Israel’s continued building of random settlements — all over what’s supposed to become the State of Palestine — directly conflicts with American policy goals.

In other words, Strauss implies that Israel does not share the goal of avoiding war! That’s the offensive part. And what precisely is it about throwing international law to the winds and forcing Israel back to indefensible 1949 lines that makes it a “major (bipartisan) goal” of the US?

It’s just the usual anti-Israel nonsense that we’ve come to expect from academics like Strauss, who is associated with that political whorehouse, Harvard University (not that my alma mater is any better).

But this post isn’t about the cynical attempt to destroy the Jewish state and re-disperse the survivors, dressed up as a “solution” to the instability and terrorism whose real cause is the inability of Muslims to tolerate Jewish sovereignty in ‘their’ Middle East. It’s not about how the Obama Administration is aiding and abetting that project. It’s about why Israel needs to forgo the 3.1 billion in aid.

This aid is primarily in the form of weapons and systems made in the US, so it is not entirely given out of the goodness of our hearts. But there is no doubt that Israel needs the best weapons systems available, and that its defense forces are built on American systems. Israel, on the other hand, will shortly be coming into its own as a major producer of natural gas and possibly oil, and will be able to buy its own weapons.

Will the US sell them? You bet we will — our economy is bad for structural reasons and is not getting better. Thanks to the huge bill for recent wars and the upward spiral of healthcare costs for the aging boomer generation, the US will need Israel’s business. Why should only Arabs get to recycle US petrodollars?

Israel needs its independence. It needs to say to the US that it will determine its own policies, and it needs to say “thanks, but no thanks” to American spying installations inside the country. Little by little it needs to develop secondary sources for military technology, despite the unavoidable complexity. It needs to develop its own technology, too, without American interference.

Israel also needs to understand that US influence in the Middle East is waning. The administration has announced that it plans to scale back involvement in the Middle East. Concretely, the military budget of the US has been cut and will continue to be cut; the Navy will have fewer ships in the region and of course US troops are gone from Iraq and will soon be gone from Afghanistan. Russian and Iranian power is rising. Israel cannot depend on the US to protect it, and needs to follow its own course.

Strauss is correct that US and Israeli policy goals no longer coincide. Israel wants to survive as a Jewish state, and the US — the present administration at least — is pursuing polices with regard to Iran and also the Palestinians which are directly opposed to that. US aid to Israel provides leverage for a hostile administration to control Israel — and in particular to restrain it from acting in self-defense.

Time to start cutting the apron-strings.

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