Archive for August, 2007

The EU joins the UN against Israel; and an Orwellian attempt to define Jew-hatred out of existence

Friday, August 31st, 2007

The UN/EU attacks on Israel seem to be reaching new levels lately:

A UN conference, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, heard an array of speakers call for a boycott against Israel and strategize on ways to achieve its international isolation, during the first day of an event billed by organizers as a gathering to promote “Middle East peace”.

The ‘International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace’ has been organized by the UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and attracted political figures and pro-Palestinian members of non governmental organizations (NGOs).

…British Member of Parliament Clare Short said during her speech that Israel was not interested in a two-state solution, and blasted the EU for “allowing” Israel to build “an apartheid wall”. “The boycott worked for South Africa, it is time to do it again,” Short was quoted as saying…

Pierre Galand, European coordinator of the Committees and Associations for Palestine, claimed that the conference was taking place despite pressures to cancel it, and blamed the Fatah-Hamas conflict on “Israeli policy”. — YNet

So we have two of the major organizations which should be responsibly working to solve problems and promote peace, taking the side of the forces which are trying to use the Palestinians as a club to crush the Israeli state.

The behavior of the UN is not surprising, with its plethora of committees, divisions, special functionaries, etc., all of which exist simply to damage Israel. By hosting this conference, which was clearly designed as an anti-Israel tool, the EU too demonstrates that it is officially partisan in this regard.

The UN, meanwhile, continues to plan the “Durban II” conference on racism that will be held in 2009. With Libya chairing the planning committee, it’s hard to imagine that it will be friendly to Israel:

On Monday, Pakistan called for the 2009 conference, dubbed Durban II, to focus on the plight of Palestinians. A number of countries also spoke of expanding the definition of anti-Semitism to cover all Semitic people, i.e. Arabs. — Jerusalem Post [my emphasis]

This Orwellian attempt to define Jew-hatred out of existence seems obviously wrong and remarkably stupid to me, but the fact that “a number of countries” support it indicates the true extent of the antisemitic mindset — in which this seems perfectly sensible — throughout the world.

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Misconceptions about misconceptions about terrorism

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Today Dr. Alfred Evans, CSUF Professor of Political Science, had a piece in the Fresno Bee called “More misconceptions about terrorism“. One of them was described thus:

A sixth misconception is that the actions of terrorist organizations that target the U.S. are motivated directly and primarily by their hostility to our values. Some have said that terrorists attack us because they hate our freedom.

That explanation is rejected by the consensus of experts on anti-American terrorism. The late Gen. Wayne Downing of the U.S. Army (who served as Commander of Special Operations and later as the president’s chief adviser on terrorism) summarized the results of opinion surveys in several Middle Eastern countries by saying, “It is U.S. regional policies — not a clash of values, religion or the ‘Al Jazeera factor’ — that influence anti-American attitudes in the Middle East.” The Defense Science Board report of November 2004 underlined the same point.

Michael Scheuer, who formerly headed the unit in the CIA that tracked Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida and whose books have been praised highly by experts on terrorism, says flatly that none of the reasons for which bin Laden is waging war on us “have anything to do with our freedom, liberty and democracy, but have everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world.”

But the ‘experts’ and Evans are missing an important point. The terrorists of al-Qaeda, have a radical Islamist philosophy. What does this mean and what does it imply?


Jews claiming ‘Arab’ food — will indignities never cease?

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

From the Gulf News (George S. Hishmeh):

My niece, Irene, called me a few days ago indignant that some of her American friends, including some Jews, keep describing typical Arab foods such as falafel, hummus and shawarma, among others, as Israeli…

My first impulse was to tell my niece that Israel was almost 60 year old and these food items have obviously existed long before then.

Actually, these foods predate the arrival of the Arabs in the region as well. Chickpeas (the main ingredient in hummus and falafel) were eaten by the ancient Egyptians. And the roasting of lamb on a spit (shawarma) probably goes back to prehistoric times.

So why are these Arab foods, George? Is there any reason to doubt that the Jews that lived in Land of Israel before the founding of the state — indeed all the way back to Abraham — ate these foods?

They are Middle Eastern foods, and Jews are no less Middle Easterners than Arabs, to the latter’s great and oft-times violent chagrin.

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Shimon Peres displays his arrogance yet again

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Many Israelis hoped that Shimon Peres would be capable of being a non-controversial president. This has not turned out to be the case. Peres has inappropriately involved himself in negotiations with the Palestinians, and now has used his presidential power to grant what appears to be a very questionable pardon:Danny Katz

( President Shimon Peres has decided to reduce the jail sentences of five Israeli-Arab terrorists.

Three of the terrorists are serving for the brutal murder of Haifa Jewish teenager Danny Katz in 1983 and two for the rape and murder of IDF soldier Daphna Carmon in 1987. Katz, the son of Holocaust survivors, was kidnapped from near his Haifa home at the age of 15 by Arabs who worked at a nearby supermarket while on his way to visit a friend. He was beaten to death with sticks and then sodomized. He was found dead four days later in the Israeli-Arab village of Sakhnin.

The men were sentenced to life in prison, plus 27 years. They will now be eligible for release in the near future following Peres’s commutation…

[Amnon] Katz says that his brother’s murderers have become a cause celebre in recent years for the extreme-left, who claimed that they confessed to the crime due to police pressure. The murderers were even granted a retrial based on those claims in 1999 – but were found guilty again.

This is one of those cases that makes one wish that Israel had a death penalty. It would seem to me that the only good reason for releasing these men would be if it could be shown that they were in fact innocent. Peres claims that he has a good reason — but he won’t tell the public and the Katz family what it is:

Peres said that four separate legal bodies discussed the case, and all of them reached the unanimous conclusion that the sentences should be reduced. Nonetheless, Peres said that the reasons for his decision could not be published because they are classified. — Ha’aretz

Peres has said that the decision was “purely legal, and was not based on political considerations”.

I don’t believe it. Considering the emotions surrounding this issue, it seems to me that if there were good legal, nonpolitical, grounds for his action, there would be a way to explain them without revealing classified information like names of informants, etc.

Peres has yet again proven that he did not accept the Presidency in good faith. He cannot seem to make himself perform the presidential function of uniting Israelis and providing a moral example; rather, he continues to be an arrogant, highly political manipulator.

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Hamas is incapable of understanding Israel

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

The excruciating tragedy of Gilad Schalit’s captivity continues, as he marks his 21st birthday and his 14th month of imprisonment in whatever dank hole Hamas is keeping him.

On Tuesday a Hamas official claimed that they had been on the verge of releasing him 4 months ago, but the deal fell apart because the Israeli government “didn’t care about its people or its soldiers”.

Of course the reason that it fell apart is that the price was precisely calibrated to be too high for Israel to pay — a list of 350 terrorists, many of them mass murderers, of whom Israel could only agree to release 40. Noam Schalit, Gilad’s father, criticized both the Prime Minister’s office and Hamas for the failure to reach an agreement.

In order to understand Hamas’ strategy, we need to understand how Hamas evaluates Israel, and how it expects Israel to respond.

Hamas sees Israel as morally and spiritually weak, lacking the will to stand up for itself. Hamas expects the Israeli government to always take the easy way out of any situation, even if it involves compromising important principles and achieving short-term relief at the expense of long-term goals, even survival.

Some will agree with them. To a certain extent, the West in general is unclear about basic principles, and this gives an impression of weakness. But there is another reason for the difficulty that Israel and the West face in hostage situations, and this is something that the Islamists of Hamas and Hezbollah can see, but cannot interpret correctly.

Call it an excess of empathy. For some reason, large elements of Western cultures like that of Israel have become painfully able to empathize with a broad range of other creatures (human and animal), even those to whom they are not closely related. It’s not possible for many Israelis to read about Gilad or Noam Schalit without feeling pain. In fact, many of them empathize strongly with Palestinians, too, which explains some of the apparently psychotic behavior of the far Left in Israel.

I am not saying that Palestinians are incapable of empathy for a wide circle of others, but I must say that public expression of it on their part is rare indeed. And I believe that the Hamas leadership certainly is not made up of particularly empathetic individuals!

So they just don’t get it, and they interpret Israeli attempts to make deals for the return of captives as simple weakness, and they keep pushing the goalposts back in order to demoralize Israelis, shake their confidence in their leaders, and — in their view — weaken them further.

At some point, they believe, Israel will be so weak that it will take any deal, no matter how dangerous, to get Schalit back.

What is actually happening, though, is that the accumulation of pain that Hamas is inflicting is creating a reservoir of hatred which, at some point — perhaps in response to a new atrocity, if, God forbid, Gilad Schalit dies, or perhaps if Hamas joins Hezbollah in the next war — will make it possible for Israel to take military action against it unrestrained by empathy.

Meanwhile, I don’t have a lot of hope for Gilad Schalit. I fear that he will not survive unless information develops which will make it possible for Israeli forces to rescue him.

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