November 30, 2008

A message to Obama?

Roee Nahmias 11.30.08 Israel Opinion (Ynet)

The horrific terror offensive in Mumbai caught the Arab World preoccupied with the presidential change in the United States. Editorials were offering advice to the president-elect and analyzing the "lessons" of George W. Bush's term in office, while also dealing with the grave humanitarian state in Gaza, of course – and then came the horror of the Mumbai attacks.

Some Arab columnists believe that the attacks in India constitute a warning to the Administration of US President-elect Barack Obama. The editor of the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat, Tariq Alhomayed, wrote that those expecting a better world in the wake of Bush's departure from office may end up disappointed.

"Over the past few years, it has been easy for most people in most places to attack US President George W. Bush, who is preparing to leave the White House, as they attributed mistakes and crises to him forgetting that the war on terror is still in its early stages," Alhomayed wrote.

Turning his attention to Obama, Alhomayed wrote: "The one to benefit the most from all of this was US President-elect Barack Obama. However, the Mumbai terrorist attacks in India that have left over 130 people dead represent a clear message to Obama, if not the entire world."

"The Mumbai operation is a message to President-elect Barack Obama to say: you have dreams of a better world but this is the real world that you must deal with. In spite of how you have arranged your priorities, terrorism will always be at the top of the list."

India praised for rejecting Israel's aid
Meanwhile, an editorial published by al-Quds al-Arabi addressed the link between Indian democracy and attacks on Muslim.

"India is a deep-rooted democracy…yet this does not mean it does not feature negative trends, such as radical Hindu organizations that try to hurt Muslims and their mosques."

"However, regardless of how barbaric these attacks are, they will not justify what happened in Mumbai," the editorial says. "The fear is that the attacks in Mumbai will lead to escalation of ethnic violence and to disasters that will hurt innocents, both Hindus and Muslims."

Meanwhile the newspaper, not known as a fan of Israel, also chose to praise India for refusing the Jewish State's offer to assist in anti-terror operations in Mumbai.

"The Indian government proved its national pride when it refused to comply with the request of Israeli intelligence agencies to raid the Jewish building, where the attackers were holding hostages…why should these agencies have more experience and better capabilities than their Indian counterparts?" wrote the newspaper.

"And why should India be assisted only by Israelis, and not by the Brits, the Italians, the Germans, and the Australians, whose nationals were also among the victims and hostages? The attacks in Mumbai prove that the circles of violence and terror are only expanding worldwide, and that what is known as the 'war on terrorism' launched by the American Administration…has made the world more dangerous."

US Jews urge Obama to move embassy to Jerusalem

A group of American Jews urged president-elect Barack Obama on Thursday to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which the international community does not recognize as the capital of the Jewish state.

The move would make the United States the only country to have its main diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act requires the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem by 1999, but both President George W. Bush and his predecessor Bill Clinton have deferred its implementation every six months.

Some 100 members of the US Jewish Orthodox Union gathered on Thursday near the site which Congress earmarked in a 1995 bill as the location of the future US embassy in west Jerusalem.

They sang American national anthem and held banners reading "President Obama: The US embassy belongs in Israel's capital," as well as a petition addressed to Obama, who takes office on January 20.

"President Obama likes using the word change. It is time for change. Now is the time to show support for Israel by moving the embassy here," Orthodox Union President Stephen Savitsky told AFP.

Former Israeli ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon said that if the US embassy were moved to Jerusalem, other countries would follow suit.

"When it moves its embassy to Jerusalem, other civilized states will move their embassies here," Ayalon said.

There are no embassies in Jerusalem. They are in the commercial capital Tel Aviv.

The Light Shall Win!

Light versus darkness

Chabad carnage an encounter between evil Muslim emissaries, noble Jewish envoys

by Uri Orbach

The story is much simpler than people tend to think. Two of the Jews murdered in Mumbai are a Chabad-Lubavitch couple, Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg. He’s from Brooklyn, while she’s from Afula. They lived in Thailand and later in India for five years. They were there on a mission on behalf of Chabad; on behalf of Judaism.

Just like any other good Chabadniks, they chose to dedicate themselves to other Jews, most of them Israelis traveling in Mumbai. Their lives, and in this case their deaths too, are yet another link in the longtime tradition of Chabad Hassidim – namely, to spread Judaism to every corner of the world; to bring a little Torah, compassion, and solidarity to any site where Jews can be found at. In order to achieve that end, they gave up on having leisure time and privacy, turning their home into a lively Jewish embassy every day, the whole day.

Chabad, after we put aside internal Jewish arguments regarding the right way to follow God, is the essence of Jewish mutual responsibility. It is the root of caring for others and of welcoming guests with open arms. There is no other movement that boasts people who are organized like that and who are willing to dedicate their lives in order to bring others closer to Judaism. At times we get upset when a Chabadnik attempts to convince us to lay tefillin (“thanks, I already did it at the office,”) but for many of us they mark our Jewish corner, in Nepal or in Venice, in Bangkok and in Paris.

Rivka and Gabi Holtzberg were emissaries on behalf of all of us, even if we don’t have the rabbi’s picture hanging on our wall.

And on the other hand, we have the murderers. They too, in a very different way, are emissaries. They are the emissaries of Islam 2008. We can babble endlessly about them being only a small group that does not represent true Islam. These evil forces have excellent spokespersons in the guilt-ridden West. However, the dozens of Muslim terrorists who massacred hundreds of Indians and Western tourists are yet another example of the bad winds within Islam.

Giant terror organizations such as al-Qaeda, and immense Islamic Brotherhood movements and Jihad groups are not marginal. They constitute true danger in their own countries, because they have a real hold among the world’s one billion Muslims. Frustration, zealotry, ignorance, and hatred for humanity motivate the Jihadists from Mumbai to Gaza and from New York to Somalia. These despicable Mujahidin also view themselves as the emissaries of God and of their religion. However, they spread their message with rifles and hand grenades.

A matter of temper

After all, in the history of humanity we have not yet seen a case where a group of Chabadniks took over a bus or hotel and held hostages. No other Jewish group, be it religious or secular, tends to express its frustrations via such violent storms. It’s a matter of temper. Our Jews, headed by the Chabadniks, spread their religion in wholly different ways: Tefillin, Shabbat candles, and even the traditional “why don’t you come over for Shabbat dinner.” They boast complete dedication, but not suicidal tendencies. They are willing to die in order to sanctify God’s name, but they are unwilling to kill in order to sanctify God’s name.

This is a simple story, because this is a war pitting the good guys against the bad guys. Even the arguments over “occupation” and “territories” around here are merely a small, even if important, front of the Islamic threat. After September 11th, the world suddenly noticed that almost anywhere horrifying terror acts take place, the murderers are Muslim Jihadists. The good guys suddenly realized that not all Muslims are terrorists, yet almost all terrorists are Muslim.

There are good Jews and good Muslims, just like there are violent and evil ones. The matter at hand is not the nature or character of individuals, but rather, the forces and undercurrents below the visible reality. The random encounter between the emissaries of Islamist Jihad and Rivka and Gavriel Holtzberg, the Jewish emissaries, is not so random after all. It is yet another case where the emissaries of barbarity hurt everything that is kind and good; this is yet another lethal mission by the dark fanatics of Islam that aimed to eliminate the noble mission of the dedicated and kind-hearted. In order to succeed in this battle, we must realize that this is yet another struggle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness.

And light shall win.

A Day of Mourning

Naomi Ragen

After days of prayer and fear among Jews and good people everywhere, the
horrible reality of the Islamic terrorist rampage in Mumbai was revealed in all its obscene and mindless savagery when members of Zaka entered the Chabad compound. As an eyewitness told YNET, the sight was unbearable even to the practiced eyes
of those whose job it is to deal with the aftermath of murderous terror
attacks:|"The place was totally destroyed. Live grenades were all over the
floor. Torah scrolls and holy books were scattered on the floor, covered
with blood." The bodies of the Chabad rabbi and the kashrut supervisor were
found in one room, along with two other men whose hands had been tied with
telephone wire. The body of the Rabbi's young wife Rivkie was found covered
in a tallit. It is believed she was killed before her young husband's eyes
and he wrapped her in his tallit. A grandmother from Israel, and a Jewish
woman tourist from Mexico were also identified.

For photos you will not see
in the New York Times of the blood-soaked floor of the house of prayer and
hospitality, courtesy of the "religion of peace" whose riots kill hundreds when a Koran is desecrated,
please go to:,7340,L-3630586,00.html

Police in Mumbai report that they found enough ammunition to blow up both
hotels and to kill thousands, which according to a terrorist captured alive,
was the intention. This carefully planned attack, which had the Chabad
House at its center, was orchestrated from Pakistan. Vilasrao Deshmukh, the
Chief Minister of Maharashtra state, of which Bombay is the capital, was
quoted yesterday as saying there were two "British-born Pakistanis" among
the terrorists, reports he later denied. A British Pakistani was involved
in a terror attack in Israel at Mike's Place not long ago. The Mail Online
reports "a banned Islamic terrorist group funded with cash raised in British
mosques is believed to be behind the Mumbai attacks." The Mail reports: "The
only terrorist captured alive after the Mumbai massacre has given police the
first full account of the extraordinary events that led to it – revealing he
was ordered to 'kill until the last breath' Azam Amir Kasab, 21, from
Pakistan, said the attacks were meticulously planned six months ago and were
intended to kill 5,000 people. He revealed that the ten terrorists, who were
highly trained in marine assault and crept into the city by boat, had
planned to blow up the Taj Mahal Palace hotel after first executing British
and American tourists and then taking hostages."

These descriptions brought back flashbacks to me of the Park Hotel which was
rocked by a murderous explosion by Hamas terrorists right before the Seder
began. Perhaps it is impossible for the average human being to understand
the depth of evil represented by Muslim extremists and their supporters if
you didn't witness such a thing. I deal with this in my book, The Covenant.
But I feel that I am whistling in the wind. People who have not seen this
with their own eyes just refuse to understand that these are not people with
grievances, people who can be reasoned with. These people are Nazis. Only
if you think you can speak to a Nazi and convince him to not wish to kill
Jews, can such a stand make sense.

No one should negotiate with any person, government official, religious
leader, or member of any group that does not condemn and despise and
excoriate these terrorists. No respect should be given to any religion, or
member of that religion, or religious leader who does not despise and
condemn these acts. When one views the bloody floor of Chabad House, one
sees the bloodied face of civilization. Those who are not prepared to
exterminate this evil, and those who are involved in it, are part of it.

Eyewitness Jonathan Ehrlich, a businessman who narrowly escaped death in
sent out an e-mail of his experiences. In conclusion, he writes this:

The people who did this have no souls. They have no hearts. They are
the living manifestation of evil and they only know killing and murder.
We - all of us - need to understand that. Their target tonight was
first and foremost Americans. Why? Because they fear everything that
America stands for. They fear hope and change and freedom and peace.
Let's make no mistake; they would have shot me and my children point
blank tonight without a moment's hesitation. Most of us sorta know
that but sometimes we equivocate. We can't equivocate. Not ever.

November 26, 2008

Owner of disputed house in Hebron clings to property rights

Jewish-American businessman, owner of house in Hebron from which court is evicting settlers, says he will fight to keep his property. 'No one can take me from my home, all of Israel is ours,' he says - Efrat Weiss

"I'm staying here, no one can take me from my home," said the Jewish businessman whose purchase of a building in Hebron inflamed rigorous conflict between the city's Jewish and Palestinian residents.

The businessman, Morris Abraham, declared Wednesday that Arabs had previously tried to evict Jewish settlers from their homes, but that they would not succeed this time.

Abraham arrived in Israel with his family as well as friends from his community, and went directly to Hebron. Residents of the building welcomed him along with dozens of settlers, including singer Ariel Zilber.

Spokesman for the Jewish settlement in Hebron, Noam Arnon, said the house belongs to Abraham by law. "This is a terrible injustice and may end in looting," he said. "The purchase was clearly final and everything was documented. The government should reconsider."

Abraham said he had bought the property five years ago, while visiting Jerusalem and Hebron. He claims that it was purchased purely as a business venture, and that he had worked out the legal details with his father over a three year period.

He said he had no plans to give up what is rightfully his, and that he had a slew of documents proving ownership of the building. "We need to settle all of Israel, which is ours," Abraham announced.

Thanksgiving - giving thanks to the USA

I am a Jew in a host country. That makes me a Jewish American.
I may want to make aliyah as quickly as possible, but it is not because it
is bad here or I am doing poorly.

No, that is not the reason. My calling is Religious and Torah based.

This is the greatest country in the world (besides Israel).
the melting pot concept works better here than any other Country that has never tried it.

I am thankful the USA is here and that I was able to live here and survive.
I thank HaShem for a comfortable Galut!

So on Thanksgiving, give thanks for your blessings...because I am sure they are many!

Enjoy the Thanksgiving Brisket!!

Is Thanksgiving a "non-Jewish" holiday?

President George Washington proclaimed Thursday November 26, 1789 as a day
of national thanksgiving to God "for His kind care and protection of the
people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal
and manifold mercies, and the favorable interposition's of His providence in
the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of
tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the
peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish
constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly
the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty
with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing
useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors
which He has been pleased to confer upon us."

The Jewish communities in the United States of that time rejoiced in the
role they played in establishing this new country. Already in 1784, leaders
of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City (founded 1654) had sent a
letter to Governor George Clinton on behalf of "the ancient congregation of
Israelites" in which they said: "Though the society we belong to is but
small, when compared with other religious societies, yet we flatter
ourselves that none has manifested a more zealous attachment to the sacred
cause of America in the late war with Great Britain....And we now look
forward with pleasure to the happy days we expect to enjoy under a
constitution wisely framed to preserve the inestimable blessings of civil
and religious liberty."

A new country was born, and the Jews had participated in its formation. They
were equal citizens in the United States. This was not true of Jews in any
country in Europe or in the Muslim world. American Jews were the first in
the history of the diaspora to be citizens on an equal footing with their
non-Jewish neighbors, and to have actually participated in fighting for the
independence of a new nation.

When President Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving, Jews observed
this day with joy and pride. At Shearith Israel in New York, the Rev.
Gershom Mendes Seixas arranged a suitable service of prayer, and delivered
an address in which he called upon Jews "to support that government which is
founded upon the strictest principles of equal liberty and justice."

In subsequent years, days of Thanksgiving were similarly celebrated at
Shearith Israel and the other early Jewish congregations. These days were
invariably proclaimed in the name of the American people, and were meant to
be observed by each citizen according to his or her own faith. In 1817, New
York State established an annual observance of Thanksgiving Day. Shearith
Israel held services on each subsequent year--except 1849 and 1854 (Hamilton Fish & Myron H. Clark). In those two years, the Governor of the State had addressed his proclamation
specifically to "a Christian people" instead of to Americans of all faiths.
Other than these two years, Thanksgiving has been proclaimed for all
Americans, each according to his and her own faith.

It is sometimes heard in Orthodox Jewish circles that Thanksgiving Day is a
"non-Jewish holiday" and should not be observed by religious Jews. This view
is historically wrong and morally dubious. Thanksgiving Day is a national
American holiday for all residents of the United States, of all religions.
Jews participated in Thanksgiving from the very beginning of the United
States' history. This national holiday belongs to Jews as to all other
Americans. It is altogether fitting that Jews join fellow Americans in
observing a day of Thanksgiving to the Almighty for all the blessings He has
bestowed upon this country. Jews, in particular, have much reason to thank
God for the opportunities and freedoms granted to us in the United States.

In his famous letter to the Jewish community of Newport in 1790, President
Washington wrote: "May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in
this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other
inhabitants--while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig
tree and there shall be none to make him afraid." These are words,
expressive of the American spirit at its best, for which we can be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

*by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

Westerners Welcome Harems

A Scottish judge recently bent the law to benefit a polygamous household. The case involved a Muslim male who drove 64 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone – usually grounds for an automatic loss of one's driving license. The defendant's lawyer explained his client's need to speed: "He has one wife in Motherwell and another in Glasgow and sleeps with one one night and stays with the other the next on an alternate basis. Without his driving licence he would be unable to do this on a regular basis." Sympathetic to the polygamist's plight, the judge permitted him to retain his license.

Monogamy, this ruling suggests, long a foundation of Western civilization, is silently eroding under the challenge of Islamic law. Should current trends continue, polygamy could soon be commonplace.

Since the 1950s, Muslim populations have grown in Western Europe and North America via immigration and conversion; with their presence has grown the Islamic form of polygyny (one man married to more than one woman). Estimates find 2,000 or more British polygamous men, 14,000 or 15,000-20,000 harems in Italy, 30,000 harems in France, and 50,000-100,000 polygamists in the United States.

Some imams openly acknowledge conducting polygamous marriage ceremonies: Khalil Chami reports that he is asked almost weekly to conduct such ceremonies in Sydney. Aly Hindy reports having "blessed" more than 30 such nuptials in Toronto.

Social acceptance is also growing. Academics justify it, while politicians blithely meet with polygamists or declare that Westerners should "find a way to live with it" and journalists describe polygamy with empathy, sympathy, and compassion. Islamists argue polygamy's virtues and call for its official recognition.

The Iranian harem as depicted by an Iranian.
Polygamy has made key legal advances in 2008. (For fuller details, see my blog, "Harems Accepted in the West.") At least six Western jurisdictions now permit harems on the condition that these were contracted in jurisdictions where polygamy is legal, including India and Muslim-majority countries from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia to Morocco.

United Kingdom: Bigamy is punishable by up to seven years in jail but the law recognizes harems already formed in polygamy-tolerant countries. The Department of Work and Pensions pays couples up to £92.80 (US$140) a week in social benefits, and each multiculturally-named "additional spouse" receives £33.65. The Treasury states that "Where a man and a woman are married under a law which permits polygamy, and either of them has an additional spouse, the Tax Credits (Polygamous Marriages) Regulations 2003 allow them to claim tax credits as a polygamous unit." Additionally, harems may be eligible for additional housing benefits to reflect their need for larger properties.

The Netherlands: The Dutch justice minister, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, has announced that polygamous Muslim marriages should not be dealt with through the legal system but via dialogue.

Belgium: The Constitutional Court took steps to ease the reunification of harems formed outside the country.

Italy: A court in Bologna allowed a Muslim male immigrant to bring the mothers of his two children into the country on the grounds that the polygamous marriages had been legally contracted.

Australia: The Australian newspaper reports "it is illegal to enter into a polygamous marriage. But the federal government, like Britain, recognises relationships that have been legally recognised overseas, including polygamous marriages. This allows second wives and children to claim welfare and benefits."

Ontario, Canada: Canadian law calls for polygamy to be punished by a prison term but the Ontario Family Law Act accepts "a marriage that is actually or potentially polygamous, if it was celebrated in a jurisdiction whose system of law recognizes it as valid."

Thus, for the cost of two airplane tickets, Muslims potentially can evade Western laws. (One wonders when Mormons will also wake to this gambit.) Rare countries (such as Ireland) still reject harems; generally, as David Rusin of Islamist Watch notes, "governments tend to look the other way as the conjugal mores of seventh-century Arabia … take root in our backyards."

At a time when Western marriage norms are already under challenge, Muslims are testing legal loopholes and even seeking taxpayer support for multiple brides. This development has vast significance: just as the concept of one man, one woman marriage has shaped the West's economic, cultural, and political development, the advance of Islamic law (Shari‘a) will profoundly change life as we know it.

A New Land-for-Peace Proposal

Since the first "land for peace" deal with Egypt in UN Resolution 242, the diplomatic goal of most peace proposals has included the concept of "land for peace." The idea behind the concept of "land for peace" is that Israel "took" land from Egypt, which, in exchange for getting that land "back", granted Israel peace.

Now every agreement with any Arab group has always included the idea of "land for peace." Why? Because the Arabs know that Israel has very little land to give. So if they keep insisting that we give them a pay off of land, not only will we have destroyed any defensive position we may now hold, we will also shrink measurably. This is a very good strategy for the Arabs and a very dangerous one for us.

Nonetheless, every Israeli government, and every American and European Union official, seems determined to accept the idea that peace must be predicated upon giving up land.

I don't think much will change with the new Obama administration. I expect that he is wedded to the idea of "land for peace" just like all of his predecessors. I know that, even before she has opened her mouth, the new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be studying up on Resolution z242, and expecting the same "miracle" between Israel and the "Palestinians."

I even expect that, for all his promises to the contrary, and all his speech making, and all his made-for-TV sound bites, the potentially former-future Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will sit down with a dower face and a strong jaw on live TV and concede Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights to our enemies.

I am not a prophet, but I have seen the past; and the past is palpably present in the future of Israel and in both political landscapes - in Israel and in the US. Perhaps we can even read the future in yesterday's newspapers as the old actors return to the stage - Clinton, Bibi, Scowcroft. What is next? Will Yasser Arafat rise from the grave? It all seems way too familiar.

A few things are different, however. Now, we have negotiated at Oslo and gotten only an intifada in return. Ariel Sharon sold his soul for a false peace and now has only the sad existence of life support. We have given up Gaza and find rockets raining down on our heads, Hamas running rampant, formally employed and prosperous Israelis living in destitution in cramped caravans, and a government so corrupt that our lame-duck PM has to arrange his schedule around police interrogations.

Now, as we stand on the verge of a new election cycle in Israel and the dawning of a new administration in the US, it is time to suggest a new way to do things. This is why I am proposing a new "land for peace" initiative. Here's how it would work:

Whereas the idea of "land for peace" is a recognized diplomatic strategy for achieving accords between warring factions in the Middle East; and

Whereas there is a great and pressing need to achieve an end to the warfare between Israel and the people who refer to themselves as "Palestinians"; and

Whereas the belief that UN Resolution 242 provided a template for all future negotiations between Israel and her neighbors; and

Whereas UN Resolution 242 emphasizes "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security"; and

Whereas the land of Israel was taken from the Jewish people by means of war by the Assyrian, Roman, Turkish, British and Arab peoples; and

Whereas any land that has been returned to Israel and inhabited has bloomed, prospered and grown; and

Whereas the Jewish people welcome those who come in friendship from every land, yet those from other lands do not welcome the Jews;

Therefore, we demand the complete withdrawal of all territorial rights from the Land of Israel (according to the borders that are now and always have been defined in every Bible in the world) by the following nations: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.

In exchange for returning the land, Israel (and HaShem) will grant full peace to the region, as it has been promised in the Covenant of Abraham and reiterated in the Covenant of Jacob.

After all, if the countries of the world agree that the concept of land for peace works, then why not use it as it should be used? Why not give land back to those from whom it was taken and recognize that the Jewish people have a right to their ancestral land. After all, isn't the idea that ancestral land should be returned the underlying argument of "Palestinian" people?

Why don't we acknowledge that they are correct and insist upon the return of all land that was taken in war - i.e., our own land?

Why is "land for peace" always Israel giving land and the Arabs giving nothing (and especially not peace)? Why not a land-for-peace deal that gives Israel more and more land? After all, when Israel has more land, we get more peace. When Israel has less land, we get less peace. Therefore, any "land for peace" deal should reward Israel with more and more land.

This peace agreement is one that has already be ratified by the Highest Authority in existence, the Highest Court in the universe, and the Greatest Arbitrator of all. It is about time we give it a try. We have tried to make peace the UN's way, now lets try to make peace G-d's way.

Check out Michelle's blog at

November 25, 2008

Crossing all the lines/When all is forbidden, all is permitted By Nadav Shragai

November 24, 2008

Hebron in the eyes of the state prosecutors and the High Court of Justice is an Arab city where a few hundred Jews reside until "the final status agreement" is struck. Hebron in the eyes of the settlers is the city of our forefathers in which Jewish settlement has existed "from time immemorial" and will exist "forever."

Hebron, where David established his kingdom before the conquest of Jerusalem, is also a true reflection of the fault line that divides Israeli society between political and secular Zionists - for whom this country is first and foremost a refuge and a national home - and religious Zionists, whose existence is obviously rooted primarily in Judaism; between those for whom "the future of our sons is more important than the graves of our forefathers" - and those who are convinced that there is no future for our sons in a place that is without the graves of our forefathers, no physical-existential future, and most of all no spiritual future.

For years, these two streams fed off one another. David Ben-Gurion, who was the main figure who merged these two worldviews, thought that "we will make a huge, tremendous error if we do not settle Hebron, Jerusalem's neighbor and predecessor, with an ever-expanding Jewish settlement in the shortest amount of time." Even the 51 members of Knesset who signed a letter opposing the evacuation of Hebron's "House of Peace" are in their own way merging these two worldviews, as is Morris Abraham of New York, a descendant of Jews who were banished from Hebron following the 1929 massacre, who gave up his retirement funds to buy the building in Hebron, to link Kiryat Arba with the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Now, however, in the case of that Hebron building, also known as the "House of Contention," all lines have been crossed by both sides. On the one hand, Jewish fanatics from the fringes of the settler camp whose place is in prison vandalize Muslim tombstones, and harm Arabs and Israel Defense Forces soldiers; a former member of Knesset says Kadima is worse than Hamas; and a rabbi says the State of Israel is the enemy of the nation (although he later recants).

On the other hand, and we are not talking here about the fringes, our nation's government is developing its own fanaticism whereby the ends - the banishment of Jews from Hebron - justify nearly all the means, to the point where that government and its mouthpieces become mute, deaf and blind. Even in the face of the facts and from a moral standpoint.

Here is a "minor" matter: the death sentence which the Palestinian Authority hands down to anyone who "commits the crime" of selling land to Jews. In any properly functioning state, the government, its attorney general and its Supreme Court would cry out to the heavens against such a punishment, which more or less constitutes a license to murder. But this law is accepted with near indifference, perhaps because the champions of human rights who were supposed to rise up in protest are themselves of the mind that a Palestinian who sells land to a Jew is a criminal.

Anyone who has listened to the tape that the settlers presented to the High Court of Justice cannot comprehend how the justices did not do the minimum that is required, and ask the state to reconsider its position in relation to the House of Contention. This audiotape includes everything. The supposed seller recalls how he sold the property, received the money, made renovations at the request of the buyer and even resisted serious pressure from the PA. Remarkably, the High Court and the prosecutors do not question the authenticity of the tape, but the latter - due to some bizarre, procedural considerations - simply refuse heed it.

In addition, Faid Rajbi, the ostensible seller, who in his first interrogation by Hebron police claimed that he never sold the house, but is later seen in a video tape counting his money, repeatedly changed his version of events - a serious mistake in the best-case scenario, and at worst an obstruction of justice which serves a political agenda.

There is no doubt that a case on a similar scale within tiny Israel proper would have been heard in a District or Magistrate's Court. There the facts and the evidence would have come into clear focus for their approval. But when dealing with Hebron and the House of Contention case, one gets the impression that the facts are not so relevant, and that someone here has decided that he will not let the evidence confuse him.

Even retired District Court judge Uri Shtruzman, perhaps by dint of the fact that he was the one who presided over one of the cases cited by Ayala Procaccia in her decision, was under the impression that the High Court erred in its legal interpretation of "his" case, noting that "there's no surprise in the settlers' forceful protests that it wasn't a fair trial that guided the High Court's considerations, but a political perspective."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak needs to take this into account. The High Court, contrary to misleading media reports and of which Barak has been made aware by his advisers, did not require the state to evacuate the settlers from the House of Contention, but simply enabled it to do so. The appointment of an impartial investigative panel or a deferment of a final decision until the facts have been sorted out in district court is the proper, measured way to handle this affair.

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)

November 24, 2008

Civic Pride - Israel

Our local media, and our local police, have advised the public that we can expect an explosion of Mafia warfare on our streets following the taking out of a major crime boss. Gazans are hitting our cities with rockets and missiles. Olmert has resigned and remains in power, and highway safety continues to be a joke.

I'm beginning to think that seeing how much we can take is a matter of Israeli Civic Pride. So I did this cartoon.

November 23, 2008

Edgar Bronfman - lower HaShems bar!

First there was the the NY Times magazine article and now Ynetnews:,7340,L-3627058,00.html

Mr Bronfman continues to do the work of those who want Judaism to become extinct.

"Former WJC leader and current Hillel chairman, billionaire Edgar Bronfman says Judaism must be more open, accept all those who wish to become part of it, or else Judaism would cease to exist"

"I want to change the Jewish way of thinking," he stated, and pointed out that almost 50% of Jewish students come from a mixed-marriage family in which one of the parents is non-Jewish.

'You don't have to believe in G-d to be Jewish'


Since when do we make the rules for who is a Jew?
We can't change the statute given to us.
If your Mother is not Jewish, you can only become Jewish by conversion
as per the statute.

If you do not believe in HaShem, then why would you consider yourself or want to
be Jewish? It makes me suspicious. What is a Secular Jews motivation?

November 20, 2008

El Sayyid A. Nosair - Terrorist -11/16/1955

Currently in Federal Prison 100 miles South of Denver, CO.

His resume:

1) "Defendant" in Kahane Murder Trial.
2) Convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing
3) In 1994, Nosair was convicted in Federal Court of nine counts, including seditious conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder of a postal police officer, use of a firearm in the commission of a murder, use of a firearm during an attempted murder, and possession of a firearm.

4) In 2002, Eleanor Hill, director of the Senate Intelligence Committee that investigating intelligence failures prior to the Attacks of September 11, 2001, reported that Osama Bin Laden helped pay for Nosair's legal defense for his trial for the murder of Kahane. Hill wrote that during that trial, the FBI learned that one of his relatives "traveled to Saudi Arabia to obtain money to pay for Nosair's defense" and that "He received funds from a wealthy Saudi - Usama Bin Ladin." Ronald Kuby, one of Nosair's lawyers in the 1991 state case, later stated that a cousin of Nosair's paid for some of the legal expenses with money he said was raised by "family and friends." However, he stressed that "We never got any checks signed Osama Bin Laden. We just barely got paid. We barely covered expenses.

In Jail Now? :

Meir Kahane Quotes

1) Above all, it is not decency or goodness of gentleness that impresses the Middle East, but strength.

Still appropriate today!

2) But the Jew is not a cripple. G-d made him with two legs, and the authentic healthy Jew walks on both of them.

Israel is ready to throw off the yoke of US Aid!

3) Every man judges his own happiness and satisfaction with life in terms of his possession or lack of possession of those things that he considers worthwhile and valuable.

Your soul, not material possession will go with you the next life.

4) For so long as the Jew has even one ally, he will be convinced - in his smallness of mind - that his salvation came from that ally. It is only when he is alone - against all of his own efforts and frantic attempts - that he will, through no choice, be compelled to turn to G-d.

Israel will soon be alone.

5) I know that elections must be limited only to those who understand that the Arabs are the deadly enemy of the Jewish state, who would bring on us a slow Auschwitz - not with gas, but with knives and hatchets.

No change here...

6) I see all this and know that if we are to save the Jewish state and its three-and-a-half million Jews from terrible horrors, we must rise up and demand a fundamental change in the very system of government.

Maniigut Yehudit is the ticket!

7) If we ever hope to rid the world of the political AIDS of our time, terrorism, the rule must be clear: One does not deal with terrorists; one does not bargain with terrorists; one kills terrorists.

I second that!

8) It is incumbent upon us to understand our greatness and believe in it so that we do not cheapen and profane ourselves.

Chosen people have to follow the Statutes

9) Jews have been in Egypt since Biblical times, and Alexandria had once been, at least partially, a Jewish city.

Not sure if any are left today.

10) Let us not suffer from a national amnesia that causes us to forget who and what we are.

Never forget

11) Life is essentially a question of values.

What are you doing when nobody is watching?

12) Love has its place, as does hate. Peace has its place, as does war. Mercy has its place, as do cruelty and revenge.

Fight fire with fire.

13) Never, ever deal with terrorists. Hunt them down and, more important, mercilessly punish those states and groups that fund, arm, support, or simply allow their territories to be used by the terrorists with impunity.

Seems fair

14) No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place.

It serves many purposes.

15) One of the great problems with Americans is that - being a decent people - they assume that everyone else is equally decent.

Apply that to Obama...

16) Only a people that believes that its G-d called the world and its inhabitants into being and controls and decrees their destiny, has any logical and intellectual reason to worship Him.

Makes sense.

17) Surely it is time for Jews, worried over the huge growth of Arabs in Israel, to consider finishing the exchange of populations that began 35 years ago.

Please begin NOW!

18) The banding together by the nations of the world against Israel is the guarantee that their time of destruction is near and the final redemption of the Jew at hand.

It is near... you can feel it. Is the Anti-Messiah here now?

19) The difference is that if we turn from the Gentile first, we will have the Almighty as the immediate staff and our comfort. If not, we will have neither the Gentile nor, for a terrible stage, the Almighty.

Trust in no man....

20) The fact is, that with the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews fled Arab countries, almost all of whom left behind all their property for which compensation was never paid.

The world has no problem with Jews being forced out of any country

21) The G-d of History, the G-d of the Jewish people, called the world into being for one reason only and that was for the sake of the Jewish people and the Torah of Israel.

And for us to be the Light Unto Nations to the 70.

22) The Jew does not wish to be isolated. He fears being alone, without allies.

Until we all make Aliyah....

23) The Jew is upset because the nations of the world - the United Nations - lash him, brand him as racist and evil, hate him and openly demonstrate their desire to destroy him.

But this is the way it was written

24) The Jewish nation is indeed, the heart of the world and there is no reason for the existence of empires, kings, rulers, masses or systems aside from their reaction to the Jewish people.


25) The observant Jew has his own sense of values. Torah Judaism is his blueprint for this life, his target for existence.

And so we can all follow the same path!

26) There is the illusion of the world and the reality of the Torah.

How true...

27) Today, Jewish defense is an accepted thing.

Dimona and more

We have our own values; we build our own special, our JEWISH life - and we are proud, so very proud.

So wear a Jewish Star and bagel everyone

Rabbi Kahane: For Truth's Sake

by Tzipora Liron

He upheld Jewish pride.

“I have done justice and righteousness - leave me not to those who oppress me.”

For a long time, I stare at the words in my little Tehillim (Psalms) book. Something about them touches me.
The lecturer quoted from a book by Rabbi Kahane. At that point, about half of the audience suddenly got up and left.

Only recently I began to learn about the life and teachings of Rabbi Meir Kahane. It was at a lecture last Shavuot, about the sanctification and desecration of G-d's name. This reaction fascinated me, so I stayed until the end and listened intently. Then, I scraped together all my courage and asked the lecturer to lend me the book. It was Listen World, Listen Jew. I've read some more of Rabbi Kahane's books since and warmly recommend them all, by the way.

Actually, that was not my first contact with the rabbi's ideas. When I converted to Judaism overseas, one day our teacher suddenly drove us to a shooting range.

There, he just said: "I will not let any one of you go to the conversion Beit Din unless you learn to shoot a gun first. You want to be Jewish, fine. A Jew has to know how to defend himself. And if you say you can't do this because you are afraid or a pacifist or whatever, I demand from you that you do it, for me and my family that was murdered by the cursed Nazis.”

I never forgot that lesson. Our teacher sometimes mentioned Rabbi Kahane's name, but, thanks to pressure from the synagogue's establishment, he never went into the details. Because of the establishment's reaction, I always thought that “Kahane” meant something unspeakably radical, a taboo topic beyond any range of normal discourse, something one best stayed far away from.

I'm glad that now, after my Aliyah, I got a second chance to learn more about the life and teachings of a man who literally gave himself to his people. He upheld Jewish pride into the face of a world that, for 2,000 years, had shamelessly persecuted and murdered Jews. He taught disaffected, lost teenagers that “Jewish is beautiful”. He fearlessly fought anti-Semitism and challenged anyone daring to harm Jews, from American neighborhood bullies to the Soviet Union and Arab terrorists. He went to jail again and again on behalf of his people; often enough jailed even by his own people. Could there be a more intensive way of living Ahavat Israel?

And Ahavat HaShem. For years, I had been saying the Sh'ma Israel prayer day after day, but I never really understood what it means when it says, “...with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources. Let these words that I command you today be on your heart.” It was only from Rabbi Kahane's teachings that I understood that this really means placing G-d's will above our own, to transform it into our own; that you can't keep anything for yourself because your life is not your property, but a deposit from G-d. Accepting Ol Malchut Shamayim ("the Yoke of Heaven") - I never before understood how beautiful this concept is.

Rabbi Kahane lived it. He loved G-d and held up the Torah uncompromisingly. He acted not out of personal considerations, but in order to fulfill G-d's will and to restore the Jewish people to their task as G-d's chosen nation on Earth, destined to live in a society of Divine holiness in Eretz Israel.

Last Sunday, on the 18th of Cheshvan, was Rabbi Kahane's 18th yahrzeit. I had the honor to attend the graveside ceremony held at Har HaMenuchot and the assembly in Jerusalem after that. At the assembly, Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer, dean of the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea, encouraged the audience to spread knowledge about Rabbi Kahane's teachings, especially his major work Ohr HaRaayon - The Jewish Idea. He said that “like there is a Chabad house in every city, you should make your house a 'house of the Jewish idea' wherever you are... and learn, even with just one study partner.”

Well-known right wing activist Baruch Marzel, in his speech, called out to the audience: “If Rabbi Kahane was with us today, he surely wouldn't want us to waste an entire evening on a memorial ceremony. He would get up and say what needs to be done tomorrow morning.” Marzel then did exactly this by reminding the audience of the urgent need to prevent the impending expulsion of the Jewish families living in the Shalom House in Hevron and announcing the planned march with Israeli flags through the Israeli-Arab village of Umm el-Fahm, which is Rabbi Kahane's teachings live on among the Jewish people and what he did has left a lasting impact beyond the close circle of his followers. I'm convinced that many around the country feel that he was right and admire him, even if they don't dare to admit it openly. They are afraid. Given the hate campaign by the media and some government officials against the right-wing and the settlers of Judea and Samaria, that's no wonder. A huge, precious and dedicated part of our own people, and among them especially the followers of Rabbi Kahane, are slandered, harassed and even, absurdly, depicted as a greater threat than Arab terrorism. All this in order to embrace the real deadly enemies, for the sake of unrealistic peace accords and the next “disengagement” under the watchful eyes of America and Europe.

What if that's not how we want things to be? One aspect of countering this detrimental development is indeed education and outreach. Of course, it's not the only aspect, but it is important as a foundation. It is precisely the people standing outside, drenched in the “rain” of the left-wing media hate campaign who need to be reached. They need to know the alternative. Authentic Jewish values have to be brought back into the mainstream - and that's a task for all who care about Israel, not only the followers of Rabbi Kahane. It can succeed even by simple means.

If a single, well-prepared lesson on a few clear Jewish concepts worked wonders on me, it can work on others, too. Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but something inside me doesn't want to give up and doesn't want to return to obediently swallowing the media propaganda stew, and to silently watching Israel undermining it's very existence.

I look back at my Tehillim booklet, at the outcry of King David: "I have done justice and righteousness - leave me not to those who oppress me."

Let the voice that dared to speak the truth not be silenced. Rabbi Meir David Kahane gave everything for the Jewish people; may G-d avenge his blood.

November 19, 2008

A Triumph for Women's Rights in Israel. Finally.

The 'get' gets fairer
Nov. 17, 2008

The Knesset has finally succeeded in amending the Spousal Property Relations
Law, 35 years after it was initially passed, thus bringing a decades-long
struggle to its successful conclusion.
We had almost been driven to despair by years of cynical political
maneuvers, solely aimed at preserving the Rabbinical Courts' control over
the divorce process. But two weeks ago more than 50 MKs managed to pass the
amendment initiated by the International Coalition for Agunah Rights (ICAR)
and, by so doing, to overcome coalitional considerations in favor of the
need to resolve the plight of women whose get (religious divorce) is being
The law, which will now allow for the division of property before the get,
is a historical step towards the advancement of human rights, and especially
towards advancing gender equality.
From the broader perspective of the divorce regime and legal arrangement in
Israel, one can say that the amendment is the most important development in
many years in advancing the status of women and gender equality in the
Israeli family law and divorce system. Ever since it was passed, the Spousal
Property Relations Law was no more than a "dead letter," as the Supreme
Court described it, because its arrangement for equal distribution of the
marital property between the spouses could only be executed after the
divorce (i.e., only after the husband gave the wife a get).

In other words, ever since it was passed, the civil law increased the power
given to the husband by Jewish law, as delaying the get also delayed the
division of property.
IN ISRAEL, as in the rest of the world, women are usually those in need of
the immediate division of property, in order to achieve financial
independence and have a fresh start. But for every woman that married after
January 1974, this fundamental right was at the complete control of her
husband, just like the get itself.
The rabbinical establishment was consistently opposed to allowing the
property to be divided before the get, claiming that this would encourage
divorce and also cause many couples to separate without arranging a
religious divorce. Recently it has also been suggested that a get given
after the property was divided according to the amendment might be
considered a "coerced get," thus not valid according to Jewish law - so that
any woman such divorced would really still be married to her husband,
forbidden to marry another, and her children by any other man would be
considered bastards (mamzerim).
In this the rabbinical establishment unmistakably placed itself on the side
of the husbands, closing its eyes to the suffering of countless women who
had to make extensive concessions to achieve their get and their liberty.
Truth be told, the Rabbinical Courts and the religious parties backing them
were simply afraid of losing their absolute control over the separation
procedures between spouses.

With this amendment, which severs once and for all the Gordian knot between
property division and the get, Israel has placed itself at the forefront of
advanced countries in the world in matters of equality and fairness
regarding the economic consequences of divorce.
From the broad picture I see as a member of the UN's expert committee
supervising the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), it is clear that the
fundamental arrangement set by the law, along with the Israeli civil courts'
rulings, is one of the most advanced in the world in terms of protecting
women's rights and acknowledging their part in the family assets accumulated
during a life together, as well as in future property and earning capacity,
in a way that aims to minimize as best as possible divorce's dire financial
consequences for women.
We should welcome the fact that the courts can now start to implement this
advanced arrangement for the welfare of women and children in Israel, and we
can only hope that the Rabbinical Courts, which are also subject to the law,
will do so as well.

Prof. Halperin-Kaddari is the Director of the Ruth and Emanuel Rackman
Center for the Advancement of Women in Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Law;
and a member in the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Beware this Saudi deal to help bail out Britain

Date: Saturday, November 15, 2008, 9:36 PM

Beware this Saudi deal to help bail out Britain. It comes with a
devastating IOU

Melanie Phillips - Nov 11, 2008

With all eyes fixed upon the political excitements in the U.S, few
have paid much attention to a trip made by the Prime Minister several
thousand miles in the opposite direction.

A week ago Gordon Brown, accompanied by his new best friend the
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, went cap in hand to Saudi Arabia
and the Gulf states to ask them to help bail out the stricken
economies of the West by pumping billions into the International
Monetary Fund.

It is more than a little strange that the British Prime Minister
should have apparently taken it upon himself to speak on behalf of the
IMF. But the real concern is that asking for help from Saudi Arabia is
not like tapping your friendly neighbourhood bank manager for a bigger

No, this loan comes with a devastating IOU — nothing less than a big
slice of control over Britain and the West by a regime at the heart of
the attempt to bring about the Islamisation of the free world.

Granted, this country is facing a truly grave financial crisis. But
does this mean we should remortgage the future of the West to those
whose most radical elements are actively engaged in seeing it destroyed?

I have long been concerned by Britain's failure to acknowledge the
true nature of the threat from global Islamism. This latest move is
yet more alarming evidence of that process.

Saudi Arabia is at the root of the Islamic onslaught against the West.
It is Saudi's Wahhabi form of Islam which, along with its Shi'ite
counterpart in Iran, aims to restore the dominance of Islam in the
world and destroy rule by `unbelievers' .

It is Saudi money which has fuelled the enormous spread of Wahhabi
mosques, preachers and educational institutions in this country,
delivering the message of holy war and radicalising countless
thousands of British Muslims.

And it is this Saudi ideology which was the inspiration for Al Qaeda.

True, Al Qaeda turned upon Saudi itself on account of its ties with
the U.S. As a result, Saudi regards Al Qaeda as its mortal enemy, and
as such co-operates with Britain and the U.S in combating it.

But sometimes, to rephrase the old adage, our enemy's enemy is not
actually our friend, but our enemy as well.

Saudi Wahhabism seeks to conquer the West through a pincer movement
comprising violence on the one hand and cultural infiltration and
takeover on the other.

At the very least, Saudi Arabia speaks with the most lethal of forked
tongues, and we should actively be seeking to diminish its influence
over our affairs.

But instead our Prime Minister is effectively offering it yet more
opportunity to control us.

Mr Brown claimed he did not want such investment to be used to gain
political influence. But Lord Mandelson blurted out the truth when he
acknowledged that the Saudis and other Gulf states would expect a
bigger role in global institutions in return.

The Islamic world has already bought Manchester City football club.
This should be enough to chill the British marrow. Islamic influence
is already spreading in Britain and the West, way beyond Muslim
communities themselves.

The Islamic world is buying a financial stake in increasing numbers of
Western institutions. Among its latest acquisitions are Manchester
City Football Club, which was sold to the ruling family of Abu Dhabi,
and Barclays Bank, which has secured an almost £6 billion capital
injection from Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

Extremist Islamist ideas are also being spread through Islamic study
centres attached to our universities. According to Professor Anthony
Glees, eight universities — including Oxford and Cambridge — have
accepted more than £233.5 million from Saudi and Muslim sources since
1995, spreading radicalism and helping create within Britain two
separate identities and sets of allegiance.

Shockingly, Saudi blackmail has also forced Britain to suspend its own
rule of law by ditching the bribery investigation into the arms deal
between Saudi Arabia and BAE systems, in response to an explicit
threat made by the Saudi authorities that, if the case continued,
`British lives on British streets' would be at risk.

Those aren't my words, they are from Britain's former ambassador to
Saudi Arabia, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles.

Thus, the Islamists are already pulling British strings through the
supremely manipulative combination of the threat of violence and the
lure of unbridled wealth.

Apparently oblivious to all this, however, Mr Brown has pledged to
make London the global centre of Islamic banking. Accordingly,
Britain's major banks are eagerly embracing sharia finance, on the
basis that it is a source of vast wealth.

What they fail to realise is that sharia is also a project for
Islamising society, and wherever it is embraced it will use its
position to do precisely that. The assumption is that sharia banking —
which has at its heart the prohibition of interest — accords with
ancient Islamic religious principles. Not so.

Sharia banking was devised by mid-20th century Islamist ideologues
specifically to further their strategy for global Islamic rule by
creating separate administrative systems.

Muslims are required to donate a proportion of their income to
charity, including the money that goes through the sharia banking system.

Yet in many instances, the clerics deciding where this `charity' money
should go are the spiritual godfathers of terror, such as Sheik Yusuf
Qaradawi, who supports suicide bombing in Iraq and Israel, and Sheik
Muhammed Taqi Usmani, who has admitted he ran a madrassa that
supported the Taliban, yet who sits on the sharia supervisory board of
the Dow Jones Islamic Index Fund.

It's no surprise, then, that many charitable donations end up being
channelled straight into terrorist organisations such as Hamas and

But apart from being a global money-laundering exercise for terrorism,
sharia banking is also a beachhead in the attempt by radical Islam to
infiltrate British and Western society.

The key point is that sharia does not recognise the superior authority
of the secular law of the land.

Sharia financial institutions may not be making this clear — they
don't want to frighten people away — but at some future time they may
do so. This is how they will endeavour to spread sharia beyond their
own territory.

There are already examples of sharia regulations over-riding
commercial decisions. Citibank, for example, launched the Saudi
American Bank (SAB) in Jeddah and Riyadh. In 1980, the Saudis abruptly
seized the SAB, denied Citibank all future profits and ordered it to
train Saudi staffers because the bank was judged insufficiently Muslim.

When trillions of pounds and dollars become locked into Islamic
banking and Saudi and other Islamic institutions, who will be in a
position to argue with the Islamists when they finally call in their IOUs?

But our politicians and financiers seem blind to this prospect —
because they are mesmerised by the seductive prospect of so much wealth.

Moreover, the British establishment does not believe that what we are
being subjected to is a religious war. That is why their response to
the steady encroachment of Islamic radicalism in our society is so weak.

And that is why I fear the British Prime Minister is in danger of
selling this country to those who are intent upon undermining our most
treasured freedoms.

More than giving hostages to fortune, he is enabling fortune itself to
hold Britain hostage.

November 18, 2008

Urgent International Push for Pollard

by Hillel Fendel

( A massive and concerted effort is being made to bring about the release of Jonathan Pollard from prison after 23 years – directed both at PM Olmert and Pres. Bush.

In the knowledge that outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush is currently preparing a list of possibly hundreds of American prisoners to pardon, the goal of the international campaign is to have Jonathan Pollard included.

Many feel that this could be Pollard’s last chance, after 23 years in prison.

With Prime Minister Ehud Olmert scheduled to leave in a few days for a parting visit with U.S. President George W. Bush – who will leave office in two months’ time, just a few weeks before Olmert is to be replaced –massive pressure is being exerted on Olmert to ask Bush for a pardon.

In addition, a phone-in campaign to the White House, in which concerned citizens ask Bush directly to let Pollard to go home, is also getting underway. The Washington phone numbers are: 202-456 -1111 or 202-456-1414.

A film is being circulated via the Internet, in which a host of public figures from both sides of the political spectrum are heard to express their opinions and feelings in favor of Pollard’s urgent release.

Among them are former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon (“the issue must be on their agenda at the parting ceremony”), former Justice Minister Amnon Rubenstein of the Meretz party, former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, former radical left-wing MK Lova Eliav, Nobel Prize winner Prof. Yisrael Aumann (“I feel personally ashamed and I apologize”), former Supreme Court justice Tzvi Tal, journalist Mati Golan, Prof. Reuven Orda of Tel Aviv University, Makor Rishon editor Amnon Lord, Prof. Eli Pollack, Technologiot editor Dorit Aldoubi, former Deputy Education Minister Moshe Peled, and many more.

The film ends with this message:
“Mr. Prime Minister: This is your responsibility! Do not miss this chance! Bring Pollard back home – alive!”

To see the film (in Hebrew),
To see a letter written by the above personalities,

In addition, dozens of rabbis from throughout the State of Israel have signed an open letter to President Bush, stating simply:

“As a G-d fearing people, we feel a humane and ethical duty to write you concerning a deeply heartfelt matter. Mr. Jonathan Pollard is currently serving his 23rd year in prison. He is ill and his condition is serious. We respectfully request that you act mercifully towards him. Please grant him clemency as a humanitarian gesture to the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

“With G-d's blessing, Mr. Pollard's release will bring only good to the United States and the American People.”

The letter is signed by nearly 200 rabbis, including past and present Chief Rabbis, members of the Chief Rabbinate Council, chief rabbis of cities and regional councils, and more.

Not for What He Did, But for What Was Done to Him
Pollard was convicted on one count of passing classified information to a U.S. ally – Israel – and lost the chance to ever directly appeal his sentence simply because of a technical oversight by his then-lawyer, Richard Hibey. As the website explains, “Hibey, astonishingly, failed to file a time-limited statement of intent to file a direct appeal. This failure - too gross to be a mere oversight - then prevented Jonathan Pollard from ever exercising his constitutional right to a direct appeal of his sentence.”

Atty. Jacques Semmelman, who took on the Pollard case many years later at no charge, later made a claim of “ineffective assistance” on Pollard’s behalf, explaining, "I was appalled at the quality of the legal representation Jonathan received. It became apparent to us that Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life not because of what he did, but because of what was done to him."

November 17, 2008


AUSTRALIA has switched its position to vote against Israel on two
resolutions at the United Nations, ending the Howard government's unswerving
alignment with the United States and raising concern from the Jewish

The move also signals to the incoming Obama administration that the Rudd
Government plans to take a different approach to the Howard government on
the international stage.

In the weekend vote in New York, Australia supported a resolution calling on
Israel to stop establishing settlements in the Palestinian territories and a
resolution calling for the Geneva Conventions to apply in the Palestinian

The resolutions on the Middle East peace process are held annually and the
Howard government had backed both from 1996 to 2002 but in 2003 began to
vote against or abstain. It was a move that aligned Australia with only the
US, Israel, the US Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Micronesia and put the
country at odds with Britain, Canada, New Zealand and France.

Australian officials told the UN the Government had changed its position
because it supported a two-state resolution of the conflict to deliver a
secure Israel living beside a viable Palestinian state and that Australia
believed both sides should abide by their obligations under the Road Map for

Australia said it was concerned activity in the disputed settlements
undermined confidence in the negotiations. It was among 161 countries that
supported both resolutions, with two abstaining and six against.

The president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Robert Goot,
last night was concerned over the Government's switch. "We are concerned
that the vote has changed, we do not understand the basis for the change,"
he said.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephen Smith, last night said there had been
no change to Australia's policy on the Middle East. He said he had met the
Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni,
in Jerusalem two weeks ago and told them Australia was a strong supporter of
Israel and the Middle East peace process.

"Australia's friendship with Israel is longstanding and enduring and we
understand completely Israel's legitimate security concerns," he said.

"As a staunch and longstanding friend of Israel, we want its people to be
able to enjoy the fruits of a normal, peaceful existence, within a Middle
East that recognizes Israel's right to live within secure and
internationally recognized boundaries. That is an approach that has strong
bipartisan support in Australia and it's an approach that will continue."

The Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Helen Coonan, called on Mr Smith
to explain why Australia changed its vote. "The change in emphasis is
concerning unless it can be better explained as giving effect to a
bipartisan and balanced approach," she said.

Australia maintained its vote on seven other UN resolutions relating to
Israel, in particular opposing a resolution criticizing Israel on
Palestinian human rights. Australia said it believed the resolution was too
one-sided against Israel and failed to take account of Israel's legitimate
security concerns or reflect the responsibility of Palestinians to end
attacks against Israel. Australia was one of eight countries, including
Canada, to vote against this resolution that was supported by 87 countries
with 70 abstaining.

Last month Australia announced new sanctions on Israel's rival Iran but
backed down on a pledge to force the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
before an international court on charges of inciting genocide.

November 16, 2008

'We'll go to war over Hebron house,' warn settlers

Efrat Weiss - YnetNews

As the defense establishment gears up to carry out the ruling of the High Court of Justice regarding the disputed house in the West Bank city of Hebron, settlers are preparing to take a defiant stand in what has become an emblematic symbol of the schism between the government and the settler movement.

Speaking to Ynet on Sunday, extreme-right activist Baruch Marzel warned against the planned evacuation. "I think we will forget what happened in Amona. We have come to actual war. All of Judea and Samaria and the Land of Israel will not stand silent in the face of this horrible crime," he said from the sidelines of the annual memorial conference for slain Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the outlawed Kach movement.

The High Court rejected the petition filed by the Jewish settlers in Hebron against the state's decision to evacuate the disputed house, and ruled it must be cleared within three days' time. The judges accepted the state's position and determined that until the ownership dispute is settled, the property would be in the hands of the state.

But Marzel rejected the court's authority. "We must go to war, using any means to prevent this crime from occurring. If you ask the High Court whether it is permissible to breathe, it would say only Arabs are allowed," he said.

The joint campaign headquarters for the disputed home convened on Sunday evening to decide on a series of measures designed to "stop the uprooting of residents from the house of peace and fight for the right of Jews to settle anywhere in the Land of Israel."

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Hebron municipal council, the Jewish Community of Hebron, the Kiryat Arba Regional Council, the 'Homesh First' movement, the 'Ne'emanei Eretz Israel' movement, the 'Youths for Israel' movement, 'Women in Green' and other groups associated with settlement efforts.

Among other steps, the settlers have decided to reinforce their presence at the house with families and public figures. Local residents are also planning an emergency meeting, from where they plan to call on the general public to help their struggle.

'High Court has no authority'

The evacuation ruling topped the agenda at the conference for Kahane, who was murdered 18 years ago. Hundreds of adults and youths took part in the event, which was held in Jerusalem.

Speaking at the conference, extreme-right activist Michael Ben-Horin, launched a harshly-worded tirade against the High Court. "So the 'High Brothel' made a ruling. So what? Let's see you uphold the High Court's ruling on the Temple Mount. Let the police allow Jews to pray there. If that happens, I myself will make sure the Jews leave the 'house of peace' until the court rules on the matter," said Ben-Horin.

"Why should the residents of the house of peace leave? What is the High Court, a Jerusalem branch of Meretz and Hadash? (Islamic Movement leader) Raed Salah demands we leave too, so what? We are surrounded by enemies. We have Hizbullah to the north, Iran in the east and Hamas in the south. I am an IDF officer, a father of two commando soldiers. To our great sorrow, the current regime is doing everything in its power to drive a wedge between Jews and weaken our fortitude. The heart aches."

Ben-Horin issued a stringent warning to the security forces that will likely be called upon to forcibly evacuate the disputed house, going on to say that the evacuation will bring with it "violence, hatred, polarization and a weakening of the IDF."

Federman: Greater Israel will be realized -
Noam Federman, whose farm near Kiryat Arba was evacuated and demolished by security forces in late October, told the conference that he and others were raising their children according to the teachings of Rabbi Kahane.

"He taught us how never to give in. My children were never dupes, and they fought as much as they could," he said.

Federman described the evacuation of his farm as "a pogrom," and prophesized that the vision of Greater Israel would be realized in spite of the Israeli government. "What these villains did desecrated the name of God. They came like thieves in the night, many versus few, but we rebuilt the farm. They destroy and we build. Every time it ends they emerge battered and bruised while we come back and rebuild. That is the way it should be.

"I salute my children, who have gone above and beyond. We have healthy youths, they don't suffer from the confusion and hesitation the adults are afflicted with."

Federman said that those who evacuate settlers "hate us because they know we don't give up and we don't compromise, even when the price is heavy. They should be punished from heaven, and punished from down here as well."

Wave of attacks on rabbis hits Europe

Itamar Eichner YnetNews

A wave of anti-Semitism and attacks against rabbis has been plaguing Eastern and Western Europe, and in just two weeks three rabbis in three different cities were harassed by locals.

The first incident took place in Berlin, Germany, when 36-year-old Rabbi Yehuda Teichtel was driving eight of his students in a minivan. Local police reported that two unknown persons in a Mercedes passed the van and blocked it from proceeding, crying insults of an anti-Semitic nature.

The driver of the vehicle then threw a molotov cocktail at the van, but luckily it did not explode and rabbi and students remained unharmed.

The second incident took place in Russia, when an anonymous man attacked the head rabbi of Vladivostok, Yisroel Silberstein, while the latter was walking through the center of town.

The man struck the rabbi on the head, knocking him unconscious. When he regained consciousness he stumbled home and called rescue services. Doctors diagnosed him with a concussion, and the police launched an investigation. In response Silverstein said, "The attack could have ended much worse."

The third incident took place a few days ago in the Czech Republic, when three skinheads attacked Rabbi Michael Yeruham, who has been living with his family in Prague for six years.

Yeruham was attacked as he was leaving a restaurant, which he had to inspect as part of his office as chief of kashrut in the Czech capital's Jewish community. "They called out anti-Semitic insults and pushed me," he recounted.

"One of them kicked me. I tried to defend myself; I was in the army and I still remember a bit of 'krav maga'. Then I returned to the restaurant and called for help. Meanwhile they threw two stones; one of them hit my foot and the other hit the door of the restaurant.

"We threw the stones back at them. They started to run but bumped into the Jewish community's security officers, who called the police. The men were arrested and confessed that they had come to hurt Jews."

The Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFSA) in the Prime Minister's Office expressed its growing concern over the recent increase of events of this nature. One explanation for the trend is the global financial crisis, which provides anti-Semites with an excuse to blame Jews.

Other reports include threats on Jewish centers, the spraying of anti-Semitic slurs and swastikas on Jewish homes and synagogues, attempts to torch Jewish homes, and the desecration of Holocaust monuments.

When will Israel respond?

by Moshe Elad 11.13.08

I’ll start with the bottom line: The moderate and sane Arab world is expecting an Israeli blow against Hamas’ leadership, including its organizational infrastructure and resources. In the face of what’s been happening recently, there is quiet and anxious expectation for “Israel to respond already,” because the Arabs are uneasy about seeing Hamas creating a balance of terror vis-à-vis Israel.

One of the main arguments of Hamas heads vis-à-vis Yasser Arafat was that as Palestinian Authority president he failed in creating such balance of terror. The angry Arafat prided himself in the 1990s on “Barghouti’s Tanzim,” a militant group comprising thousands of gunmen who “objected” to peace with Israel; thereby, Arafat could claim that simultaneously to the peace process, the PA is also leading some resistance.

Yet the truth is that Arafat was appreciated and admired because he did not threaten Israel with a deterring balance of terror. Hamas, just like Hizbullah – another ostracized and criticized Islamic group – was talking about a whole different kind of balance of terror. Back in those days already, it was preparing a network of bombers and recruited legions of suicide terrorists with the aim of hurting Israel as much as is possible. “Once we take power,” Hamas leaders said at the time,” we shall teach the Zionist enemy all about a balance of terror.”

They said they would do it, and they did. There are those who mistakenly interpreted Hamas’ willingness to agree to the latest lull as the interest of a boxer seeking to avoid a knockout blow by taking a break. “People in the know” claimed that Hamas was on the brink of collapse and that the lull saved it from disaster, no less. Yet now it turns out that the aspiration for a lull was a well planed tactical phase in creating a system of deterrence vis-à-vis our leaders in Jerusalem.

Overall, every move undertaken by Hamas, ranging from fundraising abroad to deploying its forces on the frontlines vis-à-vis Israel, must not be received with simplistic and disparaging interpretations. When one hears the declarations made by Hamas spokespersons, and when one sees the order among its ranks, as opposed to the chaos that prevailed among Arafat’s people, it would be good to address what goes on in Gaza with a little more seriousness.

The penny dropped for decision-makers in Jerusalem recently, yet it appears it has not dropped completely yet. Suddenly, our leaders are concerned about the price paid by Israel in the wake of the lull with Hamas; a price that manifests itself through huge quantities of smuggled weapons meant to be used against Israel’s southern cities at the moment of truth.

So why hasn’t the penny dropped completely yet? Because Hamas expected Israel to punish the group for its actions militarily, rather than by using civilian means – a type of response that lacks real meaning in the Strip. Our reluctance to violate the lull despite the Qassam rocket attacks is being perceived by Hamas as an inability to target its leaders as we did in the past.

Image of weakness

Hamas interprets Israel’s conduct as grave weakness by those who sacrifice strategic principles in exchange for short-term relative quiet – therefore, Hamas is celebrating its victory. Sources in the Strip dismiss the frequent border crossing closures in response to lull violations by opposition elements. They don’t get overly excited by it, and look who they sent to respond to it in the media…the official in charge of electricity supply. The equation is clear: Israel is battling “peaceful” residents and fighting generators and supermarkets. In Hamas’ view, Israel is scared to confront the group’s leaders.

Hamas is rubbing its hands with glee: In the dilemma between enabling the group’s threatening military buildup in exchange for short-term relative quiet and the daily Qassam attacks and disruption of life in Sderot and the Gaza region, Israel chose the first option, just like Hamas hoped it would. Hamas conducts itself like a government that does not fear an IDF invasion. If in the past this was only done for domestic purposes, recently the movement has been conveying outwardly as well the achievement of creating a balance of terror vis-à-vis Israel.

Some will say this isn’t true, and that Israel still deters Hamas. However, the bombing of the Syrian reactor and the assassination of Imad Mugniyah and other terror figures, which have been attributed to Israel by the international media, have not prompted Hamas to engage in any second thoughts. On the contrary, Hamas believes that it, along with Hizbullah, serves as the only Arab bridgehead threatening Israel’s existence.

The common perception among Arab commentators is that Israel has ceased to be the “threatening Israel.” Observers are trying to figure out who advises Israel’s leaders to adopt the kind of moves we see in Gaza. Arab observers are likening Israel to a giant whose arms are tied behind its back, while it idly watches the “tunnel youth” flooding the Strip with bombs that can target Israeli communities far away from Gaza.

Venomous contempt is directed at Israeli and Egyptian negotiators, who instead of creating deterrence vis-à-vis Hamas capitulate in the face of its demands time and again, in order to secure yet another day of quiet. Israel’s leaders are portrayed as men in dresses (a hint to the costume used by Defense Minister Barak during an Israeli operation in Beirut in the 1970s,) a harsh image of weakness accompanied by idle threats.

Between the lines, we can understand that the sane Arab world objects to Hamas’ conduct, even if quietly. If there is a sort of consensus in the Arab world regarding who should not be “ruling the territories,” the answer is Hamas. Therefore, the repeated question is: How long will Israel show restraint? How far would Israel let Hamas go? That is, when will Israel announce its intention to deliver a powerful blow against Hamas leaders and its organizational infrastructure? Observers in Amman, Cairo, Rabat, and Riyadh will not be sorry to see it happening.

Colonel (res.) Moshe Elad served in various posts in the territories and currently researches Palestinian society at the Shmuel Neeman Institute at the Technion. He also serves as a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College.

Arab Students at UC Berkeley Disrupt Israel Event, Attack Jews

by David Shamma


Arab students disrupted a pro-Israel event at the campus of the University of California at Berkely Thursday night, unfurling a large Palestinian flag in front of a crowd of hundreds of supporters of Israel who were enjoying a pro-Israel hip-hop concert. The event was sponsored by the Zionist Freedom Alliance student group.

The Palestinian students unfurled the large flag on a balcony above the outdoor site where the concert was taking place, inciting a provocation right in front of the concert-goers, who were enjoying the event as part of the campus' Israel Liberation Week. Several Jewish concertgoers went into the building to ask the Palestinians to remove the flag – but were viciously attacked, with one male concertgoer knocked down from a blow on the back of his head, witnesses said.

College alumnus Gabe Weiner, who was helping run the concert, was hit by the head of the anti-Israel group, Husam Zakharia, who also attacked one of the performers, Yehuda De Sa. The fight was finally broken up by John Moghtader, a senator in the UC Berkelely student organization. Police were called in and arrested Zakharia along with others from his group, charging them with battery. Witnesses said that the Arab students shouted anti-Semitic curses and epithets throughout the incident, calling the Jews “Nazis” and “dogs,” and threatening to kill them. According to one witness, as many as 20 anti-Israel students participated in the attacks.

In a statement, the Zionist Freedom Alliance said “we call on state officials, the President of the University of California, the Chancellor, the Dean of Students, faculty, and the student body to take a unified stand against the continued harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students on this campus, particularly by members of Students for Justice in Palestine,” the anti-Israel group whose leaders began the incitement and attacked the concertgoers.

Pro-Israel students at UC Berkeley have long complained of the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic harassment they have been subject to. Tikvah, a Jewish student group at the college, displayed on its web site ( numerous examples of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti, with anti-Israel elements defacing property with their screed. Jewish students complained that the only media coverage given to the event, in the Berkeley campus newspaper, was one sided. “Funny how the battery citation against Husam of SJP isn't even mentioned [in the article], and the comment which purports to be from an objective bystander is actually from one of the top people in Students for Justice in Palestine,” commented Ariel, one of the concertgoers.

Meanwhile, the anti-Israel group is planning to file a petition to remove from office Moghtader, who tried to break up the fight.

November 15, 2008

Obama's Ominous Storm Clouds For Israel...

Column One: The perils ahead
Nov. 14, 2008

US President-elect Barack Obama has properly sought to maintain a low
profile in foreign affairs in this transition period ahead of his January
inauguration. But while Obama has stipulated that the US can have only one
president at a time, his aides and advisers are signaling that he intends to
move US foreign policy in a sharply different direction from its current
trajectory once he assumes office.
And they are signaling that this new direction will be applied most
immediately and directly to US policy toward the Middle East.
Early in the Democratic Party's primary season, the Obama campaign released
a list of the now-president-elect's foreign policy advisers to The
Washington Post. The list raised a great deal of concern in policy circles,
particularly among supporters of the US-Israel alliance. It included
outspoken critics of Israel such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as
national security adviser under president Jimmy Carter, and Robert Malley,
who served as a junior Middle East aide to president Bill Clinton. Both men
are deeply hostile to Israel and both have called repeatedly for the US to
end its strategic alliance with Israel.
In the months that followed the list's publication, the Obama campaign
sought to distance itself from both men as the president-elect's advisers
worked to position Obama as a centrist candidate.
Brzezinski was cast aside in February when he headed a delegation to Syria
to meet with President Bashar Assad. The purpose of his "fact-finding"
mission was to castigate the Bush administration for its refusal to pursue
Syria as an ally, and to decry Damascus's international isolation caused by
its support for the insurgency in Iraq, its strategic alliance with Iran,
its support for Hizbullah as well as Hamas and al-Qaida, its illicit nuclear
program and its subversion of the pro-Western Lebanese government.
To Brzezinski's dismay, his mission was overtaken by events. The depth of
Syria's support for terror was graphically displayed during his visit when
arch-Iranian/Lebanese terrorist Imad Mughniyeh was killed in Damascus the
day after he called on Assad.
Although he was a junior staffer in Clinton's National Security Council,
since 2000 Malley has used his Clinton administration credentials to pave
his emergence as one of America's most outspoken apologists for Palestinian
terrorism against Israel. Immediately after the failed July 2000 Camp David
peace summit, Malley invented the Palestinian "narrative" of the summit's
proceedings. While Clinton, then-prime minister Ehud Barak, and Ambassador
Dennis Ross, who served as Clinton's chief negotiator, have all concurred
that Yasser Arafat torpedoed the prospects of peace when he refused Barak's
offer of Palestinian statehood, Malley claimed falsely that Israel was to
blame for the failure of the talks.
In succeeding years, he has expanded his condemnation of Israel. He insists
that not only Palestinian aggression, but Syrian, Lebanese and Iranian
attacks against Israel are all Israel's fault. The Obama campaign distanced
itself from Malley in May after the Times of London reported that he was
meeting regularly with Hamas terror leaders.
As the election drew closer, the Obama campaign expanded its efforts to
present its candidate as a foreign policy moderate. Moderate foreign policy
advisers such as Ross were paraded before reporters. Both Obama and his
surrogates insisted that he supports a strong American alliance with Israel.
Obama abandoned his earlier pledge to withdraw all US forces from Iraq by
2010. He attempted to temper and later deny his public pledge to hold direct
negotiations with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without
Due in large part to media credulousness, Obama's new image as a centrist
was widely accepted by the public. And it is likely that he owes a
significant portion of his support in the American Jewish community to the
campaign's success in distancing Obama from men like Brzezinski and Malley.
BUT NOW that the campaign is over, it appears that as his critics warned,
Obama's moves toward the center on issues relating to the Middle East were
little more than campaign tactics to obscure his true policy preferences.
Two days after his election, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius gave a
sense of the direction in which Obama will likely take US foreign policy.
And, apparently directed by Obama's campaign staff, Ignatius based much of
his column on his belief that Obama's foreign policy views have been shaped
by his "informal" adviser, Brzezinski.
Based on what Brzezinski and Obama's "official" campaign told him, Ignatius
wrote that the two major issues where Obama's foreign policy is likely to
diverge from Bush's right off the bat are Israel and Iran. Obama, he
claimed, will want to push hard to force Israel to come to an agreement with
the Palestinians as soon as he comes into office. As for Iran, Obama plans
to move immediately to improve US relations with the
nuclear-weapons-building ayatollahs.
As for Malley, an aide of his told Frontpage magazine this week that acting
on Obama's instructions, Malley traveled to Cairo and Damascus after Obama's
electoral victory to tell Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Assad that
"the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and
Syrian interests."
In a related story, Hamas terror operative Ahmad Youssef told the
London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that in the months leading up to his
election, Obama's advisers held steady contacts with the leaders of the
terror group in Gaza, and had asked that Hamas keep the meetings secret in
order not to harm Obama's chances of being elected.
Both Obama's transition team and Hamas leaders were quick to deny Youssef's
statements. Yet, together with the earlier Times of London story about
Malley's contacts with Hamas and the new revelations about Malley serving as
Obama's unofficial Middle East envoy, the Al-Hayat report has the ring of
Even more foreboding than these reports are statements by Obama's foreign
policy advisers regarding his plans to open direct contacts with Iran. On
Wednesday The Washington Post reported that Obama intends to move quickly to
seek an accommodation with Iran regarding Afghanistan. Obama's advisers
assert that such a deal is possible because as far as they are concerned,
the Shi'ite Iranians oppose Sunni jihadists just as much as the US does.
But the facts do not support this view. Top US and British military
commanders have asserted repeatedly that Iran is a major sponsor of the
Taliban and al-Qaida in their war against the Afghan government and NATO
forces in the country. Since 2006, Iran has provided advanced weapons, money
and political support to the Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents in the country.

The Obama team's rejection of the demonstrated reality of Iran's support for
the Taliban and al-Qaida in favor of a policy based on the fantasy that it
is possible to cut a deal with the ayatollahs will undoubtedly not be his
last move in the mullahs' direction. It will likely be quickly followed by
an offer to conduct direct, high level talks with Iran's leaders about their
nuclear weapons program.
What is most disturbing about Obama's emerging foreign policy is not simply
that it ignores the reality on the ground - a reality that clearly
demonstrates that Iran and its Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese surrogates
are implacable foes of Israel and America and therefore not interested in
being appeased. It is also not just the fact that it sends a signal of
American weakness to Iran and its proxies just as Iran reaches the nuclear
threshold. And Obama's emerging foreign policy is not merely disconcerting
because by speaking with Iran and its proxies, Obama will be legitimizing
the genocidal regime in Teheran.
WHAT IS most alarming about Obama's emerging foreign policy toward Iran and
its proxies on the one hand and Israel on the other is that it will cause
actual harm to the Jewish state.
By pressuring Israel to cede land to Syria and the Palestinians, Obama's
apparent foreign policy will provide Iran with still more territory from
which to attack Israel both through its terror proxies and with its
expanding ballistic missile arsenal. By embracing the Syrian regime in spite
of its support for terrorism, its nuclear proliferation activities and its
subversion of Lebanon, the incoming Obama administration will embolden Syria
to increase its subversion of Lebanon and Iraq, while strengthening its ties
to Iran still further.
As for direct talks with Iran itself, the question immediately arises, what
could Obama offer Teheran in exchange for an end to its nuclear program that
Bush hasn't already offered?
What it can offer is Israel.
Over the past few years, Obama's top nuclear nonproliferation adviser, Joe
Cirincione, has repeatedly advocated placing Israel's nuclear arsenal on the
negotiating table and offering it up in exchange for an Iranian pledge to
end its nuclear program. Defense Secretary Robert Gates - whom Obama is
considering retaining - insinuated in his 2006 confirmation hearings that
Iran is only building nuclear weapons to defend itself against Israel.
Gates, it should be recalled, has been instrumental in convincing Bush not
only not to attack Iran's nuclear installations, but not to support an
Israeli attack against Iran's nuclear installations.
What is profoundly distressing about statements by men like Cirincione and
Gates is what they tell us about the strategic reasoning informing the
incoming Obama administration. Their views echo those voiced by advocates of
American abandonment of Israel such as Professors Steve Walt and John
Mearshimer. Walt and Mearshimer argue that Iran is not a threat to US
interests or to global security because in the event that the mullahs
acquire nuclear weapons, they are likely to view them merely as a deterrent
against Iran's enemies. And as a result, Iran will respond as the Soviet
Union did to a deterrent model based on mutually assured destruction.
This view is contradicted by Iran's open advocacy of Israel's destruction,
and its declared willingness to absorb a nuclear attack in return for
destroying Israel. But assuming that this is how the Obama team views Iran,
they should be the last ones advocating Israeli disarmament. Because if this
is their view, then by their own reasoning, Israel's presumed nuclear
arsenal is necessary to deter Teheran from attacking. And if as Cirincione
advocates, Obama intends to place Israel's nuclear arsenal on the
negotiating table, he will effectively be giving Iran a green light to
attack Israel with nuclear weapons.
All of the Obama team's post-election/pre-inaugural foreign policy signals
place Israel's next government - which will only be elected on February 10 -
in an extraordinarily difficult position.
It is not just that their positions make clear that the Obama administration
will do nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The Obama
team's pre-inaugural signals indicate strongly that Israel's next government
will need to strike Iran's nuclear installations before two rapidly
approaching deadlines.
The strike will have to occur before the mullahs enrich sufficient
quantities of highly enriched uranium to produce nuclear bombs. And Israel
will need to neutralize Iran's nuclear program before the Obama
administration begins implementing America's new foreign policy.