May 26, 2010

Feiglin: US statement shows Netanyahu lied

Likud activist Moshe Feiglin demanded that the party conduct a revote on its decision 10 days ago that he lost to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after the US State Department revealed on Sunday night that the government had pledged not to build in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood for two years.

Netanyahu easily defeated Feiglin’s loyalists in a vote of Likud central committee members that postponed elections for all the party’s institutions. Netanyahu turned the vote into a battle between him and Feiglin, while Feiglin painted it as a fight over the future of Jerusalem.

Likud rightists such as Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin and Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon backed Netanyahu in the vote, promising that Netanyahu would not freeze building in Jerusalem and would never divide the city.

“The American announcement proved that I was correct when I said that Netanyahu would allow a freeze in Jerusalem, and I think it also proves that I am correct and nearly the entire faction that stood behind Netanyahu is wrong when they say he won’t divide Jerusalem, and I say that whatever Bibi says, the opposite is true,” Feiglin said on Sunday night.

Feiglin’s spokesman briefed him about the American announcement while he was discussing whether his Manhigut Yehudit [Jewish Leadership] forum should leave the Likud, in a meeting with some 40 of his loyalists at a private home in Jerusalem.

Manhigut Yehudit director-general Michael Fuah said after the meeting that most of the people who attended said the Likud under Netanyahu was no more democratic than Israel Beiteinu under Avigdor Lieberman. Referring to the prime minister’s nickname, he called Netanyahu “Bieberman.”

Likud MKs said Netanyahu had told the Likud faction very clearly two weeks ago that building in Jerusalem would continue.

He said we “will never stop building in Jerusalem due to the Palestinians demands just like the US would not stop building in Washington at the request of the Taliban,” MK Danny Danon said.

Habayit Hayehudi faction chairman Zevulun Orlev warned on Sunday night that “if Bibi won’t build in Jerusalem, he won’t be able to build on this coalition.”

May 22, 2010

Melanie Phillips on a World Gone Mad

Melanie Phillips, the British journalist, is author of The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power. As the title suggests, the book covers a lot of ground. Phillips touches on much of it in an interview with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What’s notable about the current “apparent mass departure from rationality”?

MELANIE PHILLIPS: What I have found so striking is that, in this supposed age of reason, there is such an implacable refusal, over a wide and disparate range of issues, to acknowledge the authority of factual evidence over opinion, or distinguish truth from propaganda and lies, or differentiate between justice and injustice, victim and victimizer. More than that, this phenomenon is confined to the supposed custodians of reason, the intelligentsia; and some of the most prominent of these often-militant “rationalists” propound assertions that are demonstrably irrational.

Even more striking is that this repudiation of reason is associated with the most fashionable and progressive causes — anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism, environmentalism, moral and cultural relativism, multiculturalism, scientism. Yet they promote not just irrationality but a return to primitivism, pre-modern levels of social disorder, and the persecution of dissenters.

LOPEZ: What does a self-described “agnostic” care about God?

PHILLIPS: You don’t have to be a religious believer to understand that if religion — more specifically, the Hebrew Bible and the Christianity that built upon it — underpins Western civilization and the codes of right and wrong — putting others above yourself, freedom and equality, and belief in reason — that form the bedrock of that civilization, then eroding or destroying that religion will erode or destroy those virtues and the civilization they distinguish.

LOPEZ: You write that progressives, Islamists, environmentalists, fascists, militant atheists, and religious fanatics are “united by a common desire to bring about through human agency the perfection of the world.” Is this becoming more apparent?

PHILLIPS: It may seem strange to lump all these ideologies together since they are all so different. But, when you look at them, it is immediately apparent that they are all at root Utopian, millenarian visions of the perfection of the world through human agency — the age-old recipe for totalitarian terror. The idea that fascism is in a wholly different place from the Left is in my view quite misplaced: Although conventionally one is described as “right” and the other as “left,” this is historically and philosophically inaccurate; they share common roots in the repudiation of individual reason and liberty.

One of the mysteries of the age is the way “progressives” who fetishize sexual freedom, gay rights, female equality, and the like march shoulder to shoulder with Islamists who stone adulterers, kill gays, and subjugate women. They share a common desire to destroy the cultural traditions and normative values of the West — all in the cause of creating the perfect society, which creates in turn a totalitarian mindset, which links religious fanatics and the political tyrannies of both Communism and fascism.

To some of us, this is very apparent — but many who are in the grip of these delusions are frighteningly incapable of understanding what it is that they don’t understand.

LOPEZ: Why do you put the word “progressives” in quotation marks?

PHILLIPS: Glad you asked that! Because there’s nothing progressive about the totalitarian fanatics of the Left, even though they claim that label for themselves. One of our biggest problems is the hijacking of language by the Left, which has turned words such as “liberal,” “tolerant,” and “progressive” into their very opposites. I do believe in being progressive in the true sense — the authentic, classical-liberal goal of creating a better society by encouraging the good and discouraging the bad. But to achieve that, we have to reclaim the language of social progress for its true meaning, which is based on a proper differentiation between right and wrong, truth and lies, justice and injustice. Until we do that, we allow ourselves to be co-opted into the discourse of moral and intellectual inversion, and we allow the lunatics to run the asylum.

I do hope that this language is not politically incorrect.

LOPEZ: Are there really a hundred thousand practicing pagans in Britain today? There’s a Pagan Police Association?

PHILLIPS: Yup! It’s testimony, is it not, to the rich diversity of diversity in Britain? We all have to keep straight faces while our police officers take official leave to dance naked ’round a pile of stones.

LOPEZ: So Islam is not London’s only religion problem.

PHILLIPS: The real problem in Britain is not Islam but the vacuum in British culture which Islam is opportunistically attempting to fill. That vacuum has been caused by the retreat and surrender of the Christian church under the tide of secularism and aggressive atheism. This has opened the door not to an age of reason but to an epidemic of paganism — environmentalism, or worship of the earth, is the most conspicuous example, but there’s lots of other absurd stuff, too, such as seances, crystals, astrology, and the like. The Islamization of Britain is only taking place because the spiritual playing field has been abandoned to hyper-individualism and irrationality. The U.S. isn’t immune to this madness by the way — just look at Madonna and “Kabbalah” (not).

LOPEZ: How is “Londonistan” faring? Any better? Any worse?

PHILLIPS: Better in the narrow but obviously highly important sense that our security people have picked up on and stopped so many Islamist plots against Britain. But just as bad, or even worse, in the degree to which the political and security establishments still refuse to acknowledge that Britain and the West are the victims of a religious war, an Islamic jihad. They refuse to use the terms “Islamic extremism” or “Islamic terrorism.” Sound familiar?

Worse, they believe that the Muslim Brotherhood — who are the spiritual fathers of al-Qaeda and Hamas amongst others, and whose aim is to reestablish the medieval Islamic caliphate and conquer the world for Islam — are just a bunch of harmless religious nuts who can be used to divert impressionable young British Muslims away from terror. So they actually employ such Islamic extremists in government — as advisers against Islamic extremism. They are doing nothing to halt the advance of a parallel sharia jurisdiction and are even welcoming sharia finance. Only people who have lost touch with rationality in general can be so blind, surely.

LOPEZ: Why does Princess Diana remain an important cultural case study?

PHILLIPS: The hysteria over Princess Diana was a spectacular example of the tendency towards psychological projection, in which the public projects its deepest fears and fantasies onto a public figure who is held to transcend disadvantage. At its worst, this process makes the celebrity into a kind of sainted figure. A similar kind of pathological projection took Barack Obama into the White House.

LOPEZ: Tell me about “kitsch emotion,” what it is, and why it’s important to recognize.

PHILLIPS: Kitsch emotion replaces real feelings, such as love or grief, with a sentimentalized pastiche that is, at root, all about making the person feel good about himself. Thus, as with the death of Diana, people advertise their moral worth with open displays of grief over someone they only knew as a media construct; emotional restraint is seen not as an admirable stoicism but as evidence of callousness.

These are emotions for a narcissistic age; they are all about the self, not about looking out for other people. It’s important to recognize this so that we can distinguish them from the real thing — which otherwise will become confused and may be lost altogether, along with our concern for others and our whole understanding of the difference between what is true and what is false.

LOPEZ: How can Britain be “post-religious” when religion seems to be an issue there?

PHILLIPS: It’s post-Christian, to be more precise; in other words, the indigenous population has turned away from faith in and adherence to the doctrines and moral precepts of the religion that underpins British society. By comparison with the U.S., Britain is pretty godless.

LOPEZ: “People didn’t want to hear about the anti-white, anti-Western church to which he had belonged for twenty years, nor about his questionable associations with people in Chicago’s corrupt political machine, nor about his friendships with and tutelage by anti-Western radicals.” Is this at the heart of so many problems? People simply don’t want to know?

PHILLIPS: Yes, it’s human nature, unfortunately, to hide heads in sand and hope unpleasant things will just go away. But what’s so alarming now is the extent to which people are allowing emotionalism and wishful fantasies to delude them, especially at such a dangerous juncture for the world. The way in which the American public refused to acknowledge the evidence of Obama’s radical background and thus elected an anti-Western radical to the White House was indeed a conspicuous example of this flight from reality.

LOPEZ: Has the public fully appreciated the significance of the Climate Research Unit fraud?

PHILLIPS: One of the striking aspects of mass ideological delusion is a refusal to acknowledge even the clearest evidence of the intellectual and moral corruption at its core. The gerrymandering of scientific evidence by the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, in order to uphold the theory of anthropogenic global warming in the face of evidence that the earth was not warming at all, has been pushed aside as either an artificially created uproar or, at worst, an error of judgment by one hard-pressed scientist.

It was far worse than that, of course, because the various scientists involved had been for years absolutely central to the promulgation of AGW theory; and what the leaked emails revealed was their instinctive impulse to wrench the facts to fit their prior assumptions. Most chilling of all was their unshakeable certainty that they had a duty thus to wrench that evidence — in order to demonstrate the truth of the theory, because it was simply impossible that there could be evidence to the contrary.

What was also glossed over or missed altogether in the uproar over East Anglia was that AGW theory has been sustained on the back of one scientific fraud or sloppy and flawed research exercise after another. Yet astonishingly, it is still being promoted quite shamelessly by those for whom there can simply be no contradiction to the theory, and who thus project in turn all the falsehoods and frauds onto the skeptic side of the argument. It is surely the biggest exercise in totalitarian thought-reversal and reality-denial since Stalinism.

LOPEZ: If it is “demonstrably untrue” that “Bush lied, people died,” how has it taken root so deeply?

PHILLIPS: Through the refusal of a highly ideological media — composed of visceral Bush-haters, Israel-bashers, and transnational “progressives” — to report what was actually out there in terms of evidence or even follow the elementary rules of logic on the related topics of the Iraq war they had overwhelmingly opposed and the Islamic jihad they blamed on Israel. As a result, simple facts, such as the reasons Bush or Blair actually gave for the war or what the Iraq Survey Group actually found, were airbrushed out of the debate, and history was effectively rewritten — with virtually no dissent allowed.

LOPEZ: What is scientific triumphalism? Does harping on it make you anti-science?

PHILLIPS: Scientific triumphalism is the belief that scientific materialism alone has the answers to all the questions in the universe. This causes science to overreach beyond its proper realm, seeking to explain what is explicable, into claiming to explain what is inexplicable, which is properly the realm of religion. The attempt to use materialism to explain what it cannot explain causes promoters of scientism to become irrational. So pointing this out is certainly not anti-science. It is against the perversion of science.

LOPEZ: Is there a secular inquisition?

PHILLIPS: Yes. By that, I mean that secular ideologies such as environmentalism, anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism, scientism, moral relativism, multiculturalism, and so forth have a quasi-religious belief that they embody a revealed truth that cannot permit any challenge. And yet all these ideologies, which are militantly secular and which hold that religion is a source of irrationality and oppression, resemble to an uncanny degree the millenarian beliefs of Christianity in the Middle Ages and Islam through the ages; their dogmatic belief in a revealed truth of sin, guilt, and redemption caused heretics to be persecuted. Today, we have secular inquisitions in which heretics are also persecuted for expressing forbidden ideas that challenge the received assumption of “virtue”; thus we have the demonization of dissenters.

LOPEZ: What is the “Middle East Witch-Hunt”?

PHILLIPS: Medieval witch-hunts involved singling out certain women as scapegoats and then killing them for crimes of which they were innocent but of which they found themselves incapable of proving their innocence because the case against them was rigged. In Britain in particular, but also in parts of Europe and on American campuses (see the Mearsheimer/Walt calumny), there is an obsessive malice toward Israel which goes far beyond reasoned debate and has become a pathological scapegoating of a nation.

The treatment of Israel by the left-wing Western intelligentsia is unique in its irrationality and moral and historical inversion. It takes a nation that is the historic victim of aggression and blames it for jeopardizing peace in the region and causing Islamic extremism worldwide — despite demonstrable evidence that this is simply untrue. It accuses Israel, wholly falsely, of “apartheid” and ethnic cleansing when Israeli Arabs have full civil rights and the Palestinian population has increased many times over — and when Jews are excluded from parts of the Arab world (including the putative state of Palestine).

It takes a nation that has been under exterminatory attack for six decades (nine, if you include the Palestine Mandate) and insists that it make compromises with its attackers, even as they continue to attack it. And if any Jew dares protest at the manifest injustice, lies, and bigotry in this unique delegitimization, they find themselves accused of “dual loyalty” or being part of a covert global conspiracy to put the world at risk.

LOPEZ: With polls suggesting President Obama is hurting with Jewish voters, are there signs that Jewish voters may divorce themselves from the Left?

PHILLIPS: No; the world would surely stop turning on its axis were this to happen. More seriously, of course some may do so; and Orthodox Jews are already more inclined to vote Republican. But among liberal Jews, the most I would expect is a turning away from Obama — if even that — rather than a divorce from the Democratic party.

LOPEZ: Does the BBC hate Jews?

PHILLIPS: No, not Jews per se. The BBC simply embodies the world-view of the Left, which demonizes Israel and holds America responsible for Israel’s behavior. Of course, you might say that is itself a form of Jew-hatred, but that is an argument that needs to be unpacked.

LOPEZ: What can be done about anti-Semitism in the West? Elsewhere?

PHILLIPS: Jew-hatred, as I prefer to call it, can surely never be eradicated. But the lies that currently fuel it — lies about Israel’s behavior, the history of the Middle East, and so on — should be publicly confronted and exploded. Similarly, the ways in which the blood libels about the Jews pouring out of the Arab and Muslim worlds are poisoning minds not just in that world but in the West should also be prominently discussed, along with the continuity between the Arab/Palestinian agenda and that of the Nazis, whose allies they once were.

One of the main problems is the silence of Israel on this mass derangement in the West, and its failure to challenge it forensically and systematically. This has left an intellectual vacuum into which bigotry flows. While the irrationality of Jew-hatred cannot be defeated by reason, there are many in Britain and the West who are not natural bigots but are actually people of high-minded conscience, who have merely been indoctrinated with falsehoods about Israel that are never publicly challenged. Some of those people, at least, can certainly be reached by addressing their ignorance.

LOPEZ: Is relativism the problem? How do you combat it?

PHILLIPS: Relativism, or the belief that there is no hierarchy of values, not even truth over lies, is at the root of these problems. In my view, it is a product of aggressive secularism, and thus can only be addressed by a return to Judeo-Christian values and beliefs.

LOPEZ: What’s so special about Britain? Why and how is it at the forefront?

PHILLIPS: Britain is particularly godless, as discussed above. It is thus furthest advanced in social, cultural, and moral breakdown, hugely exacerbated by the loss of its belief in itself as a nation and the demoralization — in every sense — that has followed from that. But as the parent of the English-speaking world, it still punches culturally far above its weight. Where it leads today, others will surely follow. And since Britain was first into the Enlightenment and is now first out, America and the rest of the West should be concerned.

LOPEZ: How close behind — or ahead — is the U.S.?

PHILLIPS: The U.S. is relatively well protected through Middle America, which is still overwhelmingly God-fearing and committed to the American nation and its particular values. But all the things I’ve been talking about are nevertheless steadily encroaching. The culture wars have been raging in the U.S. for decades now, and the universities are particularly porous to these noxious ideologies. And then there’s Obama . . .

LOPEZ: Is the existence of the EU part of the problem?

PHILLIPS: The EU is the embodiment of the doctrine to which the Left now subscribes: “transnational progressivism,” or the belief that the nation is illegitimate and is trumped by supranational institutions and laws promoting the Brotherhood of Man through “universal” values. This is deeply anti-democratic and secularizing, standing against the particulars of creed or culture. So yes, the EU is both symptom and, partly, cause of this problem.

LOPEZ: What was the most alarming fact you learned during the course of writing your book?

PHILLIPS: The full extent of the persecution of dissidents from all these ideologies within the academy.

LOPEZ: What was the most consoling fact you learned during the course of writing The World Turned Upside Down?

PHILLIPS: That so many, many people throughout the West think as I do.

LOPEZ: If every reader took one action item from your book, what would you want it to be?

PHILLIPS: To make known the truth about the monstrous misrepresentation of Israel, the key and normative issue of our time from which so much else follows.

— Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.

May 21, 2010

10 Reasons Israel Needs Moshe Feiglin:

10 Reasons Israel Needs Feiglin:

Because Israel needs...

1- A leader who will ensure that Israel remains a Jewish state.

2- A leader with personal integrity who will be loyal to you - the Jewish majority in Israel.

3- Jewish Education for every Jewish child.

4- A modern and open economy based on Jewish values.

5- To defeat its enemies - not to flee from them.

6- A leader to restore justice to the justice system.

7- A courageous leader to deal with Israel’s Arabs.

8- Unbiased media open to the entire nation.

9- A moral society.

10- A leader who believes in G-d, the Jewish People, and the completeness of the Land of Israel.

7 Questions with Danny Ayalon

Q1: Let’s get right to Israel’s most pressing priority in international relations. If you had your way, what would you like to see the world do in confronting the danger from Iran?

Ayalon: The international community has connected the dots and even the greatest skeptics agree that Iran is up to no good in a relentless fashion. But Iran has not yet crossed the point of no return. We still have 12-18 months where we can stop them, and I believe the sanction route is the most viable at this time. Iran is a very weak country and it will not be able to sustain crippling sanctions. I think it is possible to get them to change their behavior. They have political problems, social problems and economic problems. There is more there than meets the eye. With a unified front of diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions, we can succeed.

Q2: It has been said that Israeli security is threatened by a growing public perception of Israel as an illegitimate pariah state. At a recent talk at Oxford, you were heckled with shouts of “slaughter the Jews.” What can be done to counteract this?

Ayalon: This was unfortunately not an isolated incident by a bunch of teenage rabble-rousers. It is orchestrated from the highest echelons of the Palestinian leadership, as part of the campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel. We need to film and document all their activities, and turn that information over to the police. This removes their ability to act without regard for ethical norms or the law. This will deter them from crossing the line into murderous incitement.

Secondly, we need to train Israeli students to become roving ambassadors on the campuses, and concurrently launch programs to reach Jewish students on the campuses. This is not just “hasbara”; this is an integral aspect of our foreign policy.

Q3: It seems that nothing will ever change the fact that the State of Israel exists in a hostile region. What is our greatest weapon in this battle for survival?

Ayalon: In our short history, we have fought on many fronts. The Arabs outnumber us 100-to-1, but they could not defeat us militarily – and look where we are today, with the most powerful army in the Middle East. They also tried to destroy us economically with the Arab boycott; not only did they not succeed, but today our economy is among the healthiest in the world. We stopped the terrorism with our intelligence and other tactics like the security barrier. Now they are trying political and legal warfare. And they will not succeed there either.

But in the end, it is not our military or economic might that keeps us strong as a people. Rather it is our Torah and our tradition. This is the essential ingredient. But to harness this power we need to know Jewish history and be connected to the Torah. I know many secular Israelis who are opposed to religion. I think it is unwise. They are cutting off their own roots, the source of this strength.

Q4: You take time out of your busy schedule to learn Torah every week with an Aish HaTorah rabbi. Why do you do this?

Ayalon: I love Aish. They are reaching out and teaching not just about Jewish history and tradition, but they instill a pride in being Jewish. Aish is teaching Torah in a way that is appealing and interesting to everyone, young and old. I appreciate not only the religious tenacity, but also their national pride, which to me are really inseparable aspects of Jewish identity.

That makes Aish uniquely positioned to heal the rift between the religious and secular communities in Israel, which I am very concerned about. We have so any enemies from the outside, we cannot waste any energy and resources against each other. We cannot afford to be at odds. We cannot even afford to be estranged from one another. This is more dangerous than any Iranian nuclear program.

Q5: It is suggested that one of the greatest threats to Israel today is that many citizens no longer connect to the mission of Israel. They don't feel the burning commitment to make sacrifices to live in this country, with all its risks and limited opportunities. How can we re-ignite that idealistic spirit?

Ayalon: The government is working now to reverse that attitude. We have launched a major program to renovate Jewish heritage sites throughout Israel. For example, it is important to highlight our connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, which is the oldest Jewish holy site in the world, dating back 4,000 years to Abraham. This strengthens our own connection to the land, not only from the standpoint of diplomacy, but also our own sense of rootedness.

When I represented Israel abroad as Deputy Chief of Mission in Panama, I invited guests to have Shabbat dinner at our home. I had to study exactly how to make Kiddush, because at age 36 I never knew how. I saw how important it is to present ourselves to the world with pride in our religious heritage. In the Foreign Ministry Cadet Corps today, we include training on Jewish tradition and observance. And by the way, I now make Kiddush in my home every Friday night.

Q6: So much of the Middle East conflict revolves around the dynamics between Jews and Muslims. In your experience, how does the Christian community fit into this equation?

Ayalon: Evangelical Christians love Israel, based on Genesis 12:2 where God promises Abraham that “I will make you a great nation.” Israel has a lot of Christian Zionist friends and we should harness all that goodwill.

Actually, my wife is from a Christian Zionist background. As a child, her parents would take her to synagogue on the High Holidays to show her “their roots.” In the late 1970s, she was studying hotel management and tourism, and as part of her training could select one place in the world to get hands-on experience. Most of the students chose places like Hawaii, Paris and Tokyo. But she chose Israel.

To become married to me, she was willing to leave her family and her religion, and convert. Now years later, she is serving as a sort of an ambassador of her own, meeting with Christian groups and explaining to them exactly why it is important to support the State of Israel.

Q7: How has your own spiritual journey translated into your approach to diplomacy and governance?

Ayalon: Farming the land, establishing institutions, and defending ourselves were things that we Jews were missing for the 2,000 years of Diaspora. So applying ourselves to building the “physical” infrastructure was vital to reviving ourselves as a nation. Our success in these areas became a great source of pride for Israelis, and for Jews around the world.

But today I think more and more Israelis understand that you cannot be an Israeli without first and foremost being a Jew. And this is why I am so interested in studying the Torah. Our tradition carried us through so many trials and tribulations, it surely has applicability to today’s diplomatic challenges. The Torah is not only our past, but it is our future.

If you look at the foreign policy of Moses, of Joshua, of King David, you know that they were not subservient. We have to assert our national honor, without being apologetic for living in our land and defending ourselves. Of course, we need to do so with wisdom, in a way that tries not to provoke anyone. But sometimes I think we care a bit too much about what others will say. If you use the Torah as a guidebook, you cannot go wrong.

May 20, 2010

Jewish community takes on Comedy Central's 'anti-Semitic' stereotypes

A video game currently available on Comedy Central’s website, featuring a character named “Jew Producer” and a killer robot named “I.S.R.A.E.L.,” is raising protests in the Jewish community.

The game, “Drawn Together,” based on the network’s politically incorrect animated series of the same name, depicts “Jew Producer,” a character that has a speaker for a head and is taken to task for failing to kill certain animated characters. A robot called “the Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady” (I.S.R.A.E.L.) is then sent in to do the job, unleashing destruction and murdering children.

In a letter written to Comedy Central and obtained by the Forward, Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote: “We agree with complaints that this video game and other video clips and trailers featuring the ‘Jew Producer’ character play into and encourage offensive anti-Semitic and anti-Israel stereotypes. While that may not have been the intent, the fact that your site caters to and potentially influences such a wide audience, including children and young adults, is especially troubling to us.” The letter concludes by requesting that Comedy Central remove the game from its site, or alternatively put it behind a protective wall so that minors cannot access it.

Comedy Central is a critical player in the 18–34 demographic, with such shows as “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report.”

Simon Plosker, managing editor of HonestReporting, a website that monitors Mideast and anti-Israel bias, told the Forward that he was skeptical when he heard about the game from subscribers to his e-mail list, but after seeing it, was “extremely shocked that something this blatant could appear on a mainstream media network like Comedy Central.”

A Facebook group called “Comedy Central – I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack game is offensive. Remove it” had more than 1,500 members as of May 17.

“While HonestReporting has a subscriber base of some 165,000 people, creating a Facebook group allows us to spread this campaign virally to people that may not normally be involved. A glance at the hundreds of wall posts shows the depth of feeling and a level of engagement that goes beyond simply firing off an e-mail to Comedy Central,” Plosker said.

Comedy Central has yet to respond to the allegations or to requests for the game’s removal.

May 19, 2010

The Battle for Israel's Soul - Moshe Feiglin

( The media buzz surrounding Manhigut Yehudit's future in the Likud caught me by surprise. We had planned to keep the brainstorming process after last Thursday's Likud vote an internal affair – with only Manhigut Yehudit activists engaging in the debate. True, we knew that deliberations taking place among tens or hundreds of people would not be secret for long, but we did not estimate the great surge of public interest that the question of our future in the Likud would awaken. It seems that the stake that Manhigut Yehudit has planted in Israel's politics and collective consciousness is deeper than what we had assessed. When we move that stake just a bit, we create waves both inside and outside Israeli politics – surprising those in the eye of the storm.

Some people erroneously believe that our deliberations over Manhigut Yehudit's future in the Likud are the result of political failure, or because we failed in our attempt to prevent the Likud Central Committee from adopting Netanyahu's proposal, or because the Prime Minister has waged an all-out war against me. That is simply not true. If all that I was looking for was a place in the Knesset, I could have achieved my goal directly and with relative ease. It is not pleasant to be engaged in an ongoing political battle against forces larger and stronger than me; it is not pleasant when the chairman of my political home schemes with the High Court "judges" to remove me from the Knesset slot to which I was elected last year or to prevent elections altogether, as he has done now. I am way outside my comfort zone – but that is apparently the proof that we are on the right track.

As a result of last Thursday's vote, the Likud has redefined itself. It can no longer be considered the ruling party of the National Camp. Instead, it has become the ruling party of one man – in the service of the Left. The political alliance that has been formed between the chairman of the Likud (who also happens to be the Prime Minister of Israel) and the justice system allowed him to retroactively change the rules of the game to his advantage and to effectively sever the Likud from its members. From that point and on, nothing stands in the way of the Prime Minister as he charges ahead with his plans to partition Jerusalem.

Not one member of the small, rightist Knesset parties was anywhere near the arena on which the battle for Jerusalem took place last Thursday. Manhigut Yehudit, the movement that "always fails" made the prime minister sweat and deny the claims that the real story behind the Likud vote was Netanyahu's plans to divide Jerusalem.

Manhigut Yehudit's struggle was actually a mission impossible. In addition to the opportunity to vote themselves into position for life, Netanyahu treated the Likud Central Committee members to an all-star lineup of rightist ministers and senior Likud MKs who promised to safeguard Jerusalem: No less than Bogi Ya'alon, Benny Begin, Gideon Sa'ar, Yisrael Katz, Moshe Kachalon and Rubi Rivlin vowed their undying loyalty to Jerusalem. Under the circumstances, it was almost impossible to convince the LCC members that just the opposite would happen. But not even two weeks have passed and the US has already revealed the truth about Netanyahu's plans for our capital.

The rest at -

May 18, 2010

Hizbullah on the homefront - By Caroline B Glick

Since the Second Lebanon War, a number of Israeli Arabs have been arrested and convicted of spying for Hizbullah.

Last week Lebanese commentator Tony Badran published an article on the Now Lebanon Web site discussing the Iranian way of war. In “The shape of things to come,” he discussed the significance of the breakup of a Hizbullah cell in Kuwait and the deportation of Hizbullah agents from Bahrain. Badran explained that like the Hizbullah ring arrested last year in Egypt, the Hizbullah cells in Persian Gulf states demonstrate how Iran uses Hizbullah to extend its regional power.

Badran noted that Iran’s cultivation of fifth columnists in target countries through Hizbullah puts paid to the notion that it will be possible to contain a nuclear Iran. Armed with both nuclear weapons and armed agents in states throughout the region, Iran will be well positioned to bend all regional states to its will.

US security guarantees will be worthless. Living under the threat of the Iranian bomb, neighboring states will be unable to take steps to curb Iranian agents subverting their governments from within their sovereign territory.

For Israel, the threat is obviously more acute. Whereas states like Kuwait and Bahrain will be able to suffer through an Iranian Middle Eastern hegemony, Israel will have no such luxury. Iran has made clear that in an Iranian-ruled Middle East, there will be no room for Israel. And so Israel must act soon to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

But then there is the homefront.

With each passing day, it becomes more and more apparent that as is the case in Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt, through Hizbullah, Iran has established cells of sympathizers among Israeli Arabs. This means that as Israel prepares to strike Iran, it must minimize Iran’s ability to retaliate from fifth column bases inside the country.

According to Badran, among the Hizbullah agents rounded up in Kuwait were several officers in the Kuwaiti military. This means that Iran/Hizbullah is not operating at the margins of Kuwaiti society. They are part of the Kuwaiti mainstream.

ISRAEL FACES a similar situation. Indeed, in many ways it is worse. Here Hizbullah agents are found in the top echelons of Israeli Arab society. Last week’s announcement that Ameer Makhoul and Omar Said Abdo are under arrest for allegedly serving as Hizbullah agents is a case in point.

Until his arrest, Makhoul served as head of Ittijah, the umbrella organization of Israeli Arab NGOs. His brother Issam Makhoul is a former member of Knesset. Abdo is a professional organizer for the Balad political party. These men are not just leading members of the local Arab hierarchy. They are tightly connected to the Israeli and international Left as well.

Makhoul and Abdo are not unique. Former MK and Balad leader Azmi Bishara fled the country in 2007 to avoid being arrested for serving as a Hizbullah spy in the 2006 war. Bishara is suspected of transferring targeting information to Hizbullah officers.

Last month Rawi Sultani, the son of a prominent Israeli Arab attorney, was convicted of collecting intelligence information for Hizbullah concerning the whereabouts of Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. Sultani was a member of Ashkenazi’s health club in Kfar Saba.

Sultani was drafted into the service of Hizbullah while he participated in a pan-Arab youth conference in Morocco organized by Balad.

Earlier this month, MK Massoud Ghanem of the United Arab-Ta’al party gave an interview to the Nazareth newspaper Kul el-Arab in which he expressed his hope to one day see Israel destroyed and replaced with an Islamic caliphate.

Ghanem also said that in the event of war between Israel and the Iran-Syria-Hizbullah-Hamas axis, he would side with the axis. As he put it, “The Iran-Hizbullah-Syria axis represents the line of resistance and refusal to surrender, and naturally, I support this axis.”

Since the Second Lebanon War, a number of Israeli Arabs have been arrested and convicted of spying for Hizbullah. All of them were accomplished individuals from respected families. Khaled Kashkoush was a student in Germany who promised his Hizbullah handler that he would get a job at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Kashkoush’s plan was to develop relations with wounded soldiers hospitalized there and transfer information he gained to Hizbullah.

In 2008 Sgt.-Maj. Louai Balut, the first Christian Arab tracker to serve in the IDF, was sentenced to 11 years in jail for transferring information about troop deployments in the North to Hizbullah.

Hizbullah’s popularity among Israeli Arabs has grown immensely since the Second Lebanon War. Whereas before the war, one would rarely see public displays of support, since the war Hizbullah flags are routinely flown at Israeli Arab political events and protests. Hizbullah’s growing popularity goes hand in hand with a deep radicalization that has gone largely unaddressed by state authorities.

OVER THE weekend, thousands of Israeli Arabs participated in so-called Nakba rallies. The Nakba, or “catastrophe,” is how the Arab world refers to Israel’s establishment on May 15, 1948.

Until the onset of the Oslo peace process with the PLO in 1993, May 15 was generally overlooked by Israeli Arabs. But since then, each year, commemorations of the so-called Nakba have steadily increased in scope and radicalism.

This year, the central demonstration was held in Kafr Kanna, the same Galilee town Abdo calls home. The keynote speaker at the event was Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah. His speech could easily have been given by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands, Salah threatened Israel with war if it dares to take action against Arabs like Abdo and Makhoul. In his words, “If you think that with this arrest you will take revenge against political groups in our society like Balad, you are wrong. Balad, the Islamic Movement, Hadash and the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee – all share one hope, one pain, one future, and one present. Those who go against one of us, go against everyone. We are all Omar Said, we are all Ameer Makhoul.”

He went on to promise that all the descendents of Arabs who left in 1948 would return. He called Israeli communities “cancers” that will be removed.

Finally, Salah called on Fatah and Hamas to unite in war against Israel: “From here, from the Galilee, we call on you to unite against the occupation until the state of Palestine is established with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Ahead of his Nakba day diatribe, last week Salah was acquitted of rioting charges. The indictment was filed against him in 2007 following a speech he gave at a demonstration in Jerusalem in which he accused Israel of seeking to destroy the Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

As he waved a Syrian flag, in that speech Salah proclaimed “it is now the duty of every Arab and Muslim to launch an intifada from one end to another to save Jerusalem and the Aksa Mosque. We are not the ones who allowed ourselves to eat a meal of bread and cheese soaked in children’s blood.”

He was acquitted due to what Jerusalem District Court claimed were contradictions in the prosecution’s testimony.

Salah’s statements, like those of his colleagues in Israeli Arab leadership echelons invariably provoke angry responses from politicians. Indeed, in response to Salah’s Nakba speech, on Sunday Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz called for his citizenship to be revoked.

But headline-generating statements aside, politicians and the rest of the country’s leadership – including the police and the courts – have refused to actually do anything. Our leaders have failed to adopt any consistent measures to counteract the fact that today there are no Israeli Arab leaders who do not routinely make statements either rejecting the country’s right to exist or inciting treason against the state, or both. Similarly, they have taken no effective measures against reports of massive arms caches in Arab villages.

In March, the sensationalist Debkafile Web site published a hair-raising report claiming that Hizbullah has raised five brigades – all trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps – whose mission is to invade northern Israel in the next war. According to the report, one of the brigades is tasked with invading three Arab villages along the Acre-Safed highway and using them as a bridgehead to spark an armed insurrection in Arab towns throughout the North.

Debkafile’s report was not sourced and was widely ignored as a consequence. But in recent weeks, several IDF sources have confirmed the gist of the story.

Over the weekend Channel 1 military correspondent Yoav Limor reported that heightened concern about war has brought near unanimity in the defense community that Israel should make a last ditch effort to negotiate the surrender of the Golan Heights to Syria in the hope of cajoling it out of the Iranian axis. If true, this position indicates that the top echelons of the security establishment are in a state of panic.

If Limor’s report is accurate, our leaders need to get a hold of themselves. The times are dire, but they are not hopeless. There is no reason for anyone to lose his head.

To prevail, our leaders and security authorities need to stop talking and start acting. They need to move now to break up enemy organizations like Balad and the Islamic Movement, arrest their leaders and seize their assets. There are laws already on the books to enact such policies.

So too, the police, with assistance from the IDF if necessary, needs to uncover and seize illegal arms caches. Hostile villages like Kafr Kanna and Umm el-Fahm, and border towns like Deir el-Asad and Majd el-Kurum should be rigorously patrolled.

There is very little good news coming out of neighboring states these days. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Syria last week only raised the threat level against Israel to soaring heights amid reports that he has agreed to sell massive quantities of advanced weapons to Iran’s Arab client state.

But Israel can handle this situation. We just need to start acting and stop talking.

May 14, 2010

Jerusalem, Hebron and Shechem

"How do you know that the prime minister is dividing Jerusalem?" one of the many interviewers with whom I have spoken over the past weeks asked me. "Just like the little boy knew that the emperor had no clothes - I simply open my eyes," I answered. "Just this morning I heard Housing Minister Ariel Atias explain that construction in Jerusalem has been frozen for half a year. So why are you still asking this question?"

Whoever does not see that Netanyahu is dividing Jerusalem - simply does not want to face the facts.

Slowly but surely, I am beginning to realize that the reason that we did not successfully convince the Likud Central Committee members that if they voted with Bibi, they would effectively be surrendering Jerusalem is because they have already begun to accept the division of our holy city as an unpleasant fact of life. Just like in the story of the emperor, it is infinitely more comfortable to march around, stripped of Jerusalem while decked out in illusory loyalty to it, than to actually stand up and fight for our capital.

Bogi Ya'alon and Benny Begin are members of Netanyahu's inner cabinet. They certainly knew about Bibi's promise to freeze construction in Jerusalem that was publicized by the US this week. But with their pledges of allegiance to Jerusalem, they helped Netanyahu soothe the consciences of the Likud Central Committee members so that they would vote with the prime minister.

In a clearly prescient observation, the Midrash in Breishit Rabba tells us that there are three pieces of property in Israel that the nations of the world cannot claim are stolen: The Cave of Machpelah in Hebron, the Temple Mount and the burial place of Joseph in Shechem. All of these places were bought by our ancestors. The purchases are clearly recorded in the Torah and Prophets. But the nations of the world have not read the Midrash and apparently not the Bible, either - and unabashedly claim that we have robbed these sites from their "rightful owners." As the Midrash predicted, it is specifically in Hebron, Shechem and the Temple Mount that the quintessential battle for the Land of Israel is being waged.

We cannot blame the nations of the world, though. It is we who surrendered Hebron and Shechem, bringing the battle to the gates of Jerusalem. And how have we begun to reclaim Hebron and Shechem?

My friend and veteran Hebronite Dovid Shirel told me that when the Jewish community in Hebron was starting out, it was extremely difficult to organize a quorum for prayer at the Cave of Machpelah. Except for the local Jews, the burial place of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs did not seem to interest anyone. People only began to wake up when it seemed that the government would surrender the Cave of Machpelah to the Arabs. And today? Today all the powers-that-be know that they cannot surrender the Cave of Machpelah because no fence or army can separate the Nation of Israel from its Forefathers.

Refreshing news from Joseph's Tomb in Shechem, as well. Who cared about the Tomb in the heart of an Arab refugee camp before it was taken away from us? Very few. But this week, on Joseph's day of the Counting of the Omer, thousands waited for the few buses that the IDF escorted into Joseph's Tomb. Soldiers emotionally joined the moving prayers at the Tomb. Some Jews regularly evade the army roadblocks and make their way to the Tomb, in the heart of Shechem, with no arms and no visible signs of logic. What happened in Hebron when the Jews felt that they were losing the Cave of Machpelah is happening now in Shechem.

Just wait to see what will happen when the Jews will understand that they are losing the Temple Mount. Just wait to see what will happen when the spark that has lit up Hebron and Shechem will ignite in Jerusalem and burn all that threatens the Jewish future of our eternal city.

When Israel is attacked......

When Israel is attacked, we in the Galut will watch and try to get the
best news we can. We will watch as Israel defends herself (perhaps for the final time).

In the past only conventional weapons have been used. Our confidence that Israel
can successfully defend herself has grown over the years due to the IDF, Technology etc.

Our fears however that the HaShem has taken a piece here and there because we remain
a stiff necked people exists.

Now the issue has dramatically changed. We know the Iranians are building their doomsday bomb and the Russians are helping all of our enemies with chemical weapons etc.

Assuming the Government of Israel remains passive and wants to "get along"....the risk remains high.
If they change their tune and attack...then what? All H#ll could break loose anyway.
It beats having the IAF grounded because of runway attacks!

The Iranians are threatening a pre-emptive strike to beat Israel or the US to the punch.
Israel remains surrounded by rockets, scuds etc. If Iran attacks and Hamas, Hezbollah join in, will the
rest of the Arab world join in? Will the muslim (underworld) join in?

Will this be the actual Gog VS Ma-Gog?
If the Iranians launch nukes....they will say Israel launched...whether they did or not.
What will happen to the Jews in the US then?
What will happen to atmosphere of the world?
When will the cloud get to the US?
Will Israel survive?

"In every generation, there are always a few who understand; Always understand... even if you remain among the few." - Meir Kahane

How do we in the Galut prepare?
Will I only go to Israel because the US gets like 1938/9?

Is now the time to attack?
What will Bibi do?

May 13, 2010

Former US General Warns of Chemical Attacks against Israel

This short video came to me from Prof Paul Eidelberg.

How do you plan to spend this summer?


In Honor Of Jerusalem Day MKs Get To Dig Into Past. Jerusalem Post May 12, 2010

Ahead of Jerusalem Day, members of the Knesset’s Land of Israel Lobby spent Tuesday sifting through more than 2,000 years of history inside a large tent at the Temple Antiquities Salvage Operation.

In 1000, the Wakf Islamic trust, which is in charge of the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount, requested permission from the government to construct emergency exists for a series of underground mosques that had be opened inside the compound during the late 1990’s. Upon receiving permission, Wakf officials constructed an entrance to the underground el-Marwani mosque in the area known as Solomon’s Stables. During the exists’ construction, the Wakf removed some 10,000 tons, or 400 truckloads of ancient debris, which was then dumped in the nearby Kidron Valley and the Jerusalem municipal - dump some of it lost forever among the trash and other rubble.

On Tuesday afternoon, Knesset members got a first hand look at the site’s operation and were even given a chance to do some sifting of their own, as they paid a visit to the tent where Barkay, Zweig and a slew of volunteers were conducting their work.

“This could have been part of a vessel one of my ancestors carried olive oil in to make sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdash,” said MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), as he held up a shard of pottery he discovered in a pile of the discarded debris.

Other MKs echoed Ben-Ari’s observations, expressing the importance of the site’s offerings for “all Israelis and all the Jewish people.”


May 12, 2010

“The Underlying Cause of the Arab-Israel Conflict” - Prof. Paul Eidelberg


Why Arabs want to destroy Israel receives only superficial commentary by students of the Arab-Israel conflict.

Most say the Arabs want to destroy Israel because it is a Jewish state. Notice, however, that the state’s ruling elites are only nominally Jewish. This includes not only Ehud Barak, Israel’s Prime Minister, but Aaron Barak, the President of Israel’s Supreme Court, the most powerful court in the world, and the only one that scorns the legal and moral heritage of its own people.

Others say that the Arabs want to erase Israel from the map of the Middle East because it is democracy that threatens, by its example, the autocratic power structure of the Arab-Islamic world. And yet, despite the veneer of democracy--periodic multiparty elections--anyone who has studied the great political philosophers from Aristotle to John Stuart Mill would see that, such is the concentration of power in Israel's government, on the one hand, and such is the impotence of its legislature on the other, that Israel should be classified as an oligarchy. (Since the government owns or controls almost 90 percent of the country’s assets, Israel may rightly be called a corporate state.)

Still other commentators say that the Arabs want to annihilate Israel because Islam is a militant and expansionist religion. Although there is truth to this point of view, the question remains: What is there about Israel that the Arabs most detest or fear if it is not, strictly speaking, a Jewish as well as democratic state? Could it be the state’s secular character, its having ever been dominated by secularists? Consider what two Arab commentators say.

One writes: "The propagandists of secularism, who leave out of account the religious factor in the Palestine problem, ignore the fact that this is the only bone of contention in the world which has persisted for thirty centuries."

Another Arab spokesman declares: "Apart from the political conflict, there is a basic philosophical and spiritual incompatibility between the two contending nationalisms. Even if all political disputes were to be resolved, the two movements, Zionism and Arab Nationalism, would remain, spiritually and ideologically, worlds apart--living in separate 'universes of discourse' which are incapable of communication or meaningful dialogue."

Notice that neither of these Arab spokesmen regard territory or geographical boundaries as a decisive issue in the Arab-Israel conflict. Which means that Israel’s “territory for peace” policy is doomed to fail, indeed, that the so-called peace process cannot but lead to Israel’s territorial dismemberment. Territorial nationalism, however, was the paramount principle of secular Zionism. That being the case, the “peace process” signifies--as indeed it has--the end of secular Zionism!

What is crucial here, however, is not the noun “Zionism,” but the adjective “secular.” From the Arab point of view--which, after all, is of decisive significance--it is Israeli secularism that constitutes the greatest threat to Arab-Islamic civilization, as may be read in the pages of Moslem scholars such Harvard-educated professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

To be sure, Arabs murdered religious Jews even before the establishment of the secular state of Israel. But anti-Zionism was the principal motive of such murders, and the Zionist movement was dominated by secularists--one may even say atheists.

In short, Arab hostility toward Israel is primarily motivated by the fact that Israel is ruled by irreligious Jews--and it makes no fundamental difference whether these Jews belong to the political Left or the political Right. In other words, the primary cause of the Arab-Israel conflict is Jewish rejection of, or indifference to, the God of Israel.

This conclusion accords with basic Jewish sources as well as with Jewish history. When Jews turn away from God, God turns away from Jews. Stated another way, when Israel fail to exalt God’s name, God will use various instruments, be it the United Nations or the Arabs, to condemn and humiliate Israel. The underlying and hidden cause of the Arab-Israel conflict, therefore, is nothing less than Israel’s failure--and this applies to many religious Jews--to act as the God-bearing nation, the nation chosen to exemplify in word and deed ethical monotheism.

This underlying cause is obscured by the very brilliance of well-intended critics of the “peace process.” Which is why they have had no discernible impact on the obviously irrational and suicidal course of Israel’s government. The same critics would accomplish infinitely more if they would but recognize that the irrational and suicidal nature of the “peace process” is a consequence of the godless character of Israel’s government. They would then see that Yasir Arafat is merely an instrument of divine providence. He is simply facilitating the demise of a secular state, a precondition of Israel’s spiritual redemption.

May 9, 2010

My Peace Plan: An Israeli Victory

My peace plan is simple: Israel defeats its enemies.

Victory uniquely creates circumstances conducive to peace. Wars end, the historical record confirms, when one side concedes defeat and the other wins. This makes intuitive sense, for so long as both sides aspire to achieve their ambitions, fighting continues or it potentially can resume.

The goal of victory is not exactly something novel. Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese strategist, advised that in war, "Let your great object be victory." Raimondo Montecuccoli, a seventeenth-century Austrian, said that "The objective in war is victory." Carl von Clausewitz, a nineteenth-century Prussian, added that "War is an act of violence to compel the enemy to fulfill our will." Winston Churchill told the British people: "You ask: what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory - victory - at all costs, victory, in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be." Dwight D. Eisenhower observed that "In war, there is no substitute for victory." These insights from prior eras still hold, for however much weaponry changes, human nature remains the same.

Victory means imposing one's will on the enemy, compelling him to abandon his war goals. Germans, forced to surrender in World War I, retained the goal of dominating Europe and a few years later looked to Hitler to achieve this goal. Signed pieces of paper matter only if one side has cried "Uncle": The Vietnam War ostensibly concluded through diplomacy in 1973 but both sides continued to seek their war aims until the North won ultimate victory in 1975.

Willpower is the key: shooting down planes, destroying tanks, exhausting munitions, making soldiers flee, and seizing land are not decisive in themselves but must be accompanied by a psychological collapse. North Korea's loss in 1953, Saddam Hussein's in 1991, and the Iraqi Sunni loss in 2003 did not translate into despair. Conversely, the French gave up in Algeria in 1962, despite out-manning and out-gunning their foes, as did the Americans in Vietnam in 1975 and the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1989. The Cold War ended without a fatality. In all these cases, the losers maintained large arsenals, armies, and functioning economies. But they ran out of will.

Likewise, the Arab-Israeli conflict will be resolved only when one side gives up.

Until now, through round after round of war, both sides have retained their goals. Israel fights to win acceptance by its enemies, while those enemies fight to eliminate Israel. Those goals are raw, unchanging, and mutually contradictory. Israel's acceptance or elimination are the only states of peace. Each observer must opt for one solution or the other. A civilized person will want Israel to win, for its goal is defensive, to protect an existing and flourishing country. Its enemies' goal of destruction amounts to pure barbarism.

For nearly 60 years, Arab rejectionists, now joined by Iranian and leftist counterparts, have tried to eliminate Israel through multiple strategies: they work to undermine its legitimacy intellectually, overwhelm it demographically, isolate it economically, restrain its defenses diplomatically, fight it conventionally, demoralize it with terror, and threaten to destroy it with WMDs. While the enemies of Israel have pursued their goals with energy and will, they have met few successes.

Ironically, Israelis over time responded to the incessant assault on their country by losing sight of the need to win. The right developed schemes to finesse victory, the center experimented with appeasement and unilateralism, and the left wallowed in guilt and self-recrimination. Exceedingly few Israelis understand the unfinished business of victory, of crushing the enemy's will and getting him to accept the permanence of the Jewish state.

Fortunately for Israel, it need only defeat the Palestinians, and not the entire Arab or Muslim population, which eventually will follow the Palestinian lead in accepting Israel. Fortunately too, although the Palestinians have built an awesome reputation for endurance, they can be beaten. If the Germans and Japanese could be forced to give up in 1945 and the Americans in 1975, how can Palestinians be exempt from defeat?

Of course, Israel faces obstacles in achieving victory. The country is hemmed in generally by international expectations (from the United Nations Security Council, for example) and specifically by the policies of its main ally, the U.S. government. Therefore, if Jerusalem is to win, that starts with a change in policy in the United States and in other Western countries. Those governments should urge Israel to seek victory by convincing the Palestinians that they have lost.

This means undoing the perceptions of Israel's weakness that grew during the Oslo process (1993-2000) and then the twin withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza (2000-05). Jerusalem appeared back on track during Ariel Sharon's first three years as prime minister, 2001-03 and his tough stance then marked real progress in Israel's war effort. Only when it became clear in late 2004 that Sharon really did plan to withdraw unilaterally from Gaza did the Palestinian mood revive and Israel stopped winning. Ehud Olmert's debilitating prime ministry has been only partially remedied by Binyamin Netanyahu over the past year.

Ironically, an Israeli victory would bring yet greater benefits to the Palestinians than to Israel. Israelis would benefit by being rid of an atavistic war, to be sure, but their country is a functioning, modern society. For Palestinians, in contrast, abandoning the fetid irredentist dream of eliminating their neighbor would finally offer them a chance to tend their own misbegotten garden, to develop their deeply deficient polity, economy, society, and culture.

Thus does my peace plan both end the war and bring unique benefits to all directly involved.

Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

May 2, 2010

Are Muslins Infidels? - Paul Eidelberg

It’s always a pleasure reading the lucid and logical Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial. The title of his latest book , Against All Gods: What’s Right and Wrong About the New Atheism (2010), is co-authored with John Mark Reynolds. Johnson writes in the Introduction:

Our position in this book is that the arguments for atheism should be taken seriously and considered both respectfully and critically. One of the healthy aspects of the current atheist movement is that the atheists who are selling so many books say that they want everything to be put on the table for criticism, with nothing held back as too sensitive for such examination. They say that they deplore the fact that in some circles it is considered unacceptable to criticize a religion because somebody might be offended.

Contrast this statement with the attitude of Muslims to any criticism of their religion. Notice the “political correctness” or lack of intellectual integrity or courage on the party of so many pundits, professors, and politicians on the subject of Islam. Despite the awesome threat of Islam to the United States (and to Western civilization as a whole), hardly a word was said about Islam during the 2008 US presidential campaign—and we all know about the religious integrity of Barack. Obama, a Muslim as well as professed Christian who sonorously attended the irreverent sermons of Jeremiah Wright.

We also know about the Danish Cartoons, and how they aroused the wrath and violence of Muslims hither and yon. Contrast Jews who, century after century, have been burned at the stake, whose Torah scrolls and sacred books have been cast into the flames; Jews who, down through ages, have been the victims of vilification and pogroms. And yet, have you ever heard of their taking revenge on their tormentors? Have you noticed Jewish self-restraint against Arab terrorists despite the overwhelming power of the Israel Defense Forces? Nothing like this in history.

So what is there in his psyche that indices the Muslim to wreak the cruelest slaughter of “infidels”— mutilating men, women, and children and even exult in such barbarism?

It’s not enough to say, as the gallant scholar Bat Ye’or has said, that Islam is a “culture of hate.” It’s not enough to say, as the marvelous Brigitte Gabriel has written, Because They Hate—the title of one of her books. Nor is it enough to attribute Muslim hatred to A God Who Hates—the title of a book by the courageous Syrian-born psychiatrist Dr. Wafa Sultan.

Of course, Muslims, having lost their erstwhile imperial glory, are now animated by envy of the Christian West, which has excelled Islam in so many ways. We know of their undying hatred of Western colonialism in the Islamic Middle East. We know how the Jews rejected Muhammad’s pretensions as the prophet of a new religion. Oh, how Muslims hate the Children of Israel—and with an overwhelmingly theological hatred! Which means they hate the God of Israel! That’s why Muslims compulsively intone the words “Allahu Akbar,” to convince themselves that Allah is the “greatest god”!

So let me offer a new and provocative hypothesis. Perhaps what animates the Muslim’s murderous hatred of “infidels” is that he himself is an infidel, meaning, he does not harbor in his soul unwavering belief in Allah and Islam? Perhaps he is tormented by a vague suspicion that all his beliefs or professions about Allah and Islam are a self-delusion. Perhaps this is the most fundamental reason why he loves death and exults in martyrdom.

There is only one way to deal with a mass delusion.

A Letter to our Supporters from Moshe Feiglin

Dear Friends,

On the eve of the vote on Thursday, Israel's press reported that Washington was closely following the battle in the Likud. The story also made the front page of the French newspaper Le Figaro. It was not only Netanyahu and the entire political system in Israel that was in a frenzy over these elections, but the president of the US and world politicians who were worried, as well.

Since the vote last Thursday, we have heard a lot of voices telling us, "We told you so," and "Why don't you join the National Union?" But who is it who brought the future of Jerusalem out of the closet and onto the front pages last week? Who is it who revealed the facts about Netanyahu's true intentions? The splinter parties? Or Manhigut Yehudit?

Who made Bibi sweat, commit himself and run around Israel like the last of the small time politicians for an entire week? Did the splinter party representatives interest him? Did Lieberman make him lose any sleep?

There is no doubt about it – we lost this battle over Jerusalem. We fought hard, we gave it everything we had and we came home bruised and exhausted. But we were in the arena where the fight was taking place. We forced our opponent to show his cards and he also received quite a few blows. The conclusion cannot be that now we must leave the paratroopers and join the Rabbinate.

There was another battle here, no less important than the battle for Jerusalem. Last week, we waged a battle to cement the faith-based alternative in the public eye. Today, there is nobody in Israel who doesn't know that there is an alternative. And they also know that Manhigut Yehudit is the only opposition to the current government. In that battle, we won – big time.

So relax, my friends.
We put up a wonderful fight. Today’s YEDIOT – page 2 - said it best:
“Feiglin worked very hard but still doesn’t have enough strength to defeat the big guns.”
We still don’t have enough strength, but one day soon, with G-d's help, we will.
They know it.
Bibi knows it.
We know it.
We need YOU to know it, too!

This coming summer, Israel is likely to find itself facing one of the greatest crises that it has ever known in its crisis-laden history - and none of its current leaders will be capable of understanding the crisis or of providing solutions. The Left already understands the vacuum that is about to become obvious to all and is busily preparing for that eventuality with a manifesto of its same disastrous policies. For our part, we must prepare as well. That will become more and more obvious as the weeks go by.

We have the solution and whoever reads newspapers, watches television, listens to the radio or surfs the internet was made well aware of that this week. With G-d's help we will be there - battling for the Land of Israel, battling for Jerusalem and battling for Jewish leadership for the Nation of Israel – in the place where our voice impacts around the world!

With thanks for your steadfast support,

Moshe Feiglin