February 27, 2012

WikiLeaks posts email claiming Israel struck Iran nuclear sites

Global intelligence firm Stratfor circulates e-mail citing “confirmed Israeli intelligence agent” saying that Israeli commandos and Kurdish forces destroyed most of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure “weeks ago” • Email also says that attack on Iran would be “so destructive that Iran will be unable to retaliate.”

Israeli commandos have already targeted a number of underground nuclear facilities in Iran, claims an email circulated within the U.S.-based intelligence firm Stratfor which was posted on the whistleblower website WikiLeaks on Monday.
The email, leaked by an organization that aims to publish private, secret and classified media from anonymous sources, was dated Nov. 14, two days after one of Iran’s top commanders was killed in a mysterious explosion in a missile base outside Tehran.
In the chain email, a Stratfor employee cited a “confirmed Israeli intelligence agent” as saying that “the Israelis already destroyed all the Iranian nuclear infrastructure on the ground weeks ago.”
When Stratfor employees asked the source to clarify, he responded, according to the email, that “Israeli commandos in collaboration with Kurd forces destroyed [a] few underground facilities mainly used for the Iranian defense and nuclear research projects.”
The source was further cited as saying that he thought reports that Israel was preparing to launch an attack on Iran were “a diversion.”
“The current ‘let’s bomb Iran’ campaign was ordered by the EU leaders to divert the public attention from their financial problems at home,” the email said.
The email also touched on a military intervention in Syria. “Despite the reports in the media and against any public knowledge, the promoter of a massive Israeli attack on Syria is the axis India-Russia-Turkey-Saudi Arabia. The axis U.S.-Germany-France-China is against such an attack [for] obvious reasons,” the email said. “Not many people know that Russia is one of Israel’s largest military partners and India is Israel’s largest client.”
The information in the email runs counter to recent warnings and actions by Russian officials in opposition to a military intervention in Syria or an attack on Iran.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday defended a Russia-China veto of a U.N. resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on protests, saying that Moscow would not allow a reprise of what happened in Libya, where NATO airstrikes helped Libya’s rebels oust Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.
“If a direct conflict between Iran and Israel erupts, Russia and Saudi Arabia will gain the advantages of increasing oil prices,” the Stratfor email said. “On the other hand, China and Europe are expected to lose from an oil crisis as a result of a conflict.”
The email also cited the Israeli intelligence source as saying, “Based on Israeli plans, the attack on Iran will last only 48 hours but will be so destructive that Iran will be unable to retaliate or recover and the government will fall.”
This statement also seems to contradict a recent New York Times report suggesting that U.S. defense officials believe Israel would not be able to successfully strike Iran on its own. Such a strike would require much more than the surgical strike Israel carried out against Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 and the 2007 attack on a nuclear reactor in Syria that foreign media have attributed to Israel, the New York Times said.
The Stratfor email added that “even if the Israelis have the capabilities and are ready to attack by air, sea and land, there is no need to attack the nuclear program at this point after the commandos destroyed a significant part of it.”

Purim Costumes? (Raising Kvell)

Did you know that Purim is already almost upon us? It starts on the evening of Wednesday, March 7, which means you’ve got just under two weeks to prepare. How does one prepare for Purim, you ask?
Besides baking (or buying) hamantaschen and stocking up on liquor (because you are supposed to get drunk), the best way to get you and the kids into the Purim spirit is to prepare some costumes. You could go with a classic like Queen Esther or King Ahasueros, or go with your own thing. It’s Purim, anything goes! Check out these tips from Mayim Bialik on how to make your own Purim costume on the cheap, and then let us know:
What are your costume ideas for this Purim?
If you’ve got pictures from last year or a sneak peak of this year’s costume, send them to info@kveller.com and we’ll be sure to share with the Kveller community. Also be on the lookout for our 2nd annual Purim Costume Contest, all the more reason to take this whole costume thing very seriously!

Click to see more
Raising Kvell 

February 26, 2012

What Happens After Israel Attacks Iran

Public Debate Can Prevent a Strategic Disaster
Ehud Eiran

Since its birth in 1948, Israel has launched numerous preemptive military strikes against its foes. In 1981 and 2007, it destroyed the nuclear reactors of Iraq and Syria, operations that did not lead to war. But now, Israelis are discussing the possibility of another preemptive attack -- against Iran -- that might result in a wider conflict.
The public debate in Israel about whether Jerusalem should order a strike on Iran’s nuclear program is surprisingly frank. Politicians and policymakers often discuss the merits of an attack in public; over the past year, for example, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have sparred regularly and openly with former Mossad director Meir Dagan, the most prominent opponent of an Israeli operation. But much of the conversation is focused on whether Israel should strike, not on what might happen if it does -- in other words, the result on the “day after.”
Indeed, the analysis in Israel about the possible effects of a bombing campaign against Iran is limited to a small, professional elite, mostly in government and behind closed doors. This intimate circle that does consider scenarios of the “day after” concentrates almost exclusively on what an Iranian response, direct or through proxies, might look like. This is not surprising, given that Israel must worry first and foremost about the immediate military implications of an Iranian counterattack. But in doing so, Israeli policymakers are ignoring several of the potential longer-term aspects of a strike: the preparedness of Israel’s home front; the contours of an Israeli exit strategy; the impact on U.S.-Israel relations; the global diplomatic fallout; the stability of world energy markets; and the outcome within Iran itself. Should Israel fail to openly debate and account for these factors in advance of an attack, it may end up with a strategic debacle, even if it achieves its narrow military goals.
Israeli officials have thought extensively about how the first moves of a military conflict between Jerusalem and Tehran might play out. Ephraim Kam, a former Israeli military intelligence officer and deputy head of Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), reflected the general consensus in the security establishment when he wrote in the Institute’s 2010 strategic assessment that Iran may respond in two possible ways to an Israeli operation: missile strikes on Israel, either directly or through allied organizations such as Hezbollah or Hamas; or terror attacks, likely on Israeli targets abroad by Iranians or those proxy groups.
A direct Iranian response would involve a missile barrage from Iran onto Israeli territory, similar to the volley of rockets launched at Israel by Iraq during the first Gulf War. Only one Israeli citizen died then, and it seems that Israeli officials estimate that the damage of a similar Iranian strike would be greater, but still limited. This past November, Ehud Barak, referring to possible direct and proxy-based Iranian retaliation, said that “There is no scenario for 50,000 dead, or 5,000 killed -- and if everyone stays in their homes, maybe not even 500 dead.” Barak’s calm also reflects Israel’s previous experience in preempting nuclear threats. Iraq did not respond when Israel destroyed its nuclear facility in 1981, disproving the doomsday predictions made by several Israeli experts prior to the strike, and Syria remained silent when Israel bombed its nascent reactor in 2007.
Israeli policymakers also do not seem particularly concerned about the prospect of a proxy response. They recognize that Hezbollah, as it did in 2006, can target Israel with a large number of rockets. Yet in an interview [2] with Ronen Bergman in The New York Times late last month, several Israeli experts argued that, regardless of a potential battle with Iran, the probability of an extended conflict with Hezbollah is already high. According to this logic, an attack on Iran would merely hasten the inevitable and might actually be easier to sustain before, not after, Iran acquires nuclear weapons. In addition, the new constraints now operating against Hezbollah -- the ongoing revolt in Syria chief among them -- might even limit the ability of the organization to harm Israel in a future conflict. Indeed, over the past several months, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has emphasized the group’s independence, saying on February 7 that “the Iranian leadership will not ask Hezbollah to do anything. On [the day of an Israeli attack on Iran], we will sit, think, and decide what we will do.”
Meanwhile, the Israeli security establishment remains confident that Iran and its proxies will have trouble staging large-scale attacks on Israeli or Jewish targets abroad. Iran and Hezbollah have done so successfully in the past, most notably in response to Israel’s assassination, in 1992, of Hezbollah’s first secretary general (they are strongly suspected to have directed suicide bombings against the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994, respectively). Israeli experts such as Kam agree that similar attacks could occur again in the wake of a strike on Iran, but argue that Tehran’s ability to respond is limited, likely due to its own handicaps and the restrictions posed by the post-9/11 global effort against terrorism. They gained support for their theory in mid-February, when, according to preliminary evidence, Iranian agents staged clumsy, botched attacks on Israeli targets in Georgia, India, and Thailand, injuring only one person in New Delhi and ending in humiliation in Bangkok, with one operative accidentally blowing off his legs.
Balanced against these threats is the expected benefit of an Israeli bombing campaign. According to Bergman, the Israeli defense community estimates that it can inflict a three-to-five-year delay on the Iranian nuclear project. But in its optimistic estimation about the success of an attack and about Israel’s ability to deter any response, it has failed to address, at least publicly, several crucial factors.
Although Israel has buttressed its home-front preparedness since its 2006 war with Hezbollah, it seems that it must do much more to ready the country for the rocket and missile attacks that it is expected to endure after a strike against Iran’s nuclear program. In a move that Israelis are now sardonically mocking, the former minister for home front defense, Matan Vilnai, left his post in February to become Israel’s ambassador to China. Before departing, Vilnai staged an angry outburst during a Knesset subcommittee meeting on February 7 over the lack of homeland preparedness, creating such a stir that the chairman had to end the meeting. Data presented at the session reveal the source of Vilnai’s frustration: a quarter of all Israelis do not have the most basic physical shelter needed to weather sustained rocket fire. Gas masks, a basic safety measure against a chemical attack, are available to only 60 percent of the population. And Vilnai’s former ministry lacks the bureaucratic muscle to win the resources and funds necessary to improve the situation. When the Netanyahu administration established the ministry early last year, the Israeli journalist Ofer Shelah called it “the big lie” because it “has no authority, no independent budget, and no ability to affect national priorities.”
The lack of readiness within Israel is all the more worrisome in light of the fact that Israeli analysts have spent little time discussing an exit strategy. An Israeli strike might follow a version of the previous attacks against the Iraqi and Syrian nuclear programs, which did not lead to conflict. Or, following the example of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, it might spark a prolonged war. That operation, intended to remove the threat of armed Palestinian groups within two days, instead lasted 18 years, and contributed to the evolution of a new enemy in Hezbollah. Similarly, Israel’s incursion into Lebanon in 2006 had no clear exit strategy and lasted an unexpected 33 days, ending in confusion. Without serious public discussion about the possibility of a long war with Iran, Israel could enter an extended conflict unprepared to provide for and defend its citizens.
Israeli leaders have also failed to address in public the effect of an Israeli strike on U.S.-Israel relations. There is, of course, much conversation about whether the United States and Israel agree on the need for a strike, and, if so, when it should occur. So far, it seems, Jerusalem and Washington remain united in their opposition to Iran’s nuclear program, but are not yet in agreement about the time for military action; indeed, Israel has refused to commit to warning Washington in advance of an attack. Should Israel bomb Iran, it could easily provoke a crisis even if it did first warn the United States, especially if the Obama administration has to intervene. Once again, Israeli strategic thinking on the issue is likely informed by the 1981 bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor. The attack infuriated the White House, which condemned it and, in punishment, suspended the delivery of some aircraft to Israel. Yet Washington retroactively approved of the strike and restored and even strengthened its relationship with Jerusalem -- a process that Netanyahu may expect to repeat itself. The prime minister might also be calculating that, in an election year, Obama would prefer to avoid openly criticizing Israel after an attack.
In addition, the broader diplomatic impact of an Israeli strike has also received little open attention. The former Mossad director Meir Dagan has raised the possibility that an attack might disrupt the existing international pressure on Iran, which is now beginning to place severe strain on the regime, and make it harder for that coalition to re-form in the event that Iran restarts its program. On the whole, however, Israeli leaders have not confronted that possibility, seeming to place faith in the efficacy of the three-to-five year delay that they hope a strike will achieve.
Also largely missing from Israel’s public analysis is the question of how a bombing campaign would affect worldwide energy markets. As a small country with a limited global perspective, Israel rarely needs to consider the international impact of its actions. The few Israeli analysts who have looked into this question have tended to underplay Iran’s intention, and capability, of acting on its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. Last month, for example, Amos Yadlin, the former director of Israel's military intelligence, and Yoel Guzansky, the former head of the Iran desk of Israel’s national security council, argued in a paper [3] for the INSS that it is highly doubtful that Iran would block the waterway.
That lack of perspective extends to what might happen inside of Iran after a strike. The public discourse about an attack rarely includes any consideration of whether a bombing campaign would galvanize Iranians to rally around the current leadership, ruining any chance of the regime change that might ultimately be necessary to end the threat of a nuclear program. Israel remains unwilling to estimate whether a strike would hurt or help the cause of the dissidents; its failure to predict the Arab Spring has humbled its proclivity for making such forecasts.
And so there is a gap in Israel's debate about Iran. Although Israeli experts focus heavily on the immediate implications of the “day after,” they neglect, with a few exceptions, the broader repercussions of an attack. Ironically, then, at the core of the elite, scientific calculations regarding an attack on Iran and its aftermath stands a certain kind of fatalism. It is based on the traditional trust that Israelis place in their leaders, and on their sense that open conversation might in fact harm Israeli interests. But the lack of public debate may, in the event of an attack, leave Israel handicapped both in its ability to strike and to defend itself.
In particular, a lack of open discussion leaves the Israel Defense Forces as the primary source of information and analysis on a strike. The IDF, given its narrow focus on the military aspects of an attack, may fail to fully consider its potential political and diplomatic impact. A more public debate might strengthen those in the bureaucracy who are urging the Israeli government to weigh those other factors as carefully as the military planning. The elevation of those voices could then prevent Israeli leaders from operating on the basis of limited information and faulty assumptions. If history is any guide, Israeli policymakers could benefit from such an expansion of the conversation. Israel’s disastrous invasion of Lebanon in 1982 began with a war plan that the public had not vetted. The operation ended after overwhelming pressure from civil society, a process that took nearly two decades. To avoid a similar strategic blunder in confronting Iran’s nuclear program -- either as a result of an attack, or a failure to do so -- Israel should give the public a stake in the debate about the “day after” much sooner than that.

EHUD EIRAN is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of International Relations at the University of Haifa in Israel and a faculty affiliate of the Middle East Negotiation Initiative at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. He is a former Israeli government official and a former research fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

February 25, 2012

Is Israel losing Temple Mount war?

Ynetnews special: Why is Israeli government covering up Muslim effort to erase any trace of Jewish history on Temple Mount? Archeology expert: Excavations barbaric, a crime
Amir Shoan

Ira Pasternack couldn't believe his eyes. The tractor's huge blade was lifted high up and then brought down with great force, shattering the ancient floors on Temple Mount. The large clods of earth exposed by the work were cast aside by the mustachioed driver. Yet even an amateur archaeologist could spot the priceless remnants of Jewish, Christian and Muslim history being cast away.

A few hours earlier, on a steaming July day in 2007, Pasternack was sent to Temple Mount in his role as an Israel Antiquities Authority inspector, in order to supervise excavation works at the holy site, which in the past boasted two Jewish Temples. This marked the first such project at the site since the 1967 Six-Day War, as the area's sensitivity could prompt a political and diplomatic flare-up, thereby discouraging any such work. 

 According to specific Antiquities Authority instructions, any digging at the site was not allowed to exceed 60 centimeters (roughly two feet) and was not to be undertaken using mechanical equipment. However, reports drafted by Pasternnack and other sources, exposed for the first time by Yedioth Ahronoth Friday, indicate that workers largely ignored the instructions.

Much of the work was done using a tractor, continued during the night with the help of a flashlight, reached deeper than the permit allowed for. Moreover, the clods of earth removed from the site, which apparently comprised valuable remnants from the two Jewish Temples, were thrown away to an improvised garbage dump by members of the Waqf (the administrative Muslim body in charge of Temple Mount.) 

Archeology expert Dr. Gabai Barkai, a world-renowned expert on Temple era excavations, was shocked by the reported work: "How could one dig up such sensitive area at night? How could one dig using mechanical equipment? Every such move is a crime. This is first-rate barbarity."

Why is report secret?

An investigative report by Yedioth Ahronoth revealed the ongoing failure of various Israeli authorities in safeguarding the rare archeological treasures found on Temple Mount. Information elicited by the newspaper showed that the Waqf is consistently erasing any trace of Jewish history at the site.
Mideastern affairs expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar says these acts are undertaken in the framework of an Arab practice known as "erasing the signs," aimed at eliminating the remnants of any civilization that preceded Islam.
Members of the State Comptroller's Office launched an investigation into the affair four years ago and drafted a report about it. However, the Knesset's State Control Committee decided to impose a gag order on the report for "security reasons."
However, Israeli intelligence officials told Yedioth Ahronoth there is no reason to prevent the report's publication. A senior Shin Bet Security Service official said following the Committee's session on the matter: "I'm ashamed. This is akin to cheapening national security to the lowest point possible."
Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan has also questioned the gag order. "There is no connection whatsoever between the failure to publish the report and national security. As far as I know, both Mossad and Shin Bet said there is no reason not to publish the report…apparently there are other considerations here, pertaining to political motives."
Conversations and interviews held with dozens of officials involved in drafting the State Comptroller's secret report indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among the senior officials interested in shelving the document. Attorney Yisrael Caspi, who represents a group fighting the destruction on Temple Mount, says the PM is unequivocally responsible for the ongoing failure. 

 "One cannot underestimate the prime minister's responsibility for the state of affairs on Temple Mount; one can only refer to it as absolute responsibility," he said. "We know with certainty that nothing happens on Temple Mount without the advance knowledge and permission of the Prime Minister's Office and its head. All the criticism, all the negligence, all the failures, the entire cover-up and the helplessness in dealing with the matter - and therefore all the historical responsibility - are his."

Caspi says Netanyahu does not want to be reminded of the "historical scandal" of handing over the holy site known in Judaism as Solomon's Stables to the Waqf during the PM's first term in office, in the 1990s. "This turned Solomon's Stables, an amazing archeological site…into a place that Jews are not allowed to enter and into the largest mosque in the State of Israel," he says.
"These days too, three tractors are being used on Temple Mount," Caspi says. "Construction materials are also continuing to be brought into Temple Mount in violation of police pledges…Temple Mount looks today like a construction materials' warehouse…materials being brought in today will be used for illegal works tomorrow."
In another disturbing case, a ministerial committee approved the use of two giant generators on Temple Mount. "At times you're just stunned by the lack of wisdom in our conduct on Temple Mount," Attorney Caspi says. "You can't believe these things are happening. We are playing into our enemies' hands and shooting ourselves in the foot, because these generators can provide enough electricity for half the city. Why are they needed?"
"Now, there is a regular supply of electricity to Temple Mount. The State of Israel has no interest whatsoever in allowing the Muslims the possibility to riot and barricade themselves there."

Waqf denies 'false charges'  

After the opening of the Western Wall Tunnels in 1996 and the subsequent riots at the site, then-PM Netanyahu agreed to unilateral Waqf steps in the area. The Waqf almost immediately embarked on excavation work, and two months after the tunnels were opened the Islamic body inaugurated the largest mosque in Israel at the large space associated with Solomon's stables, thereby banning Jews from entering the site.
Two years later, the Waqf inaugurated another mosque, this time below the al-Aqsa Mosque nearby. As part of the work, the Waqf cleared great amounts of soil from the area, built a new floor and installed new pipes, while drilling into ancient stones. Moreover, Waqf members painted over rare Jewish works at the site. All this work was undertaken without Israeli supervision, and one can only imagine the kinds of cultural, historical and religious treasures lost in the process. 

In 1999, the Waqf went a step further and dug a hole in the Temple Mount plaza, arguing that it needed to build an emergency exit for the mosque. The work was done by tractors, with some 250 trucks removing about 12,000 tons of soil replete with archeological findings from the site. The soil was dumped at a city garbage dump and also near the Kidron River.

Archeologists Gabi Barkai and Zachi Zweig are now sifting through the latter pile as part of a special project, and have already discovered priceless findings attesting to the administrative work undertaken in the first Temple. The archeologists also found decorated utensils from the King Solomon era, as well as coins and clay dating back to the second Temple. Hundreds of artifacts have already been put on show for the benefit of the general public.

Dr. Ayelet Mazar, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center's Jewish archeology Institute, witnessed the digging at the Temple Mount plaza in 1999. "For me as an archeologist it was a shock; it was like performing heart surgery with a hoe. The Waqf's objective is to not only turn Temple Mount into a holy compound, but to turn it into a 'built up Aqsa' for Muslims only," she says. "One need not be an archeologist to understand there's destruction here."
The Prime Minister's Office issued the following response to the story: "As opposed to the claims, the body that imposed a gag order on the (State Comptroller's) report was not the government, but rather, the sub-committee of the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affair's Committee…any argument alleging that the report is not being published as result of irrelevant reasons is baseless and disconnected from reality."
The Waqf issued the following response: "The Waqf's management was sorry to hear the claims made in the story pertaining to the Waqf's policy on Temple Mount. In the Waqf management's view, all these claims are baseless and constitute false charges. Our official policy is to preserve and respect any human heritage. You are invited to visit the mosque and see for yourself well preserved Roman, Byzantine and Crusader artifacts, among other items." 

February 23, 2012

Muslims Stone Police on Temple Mount!

For the second time this week, Muslims stoned Israeli police who were escorting Jewish and Christian pilgrims on the Temple Mount.
Gavriel Queenann
Muslims hurled stones and shoes at police escorting Jewish and Christian visitors on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday.
"An officer was slightly wounded and treated at the scene," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, adding that two Arabs were arrested.
Police say officers had been put on high alert earlier in the day after receiving reports Jewish and Muslim groups were set to clash at the site, preceded by.various Muslim groups posting calls online urging people to head to the compound to "protect" it from a group of Jewish pilgrims  planning to ascend to Judaism's holiest site.
Police were deployed around the Temple Mount and throughout the Old City "following various calls on different Internet sites by terrorist groups calling on people to go protect the compound after calls from the extreme right to come today," Police spokeswoman Liba Samri said.
Over a dozen vans filled with riot police were reportedly parked by the Dung Gate, an entrance to the Western Wall plaza where the Mughrabi ramp ascends up to the Temple Mount.
On Sunday, police used tear gas to disperse Muslims who were throwing stones at tourists and police inside the compound. In that incident police arrested 18 people.
A similar protest took place last week when a group of Jewish worshippers sought access to the site.
Police say it "was not clear" why the "disturbances" broke out, but one local Arab told an AFP reporter stone throwers were targeting religious Jews who entered the site with a group of Christian tourists.
However, it was reported earlier on Tuesday that the Al-Aqsa Center had released a report, denied by Israel, that Israeli authorities planned to allow Jews free access to the Temple Mount.
According to the report, Jews would be able to perform "Talmudic rituals" (i.e., pray) on the Temple Mount. At present, Jews are allowed to ascend at certain times, under heavy supervision, but may not pray there - for fear of "disturbing the peace".
The Al Aqsa report goes on to say that Israeli police plan to use the new arrangement to "cleanse the Temple Mount of Muslims under flimsy pretexts."
According to another plan "revealed" by the Al Aqsa Center, Jews will "freely enter the mosque" between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., between Muslim prayer times. These alleged plans will be implemented this year.
The Temple Mount is the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (705 CE). However, way before that, it was the site of the the First Holy Temple, built by King Solomon (stood from ~950 BCE to 587 BCE) and the Second Holy Temple (517 BCE to 70CE) and is indisputably Judaism's most sacred site. The Western Wall, where Jews are allowed to pray, is merely a remnant of an outside compound wall of Herodian days and not part of the Temples.
The Muslim Waqf, the religious Muslim authority, has systematically attempted to destroy all archaeological evidence of earlier Jewish presence on the Mount, illegally excavating and destroying priceless and irreplaceable relics. Israeli archaeologists and volunteers sift painstakingly through the debris of the excavations, finding artifacts that are then transferred to Israeli museums.
The Muslim Waqf was allowed to manage the site after Israel succeeded liberating the Temple Mount in 1967 at the suggestion of then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. It maintains a discriminatory policy seeking to bar Jews entry to the site. The Israeli police, afraid of riots, allow the Jewish worshippers to be discriminated against to the point of not being allowed to even whisper prayers on the Mount.

Lessons for Israel Apartheid Week - Yvette Alt Miller (AISH)

My one-woman crusade to boycott human rights abusers.

The dates are set. In February-March 2012, Israel Apartheid Week will take place worldwide. Organizers say they're set to break last year's record of 97 festivals. Events are planned on campuses and in major metropolitan centers featuring demonstrations of Israeli brutality (actors dressed up as Israeli soldiers manhandling passers-by), pop-art posters of Israeli fists crushing Palestinians, sit-ins, speeches and lectures.
One aim is to make people viscerally, passionately, angry at Israel, and in this respect the theatrics seem to work. At a London campus last year, a political argument devolved into fighting, when a Jewish student was bitten on the face by an Apartheid Week organizer.
"This is about the number of Palestinians being murdered," reads the description of Israel Apartheid Week at the University of Illinois. Ergo, if Israel is such a brutal place, people should shun it. Boycott Israel, divest from it, and batter it with sanctions. This so-called "BDS" movement is the take-home instruction of every Israel Apartheid Week.
Since I care deeply about human rights, I decided to take this call seriously. But I decided to go a step further; after all, why focus only on Israel? “Starting tomorrow morning, I will use only products made in countries with strong human rights records,” I announced.
The Experiment
I awoke, rubbed the sleep from my eyes, and picked up my first consumer item of the day: my toothbrush. Made in China.
Ah, China, where opposition parties are banned and critics of the government are imprisoned. China, where the “one-child law” is enforced with jail, fines, even forced abortions. China, which violently suppresses any expression of Tibetan political aspirations. No free press. No Internet freedom. No free trials. It’s government that Human Rights Watch called an "unreformed authoritarian system."
Okay, I couldn't use this toothbrush, and went hunting for another. Finally, in the back of a cabinet, I found a spare. Eagerly I took it down and read the handle. Thailand – where the laws of lese magesy (not criticizing the monarchy) are so strong that a reporter was jailed for 13 years for criticizing the king on a website.
Reluctantly, I put the toothbrush back, and opted for a natural alternative: baking soda.
Next, I went to find something to wear, and pulled on my favorite shirt: made in Bangladesh. Hmm. According to Amnesty International, the Bangladeshi Special Police Force has been involved in over 700 extrajudicial killings since its formation in 2005.
Alright, let’s try another shirt: made in El Salvador. That wouldn't do; there, human rights workers and independent journalists are attacked, even killed, with government forces either complicit or turning a blind eye.
A third shirt was made in Ukraine. Forget it: according to the U.S. State Department, suspects are routinely tortured by police.
I was running out of things to wear. Aha – my one sweater from France! Surely a western European country like France must be ethical. Maybe not. Unlike other countries (such as Israel, where Muslims enjoy freedom of religion), France tramples on the religious rights of its large Muslim minority, banning headscarves in schools and making Muslim face veils illegal. Its police also face charges of reacting with heavy-handed brutality to unrest in heavily Muslim neighborhoods.
Completely flummoxed (and still in my robe), I went into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. No dice. I had a choice of Ethiopian blend (Ethiopia, where one-party rule is maintained through widespread election fraud and violence, as well as the arrest of opposition leaders) or Columbian (where President Uribe's paramilitaries carry out brutal human rights abuses against the secessionist FARC terrorists hiding in Columbia's northern region).
Tea? Nope. My choices there were Chinese (see above) or Indian – a democracy where government forces engage in extrajudicial killings and torture of police suspects.
I drank a glass of water instead (that’s safe, right?), and headed out to drive carpool. Oh no! It's hard to tell where the gasoline in my car is from, but almost all of the major oil-producing countries in the world have horrendous human rights records.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, is ruled by absolute monarch King Abdullah. All forms of political opposition are barred (opposition figures are routinely arrested and tortured), and the country recently instituted even more draconian laws against political speech. Gender apartheid laws prevent women from the right to drive or vote, Religious apartheid laws mean that certain roads and even entire cities are off-limits to non-Muslims; Christians are barred from practicing their religion, and Jews aren't even allowed into the country.
The world's second-largest oil producer is Russia, where opposition leaders and journalists have been murdered by killers linked to the government, where Prime Minister Putin and President Medved have consolidated power and intimidated opposition, and where the government is fighting several breakaway republics amid grotesque human rights violations.
Then there’s oil from Iran, where political protest is brutally silenced, and which – under the rule of Holocaust-denying, let’s-wipe-Israel-off-the-map President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – is racing to develop nuclear weapons in the face of international sanctions.
The world's sixth-largest oil producer, Venezuela, is ruled by strongman Hugo Chavez, who has rewritten the constitution to guarantee his dominance. Venezuela, where extrajudicial killings by security agents are common, where armed gangs control the prisons, and where critics of the government are targeted for criminal prosecution.
Nigeria, the world's tenth largest oil supplier, is home to massive vote-rigging, fraud and election-related violence that killed 800 last year alone. Police routinely arrest political opponents an without charge, and indiscriminately kill, torture, rape and imprison without trial. Child labor, slavery, religious discrimination and violence, and the killing of children suspected of witchcraft all take place routinely.
I told the kids: “Maybe we’ll plan out a bike route to school from now on. But for today, back in the house.”
Search for Alternatives
It wasn't even eight o'clock and I was exhausted. I went over to the bookshelf and took down my siddur (prayer book) which I had bought in Israel.
Uh oh. Can I use it? I quickly looked up the U.S. State Department’s annual Human Rights Report.
The report spoke glowingly of Israel's multicultural liberal democracy. Political killings? No. Mysterious disappearances? No. Prisons that meet international standards? Yes. Fair trials? Yes. Freedom of speech: yes. Free press: yes. Internet freedom: yes. Free political assembly: yes. Freedom of religion: yes. Protection of refugees: yes. Periodic free and fair elections: yes. Universal suffrage: yes. Independent and respected court system? Yes. Full political and civil rights for all citizens, regardless of color, religion, or ethnicity? Yes!
I opened my siddur, wondering if someone could explain to me exactly what is the reason for Israel Apartheid Week…?

This article can also be read at: http://www.aish.com/jw/s/Lessons_for_Israel_Apartheid_Week.html

February 22, 2012

Chamish intimates Feiglin was blackmailed and his son...

                                                                                                         By Barry Chamish

     Elad Pressman, to my mind, is Israel's leading deep investigative journalist. Two weeks ago I had him on my radio show and what he said disturbed me so much it influenced the questions I posed to this week's guest, Dr. Jerome Corsi.
     Elad insisted he is satisfied that Israelis are waking up and getting noticeably smarter. Stage one of his proofs is the government cabinet; Stage 2, the Likud Party primaries.
     First, the cabinet approved a bill permitting the vetting of justice selection for the Supreme Court by the Knesset. Believe it or not, right now the justices appoint their friends and no one can do a thing about it. And the situation won't change because Prime Minister Netanyahu tabled the proposed law, meaning, he made it go away for good. And believe it or not, that's legal in Israel.
     Elad was thrilled the cabinet approved the bill anyway and was just as optimistic because of the next bill, severely restricting foreign contributions to Israeli political movements, a law that exists in every nation on earth...but, of course, Israel. The Ford Foundation, for example, was forced by its benefactors to stop all contributions to Israel because it was well proven that all the money went to undermining the nation through extreme left wing movements with no support within Israel. The Ford Foundation answered yes, we'll stop contributions to Israel in a year.  But first, the foundation board found a spare $20m and in a private ceremony, handed the check over to chief of the Israeli Supreme Court, Dorit Beinish.
     Honest, that is how low, immoral, unethical and criminal the Supreme Court is. And the cabinet approved a new law that demands restrictions on and registration of foreign money going to anti-Israel Israelis. But then, Netanyahu tabled the new law, never to be seen again.
     Still, Elad was moved by the cabinet, at least, trying to do responsible governance. Somehow, Netanyahu opposing his cabinet and shelving the bills was not part of the mental equation. Not even when he rigged two important votes.
     He began with a straw telephone poll of his cabinet to see who would be in favor of stripping, literally, all cities and towns in Judea and Samaria of their preferential zoning rights, like subsidized mortgages. In short, Netanyahu was polling his cabinet to squash the entire settlement community in one foul blow. And the final result? 15 for, 10 against, the rest abstained. Only one problem, the news site, Arutz Sheva called the cabinet and members who would have opposed the bill were never contacted. AND others who were contacted and voted NO, were listed as abstainers. Netanyahu had rigged the cabinet vote.
     Netanyahu rigs every vote he doesn't like. In this month's party primaries, his opponent, Moshe Feiglin drew too many votes, so he fixed some better results by, for example, having 400 more voters than were eligible in Bet Shemesh, to vote for him. And Elad was in ecstasy that his candidate won some towns in Judea and Samaria. Again, according to his thinking, there was hope after all of electoral victory. It was then that I let him know about his boy, Moshe Feiglin. It began when I pointed out that Feiglin took 20th place in the previous Likud primary and was therefore elected to the Knesset. Within a few days, Netanyahu shelved Feiglin and announced he was now in 46th position, like it or not, and would not sit in the Knesset.
     What Netanyahu did was illegal but, I asked Elad, why didn't Feiglin challenge him in a courtroom? Then Elad spewed the same old story about the Supreme Court being so corrupt and he wouldn't waste his money even trying there. But, But, But, I intervened, he could have sued in civil court. He was cheated and, in a fair trial, would have won.
     No response from Elad...so I go right to the heart of his political belief system:
     "Elad, Feiglin is playing the game by rules he outlined with the Likud. You don't remember how powerful Feiglin was in '96 when he headed Zo Artzeinu (this is our land). Israel was in chaos, roads were blocked, traffic was delayed for hours on end, the country was grinding to a halt, all in a movement to stop the Oslo Accord. With the movement growing by the day, while the government responded with increasing violence, Feiglin one morning announced he was disbanding Zo Artzeinu and joining the Likud. He had a massive change of heart and decided the only was to succeed was from within the system. In one stroke the Likud got rid of the protest movement and got a political opposition they could control."
     I completed my analysis with a fact I had never publicized before. "Back then, I was not the only one to smell a Feiglin rat. One informer told me how the Likud blackmailed Feiglin. I couldn't confirm a word but it was half-way ugly and I never publicized it, even as known gossip. The game is serious. Feiglin's son was almost killed in a most suspicious car accident
 Elad, for Israel's finest investigative journalist, you don't know half the game you're watching."
     Elad made his last mistake. He said the settlers were endangered because of the Defense Minister Ehud Barak. That got me going:
     "Netanyahu is the prime minister. He tells Barak what to do. You are falling for the basic good cop, bad cop routine. Netanyahu is staying in power because he shelves bills, rigs elections and removes settlers from their homes. And you know who he works for. Elad did.

Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu was spotted at MIT in 1973 and the grooming began there when
he was in his early twenties. After graduating, he received a high paying
job at Boston Consulting. His boss was Ira Magaziner (CFR). But he quit the
job in 1979, returned to Israel, staring selling furniture at the Rim company, then
organized an anti-terror convention. Inexplicably, the CFR sent a team of their
biggest guns including George Bush Sr., Richard Perle and George
Shultz to this unknown 27 year old's get-together. Once the convention was over,
Netanyahu returned to work selling home furniture for three years until 1982, when Washington
Ambassador Moshe Arens invited him to be his deputy. He claimed the choice
was indirectly made by those who came to his convention and "were impressed
with his performance." That means Bush and Shultz pressed Arens to bring
Bibi to Washington. From there, they pushed his career higher. In 1985,
Shultz chaired another anti-terror convention in Washington supposedly
organized by Netanyahu. By the time Bibi was UN Ambassador, Schultz visited
him every time he was in New York, and that was often.

      Elad's refusal to see the whole picture, and to believe that Israel could be saved electorally, saddens me deeply. The IDF's Chief of Military Intelligence, Aviv Kochavi, in a rare public pronouncement, announced that Israel now had over 200,000 enemy rockets and missiles aimed at every corner of the land. He added 75,000 missiles over my information and made me understand that there is an Israeli threat at work. If not, well, Israel is ripe for the picking. Launching just half the missiles would put an end to the country in one day. Whatever threat is being used by Israel, it must be a beaut. To zoom in on the threat, Elad has to focus on the whole picture. That can't be done if you think you have any electoral say whatsoever.
      I get letter after letter from people urging us to vote Ron Paul and save the nation. Now come on people, where would you vote for him? My conclusion is simply, don't vote. Dr. Corsi had his reason to vote: "We could start a write-in campaign." That's a thirties movie where the good folks win some point with a tremendous write-in campaign from every state in the union. Your throat may tighten as the public defeats the no-gooders but it won't get Ron Paul elected.
      To those who vote, either in the US or Israel, and think they have electoral power...you don't. You'll have the find a solution elsewhere.


Conversation between Rabbi Kahane and the soldiers of Israel

“On A Hill Near Shchem,”  Jewish Press, October 13, 1978

Conversation between Rabbi Kahane and the soldiers of Israel 

“Why do you have to give us such a hard time?” asked one soldier.  “I am not the only one who gives you a hard time,” I replied, “you are the ones who are
breaking the law.  The law says that a Jew must live in Eretz Yisroel and settle everywhere, and you prevent it.”  “The only law that we have is the government, and you are violating it.  Besides, we want peace and you are destroying the chances for peace.”    “And you really believe that by giving up Sinai and giving the Arabs Judea and Samaria, you will have peace?  Don’t you remember how they went to war when they had the Sinai and Judea-Samaria?”  The soldiers had now gathered around me and one said:  “But things are different today!”  “How do you know?” I shot back, “Why do you risk the state by trusting an enemy that started four wars?”  “We have to gamble!  It is impossible to keep on fighting.  I am willing to take the risk.”  It was clear that this was the view of most of the soldiers, almost all of whom were irreligious.

“I’ll tell you,” I said.  “If you really want to gamble, trust me – not the Arabs.  I tell you that if you will all put on tefillin for a month, the Messiah will come.  And if you gamble on tefillin and the Messiah does not come, what have you lost?”

. . .  Tomorrow would be Friday, Begin was coming home.  At the airport he would be greeted by thousands of cheering Israelis and he would cry out to them: “I have brought you peace!”  Voices.  Voices. Voices. From yet another airport; from yet another Prime Minister; to yet another cheering crowd.  “I have brought you peace in our time . . .” It was Chamberlain coming home from Munich.  The bus started up and the settlement had come to an end.  This time there was no singing.

The Jewish Idea has been corrupted and silenced.

Rabbi Meir Kahane,  April 1978

There is a truth, a Jewish truth that no one speaks today.  The Jewish Idea has been corrupted and silenced.  There must be one person who is prepared to speak the entire truth in the truthful way.  No one else speaks about the holocaust that must grip the Galut; no one else speaks about the need to remove the Arabs from Eretz Yisroel; no one else says that to depend on the Americans will not bring salvation but rather Divine punishment; no one else ways that if the government of Israel will not annex the lands, Divine Punishment will again strike us; no one else says that we must defy the government if it defies Jewish law; no one else speaks as a Jew, and with the Jewish Idea.  That is my obligation.  If I have support and if I have followers, well and good.  If I am able to build an organization, so much the better.  But if I have to be alone and shout out the lonely truth in that way – that will be my role.

The Second Revolution - Kahane

“The Second Revolution,”
Jewish Press, October 20, 1978
While no other Prime Minister used the name of G-d, Begin mouths it and then gives away Jewish rights because Jimmy Carter, in his eyes, is more real.  Fear of being isolate?  Trembling at the fact that no newspapers supported Israel?  Worry over the loss of allies? The redemption of the Jewish people will come with the greatest grandeur precisely when Israel is isolated!   And these are the words of the Prophet Isaiah as he envisioned the final redemption, words we read in the synagogue on the week before Rosh Hashanah; words that were mouthed without listening to them or understanding them.  The Prophet speaks of the anger and vengeance of G-d against Israel’s enemies:

“I have trodden in the winepress ALONE, and of the nations THERE WAS NONE WITH ME. . . For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redemption is come.  And I looked and there was none to help . . .  therefore has My own arm brought salvation . . .” (Isaiah 63:3-5)

Not through Jimmy Carter are we saved, and not through allies and gentile salvation.  Begin, who gave into pressure, is no better than all the others whom he so bitterly criticized when he was in opposition.  Fear of the gentile has taken precedence over the awe of G-d.  That is the heart of the problem. That is why Begin brought home, not peace, but war.  For peace will only come when He who creates and grants peace will agree.  That agreement can never come in response to violation of Torah and to Hillul Hashem.

Perhaps a final note.  All that I have written would have been bad enough.  But there might have been some mitigation had Begin, at least stood before the people gravely, sadly, in sorrow and said:  “This is a black day for us.  But we had no choice.”  I would have differed with him then, too, and been angry.  But at least we would have been spared the sight of a huge and happy welcome at the airport – so strikingly similar to the return of Chamberlain.  At least, Begin might not have pretended that he had brought us good tidings and peace. At least, he would have been honest.

Israel - trust no man... or the US

 “A Treaty with the United States,” Jewish Press May 5, 1978

 As the pressure grows on Israel to commit suicide, the United States – through carefully planned leaks – has begun to wave a trial balloon and a seductive proposal to Israel, and more important, to the Jews there and without, who seek any “reasonable” solution.  The seduction is called a formal treaty between the United States and Israel by which the Americans would guarantee the survival of the Jewish state.

Who in possession of even a modicum of common sense would trust the United States to carry out a treaty obligation that would involve the use of American troops and possible heavy losses?

Who will trust the Americans, whose “faithfulness” to their South Vietnamese allies is legendary?  Who does not realize that a treaty will only tie Israeli hands as every decision to retaliate against terror raids or wars of “attrition” will be vetoes by the senior partner?

Let the Americans keep their treaties and let the Jews renew theirs with the ALL Mighty. And never were the words of the prophet (Isaiah 30:2-3) more true: “Who go down to Egypt and have not asked of My mouth . . . to trust in the shadow of Egypt!  Therefore shall the strength of Paraoh be your shame, and the trust in Egypt your confusion.”  The L-rd, only the L-rd.

The Next Trick out of Bibi's Hat

The elections for chairmanship of the Likud revealed an interesting phenomenon: Moshe Feiglin's candidacy provided the Likud members (and in potential, all of Israel's citizens) with choice. In other words, if Moshe Feiglin had not run for the Likud top position, there would have been no elections at all and the candidate of the National Camp for leadership of Israel would have been chosen by default. The message of liberty; the privilege of taking responsibility and deciding your own fate – became relevant in the merit of the faith-based ideology that entered Israeli politics through the Likud.

This past election campaign was really a contest between liberty and servitude. Enslavement does not like elections. True, Netanyahu sprang the primaries upon us, but not so that other candidates would run against him. He wanted a situation in which nobody would run against him.

And nobody dared. Except of course, for the person who tries to be a man in the place where there are no men.

Now, Netanyahu has lifted the curtain on the next trick in his bag. The PM has announced that he will run for presidency of the Likud Central Committee.

This is yet another attempt to withhold the right to vote from the rank and file Likud member. The Likud is the nationalist ruling party. Generally, the person who heads the party eventually also becomes the prime minister of Israel. The Likud has admirable internal democratic processes, replete with checks and balances. Just as in a state, the Likud has the sovereign; the nation, or in this case the party members. It has a legislative branch comprised of the representatives of the members; the Likud Central Committee. This is the parliament of the party. The Likud also has an executive branch; the party representatives in the Knesset and in the government. And the Likud has a judicial branch; the party court.

Netanyahu took control of the judicial branch of the Likud quite some time ago. Every Likud member knows that the Chief Justice of the Likud Court, Yehoshua Gross, does exactly what Netanyahu wants. The voting procedures in the recent elections are a prime testimony to that accusation. Votes were systematically stolen and forged the entire length and breadth of the elections. This has been documented and we are dealing with this issue separately.

Netanyahu's control of the executive branch is also famous. It was enough to see the "candelabra" (as the media mockingly coined the picture) of government ministers who stood behind Netanyahu at every rally. Secondly, despite the fact that approximately one third of the Likud members voted for Moshe Feiglin, not one of its elected officials dares to publicly endorse him. The ministers fear Netanyahu and do not really have any space for political maneuvers. If Netanyahu insists, everyone lines up behind him; whether he decides not to approve a solution for Migron or not to endorse the legislation for hearings for High Court justices.

All that is left is control of the legislative branch; the branch elected by the sovereign; the members of the party. This is Netanyahu's next goal. He will accomplish it by running for presidency of the Likud Central Committee.

For all practical purposes, the president of the Likud Central Committee controls the decision making and legislative process of the voting body. With cooperation from special-interest groups, he can pass almost any law while blocking others.

By proposing his candidacy for president of the LCC, Netanyahu is forcing the Likud members to choose between the executive and legislative branches of the party. In other words, Netanyahu is telling the Likud that there are no more checks and balances in the party. Either we will be a one-man party or a party with no head. The subliminal threat here is that if Netanyahu is defeated in his bid for presidency of the LCC by a different candidate, he will leave the party, Sharon-style, possibly joining up with Yair Lapid, Ehud Barak (for sure) and an elite group of Meridors. And of course, if Netanyahu is elected, there is no more Likud: Just a one-man party in the service of the Left, as usual.

What can we do?

First of all, we must remember that we survived Sharon, who pulled off the same tricks, and we will also survive Netanyahu. In the meantime, Manhigut Yehudit's power in the Likud has vastly increased. The Likud members appreciate and understand who preserved their right to choose in the party and who negates that right from them; who has afforded them liberty and who is destroying the party.

Israeli Civil Administration capitulates

The Civil Administration capitulated to the dictates of the UN, Ezra
Nawi and Amira Hass

Yesterday night (Monday, February 20, 2012) policemen arrived at the
home of Nadia Matar of Women in Green and hung on the door an order
demanding to immediately evacuate trees on a piece of land that was
planted by Women in Green. The following was written in the order:
"Warning about the obligation to immediately evacuate land". They
added: "If you do not evacuate it by yourself by 22-2-2012 at 2:30pm,
the authorities will evacuate it and you may be charged for the fees
of their work."

A map was attached to the order. The map shows that they are talking
about the area of land in Netzer where Arabs, connected to
anti-Israeli organizations like the UN, Ezra Nawi and Amira Hass, have
been active. That area of land was till recently, according to all
maps, state land, and that is why Women in Green planted there, to
safeguard them from Arab take-over. But it seems that when there is
pressure by organizations like the UN, Ezra Nawi and a huge article in
Haarets by Amira Hass…the same area of land all of a sudden becomes
"private Arab land", the Jews become the "invaders" and they receive
eviction orders.

Women in Green leaders Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar immediately
contacted Attorney Doron Nir Zvi who sent, during the night, a letter
to the head of the Civil Adminstration, Motti Almoz, and to Attorney
Koby Avitsan of the prosecutors office at the Civil Administration,
claiming that since Women in Green has been holding on to that land
for more than 30 days, they have no right to implement evacuation
order 1472 against his clients.

This argument is of course not the main argument. The problem is much
more painful and deeper. As was written in numerous articles in Makor
Rishon, the Civil Administration is "infected" with leftism. Look, for
instance, at the Migron example, in which Arabs are pushed to claim
ownership on lands that are not theirs and in order to keep the quiet,
the Israeli authorities capitulate to the Arabs. The Civil
Administrations job is to safeguard the state lands and not to
safeguard the quiet, quiet that the Arabs use to steal the land. It is
simply outrageous that the Civil Administration can overturn the
status of lands and decide, because of outside pressure, that lands
that belong to the People of Israel, all of a sudden are declared
private Arab land!

If the pressure by anti-Israeli organizations brought the  Civil
Administration to cave in; it is important to have counter pressure.
Women in Green call upon all lovers of Israel to contact, today, the
Civil Administration and demand that they do not capitulate and do not
uproot the trees in Netzer; urging them to safeguard the lands that
belong to the Jewish People.

Fax number of Motti Almoz head of the Civil administration, 972-2-9977341

Faxes are very important. You can write in English, too.

Tomorrow, Wednesday February 22nd, at 2:30, the hour by which the
police told us we need to evacuate the trees, we will go to Netzer and
show a Jewish presence at the site. The public is invited.

For details:
Yehudit Katsover 050-7161818 Nadia Matar 050-550834

Women For Israel's Tomorrow  (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel

February 20, 2012

Harvard, Jew Haters, Motherhood and Israel

 In the decades before the Holocaust, an evil wind blew through
academia and other elite quarters throughout the Western world. The
doctrines of race and eugenics became all the rage of the anointed
intellectuals. Even an otherwise liberal thinker like Oliver Wendell
Holmes was drawn to the fashionable concept of killing mentally
disabled in the name of eugenics.

These doctrines gave the German intellectuals the philosophical
underpinning for their so-called "anti-Semitism." That itself was a
pseudo-scientific term for regular old Jew hating just like
"anti-Zionism" is a progressive, politically correct term for regular
old Jew hating today.

Harvard, Jew Haters, Motherhood and Israel

February 19, 2012

'Jews and Arabs are too similar'

By Samson Blinded

"The alien who lives among you will rise over you higher and higher, and you
will sink lower and lower" Deuteronomy 28:43.

Sam Huntington could not be more wrong with his Clash of Civilizations thesis.
Civilizations, in fact, clash rarely, and their confrontations are limited to
border conflicts. Even the famed Islamic jihad in Europe and the subsequent
Reconquista targeted a narrow strip of Southern Europe. On the contrary,
intra-civilization wars are ubiquitous. The more culturally close are the
opponents, the bloodier is their conflict. The two world wars, which were fought
between culturally similar European countries, took an unprecedented number of
lives. Civil wars are generally the bloodiest.

Contrary to Fukuyama’s dream of a post-human liberal world without wars,
globalization works the other way around: people become more culturally
homogeneous, interact more—and clash more often. Globalization caused Japan to
take offense at American trade restrictions in the 1930s, globalization made the
Pacific front technically possible, and globalization accounts for some Afghani
terrorists planning the 9/11 attacks halfway across the globe. Global projection
of power is a function of globalization, which allows any two groups to fight,
no matter the distance. Still more importantly, globalization pushes foreign
images into our homes. Indonesian Muslims learn about evil Zionists they would
otherwise never have encountered in their lives. This virtual contact amounts to
intrusion and gives impetus first to xenophobia, then hatred, then war.

       If anything, we would see more conflicts rather than less, as was indeed the
case in the twentieth century. The conflicts would become more and more
irrational. In antiquity, resources were scarce but people still used them on
economically irrational wars of honor. In our time of economic surplus,
economically motivated wars have almost entirely given way to ideological ones.
Irrationality makes modern wars unpredictable, common, and cruel. This kind of
ideological war is only possible in a culturally homogeneous world: one can kill
chimps, buffalo, or natives to gain unrestricted access to local resources and
plunder them profitably, but no one would fight Polynesian aborigines for
ideological reasons. One only enforces his ideological views on people who are
at least remotely similar.

       This shows how misguided are those who appeal to the similarity of common Jews
and Arabs. Leftists send children to mixed camps to interact with Arabs and see
them as the people similar to themselves. The organizers presume to eliminate
hatred and mutual suspicion in that way. How wrong. There is a Ukrainian saying,
“My Jew is no Jew.” Goebbels of cursed memory made a similar remark in his
diary—that probably every German had come to him and pleaded for his Jewish
friend who was unlike other Jews. On a personal level, people of hostile groups
get along perfectly because they have no personal squabbles. Their problem
arises only on a group level. There is no reason for a Jew who wants falafel to
hate the Arab provider of it; there is every reason for Jews to hate Arabs who
want to take our land. A nation is not sum of its people, but an entirely
different body with its own goals, hatreds, and allegiances. It is
counterintuitive, but such relationships are typical of synergistic systems:
consider how an airplane is unlike the heap of its parts—the airplane flies,
its parts don’t. The moral theory recognizes synergistic differences: killing
is a crime for an individual, but heroic for a nation.

       Cultural homogenization of Jews and Arabs works against coexistence. Just as
Jewish assimilation in Europe sparked a major wave of anti-Semitism in the late
nineteenth century, so Arab assimilation, especially if forced by the Israeli
establishment, is bound to inflame hatreds. Many Jews don’t care about Arabs
living in closed communities such as Tulkarem or Umm al Fahm, but resist them
moving into Haifa and Yaffo. Not surprisingly, Sephardi Jews, the most
culturally close to Arabs, hate them the most.

       Educated in Israeli schools and universities, the Arabs might seem similar to
Jews, but the similarity is actually anti-parallel: both groups have similar
goals and approaches, and are thus bound to clash. Jews learned of a noble
nationalist struggle for their homeland, and so did the Arabs—incidentally,
we’re talking about the same piece of land. Jews are educated in the spirit of
dwelling safely “in our own land,” but so are the Arabs—they don’t want
to live prosperously in a Jewish state, just as good Jews don’t want a
prosperous life in Switzerland, but choose Israel instead. Both groups want to
make this land “their own” and will accept nothing less.

       Cultural homogenization causes intermingling, which in turn inflames hatreds,
which push moderates from the scene. Since Oslo, Israeli Arabs don’t fear and
have no reason to be moderate. They can safely support the most zealous leaders.
Moderation is not rewarded, nor is it there any ostensible scheme for rewarding
Israeli Arab citizens of some political views over those with diverging
opinions. Arab society quickly radicalizes to the point of no return. The
radicals might not be many, but few are required; riots, civil wars, and
revolutions are started by insignificant minorities.

February 17, 2012

Haaretz: Israel’s Anti-Semitic Rag

FrontPage Magazine

Haaretz: Israel’s Anti-Semitic Rag

Posted By P. David Hornik On February 17, 2012

Haaretz, Israel’s left-wing daily, used to be Israel’s newspaper of record and comparable to the New York Times, read also by those who differed from its line. Today Haaretz is read by less than 6 percent of Israelis, overwhelmingly composed of the country’s left-wing “elite.” Haaretz comes in far behind successful newcomer, right-of-center Israel Hayom at 38% and left-of-center Yediot Aharonot at 36%.

Haaretz’s English website, however, gets a very high Alexa ranking—around the 3900th most popular website in the world and currently neck-and-neck with the centrist Jerusalem Post’s site. Indeed, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu allegedly called (his office later denied it) Haaretz and the New York Times Israel’s “two main enemies” and said:

    They set the agenda for an anti-Israel campaign all over the world. Journalists read them every morning and base their news stories…on what they read in the New York Times and Haaretz.

Whether or not Netanyahu said it, he could have added that foreign diplomats as well base their views of Israel, and their perceptions—however skewed—of Israeli opinion, on what they read in Haaretz.

For his part, Israeli justice minister Yaakov Neeman has allegedly gone even further and likened Haaretz to Der Stürmer.

Are such charges justified? To get an idea on whether they are, I followed Haaretz’s English website’s op-eds and editorials through the Israeli workweek of Sunday, January 29 to Friday, February 3. Having done the same experiment eight years ago, I can say right away that Haaretz has, if anything, gotten worse since then. (While its reporting is also biased, the bias is easier to demonstrate in opinion articles.) This despite the fact that last August, Aluf Benn became Haaretz’s new editor in chief.

For years Benn was a thoughtful left-of-center columnist for the paper who made valid, if arguable, points. Under his tenure, though, Haaretz has kept publishing the same bevy of radical leftists. It appears inevitable considering that the Schocken family, which has owned the paper since 1937, still holds a dominant 60% stake of Haaretz. In an op-ed last November, current Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken portrayed Israel as a country verging on apartheid.

During the week in question, January 29-February 3, Haaretz published 30 op-eds. Fifteen of these could be called neutral on political, left-right issues. Exactly one—by Haaretz’s sole regular right-wing columnist, Israel Harel—was a discussion from a right-wing perspective. Of the other 14, 11 were virulently left-wing and 3 more moderately so. As for the editorials, all six were harsh attacks on Israeli policy, leadership, and institutions. The following is only a sampling from the week.

On Sunday, Gideon Levy published a piece on a recent poll finding high levels of religious beliefs in the Israeli Jewish population. For instance, 84% believe in God, 70% believe Jews are the chosen people, 76% eat kosher at home—figures far beyond the approximately 25% of the Jewish population that is formally observant. This poll, to put it mildly, did not sit well with Levy and other Haaretz pundits.

Levy, for his part, wrote:

    Expressions of racism toward Arabs and foreigners, Israel’s arrogant attitude toward international opinion—these too can be explained by the benighted, primeval belief of the majority of Israelis (70 percent ) that we enjoy complete license because You chose us.… we are in the West Bank above all because the majority of Israelis believe that it is not only the land of the patriarchs, but that this fact gives us a patrimonial right to sovereignty, to cruelty, to abuse and to occupation—and to hell with the position of the international community and the principles of international law, because, after all, we were chosen from among all other peoples.

That is not a valid polemic but, rather, an anti-Semitic rant. As Shmuel Rosner notes regarding the traditional Jewish belief in chosenness,

    There’s nothing wrong with such belief. When Americans were asked by Gallup if their nation “has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world,” 80 percent said yes. According to a Pew survey, “About half of Americans (49 percent) and Germans (47 percent) agree with the statement, ‘Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others.’”

Israelis, of course, do not regard chosenness as a license to commit crimes, and Levy cannot cite any evidence that they do. He just asserts it, or “spits it” would be more accurate.

Also riding the antireligious tide on Sunday, Amir Oren complained that the Israeli army “was another kind of army [once], before the chief rabbi of the air force took office, before the religious takeover of aircraft hangars, and their takeover of the rest of the Israel Defense Forces.” Oren approvingly quotes an anonymous letter to the chief of staff by a secular air force pilot:

    …maybe I should let you know that the members of the air force, at least from [a certain] base, will not be meeting with authors, or guides who would teach them about nature and about various places around the country, or scientists or philosophers, or journalists or historians, or people looking at future trends. Only with religious people, who my son describes as crazy. I find no reason to assume that this disease only exists on this one particular base…. Don’t be surprised if normal soldiers don’t find their place in your army of God.

If this sounds like hatred of religious Jews, it is; and it is no less clear that hatred of a category of Jews is anti-Semitism. It should be added that, whatever legitimate controversies may exist about religion’s role in the Israeli army, one reason it has become more prominent there is that religious Israelis now disproportionately volunteer to be officers and combat soldiers—a fact I didn’t come across anywhere in Haaretz’s rants.

And Sunday’s editorial weighed in on the “failed” (except that all serious commentators knew they didn’t stand a chance) Israeli-Palestinians talks in Jordan, saying these were intentionally scuttled by Israel and adding:

    Netanyahu, with [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak’s help, has turned the Iranian nuclear threat into an impressive ploy to distract attention from settlement policy and the perpetuation of the occupation…. The death certificate of negotiations based on the two-state solution is a badge of shame for Israeli society. It’s hard to understand how a society that has so impressively brought social injustice to the top of the agenda has fallen victim to our nationalist-religious leaders’ criminal ploy.

Here it should be noted that neither Netanyahu nor—even less so—Barak is considered religious in Israeli terms. But these bad characters, we see—with “Israeli society” in tow—are leading the world by the nose on the Iranian-nuke issue so they can tighten their grip on the West Bank. If this reminds you of Walt, Mearsheimer, Patrick Buchanan, & Co., it should—and it’s coming from a made-in-Israel website.

That Israel is an “apartheid state” is, of course, another shibboleth of contemporary anti-Semitism. It was well represented in Haaretz on Monday by Druze writer and contributor Salman Masalha who, in another crude rant, drew direct parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa. Then there was Akiva Eldar, whose tirade also featured the crafty, peace-destroying Netanyahu:

    If Netanyahu had not existed, the settlers would have been forced to invent him. It has cost him peanuts to remove some of the roadblocks in the West Bank, to lift part of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, and to pay a bit of lip service to “the peace process.” And, he has managed to preserve all the settlers’ interests.

    …Fact: It is possible to gobble up additional territories and also be depicted as a moderate leader while managing to keep relations with the United States and Europe intact.

    The settlers can relax. The general positions outlined last week in Jordan to the Palestinians [were] nothing more than another exercise aimed at presenting Netanyahu as a partner to peace and the Palestinians as the ones who turn it down….

Tricky Jews at it again; all is subterfuge, don’t believe a word they say.

Especially offensive, though, was Monday’s column by Merav Michaeli, who also focused on the poll that so upset Gideon Levy but found a different significance in it:

    The issue that should have sparked panic in the survey is the total consensus among Israeli Jews…that the “guiding principle” for the country and for Judaism itself is “to remember the Holocaust.” Ninety-eight percent of the respondents consider it either fairly important or very important to remember the Holocaust, attributing to it even more weight than to living in Israel, the Sabbath, the Passover seder and the feeling of belonging to the Jewish people.

    …That’s the way it is with traumas…. Trauma leads to belligerence and a strong tendency to wreak havoc on one’s surroundings….

A very high societal awareness of the Holocaust—cause for “panic”! From a non-Haaretz perspective, this might be seen as an educational success and a welcome phenomenon. Holocaust survivors, it can be assumed, regard it that way, and so would the victims. But for columnist Michaeli, it’s something that drives Israelis to beat up on others—again, a familiar canard of the anti-Semites.

On Tuesday Avirama Golan gave her take on Israeli secondary education:

    from year to year, Israeli children will participate in experiential tours in Israel and abroad. First they will lift their heads in national pride in the City of David and shed a Jewish tear at the Western Wall…. Two years later they will march with a huge Israeli flag in the suburbs of Warsaw, will hate Poles and will swear to take revenge on the Palestinians…. Never mind. In any case these children will be drafted, will be welcomed to the army by the rabbi of the base, who will blow the shofar in their honor. It’s better if they’re prepared.

It’s nasty, leering stuff, and it’s anti-Semitic by any reasonable definition.

It was more of the same on Wednesday. Bradley Burston heaped some more demonization on the Israeli leadership:

    If we’re lucky, the threat (no more than the threat) of an Iran attack (Bibi and Barak’s Glory Days Redux fantasy) will be just one more dodge to keep settlers and their opponents at bay: long enough to make it to elections, long enough to get another fix of power…. Alternatively, they could do the bidding of the hard right. Shun the left, exploit the center, build like mad in the settlements and bomb Iran for good measure.

By now it should be emerging that—aside from portraying Israel as a country that touts a phony Iranian threat for its own nefarious purposes, or might start a Middle Eastern conflagration for its own sneaky reasons—Haaretz is not fond of “the settlers.” The fury toward Israelis who live in the West Bank—now numbering well over 300,000 and covering the full sociological spectrum—clearly smacks of pathological obsession. Wednesday’s column by Zvi Barel directed still more abuse at these people, depicting them as taking over the country while perhaps being “willing to give Israel equal rights under conditions dictated by the invaders of the hills.”

Thursday was somewhat quieter, with the aforementioned column by right-winger Harel and a few “neutrals.” But Ari Shavit came through with:

    Over the past three years, Netanyahu has succeeded in decimating the left’s belief in peace with the Palestinians, and he is en route to destroying the world’s hopes as well. He has managed to convince both the Americans and the Europeans that the main topic on the world’s agenda must be Iran….

And Haaretz was back in full force on Friday. Yoel Marcus:

    …The most worrying survey showed that 80 percent of Israelis believe in God…. this number is another element in the weakening of the left, the strengthening of the right, the reinforcement of the rabbis’ rule and the sanctity of the territories—and the continuation of the Bibi regime.

Former Knesset member and cabinet minister Yossi Sarid offered an imaginary letter to his parents by an Israeli schoolchild taken on a school tour of Hebron:

    They should stop telling us stories—we’re not children anymore. With our own eyes we saw the settlers acting like the bosses, telling the soldiers and the policemen what to do.… Once I saw a movie called “To Hell and Back,” and that’s a pretty good description of the day we had. We discovered a grave new world, in which an abomination becomes a righteous deed, as long as it’s performed by authority of the Torah, of course…. I’m going to have to rethink everything, after I found out…that God has more support than…Netanyahu here: at least 80 percent, and a majority is a majority. Just as murder is murder…. I trust our education minister will examine our memories to discover what Hebron did to us as a city that really stinks.

And Doron Rosenblum:

    It has become difficult in this country to distinguish, at least on the visual level, between a ceremony to dedicate a new Torah scroll and a walk to the cabinet meeting by the prime minister (who is “good for the Jews”) and his entourage of skullcap- and kerchief-wearers.…

To sum up, then, the gleanings from one week of Haaretz’s opinion articles: the Jewish religion is primitive and benighted, and Israeli Jews exploit it to abuse others. Religious Jews are taking over Israel and the Israeli army and constitute a “disease” in that army. Israeli is solely and deliberately responsible for the failure of Israeli-Palestinian talks, and craftily uses the Iranian threat to deceive Americans and Europeans and advance its goals. Israel is an apartheid state. Israelis are driven by the Holocaust to wreak havoc on others. Israeli schoolchildren are inculcated with a ludicrous religion, Judaism, and learn to hate Poles and Palestinians. Israel may bomb Iran just so its prime minister and defense minister can please the “hard right.” The “settlers” are demons, entirely evil.

One of Israel’s main enemies? Haaretz’s English website is certainly that, as it spews this vile nonsense all over the world. Der Stürmer? With its hatred and defamation of the Israeli Jewish people and of Judaism in general, its volleys of anti-Semitic stereotypes, Haaretz is not far off.

February 16, 2012

Jewish Land.....Negotiate this!

 Mishpatim 23:31

"And I will make your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the river, for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and you shall drive them out from before you."

Sounds like good boundaries to "negotiate".