By Evelyn Gordon, JPOST
Ascribing complex problems to simplistic causes exaggerates their scope and makes them harder to fix.
Three news items over the last two weeks highlight the degree to which real problems, like poverty and discrimination, are often wrongly exaggerated by lumping several unrelated issues together. The well-meaning may hope to draw more attention to these problems by magnifying them; the malicious simply seek to make Israel look worse. But regardless of the motive, it’s deeply counterproductive.
… for once we, in the terminally guilt ridden West, really can blame ourselves.
– Pat Condell, in “Boo-hoo Palestine”
This week I thought I would cut myself a little slack – and at the same time offer what I consider to be a public service, by providing The Jerusalem Post’s readership with a transcript of the latest video put out by the inimitable Pat Condell, titled “Boohoo Palestine,” interspersed with comments/ commentaries of my own.
Israel was back in the cross-hairs of both the international media and the Arab and Muslim worlds today after violence led to a temporary shutdown of access to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and its mosques. Condemnations of the Jewish state came in hot and heavy from various Islamic sources and even Jordan, a country that has a peace treaty with Israel and is dependent on it for security cooperation. Few bothered to mention, let alone condemn, the attempted murder of a Jewish activist that led to the closure or the drumbeat of incitement from Palestinian leaders that helped create the trouble. But while, as our Seth Mandel pointed out, the shooting generated biased media coverage that drew on the same themes as those inciting the violence, there is more to unwrap here than that. The obsessive focus on keeping Jews out of Judaism’s most sacred site and indeed, out of much of Jerusalem tells us all we need to know about why peace is nowhere in sight.
Jordanian minister blames Netanyahu for ‘not keeping promise’ of discriminatory status quo on Temple Mount, drafts plan against ‘breaches.’
Jordanian King Abdullah II, Binyamin Netanyahu
Jordan’s government has threatened to revoke its 1994 peace treaty with Israel after the Temple Mount was temporarily closed to both Jews and Muslims on Thursday, in an attempt to calm tensions after an Arab terrorist shot Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.
Mohammed Al-Momani, Jordan’s Minister of Media Affairs and Communications and spokesperson for the Jordanian government, said the peace treaty is “under threat” if Israel continues “breaching” the status of the Temple Mount, Arabic-language Sky News reported, as cited by Yedioth Aharonoth.
Shaked: Allow Jews to Pray on the Temple Mount
Jewish Home MK calls on the Prime Minister to sign new regulations allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.
Haaretz:Jewish religious freedoms are a right, not a provocation
The shooting of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick will galvanize those pressing for an end to the prohibition on Jewish prayers there. Liberals everywhere should be supporting them.
Kerry Reiterates Call to Reopen Temple Mount to Muslims
Kerry condemns shooting of Yehuda Glick but also calls ‘to maintain the status quo.’
Temple Mount open Friday, with limited access
Site will only be open to men over age of 50 and women; Jordanian spokesman: Pressure from Amman led to decision.
By Arlene Kushner
Last night there was a conference, “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount,” at the Menachem Begin Center in Jerusalem – this is an annual event of the Temple Mount Faithful. It was neither a large nor a raucous event.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, Temple Mount activist, was a key presenter: He showed a video filmed on the Mount that morning that offered evidence of Palestinian Arabs trying to frighten Jewish visitors away. Deeply devoted to Har Habayit, he gives tours on the Mount and educates on the ancient and on-going Jewish connection to it. One would not always get that impression from the media, but he is a gentle man, and from what I know of him, a very special human being.
When Rabbi Glick left the Center, he was approached by an Arab dressed in black garb. The Arab asked him – in Arabic-accented Hebrew – if he was Yehuda Glick; on receiving an affirmative answer, he pulled out a gun, shot him three times point blank in the chest, and rode away on a motor cycle.
The time must have come to consider whether it is really acceptable to retain Turkey as a member of NATO. At various times in the history of its membership, dating back to 1952, Turkey, though effectively rescued from threats from Stalin by the Truman administration in 1947 and 1948, was a double agent between the Soviet Union and the United States, taking substantial aid from both.
For decades, on the strength of that NATO membership, Turkey knocked noisily on the door of Europe but was generally rebuffed as a nation of Muslims unassimilable to the pretensions of the surging Euro-federal ideal. This remained true in the brief shining but somewhat infamous moment when most of the West European leaders thought that, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States could be eased out of Europe, and the Germans, French, British, Italians, Spanish, and others could stand on one another’s shoulders and Europe would become the centre of the world again, after the aberrant century that started with World War I in 1914. In these circumstances, NATO eroded, first into the enfeebled “coalition of the willing,” which isn’t an alliance at all, just an assertion that if one country in the group wishes to do something, another, if it is in its interest too, might join in. And in these temporarily relaxed times, when European officialdom was aflame with the anticipatory joy of being the world’s greatest power again, it was an affordable luxury to brush off the heirs to the “Abominable Porte,” the “sick man of Europe”; and to do otherwise, as Gladstone said of Disraeli, would be “backing the wrong horse.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the intensifying global pressures on Israel is ?to firmly reject any further territorial withdrawals that would put Israel’s security at risk, ?stating that “Israel will not lose hope for peace, but neither will it cling to false hope.”?
He was also forthright about his intention to continue residential construction in Jerusalem, ?noting that “all previous Israeli governments have done so. … It is also clear to the Palestinians ?that these territories will remain within Israel’s borders in any deal.”?
The Obama administration’s response to Israel’s confirmation that it would continue to create ?homes in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem was vindictive, brutal, and in stark contrast to ?its deafening silence on Palestinian incitement.?
BY HUMEYRA PAMUK AND OMER BERBEROGLU
ANALYSIS & OPINION
(Reuters) – A first group of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters entered the besieged Syrian town of Kobani on Thursday to help push back Islamic State militants who have defied U.S. air strikes and threatened to massacre its Kurdish defenders.
Kobani, on the border with Turkey, has been encircled by the Sunni Muslim insurgents for more than 40 days. Weeks of U.S.-led air strikes have failed to break their stranglehold, and Kurds are hoping the arrival of the peshmerga will turn the tide.
The army is destroying civilian structures and expelling residents en masse, claiming that the operation is necessary for security reasons.
The plan is to create a buffer zone on the border with Gaza, to evacuate some 10,000 Arabs in a few days. Ultimately a water-filled separation barrier will be built all the way to the Mediterranean.
Already dozens of homes have been destroyed by dynamite and bulldozers and more than a thousand men, women and children are homeless. The army warned residents to get out within 48 hours or homes would be destroyed whether not anyone was inside.
Daniel Greenfield leaves out a factor that I believe is very important. Obama has always been pro-Palestinian and no doubt intended to create a Palestinian state during his time in office. The high ranking diplomat didn’t just call him a chickenshit. He explained it by saying “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states.” Bibi has out-maneuvered Obama for 6 years causing Obama to fail in his cherished objective. Due to Bibi’s bobbing and weaving, Obama hasn’t been able to land a punch. He hasn’t been able to make any progress whatsoever on the creation of Palestine. For that Obama will never forgive him. Ted Belman
Obama’s foreign policy was supposed to reboot America’s relationship with the rest of the world. Old allies would become people we occasionally talked to. Old enemies would become new allies. Goodbye Queen, hello Vladimir. Trade the Anglosphere for Latin America’s Marxist dictatorships. Replace allied governments in the Middle East with Islamists and call it a day for the Caliphate.
Very little of that went according to plan.
Obama is still stuck with Europe. The Middle East and Latin American leftists still hate America. The Arab Spring imploded. Japan, South Korea and India have conservative governments.
No doubt the gang in the Obama administration have been congratulating themselves for planting some juicy insults aimed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jeffrey Goldberg’s latest column in The Atlantic. But now that the wiseacres in the West Wing and/or the State Department have done their dirty work the question remains what will be the consequences of the decision to widen as well as to embitter the breach between the two countries. While most of those writing on this subject, including Goldberg, have emphasized the real possibility that the U.S. will sandbag Israel at the United Nations and otherwise undermine the Jewish state’s diplomatic position in the last years of Obama’s term in office, that won’t be the only blowback from the administration’s “chickenshit” diplomacy. Rather than harm Netanyahu, this ploy, like previous attacks on the prime minister, will strengthen him while making mischief for the president’s party in both this year’s midterms and in 2016.
Abraham, the first Jew, was told to journey from Ur of the Chaldees to the Promised Land where he would become a blessing to the world. Some 4000 years later his descendants in the Jewish State are traversing the planet with innovative products, technology and aid to benefit humanity.
An Israeli delegation is currently in Rwanda, as part of a program helping the poor east African nation save millions of dollars a year through recycling and green technology. At the International Water Association’s annual conference in Lisbon, Israelis presented creative solutions to global water problems. At the same event, Israel’s Miya received the IWA’s Project Innovation Award, Asia Pacific Region, for significantly improving urban water system efficiency in Manila, Philippines.
During a recent interview with The Times of Israel, former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer “warned” Israel not to develop too close a military relationship with China. There is nothing new about America’s opposition to Israel’s military ties with China. In 1992, the United States accused Israel of sharing American Patriot missiles technology with China. In 2000, Israel had to cancel the sale of its Falcon Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to China because the US administration threatened to cut off its $2.8 billion military aid to Israel.
What is new, however, is that Israel is not being “warned” about a specific military deal with China (there is currently no such deal in the pipeline), but about the fact that it is progressively rebalancing its foreign policy toward the Far East. The United States rightly feels that it is losing some of its influence on Israel. Israel’s ability to reduce its military and diplomatic dependency on America’s goodwill, however, is a welcome development.
The Chief Rabbis complain that this legislation will create second class Jews. So what? I see no problem with that. In the future should a few of such second class Jews have their Judaism questioned, they can always consider conversion at that time. In the meantime, most Jews will accept their status as Jews just as they do in the US. Ted Belman
This past generation has seen no clearer proof of the vitality of the Jewish people than the immigration to Israel of Jews from the former Soviet Union. For 70 years, Soviet Jews lived under a brutal totalitarian regime that ideologically negated Jewish existence and fought it through every possible overt and covert measure. Any demonstration of Jewish identity, of Jewish culture, was illegal, and KGB agents — whose eyes were always peeled and who missed nothing — took aggressive action against any such expression.
2014’s spate of Islamic terror attacks against Western targets leaves observers grasping for words to describe what’s happening. President Obama doesn’t want to deal with it at all, so after a Muslim convert beheaded a woman in Oklahoma, he thought it appropriate to send the beheader’s mosque (the Islamic Center of Greater Oklahoma City) warm greetings about “shared peace” and “a sense of justice.” (The occasion was the Muslim feast of Eid Ul-Adh, but the timing was awful.) U.S. national security agencies are no help either—under the tutelage of the Muslim Brotherhood, they were purged long ago of any vocabulary useful for dealing with jihad. “Lone wolf” gets a lot of play with the media, but as Michael Ledeen, Andrew McCarthy, and Patrick Poole (here, here, and here) have all pointed out, there’s nothing ‘lone’ about Muslim warriors, self-selected or otherwise, engaging in fard ‘ayn (individual jihad) in obedience to the doctrine of their shared faith.
During Operation Protective Edge, in 50-days of combat, about 2,100 Palestinians were killed – perhaps nearly a third of them appear to have been civilians. The IDF fired 34,000 artillery rounds; 12,000 were smoke, 3,000 were illumination, and 19,000 were explosive; at a cost of about 4,000-5,000 shekels per shell. Hamas extensively uses “Qassam” rockets which cost about 500 dollars each (largely funded by US and European taxpayers). These are blocked by Iron Dome whose rockets cost about 50,000 dollars each. This is now called asymmetrical warfare. Rather an understatement of a new sort.
At the same time, while in what used to be called Iraq, Sunni insurgents (a.k.a. Islamic State) have been moving fighters, weapons and supplies from western Iraq through secret desert tunnels to Jurf al-Sakhar, Iraqi officials have said. (US air-strikes can’t find and bomb them in tunnels.)
While Obama is giving us the boot he is kissing up to the Ayatollahs. Ted Belman
US and Arab officials reveal Obama administration’s about-face, including backdoor communication and intelligence cooperation.
The same Tuesday night that a senior official in US President Barack Obama’s administration was quoted calling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “chickens**t,” yet more officials indicated the US is warming up to cooperation with Iran – the Islamic regime seeking nuclear weapons that has declared its desires to destroy Israel.
Senior US and Arab officials were cited by the Wall Street Journal saying that in recent months, America and Iran have grown closer while faced by the common enemy of Islamic State (ISIS) and looking for stability in Iraq and Afghanistan.
American officials revealed to the paper that Obama’s administration has been sending secretive messages to Iran through Iraq’s new Shi’ite prime minister Haider al-Abadi, as well as through Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest ranking Shi’ite cleric in Iraq.
This speech was delivered before the Goldberg article. It shows that Bibi knew the US hard line position and was girding for battle. It is a battle that must be fought. We cannot succumb to their pressure. We must declare our independence. Ted Belman
Netanyahu challenged the US by saying that Israel would continue to build in all parts of Jerusalem.
He challenged the Palestinians and their newest tactic to get the world to impose a solution on Israel, saying that Israel will not accept conditions that endanger its future and security.
“What the Palestinians are asking of us is the establishment of a Palestinian state, without peace and without security. They are demanding a withdrawal to the ‘67 lines, entry of refugees, and the dividing of Jerusalem. And after all those exaggerated demands, they are not willing to agree to the basic condition for peace between two peoples: mutual recognition,” he said.