Barry Rubin, Asaf Romirowsky, and Jonathan Spyer
The GLORIA Center has released a new report, ‘UNRWA: Refuge of Rejectionism?’ The report details how this UN agency, nominally a humanitarian effort to help Palestinian refugees, has in fact become a major barrier to resolving the conflict as well as furnishing finances, facilities, and recruits for terrorist groups.
On the surface, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) seems a humanitarian group helping Palestinian refugees. In reality, it actually helps destroy the chance of Arab-Israeli peace, promotes terrorism, and holds Palestainians back from rebuilding their lives.
By Moshe Aarons
[..] The U.S.-Israeli relationship is based on firm foundations of common values, ideals and strategic interests that do not depend on whether the administration in Washington is Republican or Democratic. The relationship is a major part of Israel’s strategic posture and should not be impaired by Israeli politicians under any circumstances. Although some Israeli prime ministers have in the past made the unfortunate mistake of indicating their preference for one of the candidates in the American presidential elections, until now, no one until has been as blatant as Olmert when he declared that the next administration would not be as friendly to Israel as the present one. That statement is certainly not likely to advance our country’s relationship with the next administration. If at all, the contrary should have been said: We expect the relationship with the next administration, regardless of who is elected president of the United States, to be even better.
By Ted Belman
I recently posted two articles suggesting that Bush could attack Iran in November or December. This seems to be the talk. Now Olmert has come to AIPAC and gone and Jim Lobe a critic of the neo-cons, commented on the current talk in an Asia Times article Hawks still circling.
- [..] First, there were Olmert’s very confident comments about “vanquish[ing] the threat” after his meeting with Bush last Wednesday. “I left with a lot less question marks [than I had entered with] regarding the means, the timetable restrictions and America’s resoluteness to deal with the problem,” he said after the meeting.
This, of course, was the day after Olmert had told AIPAC, “The international community has a duty and responsibility to clarify to Iran, through drastic measures, that the repercussions of their continued pursuit of nuclear weapons will be devastating.” (Emphasis mine). Now, this may just be the hawkishness of a politically besieged Israeli prime minister dishing up red meat for a hawkish AIPAC audience, but I don’t think it can be so easily dismissed (in contrast to the even more bellicose remarks last week of Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, whose domestic political motivations are much more clear and who is now being blamed for much of the historic jump in oil prices last Friday).
By Ted Belman
Garth Porter reports in Asia Times Pentagon blocked Cheney’s attack on Iran reasoning
- Pentagon officials argued that no decision should be made about the limited airstrike on Iran without a thorough discussion of the sequence of events that would follow an Iranian retaliation for such an attack. Carpenter said the DoD officials insisted that the Bush administration had to make “a policy decision about how far the administration would go – what would happen after the Iranians would go after our folks”.
In other words, the Pentagon felt “that Iran has “escalation dominance” in its conflict with the United States.”
- Pentagon civilian and military opposition to such a strategic attack on Iran had become well-known during 2007. But this is the first evidence from an insider that Cheney’s proposal was perceived as a ploy to provoke Iranian retaliation that could used to justify a strategic attack on Iran
So there you have it. The reason the US didn’t go after Iran in limited ways was because the US feared Iranian retaliation. The US had to first decide if it wanted a full scale war with Iran. If not it feared limited attacks.
by Tsafrir Ronen
[Parts II and III to follow]
At the Annapolis Conference, President Bush spoke about his vision regarding the virtues of two nations for two peoples.
One of those peoples – the Jewish people – has a clear identity. Yet it would be interesting to know the identity of the second people. Already in 1977, a central spokesman of that “second people” (a PLO leader, Zahir Muhsein, head of the as-Sa’iqa Organization) revealed the truth in an interview to the Dutch newspaper Trouw. Here are his words:
- “The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism for tactical reasons. Jordan, a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. As a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”
Barry Rubin, GLORIA
Suppose that debate over the world’s most obsessive issue is based on nonsense. Consider if the policy options of governments, discourse of universities, and rivers of word in the media on this matter are clearly illogical. What if thousands of diplomats, journalists, and professors are racing down the wrong path and billions of dollars are being tossed away in a futile pursuit?
To make matters worse, if all that time, attention, energy, and resources is being devoted to the wrong things, they cannot be used to solve real, pressing problems that might be better handled.
That’s a pretty horrendous scenario, right? But that is basically the situation we face regarding the absurd belief that the Arab-Israeli, or more immediately, the Israeli-Palestinian, conflict can be resolved at this time.
Our World: The government’s plan for Gaza
By CAROLINE GLICK
The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government is marching the country into another military confrontation with an Iranian proxy army. As was the case in the last confrontation with an Iranian proxy army two years ago, the country’s leaders are fully committed to Israel’s strategic defeat in the current one.
[By Ted Belman – No one would agree to this if they expected to fight a bigger war latter. It seems to me that Israel thinks it can avoid war by doing this. That means caving in all over the place.]
Tuesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will meet ahead of Wednesday’s security cabinet meeting to determine their preferred course of action in Gaza. As media reports and statements by the three’s surrogates over the past several days make clear, Israel’s political leaders oppose launching a military campaign aimed at defeating Hamas’s Iranian directed, financed, trained and armed army and dislodging Hamas’s jihadist regime from power.
By Judy Lash Balint
It’s 5:00 a.m on Shavuot morning and I’m having trouble finding an empty seat at any shul in Jerusalem’s Old City. Every synagogue is already packed as I make the mistake of lingering a few minutes too long at the Kotel amongst the tens of thousands who have made their way there after a night of learning.
Words of warning to the West
By Joel Richardson, WND, © 2008
The United States is about to be tried. At stake are the very freedoms that we all hold so dear. On March 27, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to adopt resolution 7/19 on “Combating defamation of religions.” In one of the most Orwellian resolutions ever passed, this so-called “Human Rights Council” condemns “Islamophobia,” which includes any, “attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations.”
Think about this for a moment. Suppose that I tell you that according to sacred Islamic tradition, Muhammad himself stated that those who leave Islam should be punished by execution. And suppose that I also point out that all four of the Orthodox Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence as well as the Shiites interpret Muhammad’s statements to mean that death is the appropriate punishment for leaving Islam. According to this resolution, I should be arrested and tried for a “criminal” act. Free speech anyone?
U.S. urges removal of antiterror barriers
Jews were attacked within hours previous time obstacles removed
By Aaron Klein, WorldNetDaily
JERUSALEM – An Israeli decision today to remove antiterror roadblocks from near the oldest Jewish community in the world was made under heavy pressure from the U.S., defense sources said.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had requested U.S. security coordinators here monitor Israeli pledges she previously extracted to remove specific roadblocks and checkpoints throughout the West Bank to ease Palestinian travel.
Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man,
His enemies say he’s on their land.
They got him outnumbered about a million to on,
He got no place to escape to, no place to run.
He’s the neighborhood bully.
The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive.
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin,
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.
“International Islamic Conference on Inter-faith Dialogue” calls for action against “culture of hatred among nations”
If you don’t know by now that action against the “culture of hatred among nations” means restrictions on free speech about Islam, including investigations of the motives and goals of the jihad terrorists, you haven’t been paying attention. Pakistan recently called for EU action against free speech, and this conference, which was portrayed in the witless Western press as a genuine call for interreligious dialogue, is talking about going to the UN and “taking action at the media level to counter distorting campaigns and confront calls for confrontations among civilizations.”
In other words, if you say Muslims are waging jihad warfare against non-Muslims, they will try to get you vilified, if not prosecuted, for “hate speech” — for daring to suggest that there is a “confrontation among civilizations.”
“Muslim scholars call for action against ‘culture of hatred among nations,'” from Kuwait News Agency, June 7
by Jerry Gordon and Joseph Shahda, New English Review, June, 2008
U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, chair of Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, is trying to take down hundreds of terrorist videos on YouTube operated by Google many showing violent actions against US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The videos give instructions in making weapons to conduct such attacks, while others spew out incitement to hate against us. On May 19th, Lieberman sent a letter to Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google calling on Google to take down the terrorist content produced by al Qaeda and its wannabes. We also would include by extension videos currently posted by Al Manar, the Hezbollah TV outlet, on YouTube.
By Ted Belman
But first I want to look at the negotiations. Can anyone tell me what the Israelis are demanding. I’m waiting.
On the other hand,the Arabs are demanding the holy city in Jerusalem, the greenline as the border and the “right of return”. It seems Israel is always struggling to meet their demands in part, hoping it will suffice. No such struggle on the part of the Arabs, Just the reiteration of their demands. They have a sense of entitlement while the Israelis have a sense of indebtedness. That’s no way to win a ball game.
Last month, while speaking at a synagogue in Baton Rouge, Florida, Barack Obama responded to a question about his connection with Rashid Khalidi:
You mentioned Rashid Khalidi, who is a professor at Columbia. I do know him because he talked at the University of Chicago and he is Palestinian, and I do know him and I have had conversations.
He is not one of my advisers, he is not one of my foreign policy people, his kids went to the lab school where my kids go as well.
He is a respected scholar although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel policy.
So according to Obama:
o Obama knows Rashid Khalidi because Khalidi spoke at the University of Chicago
o Khalidi “vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israeli policy”.
Turkey’s Putin Deserves to Go
by Michael Rubin, MEF
ISTANBUL – Yesterday Turkey’s constitutional court overturned a new law that would have allowed women in the secular republic – established in 1923 by the Westernizing Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – to wear Muslim headscarves in universities.
It now appears all but certain that this summer the court will go even further when it decides a larger case against the country’s Islamic-rooted Justice and Development (AK) Party. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AK stand accused of violating “the principles of a democratic and secular republic.” Penalties could range from a suspension of the party’s public financing to its disbandment and the suspension of its leadership from politics. Such a development should be welcome in the United States.
By Ted Belman
When I first posted Obama’s speech to AIPAC, I said he reversed everything and stunned AIPAC and me. Within 24 hours, his campaign corrected him.
Some say he lied, others that he caved under pressure. I reject both of these.
The way I see it is that this was a very important speech as it was to his campaign as the Democratic nominee. I am sure that the speech was written by a knowledgeable Jew in collaboration with others and finally vetted by Obama himself. All his positions and previous statements were recalibrated for the national campaign. In it he was at pains to stress he was not soft on defense and was a friend of Israel.
Who Do They Love?
By Mona Charen
Do American Jews really love Israel, or just Democrats? Last week, 7,000 members of the storied AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) rose to their feet to honor Barack Obama a total of 13 times. The first standing O, lasting more than a minute, greeted the senator as he took the stage — before he had even begun to count all the ways he plans to become a “true friend of Israel.” They gushed. They cooed. They were carried away.
Someone needs a cold shower. It is difficult to think of any recent major figure on the American scene who should invite disquiet among supporters of Israel more than Barack Obama. (And certainly among Israel’s many Christian supporters, he doubtless does.) Yet 61 percent of American Jews, according to a recent Gallup poll, prefer Obama to McCain. True, this is a drop from the 78 percent who voted for John Kerry in 2004, but it still qualifies as slightly deranged, under the circumstances.
Comment by Ted Belman
I support the burning of the bibles 100 %. First of all, this more than a free speech issue or a freedom of religion issue. The Christians claims both. So do the Islamists why they defend there right to lie and incite hate. From the point of view of the Jews, it is about self defense. Foe 2000 years the Jews have developed mechanisms to ensure their survival both physically and spiritually. They have a right to defend their culture and that trumps the missionaries right of free speech.. For that matter the same applies to the Americans who still care about their culture or way of life. They better learn how to defend themselves.
But some ask “but why burn them?” To make a clear statement. Missionizing is offensive to Jews. If Christians don’t want their bibles burnt, don’t hand them out unsolicited.
I wrote this before I read that the bibles included the Hebrew Bible.
by Ellen W. Horowitz
Yes Virginia, there is anti-Semitism…
You must see this video of Pat Robertson attacking Orthodox Jews and promoting the messianics, and the change in the law of return (which was really not changed).
CBN Report: Turning Up the ‘Heat’ on Messianic Jews (June 4, 2008)
- “Ultra Orthodox Jews in the Israeli town of Yehuda burned new testament bibles belonging to Messianic Jews… It’s the latest in a series of incidents – in Israel – against Jesus…excuse me…Jews who believe in Jesus as the messiah.” -Pat Roberston on CBN NEWS
by Leah Abramowitz
For the past 20 years, my family has had the privilege of living in the Jewish Quarter, the beautifully reconstructed section of the Old City of Jerusalem, where Jews have lived for centuries.
Without noticing it, a whole generation has grown up who know no other home but the lanes and byways of the Jewish Quarter. To these youngsters it is as natural to “run down to the Western Wall for a prayer service” as it is for us to wonder at this miracle. They climb the domed rooftops as other kids climb trees; run along the ramparts of the ancient Turkish walls on scavenger hunts, hardly aware of their historical importance; and learn to guide bewildered tourists talking unidentifiable languages to the religious and archaeological sites of interest.