“Racism” – an infinitely elastic term – is by far the very worst crime any human being can commit according to the Left.
There is one exception, however. Essential as it is to strive (hopelessly if you’re a white person, not too hard if you’re anything else) not to be racist, it is compulsory to hate Jews. Though you mustn’t call them that. You must call them Israelis or Zionists. And hating them isn’t enough. You must work actively for their destruction.
Why, you ask? Isn’t it obvious? Because Israel is an apartheid state, Israelis are Nazis who colonized the long-established independent state of Palestine, and Jews are carrying out savage acts of terrorism on every inhabited continent, and threatening to take over Europe and the world. While the Muslims – pacific and tolerant even though they’ve been horrifically persecuted for hundreds of years – are making huge contributions to humanity, especially through Science, so winning Nobel Prizes out of all proportion to their tiny number.
This is from Front Page, by Caroline Glick:
The main foreign policy issue that galvanizes the passions and energies of the committed American Left is the movement to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.
This week has been a big one for the anti-Israel movement. In the space of a few days, two quasi academic organizations – the American Studies Association [ASA] and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association – have launched boycotts against Israeli universities. Their boycotts follow a similar one announced in April by the Asian Studies Association.
These groups’ actions have not taken place in isolation. They are of a piece with ever-escalating acts of anti-Israel agitation in college campuses throughout the United States.
Between the growth of Israel Apartheid Day (or Week, or Month) from a fringe exercise on isolated campuses to a staple of the academic calendar in universities throughout the US and Canada, and the rise of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement to wage economic war against the Jewish state, anti-Israel activism has become the focal point of Leftist foreign policy activism in the US and throughout the Western world.
Every week brings a wealth of stories about new cases of aggressive anti-Israel activism. At the University of Michigan last week, thousands of students were sent fake eviction notices from the university’s housing office. A pro-Palestinian group distributed them in dorms across campus to disseminate the blood libel that Israel is carrying out mass expulsions of Palestinians.
At Swarthmore College, leftist anti-Israel Jewish students who control Hillel are insisting on using Hillel’s good offices to disseminate and legitimate anti-Israel slanders.
And the Left’s doctrinaire insistence that Israel is the root of all evil is not limited to campuses.
At New York’s 92nd Street Y, Commentary editor John Podhoretz was booed and hissed by the audience for trying to explain why the ASA’s just-announced boycott of Israel was an obscene act of bigotry.
Many commentators have rightly pointed out that the ASA and the NAISA are fringe groups. They represent doctorate holders who chose to devote their careers to disciplines predicated not on scholarship, but on political activism cloaked in academic regalia whose goal is to discredit American power. The ASA has only 5,000 members, and only 1,200 of them voted on the Israel- boycott resolution. The NAISA has even fewer members. It would be wrong, however, to use the paltry number of these fringe groups’ members as means to dismiss the phenomenon that they represent. They are very much in line with the general drift of the Left. … While the ASA and its comrades are on the fringes of academia, they are not fringe voices on the Left. The Left has embraced the cause of Israel’s destruction.
Rejecting Israel’s right to exist has become part of the Left’s dogma. It is a part of the catechism. Holding a negative view of the Jewish state is a condition for membership in the ideological camp. It is an article of faith …
Consider the background of the president of the ASA. Curtis Marez is an associate professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, San Diego. His area of expertise is Chicano Film and Media Studies. He doesn’t know anything about Israel. He just knows that he’s a Leftist. And today, Leftists demonize Israel. Their actions have nothing to do with anything Israel does or has ever done. They have nothing to do with human rights. Hating Israel, slandering Israel and supporting the destruction of Israel are just things that good Leftists do.
And Marez was not out of step with his fellow Leftists who rule the roost at UCSD. This past March the student council passed a resolution calling for the university to divest from companies that do business with Israel. Why? Because hating Israel is what Leftists do. …
Challenging the likes of Marez, or the Swarthmore students … to a reasoned debate is an exercise in futility. They do not care about human rights. They do not care that Israel is the only human rights-respecting democracy in the Middle East. … Being hypocrites doesn’t bother them either.
You can talk until you’re blue in the face about the civilian victims of the Syrian civil war, or the gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia and the absence of religious freedom throughout the Muslim world. But they don’t care. They aren’t trying to make the world a better place.
Facts cannot compete with their faith. Reason has no place in their closed intellectual universe. To accept reason and facts would be an act of heresy.
The religion of Christianity began by plundering and anathematizing the religion of Judaism, and became a menace to the Jews. The religions of Islam and Socialism plundered and anathematized both, and menace all of us.
Religion is a self-imposed curse on humankind.
This story of genuine heroism is by Daniel Greenfield, from his website Sultan Knish. We quote it almost in full:
Irena Sendler was a young Polish social worker when the war broke out in 1939. [Although she was not Jewish] she became active in the Zegota* underground and helped forge documents that would allow Jews to go into hiding. All in all historians estimate that Sendler and other Zegota members assisted over 500 Jews during those early days of the war.
When the Warsaw ghetto was established in 1941 Sendler obtained false identity papers that allowed her to enter the ghetto as a nurse who specialized in infectious diseases. At first, her goal was to bring in food and medicines into the ghetto but as she sized up the situation, she realized that the Germans’ ultimate goal was to kill all of the ghetto Jews. Sendler began to smuggle children out of the ghetto. At first she helped remove children who were living on the street, orphaned when their parents were killed or taken away. Slowly however she changed her efforts to try to help children whose parents were still alive.
In an interview conducted over 50 years after her wartime activities Sendler told her interviewers that the memories of her encounters with the parents still gave her nightmares. “I talked the mothers out of their children….Those scenes over whether to give a child away were heart-rending. Sometimes, they wouldn’t give me the child. Their first question was, ‘What guarantee is there that the child will live?’ I said, ‘None. I don’t even know if I will get out of the ghetto alive today.”
All in all it is estimated that Sendler was able to smuggle over 2500 children out of the ghetto. She often sedated the children, especially the small ones, and carried them out in bags, luggage or toolboxes. Sometimes she hid them under her tram seat while at other times she placed them in carts covered with garbage or snarling dogs to deter the Germans from investigating further. Many of the older children were guided out of the ghetto through the sewer pipes that ran underneath the city.
Once a child had been moved to the safe side of Warsaw Sendler organized a hiding place for the child. Some of the children needed forged documents that would allow them to be placed with sympathetic families while others were taken to orphanages and convents. Sendler meticulously documented all of the names and hiding places of the children on tissue paper which she placed in glass jars and buried in her garden. Sendler hoped that the children could be reunited with their families after the war or, if not, with the Jewish community.
In October of 1943 Sendler was arrested by the Germans and taken to the notorious Pawiak prison. The Nazis tortured her and broke both of her legs but she did not reveal any information about her activities, her comrades or the whereabouts of “her” children. Sendler was scheduled to be executed but Zegota was able to bribe a German guard who released her shortly before her scheduled execution. Sendler went into hiding where she remained for the duration of the war.
Israel honored Irena Sendler as a “Righteous Gentile” in 1965.
In 1999 a group of students from Kansas City … set about recording her story. They were able to meet with her in 2003 and interview her and from that research they established a project called “Life in a Jar” which … explores the horrors of the Holocaust through the actions of [this] one brave non-Jewish individual. … They were able to create a video presentation and act out their performance about Irena Sendler in hundreds of locations.
*For more about the Zegota organization, go here.
Truth-speaking Pat Condell again, at his splendid best. This is his latest video.
And this picture and text comes from PowerLine:
According to the caption, the Yahoo! News photo of the day depicts Jihad Masharawi weeping while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad, at Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike on their family house, in Gaza City, Wednesday, November 14, 2012. According to the The Daily Mail, which has published a virtual time series featuring Jihad from various news services, Masharawi is the BBC Arabic picture editor.
The Daily Mail reports that “the attack struck an apartment building injuring two other people…” What happened to the “family house”? According to the Daily Mail, the boy’s name was Omar. What happened to Ahmad? I guess it’s the fog of war.
The Gazans who raise their children to kill themselves as suicide bombers are in no position to demand sympathy from the world when a child of theirs is killed in the war they perpetuate.
From Honest Reporting:
While the boy was allegedly killed by an IDF airstrike, it occurred during the time that a ceasefire was in effect for the visit of the Egyptian PM. A ceasefire that Hamas broke, firing more rockets while even Israel refrained from launching airstrikes. The truth has now emerged. Credit to some journalists for admitting, for once, that Israel was not the responsible party. The Sunday Telegraph reports:
“The highly publicised death of four-year-old Mohammed Sadallah appeared to have been the result of a misfiring home-made rocket, not a bomb dropped by Israel.The child’s death on Friday figured prominently in media coverage after Hisham Kandil, the Egyptian prime minister, was filmed lifting his dead body out of an ambulance. ‘The boy, the martyr, whose blood is still on my hands and clothes, is something that we cannot keep silent about,’ he said, before promising to defend the Palestinian people. But experts from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights who visited the site on Saturday said they believed that the explosion was caused by a Palestinian rocket.”
There is only one party that not only deliberately targets innocent Israeli children but also has no qualms about putting the lives of Palestinian children at risk.
11/19/2012. From the Algemeiner:
Yet another fake ‘Gaza’ photo has incited a flurry of comments on Facebook against Israel during the fifth day of Israel’s Pillar of Defense operation in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. An Arab news site called Alarab Net released the photo, which shows a family who was allegedly ‘massacred’ in Gaza on its Facebook page on Sunday, November 18. The caption in Arabic roughly translates into English as “martyred massacred family in Gaza shortly before…”
Thanks to Tazpit News Agency’s investigative work, it was found that the photo had been originally published on a news site based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates called Moheet one month earlier on October 19. On the Moheet website, the photo was titled “Syria killed 122 Friday…Assad Used Cluster Bombs.” …
It is not the first time that photos from the Syria massacres have been recycled into Gaza tragedies during the recent rocket escalation. Last week, Hamas’s military wing, the Al Qassam Brigades uploaded a photo on their Twitter page of a dead child in his weeping father’s arms, which the terror group alleged had happened in Gaza during an IDF strike.
The American news syndicate Breitbart found that the photo was a month old and had originally appeared in a slideshow about the Syrian conflict back in October on the UK Guardian. The photo had in fact been taken in the Dar al Shifa Hospital in Aleppo, Syria.
The best and fullest account we’ve found so far of what happened early Monday morning when ships making for Gaza “to break the blockade” were intercepted by the Israeli navy, is by Melanie Phillips and can be read here.
She rightly describes the flotilla as a terrorist ambush.
She points out forcefully how the West’s deliberate blindness to Israel’s predicament is deeply damaging to itself.
It is becoming ever more clear that Islamist terror attacks like this are fiendishly staged theatrical events in which the western media – and beyond them, western governments — play an absolutely essential role in the drama. If those media and governments refused to swallow the lies and instead called operations like this and the players behind it for what they actually are, such terrorist operations would not happen. The Islamist strategy of war against Israel is carefully calibrated to deploy the most effective weapon in its armoury in the cause of jihadi violence – the western media. Right on cue, western governments accordingly deliver their own script in condemning the victims of terror for defending themselves. And so, courtesy of the west’s fifth columnists, yet another nail is driven into the west’s own coffin.
In her Jerusalem Post column this week, Sarah Honig tells a story about a man being offered a choice between two ways of getting killed.
It is an apt illustration of the choice Obama is offering Israel.
Sarah Honig writes:
Time to quit quibbling. No pedantic hairsplitting can mitigate the evidence: The Obama administration cynically links Iran to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The premise is simple and chilling. If Israel wants a last-minute, last-ditch, quasi-credible American move to keep Iran from obtaining nukes, it must pay the piper by making hefty concessions to the sham paraded as the Palestinian Authority. Boiled down to its bare essence, the White House diktat means that Israel can maybe extricate itself from existential Iranian threats by submitting itself to existential Iranian-proxy threats.
Had Barack Obama ever read Shalom Aleichem’s autobiography he’d have encountered the author’s harrowing recollection of the story his grandfather told him about “the bird-Jew.” That was how the grandfather referred to Noah, a pious innkeeper who lived in constant dread of the gentile village squire. Trembling, Noah headed for the manor to renew his lease. His timing was off, because the courtyard was full of festive guests ready to go hunting.
The squire, in a jovial mood, agreed to renew the lease if Noah would climb the stable roof and pretend to be a bird, so he could shoot him. Fearful of angering the nobleman, the worst consequence the Jew could imagine, Noah obsequiously did his bidding. He went up and, as ordered, bent forward, flung his arms sideways and assumed a birdlike pose. At that point the squire fired and Noah fell, as any slain bird would.
Although realizing he was about to be put to death anyway, the bird-Jew played along with his executioner, still absurdly terrified of what might happen if he didn’t. Obama is the proverbial squire in our own tale, casting Israel as the latter-day bird-Jew.
Israel is now squarely in Obama’s gun sights. It’s blamed for all Mideast ills. Obama, after all, is the high priest of the political theology of American/Western guilt. Israel embodies Western culpability. If Obama preaches American penance vis-à-vis Arabs/Muslims, Israel obviously must atone in more than words for the sins he ascribes to it. …
Patriotic Americans are now told insidiously that by not bowing down to Obama’s ultimatums Israel jeopardizes the lives of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. When depicting a pacified Mideast as a “vital national security interest” that must be secured, the “peeved” Obama puts Israel on notice that he will shove a solution down its intransigent throat.
The nature of his cure is determined by his diagnosis, which in turn is colored by his perception of democracy’s foes as frustrated potential friends. In Obama’s universe, it’s the West’s haughty insensitivity which sparks Arab/Muslim hostility. Islamic expansionism and exclusionism aren’t problems but cultural assets for America. Consequently democratic Israel must sacrifice its self-preservation to facilitate appeasement of Muslims sworn to annihilate the Jewish state.
Obama’s radical worldview places the onus on the victim. Its corollary contention is that were the aggressor’s grievances redressed, all would be hunky-dory.
The great American silent majority may not be fully aware of Obama’s dangerous undertones. Many of his Jewish voters willfully prefer not to understand. They’d rather not admit liability for their political folly – a common psychological shortcoming.
So we Israelis are left alone. It’s up to us not to be bamboozled.
While the current US administration calls the shots, there is no Israeli-American alliance we can remotely count on. Obama will do nothing whatever to even diminish the danger of an Iranian nuclear threat against Israel. Otherwise he wouldn’t have frittered valuable time for more than a year, twiddling his thumbs. The sanctions Obama proposes are preposterously useless anyhow and further diluting them to win Chinese and Russian acquiescence would make them altogether laughable. China and Russia, let’s not forget, are Iran’s principal enablers. Obama knows this.
Had Obama wanted to effectively deal with Iran’s rogue regime, he’d need no allies. America could have unilaterally declared stringent sanctions, imposed them on prime trading partners and enforced an air-and-sea blockade that few would have dared breach. No military attack would be required. [We're not convinced of this - JB.]
But that’s not Obama’s agenda. We must suspect that he desires a nuclear Iran to render Israel more vulnerable, pitiably dependent and pliable, thereby facilitating his envisioned great rapprochement with the Muslim world.
Obama’s endgame is to debilitate, demoralize and destabilize Israel. All he offers Israelis is a choice of how his inimical goal will be achieved. This may be via allowing Iran the weaponry with which to intimidate Israel or by shrinking Israel into the Auschwitz borders (as ultra-dove Abba Eban called the 1949 armistice lines into which Obama schemes to squeeze us).
We can avoid Iranian nukes by opting for the Auschwitz borders or we can avoid the Auschwitz borders but be bullied by Iranian nukes. The unspoken signal from Washington is: Either way, you’re dead. …
We agree that Obama is intent on debilitating, demoralizing and destabilizing Israel, but we don’t think that is his “endgame”. Those are means to an end.
Obama’s end is to destroy the State of Israel.
Hamas says jump, and al-Reuters says how high, inshallah. …
Hamas was upset at an on-line ad that was seen at the Reuters Arabic service site, offering a $10 million reward for information on the whereabouts of Gilad Shalit [the Israeli soldier Hamas is holding captive].
Reuters’ response to the terrorist group is instructive.
Palestine Today reports that Reuters responded to the criticism, saying that it was an automated ad placed there by Google Ads, and not – Allah forbid! – placed by any Reuters staffers. After all, an ad that seeks to free a prisoner illegally held in an unknown location without any access to the Red Cross would be thoroughly offensive to any Reuters employee, right?
Reuters then cravenly added that they immediately acted to remove the ad, and “we are now taking steps to ensure non-recurrence of such things in the future.”
Reuters additionally wrote back to the offended terrorist organization that Reuters has a long history of covering the Middle East in a neutral and accurate manner, stressing that they are committed to continuing this approach, they wrote “We are clear and faithful to our principles of integrity, independence and distance from bias.”
Clear and faithful to Islamic principles, which explains Reuters principles of integrity, dependence, and bias. Keep this in mind when reading any of their “news.”
This comes from Creeping Sharia, one of the websites that keeps us informed of news the mainstream media often prefer not to spread.
Hard as it is to believe, this Washington Post column by Fred Hiatt is not satire. He seems seriously to mean what he says.
Gays, immigrants, union leaders, budget hawks, campaign finance reformers, environmentalists, free-traders, human rights activists and civil libertarians all have had cause to wonder whether they were right to trust Obama. The list is familiar, but the explanation remains disputed.
My theory: The culprit is less ideology than Obama’s fidelity to a strategy he can’t, for tactical reasons, publicly acknowledge. Given the hand he was dealt, the evidence suggests he resolved that he had to choose only one domestic and one foreign objective for his first two years in office.
An ambitious set of goals motivated Obama’s candidacy, and early in his presidency the rap was that he was taking on too many. But the legacy of wars abroad and the Great Recession at home threatened his ability to accomplish any of them. Simply managing that bleak inheritance, he realized, might consume his entire term.
To avoid that trap, Obama had to govern with discipline. First, he would have to turn potential negatives into successes. At home, that meant not only engineering a stimulus program to end the recession but also designing financial reform to prevent a recurrence. In Iraq and Afghanistan, it meant charting a path to not just to withdrawal but stable outcomes.
Since both fronts would take enormous energy and political capital, Obama could not afford to squander whatever remained across an array of worthy electives. So over time he subordinated everything to just two: health-insurance reform and blocking Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Anything else, no matter how popular or deserving, had to give way if it interfered with those.
Obama has put enormous energy into repairing relations with Russia, for example, and relatively less into ties with allies such as India, Mexico or Britain because stopping Iran would require Russia’s support of sanctions. Without a new START arms-control treaty, Russia would not play ball on Iran, so Obama worked assiduously to negotiate a new START. The nuclear summit he hosted in Washington this month; playing down trade tensions with China; the relative reticence on North Korea’s nukes; prodding Israel toward peace talks — all of these were crafted with an eye toward Iran.
At home, the mono-focus is more obvious. Obama would like to close the Guantanamo prison, curb traffic of assault weapons crossing the Mexican border, reform immigration laws and reduce carbon emissions. But each would have carried a political cost, to Obama or Democratic allies he needed on health care, so they all had to wait.
I don’t mean to suggest that Obama would go to any lengths to achieve the main objective. He bargained hard on START, for example, insisting that the treaty meet U.S. military needs as well as serve the larger goal.
And it’s not that he has abandoned everything else: Where he could advance other objectives at minimal cost, he has done so, usually by executive action. He wouldn’t fight for labor law reform, but he promulgated regulations that favor unions. He hasn’t replaced No Child Left Behind, but he allowed his education secretary to spur reform by judicious granting and withholding of stimulus funds. There’s no climate change legislation, but the Environmental Protection Agency hiked mileage standards for cars and trucks. And so on.
Obama can’t acknowledge all this. You don’t tell allies, whether gay rights groups or India, that they’ve slipped down your priority list. (That’s especially true now, before an election, as immigration, education and energy advocates jockey to go next.) And the best negotiating strategy to get things you want isn’t always to show how much you want them.
So we may have to wait until Obama writes his memoirs to discover why he elevated these two goals. Was he set on health reform from the start, for instance, or did congressional politics nudge that ahead of, say, coping with climate change?
Abroad, the strategy, with its hope of turning autocracies such as China and Russia into long-term partners, remains at best unproven. At home, it seems to be paying off, with major health reform approved and financial reform in sight. For those at the back of the line — such as the District last week — the opportunity costs are sharply felt. But even at such times, it’s hard not to admire Obama’s focus.
Every statement cries out for exegesis. Some of them – Obama’s “ending of the recession”, his financial reform, his “charting a path to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan” – need at least a paragraph each. But there’s one that clamors for objection above the rest.
“Blocking Iran’s development of nuclear weapons” has been Obama’s foreign policy priority? Everything else except health care has been subordinated to that goal? He’s focussed on it?
Strange – we haven’t noticed that he’s done a damn thing about it. It seems to us that he’s perfectly willing to let Iran become a nuclear-armed power. A series of “deadlines” have been allowed to pass without there being any penalty for Iran’s ignoring them. Talk of sanctions has been nothing but talk, and those talked of have been steadily weakened. No military option is “on the table”. Obama has begged Ahmadinejad for his friendship, and the poisonous little dictator has gleefully said no over and over again. How come Mr Hiatt hasn’t noticed all that?
How has the START treaty affected Iran? Russia is still not willing to vote for sanctions. And what US military needs have been served by it? It is plainly to the detriment of the US and the advantage of Russia. Relations with Russia are in no way “repaired”. If changed at all, they’re probably worse. Nor will China vote for sanctions. And Obama’s “reticence” on North Korea’s nukes has resulted in – what? As for the nuclear summit, Iran wasn’t even mentioned. And “prodding” Israel – that has made the world safe from Iranian bombs? What it has really done is tell Israel that it has “slipped down the priority list”, along with India and Britain and a number of other allies.
Well, we’ve recovered from being flabbergasted by Mr Hiatt’s quaint perspective and now we find it amusing. And it’s gratifying to know that numerous bunches of lefties (but surely “free-traders” and “budget hawks” do not belong among them) feel disappointed by the president of their dreams. From our perspective he has gone fearfully far to satisfy them, with the “executive action” and “regulations” and so on that Mr Hiatt tells us were thrown to them as mere sops or stop-gaps. So apparently he might have gone further and done even worse.
The implication of Mr Hiatt’s apologia for his hero is that when he has succeeded with his two chosen “electives”, he will go further. Now the health care legislation has been forced through, but there still remains the other goal Mr Hiatt believes Obama is focussed on: stopping Iran going nuclear.
If Mr Hiatt is right and the achievement of that goal really stands between Obama and the rest of the far left agenda he’s expected to foist on us, then we can rest easy. Or could, if dread of those bombs wasn’t keeping us awake nights.
But what if Mr Hiatt is wrong? We’ll get the bombs and the radical left agenda.
Obama has assured America’s enemies that they don’t have to fear nuclear retaliation if they attack the US, even if they use chemical and biological weapons. He’s pursuing his childish dream – one that his mother probably dreamt in the late 1960s while she participated in the New Left’s drug-hazy pacifist love-in – of America teaching the world by example to throw away all those nasty nuclear weapons. (See the report of Obama’s new ‘posture’ on nuclear arms use in the New York Times.)
John Hinderaker writes at Power Line:
On its face, that is unbelievably stupid. A country attacks us with biological weapons, and we stay our hand because they are “in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty”? That is too dumb even for Barack Obama. The administration hedged its commitment with qualifications suggesting that if there actually were a successful biological or chemical attack, it would rethink its position. The Times puts its finger on what is wrong with the administration’s announcement:
It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war.
That’s exactly right. The cardinal rule, when it comes to nuclear weapons, is keep ‘em guessing. We want our enemies to believe that we may well be crazy enough to vaporize them, given sufficient provocation; one just can’t tell. There is a reason why that ambiguity has been the American government’s policy for more than 50 years. Obama cheerfully tosses overboard the strategic consensus of two generations.
Or pretends to, anyway. Does anyone doubt that the administration would use nukes in a heartbeat if it considered such measures necessary? I don’t. The problem is that when the time comes to actually use nuclear weapons, it is too late. The danger here is not that the Obama administration has really gone pacifist. On the contrary, the significance of today’s announcement appears to be entirely symbolic–just one more chance to preen. The problem is that our enemies understand symbolism and maybe take it too seriously. To them, today’s announcement is another sign that our government has gone soft, and one more inducement to undertake aggressive action against the United States. [All emphases are ours]
We are usually in agreement with the good guys at Power Line. And we agree that Obama is offering an inducement to America’s enemies to “undertake aggressive action” (the part we have emphasized in bold).
But with those parts that we have italicized we disagree. We don’t think Obama is dumb, even though he is not exceptionally intelligent and is capable of acting stupidly and naively. We think he is ignorant and evil. Because we believe he is full of bad intent and deeply anti-American, we do indeed doubt that his administration would use nukes, no matter what the circumstances. If he has his way there’ll be no American nukes to use. We don’t think he is just preening, preener though he is.
Could it be any more obvious that he is content to see Iran armed with nukes, but not America?
Could the implications of this be any more frightening?
Post Script: It should be noted that he excepts from his promise of indulgence countries which are not in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Two countries that have refused to sign it are India and Israel. This means that for as long as America still has nuclear weapons, however few, however old, however degraded, if usable at all they could be used against those two erstwhile allies.
Gaza is awash with cash, goods, gold.
The gold is smuggled in from Egypt. The cash is given to the Palestinians by Israel.
According to a DebkaFile report, an (unpublished) Egyptian investigation contradicts the tear-jerking accounts spread in the West.
Here’s the story:
Foreign visitors to the Gaza Strip, most recently UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and European Union foreign executive Catherine Ashton, depict its 1.2 million Palestinian inhabitants with great pathos as living in wretched conditions, starving and homeless – and all because of the Israeli embargo. In fact, a new Egyptian report … shows that the one-day observers were hoodwinked or willing to be misled.
The Egyptian authors count more than 1,000 tunnels, some broad enough for loaded trucks, through which a large array of basic and luxury goods flow to the markets and shops of the Palestinian enclave – and have done ever since the end of 2009. The latest hit in Gaza is the new Gold Market, which has been crowded with shoppers for trinkets, ornaments and glittering gifts since it opened.
Yet Ashton, after a day in Gaza, reported: “Moving from Israel into Gaza, you go from a 21st century country to a landscape that has been disfigured. Rebuilding is impossible while Israel blocks goods from entering. People have little more at their disposal than the ruins that surround them.”
And the UN secretary never tires of demanding that Israeli lift its embargo, as though the Gaza Strip’s plight was unmatched anywhere in the world.
The stage props they witnessed in their fleeting visits were bolstered by the accounts of local UN Works and Relief Agency personnel who have a vested interested in presenting a picture of profound poverty – both to stimulate donations and to justify their jobs. They and the Hamas rulers share an interest in keeping this distorted impression before the world media.
The new Egyptian report finally exposes this fraudulent picture with hard facts and figures.
For instance, the oversupply of building materials has in fact depressed the market price per ton of iron from $1066 in 2008 to $533 in March 2010; cement has dropped even more steeply, from just over a thousand dollars then to $240 today, because of an overabundance.
If the buildings damaged in Israel’s operation Cast Lead in 2009 have not been rebuilt, it is not because of the ineffectual Israel embargo.
In fact, the Hamas rulers make a tidy profit from embargo: They impose duty on every item of goods “imported” via the tunnels which honeycomb the Egyptian-Gazan border area. This revenue not only keeps them in silk ties but also in power.
Their other main source of income is, unbelievably, the 200 million Israeli shekels (app. $50 m), Israel deposits in cash in Gazan banks every month. This income – which provides the oxygen for keeping Gaza’s economy and financial sector afloat – is in fact spent on building more and better tunnels for more high-end goods, in order to further boost Hamas revenues – as well as weapons, which are then used for attacking Israel. The Strip is awash with every type of hardware.
Keeping Gaza’s banks supplied with Israeli currency, an Israeli concession to foreign demand, fuels one of the craziest and destructive cyclical processes ever seen even in this irrational region.
Some of those shekels are spent to upgrade the underground conduits with concrete walls and efficient lighting to resemble European highway tunnels, through which trucks and other vehicles flow. The “tunnel industry” – as it has become – employs 20-25,000 workers.
Because the markets of Gaza are swamped with an enormous variety of cheap luxury items, unavailable in many other Middle East countries, the tunnel managers have recently slowed down the traffic to support prices. As a result, Hamas’ revenue from “import duty” declined by 60 percent in the first two months of 2010.
There are certainly poor people in Gaza, like anywhere else – but the obvious causes, which anywhere else would be first assigned to poor government and social malaise, never seem to occur to observers who look at this reality through the prism of their agendas.