Carpe diem, Palestinians, join the Islamic State! 5

The Islamic State has invited Muslims from everywhere in the world to come and live in it.

This presents a golden opportunity for Palestinians to be assimilated at last by their own people. Arabs among Arabs. They can be citizens of the new Caliphate.

Israel should encourage the transfer of willing West Bank Arabs and Gazans to the new Islamic State.

Of course it is likely that most Israeli Arabs citizens will prefer to stay in Israel. They are not on the whole a problem to themselves or anyone else. Israel has never aimed at becoming an Arab-free country (though it has been accused of wanting to be just that by its enemies, especially Leftist Israeli historians), and it would be the poorer if it were.

But the Gazans who voted for Hamas to govern them – it will be just like home for them to be under the rule of ISIS/ISIL. And the stone-throwing youth of the West Bank – they’ll be given real weapons by the Islamic State.

Who will not have what they want? Only those Arab states that want to use the Palestinians as a perpetual reproach to Israel and the Western powers who allowed Israel to come into existence.

The loss of that use of them might irritate Obama too, but he could console himself that ISIS is Islam Victorious.

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Iraq, Islam, Israel, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Palestinians, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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Past time to resettle the Palestinians 1

UNRWA should go.

(Indeed, the UN and all its agencies should go.)

This is from  the Council on Foreign Relations, by Elliott Abrams. (We have cut out the bits where he praises the UN and its agencies, because we consider the UN to be a center of global evil.)

Since the end of the Second World War, millions of refugees have left refugee camps, and refugee status, and moved to countries that accepted them – quickly or slowly – as citizens.

Post-World War II Europe was an archipelago of displaced persons and refugee camps, housing 850,000 people in 1947 – Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and many more nationalities. By 1952, all but one of the camps had closed. …

Hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe went to Israel after 1948, and then hundreds of thousands more arrived from Arab lands when they were forced to flee after 1956 and 1967. The children and grandchildren of these refugees, born after their arrival, were never refugees themselves; they were from birth citizens of the new land, as their parents had become immediately upon their own arrival. …

The exception to this refugee story is the Palestinians. In most of the Arab lands to which they fled or travelled after 1948 they were often treated badly, and refused citizenship (with Jordan the major exception) or even the right to work legally. And instead of coming under the protection of UNHCR [the UN High Commissioner for Refugees] , they had a special agency of their own, UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency. In the decades of its existence, it has not solved or even diminished the Palesinian refugee problem; instead it has presided over a massive increase in its size, for all the descendants of Palestinian refugees are considered to be refugees as well. Once there were 750,000; now there are five million people considered by UNRWA to be “Palestinian refugees.” And UNRWA is now the largest UN agency, with a staff of 30,000. UNHCR cares for the rest of the world with about 7,500 personnel.

The political background to this story is simple: only in the case of Israel was there a determined refusal to accept what had happened during and after World War II, with the establishment of the Jewish state and the increase in its population by the acceptance of refugee Jews. Of all the world’s refugees, whom UNHCR tries normally to resettle, only the Palestinians are an exception. UNRWA presides over generation after generation of additional refugees, and Arab states and leaders make believe that some day they can turn back the clock and send them – and their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – to Israel. …

UNRWA should cease to exist, and Palestinian refugees should be handled by UNHCR with the intention of resettling them. …

Lest that position seem idiosyncratic, consider this: in 2010 Canada cut off its funding of UNRWA, and just now the Netherlands government has said it is considering the same action. How did they explain this? The foreign minister told parliament that Holland would “thoroughly review” its policy and the ruling party called UNRWA’s refugee definition “worrying”. UNRWA, said the party spokesman, “uses its own unique definition of refugees, different to the UN’s. The refugee issue is a big obstacle for peace. We therefore ask the government acknowledge this discrepancy, which leads to the third-generation Palestinian refugees.” Correction: fourth-generation, actually.

It is worth noting that there are many other criticisms of UNRWA: that it overlooks terrorist group activity in some camps, or allows members of Hamas and other terrorist groups to hold UNRWA staff positions. But those are criticisms of how UNRWA is carrying out its mission, while the deeper problem is the mission itself. That mission might accurately be described as enlarging the Palestinian refugee problem forever and thereby making any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement tremendously more difficult if not impossible to achieve.

Closing UNRWA would in the end be a great favor to Palestinians who live outside the West Bank and Gaza … Some of those individuals will [we would say “may” – ed] some day move to the West Bank or Gaza, but they do not need UNRWA to do that. None of them will ever move to Israel, and the existence of UNRWA helps to maintain the cruel myth that they will.

The “peace process” seems stalled today; no negotiated final settlements is on the horizon. … Starting the process of closing down UNRWA would be a move toward peace, as it would replace the permanent perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem with a process designed to reduce it in size and some day solve it.

Mercenary values 1

The profession of warrior is as respectable as any other, unless the warrior sells his skill to serve an evil cause.

The government of Somalia considered hiring Saracen International, a South African mercenary firm, to fight pirates and Islamic militants. A disapproving report in the New York Times may have squashed the idea.

Jeff Jacoby writes at Townhall:

That negative publicity may have undone the deal. The Times subsequently reported that Somali authorities “have cooled to the idea” of hiring private militiamen. “We need help,” a government official was quoted as saying, “but we don’t want mercenaries.”

Somalia certainly does need help. It is one of the world’s most unstable and violent countries. … It has been wracked for years by bloody insurgencies, and the central government, what there is of it, is under constant assault by al-Shabab, a lethal jihadist movement closely tied to al-Qaeda. Pirates plying the waters off Somalia’s shores menace international shipping.

The place is a hellhole, and each day that it remains one is another day of death and devastation for more innocent victims. Who is going to help them? The 8,000 peacekeeping troops sent in by the UN are inadequate to the job. “Western militaries have long feared to tread” there, as even the Times acknowledges. So why shouldn’t the Somali government turn to private militias for the help it so desperately needs?

It is fashionable to disparage mercenaries as thugs for hire, but private-sector warriors are as old as combat itself. Americans may dimly remember learning in grade school about the Hessian mercenaries who fought for the British during the American Revolution, but other mercenaries fought for American independence. … Many mercenaries have been heroes of American history. Among them are John Paul Jones, who became an admiral in the Russian Navy; the Pinkerton security firm, which supplied intelligence to the Union and personal protection for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War; the Lafayette Escadrille, a squadron of American airmen who fought for France in World War I; and the Montagnards, the indigenous tribesmen who fought alongside American soldiers during the war in Vietnam. …

This is not an abstract argument. When Rwanda erupted in mass-murder in 1994, the private military firm Executive Outcomes offered to stop the slaughter for $150 million The Clinton administration turned down the offer. In the ensuing carnage, some 800,000 Rwandans were killed.

In 1995, by contrast, the government of Sierra Leone hired Executive Outcomes to put down a savage rebellion by the brutal Revolutionary United Front. Within a year, the company had quelled the uprising and driven the rebels out.

It may not be politically correct to suggest letting mercenaries deal with nightmares like Somalia and Darfur. But political correctness doesn’t save lives. Sending in mercenaries would.

For a state or nation to hire the expertise it lacks is eminently sensible. Somalia should hire mercenary soldiers; Zimbabwe and California should hire mercenary free-market economists; the Palestinians and Pakistanis should hire mercenary brains; the Germans should hire mercenary humorists.

But why stop there?

Many a failed state could turn into a law-and-order polity with a thriving economy if it would hire an administration.

It need not pick the personnel from one country only. It should make up a team consisting of the most competent administrators from a number of countries, most obviously the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

And why not hire a judiciary as well – from the same pool of mostly Anglophone lands where commonsense, rationality, learning, fair-mindedness, humane restraint, probity, and the capacity to adjudicate objectively may still be found?

The hiring state would continue to make its own laws, but would have to be open to the advice of the imported administration and judges as to what laws could and should be enacted if it wasn’t to waste its money.

We float this idea on the ether because it is a good one. We mean it seriously, but would be astonished if it were taken seriously by any failing state. We know that we don’t yet have the clout even of the failing New York Times.

Setting the Palestinians free – from Arab oppression 0

It’s past time for a realistic solution to the Palestinians’ predicament to be found and implemented.

Dr Martin Sherman has a proposal well worth hearing.

He writes at Front Page Magazine:

The Palestinian refugee problem is, to a large degree, an artificial construct. The UN body under whose auspices all the refugees on the face of the globe fall — except for the Palestinians — is the UN Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A separate institution exists for the Palestinians — the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNHCR and UNRWA have widely different definitions for the term “refugee” and widely divergent mandates for dealing with them.

According to the High Commission’s definition, the number of refuges decreases over time, while according to the UNRWA definition, the number increases. This “definition disparity” brings about an astonishing situation: If the High Commission criterion was applied to the Palestinians, the number of refugees would shrink dramatically to around 200,000 – i.e., less than 5 percent of the current number of almost 5 million according to the UNRWA definition.

Moreover, while the mandate of the UNHCR permits the body to seek permanent solutions for refugees under its auspices, UNRWA is permitted only to provide ongoing humanitarian aid for the ever-increasing population of Palestinians. Accordingly, while UNHCR operates to dissipate the problems of the refugees under its auspices, UNRWA activities serve only to prolong their refugee status and thus, their predicament. Indeed, rather than reduce the dimensions of the refugee problem, UNRWA has actually functioned to perpetuate the refugee status of the Palestinians from one generation to the next. It has create an enduring and expanding culture of dependency, while cultivating an unrealistic fantasy of returning to a home that no longer exists.

As long as the Palestinian refugee problem continues to be treated in what former Congressman Tom Lantos called “this privileged and prolonged manner” it will never be resolved. Accordingly, the first step toward the resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem must be the abolition of UNRWA

Of course the Arab leaders would oppose this move. Far from wanting to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in their countries, Arab leaders insist on maintaining and even exacerbating it, in order to display it to the world – as a beggar will display his bleeding sores to elicit alms – and blame it on “the Jews”. The idea is to exploit the conscience of the West, thus proving that they themselves have no conscience whatsoever.

Throughout the Arab world, the Palestinians are subject to blatant discrimination with regard to employment opportunities, property ownership, freedom of movement, and acquisition of citizenship. For example, Saudi Arabia in 2004 announced it was introducing measures to ease the attainment of Saudi citizenship for all foreigners who were residing in the country except Palestinians, half a million of whom live in the kingdom.

Similar policies of discrimination are prevalent in other Arab states. A 2004 Los Angeles Times report painted a grim picture of the life Palestinians are forced to endure among the Arab “brethren.” According to the report, Palestinians in Egypt suffer restrictions on employment, education, and owning property, and when Egypt announced in 2003 that it would grant nationality to children of Egyptian mothers married to foreigners, Palestinians were excluded. In Lebanon, meanwhile, nearly 400,000 Palestinians live in 12 “refugee camps,” where crime is rife and clashes between rival Palestinian factions are common. Palestinians cannot own property or get state health care. According to Tayseer Nasrallah, head of the Palestinian Refugee Rights Committee in the West Bank, Lebanon bans refugees from 72 areas of employment, including medicine and engineering. Syria, with a population of 18 million, is a strong verbal supporter of the Palestinian cause, but refuses citizenship to its 410,000 Palestinian refugees. Even in Jordan, where Palestinians comprise nearly 70% of the population, Palestinians complain that they are discriminated against in terms of employment.

When approached on this issue of discrimination against the Palestinian residents in Arab countries, Hisham Youssef, spokesman for the 22-nation Arab League, openly acknowledged that Palestinians live “in very bad conditions,” but claimed the policy is meant “to preserve their Palestinian identity.” He went on to explain with perhaps unintended candor: “If every Palestinian who sought refuge in a certain country was integrated and accommodated into that country, there won’t be any reason for them to return to Palestine.”

As blatant an admission, Hisham Youssef’s, as any we have heard (and we have heard a few) that the Arab bloc uses the Palestinians as political tools.

But according to a survey conducted by the well-known Palestinian pollster, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, most Palestinians were less interested in being nationalist standard-bearers than in living fuller lives. This view resonates strongly with opinion samples gathered by the leading Arab television stations Al-Arabiya and Al Jazeera of Palestinians living in the various Arab states, the vast majority of whom very much want to become citizens in their respective countries of residence.

No surprise there.

This clearly seems to indicate that Palestinian national identity is something more jealously guarded by non-Palestinian Arabs rather than the Palestinians themselves.

It is only the United Nations Relief and Works Agency that allows the Arab countries to continue to keep the Palestinians within their borders in their situation of suspended stateless animation. For while its mandate prevents finding a permanent solution for the Palestinian residents in these countries, it is the ongoing humanitarian aid that it provides for an ever-increasing client population that permits the host governments to sustain their discriminatory policy toward their Palestinian “guests,” to perpetuate their inferior status, and to allow their situation to languish and fester. …

Dr Sherman then comes to the nub of his solution. He suggests that every Palestinian family should be given “a sum of money equivalent to the life earning of an average citizen in countries that could serve as an appropriate alternative place of residence – probably, but dominantly Arab or Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa, or countries with significant Arab/Moslem communities in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.” This, he hopes, would be an inducement to such countries to accept them as citizens.

The money should be given to the individuals, not channeled through their so-called leaders, none of whom has done them any good, and all of whom would certainly reject the scheme on the grounds that the cruel tactic of displaying their suffering must be continued.

After decades of disastrous failure, it should be clear that there is little chance of resolving the Palestinian issue if we continue to consider Palestinians as a cohesive entity with which contacts are conducted via some sort of “leadership.” Efforts should therefore be devoted exclusively towards individual Palestinians and towards allowing them, as individuals, free choice as to how to chart their future. …

How much should be offered?

The scale of the offer would be on the order of the average lifetime earnings in some relevant host country for each family head — i.e. the GDP per capita of such a country multiplied by at least say 40-50 years. (As a comparative yardstick, this would be equivalent to an immigrant bread-winner arriving in the US with 2-2.5 million dollars.)

How likely would they be to accept it?

A November 2004 survey [was] commissioned by the Jerusalem Summit and conducted by a reputable Palestinian polling center in conjunction with a well-know Israeli institute to gauge Palestinians’ willingness to emigrate permanently in exchange for material compensation. Significantly, the poll showed that only 15% of those polled would absolutely refuse to accept any such inducements, while over 70% stated that they would be willing to take the bargain.

Would they then find countries willing to take them in?

For the prospective host countries the proposal has considerable potential economic benefits. The Palestinians arriving at their gates will not be impoverished refugees, but relatively prosperous individuals with the equivalent of decades of local per capita GDP in their pockets. Indeed, for every hundred Palestinian families received, the host country could count on around fifteen to twenty million dollars going directly into the private sector. Absorbing 2,500 new Palestinian family units could mean the injection of up to half a billion into local economies often in dire need of such funds.

With that inducement it’s reasonable to suppose that some countries may be willing to take them in, but there’s no certainty.

How much should each family be offered?

If each family head were offered a relocation grant of between $150,000 to $200,000, this would be the equivalent of several decades, and in some cases centuries, of GNP per capita earnings in any one of a wide range of prospective host destinations (see table). Indeed, even in terms of the average overall world per capita GDP (about $7000 U.S.) – such grants would be the equivalent of up to a quarter of a century GNP per capita. (As mentioned previously, in comparative terms, this would be equivalent to a bread winner arriving in the US with 2-2.5 million dollars.)

How much would this amount to?

The aggregate cost of the proposal would be between $45 – 80 billion (depending on whether the relocation grant was $100,000 or $200,000). Extending the relocation to the entire Palestinian population [not just those on the West Bank and Gaza, but also those in the Arab states] would effectively entail doubling the required outlay to $90 –160 billion.

Where would the money come from?

If international donors such as the USA, the EU or OECD countries matched Israel’s input dollar-for-dollar (which would involve contributing only a miniscule portion of these countries’ GNP), the implementation could be sped up considerably, possible within 5 years, without undue burden on the world economy.

Israel to pay the most then? Here we have a disagreement with Dr Sherman, though we like his idea on the whole. Certainly there is reason for Israel to be a donor, but such a disproportionate contribution would make the offer seem like reparation, endorsing the false version of history  – which most of the world has swallowed whole – that the Israelis forced the Palestinians into refugeeship and consequently owe them compensation.

He points out that “the overall cost of [a] ‘two-state-solution’ would, in all likelihood, be far greater.” (And will not be accepted by the Arabs anyway. If ever they accept a “state of Palestine”, they will be accepting borders with Israel, which means they will be recognizing the state of Israel, and that they will not do. All the talk, or talk of talks, on the Arab side is purely to seem compliant with the nonsensical prescriptions of the UN, the EU, and Obama.)

If the world powers would consider Dr Sherman’s idea seriously, that would be a step forward. If they tried it and it worked, it would be a great accomplishment.

However, skeptics that we are, we suspect that the UN, the EU, and in particular Obama prefer, like the Arab leaders, to keep pursuing the fantasy of “the two-state solution” because behind it lurks the hope that if a state of Palestine comes into existence at all, eventually it will enlarge to become the only state between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. Israel, alone among all the states in the world, has been incipiently de-legitimized, through the persistent work of Islam and the international Left.

Dr. Sherman’s scheme would mean the dispersal of the Palestinians and so their disappearance as a nation. A Palestinian nation would have no more existence than it did before 1948. Many individual Palestinians subjected to apartheid in the lands of their fellow Arabs might not mind too much if the sacrifice of distinctive nationality bought them a better life. But will their choice, their desires, their desperate needs suddenly matter to the champions of their Cause? We doubt it.

Gazans oppressed with cash and gold 0

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.

Posted under Arab States, Israel, middle east, News by Jillian Becker on Sunday, March 28, 2010

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A state condemned 3

“Condemn” is a very strong word in diplomat-speak. It’s the word most American presidents would apply only to the activities and policies of hostile and extremely delinquent states.

Obama is applying it to Israel.

What has Israel done that is very wrong? Let’s see.

Not long ago it reluctantly agreed under American pressure to suspend building new houses for Jewish occupants on the West Bank, but expressly excluded Jerusalem from the agreement, and the exclusion was accepted by Obama’s State Department.

So when it announced recently that planning permission has been given for some additional apartments in an area to the north of Israel’s capital city, Israel did not expect an objection to be suddenly raised. The development, begun a dozen years ago, does not and will not encroach on any Arab neighborhood. Nobody has objected to it before. The ground had not previously been in use for housing or anything else. Some 18,000 Jews live there now with families growing up. There are normal needs for expansion of accomodation.

But because the piece of wasteland was taken in a war waged against Israel in 1948, and held until 1967 by the British-created state of Jordan, Obama wants it to be rid of its Jewish residents and kept in reserve to be “returned” to Arab possession when there is a state of Palestine.

So the routine announcement that long-planned building in that part of Jerusalem will go ahead has been taken by Obama to be such an insult “to America” that Israel must be condemned for it. The result is a crisis of relations between the two countries.

We contend that the announcement was a handy excuse; that the crisis was engineered; that any pretext would have done.

But what is it Obama needs a pretext for?

Caroline Glick’s answer is this:

Why has President Barak Obama decided to foment a crisis in US relations with Israel? …

Obama’s new demands follow the months of American pressure that eventually coerced Netanyahu into announcing both his support for a Palestinian state and a 10-month ban on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria. No previous Israeli government had ever been asked to make the latter concession.

Netanyahu was led to believe that in return for these concessions Obama would begin behaving like the credible mediator his predecessors were. But instead of acting like his predecessors, Obama has behaved like the Palestinians. Rather than reward Netanyahu for taking a risk for peace, Obama has, in the model of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, pocketed Netanyahu’s concessions and escalated his demands. This is not the behavior of a mediator. This is the behavior of an adversary. …

Obama’s assault on Israel is likely related to the failure of his Iran policy. Over the past week, senior administration officials including Gen. David Petraeus have made viciously defamatory attacks on Israel, insinuating that the construction of homes for Jews in Jerusalem is a primary cause for bad behavior on the part of Iran and its proxies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria and Gaza. By this line of thinking, if Israel simply returned to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, Iran’s centrifuges would stop spinning, and Syria, al-Qaida, the Taliban, Hizbullah, Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards would all beat their swords into plowshares. …

Even more important than its usefulness as a tool to divert the public’s attention away from the failure of his Iran policy, Obama’s assault against Israel may well be aimed at maintaining that failed policy. Specifically, he may be attacking Israel in a bid to coerce Netanyahu into agreeing to give Obama veto power over any Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear installations. That is, the anti-Israel campaign may be a means to force Israel to stand by as Obama allows Iran to build a nuclear arsenal. …

Obama … seeks to realign US foreign policy away from Israel. Obama’s constant attempts to cultivate relations with Iran’s unelected president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad’s Arab lackey Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, and Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan make clear that he views developing US relations with these anti-American regimes as a primary foreign policy goal. …

[And] he  is using his manufactured crisis to justify adopting an overtly anti-Israel position vis-à-vis the Palestinians. …

Likewise, the crisis Obama has manufactured with Israel could pave the way for him to recognize a Palestinian state if the Palestinians follow through on their threat to unilaterally declare statehood next year regardless of the status of negotiations with Israel. Such a US move could in turn lead to the deployment of US forces in Judea and Samaria to “protect” the unilaterally declared Palestinian state from Israel.

General Petraeus has even suggested putting the “Palestinian territories” under his central command.

We don’t believe the Palestinians’ threat. If they declare a state they’ll need to declare its boundaries, and if the boundaries do not embrace the entire state of Israel plus Gaza plus Judaea and Samaria, they’ll  be acknowledging the right of Israel to exist. Borders have two sides. “This side  the State of Palestine; that side the State of Israel”. The pretence of their now being willing to settle for a “two-state solution”  – when they’ve been rejecting such a thing for more than six decades – would instantly be exposed as the lie it is.

But Obama wants there to be a Palestinian state. And if it cannot, because it will not, be a second state in the region, will he then insist that it should be the only state?

We see no reason why there should be a 22nd Arab state.

We see no reason why the 21 existing Arab states shouldn’t assimilate the refugees of the Palestine region just as Israel assimilated the Jews who were expelled by the Arab states in 1948.

We see no reason why Jews shouldn’t live in Arab/Muslim countries just as Arabs/Muslims live in Israel, with full voting and property-owning rights, paying the same taxes, protected by the same laws equally.

We would be happy to see only one state in the region – the State of Israel, not Palestine.

But Obama, and the huge bloc of Islamic countries, and Europe, and Russia, have a vision of a 22-state Arab judenrein Middle East.

If America withdraws diplomatic support, as it is likely to do now; if Iran, bent on destroying Israel, is soon to be nuclear armed with Obama’s consent; and if, in addition, American forces are to be sent to the West Bank to aid Palestinian forces against their Israeli enemy as has been proposed, how good is Israel’s chance of surviving?

All clear on the middle-eastern front 14

In our  post below, Reaching for the moon no more, we discuss our belief that Obama, by choice and taste, is committed to Islam. If we are right, it is entirely consistent that he should dislike Israel and wish to turn US policy against the small beleaguered state, even though a majority of Americans strongly support it. (The wishes of the American majority are not something he takes much notice of anyway.)

What Obama needed was an excuse. He’s found one in a zoning decision by the municipal authorities of Jerusalem to build some houses for Jewish occupants in a Jewish neighborhood in Israel’s capital city. The Israeli government recently replied, out of diplomatic courtesy, to a stupid and bullying demand by the Obama administration that building for Jewish settlement on the West Bank should be stopped, by agreeing to suspend such development for a few months, but the agreement specifically excluded Jerusalem from the suspension. There is no cause here for the Obama administration to take offense, but any excuse is better than none when there’s a really big strategy to be advanced.

Jennifer Rubin writes at Commentary’s Contentions that the Obama administration

wants a fight, a scene, a sign to its beloved Palestinian friends that it can be tough, tougher than on any other nation on the planet, with Israel. What we have here is a heartfelt desire to cozy up to the Palestinians; what’s missing is a cogent explanation for what this gets us. No Israeli prime minister has suspended or will suspend building in its capital. No amount of unilateral concessions, even if offered, would unlock the “peace process.” So the point of this is what then? To permanently shift American policy toward [ie now to be against] Israel? To create havoc and further uncertainty as to where the U.S. stands regarding Israeli security? We are seeing the full flowering of what many of us during the campaign suspected and what was revealed in the Cairo speech: Obama has a deep affinity with the victimology mythology of the Palestinians. We have never had such a president and never had such an Israel policy.

The Wall Street Journal is puzzled too:

In a speech at Tel Aviv University two days after the Israeli announcement, Mr. Biden publicly thanked Mr. Netanyahu for “putting in place a process to prevent the recurrence” of similar incidents.

The subsequent escalation by Mrs. Clinton [she harangued the Prime Minister, as is her harpy way, for 45 minutes on the telephone] was clearly intended as a highly public rebuke to the Israelis, but its political and strategic logic is puzzling. The U.S. needs Israel’s acquiescence in the Obama Administration’s increasingly drawn-out efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear bid through diplomacy or sanctions. But Israel’s restraint is measured in direct proportion to its sense that U.S. security guarantees are good. If Israel senses that the Administration is looking for any pretext to blow up relations, it will care much less how the U.S. might react to a military strike on Iran.

But there is no puzzle at all if it is understood that the Obama administration does not want to halt Iran’s nuclear bid. And all becomes even clearer if Obama’s intention is seen to be an exercise in accustoming Israel and the world to such expressions of US outrage against Israel’s ‘behavior’, that, should Israel be contemplating unilateral military action against Iran, it will be thoroughly discouraged.

Jennifer Rubin herself cannot see what the objective is:

It’s difficult to see who could possibly be pleased with this performance — not skeptics of the peace process, not boosters of it, and certainly not the Israelis. For those enamored of processing peace, this must surely come as unwelcome news, for why would the Palestinians make any move at the bargaining table “when the international community continues to press for maximum concrete concessions from the Israelis in exchange for words more worthless than the air upon which they float away as soon as they’re uttered.” And as for the Palestinians, well they’re delighted to have a president so infatuated with their grievances. They’re once again learning the wrong lesson: fixation on settlements and obstruction gets them American support. What it won’t get them, of course, is their own state.

Indeed not. And that’s the point as far as the Palestinians are concerned. They don’t want their own state if it’s to exist alongside the State of Israel. To accept such a state would be to accept  Israel’s legitimacy. Oh, they want a state alright – but one consisting of Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. They’ll accept nothing less. That is why they have rejected all offers of a contiguous state since 1947.

Even AIPAC, until now a blind supporter of Obama, rebukes him, displaying a bewilderment which results only from its own deliberate blindness:

AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State. Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East. The foundation of the U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in America’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region. Those strategic interests, which we share with Israel, extend to every facet of American life and our relationship with the Jewish State, which enjoys vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.

The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests. The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors.

Again, all bewilderment clears away if it is understood that Obama does not want Israel to be a close ally, or any ally at all; does not want to stop Iran having nuclear weapons; does not want peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors; does not want there to be a state of Israel. Yes, our suspicion stretches that far! Obama, we guess, is in perfect tune with the international Left, and the international Left passionately desires the dissolution of the state of Israel.

Of course poor old Joe Biden is not aware of this. He’s generally not aware of what is going on or ever has gone on. That’s why he was an ideal envoy to send to Israel at this juncture, to declare everlasting love for the Israelis and immediately afterwards take offense at a quite ordinary and inoffensive thing they’ve done. Any bewilderment he feels is chronic and can never be cleared away.

Gilad Shalit Tape 0

The Israeli government has released 20 Palestinian prisoners – the majority of them members of terror groups – in return for a video that verifies the health of captured solider Gilad Shalit.

In the video, Gilad speaks to the camera:

“Hello, I am Gilad, son of Noam and Aviva Schalit, brother of Hadas and Yoel, who lives in Mitzpe Hila. My ID number is 300097029.

“As you see I am holding in my hands the Palestine newspaper of September 14, 2009, published in Gaza. I am reading the paper in order to find information regarding myself, hoping to find some information from which I would learn of my release and upcoming return home. I have been hoping and waiting for the day of my release for a long time. I hope the current government under Binyamin Netanyahu will not waste the chance to finalize a deal, and I will therefore be able to finally have my dream come true and be released.

“I wish to send regards to my family and say to them that I love and miss them and yearn for the day in which I will see them again.

“Dad, Yoel and Hadas, do you remember the day when you visited my base on the Golan Heights on December 31st, 2005, that if I am not mistaken was called Revaya B. We walked around the base and you took photos of me on the Merkava tank and on one of the old tanks at the entrance to the base. We then went to a restaurant in one of the Druse villages and on the way we took photos on the side of the road with the snow-capped Mount Hermon in the background.

“I wish to say to you that I feel good, health-wise, and the Mujahadeen of the Izzadien al-Qassam Brigades are treating me very well. Thank you and goodbye.”

This unending appeasement of terror for little gain is something that the Israeli state will regret – every act of weakness will be exploited. How many more murderers and terrorists must be released before the Israeli state still fails to return Gilad to his home?

It is a troubling scenario – Israeli has a duty to its soldiers; but it also has a duty to its people, and will granting Hamas agitprop trophies and imprisoned killers do anything for Israel’s fortunes and survival in the long run?

This move will not spell peace for the Palestinians, it will increase the chances of another Hamas-started war. As long as such a despotic group exists, there can be no liberty or democracy for the people of Gaza.

This exchange is reminiscent of the release of Samir Kuntar. The moment he walked into Lebanon as a free man spelt the end of a hard earned 60 years cultivating the image of Israel as a capable, tough and proud state. Samir Kuntar is one of the most despised villains of Israeli society: a vicious murderer, his crimes included the inhuman beating to death of a three year old Israeli girl in front of horrified witnesses.

My horror at the release of this epitome of evil is not the support for his crimes that is propagated by Middle Eastern fundamentalist media outlets and despotic governments; it is not even shock at the (frankly expected) Western indifference for this monster – instead I am appalled by the virus that goes by the name of appeasement that has risen again to infect the integrity – or lack thereof – manifested by the weak politicians and activists of the liberal West.

The release of Samir Kuntar, four other terrorists and the hundreds of remains of dead Lebanese murderers marked the beginning of the end. Israel, more than any country, should realise that appeasement is a policy that will never work to their advantage.Machiavelli once wrote, “…one should never permit a disorder to persist in order to avoid a war, for war is not avoided thereby but merely deferred to one’s own disadvantage.”

Kuntar’s relase sent chilling reminders of Chamberlain’s efforts to secure peace; or the IRA murderers given their ill-gotten freedom by Blair’s government; the US government’s protection of Arafat in 1982; the attempted appeasement of Saddam Hussein before the 1990 Gulf War; the encouraged promotion of Islamic culture above all others in Western countries by Western governments; the suggestions of British judges for allowing some form of sharia law in Britain – the last hundred years have shown a frightening propensity for the West to fail to learn from its mistakes and to allow the forces of evil a chance to exist and prosper.

At the time, the release of the five terrorists for two dead Israeli soldiers, met one of Hezbollah’s few demands, another being the return of the Sheba farms to Lebanon. Is it that these unforgettable years of terrorism, torture, murder – the kind of cruelty unimaginable to civilized society – have all just been for the return of a few hundred yards of farm and a child murderer? – appeasement gives terror groups and terror States the time and support to commit even worse atrocities.

After Kuntar’s release, Hamas decided it was no longer going to agree to Israeli terms for the return of Gilad Shalit and was to demand greater returns for the terrorist group. Furthermore, a group of British MPs called for a dialogue with Palestinian terror groups, Hamas included; breaking the policy of no recognition that most Western countries had pursued at the time.

These endless sacrifices for Shalit may all be in vain. It is Israel’s duty to return that soldier home, but in doing so, should it be risking the lives and well-being of her other citizens?

Sam Westrop runs the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy

Posted under Articles, Commentary, Islam, Israel, jihad, middle east, Muslims, News, Terrorism, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 2, 2009

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And hear the silence of the feminists 21

From Front Page Magazine:

A gala event has occurred in Gaza.

Hamas sponsored a mass wedding for four hundred and fifty couples. Most of the grooms were in their mid to late twenties; most of the brides were under ten.

Muslim dignitaries including Mahmud Zahar, a leader of Hamas, were on hand to congratulate the couples who took part in the carefully staged celebration.

We are saying to the world and to America that you cannot deny us joy and happiness,” Zahar told the grooms, all of whom were dressed in identical black suits and hailed from the nearby Jabalia refugee camp.

Each groom received a gift of 500 dollars from Hamas.

The pre-pubescent girls, dressed in white gowns and adorned with garish make-up, received bridal bouquets.

We are presenting this wedding as a gift to our people who stood firm in the face of the siege and the war,” local Hamas strongman Ibrahim Salaf said in a speech.

The wedding photos tell the rest of the sordid tale.

PLEASE SEE THE COMMENT BY C.GEE ON THIS POST

Posted under Arab States, Feminism, Islam, Law, Muslims, News, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

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The law, sir, is an ass 4

A fascinating article from Caroline Glick.

WHEREAS UPON examination it is clear that the Obama administration is wrong in insinuating that Israel is in breach of its international legal commitments through its refusal to bar Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, the Obama administration’s own policy toward the Palestinians places it in clear breach of both binding international law and domestic US law.

On September 28, 2001, the UN Security Council passed binding Resolution 1373. Resolution 1373, which was initiated by the US government, and was passed by authority of Chapter VII, committed all UN member states to “refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.” Resolution 1373 further required UN member states to “deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts or provide safe haven” to those that do.

In 1995, the US State Department acknowledged that Hamas fits the legal definition of a terrorist organization. Today, due to its policies toward Hamas, the Obama administration is in breach of both Resolution 1373 – that is, of international law – and of US domestic law barring the provision of support and financing to foreign terrorist organizations.

Posted under Israel, United States by on Saturday, June 27, 2009

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