Enjoy 0

Israeli soldiers patrolling hostile Hebron break into a dance.

(Thanks to ‘Free Canuckistan’, who sent it to us as part of a comment – with much more good stuff  – on our post No joy please, we’re Muslims, June 30, 2010.)

Posted under Islam, Israel, middle east by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 10, 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?

Buddhists murdered by Muslims 1

In 2001 the Taliban destroyed two ancient Buddhist statues. In Western eyes it was an unforgivable act of vandalism. It was widely reported, and the perpetrators were angrily denounced.

Even an archaeologist, K. Kris Hirst, could not keep a cool professional view of the deed entirely free of moral judgment, having this to say about it:

In March 2001, six months before the September 11th bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Taliban destroyed two ancient statues of the Buddha called Bamiyan in an attempt to cleanse the country of Afghanistan of what they perceived as Hindu heresy.

To be perfectly blunt, this is an old story. New landowners of a country move in and do their best to obliterate all traces of the conquered and now minority population. Former cultural monuments, particularly if they are of a religious nature, are pulled down, and monuments for the new group built, frequently right on the top of the foundations of the old. The old languages are forbidden or limited, along with other cultural phenomena such as marriage customs, rites of initiation, even food taboos.

The reasons the conquerors give for this trashing of the old ways and structures are varied, and include everything from modernization to saving the souls of the recently conquered. But the purpose is the same: to destroy the remnants of a culture which represents a threat to the new dominance. It happened in 16th century AD in the New World civilizations; it happened in Caesar’s Rome; it happened in the dynasties of Egypt and China. It’s what we as humans do when we are afraid. Destroy things.

So, it shouldn’t have been as shocking as it was, to see the Taliban in Afghanistan blast two enormous 3rd and 5th century AD statues of Buddha to powder with anti-aircraft guns. … It is … an ominous forewarning of the Taliban’s distaste of anything other than their own set of extremist Islamic values.

When it comes to the destruction of  Buddhists themselves by Muslims, there is less interest. Virtually none at all. But news of it crops up in obscure places.

This report comes (via Creeping Sharia) from the Hindi weekly, Organiser:

Brutal killings of hapless Chakma Buddhists living for centuries in Chittagong hill tract and burning of their houses and pagodas by powerful gangs of Muslim land mafias in Bangladesh on February 19-20 …

Apart from killings of 10 poor Chakmas, at least 200 houses in 11 Chakma villages were burnt to ashes by marauding goons on the night of February 19. At one point during the clash, the military personnel started firing indiscriminately on fleeing Chakma villagers only to help encourage attacking Muslim settlers. Chittagong is Bangladesh’s only district having a significant Buddhist population. Army was called in after a pagoda and an office of a UN-funded project were set on fire. A statue of Lord Buddha installed at the Banani Buddhist Monastery was damaged and another statue was looted… Chakmas demanded immediate withdrawal of 400 army camps from Chitagong hills alleging that Bangladesh army personnel are actually helping outsiders to settle in Chakma villages by grabbing their land

There have been many attacks on Buddhist and Hindu villages since 1997 in Bangladesh which have now become occupied by Muslim villagers and landowners…

We are waiting patiently for the denunciation of the Muslim murderers in the United Nations. Can one doubt that the UN Human Rights Council will be taking vigorous action over the matter in the very near future? (Or maybe when they’ve finished condemning Israel for renovating the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem, or the site of Rachel’s Tomb on the West Bank.)

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.

The Green Prince 0

The son of a leading Hamas figure, who famously converted to Christianity, served for over a decade as the Shin Bet security service’s most valuable source in the militant organization’s leadership …

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank. The intelligence he supplied Israel led to the exposure of a number of terrorist cells, and to the prevention of dozens of suicide bombings and assassination attempts on Israeli figures.

Yousef’s memoir, “Son of Hamas” … will be released next week in the United States. Yousef, 32, became a devout Christian 10 years ago and now lives in California after fleeing the West Bank in 2007 and going public with his conversion.

Yousef was considered the Shin Bet’s most reliable source in the Hamas leadership, earning himself the nickname “the Green Prince” – using the color of the Islamist group’s flag, and “prince” because of his pedigree as the son of one of the movement’s founders.

During the second intifada, intelligence Yousef supplied led to the arrests of a number of high-ranking Palestinian figures responsible for planning deadly suicide bombings. These included Ibrahim Hamid (a Hamas military commander in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti (founder of the Fatah-linked Tanzim militia) and Abdullah Barghouti (a Hamas bomb-maker with no close relation to the Fatah figure). Yousef was also responsible for thwarting Israel’s plan to assassinate his father.

“I wish I were in Gaza now,” Yousef said by phone from California, “I would put on an army uniform and join Israel’s special forces in order to liberate Gilad Shalit. If I were there, I could help. We wasted so many years with investigations and arrests to capture the very terrorists that they now want to release in return for Shalit. That must not be done.” …

Only now … is Yousef exposing the secret he kept since 1996, when he was first held by Shin Bet agents seeking to enlist him in infiltrating the upper echelon of Hamas.

Their efforts proved successful, and Yousef was released from prison in 1997. His former handler, who no longer serves with the security service, says Yousef collaborated with Israel because he wanted to save lives.

“So many people owe him their life and don’t even know it,” said the handler, named in Yousef’s book as Captain Loai. “People who did a lot less were awarded the Israel Security Prize. He certainly deserves it.”

Loai makes no secret of his admiration for his former source. “The amazing thing is that none of his actions were done for money,” he says. “He did things he believed in… His grasp of intelligence matters was just as good as ours – the ideas, the insights. One insight of his was worth 1,000 hours of thought by top experts.”

Loai recalled one time when the Shin Bet received information that a suicide bomber was going to be picked up at Manara Square in Ramallah and be given an explosives belt.

“We didn’t know his name or what he looked like – only that he was in his 20s and would be wearing a red shirt,” he said. “We sent the Green Prince to the square and with his acute sense, he located the target within minutes. He saw who picked him up, followed the car and made it possible for us to arrest the suicide bomber and the man who was supposed to give him the belt. So another attack was thwarted, though no one knows about it. No one opens Champagne bottles or bursts into song and dance. This was an almost daily thing for the Prince. He displayed courage, had sharp antennae and an ability to cope with danger. We knew he was one of those who in any situation – rain, snow, summer – give their all.”

With his memoir, Yousef hopes to send a message of peace to Israelis. Still, he admits he is pessimistic over the prospect of Israel signing a peace agreement with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, let alone Hamas.

“Hamas cannot make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels, only a cease-fire, and no one knows that better than I. The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, not Israelis,” he said. “Palestinians! They do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the 15th or 17th floor of a building, as they did during the coup in Gaza. The Israelis would never do such things. I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does.”

We don’t often trust this source, the Israeli paper Haaretz, because it is biased to the left with all that that entails. But this time we believe it.

Worse than a gaffe – Biden’s bilge 0

 From the National Review:  (It would be nice to know who the emailer to ‘the corner’ was who apparently carried out such an important military mission.)

Joe Biden threw out a lot of bunk on foreign policy tonight, too bad Gov Palin didn’t have the foreign policy wonkishness to call him on it.  Most ridiculous and downright strange was his contention that the Bush administration let Hezbollah into Lebanon, and then when “we threw them out” – whatever that means, he and Obama said NATO should go in but nobody took them up on it and now Hezbollah was all over Lebanon and that’s a problem.  What?

Well, Hezbollah’s been there since the early 1980’s of course, blossoming throughout the 1990’s to become now over a third of the population of Lebanon with 2 cabinet members, a host of parliamentarians, and schools, clinics, and basically an entirely separate governance infrastructure in all of southern Lebanon and elsewhere.  I suppose the throwing out of Hezbollah was the dismal and failed Israeli campaign of 2006 which dislodged nothing?  Or was it Israeli’s occupation of Southern Lebanon from 1982 – 1999?  Don’t remember an Obama position on NATO replacing Israeli occupation then.  As for NATO going in after the 2006 debacle, well, I’m the one who rounded up 8,000 French and Italians and a few thousand other Euros to go into Southern Lebanon along with an assortment of others in August 2006 and while working that issue for about 40 straight days I don’t remember a peep from Biden or Obama about NATO – which wouldn’t be budged despite our intense pressure in Mons.  So, we went straight to Rome and Paris.  Que sera, sera.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 3, 2008

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Another Biden gaffe 0

 From Little Green Footballs:

Another absurdly wrong statement from Joe “Foreign Policy Expert” Biden, who very obviously does not know the difference between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank:

Here’s what the president said when we said no. He insisted on elections on the West Bank, when I said, and others said, and Barack Obama said, “Big mistake. Hamas will win. You’ll legitimize them.” What happened? Hamas won.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 3, 2008

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