Thursday, April 24, 2014

Embracing the Temple Mount If Israel would dare to grant Jews equal rights at the Temple Mount, then, after time, it will become the new norm. By Israel Harel | Apr. 24, 2014 | 6:00 AM Tweet I was privileged to be among the forces that fought their way to the Temple Mount in 1967. Hearing Motta Gur’s declaration that “The Temple Mount is in our hands” sends chills down my spine to this day. When the battles ended, a brigade formation was held on the Mount during which Gur read the following proclamation: “For some 2,000 years the Temple Mount was forbidden to Jews, until you, the paratroopers, came and returned it to the bosom of the nation.” Those words are forever etched on the memories of those who stood there in long rows, sorely missing the 98 soldiers who fell and the hundreds who were wounded. But it quickly became clear that the government of the Jewish nation didn’t want to embrace the historic, unparalleled gift that the paratroopers had bestowed upon it. In their iniquity, successive Israeli governments, the Chief Rabbinate and all those others responsible for blocking a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount have led to the Jewish people’s loss of sovereignty over the site. Those that succeed in ascending feel like unwanted strangers at the Jewish people’s holiest place. For this reason, and so that I won’t experience the extreme dissonance between those lofty moments in 1967 and today’s humiliating reality, in which hostile Waqf men follow every skullcap-wearing Jew who ascends, I have not stepped on the Temple Mount for several decades. In 1967, officials of the State of Israel, including its clergy, were struck with a spiritual blindness. They didn’t understand the enormous national significance of returning to the Temple Mount, just as they only partially understood the significance of the liberation of Judea and Samaria. Because of this blindness − and since we know that these types of conflicts abhor a vacuum − the Arabs persistently block a correction of this distortion by causing constant and volatile agitation over the Temple Mount that can extend hundreds of kilometers away from it. The recent Arab rioting on the Temple Mount − just another link in the chain of innumerable previous disturbances − is the rotten fruit of the refusal to assert Israeli sovereignty, due to a congenital Jewish fear that “it will set the entire region aflame.” Even today this fear is baseless; how much more so was that the case in 1967. At that time, the “entire region” was defeated and shell-shocked. It would have been easy to establish facts on the Temple Mount, including giving religious rights to Jews without depriving Muslims of their status, and to immediately annex Judea and Samaria. “The world,” before which Israeli leaders trembled with fear, was beset with guilt over not having come to the aid of the little Jewish state, which on the eve of the war itself believed that it was facing annihilation. “The world” would have accepted the annexation − there were plenty of signs that was the case. What’s more, the Palestinian peoplehood had yet to be invented, and everyone agreed that ever since the Jews had been exiled from their land those areas had never been under the recognized sovereignty of any people or any state. (It should be recalled that Jordan’s annexation of the territories in 1948 was recognized only by Britain and Pakistan.) An amazing convergence of powers prevents this wrong from being righted − Israeli governments, the Waqf, the rabbinical establishment (including the religious-Zionist rabbinical establishment), the United Nations, the Arab League and, of course, human rights groups. The latter fight ferociously for Arab freedom of worship anywhere, but object with equal vehemence to the right of Jews to pray at their holiest site, and the Supreme Court of the Jewish state supports them, automatically rejecting with the same responses petition after petition in which Jews seek the right to freely worship there. So long as the Arabs feel that this government coalition is essentially backing them on this, the Temple Mount will continue to erupt and the destructive lava will continue to flow. But if the state would dare to declare equal rights for Jews there, if only the right to pray, and enforce that right with all the means at its disposal, then a new status quo will emerge. It will be tense at first, but over time, perhaps a long time, it will become the new norm. And eventually, the frequent intermingling may well create a dynamic of closeness. Anyone who opposes this opposes an historic reconciliation between Jews and Arabs in the Land of Israel and the possibility of fostering true peace.

Incentives for Murdering Jews

by Isi Leibler April 23, 2014 It is a damning reflection on the civilized world that one rarely hears a word of condemnation of the criminal Palestinian society in which the murder of Jews is not only considered laudable, but has today effectively become a vehicle towards achieving upward social mobility, both socially and financially. Let us relate hypothetically to Ahmed, a typical youngster in a large and impoverished Palestinian family. Like his peers, Ahmed has been brainwashed - since kindergarten and throughout his schooling, by the mullahs at his mosque and in the daily media - into believing that the highest level of piety is attained by killing the Israeli enemy. He knows that if he were killed in attacking a Jew, he too would become a Shaheed – a martyr - and be compensated for his sacrifice by the rewards and pleasures bestowed on him in Paradise. Moreover, his family will be honored and receive a lifelong state pension from our “peace partner”, Mahmoud Abbas and the PA. Ahmed will recollect the interviews he watched on the PA state television of mothers displaying pride in their offspring’s sacrifice on behalf of Islam and their frequently expressed hope that some of their remaining children will follow the example of the blessed martyr. Furthermore, PA officials will ensure that even if he had brutally murdered innocent Israeli civilians, he would be portrayed as a saintly hero of the Islamic nation and Palestinian people. Ahmed’s family name would become memorialized as city squares, roads, schools, cultural centers and even football teams will be named in his honor. Of course, death is the worst outcome. If Ahmed is fortunate enough to be captured rather than killed, he gets to have the best of all worlds. His family will continue to visit him in prison where he is likely to receive better food than he had at home. He will even be provided with amenities such as television. Moreover, he will be able to educate himself and enroll in University courses and obtain a degree – which would have been inconceivable in his former habitat And for all this “suffering” the PA will pay him a handsome salary (using funds received from the US, EU and other donors) for every day that he remains in jail. In fact, the longer his sentence, the higher his monthly salary. In recent years the deterrent for terror attacks was further eroded as successive Israeli governments released large groups of brutal murderers, including cold-blooded killers of infants, in return for an Israeli hostage and more recently as a prerequisite to Abbas merely agreeing to negotiate with Israel. These releases have become such a routine that Ahmed is now confident that if imprisoned, it is highly unlikely that he would serve his full term. He sees that upon his release, instead of being obliged to express remorse for his crimes, Palestinian television audiences will approvingly entreat him to describe to them in detail the ghoulish murders he committed. Ahmed will hear how correspondents from Western newspapers, like Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times, wrote a lengthy article humanizing a released terrorist, the brutal murderer of an elderly Holocaust survivor. Rudoren noted that the murderer had been “demonized as a terrorist by the Israelis”, relating sympathetically to his complaint that as a national hero (he was elevated to the honorary rank of a PA brigadier general), the “$100,000 grants and monthly payments” received from the PA were insufficient to buy him an apartment. The Winograd Commission reviewing the Second Lebanon War explicitly urged the enactment of legislation to prevent the premature release of convicted terrorists because of political and other considerations. Alas, these recommendations were completely ignored, thus intensifying the incentive to murder Jews. It is inconceivable for a self-respecting country to behave in such a demeaning manner. Would the Obama Administration, which pressured our government to release these murderers, dare act in this fashion towards convicted mass murderers in their jails? And what hypocrisy! The US pressured us to release these monsters and yet cautioned us against releasing those who had murdered American citizens. And as a further sickening display of duplicity, the Obama administration even stooped to the level of exploiting Jonathan Pollard – who they should have been released many years ago – as a pawn to pressure us. Fifteen years ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu published a book warning that releasing terrorists would embolden extremists and encourage them to intensify their activities. Now he himself is doing precisely that. Nobody envies the pressures currently confronting our Prime Minister. There are unsubstantiated rumors that the Obama administration, which obscenely lays the blame on Israel for the failure to move forward in negotiations, has threatened that unless Israel toes the line, it will impose its own solution. There were also murmurs that the US could abandon support for Israel in international forums which would open up the doors for sanctions to be applied against us. Nor should one underestimate Netanyahu’s challenges in seeking to maintain a government comprised of parties which are all jockeying to maximize voter support for an election in the not too distant future. It has been claimed that Netanyahu chose to release terrorists rather than impose any kind of construction freeze, even in outlying settlements, in order to retain his coalition. Moreover, he was - and possibly still is - contemplating releasing Israeli Arab terrorists in order to placate the Americans and Abbas. The tension surrounding this issue reached boiling point after the murder of Baruch Mizrahi outside Hebron on Passover eve. When his murderer is ultimately apprehended, he will be sentenced to life imprisonment, but he will have grounds for confidently anticipating that within a few years, he too will be released and embraced as a hero by his people. That Abbas only mumbled that it would be premature on his part to condemn the latest murder until such time as a “full investigation of the incident was concluded” should be considered the ultimate affront. The onus rests on Netanyahu to display leadership. Continuing to release murderers undermines our national dignity and inflicts unbearable pain on families of victims. The erosion of deterrence now impinges directly on the security of Israeli citizens, which must be the primary concern of any government. The current trend is creating an environment where terrorists feel that the risks and penalties they are likely to incur in shedding Jewish blood have now been dramatically minimized. Netanyahu must reverse this policy of releasing murderers to placate the Americans and appease the Palestinians or he will be accused of standing by passively as increasing numbers of Palestinian Ahmeds feel that there is an incentive for them to murder Jews as a means of achieving upward social mobility and enhancing their family status. Failure to act now will compromise Netanyahu’s leadership and undermine his legacy.

HUGE BDS fail! Ellen Degeneres gives away free Soda Stream to studio audience for Earth Day!

HUGE BDS fail! Ellen Degeneres gives away free Soda Stream to studio audience for Earth Day! Watch the clip. The Ellen show is huge in America, so this is a major blow to the BDS effort in the US. Watch the audience go wild upon learning they won a free Soda Stream!

Palestinian Prisoners of Israel: Heroes or Cowardly Lions?

By Michael Curtis It is difficult to believe that the Palestinians really want peace with Israel. One excuse after another is given for their refusal to enter into or to continue peace negotiations. The latest excuse has come a result of Palestinian unilateral action after the delay in the release that had been expected on March 29, 2014, of 26 prisoners, including 14 Arab citizens of Israel from Israeli jails. This was to be the last batch of the 104 security prisoners that Israel had on July 28, 2013 agreed to release as a confidence-building goodwill gesture to encourage the Palestinian leadership to come to the negotiating table. The Israeli Government had taken action to delay the release of this last group of prisoners because the Palestinians had refused to extend the negotiations beyond the April 29, 2014 deadline that clearly left insufficient time for final agreement. In response, Mahmoud Abbas, the non-elected “president” of the Palestinian Authority, in suspiciously unprecedented celerity, acted in unilateral fashion. He announced on April 1 that he had taken steps to sign and apply for membership in 15 international treaties and protocols, thus preempting the whole point of the negotiations. The black comedy continues as the Palestinians refuse to take “yes” for an answer. The Palestinian Minister of Prisoners, Issa Karaka, has threatened to take the delayed prisoner release issue to the United Nations and other international organizations. At the same time, the 40th anniversary of Palestine Prisoners Day was held in London on April 17, 2014 to express solidarity with Palestinians “imprisoned by the Israeli occupation.” Saeb Erekat, member of the PLO Executive Committee and so-called “negotiator,” is often the leading man in the spectacle of this non-stop comedy. He enacted his familiar fantasy that “Israel has oppressed millions, in many varying ways,” before his heartrending climax that the “plight of the prisoners reflects the plight of the Palestinian people as a whole.” Forgetting that 78 prisoners had already been released, his rapturous conclusion was that the release of the Palestinian prisoners (the remaining 26) would be the first signal that “freedom is on the way.” Erekat’s role in the drama was upstaged by Hanan Ashrawi another familiar performer in the Palestinian drama, whose well-delivered utterances as a Palestinian spokesperson are still taken seriously by the Western mainstream media, especially the New York Times and the BBC. Like Erekat, she is also a member of the PLO Executive and one assumes she has inside knowledge of its functioning. Surprisingly, she has forgotten her lines in the comedy that concern the urgent need to deal with the corruption, internal feuding, and inefficiency of the Palestinian authorities. Instead, she has substituted the lines that the release of prisoners remains the PLO’s top priority. Ashrawi commended the bravery and determination of all Palestinian prisoners and “their continued steadfastness and commitment to freedom in the face of the belligerent occupier.” She ended her performance by calling on the audience, the members of the international community, to “expose Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners.” Through her rhetoric drawing attention to that treatment, Ashrawi gave the “international community” the opportunity to learn about these prisoners who she said had demonstrated “bravery and determination.” She omitted that these qualities had been displayed not in strikes against the Israeli military but in attacks on innocent Israeli civilians. Courtesy of Ashrawi, the international community can now examine the bravery of those released from Israeli prisons. Of those in the first batch of 26 prisoners, released in August 2013, 20 were convicted of murder, four were accessory to murder, one was guilty of throwing explosives, and one of abduction. In all, these brave individuals murdered 38 innocent, unarmed people. The longest serving prisoner, Fayez Mutawi al-Khur, former head of a Fatah terrorist cell, was jailed in November 1985 for one murder and another attempted murder in the Gaza City market. While in prison, he was also convicted of planning to kill then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Another brave prisoner, Atiyeh Salem Musa, used an axe to murder a 67 year old Holocaust survivor during Passover 1994 in Petah Tikva. A third brave prisoner, Midhat Fayez Barbakh, ambushed his Israeli employer in Rishon Lezion in January 1994. He stabbed his 61 year old employer with a knife and a pair of pruning shears. The list of the “brave” prisoners continues. Salah Ibrahim Ahmed Mugdad, was arrested in June 1993 for murdering a 72 year old security guard at a hotel in Netanya. He struck the victim on the head with an iron bar and then stole a television set from the hotel. Salameh Abdallah Musleh was convicted in 1993 of the murder of a grocery store owner in Petah Tikva. He bound the victim’s arms and legs, and beat him to death. Several other murders were committed by using an ax, one was against a 79 year old man sitting on a public bench in Kfar Saba, another on an 84 year old man in the Sharon region. One looks forward to the international community’s verdict on these men who have demonstrated “their commitment to freedom” and their bravery and determination, although that bravery seems to be limited to murdering elderly Jewish civilians or innocent tourists, such as the French woman tourist stabbed to death in a restaurant in which she was dining. That community will judge if the action of these former prisoners constitutes what Ashrawi has called “a proactive method of nonviolent resistance that is essential to the Palestinian struggle for equality and freedom.” What is so troubling about this issue is not simply learning of the murderous and brutal acts of the Palestinian prisoners. It is also witnessing the hypocrisy of Palestinian authorities and spokespersons in not disavowing that brutality. For some years the Palestinian Authority has granted a monthly salary to all Palestinian prisoners put in jail for security and terror-related offences. No salary is given to those imprisoned for theft, but only to those who have committed murder. Priority in funding is given to the families of “Martyrs,” the honored terrorists, or more disingenuously the “heroes and self-sacrificing fighters.” The money comes out of the PA’s general budget, some of which comes from the international community. The European Union provides 11 million euros for Palestinian salaries and pensions. Even the PA felt uncomfortable on the issue. For public relations purposes it changed the name of the funding from “salary” to “assistance.” The “freedom loving” Palestinian prisoners must have been startled by the freedom and the comfortable conditions to which they were “subjected” in Israeli jails. After all, Hanan Ashrawi had told them of Israel’s “criminal treatment… the flagrant breach of the rights of Palestinian prisoners… of the cruel and dehumanizing measures that constitute war crimes.” The prisoners must be annoyed at Ashrawi, who did not know that according to international reports conditions in those jails generally meet international standards. Prisoners have reasonable access to visitors, including relatives from the West Bank who can come into Israel for visits. They can participate in their religious observance. They can submit a petition to judicial authorities about prison conditions, and those petitions are then investigated. Even more surprising, especially for bigoted boycotters of Israel, is that many prisoners in Israeli jails today have access to the Open University. Israel pays their tuition in full for extensive programs and allows students to do work towards their degrees on computers. Yet there are limits regarding those who have committed violent crimes. Until recently even those incarcerated for terrorism could participate in this program and receive free college education. But in December 2012 the Israeli High Court ruled that terrorist security prisoners were not eligible for free university education in Israeli schools. The Court refused the lawsuit by three of these particular terrorist prisoners who claimed discrimination because they were not allowed to enroll in an Open University program and have their tuition paid. No doubt, Erekat and Ashrawi will lose no time in pointing out that these restrictions are “human rights abuses,” and are violations of international law. Palestinian spokespersons may enjoy playing their role in the comedy of the “brave” murderers who are prisoners in Israeli jails. They surely cannot enjoy the continuing tragedy caused by fellow Palestinians. On April 14, 2014 an Israeli man was killed and his wife and son were wounded while they were on the way to a Passover Seder, by a well-planned terrorist attack near Hebron. To his credit Mahmoud Abbas condemned the violence. However, the Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, saluted the “heroes of Hebron” and said that the killing “brought back life to the path of resistance.” He warned of more attacks against Israel. Yes, it is difficult to believe that the Palestinians really want peace. When will the “international community” recognize the true purpose of Palestinian roadblocks to the peace process? Michael Curtis is author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.

Israel's Splendid Global Integration

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative" Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #193, April 25, 2014 1. "With more start-up businesses per capita than anywhere in the world, Israel is brimming with tantalizing investment prospects. Many Israeli stocks trade in the US, making it simple for Americans to invest in the country…. Steve Schoenfeld, chief investment officer of BlueStar Indexes: 'It's a small country with a very large global footprint, and it bats well above its average in all of the metrics that define a successful economy.' Even when much of the developed world was retrenching in 2009, Israel was able to eke out modest growth. Since then, the nation's economy has been growing at nearly twice the pace of the US economy. Its jobless rate is among the lowest in the developed world…. It is a second home to virtually every big high-tech company in the world, including Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft (Kiplinger's Personal Finance, May 2014). 2. Times of Israel, March 28, 2014: "Israel's economy is doing well enough that the country can now be considered 'high-income,' according to Standard and Poor's in its latest evaluation of Israel's fiscal state. S&P said that with a per capita annual income of over $38,000, 'we now view Israel as a high-income economy, with trend growth at the higher end of its peer income group….' Just five years ago, per capita income was about $28,000. This is due, S&P said, to Israel's 'prosperous and diverse economy,' with a good mix of manufacturing and high-tech, and also to the benefits the economy will realize as the country's natural gas production comes online. S&P affirmed its long- and short- term foreign and local currency credit ratings for Israel at A+/A-1. Israel's economy is stable, and its prospects for growth are good, the agency said…. Aiding that growth is the extra effort the government is putting in to reduce debt as a percentage of GDP. Currently that figure is at 67%, and it is expected to drop to 61% by 2017. Inflation is expected to remain low, as well, with annual rates of between 1.4% and 2.5% predicted through 2017…." 3. Bank of Israel, key 2013 economic indicators, March 31, 2014: GDP - $300BN compared to $1.5BN in 1949; GDP growth – 3.3% (US – 1.7%, OECD – 1.2%) compared to 3.4% in 2012 and 1.2% in 2009; GDP per capita - $37K ($19K in 2000); public debt per GDP – 67.4% (US -104.1%, OECD – 1.2%) compared to 68.2% in 2012 and 75.3% in 2009; budget deficit – 3.2% of GDP compared to 3.9% in 2012; unemployment – 6.2% (US – 7.5%, OECD – 8%) compared to 6.9% in 2012 and 9.5% in 2009; inflation – 1.8% compared to 1.6% in 2012 and 3.9% in 2009; interest rate – 0.75% in April, 2014. 4. Switzerland's Novartis negotiates a buyout of Israel's GamidaCell for $600MN (Globes Business Daily, March 19, 2014). Palo Alto Networks acquired Israel's (cyber security) Cyvera for $200MN (Globes, March 25). Private Equity Francisco Partners acquired Israel's (cyber security) NSO for $120MN (Globes, March 20). Opko Health initialed an agreement to acquire Israel's Inspiro Medical, its 4th Israeli acquisition in recent years, such as Prolor Biotech, Aug. 2013 - $480MN (Globes, April 23). Russia's Yandex acquired Israel's KitLocate for $20MN (Globes, March 19). SecureAlert acquired Israel's GPS Global for $11MN (Globes, March 20). 5. Israel's MediWound raised $75MN on NASDAQ (Globes, March 21). Israel's XLMedia raised $70MN on the British AIM (Globes, March 19). Israel's SimilarWeb raised a few tens of millions of dollar from South Africa's Naspers (Globes, March 21). Intel invested $15-20MN in Israel's OrCam (Globes, March 28). Scale Venture Partners led an $11MN round of private placement by Israel's WalkMe (Globes, April 2). Hong Kong's Li Ka Shing (2013 most active foreign investor in Israel) led a $10MN round of private placement by Israel's Tipa, joined by Canada's GreenSoil, which made its 3rd Israeli investment (Globes, April 23). 6. The Times of Israel, April 22, 2014: "In 2014, Israel is expected to export more to Asia than to the United States. Asian markets accounted for 21% of Israeli exports in 2013, almost the same as exports to the US…. Israeli exports to Asia are predicted to grow 4.7% in 2014…. Europe remained Israel's largest group trading partner in 2013. In 2013, 32% of Israeli exports went to Europe, and 28% went to the US…. Israeli companies developed new markets for their products and services in the Far East, particularly India and China, but also Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam…. India also looms large as a destination for Israeli companies, perhaps even more so than China…. In the coming decades, growth in India is expected significantly outpace growth in China, as India's young population continues to grow at the same time that China's relatively older population begins to die off…." 7. Deutsche Welle, March 24, 2014: "The continued threat of economic boycotts targeting Israel hasn't deterred China from forging ahead with a new freight rail link through Israel. The planned link could provide an alternative to the Suez Canal, connecting the 300-plus kilometers between Eilat on the Red Sea and Ashdod Port on the Mediterranean…. The link, estimated to cost upwards of $2 billion, is expected take five years to complete…. The Inter-Disciplinary Journal of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies has said the project highlights the 'dizzying pace' at which China and Israel are forging economic and diplomatic ties…. The new rail link could provide a viable and safer alternative to the traditional Suez Canal route…. 8. South Korea Ministry of Trade Industry and Energy April 18, 2014: South Korea and Israel expand the 1999 technological cooperation agreement in such areas as unmanned aerial vehicles (Israel, through IAI and Elbit, is second only to the US!) and information security. Along with Sweden and Finland, Israel has been highly recognized as having one of the world's best cyber threat response systems. "Israel is our great benchmarking model…."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

US Exceptionalism and the Moses Legacy

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative" "Israel Hayom", April 18, 2014, 3,400 years ago, the Moses legacy was shaped during the first clash of civilizations (Passover) between faith and responsibility-driven liberty (Moses) on the one hand, and paganism and subjugation-driven repression (Pharaoh) on the other hand. The victory of the Moses legacy established a dramatically new world order for millennia. In 1623 and 1630, the mindset of the "Mayflower" and "Arabella" Pilgrims was: a departure from modern day Egypt (England), the parting the modern day Red Sea (the Atlantic Ocean), culminating with the landing in modern day Promised Land (USA). They laid the foundations for the morally, industrially, scientifically and militarily exceptional Judeo-Christian American culture, based upon the Moses legacy. In 1776, the USA Founding Fathers fulfilled the vision of the Pilgrims, establishing a unique political system, naming it "Federalism" – a derivative of the Latin word "foedus" – the Covenant. They were inspired by British and French political scientists, as well as by the Moses legacy of disciplined-liberty, justice and the separation of powers. They viewed themselves as "the people of the modern day Covenant" and overcame "the modern day British Pharaoh" in a clash of civilizations, which jolted the prevailing world order. In 2014, US exceptionalism – which saved the Free World in two world wars against Germany and the cold war against the USSR – is now challenged by the proliferation of tectonic clashes of civilizations, involving Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities, the accelerated Islamic penetration of Europe, the proliferation of Islamic terrorism sleeper cells on the US mainland, Russian and Chinese imperialism as well as the Arab Tsunami. In 2014, in the face of such challenges, the Judeo-Christian USA has only one effective, unconditional, reliable, democratic, strategic ally, possessing the capabilities and the will to unleash them: the Jewish State, Israel. The US and Israel are the only countries in the world, which derive their vision and culture from the Moses legacy. The widespread impact of the Moses legacy upon the American culture is gleaned through Biblical citations from liberal and conservative leaders alike. During the 18th century, the Bible was cited much more often – by the Rebels – than John Locke or Montesquieu. More recently, following the 2000 presidential election, then President-elect, G.W. Bush, asked his pastor, Mark Craig, to repeat a Moses-based sermon – originally delivered in 1999, which convinced Bush to run for the presidency. Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, branded pessimists as the "Back to Egypt Committee," which wanted to return to servitude in Egypt, rather than enter the Promised Land. President Barack Obama identified himself as "the Joshua of our time," following in the footsteps of the "Moses Generation." Tom Harkin, a very liberal Democratic Senator, congratulated the Majority Leader for displaying "the patience of Job, endurance of Samson and wisdom of Solomon." And, former President Reagan said: "I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress…." In 2014, a reference to Moses and his legacy is well-received by the American public, since the US is the most religious Western democracy: over 40% frequent churches on Sunday; 80%-90% believe in God; 80% believe in Judeo-Christian values; 15 million copies of the Holy Bible – which can be found in most US hotel rooms - are sold annually; "In God We Trust" is the US national motto; "One Nation Under God" is in the Pledge of Allegiance; a morning prayer launches daily deliberations in the US House of Representatives; some 300 Christian TV stations operate in the US; Moses statue faces the Speaker of the House of Representatives and is fixed above the Supreme Court Justices; the Liberty Bell displays an inscription on the Jubilee - Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 10; Ten Commandment monuments stand on the grounds of the Texas and Oklahoma State Capitols. In fact, one does not have to be religious to appreciate Judeo-Christian values in the US. On December 24, 1968 - during the first manned mission to the moon, aboard Apollo 8 – Commander Frank Borman, Lunar Module Pilot William Anders and Module Pilot Jim Lovell, recited to the American people the first ten verses of Genesis, Chapter 1: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth… and God saw that it was good." According to Bruce Feiler's America's Prophet – How the Story of Moses haped America, HarperCollins Publishers, 2010: "For four hundred years… one person has inspired more Americans than any other. One man is America's true founding father. His name is Moses." Feiler added that in June 1788, former President of Harvard University, Samuel Langdon, stated: "The three branch structure of government of God's New Israel (USA) was identical to that of God's Old Israel." The Exodus became "the covenant of Black America…. the single greatest motif of slave spirituals: "Go down Moses; Let my people go – the Negro Marseillaise." "In The Making of the President, 1964, Theodore White wrote: 'It was as if Kennedy, a younger Moses, had led an elder Joshua [Lyndon Johnson] to the height of Mount Nebo, and there shown him the Promised Land which he himself would never enter." Feiler opined that "the idea that one biblical story [the Exodus] has inspired such radically different leaders as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, G.W. Bush and Barack Obama, suggests that the story has transcended time and political party to become a leitmotif of the American presidency…. No single thinker has had more sustained influence on American history, over a longer period, than Moses." The Moses legacy has played a key role in shaping the American story, the special attitude of the American constituent towards the Jewish State, the special win-win US-Israel ties, and the exceptional capabilities of the US in the face of intensifying world disorder.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Israel's Worst Enemy: Lies and Myths

> > By Bruce Thornton, FrontPage Magazine > April 8, 2014 > > The Washington Post reports that some members of Secretary of State > John Kerry's senior staff think it's time to say "enough" of Kerry's > futile and delusional attempts to broker peace between the Israelis > and Arabs and implement the "two-state solution." That's a revelation > one would think the chief diplomat of the greatest power in history > would have experienced decades ago. Since the failed 1993 Oslo > Accords, it has been obvious to all except the duplicitous, the > ignorant, and the Jew-hater that the Arabs do not want a "Palestinian > state living in peace side-by-side with Israel," something they could > have had many times in the past. On the contrary, as they serially > prove in word and deed, they want Israel destroyed. > > As Caroline Glick documents in her new book The Israeli Solution, the > "two-state solution" is a diplomatic chimera for the West, and a > tactic for revanchist Arabs who cannot achieve their eliminationist > aims by military means. But the "Palestinian state" is merely one of > many myths, half-truths, and outright lies that befuddle Western > diplomats and leaders, and put the security and possibly the existence > of Israel at risk. > > First there is the canard that Israel is somehow an illegitimate > state, a neo-imperialist outpost that Westerners created to protect > their economic and geopolitical interests. In this popular myth, > invading Jewish colonists "stole" the land and ethnically cleansed the > region of its true possessors, the indigenous "Palestinian people." > This crime was repeated after 1967 Six Day War, when Israel seized the > "West Bank," occupying it as a colonial power and subjecting its > inhabitants to a brutally discriminatory regime. The continuing power > of this lie can be seen in the frequent comparison of Israel to > apartheid South Africa. And this false historical analogy in turn > drives the "Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions" movement, which is > attempting to make Israel even more of a pariah state in order to > duplicate the success of those tactics in dismantling white rule in > South Africa. > > Every dimension of this narrative is false. The state of Israel came > into being by the same legitimate process that created the other new > states in the region, the consequence of the dismantling of the > Ottoman Empire after World War I. Consistent with the traditional > practice of victorious states, the Allied powers France and England > created Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, and of course Israel, to > consolidate and protect their national interests. This legitimate > right to rewrite the map may have been badly done and > shortsighted--regions containing many different sects and ethnic > groups were bad candidates for becoming a nation-state, as the history > of Iraq and Lebanon proves, while prime candidates for nationhood like > the Kurds were left out. But the right to do so was bestowed by the > Allied victory and the Central Powers' loss, the time-honored wages of > starting a war and losing it. Likewise in Europe, the Austro-Hungarian > Empire was dismantled, and the new states of Austria, Hungary, > Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia were created. And arch-aggressor > Germany was punished with a substantial loss of territory, leaving > some 10 million Germans stranded outside the fatherland. Israel's > title to its country is as legitimate as Jordan's, Syria's and > Lebanon's. > > Then there is the melodrama of the "displacement" of the > "Palestinians," who have been condemned to live as stateless > "refugees" because of Israel's aggression. This narrative of course > ignores the fact that most of the Arabs fleeing Palestine left > voluntarily, the first wave, mainly the Arab elite, beginning in > November 1947 with the U.N. vote for partition. At the time it was > clear to observers that most of the Arabs chose to flee their supposed > ancestral homeland. In September 1948 Time magazine, no friend of > Israel, wrote, "There is but little doubt that the most potent of the > factors [explaining the Arab flight] were the announcements made over > the air by the Arab Higher Committee urging the Arabs to quit." These > were followed in 1948 by 300,000 others, who either were avoiding the > conflict, or were induced by the Arab Higher Committee with the > promise that after victory they could return and find, as Arab League > Secretary-General Azza Pasham said in May 1948, "that all the millions > the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy > booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the > Mediterranean." Indeed, the withdrawal of Israelis from Gaza in 2005 > confirmed the prediction that failed in 1948. The Gaza greenhouse > industry, which American Jewish donors purchased for $14 million and > gave to the Palestinian Authority in order to help Gaza's economy, was > instead destroyed by looters. > > But from a historical perspective, it is irrelevant how the Arabs > became refugees. When in 1922 the Greeks lost their war they fought > against the Turks in order to regain their sovereignty over lands > their ancestors had lived in for nearly 3000 years, 1.5 million Greeks > were transferred out of Turkey in exchange for half a million Turks > from Europe. After World War II, 12 million Germans either fled or > were driven from Eastern Europe, with at least half a million dying. > In both cases, whether justly or not, the wages of starting a war and > losing included the displacement of the losers. Yet only in the case > of the Palestinian Arabs has this perennial cost of aggression been > reversed, and those who prevailed in a war they didn't start been > demonized for the suffering of refugees created by the aggression of > their ethnic and religious fellows. > > In still another historical anomaly, in no other conflict have > refugees failed to be integrated into countries with which they share > an ethnic, religious, and cultural identity. Most of the some 800,000 > Jews, for example, driven from lands like Egypt and Iraq in which > their ancestors had lived for centuries, were welcomed into Israel, > which footed the bill for their maintenance and integration into > society. The Arab states, on the other hand, kept their brother Arabs > and Muslims in squalid camps that have evolved into squalid cities, > their keep paid for by the United Nations Relief Works Agency, the > only U.N. agency dedicated to only one group of refugees. Thus the > international community has enabled the revanchist policy of the Arab > states, as Alexander Galloway, head of the UNRWA, said in 1952: "It is > perfectly clear that the Arab nations do not want to solve the Arab > refugee problem. They want to keep it an open sore, as an affront > against the United Nations, and as a weapon against Israel. Arab > leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die." > > This brings us to the chief myth: that there exists a distinct > Palestinian "people," the original possessors of the land who have > been unjustly denied a national homeland. In the quotes above notice > that no Arab ever refers to these people as "Palestinians," but as > "Arabs," which is what most of them are, sharing the same religion, > language, and culture of their Arab neighbors in Jordan, Lebanon, and > Syria. In fact, as Sha'i ben-Tekoa documents in his book Phantom > Nation, the first U.N. resolution referencing "Palestinians" instead > of "Arabs" occurred 3 years after the Six Day War, marking > international recognition of a "Palestinian people" and nation as yet > another Arab tactic in gaining support in the West by exploiting an > idea alien to traditional Islam. Before then "Palestinian" was a > geographical designation, more typically applied to Jews. Numerous > quotations from Arab leaders reveal not a single reference to a > Palestinian people, but numerous one identifying the inhabitants of > the geographical entity Palestine as "Arabs." > > For example, in 1937, Arab Higher Committee Secretary Auni Abdel Hadi > said, "There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a country > the Zionists invented. 'Palestine' is alien to us." The Christian Arab > George Antonius, author of the influential The Arab Awakening, told > David Ben-Gurion, "There was no natural barrier between Palestine and > Syria and there was no difference between their inhabitants." Later in > his book he defined Syria as including Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan. > In testimony to the U.N. in 1947, the Arab Higher Committee said, > "Politically the Arabs of Palestine are not independent in the sense > of forming a separate political identity." Thirty years later Farouk > Kaddoumi, then head of the PLO Political Department, told Newsweek, > "Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as one people." > After the Six-Day War a member of the Executive Council of the PLO, > Zouhair Muhsin, was even more explicit: "There are no differences > between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all > part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully > underline our Palestinian identity... Yes, the existence of a separate > Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a > Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against > Israel." > > Such examples can be multiplied, which makes all the talk of a > separate Palestinian "people" deserving of their own nation nothing > but propaganda supported by a bogus history that claims the Arabs who > came to Palestine in the 7th century A.D as conquerors and occupiers, > or later as migrant workers and immigrants, are the "indigenous" > inhabitants descended from Biblical peoples like the Canaanites or the > shadowy Jebusites--a claim unsupported by any written or > archaeological evidence. Meanwhile, of course, abundant evidence > exists showing that the Jews have continuously inhabited the region > since 1300 B.C. Once more the logic of history is turned on its head, > with the descendants of the original inhabitants deemed alien > invaders, while the descendants of conquerors and occupiers are > sanctified as victims. > > Such an inversion is worthy of Orwell's 1984. Yet these lies and > myths--and there are many more-- have shaped and defined the conflict > between Israel and the Arabs, and set the parameters of diplomatic > solutions. But we should heed the Biblical injunction about the > liberating power of truth. And the truth is, for a century fanatics > filled with genocidal hatred have violently and viciously attacked a > liberal-democratic nation legitimately established in the ancient > homeland of its people. Until our diplomacy and foreign relations in > the region are predicated on this truth, the "two-state solution" will > continue to be a dangerous farce. > > > > Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, > a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of > Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the > author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its > influence on Western Civilization.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Obama, the Brotherhood, and the Jewish left

October 15, 2012,

Mike Lumish

Is the American Jewish left suffering from cognitive dissonance?

The Muslim Brotherhood is the foremost anti-Semitic organization in the world today. During the Morsi campaign they called for the conquest of Jerusalem. During World War II they supported the Nazis. Sayyid Qutb, one of their founding figures, wrote a pamphlet entitled “Our Struggle with the Jews.” They believe in an international caliphate in which sharia would reign throughout the world, thus making Jews, and other dhimmis, second- and third-class citizens; women the property of men; and gay people, quite frankly, dead. Yet, somehow, against all reason or common human decency, the American Jewish left supports the Muslim Brotherhood.

Barack Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood and progressive-left American Jews support Obama; thus those Jews, whether they will admit it to themselves or not, and however they might otherwise justify it, support the Muslim Brotherhood. I find this situation to be absolutely unfathomable. How is it possible that after so many centuries of abuse throughout Europe and after 1,400 years of unjust violence and oppression against us in the Muslim Middle East, American Jews could possibly support an American president who helped usher the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt? How is this possible? How is it possible that American Jews would support a president of the United States who referred to the rapes, and murders, and riots that collectively make up the misnamed “Arab Spring” as something akin to the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and, revoltingly enough, as something akin to the Revolutionary Spirit of 1776?

Denial plays a big role in this phenomenon, because if you were to ask your average American Jewish supporter of Barack Obama just why they are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood they probably would not know what the heck you were talking about. When explained to them that the Muslim Brotherhood is not only anti-Semitic, but even genocidal toward Jews, and that Barack Obama has supported their rise throughout the Muslim Middle East, particularly in Egypt, they would probably look at you as if you yammering at them in Swahili.

It’s pure denial. It is a willful turning away from very serious facts and a deadly serious situation for the Jews in Israel.

And if you do not think that Obama has actively supported the Muslim Brotherhood, how do you explain the fact that administration officials met with the Brotherhood on several occasions before they came into power in Egypt? How do you explain the fact that, over Mubarak’s objections, Obama invited the Brotherhood to his Cairo speech of 2009? How do you explain the fact that when Obama called for the deposing of Mubarak he knew that the Brotherhood would likely fill the power vacuum? How do you explain the fact that Hillary Clinton flew to Egypt to ensure the transition from military control of the country to Brotherhood control? However one slices and dices these facts, it is simply undeniable that Obama promoted the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East.

Another reason, aside from mere denial, is a suicidally naive faith in the wisdom of Barack Obama, in the good-will of Barack Obama, and in the intelligence of Barack Obama. After eight years of a militaristic and jingoistic Bush II administration, Obama seemed like a huge weight off the shoulders, a huge relief from all the hokum and trumpery, as Kurt Vonnegut might have put it, of the Bush years. Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, after all. This is therefore a highly intelligent man. And, like us, and unlike Bush, he’s a liberal. And, on top of that, he’s a black man, and G-d bless America, racist as it allegedly remains, for finally raising up an African-American to the foremost political position in the land.

I mean, I voted for Barack Obama, and I couldn’t have been more pleased that we had elected our first black president. These things, taken together, can form quite an emotional attachment to the individual, which is particularly true when almost everyone you know keeps telling one another how the Democrats stand for human decency, social justice, and universal human rights, while the Republicans stand for racism, greed, misogyny, guns, and all things that are just plain wrong.

But there is yet another way in which “progressive” Jews justify their support for Obama, despite his support for the Muslim Brotherhood: democracy. That’s right: The Muslim Brotherhood is misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and anti-democratic, yet we must support Obama’s efforts to bolster the Brotherhood out of support for democracy! After all, democracy can be a messy business, so who are we to deny the legitimate national aspirations of the Egyptian people? Sure, those national aspirations may include the conquest of Jerusalem and the genocide of the Jews but, hey, that’s democracy.

This line of reasoning is just rampant on the Jewish left. I see it constantly on places like “Daily Kos” or “The Huffington Post” or the “Guardian.” They seem to think that supporting democracy is some sort of suicide pact, and that we are obligated to honor any choices made by any people anywhere so long as those choices are expressed via the voting booth. Well, excuse me, but didn’t a particularly nasty individual rise to power in Germany during the 1930s via democratic means? I think he did.

We should support democracy, but we are also allowed to take sides — and we are under no obligation to support any political party, much less the foremost anti-Semitic political party on the planet. What I think is that American Jews are making a truly awful mistake in supporting this presidency. I voted for the guy in 2008, but I also watched and learned. The main thing that I learned was that I was dead wrong to support Obama to begin with. No Jewish person should support a politician who supports the Brotherhood.

Progressive-left American Jews are holding two contradictory notions in their minds. They, for the most part, support the State of Israel, but they also support president Obama. Obama supports the Brotherhood and the Brotherhood tells us that they want to conquer Jerusalem.

Is this not cognitive dissonance?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ayalon hits back: South Africa remains an apartheid state



After South Africa mandates special labels on products originating in the West Bank, Deputy FM takes a stab at country over killing of 34 striking miners; Israel also set to summon SA ambassador to register displeasure.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon late Wednesday hit back against South Africa over its decision to mandate special labels on products coming from settlements, saying the decision proves the country is still an apartheid state.

"The changes that took place in South Africa over the years did not yield a truly fundamental change," Ayalon said. "South Africa remains an apartheid state."

Ayalon also took a stab at South African authorities for killing 34 striking platinum miners in the bloodiest operation since the end of white rule. "At the moment South Africa's apartheid is aimed at Israel, and against miners within South Africa itself," Ayalon said. "Instead of deciding to label Israeli products, South Africa should have acted courageously towards the 34 innocent miners that were just asking for an improvement in working conditions."

The Foreign Ministry also released a statement Wednesday, saying South Africa's decision “brings to mind ideas of a racist nature which the government of South Africa, more than any other, should have wholly rejected.”

The Israeli backlash followed the South African cabinet’s decision to approve a plan to require labels on products coming from the settlements so that they do not read “Made in Israel.”

The South African government’s approval came about three months after the plan was first broached by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, and despite a flood of protests from South African Jews and other pro-Israel supporters in the country.

The Foreign Ministry statement said the measure adopted was unprecedented and constituted “blatant discrimination based on national and political distinction. This kind of discrimination has not been imposed – and rightly so – in any other case of national, territorial or ethnic conflict. Israel and South Africa have political differences, and that is legitimate. What is totally unacceptable is the use of tools which, by essence, discriminate and single out, fostering a general boycott.” The Foreign Ministry will summon the South African ambassador Thursday to register its displeasure.

The South African cabinet issued a statement saying it “approved that a notice in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008, be issued by the minister of Trade and Industry requiring the labeling of goods or products emanating from IOTs (Israel Occupied Territories) to prevent consumers being led to believe that such goods come from Israel. This is in line with South Africa’s stance that recognizes the 1948 borders delineated by the United Nations and does not recognize occupied territories beyond these borders as being part of the State of Israel.”

The decision came at a cabinet meeting where the government also noted the “importance” of South Africa’s participation in the upcoming Non- Aligned Movement meeting in Tehran.

The UN never delineated borders in 1948, so it is not clear whether the South African government is referring to the 1947 UN Partition Plan or the 1949 Armistice Lines.

Avrom Krengel, the chairman of the South African Zionist Federation and South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, issued a statement saying the South African Jewish community was “outraged” over the cabinet’s decision.

“In acting in so cavalier a manner, government has not only bypassed the consultation process set in motion by the notice but shown itself to be completely dismissive of Jewish concerns,” the statement said.

The Jewish community was denied “any meaningful opportunity” of explaining its position to the government, the statement said.

“It is the firm belief of the Jewish communal leadership that the proposed measures are discriminatory, divisive and inconsistent with South African trade policy and seriously flawed from both an administrative and procedural point of view,” the statement read. “At bottom, they are believed to be motivated not by technical trade concerns but by political bias against the State of Israel. All attempts to discuss these concerns, however, have come to nothing.”

While the EU since 2003 has required Israeli exporters to specify on their export invoices where their products are made, so that products manufactured in settlements would not enjoy the same duty-free status as those manufactured inside the Green Line, the products themselves never bore any “settlement” label. The South African policy is the first at a national level, though both Denmark and Ireland have spoken of following suit.

The step is certain to make even worse already strained ties between Jerusalem and Pretoria.

Last week the Foreign Ministry said that a call by South Africa’s deputy foreign minister Ebrahim Ebrahim to discourage the country’s residents from going to Israel was tantamount to a South African boycott.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Over the years, there have been hundreds of stories like this one.

One of the worst forms of racism that we see is that, over the years a few thousand Jewish girls have ‘married’ Arab husbands, but not a single Arab girl has ever married a Jew. Why? Because every attempt at an Arab trying to convert to Judaism is met with extreme violence. The girls are simply beaten to death.

best regards,

Mordechai Ben-Menachem

P. O. Box 53061, Yerushalem (Jerusalem), 91530, Israel

055-2259763, Mail:, Skype: qualitymbm

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Jewish woman rescued from Arab village after 28 years


A dramatic rescue takes a Jewish woman and her two young children out of the clutches of a brutal Palestinian Authority Arab husband with whom she lived for 28 years.

The anti-missionary Yad L'Achim organization, which also works on behalf of Jewish women trapped in relationships with Arabs, revealed the extraordinary story, after "Dinah, the daughter of Leah," was safely back among Jews.

Dinah was born in the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Lod 48 years ago but became estranged from her family during an emo­tional crisis, which led her to a relationship with an Arab man. Since then, she was declared as missing, and her family did not know whether she was dead or alive. At one point, Israeli authorities mistakenly thought they had identified her in a morgue.

She lived with her husband in a Palestinian Authority Arab village in the area of Tulkarm, east of Netanya. She said her husband traumatized her and once tied her to a tree for 13 hours, without food or water The husband said he wanted "everyone to see what will happen to you" if she were to leave the house without permission.

Three weeks ago, ties were suddenly re-established with her family, which finally had a sign that Dinah was still alive. They contacted Yad L'Achim officials, who were given her telephone number and other personal information that enabled them to go into action to rescue her.

When they first got in touch with Dinah, she begged them, "Get me back to my homeland."

With the help of Interior Minister Eli Yishai and the IDF, special permits were prepared for Dinah and her children to cross the checkpoint near Tulkarm after the rescue, which was carried out in strict secrecy. This past Sunday evening, her husband gave Dinah 12 shekels to travel with her two children in a taxi to a clinic for medical care Monday morning.

In a pre-arranged scheme, she and her children got out of the cab shortly after it left the village and hurriedly got into a rescue vehicle that Yad L'Achim sent, with advance permission from a senior IDF officer. Soldiers at the checkpoint had been alerted to allow the vehicle to enter the Palestinian Authority for the rescue operation.

During the journey of nearly an hour to the checkpoint, Yad L'Achim instructed its workers to stop what they were doing and say Psalms for the safe return of Dinah.

The rescue vehicle returned to the checkpoint, and the soldiers confirmed they saw the mother and her two children in the rescue vehicle. Once past the checkpoint, the vehicle stopped, and Dinah burst into tears, along with the soldiers.

The children begged her, "Mommy, promise us you never will go back there again."

One of Dinah's first actions was to take off her Muslim garb and tell Yad L'Achim officials, "Throw them in the trash can."

The organizations' social workers are treating her and she is staying at a secret location in central Israel, after having made contact with her family. She filed a complaint with police against her Arab husband's brutality. Police said they doubted that Palestinian Authority police would take any action against him but added that if he steps one foot beyond the checkpoint, he will be arrested.

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