April 29, 2006

An Eye Opener as to How Mexico Treats Immigrants

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

The Washington Times, April 16, 2006

The US congress has received lots of free advice lately from Mexican government officials and illegal aliens waving Mexico’s flag in mass demonstrations coast-to-coast. Most of it takes the form of bitter complaints about our actual or prospective treatment of immigrants from that country who have gotten into this one illegally or who aspire to do so. If you think these critics are mad about U.S. immigration policy now, imagine how upset they would be if we adopted an approach far more radical than the bill they rail against that was adopted last year by the House of Representatives — namely, the way Mexico treats its illegal aliens.

In fact, as a just published paper by the Center for Security Policy’s J. Michael Wailer at www.centerforsecuritypolicy or Mexico’s Glass_House) points out, under a constitution first adopted in 1917 and subsequently amended, Mexico deals harshly not only with illegal immigrants. It treats even legal immigrants, naturalized citizens and foreign investors in ways that would, by the standards of those who carp about U.S. immigration policy, have to be called “racist” and “xenophobic?”

For example, according to an official translation published by the Organization of American States, the Mexican constitution includes the following restrictions:

• Equal employment rights are denied to immigrants - even legal ones.
Article 32: “Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions or commissions of the government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable? Jobs for which Mexican citizenship is considered “indispensable” include, pursuant to Article 32, bans on foreigners, immigrants and even naturalized citizens of Mexico serving as military officers, Mexican-flagged ship and airline crew, and chiefs of seaports and airports.

Article 55 denies immigrants the right to become federal lawmakers. A Mexican congressman or senator must be “a Mexican citizen by birth?"

Article 91 further stipulates that immigrants may never aspire to become cabinet officers, as they are required to be Mexican by birth.

Article 95 says the same about Supreme Court justices.

Article 130, immigrants — even legal ones — may not become members of the clergy, either.

·Foreigners, to say nothing of illegal immigrants, are denied fundamental property rights. For example:

Article 27 states, “Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters and their appurtenances or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters.”

• Article 11 guarantees federal protection against “undesirable aliens resident in the country: What is more, private individuals are authorized to make citizen’s arrests.

·Article 16 states, “In cases of flagrant delicto, any person may arrest the offender and his accomplices, turning them over without delay to the nearest authorities. In other words, Mexico grants its citizens the right to arrest illegal aliens and hand them over to police for prosecution. Imagine the Minutemen exercising such a right. The Mexican constitution states that foreigners — not just illegal immigrants — may be expelled for any reason and without due process.

·Article 33, “the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action:

As the immigration debate in the Senate moved into a decisive phase last week, legislators who believe America’s southern border must be secured, the nation’s existing immigration laws enforced and illegal aliens not rewarded with permanent residency and a direct path to citizenship were being sharply criticized and, in some cases, defamed as bigots and xenophobes. Yet, even their maximalist positions generally pale in comparison with the treatment authorized by the Mexican constitution.

So the next time such legislators — and the majority of Americans for whom they speak — are assaulted by Mexican officials, undocumented aliens waving Mexican flags in mass demonstrations here in the United States, clergy and self-described humanitarians, businessmen and other advocates of illegal immigration, ask them this: Would they favor having the U.S. impose the same restrictions on immigrants — legal and illegal — that Mexico imposes on their counter-parts there?

Nothing of the kind is in the cards, of course - nor should it be. Legal immigration and the opportunity for foreign investors and other nationals to contribute to this country are not only one of its hallmarks — they are among the reasons for its greatness. Still, we should not allow the hypocrisy of others’ treatment of undocumented aliens in their countries to induce us to refrain from taking effective steps to prevent further illegal immigration: by building a fence along our southern border, by enforcing immigration laws in the workplace and elsewhere; and by discouraging more such violations with potentially grave national security implications by dealing effectively with those who have already broken those laws by coming here without permission.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is the president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2006

Why are Jews so Liberal?

By Dennis Prager

The Washington Times Apr 25, 2006

The most frequently asked question I receive from non-Jews about Jews is, why are Jews so liberal?

The question is entirely legitimate since Jews (outside of Israel) are indeed overwhelmingly liberal and disproportionately left of liberal as well. For example, other than blacks, no American group votes so lopsidedly for the Democratic Party. And the question is further sharpened given that traditional Jewish values are not leftist. That is why the more religiously involved the Jew, the less likely he is to be on the Left. The old saw, "There are two types of Jews -- those who believe Judaism is social justice and those who know Hebrew," contains more than a kernel of truth.

In no order of importance, here are six reasons:

1. Judaism is indeed preoccupied with social justice (as well as with holiness and personal morality), and many Jews believe that the only way to achieve a just society is through leftist policies.

2. More than any other major religion, Judaism has always been preoccupied with this world. The (secular) Encyclopedia Judaica begins its entry on "Afterlife" by noting that "Judaism has always affirmed belief in an afterlife."

But the preoccupation of Judaism has been making this world a better place. That is why the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) is largely silent about the afterlife; and it is preoccupied with rejecting ancient Egyptian values. That value system was centered on the afterlife -- its bible was the Book of the Dead, and its greatest monuments, the pyramids, were tombs.

3. Most Jews are frightened by anything that connotes right wing -- such as the words "right-wing" and "conservative." Especially since the Holocaust, they think that threats to their security emanate from the Right only. (It is pointless to argue that Nazism stood for National Socialism and therefore was really a leftist ideology. Whether that is theoretically accurate doesn't matter; nearly everyone regards the Nazis as far Right, and, therefore, Jews fear the Right.)

The fact that the Jews' best friends today are conservatives and the fact that the Left is the home of most of the Jews' enemies outside of the Muslim world have made little impact on Jews' psyches.

4. Liberal Jews fear most religion. They identify religion -- especially fundamentalist religion and especially Christianity -- with anti-Semitism. Jews are taught from birth about the horrors of the Holocaust, and of nearly 2,000 years of European, meaning Christian, anti-Semitism. They therefore tend to fear Christianity and believe that secularism guarantees their physical security. That is what animates the ACLU and its disproportionately Jewish membership, under the guise of concern with the Constitution and "separation of church and state" (words that do not appear in the Constitution), to fight all public expressions of Christianity in America.

5. Despite their secularism, Jews may be the most religious ethnic group in the world. The problem is that their religion is rarely Judaism; rather it is every "ism" of the Left. These include liberalism, socialism, feminism, Marxism and environmentalism. Jews involved in these movements believe in them with the same ideological fervor and same suspension of critical reason with which many religious people believe in their religion.

It is therefore usually as hard to shake a liberal Jew's belief in the Left and in the Democratic Party as it is to shake an evangelical Christian's belief in Christianity. The big difference, however, is that the Christian believer acknowledges his Christianity is a belief, whereas the believer in liberalism views his belief as entirely the product of rational inquiry.

The Jews' religious fervor emanates from the origins of the Jewish people as a religious people elected by God to help guide humanity to a better future. Of course, the original intent was to bring humanity to ethical monotheism, God-based universal moral standards, not to secular liberalism or to feminism or to socialism. Leftist Jews have simply secularized their religious calling.

6. Liberal Jews fear nationalism. The birth of nationalism in Europe planted the secular seeds of the Holocaust (religious seeds had been planted by some early and medieval Church teachings and reinforced by Martin Luther). European nationalists welcomed all national identities except the Jews'. That is a major reason so many Jews identify primarily as "world citizens"; they have contempt for nationalism and believe that strong national identities, even in America, will exclude them.

Just as liberal Jews fear a resurgent Christianity despite the fact that contemporary Christians are the Jews' best friends, leftist Jews fear American nationalism despite the fact that Americans who believe in American exceptionalism are far more pro-Jewish and pro-Israel than leftist Americans. But most leftist Jews so abhor nationalism, they don't even like the Jews' nationalism (Zionism).

If you believe that leftist ideas and policies are good for America and for the world, then you are particularly pleased to know how deeply Jews -- with their moral passion, intellectual energies and abilities, and financial clout -- are involved with the Left. If, on the other hand, you believe that the Left is morally confused and largely a destructive force in America and the world, then the Jews' disproportionate involvement on the Left is nothing less than a tragedy -- for the world and especially for the Jews.

Dennis Prager is a syndicated radio talk show host, author, columnist and proudly practicing Jew.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2006

Palestinian Response to Olmert’s “Convergence” Plan

Redacted from an article By Aaron Klein, The Jewish Press, March 31, 2006

Just five days before national elections, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Kadima party revealed it would divide Jerusalem and allow a Palestinian state to be established in parts of Israel’s “eternal capital.” This revelation follows months of denial by top Kadima officials that the party would advocate withdrawing from Jerusalem. But now, Otniel Schneller, a Kadima Member who represented the party at an official debate last week on dividing Jerusalem said, “The Old City Mount Scopus, the Mount of Olives, the City of David, Sheikh Jarra will remain in our hands, but regarding Kafr Akeb, Abu-Ram, Shuafat, Hizma, Abu-Zaim, Abu-Tur, Abu Dis - these will become part of the capitol of the Palestinian state when it is established “(!),

And what has been the Palestinian response to Olmert's Withdrawals/Surrenders?

Redacted from an article by Professor Steven Plaut - Haifa University, Israel

Palestinians demonstrated their position on Israel’s election by firing a Katyusha rocket for the first time from the Gaza Strip hours before the polls had closed. The Palestinians have, of course, fired thousands of Kassam rockets into Israel. But the use of a Katyusha was a sharp ratcheting up of the violence. Israelis got a little taste of how distorted their democracy is when the leftist-dominated Israeli media suppressed the story of the Katyusha until the polls were closing, lest it drive angry voters to cast more votes for rightist parties. There is little chance that the same media will now investigate themselves for such naked political manipulation.

The Katyusha attack underscored the prescience of those who warned that the Gaza withdrawal would produce escalated arms smuggling into Gaza from Egypt. Katyusha rockets were originally used by the Soviet Union in World War II and proved to be perhaps the most effective instrument in the Soviet arsenal for terrorizing the enemy. The Palestinians will henceforth be using that very same weapon — against Jewish civilian areas inside Israel with their range extending well into Ashkelon only 12 miles up the coast.

Olmert’s only countermeasure to date has been to suggest that Israeli workers within missile range of Gaza not congregate together in groups! He has also recommended that they re-enforce their roofs with steel plates!

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2006

The Destructive Division within Israel Society as Manifested in the Election

Redacted from an editorial by David Horovitz, Editor

Jerusalem Post April 20, 2006

What the election results underline is how divided a nation we have become, and thus the gravity of the task facing our incoming prime minister.
We are increasingly split geographically and along lines of religious observance. The capital of Orthodox Israel, Jerusalem, gave 18.6 percent of its votes to United Torah Judaism, 15.1% to Shas and 12,4% to The National Union/National Religious Party alliance as its top three parties.

In the capital of secular Israel, Te1Aviv, those same three parties mustered just 12% of the vote between them. Tel Aviv’s top three, sharing well over half that city's allegiance, were Kadima (27.9%), Labor (19.7%) and the Pensioners (9.1%) —parties that between them managed barely a quarter of the votes cast In Jerusalem. Tellingly, the Likud failed to crack the top three in Israel’s two largest cities, or In Haifa and Beersheba either.

As scenes of Holocaust survivors lining up for pre-Passover handouts have demonstrated only too well in recent days, we are also horribly divided economically. Kadima fared especially well in Israel’s middle class heartland, rendering it the party of what the Post’s Dan Izenberg has branded the “satisfied” Israelis.

Toney areas like Herzliya and Ramat Hasharon gave well over a third of their votes to Ehud Olmert’s party. Not so the misnomered “development towns” in what is absurdly known, in our tiny country, as the “periphery.” Kadima trailed behind Israel Beiteinu, Shas and Labor in Dimona, in Yeroham and in Sderot.

The Gil Pensioners Party- the new would-be champions of the mistreated - fared abysmally in those areas as well, emphasizing how much of its support stemmed from Its clever “cool” appeal in Tel Aviv (9.1%), and how little came from areas at the bottom of the nation-wide economic scale. Beersheba gave Gil 4.2% of its voter; Dimona, 2%; Yeroham, 1.8%, and Sderot, 1.1%.

In areas like these, the much-hyped social agenda of Labor’s Amir Peretz paid dividends: His hometown, Sclerot, gave Labor 25.3%; Dimona voted 17.9% Labor and Beersheba gave it 16.8%.

But along with Labor, the parties of choice for disadvantaged Israelis — that swathe of the electorate that helped Menachem Begin’s Likud to power in 1977 and kept it there for much of the time since — are now plainly Shas and Israel Beiteinu, each polling up to a fifth of the vote, and sometimes more in many development towns and poor neighborhoods.

Much as Benjamin Netanyahu asserted, that he had saved the nation from economic collapse as finance minister; the fact is that he hurt many traditional Llkud voters in their pockets, and they did not forgive him. The Likud scored around 10% of the vote in many neighborhoods of former staunch party territory. There’s a lesson here for Peretz if he’s listening and a warning from the electorate for Labor, the Likud and Kadima: Exacerbate Israe1’s economic inequalities at your peril. Go easy on the biting Thatcherite economic strategies, because the parties that champion a more socialist agenda, however irresponsible this may be considered by the academic experts, are poised to grow further still.

The familiar Israeli divide over how to handle the Palestinians was overshadowed by economic concerns in poorer areas, but was still a major factor in many others - especially and inevitably - those most directly affected. The more ideological the settlement, the greater the preponderance of support for the NU-NRP alliance. That this partnership, nonetheless, failed to achieve more than nine seats in all confirms the gulf between the dominant passion of a motivated minority and the relative indifference of the rest of the nation.

The NU-NRP took 76.9% of the vote in Shilo, for instance, and 73% In Elon Moreh, settlements beyond the route of the security barrier and outside the parameters of the Olmert “convergence” plan. Even those supposedly, “safely” within Olmert’s Israel vision, but where many residents are immensely wary of “convergence”- both in principle and in its direct impact on the Etzion Bloc - voted 64.2% for the NU/NRR. Tel Aviv gave that grouping just 3.3%, however, and Haifa 4.2%.

Evidently, the residents of the largest of all settlements, Ma’aleh A’dumim are relatively more sanguine, voting 19.6% for the NU/NRP, 19.2% for the Likud and 15.5% each for Kadima and Israel Beiteinu. Ariel, the second most numerous settlement, with a sizable Russian immigrant population, gave 34.6% to Lieberman and another 24.1% to the Likud.

(To call Ma’aleh Adumim and Ariel “settlements” is totally ridiculous. These are truly gorgeous well laid out, well populated towns that would be the pride of any American suburban area. Visualize one of the nicer suburban towns in your area and decide whether you would remotely consider giving it up to an enemy sworn to your destruction. For that matter, how could Israel give up any town for that matter - unless you live in Tel Aviv and, in your self-centered idiocy, have determined that you are immune and not part of the rest of the country - even 10 minutes away!) Jsk

The fact that the center-left bloc of Kadima, Labor, Pensioners and Meretz wound up, after last week’s final adjustments of the national total, with precisely 60 of the 120 Knesset seats, rather compromises Uri Savir’s talk of a “vast majority” backing further withdrawal, even when the 10 seats won by Arab parties are added to the equation. But that absent wider resonance, across the country, of the core Likud and NU/NRP platform, suggests that there is nonetheless a vast majority of sorts - a vast majority for whom the maintenance of the entire settlement enterprise is not an option

As Olmert accepted, President Moshe Katsav’s formal invitation to form Israel’s next government, all these statistics will surely give him much pause for thought.

If not quite a poisoned chalice, the task of leading so fractured a nation, so fraught in regional context; makes the job he performed in recent weeks of keeping all his Kadima partners in line ahead of polling day look like child’s play. Yet his initial mission - by virtue of Kadima’s less than sensational electoral performance and the vagaries of our electoral system —requires still more of the nannying. He must somehow squeeze dozens of inflated political egos into 23, or maybe 24, or just, possibly 25 ministerial seats.

Already the portents are bleak. Much compromised principle and lawyerly finesse will be required to weave a coalition suit from the disparate political cloths of Kadima, Labor, the Pensioners, Shas, United Torah Judaism and perhaps, however improbably, Israel Beiteinu. Trouble also awaits “at home,” where Olmert cannot possibly satisfy the ministerial ambitions that soared in Kadima when polls showed the party heading for 40-plus seats.

PRIME MINISTER after prime minister here in recent years has seen his term in office cut short by disintegrating coalitions, and several of them started off on more solid ground than the voters gave Olmert.

But the nous (“we”) required to fashion a dependable Knesset majority pales by comparison to the wisdom needed to formulate appropriate policies for the country and advance them on a basis of relative national unity. It was encouraging to see Olmert exuding so confident a sense of purpose at his press conference with the president yesterday. Hopefully it reflects mature appreciation of the task ahead, rather than insufficient realization of quite exactly what lies before him.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2006

Understanding the Israeli and Palestinian Arab Psyche

Redacted from an interview of Kenneth Levin and David Gutmann by Jamie Glazow

The Jewish Press, April 14, 2006

Kenneth Levin:

I agree with David Gutmann that the Palestinian pursuit of their terror war against Israel, and election of Hamas, is less suicidal than genocidal. I also agree with his comments on the psychodynamics underlying the Palestinians’, and broader Arab world’s, genocidal agenda, except that I would emphasize the role of Arab leaders in cultivating and channeling individuals’ psychodynamic predilections into murderous hatred toward perceived external enemies, most notably Jews.

On the recent Palestinian election, there has been much debate as to whether votes for Hamas were votes against PA/PLO corruption or for Hamas’s extermination of the Israelis platform. But the distinction is based on a false premise in that — as David Keyes notes — the PA/PLO likewise promoted an extermination of the Israelis platform, using its media, mosques and schools over the past decade to further indoctrinate Palestinians into embracing Jew-hatred and believing in the illegitimacy of Israel, the necessity of its annihilation, and its ripeness for destruction.

Israelis and Western Jews who ignore the other side’s explicit agenda and replace it with fantasies of what they want the other side’s agenda to be i.e. fantasies that the Palestinians are simply asking for redress of supposed Israeli misbehavior and that sufficient concessions will end the conflict — are the truly suicidal party willing to risk their own lives and those of their children, their co-religionists and their countrymen for the sake of promoting their delusions....

As I argue in my book, The Oslo Syndrome, embracing the perspectives of one’s enemies is a common phenomenon within chronically besieged populations, whether minorities marginalized, denigrated and attacked by the surrounding society or small nations under chronic siege by their neighbors. It has been a recurrent theme in the Jewish Diaspora history as well as in Israel.

A major counterweight to the psychological corrosiveness of besiegement must be leaders who convey to the community its true choices and bolster its will to resist. The Israeli-Arab conflict is ultimately a test of wills in that Israel has and will retain the military capacity to defend itself— despite its small population, its lack of strategic depth, and the rabid mentality of its enemies. It is self-delusion and loss of heart to defend itself that is likely to remain its greatest threat....

David Gutmann:

…Guilty by nature, convinced of their own sins against the victimized multitude of third-world innocents, the Jewish doves make the gestures of surrender. Turning the bared throat towards the knife, they invite the Palestinians to punish them and their guilty nation for their sins. I grew up among Jews like these, and agree with Dr. Levin that they are the truly “suicidal” party.

While I’m surprised to see them proliferate in Israel, I can understand them. What I don’t understand is the passive response of so many European Christians, citizens of advanced democracies, to the increasingly arrogant, murderous challenge that they face from the Eurabian Jihadists.

Like their grandfathers who appeased Hitler, the European doves find all kinds of reasons to spin and minimize the Jihadist fury that now openly mocks and threatens their comfortable life ways....

·Jamie Glazov is managing editor of FrontPageMag.com
·Kenneth Levin, is a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of the book, The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege
·David Gutmann is emeritus professor of Psychology and Behavior Sciences at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2006

'A Country That’s Fun To Live In’

(Are you kidding me? Jsk)

Steve K. Walz

The Jewish Press, March 23, 2006 - before the election and …unfortunately most Israeli voters evidently did not read it.

Sooner or later, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had to “open up” to various media outlets. With Kadima sinking slowly in the polls and various scandals swirling around him, Olmert needed to offer a bit of spin control. So last weekend, Olmert’s spin doctors allowed their star candidate to be himself. Olmert didn’t disappoint, offering one outrageous comment after another. First, he intimated that all of the pre-election fuss was an exercise in futility, as “Kadima had already won the elections” even before Israelis went to the polls. Then he had the chutzpah to tell Ha’aretz that when he finishes his first complete term in office (2010), Israel will be “a country that’s fun to live in.”

Readers of this column who’ve never met or dealt with Olmert should understand that this veteran politician is so enamored with himself that he has no time or patience to actually worry about the rules of the “political game.”

When he was mayor of Jerusalem, Olmert wasn’t interested in the actual governing of the city so much as he was interested in positioning himself as a future senior Likud government minister. When I sat down to interview him in his Jerusalem office, an impatient Mayor Olmert gave me a time frame in which to ask all of my relevant questions since, he was “a busy man.”

A year or so later, Mayor Olmert came to the offices of The Jewish Press to discuss important issues of the day. Olmert made sure that I had my pen and pad in hand to record every statement he made. This time around, he had all the time in the world. I can never forget how he opened the meeting. “Listen, we are all amongst friends here, so I can be frank in what I have to discuss with you today.” He proceeded to remind us just how important a united Jerusalem was to him. This was the same Mayor Olmert who supported Benjamin Netanyahu, not once but twice, for the post of prime minister. You could tell that Olmert was only using his mayoral position as a stepping-stone for something much bigger.

By the time he left the mayor’s office, the city of Jerusalem was nearly $100 million in debt. Of course, Olmert blamed everyone (including his own Likud colleagues) but himself for the mess. He was too busy having fun being Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s “bad cop”, especially when trying to undermine and destroy Netanyahu’s aspirations to return as head of the Likud. Recent newspaper reports also have revealed just how close Olmert and Omri Sharon were during the period in which Prime Minister Sharon’s son was involved in several shady business and political deals.

Olmert was so reviled by Likud Party Central Committee members that they placed him way down (#30) on the party’s Knesset slate during the run-up to the last elections. Prime Minister Sharon rescued him from near political oblivion, promising him a top ministerial post (he actually received four such posts during the last four years), as well as the title of vice-premier (acting prime minister). In exchange for his loyalty Omri and Ariel Sharon asked Olmert to take a personal interest in dismantling politically Benjamin Netanyahu, no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, Netanyahu fell into every trap that Olmert set for him.

Kadima is comprised of a gang of roughhouse political opportunists who’ll smash anything or anyone that gets in their way. They control the media, the security forces and a substantial portion of the elitist business community When Olmert has the gall to say that he envisions Israel in 2010 to be a “country that fun to live in,” it is accurate to say that he has been influenced by Shimon Peres and his Mediterranean fantasies.

Kadima has no interest in changing the political system, in which the people would have the opportunity to directly elect a majority of Knesset members. Remember, Kadima is a party without members. The candidates were handpicked by both Sharon and Olmert. These are Kadima’s “democratic principles.”

A country that’s fun to live in? Israel is facing a host of imminent threats to its existence. Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Syria, Iran and Al Qaeda are all hell-bent on wiping the Jewish state from the face of the earth. The United States is bogged down in Iraq and might not be able to assist Israel when and if D-Day arrives.

Olmert has virtually no military experience. His outgoing defense minister (Shaul Mofaz) bungled the withdrawal from Gaza, bringing the terrorist’s Kassam rockets closer to Israel’s major population centers. Olmert’s face-saving political solution is to continue with a series of unilateral withdrawals that would end in 2010. (Since elected Olmert just declared he is moving up the timetable for this suicidal withdrawal to be completed by 2008! jsk)

If executed, the map of Israel wouldn’t look that much different than it did on the eve of the Six-Day War in 1967!

'A country that’s fun to live in' or a country that will be transformed into a living nightmare? (Hashem forbid!)

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2006

What does it mean to be a Christian Zionist?

By Reverend Elwood McQuaid

Jerusalem Post, March 13, 2006


Simply this: It means to believe the Jewish people have an inherent, God-given right to possess a homeland sanctioned under international law in the land divinely given in perpetuity to the Jewish descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Such a belief is not radical or subversive; it simply accepts what the Scriptures have declared about the rights and legitimate possessions of the Jewish people. It’s as simple as that. In so saying, we do not diminish any of the rights or privileges of believing Gentiles during this interim Age of Grace in which the gospel is extended to all people everywhere - Jewish and Gentile.

Having said that, we have nothing to apologize for in declaring ourselves, based on biblical dictates, to be Christian Zionists.Yes, I am aware that the Presbyterian (PCUSA) hierarchy, in its infamous decision to disinvest from companies operating for profit in Israel, took a swipe at those “ill-informed” evangelicals who identify themselves as Christian Zionists and are so woefully out of step with reality. However, we ill-informed Christian Zionists have the light of biblical revelation and historical reality on our side. It is, rather, the deserters from biblical truth who should declare what they really are and retreat from the field.

When former archbishop Carey told the Post that the General Synod’s decision made him “ashamed to be an Anglican,” he spoke for many thousands of Anglicans. Presbyterians, Lutherans, Disciples of Christ, and others who felt utterly betrayed by leaders who do not in any sense share their sentiments on the issue.

The beneficial aspect of the synod’s vote was that, for the first time, it definitively unveiled to the people in the pews the anti- Semitic proclivities of its corrupted leaders. Their agenda is radical and political. If you doubt this fact, study the decisions they have made over the last few decades. They have made themselves clear. Now they have officially gone on record, and members can see the true commitment of their leaders and those who control the expenditures of the believing laity.

For thousands of people, there is an awakening to the realities of what is taking place. Israel is a tiny entity in a sea of militant nations devoted to its destruction. American and coalition forces are fighting and dying to create conditions conducive to the spread of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. The forces that defame the efforts and sacrifices of people who are paying the ultimate price for our survival and freedom are not the friends of liberty. In fact, they are quite the opposite. They are giving aid and comfort to enemies who are out to destroy not only tiny Israel but also all free people in the Western world.

I cannot forget the poignant words of humorist Art Buchwald who commented on the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington. Although he had served on the European front in World War II, Buchwald said that, on that morning, for the first time in his life, he realized there were people out there who wanted, above all else, to kill him.

That’s the fact of life in our times, friend. There are people out there who are enemies of everything we represent, and they want to see us dead. We must not give them any encouragement to accomplish their objective.

The writer, a pastor is a leader of the Christian Zionist movement n the United States.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2006

“American Jewry Checks Its Intellect at the Door” via AIPAC

(American Israel Public Affairs Committee)

1. Those “Powerful” Jewish Lobbyists - By Marvin Shick

The Jerusalem Post April 13, 2006

2. U.S. “Unwavering Support” for Israel - By Morton Klein & Daniel Mandel
The Jewish Press, April 7, 2006

Those “Powerful” Jewish Lobbyists - By Marvin Shick

Tucked into a recent New York Times and, I suspect, read by few was a brief item with the bland headline “Soft Ware Company Abandons Deal” This is not the sort of bait to pique readers’ interest, yet it provides insight into how powerful Israel is or is not in Washington.

CheckPoint, an Israeli company, was forced by the Bush administration to drop plans to buy small American software firm. The decision came “near the conclusion of a full-blown investigation by the same American panel that approved the now-abandoned ports deal involving DP World.”
This body was expected to rule against the Israelis because “the transaction could endanger some of government’s most secretive computer systems” Baloney!

While this latest demonstration of Israeli “influence” in Washington was unfolding, Stephen Wait, dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Prof. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago were putting the finishing touches to a paper entitled “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” which posits that American Jews and others whom we control got the United States into the war in Iraq. More generally, the claim is that the Israel lobby, headed by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, has vast influence in determining American foreign policy.

Those who want to think ill of Jews or Israel do not need material. Their fervid minds provide all they need to feed their dark fantasies. They know what to misread and what to exaggerate; what to link to their conspiratorial mind set and what contrary evidence to distort or ignore.

Those who dislike Israel conveniently disregard US arm-twisting and expanding American interference in Israeli diplomatic and commercial activity most crucially relating to China and India.

Israel bashers ignore that key former key AIPAC staffers are under indictment for alleged criminal activity of a kind never been brought against anyone else. It matters not at all to them that the WhitenHouse says Dubai can buy up U.S. ports, but an Israeli company cannot buy an American software company.

Reality does not dislodge the blind faith of lsrael-bashers that Israel and Jews are in control. They will scarcely notice, several weeks from now when the dust settles on Israel’s election and the new government is formed, that Condoleezza Rice will be putting intense pressure on Ehud Olmert to make, concessions not in Israel’s interest. Yet it is right to enquire whether our Israel advocacy bears good fruit, or is counterproductive. The assumption is that we should continue doing what we have been doing — no questions asked.

Organized American Jewry seems to have checked its intellect at the door - part of what I see as an extraordinary dumbing down process that should be an embarrassment to people who once exalted the intellect and ideas. AIPAC is a prime example of our refusal to raise vital questions. Each year in Washington it stages a massive extravaganza befitting a national party convention. Trotted out are more House and Senate members than can be found on the floor of Congress and there are loads of top administration officials and machers (bigwigs) from Israel.

The purposeful message sent by this display is that Jews are powerful, that Israel has great influence in Washington. AIPAC wants everyone to believe that it is a powerhouse. We should not be surprised, then, when those who look at Israel through hostile eyes interpret what they see as evidence that the Israel lobby is all-powerful. We kvetch (whine) when others get the message that is intentionally sent.

This might be a reasonable price to pay if AIPAC made a difference. It does not. At the end of the day other considerations determine Israel-US relations on all matters that count. At the end of the day, AIPAC is a bunch of shvitzers (show-offs) and people who run around a lot, acting like big shots who do not have power, although they do make noise, mainly for fund-raising purposes.

Real influence? Try Saudi Arabia, which connived with the White House to spirit dozens of its key people out of the US immediately after 9/11; or when it arranged back-channel military purchases from the US through Germany, Real influence is Dubai buying US ports with White House approval.

When the US demands control of Israel’s relations with China, vetoes Israeli commercial activity in the US, brings criminal charges against AIPAC people and twists Israel’s diplomatic arm constantly — that ain’t influence. All the noise made by AIPAC and other advocates for Israel cannot change this reality.

Whether with respect to diplomacy or other spheres of activity true influence is exerted quietly. Noise and publicity are antithetical to influence. The chances that American Jewish leaders will reflect on the lobbying tactics that we cling to are zero. We believe that hoopla and attention are signs of success. Like those who bash Israel, reality is not allowed to intrude upon fantasy.

And while it is truly meritorious for pro-Israel activists to be making the case for the Jewish state - we need to rethink how best to do so. I fear that we are trapped in arrangements that promote self-deception. We seem to lack the capacity to evaluate the utility of our current stratagems. I wish it could be otherwise. I wish we did not give ammunition to those who bash us by promoting the wrongful perception that we are powerful.

The writer a former law professor lives in New York and is president of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva.

U.S. Support For Israel Has Never Been ‘Unwavering”

By Morton Klein & Daniel Mandel
The Jewish Press, April 7, 2006

The recently published 83-page so-called study “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer and Harvard’s Stephen Walt makes a fundamental claim - that the U.S. has given ”unwavering support” to Israel. This is demonstrably untrue. History shows that while the US record on Israel is better than that of any other country, it still is quite mixed.

For example, the U.S. actually imposed an arms embargo during Israel’s 1948-49 war of survival against six Arab nations. In the 1950’s, when the U.S. was refusing to supply Israel with fighter planes, France became the supplier to Israel of critically needed Mirage aircraft.

In 1956, Israel conquered the Sinai from the Egyptians following six years of constant attacks by terrorist bands (fedayeen) sponsored by Egypt. Nonetheless, the Eisenhower administration insisted on Israel withdrawing completely from Sinai without any peace treaty or recognition demanded from Egypt and threatened Israel with sanctions if it failed to comply.

In 1967, Egypt imposed a blockade on Israel’s southern port at Eilat. Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban asked President Johnson to honor U.S. commitments made in 1957 to ensure free passage of Israeli shipping and break the blockade. Johnson refused.

The U.S. supported UN Security Council ceasefire resolutions that prevented a bigger defeat for the Arab belligerents in the Six Day War and when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria in 1973 the US pressured Israel into ending the war prematurely when Israel forces were on the road to Damascus and Cairo. This again prevented Israel from reaping a more decisive military victory.

During the Carter administration, the U.S. voted for UN Security Council resolutions calling on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon following an Israeli incursion in 1978 — despite the fact Lebanon had been the launching pad for major terrorist attacks on Israel — and condemning Israel’s annexation of eastern Jerusalem.

Annual US aid to Israel rose from some $700 million to 3 billion after the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty only to make up for Israel relinquishing over $2 billion in annual revenue Israel was receiving from Sinai oil wells it had developed and ceded to Egypt. (It is practically never mentioned that at the very same time Egypt also began to receive 2.2 billion in American aid and still does without any complaint from the Israel bashers or anyone else! - Jsk).

The US condemned Israel’s 1981 air strike against Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor at Osirak even though a nuclear-armed Saddam would have been a mortal threat to Israel.

The Reagan administration not only sold surveillance planes to Saudi Arabia despite strong protest from Israel and pro-Israel groups in America, but also held up arms supplies for several months when Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin rejected the Reagan peace plan as “national suicide” for Israel.

Successive U.S. administrations have opposed Israeli settlement in the territories in 1967 leading to tensions and crisis in the relationship. In 1992 the first Bush administration withheld loan guarantees to Israel in protest of Israeli settlement policies. The first Bush administration also insisted on convening the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, despite deep Israeli misgivings and opposition.

During the Oslo peace process (1993-2000), the Clinton administration often pressured Israel to make one-sided concessions of territory, arms, assets and release of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists while ignoring Palestinian failure to comply with its obligations to stop terrorism and end the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it. Securing new agreements was preferred to holding Palestinians to past ones, as U.S. chief negotiator Dennis Ross subsequently admitted.

Far from giving Israel unconditional or unqualified support in the midst of a terrorist offensive against it, both the Clinton and Bush administrations regularly criticized as excessive, provocative and unhelpful legitimate Israeli counter-terrorism measures, including roadblocks, withholding revenues from the PA and targeting terrorists — all measures that have been utilized by the U.S. in the war on radical Islamic terrorism.

Both President Bush and Secretary of State Cohn Powell criticized Israel’s killing of Hamas terrorist leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, describing it as “deeply troubling” and calling for “maximum restraint.”

The U.S. has criticized Israel’s security fence and both Bush and Powell pressured Israel to curtail military incursions against terrorist strongholds, most notably during Israel’s offensive in Jenin in 2002.

Despite U.S. understanding that the PA has been a haven and launching pad for terrorists, the Bush administration continued to pressure Israel to resume negotiations and make concessions to the PA. Most significantly — and despite Israeli objections on 14 points - the U.S. joined the EU, UN and Russia in endorsing the 2003 Road Map peace plan, which seeks further Israeli concessions.

In fact, speaking to a pro-Israel audience at the AIPAC policy conference shortly after the road map was introduced, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice publicly demanded that Israel accept it, fundamentally ignoring Israeli reservations on matters of vital interests.

Finally, despite U.S. law, both the Clinton and Bush administrations have used successive presidential waivers to defer re-locating the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In this context, the Clinton administration also refused to veto Security Council resolutions repudiating Israeli authority in Jerusalem.

Although U.S. support for Israel has been important, it certainly has not been “unwavering.” The fundamental premise of Mearsheimer and Walt’s error ridden report — that American Jews and others have been successful in forcing total, unequivocal U.S. support for Israel — is thus simply untrue.

Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America and editor of “The Dangers of a Palestinian State” (2002).

Dr. Daniel Mandel is director of the ZOA Center for Middle East Policy and author of “H, V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist” (2004).


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2006

The Liberal Media, as usual, Defines What is Politically Correct Racism

By Michelle Malkin
The Washington Times, April 9, 2006

Few things make liberals more uncomfortable than being confronted with the racism of politically correct minorities. Recently I wrote about Autum Ashante, the precocious 7-year-old black nationalist poet, who said white people are “devils and they should be gone.” If this daughter of a Nation of Islam activist father had instead been an Aryan supremacist child of a Klan activist, she’d still be all over the network news and pages of pop culture magazines (as a pair of white nationalist teen pop singers, Lamb and Lynx Gaede, have been since last fall). But with rare exceptions, nobody wanted to touch Autum’s spoon-fed hatred with a 10-foot-pole. That would be, you know, “intolerant.” We have to “respect diversity.”

Well, over the March 25-26 weekend, militant racism from another protected minority group was on full display. But you wouldn’t know it from press accounts that whitewashed or buried the protesters’ virulent anti-American hatred. An estimated 500,000 to 2 million people - untold numbers of them here illegally, took to the streets of Los Angeles to protest strict immigration enforcement and demand blanket amnesty for border violators, visa overstayers, deportation fugitives, immigration document fraud artists and other lawbreakers.

Mexican flags and signs advocating ethnic separatism and supremacy filled the landscape. Demonstrators gleefully defaced posters of President Bush and urged supporters to "stop the Nazis!” Los Angeles talk show host Tammy Bruce reported that protesters burned American flags and waved placards of the North American continent with America crossed out.

But you didn’t see that on television. One of the largest, boldest banners visible from aerial shots of the rally read; “THIS IS STOLEN LAND.” Others blared: “CHICANO POWER” and “BROWN IS BEAUTIFUL.” (Can you imagine the uproar if someone had come to the rally holding up a sign reading “WHITE IS BEAUTIFUL!)?. Thugs with masked faces flashed gang signs on the steps of L.A.'s City Hall. Students walked out of classrooms all across Southern California chanting, "Latinos, stand up!” Young people raised their fists in defiance, clothed in T-shirts bearing radical leftist guerrilla Che Guevara’s face and Aztlan emblems.

Aztlan is a long held notion among Mexico’s intellectual elite and political class, which asserts that the American Southwest rightly belongs to Mexico. Advocates believe the reclamation (or reconquista) of Aztlan will occur through sheer demographic force. If the rallies across the country are any indication, reconquista is already complete.

Lest you think these ideas are moldy-oldy 1960s leftovers that no one subscribes to today, listen to Sandra Molina, 16, a junior from L.A.’s Downtown Magnet High School, who complained to the supportive Los Angeles Times: “This is unjust. This land used to belong to us and now they’re trying to kick us out.” Nor are these sovereignty-obliterating grievances confined to the wacky West Coast. In Milwaukee, Wis., marchers carried signs that read: “If you think I’m ‘illegal’ because I’m a Mexican, learn the true history because I’m in my HOMELAND.”

Open-borders sympathizers in the press strained to look the other way. As State writer Mickey Kaus, who attended the L.A. demonstration, noted, the Los Angeles Times buried any mention of the presence of Mexican flags in its initial “propagandistic” report— and then eliminated any reference to them at all. Cracks Mr. Kaus: “I used to write this sort of press release ‘news’ account when my college paper assigned me to ‘cover’ anti-war demonstrations that I’d helped organize. The Times’ effort is filled with representative quotes from participants, without a note of dissent.

Apologists are quick to argue that Latino supremacists are just a small fringe faction of the pro-illegal immigration movement (never mind that their ranks include former and current Hispanic politicians from L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to former California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cruz
Bustamant)

But you’ll never hear or read such forgiving caveats in the mainstream press coverage of the pro-immigration enforcement members of the Minutemen project, who are universally smeared as racists. For what? For peacefully demanding that our government enforce its laws and secure its borders. Yes, borders. Last time I checked a map of North America, they still do exist - unless we give in and let the bullies and their appeasers whitewash those out of existence, too.

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2006

Jews and the Problem of Utilizing Power

Excerpted from a truly brilliant article by Michael Oren

Azure Magazine, Winter 2006

(Please obtain Azure and read the article in its entirety)

Formerly David Green, AKA David Ben Gurion, like many Zionist leaders of that generation—Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, and Moshe Dayan—had Hebraized his name in order to establish a direct link between the dynamic Zionist present and Israel’s heroic past, skipping over the millennia of Jewish powerlessness. Yet he knew that such leapfrogging was not really possible. The Jews, Ben-Gurion knew, had problems with power. Those problems arc already discernable in the Bible—with the serious reservations regarding kingship raised by the Prophets, and with the unstable and often violent relationships between monarchs and priests during the period of the Temples.

The problems multiplied a thousand-fold, however, with the destruction of the Second Temple and the annihilation of the Jewish commonwealth in biblical Israel. Shorn of sovereignty the Jews developed a cult of powerlessness, which many deemed a form of divine punishment for their sins and which developed, in time, into an actual repugnance toward power. If the Bible was clear about whom it considered the hero—Joshua conquering Canaanite cities, Gideon smiting Midianites, Samson wielding a jawbone like an axe—the Talmud, written mostly by Jews lacking sovereign political power, was far less categorical.

“Who is the hero?” asks the Mishna (commentary on the biblical text) - Not King David dancing as he escorts the ark to liberated Jerusalem, not Judah Maccabee and the Hasmoneans defeating the Greeks and rededicating the Temple; No, the hero is “the man who conquers his own passions"? Losing sovereignty, the Jews fled inward from the fields of politics and battle into their communities, into their synagogues, and into themselves.

To be sure, this retreat had its ameliorative rewards, enabling Jews to attain a heightened sense of spirituality and morality. But doing so came at the price of increasing alienation from temporal matters—from responsibility for themselves not only as individuals but also as a nation. True, Jews might provide shelter to banished co-religionists, or pay their ransoms as the Bible declared that all Jews are responsible for one another - the famous rabbinic teaching has it. But how often did those Jews build a city and elect officials to govern it? How often could they or would they make the most basic sovereign decision to defend themselves. In much of rabbinic thinking, political power is profane, mundane, and dangerous. "May God bless and keep the czar far away from us," Tevyc prays.

In its most extreme form, the Jewish revulsion toward power becomes a total prohibition of power, and any attempted exercise of sovereignty becomes in effect a challenge to God’s omnipotence—in other words, blasphemy. Blasphemy, desecration, hilul hashem (profaning G-d’s name), are precisely the words applied by parts of the ultra-Orthodox Haredi world to Zionism, which in its view is an abominable attempt to arrogate God’s exclusive purview—to end Jewish exile and re-invest the Jewish people with power. Even Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the most influential figure in religious Zionism, questioned whether Jews could or should act, as wolves - for states, Kook said, were by nature wolf-like.

In modernity, however, the ever-inventive Jewish people came up with another answer to the problem of power: Not turning inward but—as soon as the Emancipation and the fall of the ghetto walls allowed it—by bursting out through assimilation. Thus, beginning in the nineteenth century, Jews could become powerful; they could become a Benjamin Disraeli or a Ferdinand LaSalle—but as Englishmen and Germans, not as Jews but in spite of their Jewishness, and usually at its expense. …


Michael Oren is a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Israel and a contributing editor to Azure. He is author of "Six Days of War".

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2006

Historical Correction of Israel/Lebanon Misinformation & Richard Cohen, Columnist

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Richard Cohen in one of his recent columns continues the unfortunate distortion relative to Menachim Begin, Ariel Sharon and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The episode is always described as some great mistake that Israel made without good cause and from which they have suffered the deserved consequences over the years.

The real brief history is as follows: Yasser Arafat and his terrorists were driven out of Jordan where they had, as became Arafat’s modus operendi, set up a mini-state whose purpose was to harass King Hussein and drive him from power. Hussein, not having Israel’s reluctance to completely eliminate his enemies, began what the Palestinian Arabs call Black September. On July 13, 1971 the Jordanian army undertook an offensive against Arafat’s fedayeen bases about fifty kilometers northwest of Amman, destroyed them and arrested 2,300 of the 2,500 fedayeen. Thousands of Palestinian civilians were slaughtered in Jordan's crackdown in what became known as Black September.

Arafat’s forces were then forced out of Jordan into Lebanon and he was elected chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee. In southern Lebanon Arafat again set up his own mini-state from which the fedayeen proceeded to harass Israel’s northern communities and Israel retaliated.

On July 24, 1981, Phillip Habib, US representative sent by President Reagan, announced an Israeli/PLO agreement that all hostile military action between Lebanese and Israeli territory in either direction would cease. The PLO proceeded to repeatedly violate the agreement. Israel charged that the PLO staged 270 terrorist actions in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and along the Lebanese and Jordanian borders. Twenty-nine Israelis died and more than 300 were injured in the attacks. Israeli strikes and commando raids were unable to stem the growth of the PLO army which built camps, trained thousands of fighters, and stockpiled arms in south Lebanon. The situation in the Galilee became intolerable as the frequency of attacks forced thousands of Israeli residents to flee their homes or to spend large amounts of time in bomb shelters.

The final provocation occurred in June 3, 1982 when a Palestinian terrorist group led by Abu Nidal attempted to assassinate Israel's Ambassador to Great Britain, Shlomo Argov. The IDF subsequently bombed PLO bases and ammunition dumps in Beirut and attacked other targets in Lebanon on June 4-5, 1982. The PLO responded with a massive artillery and mortar attack on the Israeli population of the Galilee. It was the PLO shelling, and not directly the Argov shooting, as is sometimes assumed, that triggered the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

On June 6, 1982, under the direction of then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel invaded Lebanon with a massive force, called Operation Peace for the Galilee, driving all the way to Beirut and putting the PLO and residents, as well as the Lebanese civilian population of that city, under siege.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said of the operation: “No sovereign state can tolerate indefinitely the buildup along its borders of a military force dedicated to its destruction and implementing its objectives by periodic shelling and raids.” (Washington Post, June 16, 1982)

Arafat and his army was badly defeated and forced to leave Lebanon. An agreement hammered out, with the help of several countries, sent Arafat to Tunisia with groups of his men dispersed to various other Arab countries.

At that time, Lebanese Maronite Christians were put in charge by the Israelis, of Palestinians that remained in camps and among whom, it was known, Arafat had deliberately left many of his PLO men in place.

At that very same moment, Lebanon’s newly elected president, Bashir Gemayle, a Maronite Christian, was assassinated and Lebanese Muslims were blamed. The Maronite Christians in charge of the camps, immediately preceded to wreck revenge upon the Palestinian Muslims placed in the Sabra and Shatilla camps, killing several hundred. Israel with General Ariel Sharon in charge was, of course, blamed for killings in which they had no part and no logical motive.

Contrary to Richard Cohen’s assessment, Menachim Begin made no mistake by invading Lebanon and removing Yasser Arafat and the PLO from their mini-state in South Lebanon. Begin was indeed protecting Israel’s Northern communities from their Katyusha rockets and fedayeen attacks. The mistake Begin made was to assume personal guilt over the killing of Palestinian Muslims by their Lebanese Christian antagonists and allowing blame to fall upon himself and Ariel Sharon.

The far bigger mistake was that made much later, in 1993, by Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin who allowed an exiled powerless Yasser Arafat to leave Tunisia and set up shop in Israel under the inane, suicidal Oslo “Peace” Accords. Arafat immediately developed a typical Arafat mini-terrorist state in the West Bank, a territory that should have been Israel territory to begin with under the League of Nations Mandate. Israel, unlike Jordan’s King Hussein, has never had the internal fortitude and courage to drive Arafat and his forces out permanently.

Richard Cohen makes a comparison between President Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Begin’s invasion of Lebanon. There are similarities in that both leaders were as Cohen stated, trying to protect their nations vital interests. One difference was that Begin was protecting his citizens from direct attack less than five miles away. President Bush has had the good sense to take the battle to our enemies thousands of miles away and not allow them to enter our backyard. Let us hope that President Bush will complete the defeat of our enemies. Let us hope that he does not allow them back into a position of power unlike the Israelis who continue naively in the mindless folly of creating a terrorist Arab state right in their own backyard.

Comment:

This is all exactly true and a very helpful correction to the historical record. The onus of course is on the (now beleaguered) Christian Maronites, but it did happen on Sharon's watch. I happen to have been there in Beirut just after the Israelis swept in and just before the infamous attack by the Maronites, so I do have a real sense of the history.

Gene

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2006

A Concise Summary of the U.S.-Israel Alliance

An Israeli Response to the Mearsheimer-Walt Assault

Redacted from an article by Dore Gold appearing in IMRA (Independent Media Review and Analysis)

According to a new paper prepared by two of America's top political
scientists, Professor John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago and
Professor Stephen Walt from the Kennedy School at Harvard University,
"neither strategic nor moral arguments can account for America's support for
Israel." The explanation for U.S. backing of Israel, according to these
academics, is the "unmatched power of the Israel lobby." Yet their analysis
is not grounded in any careful investigation of declassified U.S. documents from the Departments of State or Defense.

It was mid-morning on December 27, 1962, when President John F. Kennedy hosted the Foreign Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, in Palm Beach, Florida, for a heart-to-heart review of U.S.-Israel relations. Kennedy's language was unprecedented. In the secret memorandum drafted by the attending representative of the Department of State, Kennedy told his Israeli guest:
"The United States has a special relationship with Israel in the Middle East really comparable only to what it has with Britain over a wide range of world affairs "

The U.S. and Israel had a joint strategic interest in defeating aggressors
in the Middle East seeking to disrupt the status quo, especially if they had
Moscow's backing. In 1970 when Syria invaded Jordan, given the huge U.S.
military commitment in Southeast Asia at the time, it was only the
mobilization of Israeli strength that provided the external backing needed
to support the embattled regime of King Hussein. That same year, Israeli
Phantoms downed Soviet-piloted MiG fighters over the Suez Canal, proving the ineffectiveness of the military umbrella Moscow provided its Middle Eastern clients.

In 1981, Israel destroyed the nuclear reactor of Iraq's Saddam Hussein, severely reducing Iraqi military strength. Ten years later, after a US-led coalition had to liberate Kuwait following Iraq's occupation of that oil-producing mini-state, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney in October 1991 thanked Israel for its "bold and dramatic action" a decade earlier.

In the 1980s, several memoranda of understanding between the U.S. and Israel on strategic cooperation were followed by regular joint military exercises, where U.S. forces were given access to Israel's own combat techniques and vice versa. The U.S. Marine Corps and special operations forces have particularly benefited from these ties, though much of the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship is classified.

The first limited U.S. arms supply to Israel preceded Kennedy. During the
Eisenhower years, when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' plans for a
Baghdad Pact collapsed with the 1958 overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq, the U.S. began to upgrade its defense ties with Israel. Kennedy started his presidency trying to build on a new relationship with Egypt's Nasser. But by 1962, Nasser intervened with large forces in Yemen, bombed Saudi border towns, and threatened to expand into the oil-producing areas of the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. and Israel had a joint strategic interest in defeating aggressors
in the Middle East seeking to disrupt the status quo, especially if they had
Moscow's backing. This became the essence of the U.S.-Israel alliance in the
Middle East. It would repeat itself in 1970 when Syria invaded Jordan. Given the huge U.S. military commitment in Southeast Asia at the time, it was only the mobilization of Israeli strength that provided the external backing needed to support the embattled regime of King Hussein.

During those years, Israel became one of the main forces obstructing the
spread of Soviet military power in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 1970
Israeli Phantoms downed Soviet-piloted MiG fighters over the Suez Canal,
proving the ineffectiveness of the military umbrella Moscow provided its
Middle Eastern clients in exchange for Soviet basing arrangements. When in
the 1980s the Soviet Mediterranean Squadron made the Syrian port of Tartus
its main submarine base, Israel offered Haifa to the U.S. Sixth Fleet, which
had already begun to house U.S. ships in 1977. U.S.-Soviet arms control
agreements in the 1980s over arms deployments in Central Europe increased
the importance of NATO's flanks - including its southern flank - in the
overall balance of power between the superpowers.

By 1992, the number of U.S. Navy ship visits to Haifa had reached 50 per
year. Admiral Carl Trost, the former Chief of Naval Operations, commented
that with the end of the Cold War and the shifting American interest in
power projection to the Middle East, the Sixth Fleet's need for facilities
in the Eastern Mediterranean had actually increased.

Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. in 1981 which singled out the USSR as a joint adversary of both countries. The MOU underscored that "the parties recognize the need to enhance strategic cooperation to deter all threats from the Soviet Union to the region."
In the 2003 Iraq War, most Israeli military leaders identified Iran as the greater threat to the Middle East at the time. Nonetheless, Israel certainly did not oppose the efforts of the U.S.-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein.

Detractors of the U.S.-Israel relationship like to insinuate that Israel seeks to get America to fight its wars for it. The truth is completely the opposite: while U.S. forces have been stationed on the soil of Germany, South Korea, or Japan to provide for the defense of those countries in the event of an attack, Israel has always insisted on defending itself by itself. If Israel today seeks "defensible borders," this is because it wants to deploy the Israel Defense Forces and not the U.S. Army in the strategically sensitive Jordan Valley.

There are other issues affecting the public discourse on U.S.-Israel defense
ties. Much of the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship is classified, particularly in the area of intelligence sharing. There are two direct consequences from this situation. First, most aspects of U.S.-Israel defense ties are decided on the basis of the professional security considerations of those involved. Lobbying efforts in Congress cannot force a U.S. security agency to work with Israel.

Second, because many elements of the relationship are kept secret, it is
difficult for academics, commentators, and pundits to provide a thorough net
assessment of the true value of U.S.-Israel ties. Thus, Israel is left
working shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S., and finds itself presented by
outside commentators as a worthless ally whose status is only sustained by a
domestic lobby. Nonetheless, what has come out about the U.S.-Israel
security relationship certainly makes the recent analysis of Professors Walt
and Mearsheimer extremely suspect.

Does Israel have supporters in the U.S. that back a strong relationship
between the two countries? Clearly, networks of such support exist, as they
do for U.S. ties with Britain, Greece, Turkey, and India. There are also
states like Saudi Arabia that have tried to tilt U.S. policy using a vast
array of powerful PR firms, former diplomats, and well-connected officials.

The results of those efforts have America still overly dependent on Middle
Eastern oil with few energy alternatives. Given the ultimate destination of those petrodollars in recent years (the propagation of Islamic extremism and terrorism), a serious investigation of those lobbying efforts appears to be far more appropriate than focusing on relations between the U.S. and Israel.

* * *
Dr. Dore Gold, who served as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in 1997-1999, heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2006

A letter from a “Settler” “outside” Ehud Olmert’s “Green Line”

By Shulamith

Beloved friend, not to upset you, but at Ramot Jerusalem is a check post and at Modi'in another with anything beyond these check points treated as if it were not part of Israel, including not only my settlement, but also Kever Rachel, Kever Shmuel HaNavi etc. (This is without the Arabs making even one concession or one positive act!).

They have piles of tags that the government wishes to force us to place on our cars to separate us from the rest of the citizens of Israel. Our security officers have refused to pick them up from the Central command Headquarters where they are waiting for us. We, who pay taxes, serve in the army and fight for our country are to be deported exiled from our homes, G-d forbid.

My community is like the Warsaw ghetto with an 8-meter wall around us and Ramalla Betunia over us. HaShem yaazor (May G-d help us).

We are literally fighting two fronts - the one the enemy outside that wishes to destroy us and the other - the government army police, courts and media who wish to destroy us from inside. I had such nightmares last night again about my son, Yaacov, in the tank corps. I can't begin to tell you.

We, I promise, will continue to do what we can. Your dog project and communications systems, our volunteer emergency medical personal, including myself (I am to start a ambulance driver course) - we will not give up and you my dear friend are an active partner in our efforts.

Whenever and whatever you can invest, we have the need to receive your assistance with our training program, communications equipment for our volunteer emergency medical personal, medics, paramedics, etc.

I am not even ashamed to ask because I know that you are totally committed and you know that time is short and we have to be ready for the worst as we saw just Friday when our friends were murdered again from Kedumim.

Ahavat Zion,

Shulamit

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 01, 2006

A Simple Solution for Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel

By Jerome S. Kaufman

The local Jewish newspaper reported on the recent World Zionist Congress (WZC) election and the remarks of the National Secretary of the organization who was one of the 55 members of Association of Reform Zionists of America. (ARZA) that had been just elected. The ARZA had, by far, the greatest number of elected American delegates - more than 38%. This is a great tribute to the reform rabbis, who spoke repeatedly to their congregants of the importance of voting at the WZC elections. The emphasis was always how important it was to establish a greater Reform foothold in Israel and to diminish the Orthodox mandate over religious and many civic activities in Israel.

According to the just elected delegate, “ The Reform victory is for those of us who want to help shape Israel’s agenda and see an Israel where such things as non-Orthodox marriages are recognized, non-Orthodox conversions are legitimate and that non-Orthodox rabbis can perform these ceremonies. These are the things we will be fighting for in June.” And there is little doubt that, what with the 55 members elected, along with the 32 representatives of Mercaz USA (Conservative movement) also elected, they will succeed in passing whatever anti-Orthodox resolution they choose.

But, what real effect will that have on the Israeli political scene? Resolutions must be transformed into legislation and then passed into law by the Israeli Knesset. The chances of resolutions of that sort becoming law are very small indeed. The last anti-Orthodox party and in fact, an anti-religious party, the Shinnui Party, had 9 members before the current election. It disintegrated even before the election and has now disappeared completely from the Israeli political scene.

Israel remains a parliamentary form of democracy wherein each party in the Knesset is awarded a number of members commensurate with how many votes it obtains in Israeli national elections and ipso facto, how well the party platform represents the thinking of the Israeli public.

How many Members of the Knesset (MK’s) did the Reform and Conservative movements obtain in the just-held Israel elections? Zero! Is that fair? Well, let’s see. How many Americans, let alone Reform or Conservative Jews, have immigrated to Israel since the founding of the State in 1948? The numbers are, in fact, embarrassing.

The Jewish Agency for Israel reports that since the founding of the State in 1948 until April 2004 there have been 2,955,853 immigrants to Israel from all over the world. During that period, Americans constituted 115,000 of these immigrants or .039%!

In the passage of time, these Americans have joined, together with other men and women from Britain, Canada, Australia, and South Africa - some 100,000 English-speaking people altogether and popularly known as the "Anglo-Saxons. " Their total number is now only 2 percent of Israel's population. But that is not the whole story. What is the religious background of these immigrants?

Deputy Minister Yuli Edelstein in December 2002, stated that, “Most of the immigrants from the US, are professionals and the majority are Modern Orthodox and we are talking about people who are moved by ideology, and who want to show their solidarity with Israel in a very practical and in the ultimate sense of the word,"

There is another historical fact long neglected, especially by the Aharon Barak Supreme Court of the State of Israel. Rabbi Menachim Porush, former MK reminds us in the Jewish Press of March 3, 2006 that,

“ In a letter dated June 19, 1947 to Agudath Israel (a world-wide organization of Torah-loyal Jews established in 1912) and signed by David Ben Gurion and the Jewish Agency it was promised that Shabbos would be the official day of rest: only kosher food would be prepared in all government kitchens; marriages and divorces would be according to halacha and education would be according to everyone’s wish.” What has been the actual result of this agreement?

Yael Cohen. reported in Religion in the News, Fall 1999:,

“Israel’s Jewish population (4.9 million in 1999) can be divided religiously among traditionally observant Jews (30 percent); secularists, who nonetheless fast on Yom Kippur, attend the Passover Seder, and light Hanukah lights (45 percent); and the completely non-observant (25 percent).

Two-thirds of the traditionally observant are ultra-Orthodox, or Haredim. The remaining third are the so-called Modern Orthodox. They see little conflict between Judaism and modern Israeli society, and participate fully in, for example, the Army and higher education.”

If the Reform and Conservative truly want to challenge the religious social order, their recourse is quite straightforward. Instead of the less than .04% immigration rate that Americans constitute (most of whom, as we noted, are in fact, modern orthodox Jews), let them encourage massive aliyah of their congregants to Israel.

They could form a political party, elect their own Members of the Knesset and become a genuine part of the political fabric. In that way loyalty to the Jewish State would not be undermined by a rabbi's turf war initiated 7000 miles away. There could be an ingathering of Diaspora Jews and perhaps the coming of the Messiah might indeed result.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack