February 28, 2007

Israel: Jewish Safe Haven or Death Trap?

(The cold, hard, reality – not for dreamers or the faint of heart)

By Moshe Feiglin
February 28, 2007

(Moshe Feiglin is the president of Manhigut Yehudit and a candidate for Chairman of the Likud party. Manhigut Yehudit is the largest faction inside the Likud Party in Israel. It strives to turn Israel from The State of the Jews into The Jewish State. Feiglin led the Zo Artzeinu non-violent civil disobedience struggle against the Oslo Accords. Moshe graduated from Or Etzion yeshiva served as a captain in an IDF combat unit and is the author of the books Where There Are No Men and War of Dreams. Moshe and his family live in Karnei Shomron, Israel.)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni have only one significant solution for the Iranian nuclear threat: They suggest that we pressure the international community.

Olmert's "pressure" includes development of the Arrow missile that is supposed to destroy incoming missiles in the sky. But the Arrow missile is a weapon that essentially breaks Israel's Samson Option – its power of deterrence. The Arrow has no chance of successfully protecting Israel if it is attacked at once by several ballistic missiles or by one missile with multiple warheads, or even if our enemy attacks Israel on a cloudy day. Israel just doesn’t have enough of them, and they just are not fool proof. If Israel actually tried to use the Arrow to intercept all the missiles with which its enemies are armed, it will have to invest its entire defense budget exclusively on building enough Arrow missiles. In other words, we are paying astronomical sums of money for a national sleeping pill.

And what are Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s plans to deal with the Iranian threat? Like Olmert, Netanyahu puts his main emphasis on shifting the burden to the international community. In addition, Bibi proposes that Israel turn to the international business community and request that businesses transfer their investments out of Iran. This idea is not realistic. No significant international company will give up its profits just to help Israel.

As for turning to the international community, if we are lucky, the sheriff from Washington may decide to attack Iran. Most likely Bush's precarious political position will not allow him to open up a new front – and we had best not rely on him.

The British and American bombers that flew over the death factories of World War II allegedly didn't have time to bomb Auschwitz. Built on the ashes of the Holocaust, the State of Israel was supposed to provide security for all Jews. Could it be that instead of creating a safe haven, we have created a death trap?

A world leader who has the audacity to declare that he intends to destroy the State of Israel should automatically become a clear target for assassination by Israel's special commando forces. If, after taking this action, Iran would continue with the production of nuclear weapons, Israel would have no choice but to destroy Iran’s entire nuclear program at all costs.

To carry out this necessary plan, Israel needs leadership with a strong Jewish backbone. Israel’s current leadership tells the world, "We are no longer Jews. We are Israelis. Take our holiest site, the Temple Mount, and give us a little bit of peace and quiet."

And that is exactly what Iran's Ahmadinejad reminds us: "You decided to negate your own Jewish legitimacy? You decided to destroy your souls? No problem. I'll help you out. I will destroy your bodies, as well.”

To solve this problem at its source, we need leadership that returns to the source. We will not be destroyed if we return to the Temple Mount. Just look at what is happening today. We are being destroyed because we betrayed the Temple Mount. We no longer have the luxury of choosing if we want to have a Jewish State or a state of all its citizens. Our only choice is between a Jewish State – and no state at all.

Contact: Shmuel Sackett, International Director (516) 330-4922 (cell)

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2007

Israel Pre-emptive Strike Imperative – for Them and Us

Missile defense system is not enough to defend against a nuclear or biological attack from Iran or other aggressors.

February 27, 2007 edition

By Professor Louis Rene Beres and Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney

The core of Israel's active defense plan remains the Arrow antiballistic missile program. Test results of the Arrow have been promising. They indicate not only the mutual benefits of close cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem, but also the technical promise of Israel's missile defense system. But serious decisions must still be made. Faced with a steadily nuclearizing Iran, Israel must consider whether it can rely entirely upon a suitable combination of deterrence and active defenses or whether it must also prepare for preemption. The results of this essential consideration will have existential consequences for the Jewish state.

Israel's preemption option should now appear less urgent. If the Arrow were truly efficient, even an irrational Iranian adversary armed with nuclear and/or biological weapons could be dealt with effectively. If Israel's nuclear deterrent were immobilized by an enemy state willing to risk a massive "counter-value" Israeli reprisal, that aggressor's ensuing first strike could still be blocked by Arrow. So why even consider preemption against Iran?

Missile defense is no guarantee. The answer lies in certain crucial assumptions. "Operational reliability of intercept" is a "soft" concept, and any missile defense system will always have "leakage" – it can't stop every incoming missile. Whether such leakage would fall within acceptable levels must ultimately depend, primarily, upon the kinds of warheads fitted upon the enemy's incoming missiles. Shall Israel now bet its very life on a capacity to fully anticipate offensive enemy capabilities? We think not.

A tiny number of enemy missiles penetrating Arrow defenses could still be "acceptable" if their warheads contained only conventional high explosive or even chemical high explosive. But if the incoming warheads were nuclear and/or biological, even an extremely low rate of leakage would be intolerable. This means that Israel cannot depend upon its antiballistic missiles to defend against any future attack by Iran using a weapon of mass destruction.

Even if Israel could expect a 100 percent reliability of interception for Arrow, this would do nothing to blunt the unconventional threat from terrorist surrogates. Special points of vulnerability for Israel would be Lebanon, with Hizbullah proxies acting for Iran, and Gaza, where Iran-supported Hamas is also developing dangerous ties with Al Qaeda.

Israel still faces certain state enemies whose undisguised preparations for attacking the Jewish state are genocidal, and who may not always be rational. Israel has every right to act preemptively when facing an existential assault. Known as "anticipatory self-defense," this general right is affirmed in both codified and customary international law, including the 1996 Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice.

Israel must continue to develop, test, and implement a missile interception capability. It must also prepare for certain possible preemptions, and enhance the credibility of its nuclear deterrent. Israel must operationalize a recognizable second-strike force, sufficiently hardened and dispersed, and ready to inflict a decisive retaliatory salvo against enemy cities.

Arrow is necessary for Israeli security, but it is not sufficient. To achieve a maximum level of security, Israel must also take appropriate and coordinated preparations for preemption and deterrence. Ballistic missile defense will do nothing to thwart terrorist surrogates of Iran who could utilize ordinary ships, cars, or trucks as nuclear-weapon delivery vehicles.
Left alone in its nuclear plan, Iran would probably share certain of its atomic munitions with assorted anti-Israeli proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.

Ballistic missile defense is indispensable for Israel, but it is also critical for both Jerusalem and Washington that Iran's nuclear infrastructures be destroyed at their source.

-Louis Rene Beres is a professor of international law at Purdue University. He is the author of many books and articles on nuclear strategy and nuclear war.

-Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (ret.), coauthor of "The Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror," is chairman of the Iran Policy Committee Advisory Council.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2007

The Arab “Humiliation” card

By Fred Taub

Arutz Sheva, (IsraelNationalNews)
February 21, 2007

One recurring theme among Palestinians complaining about Israel is the phrase, "You are humiliating me," which has been used as a justification for terrorist murder. The claim is largely laughed at by non-Muslims because of its blatant absurdity. Yet, that very claim was recently used on Fox News by Hizbullah supporter Imam Husham Al-Husainy, the Dearborn, Michigan imam who delivered an invocation at the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting of 2007. At the time, he called for the end of "oppression and occupation," presumably referring to the US.

The Al-Husainy statement raised many eyebrows in the US, and conservative columnist and Detroit-area native Debbie Schlussel turned up the heat. Schlussel went undercover to several radical Islamic events in Dearborn, risking her life in the process.

When interviewed about his DNC statement by Fox News host Sean Hannity, Al-Husainy was asked if he felt Hizbullah is a terrorist organization. In response, Al-Husainy pulled out the humiliation card to deflect a question for which a truthful answer would not be in his best interest. This is significant because the "humiliation" claim is now being used outside of Palestinian Authority-controlled areas; so, perhaps it is a good time to look at the claim a little closer.

From the Islamic standpoint, there are no prohibitions regarding humiliating statements. Rather, there is a cultural superiority complex. The Muslim world feels superiority over all other religions and that Arabic is the Divine language. Thus, all other people are inferior and infidels. As part of this, they feel that non-believers do not have the right to question or contradict them. Moreover, by questioning an imam publicly, the infidel is humiliating the imam by challenging the imam’s authority.

The humiliation and authority factor is not limited to non-Muslims. While a Muslim may ask questions to learn from an imam, he may not question the imam’s authority or criticize the Koran without expecting physical retribution. Non-Muslims, for example, may be criticized for non-flattering comments about the Bible, yet people like Salman Rushdie have had their life threatened for criticizing - or as Muslims say, "humiliating" - Islam and the Koran.

The reaction by Al-Husainy is indicative of Muslim religious leaders in non-Muslim countries who do not respect the cultural values of their host country. While a dinner host, for example, may accommodate the needs of the guest, the host does not adapt to the guest. A respectful guest will gracefully adapt to the customs of the host. Recently, Imam Fawaz Damra was deported from the US for, in essence, wearing out his welcome.

One thing is for certain though. There is nothing wrong with asking a question to better understand someone’s stance on issues, which is what Sean Hannity did. Considering Al-Husainy’s immediate claim of humiliation, one must conclude that the actual humiliation of Al-Husainy would be achieved in the answer he refused to give. I say if one does not want to be humiliated, one should not adopt humiliating stances.

Yasser Arafat, too, used the humiliation claim, but not in the US. Arafat once stated, "[Israeli Prime Minister] Barak tried and failed to assassinate me... he is humiliating me." Similar complaints were lobbed against US troops in Iraq for using Israeli-made bullets. That complaint was not for killing terrorists, but rather that shooting at terrorists using Israeli bullets was humiliating.

Placed in perspective, these statements have an entirely new meaning. Arafat’s complaint against Barak was actually that Barak, as a non-Muslim, did not have the stature to kill him. Similarly with the Israeli bullets - the complaint was against the US for using bullets that, in Arab Muslim eyes have no right to kill Muslims. Their use was, therefore, humiliating.

It is important to understand the humiliation factor as more than just a complaint. It is, in reality, an insult levied by Muslims against those they call infidels and who, therefore, have no right to question them.

If I am ever told, "You are humiliating me," I will stand for my own dignity and I will simply respond: "You should be humiliated, because you and your religion are not superior to me or mine."

© Fred Taub, 2007, Executive Director of both Boycott Watch and Divestment Watch

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:59 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2007

Determining Barack Obama

Of course, it is not at all fair to conjecture but one can’t help but wonder what a clairvoyant psychologist might project as to the final person produced from the family history briefly outlined in a book review by Andrew Ferguson appearing in The Weekly Standard of February 12, 2007. The book reviewed is Dreams of my Father and was written by Barack Obama. It originally came out four years after his graduation from Harvard.

“Obama is the only son of a white woman from Kenya and a black man from Kenya …Dreams tells the story of Obama’s life up to his matriculation at Harvard. The outlines of his biography are quickly becoming well known, thanks to coverage of the already overheated presidential campaign. Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, met his father at the University of Hawaii, to which the father, also named Barack, had come as an exchange student. They married in 1960, and young Barack arrived soon after.

The father left wife and son when Barack was two, returning to his native
Kenya, after he had spent a few semesters in a doctoral program at Harvard. Barack’s mother re-married when Barack, now called Barry was six. Her new husband moved the new blended family to Jakarta, Indonesia. There, Barry attended private schools, two years at a Catholic school and two more at a private school with a predominately Muslim population.

When his mother’s second marriage fell apart. Barry was sent back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents while his mother continued graduate studies in Indonesia. He won a scholarship to a fancy prep school in Waikiki, then another to Occidental College in Los Angeles and finished his last two years of college at Columbia. He moved to Chicago to he a “community organizer” on the South Side and after three years he headed to Harvard Law …”

And the rest is history yet to be determined.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2007

How about a change of pace? Do you really know what is a Dybbuk?

Redacted from Jewish Folk Lore by Joseph Adler
The Jewish Press, February 9, 2007

One of the most enduring beliefs in Jewish folklore has been that of the dybbuk (Hebrew for a “cleaving to”) — a malignant spirit that attaches itself to a living body and takes over its personality. It stemmed from an earlier concept concerning the transmigration of the soul from its own body after death into another human body or even into an animal or an inanimate object such as a tree or stone. This concept of transmigration of the souls had gained general currency among Jews during the Maccabean period - a time of religious syncretism (Reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion).

Despite the fact that nowhere in the Bible, or the Talmud, is there any assertion of belief in the transmigration of souls after death, the idea persisted in the thinking of the common folk and mystically inclined sectarians. Illustrative of this trend was the teachings of Anan ben David the eighth-century CE founder of the Karaite sect, and bitter opponent of rabbinism. He believed that after death, the soul is reincarnated in a new physical form. This view roused the ire of many of the leading sages of the day. They considered the idea completely alien to Orthodoxy.

The concept of “gilgul” was greatly expanded upon in Spain and Provence by the adherence of Kabbalah (Hebrew for tradition, or receiving — also the overall designation for Jewish mysticism). That certain souls can move from one body to another several times, is already mentioned in the earliest work of Kabbalah.

Prior to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in the last quarter of the 15th century CE, the kabbalists stressed that sins one committed in life had to be expiated after death by the soul in wandering and torment The duration of the spiritual odyssey, and the intensity and degree of suffering were determined by the gravity of one’s sins. The soul was not permitted to return to the infinite source from whence it came until its period of purgatory on earth was complete. It was, therefore, forced to wander from one body to another until it had, at last, returned to its pristine state of purity.

Oddly, the doctrine of transmigration as atonement for the sins one had committed was extended by the Kabbalists of the 16th century C.E. to explain the expulsion and dispersion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. The devout emphasized on prayers and lamentations that the expulsion had occurred as divine punishment on account of our sins.” The persecution of the Jews, their wanderings and suffering in an inhospitable world was considered to be a spiritual gilpil that the Jewish people had to go through in order to atone for their sins.

Gradually the concept of transmigration of the soul merged with the image of the dybbuk. At first a dybbuk was thought of as an evil spirit that entered the body of a mentally ill person. Later on, the concept of the dybbuk was broadened to stand for the spirit of a dead person who, on account of the enormity of his or her sins, was not at rest. As a so-called “naked soul” it was, therefore, compelled to find refuge in a body that was already occupied. Such possession by the spirit made the poor victim the physical vessel through which the dybbuk spoke and operated - the invaded individual no longer having a mind of his/her own, or his/her original personality tended to become demented, hysterical, and often violent.

Only extraordinary measures could avail to free the victim of the fiend that had possessed its body. The dybbuk could be driven out by exorcism. The exorcist, especially in Eastern Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, was usually a ba’al shem (“master of the Divine Name — i.e., an itinerant practitioner of the healing and miracle working arts) or a rabbi. The exorcist presiding over a minyan (group of 10 Jewish men in prayer) would begin the proceedings by intoning the 91st Psalm.

He would then command the dybbuk in the name of God, to leave the body of the possessed, and go to its eternal rest. If the dybbuk proved stubborn or defiant (which was usually the case) the exorcist would order a shofar (ram’s horn) to be blown. The use of the shofar in an exorcism was the most extreme measure that could be taken against a dybbuk, and was generally successful.

A sign that the exorcism was effective and that the dybbuk had fled was the appearance of a bloody spot about the size of a pinpoint, on the little toe of the right foot of the possessed person. However, before the dybbuk was cast out it had to first identify itself, and rectification had to be made (in kabbalistic terminology, tikkun, i.e., restoration or healing) in order for the soul to find rest.

(Now, aren’t you glad that you really know what is a dybbuk?) Jsk

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2007

Attempting to Understand George Soros – Ugh

Redacted from an article by Martin Peretz
The New Republic, February 12, 2007

Martin Peretz was prompted to write an article about Soros after Soros had made one of his even farther than usual off the wall statements, to wit:
“ America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany. We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process.”

Peretz’s article continues:

No. You are not seeing things, He said de-Nazification. He is not saying, in the traditional manner of liberal alarmists, that the United States is now where Weimer Germany was. He is saying that the United States is now where Germany was after Weimar (following the rise of Hitler). This was stupid. Actually, worse than stupid. There is a historical analysis, a moral claim, in Soros’s word. He believes that the United States is now a Nazi country. Why else would we have to go through a “certain de-Nazification process”?

I defy anybody to interpret the remark differently. The analogy between Bush’s America and Hitler’s Germany is not fleshed out and one is left wondering how far he would take it. Is Bush like Hitler? If it is “de-Nazification” that we need, then in some sense Bush must be like Hitler. Was the invasion of Iraq like the invasion of Poland? Perhaps. The more one lingers over Soros’s word, the more one’s eyes pop from one’s head, In the old days, the America view of America was propagated by angry kids on their painful way to adulthood. Now, it is propagated by the Maecenas (A Roman politician) of the Democratic Party.

What makes Soro’s remark even more twisted is that he himself experienced something of Nazism. He was 14 when the Nazis entered Budapest. On December 20, 1998, there appeared this exchange between Soros and Steve Kroft, interviewer, whose own astonishment is palpable on “60 Minutes:

(And, this is the part that really aggravates me. Please don’t blame Soros, this sick bastard, on the Jews. In the quoted interview below Soros declares his deliberate disdain and rejection of whatever Judaism that supposedly should have been his at birth. – JSK)

Kroft: “You’re a Hungarian Jew”?
Soros: “Mm—hmm”

Kroft: … “who escaped the Holocaust”?
Soros: “Mm-hmm,”

Kroft: … “by posing as a Christian”
Soros: “Right.”

Kroft: …”And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camp
Soros: “Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that’s when my character was made.”

Kroft: “In what way”
Soros: “That one should think ahead. One should understand that—and anticipate events and when, when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a very personal threat of evil,”

Kroft: “My understanding is that you went … went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews,”
Soros: “Yes, that’s right. Yes.”

Kroft: “I mean, that, - that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult? ”
Soros: ”Not, not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t you … don’t see the connection. But it was —it created no — no problem at all,”

Kroft “No feeling of guilt?”
Soros: “No”

Kroft: ”For example, that, ’I’m Jewish and here I am watching these people go. I could just as easily be them, I should be there.’ None of that!”
Soros: “Well, of course ... I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was— well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in the markets—that is, I weren’t there —of course. I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would — would — would he taking it away anyhow. And it was the—whether I was there or not. I was only a spectator - property was being taken away. So the—I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.”

This is the psychodrama that has been visited on American liberalism. We learn that Soros never has nightmares. Had he been tried in a de-Nazification process for having been a young cog in the Hitlerite wheel, he would have felt that, since other people would have confiscated the same Jewish property and delivered the same deportation notices to the same doomed Jews, it was as if he hadn’t done it himself. He sleeps well, while we sleep in Nazi America!

… SOROS IS OBVIOUSLY AND OSTENTATIOUSLY indifferent to his own Jewishness. He is not a believer. He has no Jewish communal ties. He certainly isn’t a Zionist. He told Connie Bruck in The New Yorker—testily, she recounted, that, “ I don’t deny the Jews their right to a national existence — but I don’t want to be part of it.” But he has involved himself in the founding of an anti-AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), more dovish Israel lobby. Suddenly, he wants to influence the character of a Jewish state about which he loudly cares nothing. Once again, he bears no responsibility. Perhaps his sense of his own purity also underwrites his heartlessness in business. As a big currency player in the world markets, Soros was at least partially responsible for the decline in the British pound.

Forget my differences with Soros’s Jewishness. Call it shul (synagogue) politics. But the characterization of the United States under Bush as Nazi is much bigger and graver, than shul politics. It casts a shadow over US politics. In the same conversation, Sores announced that he is supporting Senator Barack Obama - though he would also support Senator Hillary Clinton. So my question to both of those progressives is this: Without any explanation or apology from him, will you take this man’s money?

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:20 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2007

A New Paradigm - (Or, when the Messiach comes – jsk)

A New Paradigm
by Moshe Dann

Arutz Sheva, Feb, 1, 2006

Attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by political solutions involving the establishment of a second Palestinian entity in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) have not only failed, they have encouraged terrorism and violence, especially within Palestinian society. An alternative to the "two-state solution," therefore, is essential to achieve peace.

Palestinians are unwilling and incapable of achieving and maintaining statehood. The Palestinians have rejected every viable proposal that would have afforded them a state - from the 1947 partition plan to the 2000 proposals by Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

The Palestinian national movement has enjoyed conditions far more favorable than almost any other national independence movement since World War II: widespread international endorsement of their cause; unmitigated and generous support from the United Nations, the European Union and world superpowers; highly sympathetic coverage by all major media organizations; and over a decade of Israeli administrations who have acknowledged (and at times even identified with) the national aspirations of the Palestinians.

In spite of this, the Palestinian national movement has been unable to go beyond terrorism and Jew-hatred. No other national independence movement has brought such failure, privation and penury to its people and disappointment to its supporters.

What is required is a Paradigm Shift. The reason for these failures is that Palestinian nationalism is driven less by lack of Palestinian self-determination and more by the very the existence of Jewish self-determination; less by the aspiration to establish a Palestinian state and more by the aspiration to destroy a Jewish state. Rejecting the right of Jewish self determination and attempting to destroy Israel is unacceptable by any international standards and, thus, must be considered illegitimate.

In order to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, therefore, the establishment of a Palestinian State must be removed from the international agenda. The humanitarian predicament of Palestinians residing in Israeli-administered areas must be resolved in humanitarian, not political, terms.

The Humanitarian Paradigm must replace the Political Paradigm. This can only be done if the current Palestinian narrative, which fuels the Political Paradigm is delegitimized. The delegitimization of the Palestinian narrative is a vital prerequisite to any comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian issue.

Proposal (Here’s where the Messioch comes in – jsk)

A comprehensive humanitarian solution to the Palestinian issue entails three major elements:
1. The dissolution of UNRWA. This is an essential prerequisite for any comprehensive, durable solution of the Palestinian issue. UNRWA exists solely to assist Palestinian "refugees," while all other refugees in the world are dealt with by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Only UNRWA offers "refugee" status to all Palestinians and their descendants.
This results in a constantly increasing number of "Palestinian refugees"; whereas, in other cases, the number of refugees declines over time. In fact, if the UNHCR's otherwise universal definition were applied to the Palestinian case, the number of refugees would decline from 4-5 million to a few hundred thousand (at most); i.e., by over 90%.

UNWRA is perpetuating the very problem it should have eliminated.

2. The dissolution of UNWRA will end the ethnic discrimination of Palestinians as refugees, most of whom have been living in the Arab countries without rights. They must be allowed to become citizens of the countries in which they now reside or in another Arab country of their choice.

3. Generous relocation and resettlement grants will be offered to Palestinians living in Israeli administered territories on an individual basis, and not via corrupt and terrorist-based official Palestinian organizations. The remaining - and drastically reduced - numbers of Palestinian refugees should be placed under the auspices of UNHCR, in accordance with the accepted practice for all other refugee groups.

This will: a) extricate them from their humanitarian plight; b) free them from the yoke of generations of misrule by their leadership; and c) ensure the survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews.

A survey conducted among the Palestinians in Nov. 2004 indicates that only about 15% of the Palestinian population resident in Israeli-administered areas would reject such an offer. By contrast, over 70% would accept some form of material compensation as an inducement to emigrate permanently from the areas currently under Israeli administration.

The economic cost of such a policy of humanitarian relocation and resettlement would be far less expensive than any other proposal. It would also eliminate dependence on terrorist groups.

The proposed initiative is a "win-win" initiative that will:
* alleviate, and even eliminate, the humanitarian plight of individual Palestinians;

* ensure the continued security and survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people;

* provide a significant boost to the economies of the developing world; and

* transform poverty-stricken refugees into affluent emigres. ##

Very occasionally a comment is sent to us that screams to be published. Below is such a comment from reader, Jack Golbert.

Moshe Dann is right in this about almost everything. He errs in assuming that the attitude of the world toward Israel is the same as its attitude toward any other nation state. He assumes that the methods and criteria for dealing with refugees all over the world should apply to refugees from what became Israel as well. He assumes that the deligitimation of Israel as a sovereign state is illegitimate and he assumes that the world accepts the legitimacy of Jewish national self-determination.

Dann is mistaken. Israel is different. The Jews are different. The laws and principles and criteria that apply to every other nation in the world do not apply to Israel or to the Jews. The purpose of the High Commissioner for Refugees is to resettle and rebuild the lives of refugees. The purpose of UNRWA is to keep the hostile exiled Arab population together so that it may destroy Jewish self-determination. Notice how receptive the world is to the idea that the establishment of Israel was a mistake, that Israel is a rogue state, an "apartheid" state, a racist genocidal state that deserves to be dismantled. Notice how hostile the world is to Israeli measures of self-defense, measures more moderate than those employed by any other state in any other terrorist situation in the world. Notice the world's indifference to the specific, deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians by terrorist groups with the full cooperation of their host states. Note the world's indifference to Arab terrorists' use of ambulances, hospitals, civilian human shields and other practices defined by international law as "perfidy" and war crimes.

Israel is different. What applies to "everyone" does not apply to Israel. There will be no new paradigm accepted as long as Israel exists.

Jack Golbert

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:02 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2007

A Typical Day in the Palestinian State

By Caroline Glick

Jerusalem Post International, February 8, 2007

In the world of international diplomacy few issues receive more wall-to-wall support than the notion that it is essential to establish a Palestinian state. Leaders worldwide are so busy speaking of how essential it is for a State of Palestine to be founded that none of them seems to have noticed that it already exists. This state was officially founded in the summer of 2005 when Israel removed its military forces and civilian population from the Gaza Strip and so established the first wholly independent Palestinian state in history. Israel’s destruction of four Israeli communities in Northern Samaria and curtailment of its military operations in the area set the conditions for statehood in that area as well. And so it is that as statesmen and activists worldwide loudly proclaim their commitment to establishing the sovereign State of Palestine, they miss the fact that Palestine exists. And it is a nightmare.

In the State of Palestine 88 percent of the public feels insecure. Perhaps the other 12 percent are members of the multitude of regular and irregular militias. For in the State of Palestine the ratio of police/militiamen/men under-arms to civilians is higher than in any other country on earth! In the State of Palestine, two-year-olds are killed and no one cares. Children are woken up in the middle of the night and murdered in front of their parents. Worshipers in mosques are gunned down by terrorists who attend competing mosques. And no one cares. No international human rights groups publish reports calling for an end to the slaughter. No UN body condemns anyone or sends a fact-finding mission to investigate the murders.

In the State of Palestine, women are stripped naked and forced to march in the streets to humiliate their husbands. Ambulances are stopped on the way to hospitals and wounded are shot in cold blood. Terrorists enter operating rooms in hospitals and unplug patients from life-support machines. In the State of Palestine, people are kidnapped from their homes in broad daylight and in front of the television cameras. This is the case because the kidnappers themselves are cameramen. Indeed, their commanders often run television stations. And because terror commanders run television stations in the State of Palestine, it should hot be surprising that they bomb the competition’s television stations. So it was that last week, terrorists from this group or that group bombed Al-Arabiya television station in Gaza. And so it is that Hamas attacks Fatah radio announcers and closes down their radio station claiming that they use their microphones to incite murder, because indeed, they are inciting murder. What would one expect for terrorists to do when placed in charge of a radio station?

And so it is that in the State of Palestine, journalists – whether members of terror groups or not - are part of the 88 % of their public who are afraid. On January 28 they protested outside the offices of one terror faction or another that controls the Palestinian Authority

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, reporter Ala Masharawi explained, “No one goes outside. No one moves without thinking twice. Gaza~ streets have become terrible streets especially at night Gaza is a ghost town.” As the Posts Khaled Abu Toameh reported last week, " In the State of Palestine Christians are persecuted robbed and beaten in what can only be viewed as a systematic campaign to end the Christian presence in places like Bethlehem. As Samir Qumsiyeh, owner of the Belt Sahur-based private Al-Mahd (Nativity) TV station lamented, “I believe that 15 years from now there will be no Christians left in Bethlehem Then you will need a torch (our flashlight) to find a Christian here.”

Many government ministers and commentators seek strategic meaning in the strife in the State of Palestine. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for instance, goes on and on about the need to strengthen the “moderates” - that is, the Fatah terror group - - over the “extremists” - that is, the Hamas terror group. Helping her to propound this nonsense is PA Chairman and Fatah chief Malunoud Abbas. Abbas and his men tell Westerners how pro-Western they are at the same time as they name streets and schools financed by US aid after Saddam Hussein and build sports facilities on the American taxpayers’ tab in memory of terrorists who killed American soldiers in Iraq.

For the umpteenth time, on January 28, Fatah spokesmen in PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s office blamed Iran and Syria for the escalating violence in Gaza and Judea and Samaria that had killed people, including two children, in four days. “Iran and Syria are encouraging Hamas to continue fighting against Fatah,” they alleged.

Omar Damn and his partner and fellow Fatah terrorist, Mahmad Ramaha who was arrested a month ago, were working under the instruction of Hizbullah - that is under the direction of Iran. According to the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency), Hizbullah - that is, Iran - has taken over Fatah operations in Nablus. Since Israel’s withdrawal from northern Samaria in August 2005, the Shin Bet has noted that, like Gaza the Nablus area has become a mini-Afghanistan. So not only is Hamas acting as terrorists operating under Iranian and Syrian direction today, Fatah terrorists are as well. Yet this doesn’t stop the US and Israel from pouring guns and money into the of Fatah terror chiefs. They fail to recognize that what you see is what you get. These guns are not used to encourage moderation. These guns are used against Israelis and Palestinians alike in a turf battle between terror groups over money, guns and power that will never end. And it will never end because fighting and killing for money, guns and power is what terrorists do.

For the past 13 years, since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994, the contours of the State of Palestine have taken form in front of our eyes. Starting with Yasser Arafat’s abrogation of the rule of law and murderous campaign against land sellers and journalists, with each passing year and with each move to further empower the PA, the situation has only grown worse. And yet, international pressure from Arabs, Europeans and the US on Israel to surrender more territory, curtail its authority, abrogate its claims to the areas set for Palestine, and finance the Fatah tenor group, has only grown in intensity.

And with each passing year, as the reality of Palestine has become clearer, the Israeli leadership’s will to resist this pressure is increasingly eroded.
So it is that last week Defense Minister Amir Peretz announced that he supports negotiating with Hamas. Peretz laid out his vision” for the reinstatement of the so-called peace process with the Palestinians, and stated that, to “empower” the Palestinians, he supports extending the ban on IDF operations from Gaza to Judea and Samaria. It should go without saying that such IDF operations are aimed at preventing massacres of Israeli civilians like the one that happened in Eilat this week, on January 29. Livni, for her part, has become the international champion of Fatah. Gushing to an audience of international peace processors in Davos, Switzerland, last week, Livni said, “In order to achieve peace and in order to promote a process, we must stick to this vision of a two-state solution and examine what the best steps to take are.”

Of course, neither Livni nor Peretz who insist that Israel’s most urgent priority is to establish Palestine, is willing to recognize that Palestine exists already They refuse to acknowledge what we already know: Palestine is a terror state and an economic basket case fully funded by the international community. Indeed, over the past year, since Hamas won the Palestinian elections international assistance to the Palestinians has increased dramatically.

As Ibrahim Gambari, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, noted on January 25, official Western aid to the Palestinians, not including Arab and Iranian support for Hamas and Fatah, increased by 10 percent in 2006 over 2005, and stood at $1.2 billion. The Palestinians, who receive more aid per capita than any people on earth, are needy not because they lack funds. They are poor because they prefer poverty violence and war to prosperity, peace and moderation. So it is that 57 percent of Palestinians support terror attacks against Israel.

The multitude of protesters worldwide who demand an end to the so-called “occupation” and the establishment of Palestine should be made aware of the fact that Palestine already exists. The hordes of political leaders mindlessly squawking about “visions” and two-state solutions” should know: This is Palestine. Enter at your own risk.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2007

Iraq and Viet Nam - Basically the Same?

By Fred Barnes for the Editors

The Weekly Standard, February 5, 2007

No one knows the tragic story of America in Vietnam better than Jim Webb - first as a Marine, then as a writer. Webb, the newly elected Democratic senator from Virginia—a fierce opponent of the war in Iraq—wants to keep Vietnam out of the debate over Iraq. “As much as possible, we need to keep this debate away from Vietnam,” Webb said last week. Iraq “is not a parallel situation.” But Webb feared that many who supported the Vietnam War and watched America abandon South Vietnam as it grew close to victory over the Communist forces of North Vietnam, might see similarities.

Indeed, they might, for certain parallels between Iraq and Vietnam are uncanny. A new general, David Petraeus, is taking over in Iraq with a credible new strategy, counter-insurgence. Four decades ago, General Creighton Abrams became the American commander in Vietnam, also, with a new strategy. It called for taking and holding the villages and hamlets of South Vietnam. In a word, it was counterinsurgency, and it worked. Now in Iraq, Petraeus has as good a chance of success, starting with the pacification of Baghdad, as Abrams had.

And the painful lesson of Vietnam applies in Iraq: Don’t give up when victory is at hand. Those in Congress who advocate retreat in Iraq refuse to acknowledge this lesson. And they may have their way, whatever Petraeus accomplishes. With their calls for troop withdrawals and fund cutoffs and their antiwar resolutions, they have put America on a slippery slope in Iraq. And we know where it leads: to defeat while victory remains quite possible.

This happened in six descending steps in Vietnam, and today’s coalition in Congress of antiwar Democrats and vacillating Republicans has started pushing us down that dangerous slope.

The first step is, when the war goes poorly, public support falls and politicians dramatically increase their criticism. In Vietnam, this occurred after the Tet offensive in 1968. In Iraq, it occurred gradually at first, and then rapidly once violence and chaos in Baghdad flared over the last year.

Step two consists of growing criticism of the foreign government that America is supporting. In Vietnam, the target was the government of President Diem. In Iraq, it’s the elected government of Prime Minister Maliki. Senator Hillary Clinton, for instance, insists Maliki has failed to seek reconciliation between Shia and Sunnis—that is, a political solution. “I do not support cutting funding for American troops, but I do support cutting funding for Iraqi forces if the Iraqi government does not meet set conditions,” she said two weeks ago.

The third step involves resolutions and threats. This week, the Senate will take up resolutions opposing the addition of 21,500 troops to Iraq - a buildup Petraeus says is indispensable to his plan to secure Baghdad. If resolutions fail to force President Bush to begin winding down the war, Senator Joe Biden promises the Senate will take stronger measures. In the ‘Vietnam, war, congressional critics passed limits on funding.

The fourth step—the one we’re approaching now in Iraq—would put restrictions on troop deployments. In 1970, the Cooper-Church amendment sought to bar funding for any American troops in Cambodia, a sanctuary for invading forces from North Vietnam. Today, Hillary Clinton would put a cap on the number of American soldiers in Iraq. Webb, echoing many others in Congress, said withdrawals should begin “in short order.”

Step five is the last resort of war opponents: a fund cut off over the protests of the president. In Vietnam, it came in 1974, after American combat troops had been withdrawn, but with the United States still supporting and funding the South Vietnamese government. What’s striking is how much the congressional majority then resembles today’s antiwar coalition, mostly Democrats but with more than a handful of Republicans. True, only a minority in Congress favors a cutoff today, but that bloc could grow.

Step six: the collapse. In Southeast Asia, it led to the deaths of more than two million people in Vietnam and Cambodia after the Communist triumph. The members of Congress whose actions prompted the collapse expressed no shame or embarrassment for having betrayed allies. And practically no one held them accountable. Their perfidy “as greeted with silence.

In Vietnam, the slide down the slippery slope seemed inevitable. But in Iraq, there’s time to halt it. Bush can be expected to hold firm in his pursuit of victory in Iraq. If Petraeus achieves a breakthrough in pacifying Baghdad and then in controlling insurgent-dominated Anbar province, the war opponents must stand down. If they refuse to acknowledge success and cause a repeat of the Vietnam calamity, they should be held accountable. This time, self-inflicted defeat should not be met with silence.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2007


Redacted from a chapter and verse analysis by Amir Taheri

AMIR TAHERI was the executive editor of Khayan, Iran’s largest daily newspaper, from 1972 to 1979 and is a frequent contributor to publications in Europe, the Middle East, and United States.

Commentary Magazine, February 2007

FIFTEEN YEARS ago, after the first defeat of Saddam Hussein and the liberation of Kuwait, President George H.W. Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker faced the question of how best to exploit the American victory as a means of stabilizing the Middle East. The obvious course would have been to deploy the immensely enhanced prestige of the United States, backed by its unprecedented military presence in the Persian Gulf, to help create new and durable security structures in a region regarded as vital to American national interests.

How might this have been done? The U.S. could have urged its Arab allies to introduce long overdue reforms as a step toward legitimizing their regimes and broadening their domestic political support. At the very least, the U.S. might have urged the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council to end their decades of intramural feuding and forge a broader alliance with Jordan and Egypt. This, with American support, might have helped create a new balance of power in the region to counter the ambitions of adventurist regimes like Iran, Iraq, and Syria. But nothing of the sort was ever considered in

Washington, instead, as Baker declared in September 1991, the administration would go for “the big thing” - that is, finding a solution to the century-old conflict between the Jews and the Arabs. The result was the Madrid conference, an impressive show of heads of state. But, as the decade’s subsequent events would prove, a wholly counterproductive exercise in peacemaking.

The two key analytical assumptions that led to Madrid were, first, that the Arab-Israeli conflict was the issue, the Ur-issue, of Middle Eastern politics and, second, that all the other issues in the region were inextricably linked to it. Despite everything that has happened in the interim to disprove these two assumptions, they still underlie the thinking of diplomats today.

Most recently, they were repeated almost word for word in the long-awaited report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) headed by the very same James Baker.
Charged by the present Bush administration with finding ways to win the war in Iraq more quickly and at a lower cost in blood and treasure, the ISG found itself irresistibly drawn to the old notion of the Ur-issue. Evidently regarding the Bush Doctrine, with its diametrically opposed analysis, as too irrelevant even to merit mention, the ISG suggested instead that “solving” the Israel-Palestine dispute was the key to winning in Iraq.

In this, moreover, Baker and his team are hardly alone. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, has long been of the same mind. So too, apparently, is his successor Ban Ki Moon, who told a South Korean newspaper that “If the issues in the conflict between Israel and Palestine go well, other issues in the Middle East. . . are likely to follow suit.”

That Arab despots should long have sought to divert their tyrannized subjects with dreams of driving the “Zionist enemy” into the sea is no surprise. Each time the late Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt faced social and political unrest at home, he would assure his own people and the Arab “nation” at large that social and political reform had to wait until “the enemy” was dislodged from “our beloved Palestine.”

For a group of American “wise men” to embrace such retrograde and easily refuted notions bespeaks a truly dangerous ignorance of reality. In fact, far from being the root cause of instability and war in the wider Middle East, one could argue that the Arab-Israeli conflict is rather peripheral, and that the region’s deeper and much more intractable problems lie elsewhere. And one would be right.

In the last years we have all become acquainted with televised images of the brutal carnage that Shiites and Sunni are capable of inflicting on each other in Iraq; the ghastly work of Baathist death squads; the steady rhythm of political assassinations; and the laying waste of civilian life. And that is just within one country. For our purposes here, however, it may be more instructive to look at the Middle East at the regional level, and to examine in particular the huge number of interstate conflicts that have bedeviled this area in the modern era—conflicts that have nothing whatsoever to do with the struggle between Israel and the Palestinians.

(Then the article goes into a truly mind-boggling, virtually endless list of what Amir Taheri terms, “Interstate Conflicts”. A few examples are listed below but I ask the reader, for his own enlightenment, to read the excellent article and see the entire list in detail. Hopefully some of the benighted and beclouded opinion makers and knee jerk Israel and Jew haters of this country will do the same)

· Afghanistan vs. Pakistan re: Pakistan’s Northwest Pushtun Province
· Pakistan vs. India over Kashmir with China already having snatched the northern portion.
· Innumerable other India Pakistan border and religious conflicts
· Pakistan vs. Iran over territorial waters in Arabian Sea
· Iran vs. Afghanistan over territorial waters in three border rivers
· Iran – Iraq repeated wars culminating in the Eight year war with over one million killed on each side using poison gas to each other’s civilian populations, children in killing field brigades, whatever.
· Iran vs. the United Arab Emirates in multiple areas listed in detail
· Iran currently fighting with Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan over the Caspian Sea.
· Finally, on this list, the innumerable territorial disputes between the members of the comically termed Golf “Cooperation” Council consisting of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman. United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.
· Oh, and, of course, Israel’s friendly neighbor to the North, Lebanon with Sunnis, Shiites, Christians in yet another internal blood bath supervised by neighboring Syria
· Then, just a couple of minutes away- The Palestinian Authority “democracy” to the south and west with Fatah and Hamas vying daily to see can kill the most of each other’s party members.

(So, how does Israel come into these conflicts? Of course, it does not. Israel has absolutely nothing to do with any of these conflicts and they will go on, even, if G-d forbid, Israel finally succeeds in its own self-destruction. But, in the meantime, how about the likes of the James Bakers of the world, the American State Department, the European Union, the United Nations and the majority of Third World countries get off Israel’s back and finally address the real culprits in the world’s innumerable conflicts?) JSK

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2007

Alan Dershowitz and Jimmy Carter

By Alan Dershowitz

I have known Jimmy Carter for years. I first met him in the spring of 1976 when, as a relatively unknown candidate for president, he sent me a handwritten letter asking for my help in his campaign on issues of crime and justice. I had just published an article in The New York Times Magazine on sentencing reform, and he expressed interest in my ideas and asked me to come up with additional ones for his campaign. Shortly thereafter, my former student, Stuart Eisenstadt, brought Carter to Harvard to meet with some faculty members, me among them. I immediately liked Jimmy Carter and saw him as a man of integrity and principle. I signed on to his campaign and worked very hard for his election.

When Newsweek magazine asked his campaign for the names of people on whom Carter relied for advice, my name was among those given out. I continued to work for Carter over the years, most recently I met him in Jerusalem a year ago, and we briefly discussed the Mid-East. Though I disagreed with some of his points, I continued to believe that he was making them out of a deep commitment to principle and to human rights.

Recent disclosures of Carter's extensive financial connections to Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia, had deeply shaken my belief in his integrity. When I was first told that he received a monetary reward in the name of Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, and kept the money, even after Harvard returned money from the same source because of its anti-Semitic history, I simply did not believe it. How could a man of such apparent integrity enrich himself with dirty money from so dirty a source?

And let there be no mistake about how dirty the Zayed Foundation is. I know because I was involved, in a small way, in helping to persuade Harvard University to return more than $2 million that the financially strapped Divinity School received from this source. Initially I was reluctant to put pressure on Harvard to turn back money for the Divinity School, but then a student at the Divinity School, Rachael Lea Fish showed me the facts:

They were staggering. I was amazed that in the twenty-first century there were still foundations that espoused these views. The Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up, a think-tank funded by the Shiekh and run by his son, hosted speakers (
who called Jews "the enemies of all nations," attributed the assassination of John Kennedy to Israel and the Mossad and the 9/11 attacks to the United States' own military, and stated that the Holocaust was a "fable." (They also hosted a speech by Jimmy Carter.) To its credit, Harvard turned the money back. To his discredit, Carter did not.

Jimmy Carter was, of course, aware of Harvard's decision, since it was highly publicized. Yet he kept the money. Indeed, this is what he said in accepting the funds: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." Carter's personal friend, it turns out, was an unredeemable anti-Semite and all-around bigot.

In reading Carter's statements, I was reminded of the bad old Harvard of the nineteen thirties, which continued to honor Nazi academics after the anti-Semitic policies of Hitler's government became clear. Harvard of the nineteen thirties was complicit in evil. I sadly concluded that Jimmy Carter of the twenty-first century has become complicit in evil.

The extent of Carter's financial support from, and even dependence on, dirty money is still not fully known. What we do know is deeply troubling. Carter and his Center have accepted millions of dollars from suspect sources, beginning with the bail-out of the Carter family peanut business in the late 1970s by BCCI, a now-defunct and virulently anti-Israeli bank indirectly controlled by the Saudi Royal family, and among whose principal investors is Carter's friend, Sheikh Zayed. Agha Hasan Abedi, the founder of the bank, gave Carter "$500,000 to help the former president establish his center...[and] more than $10 million to Mr. Carter's different projects."

Carter gladly accepted the money, though Abedi had called his bank, ostensibly the source of his funding, "the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists." BCCI isn't the only source: Saudi King Fahd contributed millions to the Carter Center "in 1993 alone...$7.6 million"

as have other members of the Saudi Royal Family. Carter also received a million dollar pledge from the Saudi-based bin Laden family, as well as a personal $500,000 environmental award named for Sheikh Zayed, and paid for by the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. It's worth noting that, despite the influx of Saudi money funding the Carter Center, and despite the Saudi Arabian government's myriad human rights abuses, the Carter Center's Human Rights program has no activity whatever in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have apparently bought his silence for a steep price. The bought quality of the Center's activities becomes even more clear, however, when reviewing the Center's human rights activities in other countries: essentially no human rights activities in China or in North Korea, or in Iran, Iraq, the Sudan, or Syria, but activity regarding Israel and its alleged abuses, according to the Center's website

The Carter Center's mission statement claims that "The Center is nonpartisan and acts as a neutral party in dispute resolution activities." How can that be, given that its coffers are full of Arab money, and that its focus is away from significant Arab abuses and on Israel's far less serious ones?

No reasonable person can dispute therefore that Jimmy Carter has been and remains dependent on Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia.
Does this mean that Carter has necessarily been influenced in his thinking about the Middle East by receipt of such enormous amounts of money? Ask Carter. The entire premise of his criticism of Jewish influence on American foreign policy is that money talks. It is Carter, not me, who has made the point that if politicians receive money from Jewish sources, then they are not free to decide issues regarding the Middle East for themselves. It is Carter, not me, who has argued that distinguished reporters cannot honestly report on the Middle East because they are being paid by Jewish money. So, by Carter's own standards, it would be almost economically "suicidal" for Carter "to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine."

By Carter's own standards, therefore, his views on the Middle East must be discounted. It is certainly possible that he now believes them. Money, particularly large amounts of money, has a way of persuading people to a particular position. It would not surprise me if Carter, having received so much Arab money, is now honestly committed to their cause. But his failure to disclose the extent of his financial dependence on Arab money, and the absence of any self reflection on whether the receipt of this money has unduly influenced his views, is a form of deception bordering on corruption.

I have met cigarette lobbyists, who are supported by the cigarette industry, and who have come to believe honestly that cigarettes are merely a safe form of adult recreation, that cigarettes are not addicting and that the cigarette industry is really trying to persuade children not to smoke. These people are fooling themselves (or fooling us into believing that they are fooling themselves) just as Jimmy Carter is fooling himself (or persuading us to believe that he is fooling himself).

If money determines political and public views as Carter insists "Jewish money" does, Carter’s views on the Middle East must be deemed to have been influenced by the vast sums of Arab money he has received. If he who pays the piper calls the tune, then Carter's off-key tunes have been called by his Saudi Arabian paymasters. It pains me to say this, but I now believe that there is no person in American public life today who has a lower ratio of real to apparent integrity than Jimmy Carter. The public perception of his integrity is extraordinarily high. His real integrity, it now turns out, is extraordinarily low. He is no better than so many former American politicians who, after leaving public life, sell themselves to the highest bidder and become lobbyists for despicable causes. That is now Jimmy Carter's sad legacy.

Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2007

Israelis find yet another way to self-destruct!

IsraelNationalNews, January 29, 2007

Bedouins in the Negev and southern Hevron Hills in the Judean Desert have systematically taken over government land with the help of leftists, the European Union (EU) and misleading reporting.

In the Negev, Bedouins have erected thousands of illegal shanties, which the government calls "unauthorized communities" as opposed to "illegal Jewish settlements" in Judea and Samaria. The courts occasionally issue demolition orders, but most of the communities remain, and Bedouin leaders and government politicians often exhibit them as impoverished towns in need of water and electricity.

Drug trafficking is rampant, and the government's allowance for Bedouins to marry several women has caused a boom in the non-Jewish population that already is approaching 40 percent of the entire Negev.

The land grab in the southern Hevron Hills has focused on the method of temporarily dwelling in caves next to Jewish communities, trespassing in order to attract opposition and bringing left wing activists to photograph violence and alleged Jewish vandalism, often staged by the Arabs.

Israeli and foreign news agencies obligingly report that the Bedouins are trying to live on their homeland, which Jews have taken over, and the media do not question the source of vandalism, despite photographic proof that the Arabs have caused damage to orchards and chicken farms.

The latest land grabs are near the communities of Livneh, also called Shani, and on a Jewish farm near Beit Yatir and Susia. "Home sweet home for Suleiman Hawamdeh, a 73-year-old father of 10, is a deep cave in a barren West Bank hillside separated by a barbed-wire fence from a modern Jewish settlement," Reuters News Agency reported this week. The feature states that they first settled in the area more than 100 years ago and that when they gather wood from a nearby forest, they are required to take all of the branches that have fallen on the ground. Readers are informed that 70-year-old Yousef Kailil said his grandfather was among the first Palestinians to settle in the caves at the site of Quina Foq. Mohamed Rawashdeh, age 60, is quoted as saying, "I was born here and I will die here."

History shows that Arabs never held title to the land. During the Ottoman Empire, a local historical expert said, the leading families of the Hevron suburb of Yatta sat among themselves and divided up the lands arbitrarily. Virtually no one ever worked the land until Jews began developing the area in the early 1980s.

One of the first Arab squatters was the Rawashdeh family, which fled from Yatta after being threatened for alleged crimes. However, the same family member is quoted by Reuters as having been born at the Shani cave. Media routinely report that the Hevron Hills are "Palestinian land."

The Keren KaYemet (Jewish National Fund) operates the nearby Yatir forest and requires the Arabs to take all of the fallen branches to prevent them from committing acts of arson, as they frequently have done by setting fire to the dry wood on the ground.

Hevron Hills Regional Council official Ephraim Hebbs said that the Bedouins only inhabit the caves for about three months during the year when they herd their sheep in the area. "They never built in the area and we did," he says. The Reuters feature described the Arabs sleeping on floors while residents in the nearby community of Shani "live in red roof-topped homes, some with backyard swimming pools." However, there is only one community pool in the town and no others exist.

Moreover, it is customary for Bedouins to sleep on thick mats stuffed with wool from their sheep. Many Bedouins who have in recent years moved into houses still maintain the tradition, especially those of the previous generation.
Bedouins rarely roamed the hills until the late 1990s, when the government of Ehud Barak changed its policy of holding on to uninhabited areas that were in control of the Jordanian government before the Six-Day War in 1967.
Financed by the EU, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has paid many Arabs and Bedouins to move from the Hevron area and occupy the land.

A recent incident at the farm of Ya'akov Talia, a South African-born Jew, illustrates the obstacles in remaining in the area. He and his parents moved to the barren hilltop almost 15 years ago. Former security officer Henry Lee relates the reaction. "Someone from the American consulate called me and said their satellite identified a mobile home on the hill. He asked how Talia was receiving water and electricity. The issue eventually arrived on the desk of then President Ronald Reagan, who approved it."

However, Civil Lands Administration officials, in opposition to army and police advice, have backed Arab claims to the land. When Arabs tried to survey the hill several years ago, Talia called Lee, who in turn called the Civil Lands Administration. "It is not their plan, but what do you care if they survey it," an officer replied. Persistence has paid off. The Civil Lands Administration several weeks ago allowed several Arabs from the Hevron area to squat in a cave on the farm.

One of the favorite methods of the Arabs to attract sympathy is to trespass on Jewish communities on the Sabbath, when Jews are not allowed to travel, or cross the land during the week on the premise that it is a short cut to school.
They have used this method next to the community of the Maon Farm, attracting confrontations photographed by activists of the International Solidarity Movement, who often escort them.

However, one security officer said he received rabbinical permission to travel on the Sabbath and photograph trespassing and vandalism by Arabs. The rabbis decreed that allowing the Arab actions without an immediate response threatens the existence of the communities and lives of the residents.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)