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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Israel, The Arabian Peninsula's Only Democracy

FATAH VS HAMAS: BE MY BROTHER OR I’LL KILL YOU

By Barry Rubin

There was an election on Hamas’s mind when it cancelled the ceasefire with Israel, leading to the Gaza war. But it wasn’t the February Israeli election but rather the January Palestinian non-election.

Four years ago, Mahmoud Abbas was elected leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for a two-year term. Two years ago, Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian parliamentary election. Hamas then made a coalition agreement with its rival Fatah, which previously controlled the PA. Shortly thereafter, Hamas staged a bloody coup and threw Fatah out of the Gaza Strip. But Fatah, and Abbas, still controls the internationally recognized PA and the West Bank.

While Hamas and Israel went to war, Israel and the PA remained at peace. The war had nothing to do with Israel-Palestinian relations as such but as a response to Hamas’s extremism, rejecting not only any comprehensive peace agreement with Israel but even a real truce. How, then, does this triangular relationship figure in Palestinian politics?

Analysts have generally ignored the proximity of Hamas’s decision for war to its impending January 2009 showdown with Abbas, Fatah, and the PA. It was widely predicted that Abbas was going to announce that, given the impossibility of holding new elections, he would simply extend his term for another year.

The event was expected to mark a major widening of the rift between the two groups. Hamas, it was thought, would declare Abbas a usurper, name its own candidate for “president,” and the establishment of two rival Palestinian governments would be complete.

Even before that date, the PA had apparently enjoyed some real success—with Israeli help—in reducing Hamas’s organization on the West Bank, ensuring any takeover bid there would be impossible, and making progress toward restoring order and even improving the economy.

Hamas no doubt saw choosing war as a way of upstaging Abbas, showing that it was the real fighter for Palestinian rights (principally the right to wipe Israel off the map), and even attracting support from some Fatah men who concluded that Hamas was macho and their own organization was too meek. In effect, it was a reiteration of traditional Palestinian politics in which those who take the most extreme action, evidence the greatest intransigence, and kill the most Israelis prove their credentials for leadership.

In practice, though, Hamas played into Abbas’s hands. Now he has the perfect rationale to insist that elections cannot be held—which is, of course quite true--and he must remain as leader for the indefinite future.

Despite this, the relationship between Hamas and Fatah remain quite complex. It seems bizarre that Hamas set off a civil war, murdered Fatah men in cold blood, and kicked the group out of Gaza yet still most of Fatah is ready to forgive it. There is a strong likelihood that if given the choice, Fatah leaders—though not necessarily Abbas himself—would prefer conciliation with Hamas, which would make any peace with Israel impossible—to making a diplomatic deal with Israel and getting a Palestinian state.

From Israel’s standpoint, of course, how can it negotiate any comprehensive solution with the PA when it cannot deliver half of the territory, people, and armed men who are supposed to be bound by such an agreement? Moreover, the possibility that either Hamas will overthrow Fatah at some future point or even that the two will join together in a new war against Israel rather puts a damper on Israeli willingness to make concessions.

The paradox of a simultaneous blood feud and brotherly love relationship between the two Palestinian organizations is explained by the supposed sanctity of being fellow Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians, coupled with a deep and abiding loathing of Israel.

Yet this also coexists with such deep Fatah anger at Hamas that interviewed Fatah cadre told reporters that they were glad Israel was trouncing Hamas in Gaza Strip. The solution of this paradox was for the official PA line to be: it’s all Hamas’s fault but there should be an immediate ceasefire and Israel is behaving in a beastly way.

This approach is strengthened by the fact that most Arab states and a surprising amount of the media (albeit in many cases the two are identical) are taking a similar line. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the smaller Gulf states and more—pretty much all the leaders except for Syria—hate Hamas. They see it as an agent of Iran, meaning a friend of their Islamist opponents.

If Fatah were more adept politically, it could benefit from this situation. A clever and active policy would combine an energetic campaign to unite the Arab states behind the PA, while persuading the UN and West that they should ensure its restoration to power in the Gaza Strip as the “legitimate government.” The Fatah underground in the Gaza Strip would be reinforced and figure out some way (even with a little secret coordination with Israel) to oust Hamas and seize power at least in sections of the territory.

Yet both the PA and Fatah lack the will power and political skill to take advantage of such a promising situation. They are sitting back and hoping that someone—though not Israel—will give them back the Gaza Strip on a silver platter. The problem also includes their lack of charismatic leadership and failure to deal seriously with the problems that led them to being kicked out by the election: corruption, incompetence, and the failure to articulate a moderate vision of achievable peace with Israel.

No outside power, including Israel, and no amount of money can make up for the shortcomings of the PA and Fatah. Thus, it is much easier for Hamas to lose the war than for the nationalist forces to win.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His books include The Israel-Arab Reader, Revolution Until Victory, The Tragedy of the Middle East, and Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama says "Al Qa'eda Is Afraid of Me"

Today President Obama gave his first foreign policy speech , as everyone knows by now, to al aribya, a Saudi Arabian TV station.

Personally, I don't think its panic time as yet.
Whatever one may feel about the U.S. President, one must acknowledge that he is intelligent.
He seems to be able to deal with complex thoughts and structures.

Liberal commentators in America described them selves as being "Giddy".
The giddiness will wear off, I think, when they realize that Obama is not going to throw Israel under the bus.
His speech today was meant for the man in the Arab street.
President Obama said in the interview, “Al Qa'eda, and the other extremist groups are afraid.
I said in my inaugural, you will not be respected for what you destroy, but for what you build.”
He said, in answer to a question, "Their tactics have failed."
He said, “They have not done one thing to help a child get an education or get health care or climb out of poverty.”
Obama is trying to reach the moderate Arabs, and isolate the extremists.
This makes sense.
Whether it will work is yet to be seen, but it is certainly worth a try.
His pick of Senator George Mitchell to be Special Envoy to the Middle-East sits in line with what so far seems to be a brilliant pragmatic approach to almost everything this President deals with.
As a Senator Mitchell earned enormous bipartisan respect. It has been said "there is not a man, woman or child in the Capitol who does not trust George Mitchell."
For six consecutive years he was voted "the most respected member" of the Senate by a bipartisan group of senior congressional aides.
In 1996, the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland asked Senator Mitchell to chair the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Senator Mitchell led the negotiations for two years, work that ultimately resulted in a historic accord that ended decades of conflict.
In May 1998, the agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by voters in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
At the request of Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Senator Mitchell served as chairman of an international fact-finding committee on violence in the Middle East. The committee’s recommendation, widely known as The Mitchell Report, was endorsed by the Bush Administration.
So, as I said, don't panic yet, everyone, President Obama may be able to accomplish what others have valiantly tried and failed.
I, for one, am cautiously optimistic.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

THE BATTLE AGAINST THE TERRORISM OF CRIME

Update: Just hours after publishing this article, Dr. Sneh's car was torched outside his home in Herzliya.

He told the Jerusalem Post: “It's very clear to me that this is the work of criminals," Sneh said. "I don't know if the criminal read the [party] platform, but it's possible that other things we've done led to this violent message. Remember that last month alone, four mayors were victims of violent attacks by criminals." Sheh, a former deputy defense minister, said that he did not fear for his life, despite the arson attack. "I'm a man who comes from years of service in the war on terror, and there were personal threats of my life when I was serving in that capacity, but it doesn't deter me," he said defiantly. “

By Ephraim Sneh

After the fighting in Gaza ceased, the internal terrorism in our country again raised its head. This week, just one day apart, two attacks were made against elected officials. A grenade was hurled at the house of Kiryat Ekron Council Chairman Arik Hadad. A day later an explosive device was thrown at the house of Beit Jan Council Chairman, Dayan Kablan. Three weeks ago a grenade was thrown at the house of Kiryat-Yam’s mayor, Shmuel Sisso. Two weeks ago the police discovered a conspiracy to murder Bat-Yam Mayor Shlomi Lahiani. A veritable crime offensive. The common denominator between these four cases is the struggle of the mayors and local councils against criminals seeking to gain control of business assets through violence. The ominous fact is that the criminals are no longer hesitating to use military means to attack persons elected by the public. Deterrence has been lost.

What must be done when deterrence has been lost? Renew it.  Had the Hamas ever likewise tried to attack Israeli elected officials, we presumably would have launched a major military offensive against it. Yet when it is the crime families the attitude is different. The crime families and the other assorted offenders will not be deterred if there is no adequate response to them. In their present circumstances the police and the law authorities are finding it hard to fight crime in the intensity and scope that are needed.

The plan I have prepared for the war on crime, and which I plan to implement as Minister of Internal Security, is the approach we need right now. A war against the crime families and the hundreds and perhaps thousands of criminal incidents which take place in Israel daily. Crimes against the elderly, against children, against business owners and so forth.

This plan has the following components:

• Stiffening penalties for serious crimes.
• Emergency legislation to give more effective tools to fight organized crime.
• Establishing a system to protect law officials, government and tax workers.
• Economic measures against the crime families.
• A special operation to fight the protection rackets.
• Bolstering the police with resources and manpower. Rehabilitation and strengthening of the status of the policeman and the prestige of service.

This is a practical plan. It is not built simply on budgetary increases and added legislation. Fundamentally, it will provide both leadership and judicial and economic backing to those who are fighting crime, which has become such a plague in our country.

Our government’s feeble attitude toward crime is part of the process the state has been undergoing over the last twelve years. The process led by Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister and Finance Minister has been one of an abandonment by government of its responsibilities toward the citizen. That’s how it’s been with health-care and geriatric services, with education, with pension security, and with all the realms of social service. But personal safety is a just as much a fundamental civic right as the right to health and to an education for one’s children.

I believe that eliminating crime is possible and I mean to prove it.

Dr. Sneh is a medical doctor, veteran of many years in the Israel Defense Force in both medical and combat roles, including serving as head of the civil administration for the West Bank. He served in the Knesset for 16 years as a Labor party member of parliament and has held the positions as minister of health, of transportation, and deputy defense minister.
In May 2008 he resigned from the Knesset and the Labour party, later forming the Strong Israel party. The party supports a strong but flexible foreign policy and highlights the Iranian threat. It puts a strong emphasis on domestic issues, insisting that government must remembers its main duty is to serve citizen’s needs and to ensure honesty in its own ranks. A strong Israel requires not merely an effective military but also honest government, a strong educational and health system, and improving the environment and infrastructure.

If you are interested in joining the party or supporting its efforts, please contact me, as head of the English-speaking section. Note that we have two Anglophones, including myself, on our Knesset list.  Also visit our site at http://www.israelhazaka.org.il/92-en/FAQ.aspx.
Translated by Saadya Sternberg

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Report: Hamas Lied About Gaza Casualties

This report is from Arutz Sheva News.

Its not really surprising, but its good that the facts are beginning to come out.
Hamas is holding the population of Gaza hostage, and they need to be dealt with firmly.
MFB

01/22/09, 4:54 PM
Report: Hamas Lied About Gaza Casualties

by Maayana Miskin


(IsraelNN.com) Italian journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi, who works with the Corriere della serra newspaper, reported Thursday that Hamas had vastly overstated the number of civilian deaths in Gaza. While Hamas claims that 1,330 residents of Gaza were killed in the operation and approximately 5,000 wounded, the real number of casualties was far lower, Cremonesi says.

Cremonesi's report was based on his own findings after touring hospitals in Gaza and talking to families of those killed or wounded. “It is sufficient to visit several [Gaza] hospitals to understand that the numbers don't add up,” he explained.
Cremonesi estimated that between 500 to 600 people were killed in the fighting. Most were young men between the ages of 17 and 23 who were members of Hamas, he said.

Many hospitals had several empty beds, he reported. Hamas has stated that Gaza hospitals are filled to capacity due to the large number of victims, with many of the wounded being turned away due to the shortage of doctors and supplies.

The Italian report also confirmed Israeli allegations that Hamas had used civilians as human shields and used ambulances and United Nations buildings in the fighting. Those who tried to drive the terrorists away in order to protect their families were beaten.

Civilians told Cremonesi that they shouted at Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to leave the area to avoid drawing Israeli fire on civilians. The terrorists responded by calling them “traitors,” “collaborators” and “cowards,” and insisted that any civilians killed would be martyrs destined for paradise.

Civilians also reported that Hamas terrorists disguised themselves as paramedics and drove ambulances during the fighting. In addition, terrorists launched rockets from UN buildings. Many of these actions are defined as war crimes.

"The knew they were weaker, but they wanted them [the Israelis] to fire on our houses, so they could accuse them of war crimes,” a resident of the Gazan village Tel Awa explained.

Cremonesi said it was difficult to gather evidence against Hamas because residents were fearful. Civilians feared that if it was known they spoke against the group, they would be harshly punished, he explained.

Eisenberg: Many Didn't Know Their Homes were Booby-Trapped
Gaza Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg reported on Thursday that Hamas had booby-trapped the homes of many civilians without their knowledge.

Many Gaza civilians were surprised to find explosives hidden under their houses, Eisenberg said, and noted that Hamas had placed roadside bombs throughout the area as well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Living Next Door to a Serial Killer

Written By Professor Barry Rubin
Narrated by Michael Blackburn, Sr




Sunday, January 18, 2009

There Must No Longer Be An Iranian Terror Base in Gaza

I recieved this timely and informative article from Professor Barry Rubin

Dr. Sneh is a medical doctor, veteran of many years in the Israel Defense Force in both medical and combat roles, including serving as head of the civil administration for the West Bank. He served in the Knesset for 16 years as a Labor party member of parliament and has held the positions as minister of health, of transportation, and deputy defense minister.
In May 2008 he resigned from the Knesset and the Labour party, later forming the Strong Israel party. The party supports a strong but flexible foreign policy and highlights the Iranian threat. It puts a strong emphasis on domestic issues, insisting that government must remembers its main duty is to serve citizen’s needs and to ensure honesty in its own ranks. A strong Israel requires not merely an effective military but also honest government, a strong educational and health system, and improving the environment and infrastructure.

If you are interested in joining the party or supporting its efforts, please contact me, as head of the English-speaking section. Note that we have two Anglophones, including myself, on our Knesset list. Also visit our site at http:// www.israelhazaka.org




There Must No Longer Be An Iranian Terror Base in Gaza


By Ephraim Sneh



Everyone is now urging a quick end to Operation “Cast Lead”.

This operation has been unprecedented in its scale, relative to Israel’s past actions in the Gaza Strip. So is the damage it is leaving behind unprecedented, and that won’t make things easier for us on the diplomatic front. A campaign like this needs to have a strategic outcome that justifies its scale. The needed outcome is for there to no longer be an Iranian terror base 3 kilometers from Sderot and 8 kilometers from Ashkelon.

The government is not doing enough to achieve this goal. As things now stand, the focus of the diplomatic efforts is on the issue of engineering—sealing off the Gaza-Egypt border—and not on the formation of a different reality in Gaza. If there is no one in Gaza to accept the missiles and the money from Iran, the tactical/engineering issue becomes secondary. If we leave behind a Hamas regime in Gaza, it will soon find a way to bypass the obstacles and to rearm.

The immense missed opportunity of the present campaign is that Gaza will evidently remain under Hamas rule. This is not the fault of the IDF, which has done an excellent job, but our political leadership.

What is going to happen? The Hamas chiefs will emerge from their bunkers after the cease fire, will hold a victory march down Gaza’s main streets, and like Hizbollah in 2006 will manufacture an image of victory. “Three weeks of aerial assaults and a ground invasion by the IDF did not break us.”

The Hamas government in Gaza will be the address for the hundreds of millions of dollars that will come in from Iran, but also from other countries, to reconstruct Gaza’s ruins. Hamas will rebuild Gaza and also its own status after having brought about its destruction.

We know from the Hizbollah experience in Lebanon that the road from physical and political reconstruction to military reconstruction is short indeed. Who would have believed in late August 2006 that by the end of 2008 the Hizbollah would come to possess three times as many missiles and rockets?

The government wasted the Year of Annapolis. I warned many times in the past that without a political framework agreement with the Palestinian Authority we would not have an ‘exit strategy’ for the inevitable operation in Gaza. Now we can expect an exit without a strategy. There is a tactic of maintaining an image of victory until the elections. I suspect that the latter opportunity too is going to be squandered by the government.

Yesterday, Said Siyyam, one of the most important and Satanic of the Hamas chiefs in Gaza, was liquidated. This liquidation was a success of the intelligence and operational units. It is the example of what needs to be done further in Gaza, rather than deepen and broaden the ground campaign. We need to continue to pressure the Hamas leadership while taking advantage of our dominance in the air, our intelligence capabilities and the positions the IDF holds on the outskirts of Gaza’s built-up areas.

The Hamas leadership is close to the breaking-point. That is why it wants a cease fire so badly. This is the time for strong nerves and an ability to resist outside diplomatic pressures. We must not allow the revival and continuation of Hamas rule in Gaza, or we will pay for it dearly in the future.

We must also make use of this moment to bring about the release of Gilad Shalit. When the Hamas leaders in Gaza understand that they are liable to be the next targets of assassination, they can be pressed in the cease-fire negotiations on this ethical and humane issue too. It is to be hoped that the government does not squander this opportunity.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Israel Spares Hamas

It's official.

There is a truce in Gaza.

Israel feels compelled to declare a truce, seemingly, as a result of world and U.S. pressure.

It is hard to get an accurate assessment on causalities inside of Gaza, but estimates are around 600 terrorists killed and an unknown number of civilians, used as human shields by Hamas.

PM Olmert said, “We have inflicted heavy damage upon Hamas, and reduced her offensive capabilities.”

Since Hamas is not concerned with deaths involving Palestinians other than Hamas members except as PR devices, one wonders how long this truce can hold.

Hamas reportedly has not accepted the truce.

Israel has been putting up with rockets being launched indiscriminately into civilian areas, terrorists blowing up cafes and buses, and the occasional shootout.

Israel was well within her rights to put a stop to it once and for all.

Many more Germans were killed in the civilized world's response to Nazism.

If Hamas members ever have the courage to fight without hiding behind women and children, the collateral damage will be less.

Michael Blackburn, Sr


Arutz Sheva News
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129470

Friday, January 16, 2009

Israel

I wish to speak again, tonight, to Liberals.
Not all Jews are theologians, not all Jews use the G-d argument to support the right of Jews to have their homeland.
I admire Taoism and I think it comes closest to explaining the meaning of life and reality in its interpretation of metaphysics (the study of the underlying nature of reality), but I don't sing hymns, talk in tongues, carry scrolls, wear purple robes, or chant nam myoho renge kyo.
Its time to get beyond labels.
Liberals are marked by a desire to promote personal freedom and equality.
Liberals support progress.
Liberals believe in science.
Liberals should be supporters of Israel since Israel is founded on Liberal principles and is the only free country on the Arabian Peninsula.
The main difference between liberals and conservatives is that conservatives believe government is to control people's behaviour and liberals believe government is to help improve people's lives.
Its time for people to come together based on their commonality rather than fight based on misperceptions.
Religion is one of the main factors behind terrorism.
If the Arabs didn't have their religion they would have no reason to hate.
There are no angelic choirs singing hallelujah, or 72 virgins waiting for the kids who blow themselves up killing Jews.
The sooner ALL of us move beyond folk tales and embrace reality, the better off we ALL will be.
These tales of miracles and magic and super beings are not helpful, they delay progress and create unnecessary divisions.
It would be a shame to condemn all Muslims, as Daniel Pipes and Carolyn Glick have said, on the expose' of radical Isam in the documentary, "Obsession".
Christians slaughtered lots of innocent people in their day as well.
OTOH, radical Islam has declared war on decency and civilization, and they need to be opposed with any means necessary.
According to some figures, 20% of Muslims support radical Islam, thats around 300 million potential criminals.
Groups such as Hamas, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, even Fatah, should be ruthlessly decimated.
On the other hand, I wouldn't want to see Irshad Manji harmed, or members of Muslims for Israel, would you?

A person can be a liberal and say, with complete conviction,
I'm proud of Israel.
I'm proud of the courage shown by the Jewish people.
I'm proud of the courage of the men and women of the IDF, and Gilad Shalit,
and the other Israelis and supporters of Israel that I comunicate with.
I'm proud of her people and her goverment and her role as light unto the nations.
I'm proud of the Jewish martyrs who gave their lives in service to the Children of Israel, Baruch Goldstein, Rabbi Kahane, Irv Rubin and Earl Leslie Krugel (OBM) http://earlkrugel.blogspot.com/

I'm proud that I know Simone Simmons, a child of Israel, and one of Israel's prominent supporters.
Ani ohev Yisrael.

I don't care how the Arabs feel about Israel.
They can't even run their own Arab nation.
Let them build homes, and hospitals and women's shelters, intead of missiles and tunnels.
Let them begin to grant rights to women, let hem stop indocdrinating their children wih racial hatred.
Let them stop teaching children to have, as a goal in life, reaching young adulthood only to die blowing themselves up while murdering innocent people.
As the leader of Hamas said recently, "The jews treasure life.
We treasure death."
Moderate Muslims need to join muslims that are speaking out against the criminals that are destroying and hijacking their religion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Ceasefire in Gaza?


Shalom, everyone.
I was "Twittering"
today and I came accross the following article at Family Matters.org
Its fascinating and in a short bit of time presents an excellent factual overview of the situation vis a vis Israel and Gaza.
Michael


January 14, 2009
Dr. Denis MacEoin
Today everyone’s talking about a ceasefire in Gaza.
With the UN proposing one and Israel demurring, the public, unaware of anything much about Gaza, Hamas, or Israel, blithely puts Israel in the dock. Yet during the last “ceasefire,” when rockets continued to land in Israeli civilian centers, there was a noticeable silence on the part of the international community.
It seems it’s okay to drag Israel back from an attack on a massively financed and armed terrorist entity (and if Hamas isn’t a terrorist entity, it’s hard to know what it is), but just not right on to demand the same sort of action on the part of the terrorists.
Don’t forget, Israel isn’t the only one refusing a ceasefire at this point: Hamas is rejecting one too, and for dishonest reasons.
There are things going on here that half the world just doesn’t get. All those clamoring for a ceasefire think all other parties understand the word just like they do.
They’d be wrong.
The secular Arabic press, such as the international newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat, uses the standard Arabic term for a cessation of fire: waqf al-nar or waqf itlaq al-nar.
That is a literal translation, and it means exactly what ceasefire means in English and other languages.
But Hamas don’t talk about a cessation of fire, because that would be to introduce a term from the Western political vocabulary into their discourse, and they can’t do that.
Why not? Because Hamas is a deeply-grounded Islamist movement that follows the principle that Muslims must never do anything that resembles what the non-believers do.
That’s why many Muslims here will only wear Muslim clothes and refuse to join in Christmas, birthday or other celebrations with their Christian neighbors.
Hamas is an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Resistance Movement, and, unlike Fatah, it prioritizes religious values and aims.
A Hamas council has just introduced the implementation of severe punishments, such as amputations and crucifixions for breaches of Islamic law in matters like theft or adultery.
Read their 1988 Covenant (al-Mithaq) and you will grasp the fact that their struggle against Israel has nothing to do with land in the sense that is understood in international law.
Their gripe is that the whole of what they anachronistically term “Palestine” (the old Southern Syria) was conquered by Islam in the 7th century and not an inch of it must pass out of Muslim hands forever.
As their Covenant makes clear, they are fighting a Jihad, and the rules they observe are Jihad rules, based on centuries of legislation about the waging of war against unbelievers.
The problem with Jihad rules is that they simply don’t recognize all the elements of international law that modern states base their treaties and international conventions on.
Jihad law includes rules on how and when to deceive the foe, and envisages no outcome other than the death or submission of non-Muslims.When Hamas announces a temporary cease-fire (a hudna or, recently, a tahdiyya or lull), it does so, not to have an opportunity to talk peace, but to regroup and re-arm. “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”
The only solution to the Middle East problem is war: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”Numerous times in the past, Israel has shown itself willing to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, on conditions similar to those propounded by the Quartet, first and foremost recognition of Israel’s right to exist, followed by a guarantee that there will be no further resort to violence, including terrorist attacks on civilians (and that includes firing rockets at them).
As time has passed, especially since the death of Yasser Arafat, a degree of pragmatism has entered the Palestinian mind, but not the thinking of Hamas. Not only will Hamas not make peace with Israel in order to create a viable Palestinian state, they are as ready to kill Palestinian Muslims in order to gain total control of Gaza and the West Bank.
A recent Hamas pronouncement boasted that the Palestinians (for which read Hamas) have made an industry of death and that everyone plays a part: “...the women exceed at this, and so too do the mujahideen [fighters in jihad] and the children.
That’s why they have formed human shields of the women the children the elderly and the mujahideen in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine.” This is the only fighting force in history to boast that they have made human shields of their own people.
There are films of “brave” Hamas gunmen dragging screaming children along to serve as shields, and of civilians sent onto the roofs of rocket launching sites, where, ironically, they know the Israelis will not fire on them.
It is a mockery of military ethics, yet it goes barely noticed in the Western media.Israel is not along in fighting terrorism.
Even now, this country fights al Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq or the Taliban in Afghanistan.
If we ever gave up the fight against Islamist terror in Britain, we would reap the whirlwind in bombings on land and in the air.
Why then do so many of us scorn what Israel does? A combination of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran could one day bring Israel down and result in the deaths of millions of Jews.
Is there any good reason why Israel should acquiesce in this? Is our grass roots anti-Semitism still so ferocious that we cannot bear the thought of a Jewish state in the Middle East, even if that state was brought into being by a majority vote of the UN?
This war is not a pretty war, but, truth be told, no wars are pretty.
If Hamas cannot be fought to a standstill or until it is a spent force, lulls in the fighting will be of absolutely no use.
Beaten to a ceasefire, Hamas will return. They will return and they will fight to a standstill again, then they will regroup and attack once more. More deaths, of Israelis and Palestinians both. Ever-postponed statehood for the Palestinians, unending vituperation of Israel, which is only a democracy trying to defend its civilians from crimes this country would not bear for a week.It’s not a time for a ceasefire. When it comes, let the Palestinian Authority make it and keep to it, and let the PA police its own territories and rein in the madmen who cannot accept anything but their own right to rule everybody else, and their self-proclaimed right to kill Jews wherever they may be found.
For Hamas has now announced that they will do exactly that: kill Jews, not just Israeli Jews, but Jews in any country where they may be found.
And these are the people the UN and others would have Israel make a ceasefire with today.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Denis MacEoin has lectured in Arabic and Islamic Studies and is the incoming editor of Middle East Quarterly.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Liberals are Israels Natural allies

The liberals are Israels Natural allies.
Most Jews are liberals.
Israel is, of course, the planet's only Jewish Nation.
There are, in contrast, 22 Arab nations.
Jews are liberals because they are, by nature and upbringing, compassionate, and sympathetic to the underdog.
The Jews marched hand in hand with black Americans in the fifties and sixties, to help them achieve freedom, and they, the Jews, died in large numbers beside the blacks.
Jews were prominent in the early days of Union organizing, when most Americans could not make enough money working full time to have little more than a subsistence lifestyle.
Israel has always been the Jewish Homeland.
Most were driven from Israel as a result of being conquered by other peoples, but there has always been a Jewish presence.
From the 19th century forward, Jews began returning to Israel, which the Romans, many centuries earlier, had renamed Palestine.
They were met in some cases, by friendly, curious Arabs, but more often, by hostile Arabs who attacked and murdered them when they were able.
Even so, Jews continued to return to their homeland, the land to which their prayers had been addressed for two thousand years of the diaspora.
In the 20th century, the bane of Jewish life, the pograms, the brutal murders to which these people had always been subjected, came to bloody and antiseptic fruition with Hitler's mass murders.
After the Holocaust and the butchery of 6million Jews, the Jews fought against all odds, including the entire array of Arab armies fighting as one, and formed the State of Israel, the Jews had come home.
The Arabs, who started out from a small part of the Southern Arabian Peninsula, wanted it all.
Since the first Aliyah, the first return of the Jews to rejoin the Jews who had always lived in Israel and environs, the Arabs have been blood-thirsty and cruel, threatening to “Throw the Jews into the Sea.”
They have been spectacularly successful, since the advent of Yassir Arafat's PLO, in gaining the upper hand in terms of PR.
Arafat's group, playing on the surface similarity between true liberation groups, such as Che's Sierra Madre troops, and the PLO, waged a terrorist war against the Jews that Che would have condemned completely.
Guevarra was a fighter, Arafat was a baby- killer.

I ask the liberals, our friends, to come home, to the defense of the one tiny Jewish State.
Although Israel is powerful militarily, and has the support of her people, she is always under siege.
Please listen to this song by Bob Dylan.
He uses irony to make the point that my poor words could never make.

Turkey: Antisemitism Gets Out of Control

This has been sent to me by a very reliable friend who has agreed to distribution as long as his name is not used. You are invited to post or send to your list. It is not unthinkable that the future of the Turkish Jewish community is in doubt.—Barry Rubin

The Prime Minister in Turkey has encouraged hatred against Israel in his speeches which has become obvious anti-Semitic propaganda among the general public.
There are people around the clock besieging the Israeli consulate in Istanbul shouting their hatred against Israel and Jewish people. All around Istanbul billboards are full of propaganda posters against Israel like; "Moses, even this is not written in your book" and "Israel Stop this Crime." On the streets the people are writing such graffiti as: "Kill Jews," "Kill Israel," "Israel should no longer exist in the Middle East," and "Stop Israeli Massacre."
The week-end before, some people wrote, "We will kill you" on the door of one of the biggest synagogues in Izmir resulted in the closing down of synagogues. Near Istanbul University, a group put a huge poster on the door of a shop owned by a Jew: "Do not buy from here, since this shop is owned by a Jew." A group put posters on his wall saying that: "Jews and Armenians are not allowed but dogs are allowed." Some young people are even threatening others with violence if they are seen as pro-Israel in social networking websites such as Facebook and Hi5. The document attached is the official statement by the minister of education stating that tomorrow [January 14] at 11am in all the high schools and primary schools the students will pay homage to the women and children dead during the war and furthermore, the teachers of art will organize the session of painting and writing on the subject: "Humanity Drama in Palestine" and the winners will receive awards. The Jewish community can do nothing in response to what has been going on for the last few weeks, except giving vague statements that the Turkish Jewish Community does not want the war to be continued any more.We have previously faced some strong reaction regarding previous operations in Gaza and the West Bank but this time is really different from former ones. I feel open anti-Semitism and hatred from all these people. Nobody understood, Even some widely read columnists in Turkey are writing things that lead all these groups toward this hatred becoming much more dangerous day by day. But I know one thing: that the world should know about the widespread and openly anti-Semitic propaganda which far exceeds anything happening in Europe.



Professor Barry RubinDirector, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.orgEditor, Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal http://www.meriajournal.comWatch on the Middle East http://www.watchonthemiddleeast.comEditor Turkish Studies, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=t713636933%22
Turkey: Antisemitism Gets Out of Control
This has been sent to me by a very reliable friend who has agreed to distribution as long as his name is not used. You are invited to post or send to your list. It is not unthinkable that the future of the Turkish Jewish community is in doubt.—Barry Rubin
The Prime Minister in Turkey has encouraged hatred against Israel in his speeches which has become obvious anti-Semitic propaganda among the general public.
There are people around the clock besieging the Israeli consulate in Istanbul shouting their hatred against Israel and Jewish people. All around Istanbul billboards are full of propaganda posters against Israel like; "Moses, even this is not written in your book" and "Israel Stop this Crime." On the streets the people are writing such graffiti as: "Kill Jews," "Kill Israel," "Israel should no longer exist in the Middle East," and "Stop Israeli Massacre."
The week-end before, some people wrote, "We will kill you" on the door of one of the biggest synagogues in Izmir resulted in the closing down of synagogues. Near Istanbul University, a group put a huge poster on the door of a shop owned by a Jew: "Do not buy from here, since this shop is owned by a Jew." A group put posters on his wall saying that: "Jews and Armenians are not allowed but dogs are allowed." Some young people are even threatening others with violence if they are seen as pro-Israel in social networking websites such as Facebook and Hi5. The document attached is the official statement by the minister of education stating that tomorrow [January 14] at 11am in all the high schools and primary schools the students will pay homage to the women and children dead during the war and furthermore, the teachers of art will organize the session of painting and writing on the subject: "Humanity Drama in Palestine" and the winners will receive awards. The Jewish community can do nothing in response to what has been going on for the last few weeks, except giving vague statements that the Turkish Jewish Community does not want the war to be continued any more.We have previously faced some strong reaction regarding previous operations in Gaza and the West Bank but this time is really different from former ones. I feel open anti-Semitism and hatred from all these people. Nobody understood, Even some widely read columnists in Turkey are writing things that lead all these groups toward this hatred becoming much more dangerous day by day. But I know one thing: that the world should know about the widespread and openly anti-Semitic propaganda which far exceeds anything happening in Europe.


Professor Barry RubinDirector, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.orgEditor,
Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal http://www.meriajournal.comWatch on the Middle East http://www.watchonthemiddleeast.com
Editor Turkish Studies, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=t713636933%22

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why Doesn't Israel Have The Same Rights As Other Nations

We are very tired this evening.
As Israel fights the terrorists in Gaza, the cowards, the ill-informed and the anti-Jews of the world scream in outrage.
Israel is in a struggle for survival.
Her enemies, the same enemies that the U.S. has, Islamic Terrorists, must be defeated.
Israel has a right to exist.
There are 22 Arab Muslim states.
The Jews should have at least one.
President Bush understands the stakes in the conflict.
America will never let Muslims abuse us and, at least as importantly, our women and children the way they do their own.
This is such a right on article that I had to share it. MFB


"The Jews Face a Double Standard," by Marvin Heir for the Wall Street Journal.
Why doesn't Israel have the same right to self-defense as other nations?

The world-wide protests against Israel's ground incursion into Gaza are so full of hatred that they leave me with the terrible feeling that these protests have little to do with the so-called disproportionality of the Israeli response to Hamas rockets, or the resulting civilian casualties.
My fear is that the rage we see in the protesters marching in the streets is far more profound and dangerous than we would like to believe. There are a great many people in the world who, even after Auschwitz, just can't bear the Jewish state having the same rights they so readily grant to other nations. These voices insist Israel must take risks they would never dare ask of any other nation-state -- risks that threaten its very survival -- because they don't believe Israel should exist in the first place.
Just look at the spate of attacks this week on Jews and Jewish institutions around the world: a car ramming into a synagogue in France; a Chabad menorah and Jewish-owned shops sprayed with swastikas in Belgium; a banner at an Australian rally demanding "clean the earth from dirty Zionists!"; demonstrators in the Netherlands chanting "Gas the Jews"; and in Florida, protestors demanding Jews "Go back to the ovens!"
How else can we explain the double-standard that is applied to the Gaza conflict, if not for a more insidious bias against the Jewish state?
At the U.N., no surprise, this double-standard is in full force. In response to Israel's attack on Hamas, the Security Council immediately pulled an all-night emergency meeting to consider yet another resolution condemning Israel. Have there been any all-night Security Council sessions held during the seven months when Hamas fired 3,000 rockets at half a million innocent civilians in southern Israel? You can be certain that during those seven months, no midnight oil was burning at the U.N. headquarters over resolutions condemning terrorist organizations like Hamas. But put condemnation of Israel on the agenda and, rain or shine, it's sure to be a full house.[...]
Many people ask why there are so few Israeli casualties in comparison with the Palestinian death toll. It's because Israel's first priority is the safety of its citizens, which is why there are shelters and warning systems in Israeli towns. If Hamas can dig tunnels, it can certainly build shelters. Instead, it prefers to use women and children as human shields while its leaders rush into hiding.
And then there are the clarion calls for a cease-fire. These words, which come so easily, have proven to be a recipe for disaster. Hamas uses the cease-fire as a time-out to rearm and smuggle even more deadly weapons so the next time, instead of hitting Sderot and Ashkelon, they can target Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The pattern is always the same. Following a cease-fire brought on by international pressure, there will be a call for a massive infusion of funds to help Palestinians recover from the devastation of the Israeli attack. The world will respond eagerly, handing over hundreds of millions of dollars. To whom does this money go? To Hamas, the same terrorist group that brought disaster to the Palestinians in the first place.
Only to start the cycle all over again.
The world seems to have forgotten that at the end of World War II, President Harry Truman initiated the Marshall Plan, investing vast sums to rebuild Germany. But he did so only with the clear understanding that the money would build a new kind of Germany -- not a Fourth Reich that would continue the policies of Adolf Hitler. Yet that is precisely what the world will be doing if we once again entrust funds to Hamas terrorists and their Iranian puppet masters.
In less than two weeks, Barack Obama will be sworn in as president of the United States. But there is no "change we can believe in" in the Middle East -- not where Israel is concerned. The double-standard continuously applied to the Jewish state proves that, for much of the world, the real lessons of World War II have yet to be learned.


If You Love The Palestinians, You Should Hate Hamas

Barry Rubin
January 11, 2009

Let's say that you love the Palestinians, are sympathetic to Arabs, and are indifferent to Israel.
Presumably, you would favor an immediate ceasefire to stop Palestinian suffering. But what else? What next? What is the solution from your point of view, from the Palestinian point of view?
The answer is: you should support the downfall of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip. Let me explain why:
First, only the Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules the West Bank, is capable of making peace with Israel because Hamas does not want to do so and demands total victory and Israel's extinction. But without a negotiated peace, the conflict will go on forever and the vestiges of occupation will not end. There will not be a Palestinian state.
Even if you believe the world should pressure Israel into major concessions, Israel will not give way even under the greatest pressure if Hamas is involved because that would be suicidal. And with Palestinian leadership divided into two regimes, no negotiation can succeed any way.
If Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, progress toward peace is impossible. No peace, no dismantling of settlements (on the West Bank, they've already been dismantled in the Gaza Strip. Remember? When Israel withdrew completely and turned the Gaza-Egypt border over to the Palestinians?]. No peace, no Palestinian state. No peace, no serious economic construction and stability. No peace, no resettling of Palestinian refugees in a country of their own.
Second, Hamas is a disaster for Palestinians as a ruler. It is creating a repressive Islamist state where freedom will be extinguished, women treated as third-class citizens, and children will be brought up to be suicide bombers. While Hamas has had social welfare programs to recruit supporters and support the families of those it has ensured would be martyrs, it has no interest in educational, health, infrastructure, and job creation or anything but waging war.
In addition, Hamas will never get much, if any, economic support from the international community whereas with a PA government, as has been shown previously, billions of dollars of aid money has been given. The resources Hamas gets are mainly plowed into waging war. For Hamas, Palestinians are instruments for waging jihad, privileged to become martyrs to the cause. If the Palestinians were to get their own state or enjoy higher living standards, Hamas fears they will become content with the status quo and abandon the struggle. For Hamas, that is a fate for Palestinians worse than death--their deaths.
Of course, the PA is, to put it mildly, far from perfect. It is plagued by corruption and inefficiency though over the last year it has shown marked improvement. Why did Hamas win the election? Partly due to the PA's shortcomings; largely due to the internal divisions of Fatah which rules the PA. After all, if so many Fatah candidates hadn't run against each other, the race would have been very close.
At the same time, it is important to remember that the current Hamas government is not an elected government. Hamas signed a coalition agreement with Fatah then staged a coup to seize power completely, killing and expelling its rival. The current regime is thus not the product of the people's choice but of a takeover. To cite two examples, the Communists in 1917 Russia and the National Socialist Party in 1932 Germany, both won elections. But they then seized power, outlawed the opposition, and held on for a long time. The Hamas pattern is similar.
Third, in material terms, Hamas has led and will continue to lead to massive bloodshed and suffering. Blame it on Israel if you wish, but remember something rather important: the Israel-West Bank border is completely quiet. There are no sanctions, no blockade. Indeed, Israel supports other countries giving aid and even weapons to the PA, albeit with limits in the latter case. Israel isn't fighting "the Palestinians" it is fighting Hamas. Why? Because Hamas is fighting Israel.
Even if you have the most negative possible view of Israel: go on, throw out all your nastiest adjectives and biggest anti-Israel claims. The fact is that Israel exists and will continue to do so. It will also continue to defend its citizens--you can call it aggression if you want.
But these are facts. With the PA and peaceful strategies, individual Palestinians can enjoy relatively good lives and hope for the future. With Hamas, since it is going to spend decades in the martyrdom business and seeking Israel's extinction through violence, the fact is there is going to be a lot of violence. Even if Israel doesn't react to the first hundred of thousand missiles, mortar shells, and cross-border terrorist attacks, eventually it will do so. And we will see something like the current situation over and over again.
Finally, Hamas is a disaster for Arabs in other countries and for the Arabic-speaking world in general. The survival and strengthening of Hamas will help spread radical Islamism and terrorism to other countries at even higher levels. Many Arabs and Muslims will die, be wounded, and suffer. There will be more attacks and political turmoil in Egypt and Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, North Africa and the Gulf. These events will have nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with the kind of revolutionary movement Hamas represents. And this includes a long-term, internal Palestinian civil war as well.
So if you want to march for a ceasefire, campaign for a Palestinian state, and criticize Israel, just remember this: don't struggle to support those who will do more harm to the people you purport to care for--even if you blame Israel for it, the cause will be Hamas's policies--than anything else.
If you want to help in real terms, let's work together for a peaceful diplomatic resolution, a two-state solution, in which Palestinians have their own country, receive massive international aid, children can live in security, and there is real peace. For that goal, you will find the overwhelming majority of Israelis will agree with you. But remember, too, Hamas doesn't.
 
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ending the Gaza War: Choices Not Solutions

ENDING THE GAZA WAR: CHOICES, NOT SOLUTIONS

By Barry Rubin
Last December, Hamas unilaterally ended its ceasefire with Israel and escalated the kind of cross-border attacks continually attempted even during the ceasefire. With massive public support, Israel struck back against a neighboring regime which daily attacked its citizens and called for its extermination.
For decades, Israel’s history shows a general pattern: its neighbors attack, Israel responds, Israel wins the war, and the world rushes to ensure that its victory is limited or nullified. If, as sometimes happens, the diplomatic process really improves the situation and provides progress for peace that, of course, is beneficial.
Yet Israel’s experience has shown that international promises made in return for its material concessions are often broken. Most recently, in 2006 the international community pledged to keep Hizballah out of south Lebanon and curb its arms’ supply, failed totally, yet took no action in response to this defeat. Israel is understandably skeptical.
In addition, Israelis know that Hamas is totally dedicated to their personal and collective destruction. The group will not moderate, cannot be bought off, and will not respect any agreement it makes. As a result, the usual kinds of diplomatic tools—concessions, confidence-building, agreements, moderation resulting from having governmental responsibilities, will not work. Any solution short of Hamas’s fall from power will bring more fighting in future.
What should happen is that the international community cooperates in the removal of the Hamas regime. It is an illegal government, brought to power by an unprovoked war against the Palestinian Authority (PA) which was the internationally recognized regime in the Gaza Strip. Hamas may have won the elections but it then seized total power, suspended representative government, and destroyed the opposition.
Moreover, Hamas is a radical terrorist group which openly uses antisemitic rhetoric and actively seeks to wipe Israel off the map. It oppresses the Palestinian population and leads them into endless war. It teaches young Palestinians that their career goal should not be as a teacher, engineer, or doctor but as a suicide bomber.
From a strategic standpoint, Hamas is a member of the Iran-Syria alliance which seeks to overthrow every Arab regime in the Middle East and replace it with an anti-Western, war-oriented, radical Islamist dictatorship. Hamas’s survival is a big threat to both Western interests and to those of Arab nationalist regimes. Keeping Hamas in power is equivalent to an energetic Western diplomatic effort to have kept the Taliban regime in power in Afghanistan, despite its role in the September 11 attacks.
If, however, the world is not going to support Hamas’s fall from office, Israel cannot bring about this result by itself. At the same time, the world will be making a big mistake if it pushes for a ceasefire at any price, thus encouraging future violence and terrorism, not only regarding Gaza but also in the region generally.
What then are Israel’s options?
Two possible outcomes are rejected: Israel will not take control of the Gaza Strip again, and Israel will not accept a return to the previous situation in which Hamas repeatedly attacked Israel under cover of a ceasefire.
There are at least six major things Israel can obtain realistically:
--The practical weakening of Hamas. Granted it will continue to be aggressive in future, its losses will reduce Hamas’s ability to hurt Israeli citizens.
-- Deterrence, while retaining its longer-term goals, Hamas will be more reluctant to attack Israel lest it produce another such Israeli response.
--Border control, a change from the situation in which Hamas can import weapons fairly freely to a stricter order in which humanitarian aid but not arms can come in.
--The return of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, seized in a Hamas attack on Israeli soil and held hostage, lacking any contact with international humanitarian groups.
--A reduction of Hamas’s standing among Palestinians. Despite macho and religious rhetoric about Hamas’s strength, Gaza Palestinians are more eager for a return of the PA; West Bank citizens, living under more moderate PA rule, realize that extremism is disastrous.
--Regional perception of Hamas’s defeat, lowering support for the Iran-Syria alliance and encouraging more moderate Arab forces to resist radical Islamism and Tehran’s power.
Despite this being the best realistic program, Israel also knows significant factors that might mean it won’t work entirely:
--Hamas will break any agreement and not change.
--The international community is weak and contains tendencies toward appeasing extremists to avoid trouble.
--Egypt even when well-intended is not so efficient at controlling the border
Thus, even this best-case scenario has problems. First, Hamas will return to building up its forces for future confrontations, teaching a whole generation that it should prepare to sacrifice itself to achieve a “final solution” of the Israel problem. In short, any outcome that leaves Hamas in place is at best a lull until the next round.
Second, it is quite possible that within days or weeks of any agreement, Hamas—partly to prove to itself and others how it remains unbowed—will return to firing rockets and mortar rounds into Israel as well as trying to carry out terrorist attacks across the border. In that case, Israel will have to respond much more seriously than it has in the past to such behavior. A world which guarantees the ceasefire better be prepared to remember Israel’s legitimate interests in enforcing it.
Finally, as long as Hamas survives as rulers of the Gaza Strip, it will be impossible to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The PA will be too intimidated to make compromises and cannot even deliver its own people. There can be no Palestinian state with half the territory being controlled by an organization which will never accept an agreement and will do everything possible to wreck it.
“Saving” Hamas and making the main or sole priority pushing for a ceasefire at any price is a very short-sighted policy for the international community which will be paid for in future. If the Gaza war is going to be ended, it should be in the framework of solving the problems that let Hamas create the war in the first place.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Truth About Syria, and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East.

A different version of this article was published in The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fooling--Or Trying to Fool--the Journalists in Gaza

barry rubin

While in no way detracting from the real suffering in the Gaza Strip, I had to send you the following extract from an article in Yediot Aharnot, January 9, by Ron Ben-Ishai, one of Israel's best reporters. He was embedded in an Israeli unit in Gaza. In one house held by the troops, the Palestinian family insists on staying so the soldiers let them. And here's what happens when Ben-Ishai comes in:

"The family suddenly notices the cameras, and immediately, the expression on their faces changes. "We have no food," they say in Arabic, as one of the youngsters suggests we interview him in English about their plight. Givati troops are extremely concerned about being portrayed as abusing innocent civilians. [An Israeli officer] points to a stack of canned goods, water bottles and other provisions. "We provided some of that and they cook and eat quite well," said [the officer]. The Palestinians seem to understand him and one of them smiles. It's a war – they had to try."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3653238,00.html

In other words, they did not mention the food given them and pretend they are being starved by the Israeli army, despite the fact that the food and water are in plain sight! How many times a day does this happen and how often does it work!

It should be stressed that making such points does not negate the death, wounding, and suffering of Palestinians. But the issue remains, of course:
--How many people are involved and whether these numbers are exaggerated. Even according to Hamas and the UN, 75 percent of the Palestinian casualties are military. (It might be noted that in Lebanon in 2006, contemporary--misleadingly inflated as we have learned since--reports claimed there were 10,000 civilians killed in the war and attributed to Israel. The equivalent number for the Gaza Strip is about 100 people.
--How Israel has tried to limit these problems. (as in the above case)
--How the responsibility of Hamas is ignored.
--How Israel's own sufferings are minimized or ignored.



Professor Barry Rubin
Director, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center
http://www.gloriacenter.org
Editor, Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal http://www.meriajournal.com
Watch on the Middle East http://www.watchonthemiddleeast.com
Editor Turkish Studies, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=t713636933%22

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Livni: No Agreements With Terrorists

Israel is still standing strong against terrorists and criminals.
This aricle is from Arutz Sheva.
Michael






by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
(IsraelNN.com) Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told foreign ambassadors in Israel on Thursday that Israel's campaign in Gaza is part of the international effort against terrorism. She told the ambassadors not to equate Israel with the jihadist Hamas terrorist organization.
Speaking with the ambassadors at the Foreign Ministry's humanitarian aid command center, Livni said that Operation Cast Lead is a "struggle... against terror and it cannot end in agreements with it. In order for there to be quiet here one must defeat it, not come to any arrangement with it."
Addressing the specific possibility of negotiations with Hamas, the Foreign Minister said, "Don't expect that we will find a way to create an agreement with Hamas. It won't happen. The only agreements we can make are among us against terrorism. This war we are waging is part of the war waged by the international community throughout the world and I expect of you not to equate us with Hamas."
The immediate benefit of the Gaza campaign, Livni explained is that it made it "clear" to Hamas that "the equation has changed. Until now they attacked us and now they understand that when they attack us, we respond and will not accept a situation in which our citizens are under attack."
Unlike Hamas, Foreign Minister Livni noted that "Israel makes a distinction between Hamas and the civilian population and believes in the need to allow humanitarian aid to reach the [Gaza] Strip. When we open the humanitarian corridors, Hamas shoots." The jihadist regime in Gaza "takes advantage of the desire to assist the Palestinian population and commits its terrorism from among that population. Israel attempts, in its operations, to avoid harming civilians, but in a war like this, unfortunately, there are those who pay the price for Hamas hiding behind the population."

The Case For Self-Defense

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A SENSE OF REALITY

By Barry Rubin
When you actually hear what the anti-Israel, anti-American and anti-Western forces say, it reveals just how inaccurate is their analysis, often allowed to be given without contradiction in much of the media.
Here are two quotes from Yahoo coverage of anti-Israel demonstrations:
1. Paul Mukerji, 42, from Birmingham, acknowledged Israel had security reasons but called its action disproportionate. "The best way for peace for Palestinians and Israelis is to end the occupation," he said.
Yep! End that occupation and all the shooting will stop. As you know, it was Israel's end of occupation in south Lebanon that led to attacks by Hizballah. And Israel's end of occupation in the Gaza Strip that led to attacks by Hamas. And Israel's agreement with the PLO and withdrawal from part of the West Bank raised the level of terrorism there (at least for about half of the last 15 years). No doubt if Israel withdrew completely from the West Bank....
But in logical terms, of course, if you believe that "occupation" causes violence--rather than, say, revolutionary Arab nationalist and Islamist movements that sought total victory--you MUST argue that these are defensive reactions. Of course, they are aggressive ones.
2. Ali Saeed, 24, from Luton, said Western governments had failed to condemn Israel's actions. "What's going on in Gaza is not right ... It's not a coincidence that it's going on in Iraq, in Chechnya, in Kashmir. It's just about going on everywhere. It's almost a direct insult to every single Muslim," he said.
Iraq: Saddam Hussein has repressive dictatorship, Saddam attacks Iran, Saddam attacks Kuwait, terrorists today kill mostly other Muslims in a Sunni-Shia battle. Yes, so why blame America?
Chechnya: One could argue that this is an occupation issue--the Russians have been there for about 150 years-- but the Chechnya rebels have deliberately targeted Russian civilians and killed their own moderates who tried to work out a deal.
At any rate, one can contrast Russian methods—leveling the capital city and killing many thousands of civilians—with Israel’s, with Hamas admitting 85 percent of the casualties in the current campaign are its soldiers and most of the rest victims of its policy of turning civilians into involuntary human shields.
Kashmir: Radical Islamists backed by Pakistan murder Indian civilians and carry out terrorism in India.
To my knowledge, the Indians never used harsh repression in Kashmir, certainly not before the start of a terrorist war there.
And how about:
Massacres of Christians in Indonesia; of Christians and Buddhists in Thailand; of Christians in the Philippines; and of Christians and Shia Muslims in Iraq; and of Christians and Druze and Sunni Muslims in Lebanon; and of fellow Muslims in Algeria and Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and of course al-Qaida attacks including September 11; and the London subway bombings, and the Bali bombing; and the Spanish commuter train bombings; and the Mumbai attacks; and the murder of animists and fellow Muslims in Sudan; and so on.
Once upon a time in the West there were institutions which challenged and corrected a factually ludicrous world view. Now, alas, they often further it.
And of course, this isn’t the first time—even in living memory—that the world has faced such movements, such falsehood, such places:
“But ideas can be true although men die, And we can watch a thousand faces Made active by one lie:“And maps can really point to places Where life is evil now:Nanking; Dachau.”
“In Time of War,” W.H. Auden, 1939
And now: Kabul, Tehran, and Gaza under Hamas rule.
But common sense does prevail.
The truth is that the demonstrations have not been impressive in Europe and America, both in size and in the ability of the anti-Israel forces to mobilize non-Muslims in any serious numbers.

Debka.Com Under Arab Attack

Arab protesters torching Danish Embassy
Hamas Teaching Children to be Homicide Killers

Arabs with computers have been attacking the Web Site http://debka.com/ , since they don't want the world to hear the truth about the war on terrorists being conducted in Hamastan, aka Gaza.
The Arabs are such liars.
We see one Arab spokesperson after another paraded accross our tv sets, they all say the same thing.
Its Israel's fault.
Israel should lay down her arms.
Hamas won't stop launching missiles because of the occupation.
There is no occupation, Israel left Gaza years ago.
As soon as she left, Hamas cuthroats began firing upon Israel.
When caught in the occupation lie the Arab Propagandists say, "They blockade Gaza the people are starving."
They don't mention that Egypt, an Arab country also borders Gaza, and they have shut down the border as well, to keep the criminals, the murderers, the terrorists, where they are wanted, according to popular vote.
They are not wanted anywhere except in Gaza, and Egypt has blockaded them because they are violent criminals.
Today and over the last few days we've seen Arabs around the world "protesting" Israel's defense against the thousands of Gazan rockets launched at her unarmed civilian population.
The look on the face of the protesters is pure hatred, they reflect the anti-Semitic anti-"infidel" feelings in their hearts.
They throw molotov cocktails at police.
They should be immediately arrested and deported.

Hamas and her supporters need to be shown how weak they are, they need and deserve the rough chastisement they are experiencing now.
These people are scum.They abuse their children horrifically.
They abuse their women.
They are haters, hiding behind a "religion".
They need to be taken down, and the sooner the better.


On the Ground in Gaza

By Barry Rubin

Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel didn’t want to attack the Gaza Strip from the ground or from the air. Hamas, which had long broken the ceasefire, canceled it altogether. Then it began large-scale attacks on Israel. This is a war of defense. And it is being conducted just 30 miles from here, Israel’s main city.
According to the just-released Israeli government statement on the offensive:
“The objective of this stage is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the area of operation, while taking control of some of rocket launching area used by the Hamas, in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.“The operation will…strike a direct and hard blow against the Hamas while increasing the deterrent strength of the Israel Defense Forces, in order to bring about an improved and more stable security situation for residents of southern Israel over the long term.”
Even as the 2006 war was continuing, the Israel Defense Force was evaluating the mistakes made in Lebanon—helicopters needed better short-range munitions, improved air-ground coordination, care in using tanks unsupported by infantry, and so on.
But contrary to the insistence of armchair strategists now, it would not be easy to seize control of all the Gaza Strip and govern it for an extended period of time. Hamas is not going to go away. International support for Israel is limited. Fatah and the Palestinian Authority will not react strongly to try to take Gaza back for itself. There are about one million people in the Gaza Strip and Hamas will make every attempt to ensure there are civilian casualties—and pretend there are even more.
So “total victory” is not easy, if it is even possible. The irony is that Israeli policy is based on the idea that there is no military solution to these issues. But since there is no diplomatic solution either, force must be used to protect Israel and its citizens.
It should be remembered that Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip, dismantled all settlements, and wished the Palestinians good luck. The Palestinian Authority (PA) was not up to the challenge. It could and would not change its corrupt and incompetent ways. U.S. policy insisted that Hamas be allowed to run in the elections, even though it did not meet the standard of accepting the 1993 Israel-PLO agreement. Hamas won.
But Hamas invoked the radical Islamist policy of “one man, one vote, one time.” It staged a coup and kicked out its PA and Fatah rivals. Rather than focusing on economic development or even maintaining peace to build up its own power, Hamas pursued its strategy of permanent war against Israel. Children’s programs taught the kiddies that they should grow up to be suicide bombers and kill Jews. Hamas soldiers, or their junior allies, fired rockets and mortars at Israel. And of course Hamas staged a cross-border raid and kidnapped an Israeli soldier.
In spite of this, many in the West think Israel has some kind of choice in this matter, that diplomacy was an option, that Hamas could be reasoned with. Those people have clearly never heard a Hamas leader speak or read anything on the group’s Arabic-language websites. In a real sense, Hamas is more extreme than Usama bin Ladin, who periodically offers his enemy the chance to repent. Hamas’s goal is genocidal.
This has nothing to do with being dovish or hawkish, left or right. For those who are the biggest peaceniks—and this is true in Israel—know that Hamas must be defeated if Israel is ever to make peace with the PA. Even the PA knows it, and that’s what they say in private, no matter what they say in public.
The offensive is only going to last so long. It would be nice to believe that Hamas will be overthrown, less extreme Palestinians will take over, or Israel will just sit in the Gaza Strip for months or even years to come without any major problem. These are not real options.
Hamas wants nothing more than to be able to organize an underground to launch daily attacks on Israeli patrols going through the center of refugee camps. It should be remembered that, for better or worse, it was the Israeli military—not the politicians—who wanted to withdraw from the Gaza Strip for tactical reasons. It was easier to hold a defensive line in strength than to play into Hamas’s strong points by trying to control all the territory.
Clearly, this didn’t take into account the rockets but it is easy to think that if Israeli forces had been in the Gaza Strip every day since the withdrawal, Israeli casualties would have been a lot higher while Fatah and Hamas would be fighting side to side against Israel, and international diplomacy would have been far more hostile to Israel.
No one should have any illusions that this conflict is going to go away. The peace process era, 1993-2000, taught us that Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, and radical Islamist groups meant what they said. They will never accept peace with Israel. Israel will be involved in a struggle with these extremist groups for decades.
Yet that does not mean Israel cannot—and does not—prevail. It prevails by maintaining good lives for its citizens, developing its economy, and raising living standards, progressing in technology and science and medicine.
In this context, Israel will not listen to those many who counsel it to commit suicide, but it also has no illusions of a victory, of a war that will end all wars. And in a real sense that is Israel’s true strength: it is not naïve about either concessions or force. If you have realistic expectations, if you aren’t disappointed, then you never give up.
Often, nowadays, it seems as if all history is being rewritten when it comes to Israel. In World War Two, allied air forces carpet-bombed cities even though there were no military bases in civilian areas. In France alone, tens of thousands of civilians were killed by allied bombs that fell on their intended targets.
Even the Nazis didn’t put ammunition dumps in houses and use human shields. And up until now the blame for doing so would fall on those who deliberately and cynically sought to create civilian casualties in order to gain support for themselves
Up until now, a country whose neighbor fired across the border at its people and even staged cross-border raids had the right of self-defense.
Up until now, there has been a capability of understanding which group is inciting hatred, trying to turn children into robotic terrorists, calling for the extermination of another people, and committing aggression.
Many people, many journalists, many governments, and even many intellectuals still understand the most basic principles of right and wrong as well as of the real world. Unfortunately, too many don’t or at least don’t when Israel is the target.
Finally, it is of the greatest importance to understand that this is not an issue of Gaza or of Israel alone. The great issue of our era, of our remaining lifetimes, is the battle between radical Islamism—whether using the tactic of terrorism or not—and the rest of the world. To isolate this question as merely something about Israel is to misunderstand everything important about the world today.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA and other GLORIA Center publications or to order books, visit http://www.gloriacenter.org.

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky