Sunday, September 30, 2007
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights and its successor, the United Nations Human Rights Council, have had a similar lack of interest in human rights, exemplified by the role of the Commission on Human Rights in promoting an assault on human rights through its 2001 conference in Durban.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) continues in that tradition. It occasionally quietly mentions some of the more outrageous abuses by the Palestinian Authority against its own people, but mainly in order to establish bona fides for its real mission, its propaganda war against Israel.
It's interesting to read between the lines of one of its recent diatribes, a September 27 press release "Israeli Occupation Forces Escalate Crimes in the Gaza Strip: 11 Palestinians Killed and 33 Injured in 9 Hours."
PCHR asserted "Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) committed several car (sic) crimes in the Gaza Strip over the past few hours, which left 11 Palestinians dead, including a child, and injured 33 others, five of them seriously."
"The Center's preliminary investigation into the extra-judicial execution indicates that at approximately 16:45 on Wednesday, 26 September 2007, an IOF plane fired 2 rockets at a jeep traveling in Salah El-Deen Road near Dola intersection in Zaitoon Quarter in Gaza City. The rockets hit the vehicle directly, killings it 5 occupants and burning it. The victims were members of 'Army of Islam,' all of them from Gaza City."
In other words, Israel attacked a group of terrorists traveling together in a jeep, most likely on their way to attack Israeli civilians, and the PCHR considers this a crime.
"At about 17:00, IOF fired tank shells and machine gun fire at a gathering of civilians and resistance activists in Zaitoon quarter in the town. Three people, including 2 civilians, were killed."
It would appear that, for PHCR, someone who plots with terrorists to murder innocent Israelis but does not himself pull the trigger is a civilian. PHCR also lists the victims. The youngest lists is Yusef Talal El-Basyouni (17), hardly a child, but someone at a prime age for recruitment as a suicide bomber.
"At approximately 1:00 on Thursday, 27 September, an IOF plane fired a rocket at a group of resistance activists at the southern entrance to the town. Two of them were killed and 3 others injured, one of them seriously."
Thus, by the PCHR's own account, Israel's actions were taken against groups involved in hostile action against Israelis. Rather than condemning those intent on murdering civilians, PCHR condemns Israel for defending itself and ultimately saving innocent lives.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
September 23rd, 2007
IDF SPOKESPERSON UPDATE
Wanted Tanzim operative arrested after returning to militant activity despite agreementIn a joint IDF, ISA and special Border Police force operation this evening in the village of Qalil, south of Nablus, the force arrested a wanted operative of the Tanzim terror organization, a Fatah offshoot.
8 pipe bombs, a rifle and a handgun were uncovered in the structure where the operative, Fares Natzer Hassin Abu Na'eem, was hiding. The bombs were detonated in a controlled manner by Border Police sappers.
The wanted operative, a 21 year-old resident of the village of Qalil, was involved in bombing and shooting attacks against IDF forces. Abu Na'eem was a party to the August 2007 agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and had pledged to cease militant activity in exchange for being taken off the list of wanted operatives. Recent information received about Abu Na'eem indicated that he had returned to his militant activity, which constitutes a severe violation of the agreement.
Is anyone surprised? The real question is whether any of the released terrorists are abiding by their signed commitment to refrain from additional terrorist activity. One wonders why Israel continues to release terrorists in "goodwill" gestures whose main consequences are encouraging Arab intransigence and more death.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
According to the "road map," theoretically accepted by the Palestinian Authority, the PA must not only abandon terrorism (something it was committed to do under the original Oslo Accords it violated with impunity) but eliminate the terrorist infrastructure it built up (also in blatant violation of its commitments under Oslo).
Thus far, not only has the Palestinian Authority failed to take those steps, but it has repeatedly insisted it wouldn't. Since the Fatah portion of the multi-headed monster lost its grip on Gaza to Hamas, the PA couldn't take these steps even if it had the inclination.
Nor has the Palestinian Authority even hinted at the willingness to negotiate in good faith and make even minimal compromises in its outlandish demands for sovereignty over every square inch of the disputed territories, combined with the ethnic cleansing of any Jewish presence from those portions of Eretz Yisrael, and the redivision of Jerusalem.
The first step towards peace must be to disabuse the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs that they can renege on all the agreements they make and refuse to compromise and, if they wait long enough and kill enough innocent Israelis, America will force Israel to cave in.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
According to the article Israelis seized nuclear material in Syrian raid, "Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month." The information is attributed to "informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem."
According to the article, "samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons."
The implications are staggering. The value of the service Israel has provided America, indeed provided the entire civilized world, is incalculable. It demonstrates once again that Israel, besides being a true friend sharing core values with America, is also an invaluable strategic asset.
Walt and Mearsheimer have gotten a lot of attention lately with their supposed "scholarly" articles about the "Israel lobby." Their basic argument is that Jews and other supporters of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, have managed to get the United States to act contrary to its own interests by supporting Israel.
With this spectacular raid, Israel has once again demonstrated that Israel is a valuable strategic asset and the arguments of Walt and Mearsheimer, as well as those of former President Jimmy Carter, are basically unsupportable.
According to the article PA stipulates conference attendance by Khaled Abu Toameh, "the Palestinian Authority is demanding 'far-reaching' concessions from Israel and the US as a precondition for attending."
Thus far, while Israel, as usual, has shown a continued willingness to make lopsided concessions in the pursuit of peace, the Palestinian Arabs have yet to demonstrate any willingness to make even minimal concessions.
According to the article, the so-called "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas is demanding Israel release hundreds of jailed terrorists (so they can murder more Israelis), remove dozens of checkpoints (to make it easier for the terrorists to murder Israelis), halt construction of the anti-terror barrier (to avoid improving its ability to save lives) and halt the construction of homes for Jews in the disputed territories (so the Palestinian Arabs can more easily grab territory in advance of any agreement on borders).
Each of these demands should be rejected out of hand, along with the likely demand for millions of dollars to "boost his Fatah-controlled PA security forces," thus enabling them to be better armed when they put on their black pajamas at night, in the unlikely event that the arms don't wind up in the hands of Hamas as did the arms given to them in Gaza.
In the Alice in Wonderland perspective of the Palestinian Arabs, one official said "Olmert is either unwilling or unable to reach an agreement over the core issues with the Palestinians due to his internal problems."
Until the Palestinian Arabs give up their outlandish demands for the right to emigrate to Israel, while simultaneously demanding Judea and Samaria be ethnically cleansed of Jews and for the redivision of Israel's capital and show a willingness for territorial compromise, there obviously is no chance of any agreement.
Meanwhile, as long as there remain, de facto, two Palestinian Arab states, one in the West Bank and one in Gaza, with the two states at war with each other and neither with the ability to implement any agreement even if they were willing to make the compromises necessary for one, it's all pointless.
In any real sense, the scheduled "peace conference" is already destined to be a failure if it is held. The United States should take advantage of the Palestinian Authority demands and use them as an excuse for abandoning this exercise in futility.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I have been a regular attendee for the last few years and expect to both go to most of the seminars this year and write about them.
Today's speaker was David Hirsh, the editor of Engage and a lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Hirsh "wrote Law against Genocide: Cosmopolitan Trials (GlassHouse 2004), which won the BSA Philip Abrams Prize for the best first book in sociology in 2004. David is currently working on antisemitism and anti-Zionism; nationalism and cosmopolitanism; cosmopolitan and international law; human rights; ethnic cleansing and genocide; Israel/Palestine and fundamentalism. David played a leading role in the campaign to reverse the AUT boycott of Israeli universities." (From the Engage web site.)
Hirsh calls himself both a scholar and an activist, interested in fighting anti-Semitism, and is working on the hypothesis there’s a connection between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
His was an interesting talk containing much food for thought, although I would change his hypothesis. Since except in the rare case where someone's anti-Zionism flows from a post-nationalist opposition to all nationalism, the singling out of Jews as the one national group to be denied its own nation-state is inherently a manifestation of anti-Semitism.
Thus, a more productive hypothesis to work on would be the existence of a correlation between anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel among individuals who deny being anti-Zionist.
Hirsh spoke about the extremists who define Israel as a racist state, born in sin, in the Nakba. For them, every instance of racism in Israel is read as a manifestation of Israel’s racist essence. Many of these anti-Zionists talk a lot about the Holocaust as a trauma that made Israel pathological and is used as a justification for racist actions. Whereas Gillian Rose warned about Holocaust piety, these haters engage in Holocaust sacrilege, with the recent conference in Tehran just one example.
He referred to the prevalence of ad hominen arguments, such as the insistence that complaints about anti-Semitism are just being used to justify allegedly racist Israeli actions.
Hirsh referred to Mearsheimer's assertion “The Israel lobby was one of the principal driving forces behind the Iraq War, and in its absence we probably would not have had a war” as an example of “slippage,” pointing out it’s an accusation that can’t possibly be true.
Living in Britain, the anti-Israel boycott capital of the world, the boycott proposals among so-called intellectuals in British universities is a particular interest of his.
It is these boycott proposals proposals which lead to the following observation:
The boycotts are generally proposed by people who call themselves liberal, but they are the antithesis of liberality. These people are not even limousine liberals; they are phony liberals.
When confronted with evil regimes, a label these people pretend applies to Israel, the liberal response is engagement. We liberals may boycott grape products when the growers abuse workers, but when dealing with revanchist, repressive regimes such as the ones in the Soviet Union, China and even Tehran, liberals promote engagement, placing particular value on cultural and academic exchanges as a way of loosening the grip of the government on the people and ultimately weakening the government and forcing it to change its policies.
Indeed, many of the same people calling for boycotts of Israel, including boycotts of Israeli universities, are simultaneously calling for engagement and dialog with truly repressive regimes such as Hamas and the mullahs ruling Iran. These people are morally bankrupt.
I close with a bit of a digression, including a criticism of Israel. I disagree with its refusal to talk with Hamas. I am under no illusion that talks with Hamas would be productive, but it seems childish to refuse to meet. (There is a logistical problem, in that most of the leaders of Hamas are criminals whom Israeli security forces would be compelled to arrest if they came in contact with them, but that's another issue.)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
At the 51st session of the General Conference of the IAEA, Syria was elected deputy chair. The timing was typically appropriate, coming just two weeks after Israel apparently bombed a site at which North Korea was transferring nuclear material to Syria.
The best that can be said is that at least Syria wasn't violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, since it never signed that treaty.
Coincidentally, this election came about the same time Jane's Defence Weekly reported that dozens of Syrian military officers and Iranian engineers were killed July 26 as they were attempting to mount a SCUD missile with a chemical warhead.
Of course, Syria never signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, either.
This is not to say Syria has no interest in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It managed to include the alleged Israeli nuclear arsenal on the agenda of the IAEA's General Conference.
Should we be surprised the IAEA has also been totally useless in shutting down Iran's nuclear weapons program?
Sunday, September 16, 2007
The best: "Darfur: Students Speak Out" was a wonderful example of The Waterbury Observer at its best, spotlighting what has been described as the worst human rights disaster in the world today, the genocide being perpetrated in Darfur.
The Connecticut Coalition to Save Darfur is bringing together interested activists in our state to do what we can to raise awareness and encourage our government to do its part in ending the genocide. It is currently planning to participate in the Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Relay; the Connecticut relay is scheduled for Sunday, October 21, 2:00 pm at Minuteman Park in Hartford.
Information about the event is available at the Connecticut Coalition to Save Darfur web site at www.ctsavedarfur.org. Those interested in helping to plan this and future activities may attend the next meeting of The Coalition, scheduled for 9:30 am on Tuesday, September 11, at the Jewish Community Center on Bloomfield Avenue in West Hartford.
The worst: There's an abundance of sand in the Middle East and, with her rambling, uninformed, misleading, illogical and even hypocritical article "Ned Lamont-Where are you?," once again Marilyn Aligata has demonstrated that she has been hiding her head in it.
First the hypocrisy. On the one hand, Aligata complained "its (sic) offensive to me and the American people who oppose the war to be accused of being unpatriotic." On the other hand, she effectively made that very accusation about a United States senator from Connecticut.
As I wrote after a similar accusation was made in the Waterbury Republican-American, impugning the patriotism of that United States senator by asserting he acts "without thinking what is in the best interest of the American people" goes "beyond the line separating legitimate and illegitimate discourse. Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, one of our nation's oldest and most respected civil rights organizations, has pointed out the charge of dual loyalty is 'a classical canard of anti-Semitism.'"
The illogical: Aligata spends a good portion of her column on the danger of nuclear weapons, pointing out how Albert Einstein realized "nuclear weapons were a profound risk to humanity and could bring an end to civilization." She then castigates that same United States senator for his efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring those very weapons, whose acquisition would vastly increase that profound risk to humanity.
The head in the sand: Islamist fundamentalism in general and the particularly virulent strand being spread by the leaders in Iran in particular form a danger to the civilized world. I am not among those who believe there is a basic problem with Islam as a religion. From what I've studied, it appears Islam is far more similar to both Christianity and Judaism than it is different. Still, one has to have one's head in the sand to not recognize a significant number of fanatics, including the president of Iran and the mullahs who are really in charge there, have been perverting Islam to their own sick ends.
Indeed, almost every declared presidential candidate, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, has agreed on the critical nature of preventing the Iranian fanatics from getting their hands on nuclear weapons. They too have refused to take the option of using force off the table. Effectively, they have all agreed with the Connecticut senator Aligata has singled out for criticism, although, recognizing it is not an issue likely to win votes, none have been as outspoken.
I do not question Aligata's sincere desire for peace. I do question whether it is any more sincere than that of those she clearly believes are warmongers.
I cannot help but remember how popular Neville Chamberlain was right after appeasing Hitler at Munich and how unpopular Winston Churchill was for supposedly beating the drums for war. I cannot help but wonder how many millions of lives would have been saved had the British listened to Churchill rather than Chamberlain.
Only history, if civilization survives and we still have historians, will determine whether Aligata is a Chamberlain and Lieberman is a Churchill.
I do fear for the future and remember the warning from former CIA Director James Woolsey. He and others have pointed out that during the Cold War mutual assured destruction (MAD) worked because we were dealing with a regime which, ruthless though it was, ultimately wanted its people to live, while for the Iranian mullahs the threat of mutual assured destruction is an incentive rather than a deterrent.
I do fear that, if the Iranian mullahs get their hands on nuclear weapons, both September 11 and the genocide in Darfur will seem like the good old days.
I'd love to join Aligata and put my head in the sand with hers. Unfortunately, my conscience won't let me.
This was published by the Waterbury Observer as a letter to the editor in its September, 2007 issue.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
It is the eve of Rosh Hashana here in Israel. I am so fortunate to sit outside over looking the beautiful deep blue Mediterranean Sea. A gentle sea breeze is blowing the warm and dry air onto our balcony, it is tranquil and families are scurrying about these last few hours before settling in for the start of the holiday celebrations. Secular, religious and people of all persuasions are anticipating these next few days. Each has his/her own set of commitments, you can literally “feel the changes” coming over this land and I have a few moments for reflections.
To read the news is a study in contrasts. Someone like me within a matter of minutes goes through a range of emotions that align with my thoughts. Unfortunately what may be broadcast to you is but a snapshot of what truly exists here.
Permit me to share what one reads today just to demonstrate the dynamic pace of events, people, situations and circumstances I define as Israel. A major news story is the attack by Hamas upon our army camp replete with horrific details of the injuries our soldiers sustained. This is followed by the cries for reprisal and of course the government’s desire to calm the public. Everyone reading this today has a point of view and the contradictions in views are enormous. A story that may never reach the West begins with a young man who has been invited to study at UCLA this year. He was to begin his doctoral studies but decided he needed to serve his country. He is a man of character, determination and by all accounts a most decent human being. However, in a world so often described as one that fosters only self-serving beings, this man chose to act upon his sense of duty. He gave up one dream to honor another. This morning he is fighting for his life!
Our eastern neighbor Syria has been rattling its sabers for quite some time. Last summer it helped Hizzbollah –it provided arms, rockets and munitions that were thrust upon our civilian population. You know the outcome of last year’s “war”. Since last September, it has continued to re-arm our enemy and has done nothing to stop the flow of arms or Iranian “advisors” into Lebanon, our northern neighbor. Additionally Syria has served as a pipeline for foreign terrorists into Iraq that are the primary actors currently causing the ongoing havoc in that country. All of this while their government leaders are under investigation for the murder of Lebanon’s former prime minister. I’d say the Syrians have been most provocative with respect to the stability of the local region.
Thus, it is the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan proclaiming “outrage’ with Israel’s alleged IAF flyover of Syria. It is CNN’s upset with Israel because we may have violated Syrian air space, never mind the justification. It is CNN’s “reporting” scoop that draws the prime time air space without nary a mention of Syria’s provocative ongoing war behavior.
“All countries in the region must show respect to all countries’ sovereignty and carefully avoid acts that lead to tensions,” Babacan said during a joint news conference with his Syrian counterpart, Wallid Moallen.
Meanwhile, almost all other Arab regimes and their media have ignored the Syrian claims of the IAF flyover. Neither the governments nor their media have rushed to side with Syria. Of course Syria claims the Arab countries have once again turned their backs on an Arab country.
Ah, the gentle breeze continues to remind me of this kind of “normality” we all have come to live with here in the Middle East. The morning is rapidly moving to noontime. My thoughts turn to the reports of our government actions and once again a sublime sense engulfs me.
New reports of 7 more Kassam rockets falling on us this morning; State Attorney Shendar indicated that our state Attorney-General Mazuz should order two more criminal investigations on Prime Minister Olmert (how many is this now?); and more details are coming forward about the “secret” meetings he has had with Abbas. You know, the creation of the “document of principles” that basically is described by some as the “Israeli Liquidation sale”. While this is making big news today the headlines we read give us the customary holiday warnings (sample from one news source):
“The security establishment has announced Tuesday the highest state of alert throughout Israel over Rosh Hashana. Military sources told Ynet that the security establishment had eight specific indications of potential terror attacks over the holiday, as well as dozens of general indications of possible shooting and rocket attacks, suicide bombings and kidnapping attempts.”
Isn’t this wonderful holiday cheer? Wait, the best is yet to come. We have also been told that Syria, nervous that we are going to attack them, have in their possession stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. We are told there are mounting war tensions. Now where did I put my gas mask? Oh, that’s right we all turned them in last year after the last “war”. No, we have not received them back-why? Mr. Defense Minister Barak, you remember him-our former Prime Minister? The PM who had us run away in the dead of night from Lebanon with no agreement in place; this action created a power vacuum filled by you know who-Hizzbollah! Mr. Barak is in charge of re-distributing the masks but today we are told:
“There was a fear that if gas masks were distributed, the move would be interpreted as Israeli preparations for war and that Syria would, as a result, decide to attack.” This is one of those “huh, you must be joking” moments we face regularly here in Israel. The caveat tossed to us today is that “anyway, we only have enough masks for 1.5 million citizens.” Nothing like telling your enemy your vulnerabilities!
Now I must tell you that my mood at this point is not high even though the beautiful sea is before my eyes and the scent of gorgeous garden flowers surrounds me. How to get beyond this, after all the holiday is soon upon us.
Like most of my Israeli friends, colleagues and people, I allowed myself to reflect upon some of our finer moments, people and accomplishments. Look what Israelis have accomplished in less than 60 years. From ashes they created vibrant towns, villages and cities; an infrastructure that is the envy of not only its Arab neighbors but also of countries worldwide. We are exporting our hydro-business to serve other countries that also face water shortages. I sit now with pride as I remember the following:
Israeli-developed auditory device makes walking easier for MS patients
BioPetroClean has developed an innovative technique to clean up oil spills - natural microorganisms that consume and destroy the oil
A team of Israeli scientists has developed a new method to produce hydrogen fuel cheaply
A new movement in Israel is bringing together Jewish and Arab children in the most natural of ways - they are learning together in a school environment that joins both languages and both cultures
An Israeli company has developed a hand-held device that digitally mimics the human nose to sniff out would-be terrorists trying to sneak through an airport or port with homemade explosive devices.
Soon, your note writing can go digital with The Scribbler - an electronic screen that sticks to your fridge door and connects you remotely to your PC.
A unique new Israeli-developed treatment that uses electrical fields to interfere with the cell division of cancerous cells, causing them to stop proliferating and die off
In the last five years, Israel's top 35 companies on NASDAQ have appreciated by 120%.
Two architects pursuing PhDs at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have devised a low-tech way to collect dew from the air and turn it into fresh water.
An Israeli company has developed a simple blood test that distinguishes between mild and more severe cases of Multiple Sclerosis.
The Movement Disorder Surgery program at Israel's Hadassah Medical Center has successfully eliminated the physical manifestations of Parkinson's disease in a select group of patients with a deep brain stimulation technique.
Israel is developing a nose drop that will provide a five-year flu vaccine.
Most of Windows operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.
The Pentium NMX Chip technology was designed at Intel in Israel. Both the Pentium 4 microprocessor and the Centrum processor were entirely designed, developed, and produced in Israel.
Finally, today’s story about Hy Brown. He has made aliya. He has come to us, along with his delightful wife, to share his knowledge, skill and life with Israel. He has is bringing to us fully equipped solar homes, inexpensive homes ($50,000) complete with all of the modern appliances operating from solar energy. His dream is to open the Negev to current and future Israelis. At age 65, he starts life anew and as his wife says, “helping to develop the Negev is actually your purpose in life." This is the man who helped design and build Disney World in Florida. Instead of spending his years playing golf, he is determined to help those who were forced out of Gush Katif and build them a new community. The dream has become a reality.
The sun is moving closer to the western horizon, cars are moving more rapidly to get home to their families, to make sure they are home before the sun sets. The air is beginning its gentle evening cooling-should be quite a distinguished sunset today. A sense of peace settles over our area albeit 10 miles from our enemy. Netanya is a beautiful city, resting next to the sea. Our promenade is filled with people enjoying the last of today’s sun. We each will return to our homes no matter where that neighborhood may be. We shall rejoice tonight each in our own way; we come from so many different countries and honor so many different cultures the celebration will be unified. For some moments in time we come together as one, simply desiring some time to enjoy life’s joys.
Shana Tova to all-we wish you peace and a renewed enthusiasm for living!
Monday, September 10, 2007
And then they complain about the border crossings getting closed.
The most amazing aspect is that Israel persists in trying to minimize the isolation of the Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip and continues to work to get them the necessities of life, including power and food, even as they continue to attack Israel.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
This travesty was one of the factors leading to the demise of the Commission on Human Rights and its replacement by the Human Rights Council.
Now the Human Rights Council, whose membership includes some of the world's worst abusers of human rights, including China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia, is organizing Durban II. Reports on the preparatory meetings indicates Durban II will be as much a travesty as Durban I.
As an observer of the Arab-Israeli conflict, I've noticed that many groups with either peace or justice in their names are interested in neither; similarly, both the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council have been giving human rights a bad name.
Massachusetts is generally one of the most liberal and tolerant places in the United States, but this disease has recently spread there.
It began when Watertown, Massachusetts pulled out of the Anti-Defamation League's valuable "No Place for Hate" program on the grounds that the ADL did not officially recognize the Armenian genocide. It's not that the ADL denied the genocide; indeed, it always referred to the actions of the Ottoman Empire as atrocities. It was just that ADL had not used the word genocide in connection with the event. Relying on that semantic distinction, Watertown unfairly criticized one of our nation's most important civil rights organizations and deprived its students of a needed program.
Make no bones about it: ADL should have used the word genocide and presently does. One wonders, however, how many of the organizations Watertown has a relationship with have referred to those atrocities as genocide? I suspect very few. I also know of no other cases where Watertown has severed relations with an organization because it did not use that word. One wonders what led Watertown to single out the ADL in this manner?
To ask the question is to answer it. The Watertown officials have demonstrated that Watertown is a "Place for Hate;" they themselves are desperately in need of participating the the "No Place for Hate" program.
The fact that ADL is now using the word "genocide" has not led Watertown to change its mind, nor has it prevented Arlington from following its poor example.
Now the Belmont Human Rights Commission has joined the lynch mob. It has voted to recommend Belmont also pull out of "No Place for Hate," allegedly until the ADL "recognizes the Armenian genocide as historic fact and supports federal legislation to have the US government officially acknowledge the atrocity."
Like Watertown and Arlington, the Belmont Human Rights Commission is not interested in the fact that ADL has always recognized the Armenian genocide as an atrocity and is now using word genocide.
Like Watertown and Arlington, the Belmont Human Rights Commission is not interested in the fact that the branch of ADL running its "No Place for Hate" program have been outspoken in using the word genocide, or in the fact that the New England Regional Director courageously put his career in jeopardy by publicly pressuring his own national organization to use the word genocide.
To the best of my knowledge, the Belmont Human Rights Commission has also made no effort to disassociate itself from an organization far larger and more powerful than ADL which has never officially recognized the Armenian genocide, the US government.
Clearly, Watertown, Arlington and the Belmont Human Rights Commission are applying a hateful double standard.
It is possible that some of those involved are merely dupes, but the same cannot be said about whoever is orchestrating this hate campaign. They have an agenda which has nothing to do with human rights; their agenda is targeting the Anti-Defamation League.
According to the ADL Charter: "The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens."
Like any other organization, ADL is not perfect; admittedly, it was not as vigorous as it should have been in shedding light on the Armenian genocide. It shied away from using the term genocide in fear of damage it might cause vulnerable Jews living in Turkey and trouble it might cause for Israel, for which Turkey is one of the few Muslim nations not trying to destroy it.
ADL's fears were well-founded.
The Jewish community in Turkey is in a somewhat precarious position. I found that out personally when I went to a synagogue in Istanbul and they wouldn't let me in since I hadn't made an advance appointment, needed so that they could ensure I wasn't a terrorist. They have good reason to be cautious; synagogues in Istanbul have already been bombed.
ADL's use of the word genocide regarding Armenia has already set off a diplomatic furor, with the Turkish government demanding the Israeli government pressure ADL to change its mind. Here in America, the fact that Turkey would pressure Israel to pressure an independent American organization seems almost insane, but sanity has never been much of a factor in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The bottom line remains that ADL made a mistake, but it was a mistake borne of a desire to avoid rather than cause damage.
The same can not be said of those orchestrating the campaign whose main goal appears to be the demonization of an honorable organization by people who don't care that they are simultaneously depriving students of a valuable program.
Some may wonder what the motivation is, why anyone would want to demonize an organization dedicated to combatting hate and discrimination.
Basically, it's part of the new anti-Semitism, the singling out of the national liberation movement of the Jewish people as the one such movement to oppose and attempt to delegitimize.
In line with its mission to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment for all, ADL is naturally a strong supporter of the right of Israel to, as called for in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, "to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."
People who are not yet reconciled to the existence of Israel, who still wish the six invading Arab armies had succeeded in destroying Israel at the moment of its re-establishment ins 1948, are not happy about that.
Those people are especially unhappy because the libels and slanders used against Israel advocates such as AIPAC are harder to use against an organization like ADL, with its well-deserved reputation akin to motherhood and apple pie. For those desperate Israel-haters, it is critical that they find some way to defame ADL and damage its reputation.
The way they have jumped on a question of semantics regarding an event ADL has always described as an atrocity demonstrates their desperation and the hatred they are infused with.
Just as the travesty the United Nations Commission on Human Rights was and its succession Human Rights Council has become have both given human rights a bad name, so has the way haters of Israel have misused the Belmont Human Rights Commission.
Such organizations should not be places for hate. How sadly reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984 it is that they are, at least at the United Nations and in Belmont.
GS Don morris, Ph.d.
First the story reported by Arab media, followed by some observations.Palestinian doctors decry Israeli descrimination against their patients
Bethlehem – Ma'an – A group of Palestinian doctors is calling on their colleagues not to be involved in discrimination by helping some patients to recieve treatment in Israel while others do not receive such permits.
The organization added that 44% of patients in Gaza who sent applications for treatments in Israel were rejected. Sixteen patients were rejected out of 44. Three of those who were rejected died.
Once gain the difference words can make and this time how poor math skills impact a story line. The headline could have read, to reflect the real facts: ‘Palestinian doctors appreciate Israel’s help with their high risk patients”
Israel treats its enemies. Let us not forget that Israel’s next-door enemy (9 miles from my personal home in Israel) tries to kill, maim or harm innocent Israeli citizens every day of every week. In spite of this we take the humanitarian high road and accept nearly two thirds of their most at risk patients. To frame this, as discrimination is not only inaccurate use of the English language, it is disingenuous.
Yes, whoever did the math must have failed 4th or 5th grade mathematics. Sixteen out of forty-four is NOT 44% -do the math! Once done correctly, the report could have said that nearly 2/3’s of at risk patients are accepted by Israel. Of course I would add, “this is most gracious of Israel given we are trying to murder their innocent citizens each day. We know of no other country who does this, even our Arab brothers do not allow it.”
It is all how you choose to report a story. We understand that the Palestinian media decides to intentionally misrepresent the truth and to inflame tensions among its own people. So is the respect for human life in the disputed territories!
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Over the last five years, approximately two thousand Kassam missiles have been launched from Gaza at the nearby Israeli town of Sderot. The population of Sderot is approximately twenty-four thousand, which means there has been one missile launched for every dozen Israelis living in Sderot. This is equivalent to nearly a million missiles launched at New York City.
During this entire period, Israel has continued provide water and power, including electricity, to the Gaza Strip. Israel is now considering reducing the amount of power it supplies to Gaza if those missile attacks continue.
Imagine the following question: Suppose the state of New Jersey received its water and electricity from New York City, yet launched a million missiles at New York a five year period. Do you think New York would continue to supply water and electricity to New Jersey?
Now back to the question about the difference between the moderates and the extremists.
According to the Ma'an News Agency, a Palestinian on-line News agency funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Danish International Development Assistance, the "Buraq Army unit of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, warned Tuesday that if Israel deprives Gaza of electricity, the Israeli power generating station at Ashkelon will be bombarded." Furthermore, on Tuesday, "the Al-Mujahideen Brigades, another unit of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, claimed responsibility for launching a rocket at the Israeli town of Sderot."
Fatah, remember, is the "moderate" group.
So, what's the difference between the Palestinian Arab "moderates" and "extremists?"
The "moderates" are secular fanatics while the "extremists" are religious fanatics.
America, after indirectly arming the religious fanatics by transferring arms to Fatah in Gaza so they could be captured by Hamas during the recent coup, is now considering further arming Fatah in the West Bank.
Now, for the most important question, first asked by Pete Seeger: "When will we ever learn?"
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
CNN’s “Christian Warriors” love Israel. The real Christian Warriors hate Israel and Jews with a passion
Any supporter of Israel who saw the CNN special “Gd’s Warriors” starring their leading correspondent, Christiane Amanpour had to notice the extreme anti-Israel bias of the series. Much has been written about Amanpour’s mis-stated facts and omissions as well as her choice of people who were interviewed. Yet the most glaring example of anti-Israel bias was not to be found in the segment about Jews, but rather the segment about Christians.
Here again, many of us have read the standard fare about how Evangelical Christians who go to church, vote, go to law school etc., are compared to Muslim suicide bombers. I have no arguments against these themes, but one issue stands out among CNN’s portrayal of “God’s Christian Soldiers”: they support Israel.
To some Jews and pro-Israel activists, this may have tickled a few instincts, but to date I have not found one commentator who has offered the following thesis: If Christiane Amanpour wanted to find “God’s Christian Warriors” who are genuinely analogous to Muslim terrorists, she didn’t have to look farther than the anti-Defamation League’s web site. There, anyone can find a whole list of home-grown Christian-based organizations with an established history of murder, lynching and bombing. The Christian Identity Movement, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Militia Movement are well known to everyone embarrassed by America’s home-grown terrorists. If Amanpour could reach back to the 1980’s and 1990’s to cite examples of Jewish extreme violence, certainly the Militia Movement which spawned the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing should qualify at least some air-time covering these organizations.
Instead, Amanpour handed us “smoking gun” proof of her anti-Israel bias by focusing her entire two-hour segment on Evangelical Christians who support Israel (for whatever reason), go to church, oppose abortion, vote, and go to school. Only in the most rare instances have abortion opponents committed violent crimes against abortion clinics.
Amanpour even spent considerable air time trying to explain WHY Evangelical Christians support Israel ignoring the simple fact that there is no simple or single reason for this support. By comparison to the deadly, murderous rampage of anti-Semitic Christian Warriors, the samples of “God’s Christian Warriors” provided by Amanpour and CNN are cream puffs. Having watched this segment three times, I have not noticed one mention of any well-known anti-Semitic Christian-based organizations listed on the ADL’s web site.
“God’s Christian Warriors” don’t lynch African-Americans, firebomb African-American churches, murder U.S. Marshals or bomb federal office buildings. They don’t even lead divestment and boycott movements within their churches. No! “God’s Christians Warriors” support Israel, vote, go to college and law school. Amanpour’s “Gd’s Christian Warriors” are compared to Al-Qeida while Christian anti-Semites on the ADL’s list of domestic terrorists received no mention in the program. This is what I call “smoking-gun” proof of Amanpour’s anti-Israel bias. I don’t know why other commentaries on this series’ anti-Israel bias haven’t taken notice.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I'm not sure I would consider a Holocaust denier and long-time terrorist leader "a nice man," but Abbas is certainly and ineffective, and has gotten far weaker and more ineffective since 2005, when Rice came to those conclusions early in her term as secretary of state.
Since that time, Abbas' ineffectiveness first led to the election victory by Hamas, followed by the Hamas coup in Gaza which should have cured everyone of any illusion that it was possible to come to a workable peace agreement with Abbas in the foreseeable future.
President Bush's Mideast peace program, the "road map," although heavily slanted in favor of the Palestinian Arabs, might have been workable had there been an effective Palestinian Arab leadership willing to adhere to the agreements it had already signed and willing to make minimal compromises.
The road map was biased in favor of the Palestinian Arabs and against Israel because its only real requirement on the Palestinian Arabs was that it start adhering to some of the commitments, such as the end of terrorism, it had long before made, while it required additional and unfair steps, effectively the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population from some areas of the disputed territories, from IsraelGiven that the Palestinian Arab leadership was not only, as Rice recognized, weak and ineffective, but also unwilling to compromise, Rice's observation "The road map is at best a marginal plan. It doesn't work," was accurate.
One wonders why she is now pushing for a "peace conference" that has no chance of any success and is highly likely to have negative consequences.
Condo was right in 2005. What she recognized then is even clearer today. She should start making the obvious inferences from her own observations.
Monday, September 3, 2007
The fact that the construction was outside the Temple Mount and could not possibly cause any damage did nothing to deter those protests. The fact that the Muslim Waqf has repeatedly performed excavations which have damaged the Temple Mount and archaeological treasures also did nothing to deter those protests.
They were just another opportunity to inflame Muslims against Israel and another attempt to see much much the rest of the world would indulge their fanatical hatred of everything Israeli.
(At the present time, Israel is redesigning the bridge to avoid damaging any artifacts.)
Meanwhile, unsupervised construction by the Muslim Waqf has continued and is damaging irreplaceable antiquities — and the world sleeps!
According to an article Antiquities Exposed by Arab Digging on Temple Mount by Aaron Klein published in WorldNetDaily, "A photo of a massive trench the Islamic authorities are digging on the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - shows what appears to be a chopped up carved stone from Jewish Temple-era antiquity."
According to archaeologist Eilat Mazar, it might be part of the Temple Wall, which Muslim authorities are apparently trying to destroy. This could be one of the most important archaeological discoveries in recent times.
The Israeli government has been over-solicitous of phony Arab and Muslim sensibilities since 2000, allowing the Muslim Waqf to vandalize the Temple Mount unimpeded for more than seven years.
Enough is enough. The Israeli government has to accept its responsibility for overseeing activity on what is its most important site, on its sovereign territory in its own capital.
All construction activity by the Muslim Waqf in Jerusalem must be halted immediately until it is reviewed by the Israel Antiquities Authority and all future activity must be done properly, under the supervision of the Antiquities Authority.
More photos are available at One Jerusalem Blog.
In an article rife with omissions and inaccuracies, Razzouk complains about the security measures at Ben Gurion Airport, apparently preferring that the Israeli authorities make it as easy as possible for terrorists to blow up airliners. He is another example of the anti-Israel bias pervading so many non-governmental organizations injecting themselves into the Arab-Israeli conflict, again demonstrating the need for groups like NGO Monitor to cast light on their nefarious activities.
Razzouk relates his family's alleged experience at the airport. I write alleged because his description contains clear errors, casting doubt on his honesty.
Upon our arrival at the airport, we queue to check in and are greeted by a half-asleep employee who requests our tickets and passports. As she goes through the documents, she starts the routine questions: "Where are you coming from now?" After our response, she becomes pale and calls to her colleague for help.One does not queue to check in upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport; one first goes through a security check. It is the thoroughness of this security check that makes Ben Gurion a safe airport despite the efforts of terrorists who would love perpetuate a massacre there or hijack or blow up a plane.
Razzouk ambiguously implies it was his response to the one question he mentioned that prompted additional scrutiny, but both omits his answer and is unclear about whether there were other questions and answers which prompted the scrutiny.
My wife and I have not only gone through similar scrutiny at Ben Gurion Airport, but when traveling to Israel always travel El Al precisely because of its thorough security system. We learned our lesson the one time we tried flying to Israel on another, now defunct airline, TWA, because we were able to get a good deal on our tickets.
With no prior security, the check-in clerk, while looking at our tickets but not at us, said "you packed your own bags, didn't you?" My wife and I looked at each other and were already wondering whether the risk made it worth saving a few hundred dollars on the tickets.
Either she or another check-in clerk carelessly let three Arab teenagers without proper documents onto the flight. The discovery of this blunder led to a four hour delay after the plane was fully boarded. It was both unpleasant and nervewracking to be forced to sit on the poorly ventilated plane as the undocumented passengers were questioned, their luggage unloaded and searched and the upholstery near their seats removed and searched.
At the time, I felt relatively safe when the three passengers were let back on the plane, confident they would not blow up their own plane. That was obviously before the onset of the suicide bomber epidemic. If a similar incident happened today, I would run off the plane.
I'm very thankful for the careful security checks by what Razzouk maligns as the "so-called 'Israel Airport Security Authority.'" I'm thankful they pay attention not only to the answers given, but the way the answers are given. Indeed, it was likely Razzouk's hostility which set off a red flag on the part of the security services and led them to take extra care.
Razzouk further complains that her luggage, after passing through the screening machine, was hand searched. My wife and I went through the same experience last year and were relieved. We knew we had something in our luggage that might look suspicious and would have gotten nervous if Israeli security had let it on the plane without a careful check.
Another Razzouk complaint had to do with the fact that security personnel examined her daughter's doll, as if terrorists were above placing bombs in children's toys.
And of course the body search. I remember my mother-in-law describe the body search she went through, a search which included an internal search, when fulfilling her life-long dream of visiting Israel about three decades ago, at a time when Arab terrorism was far less prevalent. As a Jewish woman in her sixties, I doubt she fit the typical profile for a terrorist, but she must have done something that made security cautious.
Razzouk says she felt compelled to ask "Do you think a terrorist would attach a bomb or explosives to the body of his own baby?" and says they all fall silent.
Most likely they were trying to be as polite as possible, since Arab terrorists have been found to use even infants to hide bombs and explosives; were children not checked, they would provide a virtual sieve for the smuggling of weapons.
Razzouk finds "this entire ordeal to be illogical, meaningless, rude, and unpleasant - outrageous for any human being to have to endure."
I agree that it is outrageous that any human beings have to endure such security checks. I suspect most of the personnel performing the security checks also agree.
Unfortunately, as long as Arab terrorists continue their far more outrageous campaign aimed at murdering innocent people and ultimately destroying Israel, these outrageous security checks are essential. I am thankful Israel undertakes them and am even more thankful to the security personnel who are willing to perform these unpleasant tasks in order to safeguard the lives of innocent people.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
GS Don Morris, Ph.D.As the Labor Day weekend begins in America, life for all of us here in the Middle East continues as it always does-no holiday from violence or destruction-this is true for peoples on all sides of the so-called conflict. No matter what you call it, people here do not have the luxury of holidays.
Israel's enemies continue to engage in public relations practices that serve only their own special interests. Their playbook is the same as it has been for the last decade: obfuscate the truth, redirect the reader's focus, abdicate all responsibility and resort to name calling and placing blame upon Israel for one's own intentional behavior. Note the story in a "Palestinian" newspaper today:
Child-killers par excellence written by Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem
(Notice how Khalid slipped in the incorrect description of Jerusalem's status but politically correct inside the disputed territories)
Here is how this commentator reports the rest of the events.Seeking to demoralize Palestinians into total submission and surrender,the Israeli occupation army on Wednesday, 29 August, murdered in cold blood three Palestinian children in the northern Gaza Strip. According to eyewitnesses, an Israeli tank fired a large artillery shell at a northern Gaza neighborhood, killing three children from the same family. The children, whom theIsraeli media, parroting army disinformation, referred to as teenagers,have been identified as Muhammed Ghazal, 10, Yahya Ghazal 12, and Sara Ghazal, also 10 years. According to the victims' family, the kids were playing Tagin the backyard of their home when the artillery shell struck, killing them on the spot and mutilating their tender bodies.
And then the description and use of language intensifies, as though this word smithed piece was not ugly enough.Following the grisly slaughter, and as usual in such circumstances, the Israeli army switched to the damage-control mode, claiming that the killing occurred by mistake. Israeli officials also sought to deflect blame, "claiming that the kids were hired by terrorists to retrieve rocket launchers," and that the army "spotted suspicious movements in the area."
Notice next how this writer once again intensifies the use of language with name-calling and use of derogatory terms offensive to all Western, caring peoples."Indeed, since the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada oruprising against the Nazi-like Israeli occupation in 2000, the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish terrorists murdered as many as 1000 Palestinian children and minors." The often pornographic killings raise no eyebrows among Israeli Jews who have come to view the killing of Palestinians, including children, as banal, given the frequency of its occurrence.
What is lost in this diatribe is the truth. Palestinian reporters' and self-proclaimed commentators historically use the afore-mentioned tactics. Events are revised, Israel is vilified and blame is placed upon us. Well, enough is enough! At least with this one story allows me to share what Khalid forgot to tell you.
Let us begin with the fact that a 15-year-old homicide bomber was sent by adults and by leaders similar to Khalid to murder civilians nearby the location where the youngsters died. Additionally, Khalid failed to share with the readership how the growing use of children by Gaza-based terror groups has escalated-thus, it is no surprise to find youngsters engaged in war zone activity. Also missing from his commentary was the ongoing firing of Kassam rockets into the western Negev from Gaza. Although the media is no longer reporting these incidents, hundreds of rocket attacks each month, they continue to occur. We, in Israel, defend ourselves by attacking those people and the locations of rocket launches-you would do the same!
However, there are more facts that mysteriously were unreported by Khalid. Terrorists now fear for their lives and know that we can now locate and destroy launch sites. Not wishing to visit their 72 virgins soon, they actually do hire youngsters to retrieve the launchers-they pay these kids 10 shekels or about $2.42. Why do they send kids to do this? The terrorists know that it is Israeli engagement policy to not fire on children! That's right, it is our policy to not fire or otherwise harm children. Khalid lied in his piece about this point-you see it does not fit the picture he tries to paint. It is customary for these lies to be presented every time a child is unfortunately killed.
Israel has announced that rocket launch sites are considered active war zones and anyone entering said zones would be addressed with force. My question for the sensitive, caring Khalid, is why would any adult, parent, leader or friend allow these children anywhere near such war zones. As a father I know my children are never permitted to go near such places and actually they are remanded to our home if any military action is occurring. Is this not the responsible, adult behavior? Why is it not part of the Palestinian culture? We are told they love their children too!
Finally, here is what's known. Israel is attacked daily by rockets, our citizens are maimed, murdered and their lives are also disrupted by other adults' actions. Palestinian youngsters are hired to retrieve the launchers and they do so within active war zones. Their parents, guardians and other adult leaders promote this behavior rather than protect them-it is an intentional action. The Palestinian media, TV programs, schoolbooks, classrooms promote daily the demonization of Jews and Israel. Two generations of Palestinians have been taught and thus learned nothing but hatred-this manifests itself daily here in our neighborhood. Khalid did not mention this; rather he applies the strategy of deception and "smoke and mirrors" thus abdicating all responsibility for youth behavior. Israelis are vilified as this takes the focus off the Palestinian behavior, their responsibilities and lays al blame upon others. This in turn allows one to never look inward, to never ask how I contribute to this life of misery. It is far easier to blame. Interesting, the so-called concerned humanitarian groups as just as guilty as they reinforce the "Palestinian" behavior. Shame on all of you! You are part of the problem-when will you have the courage to change?
Saturday, September 1, 2007
As described in an Associated Press article Jordan's king urges Palestinians to overcome internal divisions. Abdullah insisted " reason prevail," Abdullah said in an interview with Jordanian television. "The separation of Gaza from the West Bank is unacceptable at both the Palestinian and Arab levels."
In fact, it was King Abudullah I, whom the present Jordanian king is named for, who initially kept the West Bank and Gaza separate in 1948, while King Hussein continued that separation, in collusion with Egypt, the occupier of Gaza, from the time he ascended the throne in 1953 until 1967, when his foolish attack on Israel resulted in the loss of the territory Jordan had occupied for two decades.
Abdullah also called on Israel "to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people ... and cooperate for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state."
To his father's credit, King Hussein was the only Arab ruler who gave the Palestinian Arab refugees any rights, giving them Jordanian citizenship, but during the twenty years Jordan occupied the West Bank he never moved to allow the establishment of another independent Palestinian state. (People tend to forget that Jordan was established on approximately seventy-eight percent of the territory of Britain's Palestine mandate, so by any normal standard Jordan itself must be considered a Palestinian state.)
The fact that the present Jordanian king calls unacceptable a situation his father, grandfather and greatgrandfather all perpetuated for nineteen years and also calls for the establishment of an entity each of them could have but refused to establish should be considered criticism of each of them.
On the other hand, we can be certain had Egypt not forced the 1967 War or had his father not attacked Israel during that war and had the currently disputed territories remained under Egyptian and Jordanian occupation, neither Hosni Mubarak nor King Abdullah II would have any interest in ending their control, ending the separation of the West Bank and Gaza or establishing another Palestinian Arab state.