Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Is J Street?

By Morrie Amitay
Founder, Washington Political Action Committee

We found this on the excellent Israel Commentary site, related to the excellent Issrael-Commentary group on Yahoo Groups.

J Street is so counterproductive that we wanted to help give this valuable commentary as wide circulation as possible.

The current election cycle witnessed the creation of 'J Street' and the J Street PAC. J Street describes itself as the 'political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement' seeking to 'change the direction of American policy in the Middle East and to broaden the public and policy debate in the U.S. about the Middle East.'

J Street was formed to give a political voice to the more established 'blame Israel first' groups, such as - Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek V'Shalom and the somewhat less critical Israel Policy Forum. To no surprise, J Street's creation was heralded as a 'much needed, important new development' by American Arab lobbyist and fanatical Israel critic, James Zogby of the Arab American Institute.

This Congress, J Street took 'pride' in supporting resistance to a 'dangerous' non-binding House resolution (H.Con. Res. 362) -- co-sponsored by 280 members of the House -- 'expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States by ban's pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony.'

The J Street PAC makes contributions and endorses members of Congress and candidates based on J Street's principles. This year J Street PAC endorsed the following House members; Tom Allen (in his race against the very pro-Israel Senator Susan Collins of Maine), Earl Blumenaur, Charles Boustany, Lois Capps, Steve Cohen, Susan Davis, Bill Delahunt, Donna Edwards, Keith Ellison, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Betty McCollum, David Price, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Joe Sestak, Rob Wexler, and John Yarmuth. Also endorsed was the challenger to pro-Israel Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon.

A large number of J Street PAC endorsed members of Congress have some of the poorest Israel/Middle East related voting records in the House. Accordingly, many are also among the 33 House Members in the 110th Congress Pro-Arab 'Hall of Fame' as determined by the virulently anti-Israel, 'Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs.' Of interest also is that while J Street PAC claims to be 'non-partisan' there was only one Republican (Boustany of LA) 'pro-Israel' enough for them to endorse.

As a matter of policy, the Washington PAC has decided not to contribute to Members of Congress and candidates who accept endorsements by J Street PAC. We hope that truly pro-Israel political contributors will do likewise.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Inverting the Truth: It Was Never About Borders

It's a standard technique in anti-Israel propaganda to accuse Israelis of the crimes for which the Arabs, including the Palestinian Arabs, are guilty.

This article, posted to Palestine Think Tank, is typical in that if one interchanges Palestinian or Arab with Israeli or Jew one gets something approximating the truth.

The article was given the title It Was Never About Borders and that, ironically, is quite true, since the Arab-Israeli conflict has always been about the Arab refusal to accept the reestablishment of the Jewish state. It was written by Yousef Abudayyeh.

The Palestinian-Zionist conflict is not about disputed borders, it's about the very existence of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. The Zionist invaders came to Palestine because according to the Zionists, Palestine was a land with no people and needed to be filled with 'people who have no land.'

[Of course, the Jews come far closer to being indigenous inhabitants of "Palestine" than the so-called Palestinian Arabs. There is no trace of the peoples who inhabited the land before the Hebrews returned after the Exodus, so the Jews are the earliest remaining inhabitants while the so-called Palestinian Arabs are relative newcomers.]

Unless the whole world and especially the Arab Palestinians understand this, things will get worse. What we saw in Akka (Akko) this week is a continuation of the emptying of Palestine of its original people. This has always been a fruitless undertaking, fueled by the invader's realization of the ultimate failure of the Zionist adventure - make no mistake about it.

[None of those involved in the recent events in Akko are innocent.

It began with a deliberate provocation by an Arab during a Jewish holiday, to which some Jews overreacted, after which Arab mobs went on a rampage which may or may not have been premeditated.]

And just to let you know, what's going on in Akka has been happening on a different scale in all the cities and village of Palestine 48. A few days ago, a friend of mine with some of his family members were driving in Haifa when his car was stoned by these fascist Zionist invaders with the 'police' watching on and not doing a thing, a very familiar scene.

These stepped up attacks on '48 Palestinians should make clear the following:

[A bit of an exaggeration.]

- Our people of the '48 land have been living for more than 60 years, under the worst of racist conditions. All the attempts that the Arab leaders made in order to co-exist with the Zionists were attempts that needed to be made in order to prove to the world, and more importantly, to the Palestinian people, that the Zionist invaders were really not interested in co-existence. All these invaders are interested in are finding ways to push the Arabs out of their homes so they can salvage their colonization 'dream' of (at least half of) Palestine.

[The Arabs living in Israel have more rights than Arabs living anywhere else in the Middle East. Israel is not perfect, but compared to any of the surrounding Arab states, it's paradise and it's amazing that a minority that often acts as a fifth column continues to enjoy de jure equality.]

- The so-called Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, (in no way smarter or tested than the leadership of the Arabs of '48), should go back to the original writings of the PLO and study them and understand them. The original understanding of the conflict was the right one. These Zionists invaders are not interested in anything less than an empty Palestine. Any misunderstanding of this fact will lead to more blood and misery. The least they can do is talk with our leaders in '48 and learn from them.

[This is a call for the ethnic cleansing of Eretz Yisrael of its Jewish population.]

- The Arab countries should at once stop all dealings with the Zionists.

- The Zionist idea and doctrine is dead or at least cracked and cannot be fulfilled. The building of racist walls and even getting involved with 'peace talks' are signs of the Zionists getting used to the fact that they cannot have all of Palestine, definitely not without its original inhabitants, and for sure not on their terms.

[The anti-terror barrier was effectively built by Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Arabs who forced it on a reluctant Israeli government by rejecting peace and launching a brutal terror offensive.

The Zionists have always been willing to compromise, acceding to the first partition which gave nearly four-fifths of Palestine to the Arabs and then agreeing to the second partition, proposed by the United Nations, which would have given nearly half of the remainder to the Arabs.

Unfortunately, the Arabs weren't satisfied with nearly ninety percent; they wanted it all.]

Having said that, this will bring the fascist elements of the invaders (and they are many) to commit desperate acts. This will no doubt lead to more killing of Arabs in the near future. The world community should be put on notice that these fascists and their leaders should be tried for war crimes. The whole Zionist state should be held responsible for any more suffering the occupied Palestinian people will face.

[Any occupation effectively ended in the mid-1990's, when the governing of almost all the Arabs in the disputed territories was handed over to the Palestinian Authority.]

- The only viable solution remains the one democratic state where Palestine will go back to its Arab womb and where anyone who wants to live in Palestine will be free of hatred and will have the same duties, obligations and rights as anyone else that lives there.

[There already exists one democratic state in Palestine whose citizens have the same duties, obligations and rights. It's called Israel. Abudayyeh simply wants to destroy that one democratic state.]

Yousef Abudayyeh is is a long time activist, founding member of the National Council of Arab Americans, a member of the coordinating committee of the Beirut meeting, member of Al-Awda, the Right of Return Coalition and National Coordinator of the Free Palestine Alliance, USA. Married with two children and lives in San Diego, California USA.

Al-Awda is a radical group whose entire raison d'etre is the destruction of Israel.

It's instructive to read the hateful propaganda it and other anti-Israel partisans spread.

Friday, October 17, 2008

When provided facts, why won’t Democrats at the very least-listen?

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.

Have you tried having a conversation about politics with your Democratic friends and/or colleagues? Is there really a back and forth exchange of information void of emotional outbursts or some sarcastic remark? Are you able to get through three minutes of discussion before you get a “Yeah but …”? Have you ever timed how long it takes before you and your comments are dismissed “out of hand”-time it next time you try to speak with your democratic friends. Is it just my friends or have you noticed that no matter what facts or truths you present, your friends hold to their ground and almost with an attitude of “at any cost, we want someone different than Bush and your 8 years of Republicans? Ever asked your friends “Are things really so bad for you-have the last 7 years made life unbearable for you?” Their responses tell the story!

Why do people, when faced with facts contrary to their point of view, hold onto their beliefs? Why, when clearly the facts contradict a stated position held by another, are we so unwilling or unable to even listen and try on the “new information”? Sometimes I feel in my conversations with otherwise intelligent and amicable folks if I mentioned the sky is blue, I hear, “no it isn’t”! Such is the behavior of humankind.

I could dismiss this as a “human behavior” issue, why fight it IF this were not such an important election. Personally either party’s candidates do not thrill me and it is my civic duty to vote and this will be done. It comes down to, for me, what kind of America do I want to live in and what kind of America do I want to leave for my children and grandchildren. By simply listening and reading each party’s platform there is a clear difference of opinion about the future of the USA culture and social behavior. I begin with a fundamental value-do I believe in personal responsibility? If yes, then of the two parties which one has economic, social and security policies consistent with my core belief-it is simple for me-it is the Republican Party.

“Successful families” seem to me operate with this simple strategy. Given our family’s beliefs, we make sure our child rearing practices are consistent with our beliefs. Why do some of us abandon this easy to understand principle when it comes to our national elections?

Here’s why. I find support by Mr. Obama’s legion of followers similar to a couple in the initial stages of a relationship. Have you personally experienced or had friends experience the following scenario:

“In the beginning stages all is wonderful-fact is we describe the new person in glowing and endearing terms. The person does “no wrong” and those slightly off target behaviors, aren’t they so cute or we excuse them by offering, oh, that’s just who ….is. After all, the person looks good, really speaks kindly to me and to others and always seems to know when ad how to say the right things to me-just when I need to hear something, boy, the words are soothing-I’m so lucky! TIME PASSES! Life continues, events, circumstances and situations arise-perfectly normal. However, our “partner” has changed, for some of us it seems like overnight; for others it is more subtle over time. Those once cute behaviors and/or words transform into annoying, disruptive and frankly intolerable actions. What happened to you? You’ve changed is often the refrain! Well, if one is willing to step back for a moment, take a few deep breaths and really analyze the “new situation” you find it is basically the same as it always was. Your perception of the words and behavior has changed. What you once tolerated you now find …! How can this be? We choose to ignore, we choose to dismiss words and behaviors that bother us early on in a relationship and we give the excuse “we are in love” –we actually rate them low in the total scheme of things. The truth is we don’t choose to look beyond the facade of the person we are attracted to-we even argue with others who contradict our view of our partner and dismiss out of hand anything someone offers-we are so caught up in the feelings, the desire to have someone in our lives who is so concerned about you. We fall prey to the old saying, “love is blind”-and so it often is!

Why then, when faced with the obvious do so many remain in the relationship and settle for something less than their original dream? Some but certainly not all do so because they have invested so much time, energy, and effort into the relationship. Some, not all, have invested so much of who they are as a person, they will not, cannot and/or chose to ignore the facts and turn deaf ears to any other position or point of view. How many people end up regretting this behavior, months, years later? Often it is to late, the damage has been done.”

I submit for consideration this is similar to Obama supporters today. If character matters in a leader –how can you ignore his relationships? If experience matters when it comes to governing, when it comes to actually demonstrating you have accomplished something other than eloquently speaking about it, how can you ignore this disconnect? If you tell us you believe in socialism and your tax plan is built upon this platform and you believe in capitalism and you have benefited from its practice, what allows you to look the other way?

I cannot tell you how many of my Democratic friends, intelligent and caring people, have become so dismissive towards information that runs contrary to their point of view. They tell me how open they are to change, to new ideas, how receptive they are to alternative points of view and then, in the next breath, dismiss Ms. Palin because of how she sounds when she speaks. They expose how they truly feel and how “deep” is their analytical ability-if you sound different, if you are not as “eloquent as our guy” then you need not be heard-and should not be heard so let’s demean you in order to discredit anything you might present as truth. They are so “caught up” in presentation and the attractiveness of Obama the substance of the talk does not matter. Is this true? All you have to do is listen and regrettably discover the most close-minded people you know are the ones who fancy themselves as the agents of change.

I say to my friends, you are better than this-please step back from the emotion, ask yourself what you want to leave for your family, investigate the facts beyond the current sources you use today. Allow yourself to hear the other point of view and then make an informed rather than an inflamed decision.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Taxes and small business

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.


1. Small businesses in America are responsible for the most job creation here in the USA
2. Most small businesses do not make the $250,000 threshold set by Obama’s tax plan on business. They make less than this amount each year. These types of businesses include home businesses, cosmetic sales, cleaning sales, dry cleaners, fast food street stands, lawn gardening and so many others. These businesses would not receive a tax increase.
3. However, the small businesses that meet and exceed this dollar threshold would see a substantial increase in their taxes under the Obama plan.
4. The small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year also are responsible for the creation of the most jobs in America.


I am a small business owner. Allow me to offer some observations based upon sound analysis. It costs money to operate any business. My overhead consists of the following:
· Monthly lease (rent) for my store
· Utility payments to operate the store, e.g., electricity
· Technology costs, e.g., computer, land line support
· Personnel, e.g., salaries, social security, benefits
· Our product costs, e.g., all products in our store
· Property and business taxes

These are common costs found among all small business owners. The preceding are fixed costs of doing business-I owe money every month on all of these items. My ability to make ends meet is generated by the number of my sales each month. When the cost of any of the preceding goes up, my ability to make any money is diminished.

This conceptually is the same thing that happens within all of our homes. Our homes are really “small businesses.” We all have fixed costs: rent/mortgage, utility, electronic, communication, food, clothing, taxes, transportation to name but a few. When any of these items increases our quality of life or even our ability to live is dramatically impacted. What do we do in times of economic challenge? We cut our expenses as best we can or we go out and look for more work or ways to increase our monthly income. Running a small business is the same as running a household.

Recently, where my store is located, the local authorities have indicated they want to increase taxes on our store, our sales and even upon our product line. In order to remain in business, I must examine my fixed costs and ask, “Where can I cut back and reduce my monthly costs? The answer is painfully clear: I must reduce my work force and lay off some of my workers. These are people with their own families, there own need for money-they have bills to pay and I must put them out of work. Now, multiply this by tens of thousands of small businesses across the USA and the results will be enormous. This will have the following impact on our entire economy:

· People without jobs cannot buy things as they do now
· Reduced employment means fewer people in tax brackets who actually pay taxes.
· Reduced tax payers reduces the revenue coming into local, state and federal agencies
· Within a matter of months and weeks in some states, e.g., California, existing programs and employment linked to these programs will be cut
· A domino effect will begin to occur as people will buy fewer products, reduce their service expenses, e.g., eating out once or more a week, going to a show. The tax base continues to shrink.

These are but a few of the outcomes we can anticipate-history proves the case being made. In times of economic downturn it makes no sense to increase the cost to a family or to a small business responsible for the creation of jobs. It is crucial to understand that economies world over experience ups and downs aka good and bad times. What we are going through is not new and we will get through it. Perhaps some of us have been spoiled and actually believed the economy would continue to grow as it has the last 18 years; yes, it has grown contrary to pundits and political parties operating out of their own agenda.

Does this mean there are some fundamental changes in order-of course, this is precisely what needs to happen and good people are working diligently to make sure this occurs. Again, in every economic crisis during the last 100 years in America, people in action created the change. Whining, complaining and blaming others have NEVER fixed a problem. Only people who focus on fixing a problem and then take the appropriate action behaviors transform a problem into a solution. I am pleased to say we, in America, are doing precisely this-yet, the whiners, complainers and blamers are receiving the most press-I wonder why? We know the answer don’t we?

As a family man, I ask that no one raise my taxes-I am not one of the 5-10 per centers. Belt tightening has been in place for some time. I realize it is my responsibility to “live within my means” even when I do not feel like it. This means saving money every month-I notice that we all adjust to the new threshold. Paying off all credit card balances each month and we do our best to no longer rely upon credit to buy products or services. We pay cash for larger items. For example, we want one of those new HD flat-screen televisions-rather than charging it we have established a flat screen savings account and by early next year, in time for the Super Bowl, we will have it! If we need to use credit, we do the research, secure the credit that is best for us and can afford! Individuals have to work in partnership with the organizations, agencies that contribute to all of our economic well- being.

To increase taxes on the very entity that provides us jobs, income and livelihood makes for great emotional speaking points BUT contradicts all economic common sense. Do you believe that you or any other family member in the work force today is motivated to improve his/her lot in life by working harder thus increasing his/her weekly salary only to have all of this hard work taxed away and given to local agencies, organizations and governments that do not use our money in any wise manner?

It is astounding, in today’s age of 24/7 information, how ignorant most of us are regarding taxes-myself included until I decided to get by the rhetoric of all parties. It is crucial to understand the facts and how they apply to our daily lives. Putting aside politics I discovered what do people think the rich pay in taxes:
· The IBD/TIPP poll found that 36 percent of those polled thought the rich contribute 10 percent or less of all federal income taxes.
· Another 15 percent thought the rich pay between 10 and 20 percent,
· While another 10 percent thought the rich's share is between 20 and 30 percent.
· In other words, most people thought the rich pay less -- far less -- than they actually do.
· Only 12 percent of those polled thought the rich pay more than 40 percent

Half of Americans believe, to this day, that the ”rich” pay little taxes-nothing could be farther from the truth. If you believe this no wonder you believe what some others are telling you about taxes. If you believe this false statement, no wonder you want to believe that a change in tax policy is fair. If by fair you mean that someone else, other than you, should shoulder the tax burden is “popularist” rhetoric and contrary to personal responsibility. What are the facts regarding the “rich”?
· The top 5 percent (those making more than $153,542 -- the group whose taxes Obama seeks to raise) pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes.
· The rich (aka the top 1 percent of income earners, those making more than $388,806 a year), according to the IRS, pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes.
· The top 1 percent's taxes comprise 17 percent of the federal government's revenue from all sources, including corporate taxes, excise taxes, social insurance and retirement receipts.

The common story line is “the rich can afford to pay these increase in taxes, so make them pay more”. The social and humanistic programs that so many Americans are the recipients of and employed by are funded by these taxes. To suggest that the “non-rich” are penalized is patently false, unfair and absurd at best. If you increase their taxes, less money over time will become available to fund these programs as I have previously discussed in this article. If you feel that it is a fairness issue, allow me to ask do you believe you are entitled to certain levels of money or do you believe it must be earned? Your response will explain much about who you are and what you value.

Rather than believe what some pundit or political talking head says about taxes seek out the facts. Listen carefully to each of the two parties positions regarding taxes and vote for the candidate of your choice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An Open Letter to Closed Minds

This item is full of ironies. It was posted to the Palestinian Christians mailing list on Yahoo Groups.

Among the ironies is that the writer clearly implies Zionists have closed minds, but it equally clearly demonstrates the writer has a closed mind and his letter is designed to those who mindlessly oppose and hate Israel.

It was posted with the included graphic and the caption "An olive tree and a Palestinian mother, nothing is more genuine!"

Open letter to the closed minds

Posted by: Raja Chemayel to
Date: Sun Oct 5, 2008

An olive tree and a Palestinian mother,
nothing is more genuine!

Open your eyes........
the Israelis are not even Semites!
Open your ears,
they cannot pronounce the Semitic "HA"
nor they cannot pronounce the Semitic "DA"

Open your intellect,
their language is artificial and re-invented
Open your eyes,
they are Peruvians, Latvians and Ethiopians
invited in, by the Polish, Russians and the Ukrainians..........
on the account of the Americans.

Open your mouths......
they have copied our Falafel, Shaourma
and even our Hommos are called "Israeli"

It is not a joke,
they falsified history and ethnology
they re-wrote the Bible and the Old Testament was re-edited.

Nothing they are, is correct nor real:
not their race
nor their nation
nor their culture
nor their origins
nor their language
nor their ideology
nor their identities

They even have created the United Nations,
just to issue for them
"a license to steal land"
and" false identity-cards"
and ever since that day (1948), all and each
United Nation's resolution was either against them
or even condemning them......

Even if your hearts will remain closed,
open, at least, your minds, please!! and look objectively:
60 years of occupation
4 million refugees
4 million occupied
6 wars plus 3 invasions
the biggest reason for the existence of Terrorism
(if ever terrorism existed)

Open your eyes.....
even a blind-man can understand this letter.
Unless if he is not blind, but just a pro-Zionism.

Sherlock Hommos
not, at all, blind
Fourth day in October 2008

Until Israel's enemies start opening their minds, there is no realistic hope for peace.

Drawing the Wrong Conclusions

As an American, it's uncomfortable to take issue with an Israeli prime minister. I recognize it is primarily the Israeli's who need to live with the consequences of any policies or decisions, so that ultimately they should be the ones to make those decisions.

On the other hand, I feel Jews in the Diaspora who support Israel have an obligation to try to help the Israelis make wise decisions.

In his recent interview with Yediot Aharonot, Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert used faulty logic to reach a conclusion which I believe is in error.

The fact that one uses faulty logic does not prove the conclusion reached is wrong, but in this case the empirical evidence strongly suggests Olmert's conclusion is wrong. To make matters worse, Olmert's very public airing of his current view plays into the hands of those seeking to destroy Israel and makes peace even harder to achieve.

An example of this is evident in an October 3 polemic written by Ghassan Michel Rubeiz for the Progressive Media Project and which unfortunately has appeared in a number of newspapers.

The article is entitled Now even Olmert says Israel should withdraw from Occupied Territories. Not surprisingly, it both distorts Olmert's remarks and weaves them together with a collection questionable and outright false assertions.

We include some annotated quotes from the article and add a bit more commentary at the end.

Quote: "Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sept. 29 that his country must withdraw from the occupied territories, which it has held since 1968, including East Jerusalem."

[Comment: The territories in question are disputed, not occupied, with control over the areas primarily inhabited by Arabs long-ago transferred to the Palestinian Authority. There is also no entity named "East Jerusalem."]

Quote: "For the last 35 years, Olmert has been a staunch supporter of the occupation of Palestinian land."

[Comment: The land in question is disputed; it is not and has never in the past been "Palestinian land."]

Quote: "Settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem doubled their construction of houses this year, according to the Israeli group Peace Now. In East Jerusalem, settlers are building close to 1,800 dwelling units, and 2,600 more on the West Bank."

[Comment: There are millions of people living in the disputed territories. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the people building homes there are by no stretch of the imagination "settlers." A couple of thousand housing units in the disputed territories is a drop in the bucket. If the Palestinian Arabs were interested in peace, there is no more reason why Jews couldn't live areas turned over to them than there is for Arabs to not be allowed to live in Israel.

The very fact that the so-called "settlements" are brought up is an indication the Palestinian Arabs are not interested in peace.]

Quote: "Israel has erected a Berlin-type wall that surrounds the settlements. The cement fence has allowed Israel to cut deeper into precious Palestinian land."

[Comment: The anti-terror barrier is primarily normal fencing with detection devices. Only about 5 percent of the barrier is made of concrete, primarily in areas where chain link fencing would not provide security from Arab snipers.]

Quote: "Building Jewish settlements undermines the future of Palestinians and weakens the long-term security of Israel. It also erodes Israel's democracy, hardens the resistance of Palestinians and thwarts U.S. peace mediation."

[Comment: This is a matter of opinion, which is legitimate to state in a commentary even thought there is little evidence to back it up. However, the assertion contains the false implication that Israel is currently building new settlements.]

Quote: "Despite the evacuation from Gaza, Israel controls all the territories, an area with a population of 5.5 million Palestinians, almost the size of the Jewish population."

[Comment: This is false. Control over roughly 95 percent of the Arab population in the disputed territories was long ago turned over to the Palestinian Authority.]

Quote: "In 1967, the United Nations designated the territories, through Resolution 242, to be the Palestinian state."

[Comment: Absolutely false. There was no mention of a Palestinian state, or even of the so-called Palestinians, in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. The United Nations called for "secure and recognized borders," a role the temporary armistice lines in effect prior to the 1967 war could never serve.]

Quote: "The first byproduct of the expansion of settlements is the moral erosion of Israel. It cannot be a democracy when half of the people who live under its sovereignty are oppressed."

[Comment: This statement falsely implies that half the people living under Israeli sovereignty are oppressed. In doing so, it falsely implies that the Palestinian Arabs living in the disputed territories are both living under "Israeli sovereignty" and "oppressed" by Israel. Roughly 95 percent of the Palestinian Arabs in those areas are living under their own Palestinian Authority. In effect, they are oppressed, but their oppressor is not Israel!]

Quote: "The second byproduct of these settlements is the growing exasperation of the Palestinian people. Today, despite rising suffering in Hamas-ruled Gaza and despite the failure of Palestinians to reap the fruits of militancy, the Islamic resistance remains popular among Palestinians. Continually driving Palestinians beyond despair is not a sensible survival strategy for Israel."

[Comment: This falsely implies Israel has such a strategy. The fact that Hamas and other Arab terror groups routinely attack the very Israelis working to provide goods and services to people in the Gaza Strip provides evidence that driving Palestinian Arabs beyond despair, while not an Israeli strategy, is a strategy for Hamas.]

Quote: "The third byproduct of the settlement policy is the delaying of a peace accord. In a descending order of firmness, the United Nations, the European Union and the United States have over the years criticized settlement expansion. Israel's annexation of land thwarts these efforts."

[Comment: Israel is not annexing any land.]

Additional Comments

The writer makes it appear that Olmert supports his own assertions and couches Olmert's words in the language of anti-Israel propagandists. However, nothing in Olmert's interview retracts his earlier recognition that Israel has a legal, historical and moral right to the disputed territories; Olmert's words merely reflect his belief that the Palestinian Arabs are so intransigent that they will not agree to peace without a total Israeli capitulation to their outrageous and unjustifiable demands along with an apparent belief that total Israeli capitulation will bring about peace.

Olmert is correct in his recognition that Israel has not achieved peace while allowing Jews to live in portions of the disputed territories. This does not, however, imply that forcibly removing Jews from their homes will bring about peace, any more than the absence of Jews from those areas brought about peace between 1948 and 1967.

Israel long ago offered almost everything supposedly demanded, only to be met with outright rejection along with the launching of a brutal terror offensive. This is strong evidence that total Israeli capitulation will not bring peace.

The other side of the coin is that Olmert's uttering his current opinion feeds Arab intransigence, making it even more unlikely that they will negotiate a reasonable peace agreement.

It also provides anti-Israel propagandists a golden opportunity to distort his words to weave a tale that is more likely to both mislead the naive and encourage the Israel-haters.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

When Will They Ever Learn? Terrorism Continues to Plague Its Promoters

Whether one actively or passively promotes terrorism, it eventually comes back to haunt its sponsors.

This article reports on Lebanon and Syria being targeted by terrorists.

Syria's support for terror is active. It helps terror groups like Hamas, Hezbollah in just about any way it can.

Lebanon's support of terror has in the past been more passive, simply allowing groups like the PLO and Hezbollah to set up terror mini-states within its borders and attack Israelis.

Either way, the chickens come home to roost.

Lebanon, Syria Blame Bombings On Militants

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanese and Syrian authorities Monday each placed blame for recent bombings on Islamic militants tied to al-Qaida and probably based in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.

On Monday, a roadside bomb struck a bus in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, killing four Lebanese soldiers and a civilian and injuring 30 people, Lebanese officials said. The attack came two days after a 440-pound bomb detonated in a pedestrian area of Damascus, the Syrian capital, killing 17 people.

A senior Lebanese security official said authorities suspect that Jund al Sham, a militant group that was detected first in Afghanistan during the late 1990s and surfaced in Lebanon around 2004, was responsible for the attacks. The official said the bombings were revenge for the Lebanese military's defeat last year of Fatah al Islam, an ally of the militant group, in a months-long battle around the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el Bared.

[The Arab insistence on keeping their Palestinian Arab brethren in refugee camps rather than welcoming them as full citizens of what for almost all is the land of their birth is one of the strongest engines of the terror machine that was originally targeted against Israel but eventually also turns on its original sponsors.]

Syrian officials Monday also suggested that evidence pointed to an Islamic group in Lebanon for the deadly weekend car bomb explosion in Damascus. Syrian authorities have claimed that mostly Sunni northern Lebanon has become a hotbed of Islamic extremism, drawing some veterans of the Iraqi insurgency.

The Arabs have tried to destroy Israel for six decades. Despite constant attack, Israel has thrived, while the Arabs have paid a steep price.

Nobody will benefit from an Arab-Israeli peace more than the Arabs.

When will they ever learn? Or is hatred just too ingrained for them to ever act in their own best interest?

Propaganda Voyage Delayed

This announcement comes from the Free Gaza Movement, which might more properly be called the "Keep the People of Gaza Prisoners of the Hamas Terror Gang Movement." They are delaying a planned propaganda exercise, apparently because some of the people from whom they were planning to buy boats realized they'd be abetting terrorism.

Delaying our Trip to Gaza

We, the members of the Free Gaza Movement, regret to announce a delay in our plans to return to Gaza this week. Last month, 44 ordinary people challenged Israel's stranglehold on the Gaza Strip, knowing that ordinary people can help create extraordinary change.

[Israel has no "stanglehold" on Hamastan. Like any other sovereign nation, it tries to control its border with that terrorist entity, while amazingly continuing to do whatever it can to help the ordinary people living there, but Hamastan also borders on Egypt.]

People said that it could not be done; we did it.

This week 22 of us came to Cyprus to fulfill our promise to return to Gaza.

[Of course, there is no reason to go to Cyprus in order to travel to Gaza. People go back and forth between Hamastan and Egypt every day, using the countless tunnels underneath the border and periodically going between them through the regular border when Egypt decides to open it.]

Because our two original boats were not suitable for this trip, we decided to lease or buy a sturdier boat. Unfortunately, every time we thought we reached an agreement with a boat owner, our agreement has fallen through, in part, we believe, due to outside pressure.

[It must have come from the Global Jewish Conspiracy.]

Though it is a very difficult decision to make, we have decided to temporarily delay our voyage.

[That's unfortunate; it would have been a pleasure to watch them try to swim from Cyprus to Hamastan.]

When we left Gaza at the end of August, we made promises to the people there: we will continue to tell the world that Israel still unjustly occupies Gaza;

[I.e. they will continue to lie. Israel completely left Gaza way back in 2005. Even before that, almost all of Gaza had long been under the control of the corrupt Palestinian Authority.]

… we will continue to support our friends in Gaza as they work to overcome the brutal policies of the occupation;

[Since the only occupier of Gaza is Hamas, does this mean the people of Gaza are finally waking up and working to overcome the brutal policies of Hamas?]

… and we will return to Gaza. These are promises we will keep.

We will continue to draw attention to the suffering that Israel has imposed on ordinary people just like us, in Gaza.

[Given that Gaza is completely free of Israeli control, it's difficult to understand how Israel can possibly impose suffering on the people there. Perhaps it's a spelling error and the writer mistakenly spelled "Hamas" as I-s-r-a-e-l?]

We will continue to support our friends in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory as they work to end Israel's occupation of their land and lives. And, very soon, in the coming weeks, we will return to Gaza.

[Even the so-called West Bank has long been essentially free of Israeli-occupation, at least as far as the land in which almost all the Arabs reside.

However, truth has never been a strong point of the Israel-bashers.]

In the meantime we call on countries to live up to their obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and to take action to challenge Israel's collective punishment of 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip.

[It's difficult to challenge something that doesn't exist.]

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

The world would be a much better place if fanatics like Berlin put their energy into constructive pursuits rather than into supporting terrorists and trying to destroy the only beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

In the meantime, let all peace-loving people pray the "Keep the People of Gaza Prisoners of the Hamas Terror Gang Movement" continues to have difficulty finding a boat owner willing to help them promote terrorism and hatred.

Between the Lines: The PLO Argues a Palestinian Arab State Already Exists

This is a recent article about a lawsuit brought on behalf of the families of victims of Arab terror attacks. The families seek damages from the PLO, the terror organization behind the attacks.

In trying to get the lawsuit dismissed, the PLO insisted the terror attacks were actually acts of war. Since wars are conducted by states, the PLO effectively argued that it was acting on behalf of a state, thus effectively arguing that another Palestinian Arab state, in addition to Jordan, already exists in the disputed territories.

De facto, it is actually correct. In practice, there are really four states in the territory of the Palestine Mandate, Israel, Jordan, Hamastan and Fatahstan, but the latter two are rogue states and thus not recognized as states in any legal sense.

PLO loses bid to dismiss lawsuit

Associated Press

New York - The Palestine Liberation Organization can't win dismissal of a lawsuit by victims of bombings in Israel by claiming the attacks were acts of war rather than terrorism, a judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels said the 2004 lawsuit on behalf of victims and their families can proceed toward trial. It seeks up to $3 billion in damages from attacks between January 2001 and February 2004.

Daniels rejected the PLO's argument that two machine-gun attacks and five bombings were acts of war.

The Jerusalem-area attacks killed 33 people and wounded hundreds, including scores of U.S. citizens.

Daniels said the attacks targeted public places - not military or government personnel or interests. Two bombings were on downtown streets; others occurred at a crowded bus stop, a cafeteria at the Hebrew University and a passenger-filled civilian bus.

The use of bombs in these circumstances indicates an intent to cause far-reaching devastation upon the masses, the judge said, with a merciless capability of indiscriminately killing and maiming untold numbers in heavily populated civilian areas.

Such attacks upon non-combative civilians, who were allegedly simply going about their everyday lives, do not constitute acts of war, he said.

Daniels also said the violence meets the legal definition of international terrorism.

The lawsuit alleges that the PLO carried out the attacks to pressure the United States and Israel to submit to its demands and to terrorize, intimidate and coerce the civilian population of Israel into acquiescing to its political goals.

If the PLO goes bankrupt as the result of losing such a suit and is followed in that path by Hamas and Hezbollah, the world will be a much better and safer place.

In any event, by arguing that a Palestinian Arab state already exists, the PLO and, by inheritance, the Palestinian Authority, undermine their own arguments elsewhere to the contrary.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Parroting Anti-Israel Propaganda

PP happened to run across this post by John Robertson and feel compelled to point out some of the distortions and omissions.

Is the two-state solution in Palestine dead?

[Remember, the term "two-state solution" really means "three-state solution," since there are already two states in the territory of the British Mandate over Palestine.]

In a word . . . yes. And anyone who's been following the growth of the settler movement in the West Bank knows that this is hardly "news."

[This is the key distortion. Whether or not the Palestinian Arabs establish a state in portions of the disputed territories has little to do with whether or not they are made judenrein; it has only to do with whether or not the Palestinian Arabs stop rejecting one.]

The New York Times runs a story today that spotlights first the apparent assassination attempt against Prof. Zeev Sternhell (a prominent Israeli academic and critic of the settlement movement), but then takes a more in-depth look at the messianic, violent, settler movement in the West Bank. (I've pasted the story below.) Although the Times as well as the Washington Post have published some informative (and occasionally incisive) pieces on this subject in recent years, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan have pushed stories about the situation in the Palestinian territories

[By "Palestinian territories," the writer really means to refer to the disputed territories; there are no "Palestinian territories," although there is some territory which, under the Oslo Accords, are being maladministered by the Palestinian Authority.]

under the radar for most Americans. And that's a shame, because across the Middle East (and the larger Islamic world)), people have pointed to the US's acceptance of the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank (which is now more than 40 years old) as one of the most blatant examples of how the US stands for prejudice and hypocrisy rather than for justice and fairness.

[As pointed out in a recent PRIMER blog entry, Between the Lines: The "Occupation" Ended Long Ago, even Maria Khoury, in an anti-Israel article Obsessed with Taybeh available on the propaganda site This Week in Palestine, tacitly admitted the so-called occupation ended long ago.

Most people forget that for two decades, until the outbreak of the "intifada" in the late 1980's, the Israeli administration of the territories brought about tremendous benefits to the people living there.]

But, at this point, to expect Israel to dismantle its huge settlements in the West Bank is supremely unrealistic. And to expect any Israeli government to truly go after the settler movement in the West Bank - to dismantle the illegal settlements and "outposts" - is just as unrealistic.

[There are "illegal settlements," but they are not to which the writer is referring. Like other governments, Israel has a proceedure under which construction is approved; some communities were built without obtaining proper approval and are thus, under Israeli law, illegal. Under international law, however, they are perfectly legal.]

Why? Remember that Kadima, the party that heads up the current governing coalition in Israel, cannot maintain its hold without the support (and Knesset votes) of Shas, an ultra-Orthodox religious party whose leader, the rabbi Ovadia Yosef, stands squarely behind the settlers. If she is to succeed to the prime ministership (now that the disgraced Ehud Olmert has resigned), new Kadima leader Tzipi Livni cannot risk alienating Shas.

Furthermore, any dismantling of the outposts will require the Israeli army's active participation. Once a bastion of the secularism that Israel's socialist-inclined founding fathers avowed, the IDF now includes a substantial cadre of religious officers and soldiers, many of whom would resist orders to tear down outposts and confront (perhaps violently) their occupants. (In fact, when they were required to do so at the West Bank outpost of Amona in 2005, many soldiers found themselves very "conflicted." That would only be worse by now.)

The religious settlers are both dug in and moving on to new "frontiers" in what they see as their "Promised Land." (And tens of thousands of American Christian fundamentalist evangelicals are cheering them on.) Put simply, any sustained move by the government against the religious settlers would threaten the unity and integrity of the Israeli army, and would quite possibly plunge Israel into a civil war.

[There has been virtually no new settlement in years.]

A growing number of Palestinians recognize that the two-state solution is no longer workable.

[It's interesting that the writer gives no justification to back up this assertion that a "two-state solution is no longer workable."

In reality, it remains as workable as it ever was, requiring only a willingness of the Palestinian Arabs to live in peace.]

That leaves, of course, only a few alternatives:

1. A truly binational state, in which all citizens (Arabs and Jews) have equal political and social rights and standing. That, of course, is the most just and fair solution. It would also mark, for too many, the end of the Zionist "dream."

[Arabs and Jews already have equal rights in Israel. They do not have equal rights in the Palestinian Arab state of Jordan and they don't have equal rights in the Palestinian Authority controlled territory.]

2. An even more apartheid state, with a fast-growing Palestinian population subsumed as an underclass under the domination of a Jewish minority.

[How easily the libel flows from the writer's keyboard.

Israel, of course, is the furthest thing from an apartheid state that exists in the Middle East.]

3. The forced transfer of Palestinians out of the West Bank (and Gaza?). A significant number of Israelis (and, for that matter, American Christian evangelicals) have been calling for this for years.

[The writer apparently considers a miniscule number of outliers to be significant.]

How this situation resolves itself - and how that resolution spills over into Middle Eastern and global geopolitics - are going to have huge impact for decades to come.

[The writer actually has things backwards. What happens between Israel and its Arab neighbors, including the Palestinian Arabs, is basically impacted by what happens in the rest of the Middle East.

There was not a single word in the writer's blog about any of the real causes of the Arab-Israeli conflict and any of the steps needed to resolve the conflict.]