Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Believe Obama

This letter by PRIMER Board Member Dan Schaefer appeared in the Baltimore Jewish Times

Publisher Andrew A. Buerger's recent op-ed noted Obama's Cairo speech raised the question: "Is this a major shift away from strong, unflinching U.S. support for Israel?" There is reason to believe it did.

For example, Obama complained about occupation for Palestinian Arabs, but failed to disclose their horrific terrorism that necessitated these conditions. This was misleading and deceptive.

He also stated: "No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons." This could deny Israel the right single handedly to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.

Furthermore, Obama said "I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not" and hoped that "all countries in the region" shared the goal of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Article VI of that treaty, as interpreted by some governments, would require Israel to surrender any nuclear advantage she may have.

The present controversy with Obama thus involves not merely settlements, but also an attempt to impair Israel's security measures, no matter how justified, and to alter the military balance of power to Israel's disadvantage and harm.

Obama fails to distinguish between aggressor and victim. This is like equating the Holocaust Memorial murderer to the armed security guards who shot him down in self-defense and in defense of other innocents.

It's time for the Jewish community and their leaders, as well as Congress, to wake up and have the courage to stand up. To paraphrase an ancient writing about heroism, "Who knows whether you have not come here for such a time as this."

Daniel R. Schaefer
Hartford, Conn.

Wake up, stand up

This letter by PRIMER Board Member Dan Schaefer appeared in the Washington Jewish Week.

Jonathan Tobin's recent op-ed "Barack Obama's age of moral equivalence" (WJW, June 11) correctly stated that Obama's Cairo speech was "morally unserious."

For example, Obama complained about occupation for Palestinian Arabs, but failed to disclose their horrific terrorism that necessitated these conditions. This was misleading and deceptive. He also stated: "No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons." This could deny Israel the right single-handedly to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.

Furthermore, Obama said, "I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not," and hoped that "all countries in the region" shared the goal of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Article VI of that treaty, as interpreted by some governments, would require Israel to abandon any nuclear advantage she may have.

The present controversy with Obama thus involves not merely settlements, but also an attempt to impair Israel's security measures, no matter how justified, and to alter the military balance of power to Israel's disadvantage and harm. Obama fails to distinguish between aggressor and victim. This is like equating the Holocaust Memorial murderer with the armed security guards who shot him down in self-defense and defense of other innocents.

It's time for the Jewish community and its leaders, as well as Congress, to wake up and have the courage to stand up.

Daniel R. Schaefer
Hartford, Conn

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Settlements: Much Ado About Very Little

This article appeared in The Australian.

While the writer is correct about the fact that Israel's "settlements" should be a non-issue, I disagree with the assumption that there would be a need to uproot Jewish residents of portions of the disputed territories given to the Palestinian Arabs in a peace settlement.

If there was truly a peaceful Palestinian Arab entity, there would be no more reason to make it judenrein than there is to kick every Arab out of Israel.

If and when the Palestinian Arabs decide to live in peace, they can agree on a reasonable division of the disputed territories there really is no need to create additional refugees.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama's pressuring of Israel about the Jewish communities, not only in the disputed territories but in Israel's capital, which Obama himself asserted must remain undivided, is not only symbolic posturing but counterproductive.

Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor

The effect of Barack Obama's rhetoric on the Middle East is one of the most important, fascinating and utterly elusive elements in geo-strategic considerations at the moment. I find myself veering between Obama-youthful optimism that he really is speaking to the Muslim masses in a way that matters, and world-weary cynicism that has to ask: "Where's the beef, Jack."

If Obama produces beneficial change through inspirational leadership, his rhetoric will be seen as among the most powerful words in history. On the other hand, if he says all this beautiful stuff and nothing happens and he doesn't do anything about it, he will have been just the crooner who distracted the world with sweet serenades while it declined into peril and possibly misery.

But this is a column about a more modest subject. One of the few absolutely concrete, no-compromise demands Obama has made of any state is his call for an end to Jewish settlements in the Palestinian West Bank. Obama's Cairo speech was uncompromising: Jewish settlements in the West Bank must stop.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been equally tough. There is no exception for "natural growth" or anything else: settlements must stop.

This is about as clear as mud, and your humble correspondent is merely one among millions who cannot make out quite what these words actually mean. Their political purpose is clear. Obama is showing the Muslims that he can be tough on Israel, too. But I do not know what the practical purpose of the words are.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Sunday responded to Obama's speech with his own declaration: "We have no intention of building new settlements or expropriating additional land for existing settlements." That strikes me as reasonable. Israel will occupy no more Palestinian land for settlements. But Netanyahu's position allows for natural growth and for all the growth now planned, while Obama's people give the impression they are against this.

A clue to the confusion, and perhaps the double and triple game the Obama administration is playing, lies in the refusal of US spokesmen to say what "an end to Israeli settlements" means.

Does "no natural growth" mean that if one mother in a settlement has a baby, then another person in the same settlement has to move out? That's nonsense as it could not be measured or enforced.

Understanding the confusion requires two pieces of background. The settlements grew after the 1967 war, the second war Israel fought with Arab armies bent on its destruction. As a result of the war, Israel reunified Jerusalem and formally annexed some of the city's neighbourhoods into Israel proper. It also set up settlements in strategic locations on Palestinian land.

There are three types of settlers. Fairly secular Jews who just want cheap housing live in big settlement blocs that are in effect suburbs of Jerusalem. Most of these settlers live close to the 1967 borders.

Then there are the ultra-Orthodox Jews of Jerusalem, many of whom don't work and also need cheap housing. They, too, generally live very close to the 1967 border.

Finally there are the ideological Zionists who believe in the biblical claims of Jews to Judea and Samaria, the Jewish names for the West Bank. They live mainly in settlements deep inside Palestinian land. Some live, provocatively, in the middle of Palestinian population centres. Some are official settlements and others are illegal (under Israeli law) outposts. Almost all mainstream Israelis agree that the illegal outposts will be uprooted the minute there is an agreement with the Palestinians.

A critical consideration is that in every serious Israeli-Palestinian negotiation the Palestinians have accepted that the main settlement blocs right next to the 1967 border will be retained by Israel in any final settlement. However, the Palestinians will be compensated by an equal amount of territory of equal quality from within Israel.

This means that places such as Maale Audumin and Gush Etzion will always be part of Israel. From Israel's point of view it is inconceivable that they could be prevented from normal development within their existing boundaries. George W. Bush recognised this in a letter to Ariel Sharon in 2004, but the Obama administration says it is not bound by that letter.

Nonetheless, the Obama administration also does not envisage those settlements becoming part of a Palestinian state. Thus the administration's vagueness about what it means by no more settlements shows it is playing a game with everyone.

A couple of other facts to bear in mind. We are not talking about huge numbers of people. There are seven million Israelis. About 280,000 of them live in settlements beyond the areas of Jerusalem that Israel has annexed, and every peace plan has always envisaged that a good number of these will stay with Israel. Nonetheless, when peace is struck, Israel will have to forcibly withdraw settlers, as it did from Sinai when it made peace with Egypt and from Gaza a couple of years ago.

Israel has not authorised any new settlements since 1999. Its critics argue that there has been some bad faith in that new neighbourhoods of existing settlements are sometimes constructed a kilometre or two away from existing settlements, thus taking new land.

One problem is there is no map of what the boundaries of the settlements are. Netanyahu has promised to take no new land and the Americans would be right to expect him to stick to that commitment.

But in reality this is a tiny issue in the Middle East, and not remotely a serious obstacle to peace. The Palestinians have several times been offered a state in land equivalent to all of the West Bank and Gaza and a capital in East Jerusalem and refused it. A few hundred or so Israeli housing units are not the key to the future of the Muslim world. But, for the moment, Obama is dealing in symbols. And he is doing so, for the most part, symbolically.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moderate Palestinian Arabs Again Show They're Not Interested in Peace

The Palestinian Arab reaction to Sunday's speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed just how far they remain from being interested in any peace with rather than without Israel.

The Israeli Prime Minister, generally described as a hard-liner, right-winger or hawk, said to the Palestinian Arabs "Let's begin negotiations immediately without preconditions." To the leaders of the Arab states he said: "Let us speak of peace and let us make peace. I am ready to meet with you at any time. I am willing to go to Damascus, to Riyadh, to Beirut, to any place - including Jerusalem."

Meanwhile, Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator and frequent spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority, generally considered a "moderate," said "Netanyahu's speech closed the door to permanent status negotiations. We ask the world not to be fooled by his use of the term Palestinian state because he qualified it. He declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, said refugees would not be negotiated and that settlements would remain."

Earlier, Mahmoud Abbas, the chair of the Palestinian Authority who is sometimes known by his nom de guerre Abu Mazen and is generally considered a "moderate," repeatedly demanded Israel completely halt all building in the disputed territories as a condition for resuming peace negotiations - even as the Palestinian Authority is building aggressively in those territories, the Oslo Accords permit building by Israel in those territories, and a complete halt in Israeli building is incompatible with the understandings to which the United States and Israel agreed when Israel gave the whole of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority.

Any objective analysis of the statements by Israeli and Arab leaders demonstrate a blatant double standard, with the term "hard-liner" routinely used to describe an Israeli prime minister who's clearly far more flexible than the Palestinian Arabs routinely described as "moderate."

The Israeli prime minister is ready to negotiate immediately, without preconditions. The Palestinian Authority chair demands concrete concessions in advance of negotiations and a guarantee about the outcome.

According to Erekat, the fact that Netanyahu referred to Jerusalem as Israel's capital closed the door on negotiations. He apparently believes truth and negotiations are incompatible.

Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish state three millennia ago and is the capital of Israel today. The fact that the Palestinian Arabs demand the redivision of Israel so that they can use it as their capital - if they ever agree to peace - has never led any Israelis to claim the Palestinian Arabs have closed the door to negotiations.

Erekat falsely said Netanyahu said refugees would not be negotiated. Netanyahu said no such thing, while correctly pointing out "justice and logic demand that the Palestinian refugee problem be solved outside Israel's borders."

This is obvious. Demands for Israel to accept the immigration of Palestinian Arabs, the overwhelming majority of whom are not actually refugees but the descendants of refugees who have been forced by their own leaders to live as if they were refugees, is fundamentally incompatible with the concept of a two-state solution.

It's also highly unlikely, despite its current negotiating position, that Israel would let the issue of the actual Arab refugees, of whom there are very few, all at least 61 years old, stand in the way of peace, as long as those refugees wishing to immigrate into Israel agreed to live out their remaining years as loyal citizens and the oil-rich Arab states guaranteed they would not be a burden to Israel.

That the Palestinian Arabs continue to use the refugees and their descendants an issue is just more proof they aren't yet sincerely interested in peace.

While demanding that Israel agree to the potential immigration of millions of hostile Arabs, Abbas simultaneously and hypocritically demands all of the disputed territory be made judenrein - free of Jews!

Approximately twenty percent of Israel's citizens are Arabs. Certainly, if the Palestinian Arabs were really interested in living in peace, the presence of a relative handful of Jews would not be a problem.

Perhaps the most blatant example of hypocrisy is Abu Mazen's demand - as a precondition to negotiations - that the Israeli leader endorse the establishment of another Palestinian Arab state while insisting he himself would never recognize Israel as the Jewish state!

The "hard-line" Israeli prime minister has indicated his acceptance of the principle of the establishment of another Palestinian Arab state. While nobody expects the chair of the Palestinian Authority to become a Zionist, his continued rejection of the state of the Jewish people is just one indication of how far from being ready for peace are even the "moderates" among the Palestinian Arabs.

It also illustrates the double standards used in applying labels to Arabs and Israelis. If the "moderate" Arab leaders were even half as willing to compromise as the Israelis labelled as "extremist," peace would quickly become a reality rather then the far off dream it remains today.

Comment and Analysis: Netanyahu Leaves Palestinians Cold

An Associated Press story about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at Bar Ilan University was heavily biased, factually challenged and showed strong evidence of a double standard. This Comment and Analysis touches on some of the lowlights of the article.

The text of the article may be found on the Connecticut Post web site.

The text of Netanyahu's speech is available on Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site.

(Comments are quotes from the article; analyses are PRIMER's.)


JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's grudging endorsement of Palestinian independence -- couched in layers of stifling conditions -- does not necessarily signal the hawk-to-moderate transformation that hard-line Israeli leaders before him have undergone.


This article was published as if it was a news story, but the very first sentence reveals it as a heavily biased opinion piece.

Gutkin refers to so-called "stifling" conditions, but neglects to point out they are in line with American expectations and far from stifling. He also neglects to make any references to the intransigence of the Palestinian Arab leadership and the absurdity of their demands.

The writer also implicitly labels Netanyahu as a hard-line hawk, but nowhere labels the Arab leaders.

This is a clear double standard.


Netanyahu's major policy speech was as notable for what it did not say, as for what it did: No acceptance of previous peace strategies. No reference to any Muslim connection to the land. No talk of uprooting Jewish settlements to make room for a would-be Palestinian state.


Given that all previous peace strategies have been dismal failures, that should be considered a positive aspect, but the writer clearly implies it is a negative.

It's ironic that the writer implicitly criticizes the lack of any reference to the extremely weak Muslim connection to Eretz Yisrael when the core of the conflict is that the Arabs, including the Palestinian Arabs, not only refuse to acknowledge the connection of the Jewish people to their historic homeland but aggressively deny that connection.

The writer exhibits a blatant double standard in effectively criticizing Israel for not promoting the Arab cause; few ever criticize the Arabs for not being Zionists.


And he pointedly avoided mentioning an Arab peace initiative that offers to trade normalized ties with the entire Arab world for a complete Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in 1967, a demand Israel rejects.


The writer omits any reference to other stifling conditions in the so-called "Arab peace initiative," which was presented as an ultimatum, such as the redivision of the Israeli capital, the acceptance by Israel of the immigration of millions of hostile Palestinian Arabs and the creation of hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees by forcing them out of their homes in the disputed territories.

A complete withdrawal from the disputed territories would also be a violation of United Nations Resolution 242, which calls for the negotiation of secure borders, and of the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which specified the armistice lines were not to be used to determine permanent borders.


Palestinians called Netanyahu's speech a nonstarter that will not serve as a basis for talks, and Arab leaders rejected it as disappointing and not conducive to peace.


Arab leaders have never responded positively to any Israeli concession.


Netanyahu's demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people -- essentially giving up any right of return for Palestinian refugees -- "scuttles the chances for peace," Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Monday.


That says more about Mubarak, who continues to refuse to visit Israel, doing so only to attend the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, than about Netanyahu.


"The call to amend the Arab initiative and drop the right of return will not find anyone in Egypt or elsewhere to agree to it," the state-run MENA news agency quoted Mubarak as saying.


This is confirmation that the Arabs view their so-called "peace initiative" as an ultimatum rather than a peace proposal, which by its very nature would be subject to negotiation.

Any so-called "right of return" for Palestinian Arabs to immigrate to Israel, a country where the overwhelming majority have never lived, is in fundamental conflict with the very concept of the establishment of a separate Palestinian Arab state. Nowhere does the writer even hint at the absurdity of Mubarak's words.


It's also unclear if Netanyahu uttered the words "Palestinian state" because he really believes in one, or because he is trying to get out of a tight spot with President Barack Obama.


Who cares? Does anyone criticize Mahmoud Abbas for not being a Zionist?


The European Union also called Netanyahu's endorsement a step in the right direction, but questioned his stance on other disputed peace issues such as Jewish settlements and Jerusalem's future status.


One might question the EU's lack of questioning of the Arab demands for the creation of hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees by forcing them out of their homes in Judea and Samaria as well as their demand that Israel divide its own capital.


He demanded that Palestinians not only recognize Israel's right to exist, but to exist as a Jewish state -- another way of saying Palestinian refugees must give up their hopes of returning to lost homes inside Israel.


Most of those "Palestinian refugees" are not refugees, but descendants of refugees, never lived inside Israel and have no lost homes inside Israel. The youngest of those refugees are now 61 years old.


In truth, some of Netanyahu's conditions were not surprising or new.


This is an understatement. None of Netanyahu's conditions were either surprising or new and all fall within a consensus within not only Israel but the United States.

Past peace talks did not envision a Palestinian state with offensive military capabilities. And a number of Palestinian leaders have privately acknowledged that millions of refugees and their descendants are unlikely to return to Israel in a final peace deal.


The fact that they recognize that reality but continue to refuse to publicly concede the obvious shows just how far the Palestinian Arabs are from being ready to live in peace with Israel.

THREE Years in Captivity - Help Gilad Shalit NOW!

This was received as an email from JCPA, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Date: June 16, 2009
June 25th marks 3 YEARS that Gilad Shalit has been held captive by Hamas. Hamas has continued to refuse a deal for his release and has threatened Israel that if it does not act soon, Gilad will suffer the same fate as Ron Arad. Gilad has been denied access to the International Red Cross and his family has been left to wonder about his health. International human rights groups continue to remain virtually silent on Gilad's fate.
We are launching an e-letter campaign to President Obama in an effort to bring awareness to Gilad's plight and remind the President that the safe return of Gilad Shalit is a top priority for the American Jewish Community.

The campaign is focused around Father's Day and asks the President to think of Gilad and his father, Noam, who is spending yet another Father's Day without his son and without the knowledge of his safety.

We are asking each and everyone one of you to send a Father's Day message to President Obama between Sunday, June 21st and Thursday, June 25th asking him to do everything in his power to bring Gilad Shalit home.

Please join us in this important campaign by using the White House contact page to send a message to President Obama here.

Here are a few sample messages that you can send the President. Also, please feel free to write your own personal message.

Dear President Obama,
From one father to another, this Father's Day, I implore you to consider, not as a political issue, but rather as a humanitarian one, the plight of Gilad Shalit and the pain that his captivity is causing his father, Noam. Please do everything in your power to bring Gilad home.

Thank you.


Dear President Obama,
As parents, you and I are blessed to have our children safely at home with us. Noam Shalit, however, does not. This Father's Day marks the three agonizing years that Gilad has not been home with his family. I urge you to consider Gilad's plight, not as a political issue, but rather as a humanitarian one, and to bring Gilad home.

Thank you.


Dear President Obama,
This Father's Day, please remember Noam and Aviva Shalit. They have not seen their son Gilad in 3 years and wonder daily about his safety and wellbeing. I urge you to consider the plight of Gilad, not as political issue, but rather as a humanitarian one, as a top priority for your administration.

Thank you.


To view the JTA article on the campaign click here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Letter to the President

The following letter has been mailed to President Obama.

June 11, 2009

The President
The White House
2600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As someone who dreams of an Arab-Israeli peace, I am distressed that your policies thus far have been shortsighted, counterproductive and morally wrong.

Far from this being a time of opportunity that should not be missed, there obviously can be no realistic prospect for peace until the damage resulting from the mishandling of the Oslo Process is repaired.

The creation of a de factor terror state in Gaza, the indoctrination of a generation of Palestinian Arab youth in hatred and the glorification of terrorism, and the destruction of the infrastructure in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority must all be reversed before peace again becomes possible.

This process will, under the best of circumstances, take many years. Prematurely trying to pressure the parties into a final settlement can only exacerbate the problems and delay the time when the Arab states and the Palestinian Arabs finally agree to peace.

Given this reality, pressuring Israel for additional concessions at this time is particularly counterproductive. It simply reinforces one of the primary roadblocks to peace, the belief of the Arabs that their rejectionism will always result in additional pressure on Israel.

Thus, even if under ordinary circumstances pressuring Israel for a complete freeze on construction in and of Jewish communities in the disputed territories could be justified, it is particularly harmful now.

Additionally, since almost all concessions up until now have been made by Israel, it is obvious to all the bulk of future concessions will be made by Israel. The willingness of Israel to made disproportionate concessions is related to the their confidence in our reliability. When we renege on our existing understandings, formal and informal, regarding Jewish communities in the disputed territories, we undermine any Israeli trust in us.

I strongly urge you to abide by existing understandings and stop pressuring Israel about their communities in the disputed territories.

Far more effective in furthering peace would be a principled stand asserting that all people, Arab and Jew, have the right to live in those territories and sending to the Palestinian Arabs the message that the longer they continue to reject peace the less land they are likely to wind up with.


Alan Stein

cc: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can Mideast States Coexist?

This letter by PRIMER Board Member Daniel Schaefer was published in the Hartford Courant June 9, 2009.

Although President Barack Obama has called for still another Arab state, one for Palestine [World & Nation, June 4, "Outreach To Arab World Begins"], the week before he had asked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to "try to temper vehemently anti-Israeli public sentiment among Palestinians."

President Obama stated that it was "very important to continue to make progress in reducing the incitement and anti-Israel sentiments that are sometimes expressed in schools and mosques and in the public square, because all those things are impediments to peace."

Why at this late date, when the Palestinian Authority demands statehood, does it continue to allow mosques and even schools to incite anti-Israel "sentiments?" If we force a Palestinian state to be created, will it really live in peace with its neighbors and not degenerate into still another outlaw, terrorist organization?

As Shakespeare stated, in words inscribed at our National Archives, "What is Past is Prologue."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

And now, the Unspoken Truth

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.

June 4, 2009-Cairo

“That is what I will try to do – to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us…and he used truth as an underlying theme throughout his speech repeating it a half a dozen times. I guess what is one man’s truth is another man’s deception and if you didn’t know better you believed every point he made.

A person, including a President, can avoid the truth by intentionally misrepresenting facts and/or by omitting other points of information and by refusing to provide the necessary context for any given event, circumstance or situation. One does so in order to paint a particular word picture for the listeners. These techniques have misdirection and sleight of hand have been with us for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Mr. Obama’s speech was ostensibly for the Muslim world; yet, let us be perfectly clear it was designed for Western consumption as well. Listening to his speech you walk away thinking that the religion of Islam is monolithic-it is not and for almost its entire history has not been. He said he was “a student of history” and I question whose history he was taught? At best, it must have been either selective or “overstated” history as he failed to provide proper context and facts for most of what he said. He never differentiated among the divisions within Islam and many times grouped together all Muslims. Those who practice Islam know this fact and Mr. Obama knows this as well. However, he is counting on the general public not to know it and thus he can paint a picture of peace and tolerance. Notice he went out of his way to indicate that it was a “tiny minority” who were extremists indicating to an unknowing public that really we have nothing to worry about, the over 1 billion Muslims around the world are truly your friends. The most efficient manner to dispel the truth is to misrepresent the description of who individuals are and what they stand for. The next step in this strategy is you denigrate anyone who dares challenge of question your position. This is followed by nuisance lawsuits. All of this and more are occurring in the USA today.

To ensure that a population, ignorant of the facts, assumes that Islam has become a major part of your world is to speak as though certain facts are simply known. It is what I call the “everyone knows …” technique and if you are one who does not know, chances are you do not want to be identified as a “non-knower”. So, you accept the “facts” as delivered and depending upon who is giving you the data, you accept as “gospel” the information provided. Now, if the President of the USA is the agent of information, well…enough said!

The difficulty with this approach is profound. First, one who wants to manipulate, counts upon you being easily manipulated and does indeed with hold salient information. You are left alone to make your own decisions. Without complete and adequate information, one tends to make incorrect and improper assessments that can lead to poor judgments concluding with great liabilities for all.

Case in point: You are lead to believe that Islam has “exploded” in America-after all there is a mosque in “every state” and over 1200 mosques in the USA. Once again critical information was with held from the audience. Do you know who has funded and built these USA mosques? Yes, “Of the more than 1,200 mosques in America, more than 80 percent have been built within the last 20 years – thanks in large part to Saudi money, according to Reza F. Safa, author of "Inside Islam."1 "Saudi Arabia alone has spent $87 billion since 1973 to spread Islam throughout the United States and the Western hemisphere," Safa said.

To suggest that this has been an internal American movement is only sharing apart of the story and thus the President’s representation of a “large Muslim” religion in the USA is not only inflated but also misleading. King Fahd of Saudi pledged as much as $8 million to build a new mosque at the site of the Masjid Bilal Islamic Center, the large black mosque in South Central Los Angeles. Last year, Saudi's Islamic Development Bank committed an additional $295,000 for the construction of the Bilal Islamic Primary and Secondary School. Without this money and without the hundreds of imans Saudi Arabia has sent to the USA to convert specific populations to Islam, the religion would not have the numbers it does today.

The President spoke about truth but “forgot” to tell his audience some critical information. Not only has Saudi money built the mosques, sent imams to spread the word, it has also funded school curricula and created pro-Islam groups that move about the country ”teaching about the misconceptions” of Islam (Wahhabi ideology). However, the most disturbing information is “Over 80 percent of the mosques in the United States "have been radicalized by Saudi money and influence," Barsky said.”2 Contrary to what the President inferred last week, “"These [immigrants] were not interested in this [Wahhabi] ideology, and suddenly they have a Saudi imam coming in and telling them they're not praying properly and not practicing Shari'a [Islamic law] properly." This Saudi strategy was being carried out "all over the world, from America to Bangladesh," with the Saudis investing $70-80 billion in the endeavor over three decades.2

Were you told last week the following: “Barsky, who heads the AJC's Division on Middle East and International Terrorism and is the executive editor of Counterterrorism Watch, said this means that "the people now in control of teaching religion [to American Muslims] are extremists.” No, as a matter of fact you heard just the opposite.3

Numbers are used to persuade, educate and indoctrinate groups of people. If you are attempting to suggest that a particular group abounds a coutry, use inflated numbers-never mind they have never been validated. Remember, it is the messenger who creates the credibility, not the actual “facts.” A couple days before the speech, Obama’s “people” spoke about the 2-3 million USA Muslims. I think he must have received a call from CAIR because in his speech the number more than doubled-7 million he said (the number used by CAIR operatives)-just coincidental I am sure. How many Muslims live in the United States? Until now, basically, no one has had any idea. By law, the U.S. Census cannot ask questions about religion. Groups like The American Religious Identification Survey 2001, American Jewish Committee, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and The American Muslim Council (AMC) offer wide ranges of population variations.4 The numbers range from 2-8 million-quite a dispersion would you not say? The Muslim group reports more may indeed be correct, but are not supported by empirical data.

So, what number does Obama choose to use? That’s correct, an uncorroborated “guess estimate” as it supports his theme outlined in his speech. The technique is to throw a large number he thinks you will perceive as huge. He indicated earlier that the USA has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world (simply not true) and collectively these two statements only a couple days apart would lead most Americans to believe, “it must be so”.

Have you examined the numbers? If you use Obama’s uncorroborated figure, the Muslim population makes up but 2.6% of the population in the USA. If you use a research study’s numbers of around 2.5million, far less than .01% of the population is Muslim. Minimally Obama gravely exaggerated the numbers and drew erroneous conclusions that seemingly are driving policy decisions. However, given he is an intelligent man, not only his people tell us this on a regular basis, he has declared himself a student of history, I can only interpret his number use and conclusions are intentional and he is doing his best to mislead American citizens. If true, I find this shameful-how about you?

End Notes

  1. World Net Daily, June 7, 2009
  2. Rettig, Haviv, “Saudis have radicalized 80% of US mosques, http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1132475689987&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
  3. http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/009316.php
  4. http://www.religioustolerance.org/isl_numb.htm

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Hypocrisy of the Israel-Haters

Hatred and bigotry have always been at the heart of the global anti-Israel conspiracy, of which lies, distortions and hypocrisy have always been staples.

It could not be otherwise.

Those Israel-haters are now hypocritically attacking "Doc's Talk, an excellent blog from PRIMER board member Don Morris.

One often hears neither side is complete right or completely wrong in any conflict and certainly Israel has made mistakes, but one would be hard put to find a conflict in which the right and wrong, the aggressor and the attacked are as clear as in the Arab-Israeli one.

From the very beginning, Israel has striven to end the conflict, to live in peace with its Arab neighbors, while its Arab enemies, including the Palestinian Arabs, have steadfastly refused any solution that didn't entail the elimination of Israel.

It is thus virtually impossible for anyone to take the Arab side in the conflict without being either ignorant or bigoted and morally bankrupt.

Similarly, any honest presentation of facts and history inevitably support Israel, it's virtually impossible to make an anti-Israel argument without resorting to lies, distortions and hypocrisy.

The Israel-haters routinely, hypocritically and falsely accuse Israel of since of which its enemies are guilty.

The Israel-haters routinely, hypocritically and falsely accuse supporters of Israel of the since of which they themselves are guilty.

The murder of innocent civilians lies at the heart of the strategies of both Hamas and the so-called "moderate" Fatah and is enshrined in the charters of both terror organizations, while Israel valiantly tries to avoid harming Arab civilians, yet members of the global anti-Israel conspiracy routinely, hypocritically and falsely accuse Israel of human rights abuses.

The Arab League has for six decades tried to starve Israelis to death with its boycott, while even while its own citizens have been under attack Israel has tried to provide for the welfare of the very people attacking it, yet members of the global anti-Israel conspiracy routinely, hypocritically and falsely accuse Israel of trying to starve the people living in Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority has made it a capital crime to sell land to a Jew and one of its primary demands is that all territory transferred to it be made judenrein, while Israel has long been the only country in the Middle East which allows citizenship for people of all races, creeds and national origins and gives all equal legal rights, yet members of the global anti-Israel conspiracy, including a former president of the United States, routinely, hypocritically and falsely accuse Israel of apartheid.

Israel-haters go to tremendous lengths to prevent Israel's supporters from presenting the facts, misusing poorly-crafted libel laws to bring suit against writers and journalists presenting obvious truths and violently demonstrating against speakers on college campuses, yet members of the global anti-Israel conspiracy, including a former president of the United States and professors associated with prestigious universities, routinely, hypocritically and falsely accuse Israel of preventing a free and honest debate on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In their hypocritical attack on free speech, the Israel-haters are on an organized campaign to censor Doc's Talk, taking advantage of a feature of Google's Blogger that depends on the integrity of the public.

When someone reads a blog entry on any Blogger blog, one is given the opportunity to ask Blogger to "flag" the blog.

When one tries to do so, one is presented with the following:

One of the hallmarks of Blogger is the importance of freedom of speech. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the content of these pages, nor do we censor them. However, Blogger has standards and policies in place to protect our users and the Blogger network, as well as to ensure that Blogger is complying with all national, state, international, and local laws.

Please select the type of violation that you'd like to report:
Defamation/Libel/Slander (Learn more.)
Copyright/Piracy issues
Spam (Learn more.)
Nudity (Learn more.)
Hate or violence (Learn more.)
I need to contact another user
Someone is posting my private information
I think someone else is using my account

As is obvious from reading its posts, none of those violations apply to Doc's Talk, but that hasn't stopped members of the global anti-Israel conspiracy from flagging Doc's Talk, lying about the alleged violations.

Blogger has now caved in to the pressure of the global anti-Israel consipacy and flagged Doc's Talk, despite the obvious fact that Doc's Talk complies completely with its standards.

One result is that Doc's Talk is now unavailable to people staying at the many United States hotels which block any blogs flagged by Blogger.

As I noted, hatred and bigotry have always been at the heart of the global anti-Israel conspiracy, of which lies, distortions and hypocrisy have always been staples.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Refusing to Understand Jihad

This letter was sent to the manager of the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville. Anyone wishing to reinforce the message of the letter may write the manager at:

Hotel Manager Director Tom Negri
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
2100 West End Ave.
Nashville, Tennessee 37203,

call the manager at (615) 320-1700 or send a message through the hotel's website at http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Hotels/Nashville-Hotel/LocationInfo/ContactInformation.aspx.

Dear Mr. Negri:

It has come to my attention that The New English Review Symposium on "Understanding Jihad in Israel Europe and America" was scheduled to take place in your hotel. You somehow decided, after agreeing to their request, that freedom of speech in the US was no longer important.

I am sorry to inform you but the Muslims in this country will instill fear in all Americans because you refuse to say this is a free country. You allow free speech as long as it agrees with your agenda. There is no Sha'aria law here. In this country there is religious plurality. In other words, all religions have every right to practice their faith without infringing on other religions. By doing what you did, you gave in to the famous line that you would have a security problem. What a bunch of bologna.

Why did your hotel agree to allow this symposium to take place and suddenly you decided to shut it down? Don't look for all kinds of excuses.

How did you come up with this garbage that you were worried about the following: "health and safety reasons to protect employees and hotel guests?"

Health issues? Do the people who were taking part in this symposium have HIV or Swine Flu? Maybe your Muslim comrades threatened to burn down the hotel? A periodical stated, "Negri should stick to clean sheets, clean bathrooms and stay out of politics." Continuing, "we might add he should stay away from denial of free speech and an exchange of views under our First Amendment." If you want to fix the broken immigration system then do it and don't take it out on the basic right of free speech.

I promise you that there are many people, relatives, friends and business contacts, who won't be considering going near your hotel now. I'm so happy you chose the Jihadis over Americans. The symposium did take place at an undisclosed place. There were no health or security issues. I'm sure they called in the CDC to sterilize the place before the symposium began. Nashville must have brought in SWAT, CSI and the FBI to secure the area.

These comments and others will be published in the Nashville papers and in other papers throughout the US. Next time you might consider why the United States of America is such a great country.

Stephen Rubin
Fairfield, CT

Note: The periodical referred to is Israpundit.