Monday, March 28, 2011

Inconvenient truths about Middle East

This was published in the Waterbury Sunday Republican on March 27, 2011

Inconvenient truths about Middle East

By Gary L. Broder

The continuing chaos in the Arab world should give us all a great deal of concern. It also should cause us to examine inconvenient truths about the Arab Middle East.

One would like to be hopeful, for example, about the possibility of real democracy in Egypt. However, in at least 4,000 years of Egyptian history, there has never been a democratic government there. Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship took over from Anwar Sadat's dictatorship, which took over from Abdul Nasser's dictatorship, which took over by military coup from a king. Was Mubarak really so different from a biblical pharaoh?

There is only one real democracy in the Middle East: Israel. All of the other countries are military or civilian dictatorships, kingdoms or principalities. Ironically, the country in the Middle East where Arabs enjoy the greatest freedom is Israel. One would like to say a reciprocal relationship exists for Jews who live in Arab lands. But although Jews lived for hundreds of years in countries like Algeria, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, they were forced out or fled.

The United States has only one real ally in the Middle East - Israel - and should start treating it as such. The Arab Middle East hates Israel, in part because of anti-Semitism, but also because Israel is seen by the Arab world as America's outpost in the Middle East. The very facts that make Israel America's only ally in the Middle East make the Arab world hate Israel and distrust the United States.

I would not dare predict what will happen in the Arab world. Obviously, once again, our CIA didn't do its job. But there are some conclusions to be drawn and lessons to be learned.

First, America is partly at fault for backing stability over democracy. This has been our foreign policy for most of the 20th century, not only in the Middle East but in most of the world. By the very choices we have made, we engage on a national level in the kind of immorality the Arab world accuses us of on a personal level.

Second, we have sold our souls for Arab oil for decades. When are we going to learn? We know what we need to do, and we have started to do it. We need to accelerate the pace: alternative fuels, greater energy efficiency, conservation, etc.

Third, cut back on most foreign aid, especially in the form of military armaments, to nondemocratic Arab countries. Put in real controls to prevent those countries' leaders from stealing it for themselves. Let wealthy Arab nations provide economic assistance to their poorer brethren. If the United States still thinks assisting these countries is in our national interest, dramatically increase the Peace Corps presence there, which will provide direct help to those who need it most.

Fourth, the media need to increase their coverage of foreign affairs, not just when there is a crisis. We could do this by cutting back on the incredible amount of junk we now broadcast as news and entertainment. Unfortunately, the media are cutting back on foreign coverage, not increasing it.

Fifth, Israel has a historical claim to the Land of Israel, as detailed in the Torah more than 3,300 years ago. It not only includes present-day Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, but also parts of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. The Arabs who call themselves Palestinians can ask for anything they want, but that does not translate into historical entitlement.

America's failure to assess the situation in the Middle East correctly is based upon two misconceptions. The first is that appeasement of the Palestinians will stop their commitment to terrorism and the destruction of Israel. It will not. The second is that the other Arabs really care about the Palestinians. They do not. They are incapable of running their own countries. If they did care, they would have taken the Palestinians into their own countries and provided them with financial assistance, other than illicit military equipment.

Now is the time to insist on justice in the Middle East, but real justice based upon principles that only the United States and Israel currently share in common.

Gary L. Broder is a lawyer who lives in Waterbury.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


This was a guest דרש‎ given by Alan Stein on March 26, 2011 at Beth El Synagogue in Southbury, Connecticut.

One important point, not included in the דרש, is that there is no shortage of self-examination and criticism (both legitimate and illegitimate) regarding Israel within the Jewish community. In fact, if there was a tenth as much self-criticism within the Arab and Muslim communities as much as there is within the Jewish and general pro-Israel communities, there might be a realistic chance of peace.

This week's parshah is שמיני, since it begins "ויהי ביום השמיני" - "And it came to pass on the eighth day." This came after seven days of consecration of the כוהנים, the priests, preparing them for their service as כוהנים. It describes various sin offerings, goats, calves, lambs, oxen, rams.

To us, today, those sacrifices seem crude, barbaric. But they must be seen in the context of the times.

This was a seminal time of the formation of the Israelites and the Jewish people, the Jewish nation. We needed to develop our own rituals and traditions, but we did not do so in a vacuum. Our rituals were, naturally, adapted from those of the other peoples in those times, and sacrifice was a basic part of religious life.

The sacrifices of other peoples were not goats and lambs; they were human sacrifices. Thus the practices, as adapted by the Israelites, barbaric as they seem to us today, were a giant step forward in that time.

When the Jewish kingdom was established and the Temple built by King Solomon, the Temple became the center of Jewish ritual and remained the center, with interruptions, political and religious disputes and crises, including the split into Northern and Southern kingdoms following the death of King Solomon, for more than a thousand years.

A new crisis, an upheaval arose, with the Roman conquest, the destruction of the second Temple and the ethnic cleansing - they didn't call it that in those days, but that's what it was - of Jerusalem. A Judaism that had been built around the core of a sovereign Jewish state and a holy Temple in Jerusalem had to adapt to the loss of both, or fade away.

The solution was the creation of rabbinic Judaism, the form of Judaism that has kept the Jewish people together for nearly two millennia.

This is discussed in an article, "Halacha's Moment of Truth," by Evelyn Gordon and Hadassah Levy, in the current issue of Azure, a journal I get sent because of my membership in SPME, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. (In Hebrew, azure is "techelet," the mysterious blue dye for tallitot referred to in the Torah. Azure is available online at .)

According to Gordon and Levy, in rabbinical, halachic Judaism, "The Temple service was replaced by prayer. Holidays were reinterpreted. A fixed calendar was instituted. Torah study became the supreme value, compensating for all the commandments that could no longer be performed. And the importance of sovereignty was downplayed: for the sake of Jewish survival, the message had to be that sovereignty was not essential so long as rabbinic leadership remained."

According to Gordon and Levy, we now face another shift of "tectonic" proportions: Judaism must reconstitute itself as the religion of a sovereign nation, Israel.

Many of the important questions are already in play. Early on, the rabbis had to reconcile the commandment to keep the Sabbath with the necessity of an army protecting life on Shabbat. Other issues are proving more difficult and problematic, including the laws of shmita (letting land lie fallow every seven years), regulation of marriage and divorce, rules for acquiring citizenship, "who is a Jew?"

Shortly after Marsha and I joined Beth El back in 1977 - has it been that long? - our rabbi at that time, Joel Chazin, spoke on just this theme, saying the greatest theological issue of the day was the reestablishment of the sovereign state of Israel. He said Judaism had not yet begun to deal with it. Since then I've heard very little said about it until this article in Azure.

The editor's introduction to this issue of Azure is entitled "The Zionist Imperative." It deals with the Jewish connection to Israel in context of traditional Jewish community solidarity. It mentions the principle called Areivus, כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה, every Jew is responsible for every other Jew.

The first GA, General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations, which I attended just before becoming president of the Jewish Federation in the late 1980s, had the slogan "We Are One," affirming the oneness of the Jewish people, in America, in Israel and around the world.

That unity was part of the thrust in the change of the name of the Jewish community newspaper to Chavurah, a name proposed by Gary Broder, who became the first editor of Chavurah. Gary included the catchphrase, "Do Not Separate Yourself from The Community," under the masthead, although that was unfortunately removed several years ago.

The sacrifices with Aaron in the desert were part of the beginning of that unity, and the reestablishment of a sovereign Jewish state should be reinforcing that unity, providing a focus for that unity.

Unfortunately, there are some who are separating themselves from our community, even while doing so in the name of Judaism.

We have fringe groups of Jews, including JStreet, which misleadingly and inappropriately calls itself "the pro-peace, pro-Israel lobby," falsely implying the mainstream Zionist groups like AIPAC, Hadassah and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are not pro-peace, while JStreet's alleged pro-Israel stance is questionable enough to be debated in the Knesset.

We have the misleadingly named "Jewish Voices for Peace," determined by the Anti-Defamation League to be one of the top ten organizations working to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish state.

We even have the "Neturei Karta," self-declared as Orthodox Jews united against Zionism. The Neturei Karta align themselves with the most fanatical forces pledged to the destruction of Israel, advising Yasser Arafat, going into Gaza to demonstrate solidarity with Hamas and participating in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Denial conference in Iran.

While there can be honest disagreement and there should be honest, good-faith debate about how Israel can best defend itself against determined enemies who remain bent on its destruction, the Jewish people must remain united, as one, in its support of the nation-state of the Jewish people.

The parsha Shemini, and all of Vayikra, deals with the formation in the desert of our people. Later in Shemini, it is described how, on the day that should have been the most glorious in the life of Aaron, the High Priest, Aaron's eldest sons, נדב and אביהוא, made an offering to God אשר לא צבה אתם, which was not commanded to them, ותצא אש מלפני השם ותאכל אותם, and there came forth fire from before the Lord and devoured them. One may argue by going beyond that commanded by God, Aaron's sons separated themselves from the community and the consequence was they were devoured by fire.

We survived for nearly 2,000 years without our own sovereign state, but even during that time the dream of Israel remained at the core of our being as a people and at the heart of our religion, so much so that both our Yom Kippur service and our Passover seder, coming in just a few weeks, end with the chant לשנה הבאה בירושלים - Next Year in Jerusalem.

We survived the destruction of the Temple, an earthshaking event for Judaism.

We are still in the midst of the theological earthquake involving the reestablishment of our state of Israel.

The destruction of Israel would be another earthquake.

Our capacity for surviving theological earthquakes is not necessarily unlimited.

We are obligated, as Jews, to keep the land of Israel in our hearts and to support Israel in its miraculous and continuing fight for survival.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Connect the Dots: Palestinian Authority Incitement Leads to Murders

Dennis Ross, the most prominent American mediator during most of the Oslo process, has recognized a primary reason for its failure was the way America ignored Palestinian Arab incitement. In his informative book, The Missing Peace, he writes about "the Palestinians' systematic incitement in their media, an educational system that bred hatred, and the glorification of violence."

That incitement, a systematic indoctrination of hatred by the Palestinian Authority, continues unabated under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, even though he is almost always referred to as being "moderate."

The bloody consequences of Abbas' duplicity has been documented by the Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors the official Palestinian Authority outlets and translates some of their content into English.

Within the last few weeks:

Palestinian Authority television broadcast a program honoring Ahlam Tamimi, the woman who drove a suicide bomber to the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001, where he murdered fifteen people.

Palestinian Authority television honored Fahami Mashahara for driving a suicide bomber to the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem, where he murdered nineteen people and injured more than a hundred others.

Abbas himself awarded a presidential grant to the family of Khaldoun Najib Samoudy, a terrorist recently killed as he was preparing a terrorist attack at the Hamra checkpoint.

The Palestinian Authority announced plans for the "Shahida of Honor, Wafa Idris Tournament." Idris was the first Palestinian Arab female suicide bomber, blowing herself up in Jerusalem in 2002, injuring more than 150 people and killing one.

Besides glorifying the murderers of innocent Israeli civilians, a few days ago Abbas recently announced he would be going to Gaza to meet with the leaders of Hamas in an attempt to reconcile with them. One wonders why he is so eager to meet with the fanatical Islamists destroying Gaza while he continues to refuse to meet with Israeli leaders who actually want to make peace.

Among the recent consequences of Abbas' duplicity:

On March 23, another bomb exploded at a bus station in Israel's capital of Jerusalem. Dozens were injured and at least one woman was killed.

On March 12, a Palestinian Arab terrorist murdered five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, some of them as they slept. Not content with mere murder, according to some reports, they beheaded the Fogel's three month old baby.) Just a few weeks before, Palestinian Authority television had honored Habash Hanani for murdering three high school students in the same town in May, 2002. Undoubtedly, after the murderer of the Fogel family is found, he too will be glorified by the Palestinian Authority.

No wonder, during the two months I recently spent in Israel, I could not find anyone with any real hope for peace within the next generation.

In Israel, the children are taught about peace and reconciliation. People try to understand the Arab perspective. Government leaders, even those considered "hard-line," are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to induce their Arab neighbors to agree to live together in peace.

In the Palestinian Authority, children are still taught to hate. They are taught to blow up rather than grow up. Even so-called "moderate" leaders like Mahmoud Abbas insist they will never make any concessions, standing fast with outlandish demands that effectively call for the elimination of Israel. And, for the last two years, except for a brief, three-week, interlude, Abbas has refused to even pretend to negotiate with Israel.

America gives a large amount of assistance to the Palestinian Arabs. We have even increased that assistance during the last two years, even as the Palestinian Authority has steadfastly refused to negotiate and continued to do its best to torpedo peace prospects.

We continue to make the same mistakes Dennis Ross wrote about.

It's time to learn and to change. If we can use our leverage to induce the Palestinian Authority to create a generation open to peace rather than indoctrinated to hate, there will be a chance that Israeli and Palestinian Arab children will grow up rather than blow up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Unethical, Unacceptable and the Prostitution of Journalism

By Angela M. Epstein

Angela Epstein is a former News Correspondent for the Univision Network and former Anchor of NBC's Canal de Noticias.

Today it is the Colombian in me who writes, as it was the journalist I once was who convinced me that I needed to do so after watching the documentary "Out of Cordoba" produced by Jacob Bender, who has made a name working on inter-faith relations. The documentary explores the relationships between Jews and Muslims and asks if those two people "are incapable of peaceful coexistence."

Mine is not a religious or political argument and instead I will discuss here the producer of the documentary and his journalistic practices, something of which I know more than about religion. This January 31, I walked out the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut from what could have been a night of enlightenment and education about respect for cultures and religions within the frame of honest reporting and film documentary. At least it is what I was sold. Instead I left the room deeply upset after watching the documentary whose producer" humbly" described himself as a "starving journalist."

The loose use of the word journalist deeply disturbed me; this is where my excitement wore out and my questioning began. The part that prompted me to sit and write this piece was Bender's denouncing of the Israeli West Bank security fence and the subsequent editorialization of his feelings of frustration, supported by the interview with an activist Rabbi. I had no problem with that; the producer's obligation is to do so. Where I found a serious ethical problem from someone who calls himself a journalist was the total absence of any type of background related to the building of the fence and the one-sided presentation of the issue.

I did not understand why he did, openly, omit giving a reason for why it was built. At the very least I was expecting very basic journalistic practice: both sides of the story are always a must. But Mr. Bender disregarded his obligation. When I asked him why, he told me his was a "deliberate" decision. Omitting some critical facts was "deliberate." His, was a poor explanation I could not understand and he could not elaborate well.

To me this is unacceptable and unethical regardless of how we look at it and it does not help the same cause he claims he is working for. But why did Mr. Bender make a "deliberate" decision, as he asserted to me, to not include any reason as to why the fence is there while simultaneously denouncing it? Why was his explanation so ambiguous and unconvincing?

Some would argue it was because of the nature of some of the funds and access given for this film, I argue that he is not a journalist and should stop calling himself that. I also call these types of "deliberate decisions" the prostitution of journalism, a passion for which many reporters in my country have been killed. So, as a former reporter with dead friends, I do not think, as some do, that the producer is being intellectually dishonest. I think he is a whore, and a very clever one.

In a different context, Mr. Bender reminded me so much of the dark days of our recent Colombian history when some journalists presented the facts depending of the size of the check or the threat received. That was a common practice and the only one who benefited was Pablo Escobar, the infamous narco-dealer, not the peace process that divided the country so much.

Jacob Bender has been acclaimed for this film and he is savoring the fruits of convenience, self-censorship and omission. I only see his personal self-interest. I did not see where and how this position is in the best interest of interfaith relations that he uses to get the limelight. If Mr. Bender is inserting himself in the process of interfaith relations and reconciliation between Jews, Christians and Muslims (of which I know nothing, I must confess), he should expose the facts with transparency. Please note, I am not debating the wall here; this is not my dilemma today. My dilemma today is journalistic ethics.

I was not expecting Bender to say that the motivation of the security fence was safety because the tactic of suicide bombing attacks carried out of the West Bank had been successfully used on Israeli civilians for several years claiming many lives, or that since the building of the fence there has been, according to Israeli sources, a 90% decline of attacks. Or that the fence has even caused Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdallah Shalah complain to the Qatari newspaper Al-Sharq that the fence "limits the ability to arrive deep within [Israeli territory] to carry out suicide bombing attacks."

History has told us that, like in journalism, in the process of reconciliation the facts are exposed from both sides. It happens everywhere these processes take place in in the search for healing. I ask myself if hiding facts is a way to promote dialogue. "Deliberate" decisions like the one Mr. Bender made ignite conflict; they do not appease it.

I must admit I learned about the very interesting lives of two highly enlightened religious philosophers of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, Maimonides and Averroes, two people of whom the world should learn more, but that is another subject. It could have been a nice documentary. Too bad it was tainted.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Israel willing to make concessions to reach peace agreement with Arabs

This letter was published on March 16, 2011 in The Hour from Norwalk, Connecticut.

Israel willing to make concessions to reach peace agreement with Arabs

To the Editor:

Much of what Kathleen Mary Tepper writes in her letter, "Jerusalem became both an eternal and a universal city," published Friday, March 11, is simultaneously true yet highly misleading. For example, she refers to "native Palestinians" owning property, living and work ing in "more than 90 percent of what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza" prior to 1947 but fails to mention that in those days when one referred to Palestinians one generally meant the Jews living in Palestine; at that time the Arabs living in Palestine rejected the idea that they were a people separate from the general Arab nation.

Her statement also falsely implies that Arabs owned more than 90 percent of the land. Then, as it is now, the overwhelming bulk of the land was publicly owned.

In referring to the fact that the United Nations Partition Plan, violently rejected by the Arabs, apportioned to the Jewish people roughly 55 percent of what is today Israel and the disputed territories, she omits the fact that roughly 78 percent of Palestine had already been transferred to the Arabs. Thus, the plan actually called for the Arabs getting roughly 88 percent (the 78 percent comprising Transjordan plus 45 percent of the remainder) and the Jews only getting roughly 12 per cent. Unfortunately, while the Jews gladly accepted those crumbs, for the Arabs 88 percent of the loaf was insufficient. The result has been more than six decades of war, terrorism, death and dislocation.

For the first two of those six decades, Jordan occupied portions of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, and despite signed agreements barred Jews from any access to those holy sites. Since the reunification of Jerusalem during the 1967 War, the holy sites of Jerusalem have been open to all. With that reunification, it again became "both an eternal and universal city," limited only to the extent made necessary by Arab terror.

The brutal murder, on the same day Tepper's letter appeared, of five members of the Fogel family as they slept in their beds in Itamar is a reminder of how necessary Israel's security measures remain. That the terror attack occurred just a month after Israel removed the nearby Hawara checkpoint is also a reminder both of how Israel bends over backwards, putting the lives of its own citizens at risk as it attempts to improve the lives of its Palestinian Arab neighbors and of how so often those Israeli gestures are reciprocated with murderous attacks.

Israel, as always, remains prepared to make painful concessions to reach a meaningful peace agreement with its Arab neighbors, including those who now call themselves Palestinians. The so-called "moderate" leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas, rejected an offer of the equivalent of 100 percent of the disputed territories and has for the last two years refused to even sit down and negotiate. The peace Israel and its supporters yearn for will only become possible when its neighbors start putting their own welfare ahead of their desire to destroy Israel.

Alan Stein
president, PRIMER-Connecticut

A Plea From Edith and Abe Lieberman

Edith was my "boss" the last two winters while I volunteered at Laniado Hospital in Netanya. Edith and her husband Abe are amazing people and when she tries to get a message across to people I can't do anything other than try to help. - Alan Stein

Dear family, friends, donors to Laniado Hospital, my former students and Bnei Brith/Hadassah volunteers,

I can safely state that you most likely share with me the same frustrations and disappointments with the daily news as we watch even right leaning Fox News, which  broadcasts in Israel world events, and Israel's painful and serious news is hardly given coverage, even by the media favorable to Israel.

For sure, we are all upset and feel helpless as human beings cannot control natural disasters which devastated Japan, New Zealand, and other areas of the World. Our hearts are broken and we cry out to the world to hear and see about the massacre of the five members of the Fogel family, butchered in Itimar, Israel, by inhuman people.

Daily rockets land in various areas of Israel, and only through G-d's intervention lives are spared. Now, a ship, laden with a large cargo of deadly weapons, was captured by the Israeli Naval Forces, which was intended to be brought to Egypt... there, G-d forbid, it would have been smuggled into Gush Kativ and Gaza for the purpose of destroying Israel – where are the Governments in Europe and America, and other parts of the world, including the UN, which were demanding Israel to stop building settlements, and advance a process whereby Israel would have to give up part of its
G-d given land?

Why has there been no mention, as yet, of the ship, with its dangerous cargo, by any of the main news media, including Fox News. If not for my older son contacting Glen Beck on Fox News, there may have been no mention at all of the Fogel family massacre.

You know what I am trying to tell you without actually spelling it out –  you and I cannot waste time ...we must act now to speak out loud and clear to the US Congressmen and Senators, those of you in America, and we, in Israel, must contact the Knesset Members of all political parties ...... Israel must cease all peace talks, for now the world has seen the proof and truth that there are no intentions of any Arab governments to make peace with us, or to recognize our Nation's existence.

Let us pray that Hashem will continue to stand by us and guide us.

Let us enjoy the holiday of Purim while keeping in mind that we must act quickly and effectively to influence the leaders in America and Israel that Israel must remain on its G-d given land to protect its nation's future and be enabled to remain the only true ally to America in the Middle East.

From my heart I wish you, one and all, good health and happiness, together with all your loved ones, be strong, have the courage to fight for what you believe in, and let us share with one another only happy tidings.

Edith and Abe Lieberman and family

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Call it what it is: Absurdity beyond the pale

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.

Today’s headline reads:

UN: New settlement building not 'conducive to peace'

AND this was followed with these audacious comments: “UN special coordinator Robert Serry was "concerned" by media reports of 500 new housing units to be constructed in the West Bank, AFP reported Serry's spokesman Richard Miron as saying Sunday.”

Serry was further quoted as saying he felt that this decision to build more units was not conducive to efforts to renew negotiations regarding peace-huh? He shared the requisite “condemnation” statement and then he attributed the actions to acts of extremists. What hollow words these are and how inaccurate they are indeed.

Juxtapose these with the following:
1. The murderer went room to room stabbing the parents, a three-month girl (slashed her throat for G-d’s sake) and then methodically butchered two young boys.
2. Hamas described the attack as a “heroic operation” and handed out sweets and candies to their people who joined the celebration.
3. The Palestinian Authority just three weeks ago glorified on television to “their people’ a terrorist who murdered three Israelis back in 2002. Yes, the “moderate ones, those the current USA government has declared as “peace partners” socially approved of such behavior.
4. PA Chairman Abbas awarded $2000 to the family of another murderer who attacked and tried to kill Israeli soldiers within the last two months; this is moral?
5. Abbas’s advisor, the day before this horrendous attack upon a sleeping family said it was necessary to turn their weapons upon the main enemy-Israel.
6. A Fatah group claimed responsibility for this inhumane murder spree.
I can cite multiple scenes of immoral actions taken by not only the “other side” that flies in the face of the UN’s irrational claim that we in Israel are to blame. Yes, implicit within Serry’s audacious claim is the mantra of, “If Israel would only refrain from building, then peace would break out all over the territory.”

How can any caring, thinking human being arrive at the conclusion that the aforementioned acts of savagery can be described and classified as being an act of morality? For G-d’s sake, the despicable act of slashing a few month’s old infant, asleep in her crib, is precisely what it truly is, an act of barbaric human behavior.

What is equally disturbing is major Western media outlets choose, yes, it was a choice, to spin the event as an action taken in response to the existence of Israeli “settlements” thereby excusing, providing social and political cover for individuals who profess to be humanistic people.

You mean to tell me, you actually have the audacity to suggest that a thee month old innocent infant, by virtue of her geography and ethnicity was reason enough to perpetrate such an act of human degradation? Yet, this is precisely what one is meant to believe if you read their representation of the murders.

Let’s call this reporting what it is, let’s us take our anger, our rage and state the truth. The Western media buried the true nature of the event and choose to align it with the “settlement” issue-you know what, here is my reply” How dare you!!

Contrary to the UN’s improper and insensitive statement today, Abbas has intentionally chosen not to pursue peace. You know the history of the last 14 months. He instead tossed out another strategy to see if it would “fly”. It resonated with his Arab colleagues and even now with certain Western leaders: unilaterally call for statehood and it has gained traction. Why then speak as if he cared about negotiations? Call this what it is, a form of extortion and blackmail while lying to the Western leaders that he really would like to talk peace with the Israelis, but, well, you know, those Israelis refuse to give more land/territory and after all they keep building or want to build…

By the way, Abbas’ move is illegal according to international law. Of course, it is convenient to ignore this given the media and academic cover he is being afforded in the West. How shameful is this? Apparently there is no shame among those willing to de-legitimize Israel’s right to exist and to exist on its historical homeland. I know, I know, it really is not ours to begin with, is it my Islamic friends?

There is no motivation to resume talks, let us be quite honest, for a change. Look at the data; Abbas et al have ramped up the rhetoric to invalidate our very existence and where are our “international friends”? Ah, like junior high school students, they give way to the bullies of the middle East out of fear for possible results of standing up like ethical men and women and supporting our human values. The audacity is truly beyond the pale and you should be ashamed, really ashamed of your actions.