Nov 10 2008

If Egypt can’t get the Palestinians together, who can?

Category: Hamas,Islam,Israel,Obamaharmonicminer @ 10:01 am

I’ve discussed the interest Egypt has in Palestinian peace and stability. And Egypt may cancel Palestinian talks because Hamas doesn’t want to play nice.
Continue reading “If Egypt can’t get the Palestinians together, who can?”

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Oct 24 2008

Palestinian newspaper editorial calls for better protection for Israelis: “Criminal Neglect” of Palestinian police

Category: humor,Israel,Palestinesardonicwhiner @ 8:56 am

In a sign of the growing freedom of the press in Palestine, a newspaper editorial has criticized the “criminal neglect” of the Palestinian police in failing to protect Israel’s citizens from Palestinian toughs.

Here’s more.

As happens every …. holiday, tens of thousands … accepted the … invitation to take their families to visit olive groves across the country. Many participated in the harvest celebrations and heard the tale of the olive tree, the symbol of peace. And as happens every year when the olive harvest begins, dozens of youths set out…. to confront their …. neighbors. They also threatened human rights activists who volunteered to help the harvesters and beat a photographer who came to document the Sukkot riots.

Read it all.

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Oct 15 2008

Jews for Obama? Holy Moley

Category: election 2008,Israel,Obama,politics,terrorismharmonicminer @ 10:52 am

I’ve never understood why American Jews are so much more likely to vote Left than Right. I suspect it has something to do with the success of STALIN’s public relations ploy to distance himself from fascists, whom he deeply resembled, by inventing the notion that fascism is from the extreme RIGHT, while socialism is from the extreme LEFT.  Jews can hardly be blamed for wanting to vote for candidates as far from fascism as possible, and I fear most do not know that they’ve essentially fallen for a Stalinist labeling system.  What they fail to appreciate is that fascism and socialism have in common super-authoritative statism, and are more alike than different.  The American academic establishment, which has large Jewish representation, has been happy to continue this fraud, implying that people on the Right are somehow closer to Hitler than people on the Left, while always denying that, on that scale, they must be closer to Stalin.  Only super-authoritative states can carry out genocides on the grand scale.  And Stalin’s treatment of Jews was hardly gentle, was it?
Continue reading “Jews for Obama? Holy Moley”

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Sep 19 2008

What Egypt stands to gain

Category: arab,Hamas,Hizbullah,Iran,Islam,Israel,middle east,Russia,terrorismharmonicminer @ 9:21 am

From Haaretz, Egypt draws up plan to end internal Palestinian crisis

Egypt has drawn up a plan to end the internal Palestinian crisis and
will propose it to rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, as soon as the sides agree to hear it sources said Saturday.

Egypt has come up with the plan after several rounds of bilateral talks with representatives from the different Palestinian factions. Later this month, Egyptian officials will meet with leaders from Hamas and Fatah separately to propose the plan and get their acceptance.

The Palestinian crisis escalated in June 2007 when Hamas routed security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, ousted his Fatah movement and took over control of the Gaza Strip, effectively separating it from the West Bank where Abbas has consolidated his rule.

Egypt’s problem:

Its government needs to appear to be working in good faith to resolve difficult aspects of the Palestinian situation. It cannot be seen as being in conflict with the Palestinians, which makes situations like this a major problem.

On 22 January 2008, after Israel imposed a total closure on all exits and entrances to the Gaza Strip, a group of Hamas demonstrators, many of whom were women, attempted to force open the door of the Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt. They were beaten back by Egyptian police and gunfire erupted. That same night, Hamas militants set off 15 explosive charges demolishing a 200-metre length of the metal border wall that had been erected by Israel in 2004. After the resulting Breach of the Gaza-Egypt border, many thousands of Palestinians, with estimates ranging from 60,000 to 350,000 flowed into Egypt to buy goods. Palestinians were seen purchasing food, fuel, cigarettes, shoes, furniture, car parts, generators, and even weapons.

Egypt has prospered from its peace agreement with Israel, in terms of trade, tourism, and the regard of the world. Palestinian conflicts destabilize that agreement.  Egypt’s people, of course, are mainly sympathetic with the Palestinians.  That makes it tough to take strong enforcement action against Palestinians trying to breach the Gaza/Egypt border.  If Palestine can be somewhat stabilized, the chances of that kind of conflict are reduced.  Egypt’s battle with its own homegrown terrorists, the Muslim Brotherhood (the seedbed for Al Qaeda and others), makes it especially necessary for the government not to be seen as being in conflict with the Islamic side of any dispute.

Unlike some decades ago, the governments of Jordan and Egypt are both willing to be part of a two-state solution, if they don’t have to offend their own people’s sympathies to get it.  They understand, correctly, that it is to their financial and political benefit to do so.

It’s tempting to paint all Islamic mid-east nations with the same brush.  But the fact is that there would be considerable hope for peace if Syria and Iran dropped their support of Hamas and Hizbullah, and the Palestinians could see their way clear to elect a leadership that was not dedicated to maintaining the conflict.

Put simply, Iran’s and Syria’s leadership depend on maintaining that conflict for their own power.  And Russia is helping them do it, and helping the governments of Iran and Syria stay in power. The odds of Iran/Syria/Russia abandoning Hizbullah and Hamas are miniscule. But if there was some way to do an end-run around Hamas in Palestine, in terms of forming a government, it would be a start.  I have no illusions about Hamas peacefully allowing this to happen.  But, just possibly, if Hamas is seen by the Palestinians as being against a greater Palestine government, and if Hamas starts being known more for attacking other Palestinians than Israelis, something like the Anbar awakening could occur, where the locals once sympathetic to terrorists realize the danger they pose.

Egypt, hardly an ideal of freedom, is nevertheless doing the right thing here, and should be supported by the west in whatever ways will help.  In the meantime, the west has to find a way to get aid into Palestine that does not flow through Hamas first, so that the west does not support the Palestinian image of Hamas as caregiver.  I don’t have a suggestion about HOW to do this, and I recognize the difficulty of it.   Nevertheless, we have to find a way to get aid to Palestinians that does not simply prop up Hamas.  Just possibly, the beginning could be Egypt’s intervention to help develop a non-Hamas AND non-Fatah Palestinian unified government, through which aid from the west could be funneled that would help stabilize that new government.

The two state solution cannot work if one of them is simply a terrorist nation.  But if, by some working of God and diplomacy, a non-terrorist Palestinian government could form, there would be hope.  It’s worth the effort.

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Sep 16 2008

History hasn’t ended: the next President had better have some idea how to deal with Iran: Bumped

Category: Iran,Islam,Israel,middle east,terrorismharmonicminer @ 11:59 pm

Bumped for Jerusalem Post update, link at bottom of post.

Only military action can stop Iran, experts tell European Jews – Haaretz – Israel News

The Iranian nuclear crisis may have crossed the point of no return while the threat of nuclear terrorism is on the rise, according to a panel of experts on proliferation. These somber assessments where voiced Monday during a seminar on nuclear capabilities hosted by the European Jewish Congress in Brussels.

“Only military action can stop Iran, or else Iran will acquire nuclear weapons to the great detriment of regional and even global stability,” the panel stated.

Continue reading “History hasn’t ended: the next President had better have some idea how to deal with Iran: Bumped”

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Aug 03 2008

A Cautionary Tale of Post-Ideological Politics in Israel: Visions of a future Obama presidency?

Category: Hamas,Hizbullah,Israel,middle east,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 9:16 am

Pretty much anyone who can read, and bothers to, knows that the Olmert government in Israel is hopelessly corrupt. The old notion of a “fish rotting from the head” comes to mind. Olmert is the target of seven different corruption investigations, a likely candidate for prison unless he cuts a deal before leaving office, and the most feckless leader in recent memory at fighting Israel’s enemies and protecting its people.

Building a governing coalition based on the Kadima party, the self-confessedly post-ideological creation of Ariel Sharon, a party which claimed to be neither right nor left (shades of Obama’s claim to “unify” and be “beyond old categories”), a party which would simply do what was necessary without reference to previously stated ideological positions, Olmert has actually accomplished nothing but to stay in power and stretch out his tenure, while causing great harm to Israel’s security.

This is all made very clear by Caroline Glick as she describes the ebb and flow of the Israeli electorate in response to events on the ground, and the way a “post-ideological” leader is captive to swings in public mood, but lacks the strength to actually carry out a coherent policy:

With the nation in a left leaning mood in the run-up to the last election, Kadima announced its plan to give Judea and Samaria to terrorists from Fatah and Hamas. Distinguishing their party from the radical left, which shares their plan, Kadima’s leaders explained that they sought to place Israel’s major urban centers in Palestinian rocket range not in the interest of peace – as the leftist ideologues would have it – but in the interest of the hardnosed “demographic” aim of putting all the country’s Jews in one concentrated area.

Before the nation had an opportunity to fully understand what Kadima’s “convergence” plan entailed, Israel’s body politic shifted to the right in June 2006 after the Palestinians attacked an IDF post near Gaza and kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Schalit. Two weeks later it shifted further to the right when Hizbullah carried out a nearly identical attack along the border with Lebanon and abducted reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

Noticing the public’s rightward shift, Olmert and his colleagues followed immediately. When Olmert launched the Second Lebanon War, he sounded downright Churchillian as he promised the nation nothing less than the total defeat of Hizbullah and the return of our hostage servicemen.

Continue reading “A Cautionary Tale of Post-Ideological Politics in Israel: Visions of a future Obama presidency?”

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Jul 31 2008

Challenge lies, or ignore them?

Category: Hamas,Hizbullah,Israel,media,middle east,terrorismharmonicminer @ 9:00 am

A writer in the Jerusalem Post observes that US newspapers constantly attack Israel in editorial pages and with slanted, distorted coverage and wonders what the appropriate response is. To defend, or to ignore? It’s hard to know what will be most effective:

Verbal attacks on Israel in US papers and other media outlets are ceaseless, and can be demoralizing. But how do we measure their impact on the average American? Should we simply assume that a pro-Hamas op-ed in The New York Times is far more damaging to Israel’s cause than a local activist’s letter in a minor paper? Perhaps we should assume that Times’ readers are less likely to fall for obvious spin because they are more sophisticated than local media consumers? It’s impossible to be sure.

My inclination, which the writer eventually seems to share, is that if you want to affect public opinion, you have to fight unfair assertions, every single time.

The Bush administration learned, too late, that when you don’t answer outrageous assertions, and those assertions are constantly repeated, they have a way of becoming received wisdom in the relatively uncritical public mind. By the time the Bush administration wised up a bit and began to try to counter the main stream media’s narrative that Bush had lied about weapons of mass destruction, and that the presence of those weapons was the only reason for going into Iraq, it was just too late to affect the public understanding with facts.

People in sympathy with Israel, and Israel itself, need to learn this lesson: absolutely no good comes from “taking the high road” and not responding to outrageous claims. Lies need to be countered, period.

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Jul 21 2008

Preparing for the unimaginable: Israeli parents consider their childrens’ kidnapping

Category: Hamas,Hizbullah,Islam,Israel,middle east,terrorism,tortureharmonicminer @ 9:00 am

A former Israeli special forces officer has hard advice for parents whose children in Israel are vulnerable to kidnapping by Islamic terrorists. It is quite unimaginable for most of us to consider such a thing in advance, and what we would do about it. Yet, this is the reality faced by parents in Israel, exacerbated by the recent trade of live terrorists from Israeli prisons for dead bodies of Israeli victims.

I am writing this as a parent that has 100% of my children, at high risk, of being victims of a kidnapping.

We must remember, Israel has never received any of our children back alive, from a kidnapping.

We must also face certain hard to face facts, our children if grabbed will be subject to torture and mutilation that would have made Mengele proud.


….. think about the kidnapping of your child now, face the pain and make a plan that will keep your dignity.

You really need to read the whole thing to understand the realities.  There is truly not a moral equivalence between the Israelis and Hamas/Hizbullah, regardless of the pretensions and posturing of the Left.

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Jul 19 2008

Feminism, jihadi style, and children’s TV in Palestine

Category: Hamas,Islam,Israel,middle east,terrorismharmonicminer @ 1:31 pm

It seems that feminism is alive and well in Palestine. (video at the link: you may need to wait a moment for it to load)

transcript here

In case you think this some kind of aberration in Palestine, here is how children are taught about crime and punishment.

transcript here

Thanks to memritv.

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Jul 17 2008

Bases loaded and full count in Israel

Category: Iran,Israel,middle eastharmonicminer @ 3:38 pm

While sports metaphors are often suspect in political matters, this may be a time when Israel gets exactly one swing at the ball.

An Israeli attack on Iran seems inevitable. If it succeeds, it will return to Israel its deterrent power and send a clear message to the saber-rattling jihadists that they were too early in beginning the countdown for the disappearance of the Jewish state.
Iranian missile tests

If it fails, or fails to achieve the majority of its objectives, it could amount to an act of national suicide. Fanatical Muslims on every side will be encouraged by the failure and outcome of an Iranian retaliation which would cause heavy damage to the whole center of our country.

Iran would unquestionably be joined by its proxies on our borders, Hizbullah and Syria on the north and Hamas on the south, the PLO jihad brigades under various names, and the Arabs of Israel. The latter have already shown their ability to block major traffic arteries and demonstrated that their loyalties rest with their Arab brethren, not with the Jewish state.

The repeated declarations of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the aim of Iran is to wipe Israel off the world map should not be taken as the empty, fiery words of a fanatical Muslim dictator, but as a plan of action. True, Iran does not need a pretext, but an Israeli attack on any nuclear installation in Iran, or just an invasion of Iranian air space could be used as an excellent reason for mounting an all-out missile attack.

We’re going to know, quite soon, whether or not Israel is going to survive as a nation.

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