Archive for July, 2012


Shira’s Note: Here’s Caroline Glick’s new article which I had to post. Nobody wants to hear about what the ugly truth is, but we can’t stand aside and ignore what’s plain to see. If anyone has a better solution to the current crisis going on in the middle east, somebody please, elaborate! 23 Jul 2012 10:13 PM PDT


I am travelling now and so have been very much out of the loop for the past several days. But I have noticed a couple of things that I think need to be pointed out. First, there is Syria. Today it was reported that the Syrian regime is threatening Israel with chemical weapons. According to Reuters’ report:

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the army would not use chemical weapons to crush rebels but could use them against forces from outside the country.

“Any chemical or bacterial weapons will never be used … during the crisis in Syria regardless of the developments,” Makdissi said. “These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under its direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression.” 

Israel of course has not threatened to attack Syria. Rather Israel has made clear that it reserves the right to use force to prevent the embattled terror sponsor Bashar Assad from transferring his chemical and biological weapons to Hezbollah in Iran. And now Syria is responding by threatening to attack Israel with chemical weapons. I don’t want to trivialize this threat by bringing it down to the level of politics. And so at the outset, it is crucial that we recognize just how serious things have become. First, there is Iran. Iran through Hezbollah just massacred Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Iran is probably past the point of no return with its nuclear weapons program. And so today, when we speak of a military option for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the only viable option is to kill the vast majority of Iran’s nuclear scientists. One or two top guys will not be enough. Today anyone and everyone in possession of nuclear know how in Iran should have a target mark on his head and should be killed. Nothing short of this will do if we are determined to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

I don’t know if it is possible to carry this out. And I don’t know if it is possible to find and destroy Syria’s chemical and biological weapons. But just as Iran has done with its nuclear weapons program, Syria has pointed its gun at Israel’s head. We know where they want to take this. And if Israel is to survive this Islamist tsunami, things are likely to get very ugly, and very violent very quickly. To confront these massive threats, Israel could really use American support, even if it is only rhetorical.

Now that we have this cleared up, we need to recognize how it is that we have reached this incredibly dangerous time. Let us start with Syria. Over the weekend, the main headline about the US response to the war in Syria was that the US is concerned about Israel acting unilaterally. The Syrian government is daily engaging in massacre. Its opponents, for their part are increasingly open about their jihadist ideology, spurring the Christians of Syria to flee from their homes, and the Alawite minority to fear for their livesBut what makes the Americans most fearful is that these competing groups of terror sponsors and mass murderers will find their arsenals of genocide destroyed by Israel, acting in self-defense. If this sounds familiar, it is. This is, after all, Obama’s primary concern about Iran and its nuclear weapons program. 

Speaking to reporters in a conference call on Monday Obama’s foreign policy surrogates claimed there is still “time and space” (whatever that means), to reach some sort of a deal with Iran. It bears noting that in the best of cases, that deal would not end Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It could temporarily slow down some of Iran’s uranium enrichment but probably wouldn’t even do that. At this point, the most probable deal would have no impact whatsoever on Iran’s progress towards a nuclear arsenal but would serve to slow down the imposition of sanctions on Iranian oil exports. That is, at this point, if a deal is reached with all the “time and space” available to Obama, such a deal will only redound to Iran’s benefit, including to the benefit of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which, I repeat, will not be cancelled, stopped or diminished.

Many have criticized Obama by arguing that he has no policy on Syria. But actually, he does. He sees Syria in the same light that he sees Iran. In both cases, his main concern is to prevent Israel from defending itself.

  
 

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Obama’s spectacular failure:  Posted: 12 Jul 2012 08:39 PM PDT

Shira’s Note: This one is a hard one to swallow from the office of the president. As much as I would like to disagree and have more faith in Mr. Obama, I cannot. Here, Ms. Glick lays out facts as only she can, well researched and truthful. There is no ignoring these facts. My only hope is that somehow the Obama’s administration’s foreign policy will work out, that maybe we might be missing something, but then I think a terrorist is a terrorist and the extremely virulent nature of them will prove otherwise.  The truth is they will not stop until we are dead, that’s the truth, unfortunately for us, but especially the president and his thinking.  Read on and find out what I’m talking about…

Abdul Rahman Yasin in 2002

Abdul Rahman Yasin in 2002 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two weeks ago, in an unofficial inauguration ceremony at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi took off his mask of moderation. Before a crowd of scores of thousands, Mursi pledged to work for the release from US federal prison of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. According to The New York Times’ account of his speech, Mursi said, “I see signs [being held by members of the crowd] for Omar Abdel-Rahman and detainees’ pictures. It is my duty and I will make all efforts to have them free, including Omar Abdel-Rahman.” Otherwise known as the blind sheikh, Abdel Rahman was the mastermind of the jihadist cell in New Jersey that perpetrated the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His cell also murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York in 1990. They plotted the assassination of then-president Hosni Mubarak. They intended to bomb New York landmarks including the Lincoln and Holland tunnels and the UN headquarters. Rahman was the leader of Gama’a al-Islamia – the Islamic Group, responsible, among other things for the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981. A renowned Sunni religious authority, Rahman wrote the fatwa, or Islamic ruling, permitting Sadat’s murder in retribution for his signing the peace treaty with Israel. The Islamic group is listed by the State Department as a specially designated terrorist organization. After his conviction in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Abdel-Rahman issued another fatwa calling for jihad against the US. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, Osama bin Laden cited Abdel-Rahman’s fatwa as the religious justification for them. By calling for Abdel-Rahman’s release, Mursi has aligned himself and his government with the US’s worst enemies. By calling for Abdel-Rahman’s release during his unofficial inauguration ceremony, Mursi signaled that he cares more about winning the acclaim of the most violent, America-hating jihadists in the world than with cultivating good relations with America. And in response to Mursi’s supreme act of unfriendliness, US President Barack Obama invited Mursi to visit him at the White House. Mursi is not the only Abdel Rahman supporter to enjoy the warm hospitality of the White House. His personal terror organization has also been the recipient of administration largesse.

Despite the fact that federal law makes it a felony to assist members of specially designated terrorist organizations, last month the State Department invited group member Hani Nour Eldin, a newly elected member of the Islamist-dominated Egyptian parliament, to visit the US and meet with senior US officials at the White House and the State Department, as part of a delegation of Egyptian parliamentarians. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refused to provide any explanation for the administration’s decision to break federal law in order to host Eldin in Washington. Nuland simply claimed, “We have an interest in engaging a broad cross-section of Egyptians who are seeking to peacefully shape Egypt’s future. The goal of this delegation… was to have consultations both with think tanks but also with government folks, with a broad spectrum representing all the colors of Egyptian politics.” MURSI IS not the only Arab leader who embraces terrorists only to be embraced by the US government.

In a seemingly unrelated matter, this week it was reported that in an attempt to satisfy the Obama administration’s urgent desire to renew negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, and to satisfy the Palestinians’ insatiable desire to celebrate terrorists, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered to release 124 Palestinian terrorist murderers from Israeli prisons in exchange for a meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas. Alas, Abbas refused. He didn’t think Netanyahu’s offer was generous enough. And how did the Obama administration respond to Abbas’s demand for the mass release of terrorists and his continued refusal to resume negotiations with Israel? By attacking Israel. The proximate cause of the Obama administration’s most recent assault on Israel is the publication of the legal opinion of a panel of expert Israeli jurists regarding the legality of Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Netanyahu commissioned the panel, led by retired Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy, to investigate the international legal status of these towns and villages and to provide the government with guidance relating to future construction of Israeli communities beyond the armistice lines. The committee’s findings, published this week, concluded that under international law, these communities are completely legal. There is nothing remotely revolutionary about this finding. This has been Israel’s position since 1967, and arguably since 1922. The international legal basis for the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 was the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. That document gave the Jewish people the legal right to sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, as well as all the land Israel took control over during the 1948- 49 War of Independence. Not only did the Mandate give the Jewish people the legal right to the areas, it enjoined the British Mandatory authorities to “facilitate… close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” So not only was Jewish settlement not prohibited. It was required. Although this has been Israel’s position all along, Netanyahu apparently felt the need to have its legitimacy renewed in light of the all-out assault against Israel’s legal rights led by the Palestinians, and joined enthusiastically by the Obama administration. In a previous attempt to appease Obama’s rapacious appetite for Israeli concessions, Netanyahu temporarily abrogated Israel’s legal rights by banning Jews from exercising their property rights in Judea and Samaria for 10 months in 2010. All the legal opinion published this week does is restate what Israel’s position has always been. Whereas the Obama administration opted to embrace Mursi even as he embraces Abdel-Rahman, the Obama administration vociferously condemned Israel for having the nerve to ask a panel of senior jurists to opine about its rights. In a press briefing, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell banged the rhetorical hammer. As he put it, “The US position on settlements is clear. Obviously, we’ve seen the reports that an Israeli government-appointed panel has recommended legalizing dozens of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts.” In short then, for the Obama administration, it is all well and fine for the newly elected president of what was until two years ago the US’s most important Arab ally to embrace a terror mastermind indirectly responsible for the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans. It is okay to invite members of jihadist terror groups to come to Washington and meet with senior US officials in a US taxpayer- funded trip. It is even okay for the head of a would-be-state that the US is trying to create to embrace every single Palestinian terrorist, including those who have murdered Americans. But for Israel’s elected government to ask an expert panel to determine whether Israel is acting in accordance with international law in permitting Jews to live on land the Palestinians insist must be Jew-free is an affront. THE DISPARITY between the administration’s treatment of the Mursi government on the one hand and the Netanyahu government on the other places the nature of its Middle East policy in stark relief. Obama came into office with a theory on which he based his Middle East policy. His theory was that jihadists hate America because the US supports Israel. By placing what Obama referred to as “daylight” between the US and Israel, he believed he would convince the jihadists to put aside their hatred of America. Obama has implemented this policy for three and a half years. And its record of spectacular failure is unbroken.

Obama’s failure is exposed in all its dangerous consequence by a simple fact. Since he entered office, the Americans have dispensed with far fewer jihadists than they have empowered. Since January 2009, the Muslim world has become vastly more radicalized. No Islamist government in power in 2009 has been overthrown. But several key states – first and foremost Egypt – that were led by pro-Western, US-allied governments when Obama entered office are now ruled by Islamists. It is true that the election results in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and elsewhere are not Obama’s fault. But they still expose the wrongness of his policy. Obama’s policy of putting daylight between the US and Israel, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood against US allies like Mubarak, involves being bad to America’s friends and good to America’s enemies. This policy cannot help but strengthen your enemies against yourself and your friends. Rather than contend with the bitter consequences of his policy, Obama and his surrogates have opted to simply deny the dangerous reality he has engendered through his actions. Even worse they have come up with explanations for maintaining this policy despite its flagrant failure. Nowhere was this effort more obvious than in a made-to-order New York Times analysis this week titled, “As Islamists gain influence, Washington reassesses who its friends are.” The analysis embraces the notion that it is possible and reasonable to appease the likes of Mursi and his America-hating jihadist supporters and coalition partners. It quotes Michele Dunne from the Atlantic Council who claimed that on the one hand, if the Muslim Brotherhood and its radical comrades are allowed to take over Egypt, their entry into mainstream politics should reduce the terrorism threat. On the other hand, she warned, “If Islamist groups like the Brotherhood lose faith in democracy, that’s when there could be dire consequences.” In other words, the analysis argues that the US should respond to the ascent of its enemies by pretending its enemies are its friends. Aside from its jaw-dropping irresponsibility, this bit of intellectual sophistry requires a complete denial of reality. The Taliban were in power in Afghanistan in 2001. Their political power didn’t stop them from cooperating with al-Qaida. Hamas has been in charge of Gaza since 2007. That hasn’t stopped it from carrying out terrorism against Israel. The mullahs have been in charge of Iran from 33 years. That hasn’t stopped them from serving as the largest terrorism sponsors in the world. Hezbollah has been involved in mainstream politics in Lebanon since 2000 and it has remained one of the most active terrorist organizations in the world. And so on and so forth. Back in the 1980s, the Reagan administration happily cooperated with the precursors of al-Qaida in America’s covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. It never occurred to the Americans then that the same people working with them to overthrow the Soviets would one day follow the lead of the blind sheikh and attack America. Unlike the mujahadin in Afghanistan, the Muslim Brotherhood has never fought a common foe with the Americans. The US is supporting it for nothing – while seeking to win its support by turning on America’s most stable allies. Can there be any doubt that this policy will end badly?

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

English: Jonathan Pollard, U.S. Navy I.D. pict...

BI-PARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL LETTER CALLING FOR POLLARD’S RELEASE UNITES AMERICAN JEWRY

Jewish Leaders Thank Congressmen Engel and Smith for Spearheading Unprecedented Bi-Partisan Effort

As an historic bi-partisan “Dear Colleague” letter is being circulated in the U.S. House of Representatives in support of clemency for Jonathan Pollard, a coalition representing the full spectrum of American Jewry has united to urge Members of Congress to sign this urgent plea to President Obama, and to express its gratitude to the lawmakers who initiated this extraordinary bi-partisan effort. Representatives of the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jewish movements have issued written pleas to lawmakers, as well as to their respective constituencies, to generate support for this unprecedented effort to free Pollard. Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), both of whom are veteran members of the House of Representatives, are soliciting signatures on a letter to President Obama, which urges the President to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served. The letter marks the first time Congressional Democrats and Republicans have joined forces in an effort to secure Pollard’s release.

“Acting on the broad consensus of its member organizations, the Conference of Presidents has long supported humanitarian interventions to gain clemency for Jonathan Pollard now in his 27th year of imprisonment,” said Richard Stone, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “The Congressional letter led by Rep. Engel and Rep. Smith and joined by a large bipartisan group of their colleagues is an important initiative. We urge our member organizations to reach out to their members and affiliates to secure as many co-sponsors as possible. The growing number of elected officials and leaders of all faiths who have called on the President to grant clemency is a recognition that Pollard has served longer than anyone for a comparable crime and it is time for him to be released,” continued Stone and Hoenlein. “On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, with membership of more than 1800 Reform rabbis, we write to request your support for clemency for Jonathan Pollard and to urge you to join a letter to that effect to the President, currently being circulated by Representatives Eliot Engel and Chris Smith,” wrote Rabbi David Saperstein, the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, in a letter to Members of Congress. “Mr. Pollard has been imprisoned for 27 years, one of the longest prison terms of any American ever convicted of spying for an ally of the United States. Our reason for supporting clemency for Mr. Pollard’s sentence is not out of a belief that he is innocent, but instead is motivated by a need for fair and just criminal sentencing….[W]e urge you to join this call for clemency, asking the President to act with mercy and grant Jonathan Pollard long-overdue clemency,” continued Rabbi Saperstein. 

“Reps. Eliot Engel and Chris Smith are co-sponsoring this letter to President Obama urging him to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard,” wrote the Rabbinical Assembly, which is the international association of Conservative rabbis, in a letter to its membership. “The RA has passed four resolutions most recently in 2011 urging the President to release Mr. Pollard from prison. He has served 27 years, the longest sentence ever given for spying for an ally. We ask those of you residing in the US to communicate with your representative asking him/her to sign the letter being circulated by Reps. Engel and Smith.” “We write on behalf of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, to request your support for a grant of clemency to Mr. Jonathan Pollard. Specifically, we urge you to co-sign the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to the President currently being circulated by Representatives Engel and Smith,” wrote Dr. Simcha Katz, President of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Rabbi Steven Burg, Managing Director of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the International Director of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, and Nathan J. Diament, Director of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America’s Institute for Public Affairs, in a letter that was sent to Members of Congress. “As Reps. Engel and Smith state, Mr. Pollard broke the law and deserved to be punished for his crime. However, his health is reportedly declining – he has recently been hospitalized for kidney and gallstone problems. It is also clear that Mr. Pollard, who has already been in prison for 27 years, has served a disproportionately severe sentence. The Orthodox Union has joined with others in the Jewish community to state that we believe the time has come for the President to grant him clemency.”

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, the Executive Vice President, Emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel, which has more than 25,000 member families and approximately 140 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, noted that the National Council of Young Israel has also been working to generate additional support for the “Dear Colleague” letter. The National Council of Young Israel has been intimately and actively involved with Jonathan Pollard’s plight for approximately 20 years, and has been one of the vocal and most ardent supporters of the movement to free Pollard. Rabbi Lerner communicates regularly with Jonathan Pollard and his wife Esther, and is considered by Jonathan to be his clergy. The Committee to Free Jonathan Pollard stands united with the coalition of American Jewish leaders in urging people across the United States to contact their Congressional representatives as soon as possible to request that they sign onto this historic bi-partisan letter. People can go online to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ in order to identify their Congressional representative and get his or her contact information. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbinical Assembly, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and the National Council of Young Israel strongly encourage their members, congregants, and rabbis to call their representative’s Washington, DC office and ask to speak to, or leave a message for, the representative’s Chief of Staff and let them know that as one of their constituents, you are asking them to sign onto the bi-partisan Engel-Smith “Dear Colleague” letter that is circulating in the House of Representatives, which calls for clemency for Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard has spent more than 26 years of an unprecedented life sentence languishing in a federal prison for passing classified information to Israel, an ally of the United States. The median sentence for this offense is 2 to 4 years. No one else in the history of the United States has ever received a life sentence for this offense. Pollard received his life sentence without benefit of trial, as the result of a plea agreement which he honored and the government abrogated. Pollard has repeatedly expressed his remorse publicly and in private in letters to many Presidents and others. His health has severely deteriorated after nearly three decades in prison. 

Shira’s note: Please voices out there, shout and be heard!! Do Something About It!! Let’s get Jonathan out. Let’s pray for his soul….

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IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis: Website: www.imra.org.il