Category: Global Issues


Decades ago, the sociographer Milton Himmelfarb coined the aphorism that “American Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” And his words ring as true today as ever. Surveys show that roughly 70 percent of American Jews intend to cast their ballots for President Barack Obama’s reelection next month.  Himmelfarb’s quip indicated that American Jews abjure their economic interests in favor of their liberal values. Certainly it is true that for American Jews to vote for Obama next month they must act against their economic interests. Obama’s economic policies have taken a huge toll on the economic fortunes of American Jews who invest disproportionately in the stock market. His nationalization of the college loan business has given universities impetus to raise tuition rates still further, thus dooming more young American Jews to start their adult lives under a mountain of debt. And it isn’t at all clear how they will be able to pay off this debt since under Obama half of recent college graduates cannot find jobs. Obama’s gutting of Medicare to pay for Obamacare has harmed the medical choices for older Jewish Americans. His war on tax deductions for charitable contributions has placed synagogues, Jewish schools and nursing homes in financial jeopardy. So with economics ruled out as a reason to support Obama we are left with American-Jewish values.
But is Obama really advancing those values? What are those values anyway? Well, there’s civil liberties. American Jews like those. But Obama doesn’t. Take freedom of speech. Obama is the most hostile president to freedom of speech in recent memory. He has advocated implementing the so-called “fairness doctrine” for radio to stifle the free speech of his political opponents on talk radio. He has sought to undermine the freedom of the Internet through federal regulations and intimidation of Internet companies such as Google. He has made repeated and outspoken attempts to intimidate individuals, groups and businesses including Google to bar freedom of speech as relates to criticism of Islam. He has purged the lexicon of the federal government of all terms necessary to describe jihad, Islamic radicalism and terrorism, and so made it impossible for federal employees to examine, investigate, discuss or understand the nature of the greatest national security threat facing the US.  Then there are women’s rights. American Jews like those. True, Obama has distinguished himself as the greatest ally of abortion-on-demand ever. He even supported infanticide of babies who survived abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature. But, we women are a bit more than reproductive machines. We also work and raise families. And Obama’s economic programs hurt women as much if not more than they hurt men. Aside from that, there are females who live outside of the US. American Jews have long been outspoken champions of women’s rights around the world. But here Obama’s record is arguably worse than any president in US history.  Obama has abandoned the women most at risk of gender-based discrimination, rape and murder – the women and girls of the Muslim world. Whereas the Bush administration liberated the women and girls of Afghanistan from the maniacally misogynist Taliban regime, the Obama administration is negotiating with the Taliban and setting the conditions for its return to power. If the signature image of the Bush administration’s war in Afghanistan was that of women voting, the signature image of Obama’s war in Afghanistan is the photo of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai. This week Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan for her defense of the right of girls to go to school.
Then there is the cause of good governance. American Jews like that. But here, too, Obama fails to live up to liberal values of clean politics. Every day seems to bring with it another scandal related to the Obama administration. This week we learned that the Obama campaign is illegally soliciting funds from foreigners. According to a report published by the Government Accountability Institute, some 20% of visitors to the Obama campaign’s fund-raising site “my.barackobama.com” are foreigners, barred by US law from contributing to political campaigns. So, too, the Obama.com website was registered by Robert Roche, a US businessman living in Shanghai with ties to Chinese state-owned companies. Roche is an Obama campaign bundler. Sixty-eight percent of the traffic on the site comes from foreign users. Obama.com is currently managed by a Palestinian rights activist in Maine.
Finally, there is the cause of Israel and US-Israel relations that American Jews are assumed to care about. After the fiasco at the Democratic National Convention when the widespread antipathy for Israel raging in the Democratic Party was broadcast on primetime television, the Obama administration has stopped even trying to hide its contempt for the Jewish state and its American Jewish supporters. Whereas the US refused to walk out of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s obscene address to the UN General Assembly last month, US Ambassador Susan Rice chose to absent herself entirely from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s address before the body.
Adding insult to injury, last week Obama appointed Salam al-Marayati to represent the US at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe‘s annual 10-day human rights conference. Marayati is the founder and executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. As Robert Spencer recalled this week, on September 11, 2001, Marayati gave an interview to a Los Angeles radio station accusing Israel of being responsible for the jihadist attacks on the US. He is an outspoken supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah. And Obama appointed him to represent America at a major human rights conference.
So what is it that drives over two-thirds of American Jews to support Obama? The only issues that come easily to mind are social issues – particularly the two flagship causes of American Jews these days – abortion and homosexual marriage. While it is true that Obama shares their positions on these issues, it is hard to believe that these two issues have become the cri du coeur of more than two-thirds of American Jews. It isn’t that it is wrong for people to support abortions on demand and homosexual marriage. And it isn’t wrong for people to oppose them. There are reasonable, Jewish arguments to be made for a woman’s right to abort her unborn children. But there are also reasonable Jewish arguments for constraining that right. There are Jewish arguments in favor of permitting homosexuals to wed. And there are Jewish arguments opposing such unions.
Then there is the relative urgency of the issues. With the US economy in a rut and American national security increasingly imperiled, are abortion rights and gay marriage really the American Jewish community’s top priorities? True, there are some American Jewish fanatics who are propelled to near violence when faced with opponents of their beliefs. And they are capable of intimidating a large proportion of their fellow Jews into toeing their extremist lines. Their intolerance has been on display in all of its ugliness at synagogues around the US since the start of the election campaign. In one recent, outrageous incident, one gay marriage partisan managed to intimidate his congregation on Erev Yom Kippur.
On the most sacred evening on the Jewish calendar, at Anshe Emet synagogue in Chicago, congregant Gary Sircus led other congregants in walking out of services when, in keeping with synagogue protocol (and common courtesy), Rabbi Michael Siegel acknowledged the presence of US Rep. Michele Bachmann in the audience. After staging the walkout, Sircus went home and began an online assault on Bachmann and on his synagogue for extending the outspoken and stalwart supporter of Israel the courtesy of acknowledging her presence at services. Sircus wrote a letter of support to Jim Graves, Bachmann’s deep-pocketed Democratic opponent in her reelection campaign. In it, he referred to Bachmann as “this evil woman.” Rabbi Siegel did not decry Sircus for his shocking behavior. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune Siegel said, “I am aware of the fact that our congregation’s policy in regards to [welcoming public officials to the community and honoring their presence] clearly caused pain to some members of our community on the most precious day of reconciliation on the Jewish calendar. That we regret deeply.” In a letter of explanation to synagogue board members, Siegel spoke of the need to welcome visitors even if they don’t share the community’s “values.”  But when did the members of Anshe Emet take a vote to determine that support for gay marriage is their shared value? Undoubtedly, Sircus’s success in embarrassing his entire community owed in part to his willingness to intimidate his fellow congregants with his moralistic sanctimony on Erev Yom Kippur. But it isn’t only gay marriage champions who use intimidation tactics to silence their communities into conforming with their views. American Jewish Democratic partisans have taken a leading role in blocking dissenting voices from their midst. For instance, this past May B’nai Emet Congregation in Boca Raton, Florida, invited Amb. Susan Rice to address the congregation. Synagogue officials not only rejected offers to have Rice debate opponents of Obama’s treatment of Israel. They barred community members known for their opposition to Obama from attending the speech. For these synagogue officials, the idea that their partisan prejudice might be challenged was simply unacceptable.
To be fair, there are some American Jews who have been willing to approach politics with an open mind. For instance, Susan Crown, of the Chicago-based Henry Crown business empire, has transferred her support from Obama to Mitt Romney. In an interview with Chicago Magazine Crown explained that she switched candidates last May when Obama gave his speech calling on Israel to withdraw from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and contract to within the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. Crown said that her switch was due as well to economic and foreign policy considerations. Crown’s arguments for transferring her support from Obama to Romney are all rational. On the other hand, the positions taken by the likes of Sircus and the management of B’nai Emet are emotional and unthinking. Unfortunately, the polls indicate that more than two-thirds of American Jews are with the synagogue bullies at B’nai Emet and with Sircus, not with Crown.
For 70% of American Jews, party loyalty trumps all of their conceivable rational interests. For them, partisan loyalty is more important than facts. They do not want to use independent judgment. They just want to be Democrats. The most disturbing aspect of the surveys of American Jewish voters is not that they are willing to vote for the most hostile US president Israel has ever experienced in order to remain true to their party. The most disturbing aspect of the American Jewish community’s devotion to Obama and the Democrats is that it indicates that the vast majority of American Jews have abandoned their faculties for independent thought and judgment in favor of conformism and slavish partisanship. They have rendered themselves unreachable.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

 

Shira’s note: This is a must see video. It is approximately 20 minutes. Please share it as much as you can so as to underscore the importance of Israel’s existantialism in the Middle East. It’s scary but we must be strong for Israel and the Western world.

Obama has Israel”s back….right in front of his dagger. On the other hand, Israel does have America”s back.

Shira’s note:  As much as I respect and regard Ms. Glick’s perspective on everything she expounds upon, it is always a lengthy read.  With that, it’s worth it. Unfortunately, with us, our time is so limited with everything else, we don’t give ourselves enough time to practice polemics in educating ourselves and others; whereas, personalities such as Ms. Glick makes this, their perspectives finely tuned and wise with as much truth that can be warranted to be read on a daily basis.  It’s my wish that we can take the time to discuss the global issues prevalent today to make a difference micro-globally, to somehow damage ignorance-based hatred and find justice where it is usually hidden and takes too much to find. This is a wish. Let me know if you relate to what I’m saying, and if so, share this blog so others can relate.  Thanks…S.

On Tuesday, Egypt’s chief prosecutor issued arrest warrants against eight US citizens.  Their purported crimes relate either to their reported involvement in the production of the Internet movie critical of Islam that has received so much attention over the past 10 days, or to other alleged anti-Islamic activities. One of the US citizens indicted is a woman who converted from Islam to Christianity. According to the Associated Press, Egypt’s general prosecution issued a statement announcing that the eight US citizens have been indicted on charges of insulting and publicly attacking Islam, spreading false information, and harming Egyptian national unity.  The statement stipulated that they could face the death penalty if convicted. The AP write-up of the story quoted Mamdouh Ismail, a Salafi attorney who praised the prosecution’s move. He claimed it would deter others from exercising their right to free expression in regards to Islam. As he put it, the prosecutions will “set a deterrent for them and anyone else who may fall into this.” That is, they will deter others from saying anything critical about Islam. This desire to intimidate free people into silence on Islam is clearly the goal the heads of the Muslim Brotherhood seek to achieve through their protests of the anti-Islamic movie. This was the message of Muslim Brotherhood chief Yussuf Qaradawi. Three days after the anti-American assaults began on the anniversary of the September 11 jihadist attacks on America, Qaradawi gave a sermon on Qatar television, translated by MEMRI.

Qaradawi struck a moderate tone. He called on his followers to stop rioting against the US. Rather than attack the US, Qaradawi urged his Muslim audience to insist that the US place prohibitions on the free speech rights of American citizens by outlawing criticism of Islam – just as the Europeans have done in recent years in the face of Islamic terror and intimidation.

In his words, “We say to the US: You must take a strong stance and try to confront this extremism like the Europeans do. This [anti-Islamic film] is not art. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech. This is nothing but curses and insults. Does the freedom to curse and insult constitute freedom of speech?”

Both the actions of the Egyptian prosecution and Qaradawi’s sermon prove incontrovertibly that the two policies the US has adopted since September 11, 2001, to contend with Muslim hatred for the US have failed. The neoconservative policy of supporting the democratization of Muslim societies adopted by President Barack Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush has failed. And the appeasement policy adopted by Obama has also failed. Bush’s democratization policy claimed that the reason the Muslim world had become a hotbed for anti-Americanism and terror was that the Muslim world was not governed by democratic regimes. Once the peoples of the Muslim world were allowed to be free, and to freely elect their governments, the neoconservatives proclaimed, they would abandon their hatred of America. As a consequence of this belief, when the anti-regime protests against the authoritarian Mubarak regime began in January 2011, the neoconservatives were outspoken supporters of the overthrow of then-president Hosni Mubarak, despite the fact that he had been the US’s key ally in the Arab world for three decades. They supported the political process that brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power. They supported the process despite the fact that Qaradawi is the most influential cleric in Egypt. They supported it despite the fact that just days after Mubarak was ousted from power, Qaradawi arrived at Cairo’s Tahrir Square and before an audience of two million followers, he called for the invasion of Israel and the conquest of Jerusalem. In the event, the Egyptian people voted for Qaradawi’s Muslim Brotherhood and for the Salafi party. The distinction between the two parties is that Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood are willing to resort to both violent and nonviolent ways to dominate the world in the name of Islam. The Salafis abjure nonviolence. So while Qaradawi called for the riots to end in order to convince the Americans to criminalize criticism of Islam, his Salafi counterparts called for the murder of everyone involved in producing the anti-Islamic film. For instance, Salafi cleric Ahmad Fouad Ashoush issued a fatwa on Islamic websites last weekend calling for American and European Muslims to murder those involved with the movie. His religious ruling was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group on Monday. Ashoush wrote, “Those bastards who did this film are belligerent disbelievers. I issue a fatwa and call on the Muslim youth in America and Europe to do this duty, which is to kill the director, the producer and the actors and everyone who helped and promoted the film. “So, hurry, hurry, O Muslim youth in America and Europe, and teach those filthy lowly ones a lesson that all the monkeys and pigs in America and Europe will understand. May Allah guide you and grant you success.”

These are the voices of democratic Egypt. The government, which has indicted American citizens on capital charges for exercising their most fundamental right as Americans, is a loyal representative of the sentiments of the Egyptian people who freely elected it. The Salafi preacher is a loyal representative of the segment of the Egyptian people that made the Salafi party the second largest in the Egyptian parliament. Qaradawi’s call for the abolition of freedom of speech in America – as has happened in Europe – and to ban all criticism of Islam is subscribed to by millions and millions of Muslims worldwide who consider him one of the leading Sunni clerics in the world. Free elections in Egypt have empowered the Egyptian people to use the organs of governance to advance their hatred of America. Their hatred has been empowered, and legitimized, not diminished as the neoconservatives had hoped. The behavior of the Egyptian government, Qaradawi and the Salafis also makes clear that Obama’s policy of appeasing the Muslim world has failed completely. Whereas Bush believed the source of Muslim hatred was their political oppression at the hands of their regimes, Obama has blamed their rage and hatred on America’s supposed misdeeds. By changing the way America treats the Muslim world, Obama believes he can end their hatred of America. To this end, he has reached out to the most anti-American forces and regimes in the region and spurned pro-American regimes and political forces.

When Obama’s policies are recognized as driven by appeasement, the seeming inconsistency of his war against Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi on the one hand, and his passivity in the face of the anti-regime uprising in Iran in 2009 and the Syrian uprising against the Assad regime today makes sense. Gaddafi was not a threat to the US, so he was unworthy of protection. The mullahs in Iran and Assad are foes of the US. So they deserve protection. Obama has assiduously courted the Muslim Brotherhood from the outset of his presidency. The official and unofficial Egyptian exploitation of the Internet film as a means to intimidate and attack the US into disavowing its core principles is proof that Obama’s theory of the source of Muslim rage is wrong. They do not hate America because of what the US government does. They hate America because of what America is. And it is because of this that since September 11, the rationale for Obama’s foreign policy has disintegrated. Rather than accept this basic truth and defend the American way of life, Obama has doubled down in the only way now available to him. He, his administration, his campaign and his supporters in the media have responded to the collapse of the foundations of his foreign policy by resorting to the sort of actions they accused George W. Bush, his administration and supporters of taking. They have responded with a campaign of political oppression and nativist bigotry directed against their political opponents.

Late last Friday night, law enforcement officers descended on the California home of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man who made the film that the Muslims of the newly free Arab lands find so offensive. Nakoula was questioned by federal authorities and later released. His arrest was photographed. The image of a dozen officers arresting an unarmed man for making a movie was broadcast worldwide within moments. Beyond persecuting an independent filmmaker, the White House requested that YouTube block access to it. YouTube – owned by Google – has so far rejected the White House’s request. The Obama administration’s abetment of bigoted nativism to silence criticism of its substantively indefensible foreign policy was on prominent display last Sunday. Obama’s campaign endorsed an anti-Semitic screed published by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

In her column, titled, “Neocons slither back,” Dowd wrote that Republican Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are mere puppets controlled by “neocon puppet master, Dan Senor.” Neocon is a popular code for Jewish. It was so identified by Dowd’s Times’ colleague David Brooks several years ago. Dowd said that “the neocons captured” Bush after the September 11 attacks and “Now, amid contagious Arab rage sparked on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, they have captured another would-be Republican president and vice president, both jejeune about the world.” One telling aspect of Dowd’s assault on Senor as a neoconservative is that he and his boss in the Bush administration, Paul Bremer, were the nemeses of the neoconservatives at the Pentagon. The only thing Senor has in common with the likes of Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith is that all three men are Jews. Moreover, Dowd drew a distinction between supposed “neocons” like Senor, and non-Jewish US leaders Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney who merely “abetted” the neocons. So Senor doesn’t share the same ideological worldview as Feith and Wolfowitz but he’s a neocon. And Cheney and Rumseld do share the same worldview as Feith and Wolfowitz. And they are not neocons.

The Times’ public editor Andrew Rosenthal dismissed claims that Dowd’s column was anti- Semitic, arguing it couldn’t be since she never said a word about Jews. The Obama campaign linked to Dowd’s column on its Twitter account with the message, “Why Romney and Ryan’s foreign policy sounds ‘ominously familiar.'” Obama’s campaign’s willingness to direct the public to anti-Semitic screeds against his political opponents is consistent with the administration’s general strategy for defending policies. That strategy involves responding to criticism not with substantive defense of his policies, but with ad hominem attacks against his critics. His failed economic policies’ critics are attacked as “Wall Street fat cats.” His failed foreign policies’ critics are demonized as ominous neocon puppet masters. There is a difference between appeasing parties that have been harmed by your actions and appeasing parties that wish your destruction. In the 1970s the US appeased the Philippines by transferring sovereignty over the Clark Air Force Base to the Philippine government. America was still America and the US and the Philippines became friends.

 


The 9/11 attacks on the US embassies were not about a movie

Here are a couple of facts: On June 4 the White House confirmed that the US had killed Abu Yahya Al-Libi – OBL’s Libyan lietenant who had moved into Al Qaeda‘s #2 spot after Ayman Zahawiri after the Navy SEALs whacked OBL. On Tuesday 9/11, a tape was released of Zawahiri announcing that Libi had been killed earlier this year by a US drone attack. The Zawahiri tape was made during Ramadan which ended in the middle of last month. Zawahiri called for his terrorist underlings to avenge Libi’s death and especially exhorted Libyans to take revenge.

The attack in Libya was well planned and executed. It wasn’t about a spontaneous protest against some ridiculous Internet movie of Muhammad. The assailants came armed to the teeth, with among other things, RPG 7s. They knew that the US Ambassador was in Benghazi rather than Tripoli. They knew how to track his movements, and were able to strike against him after he and his colleagues left the consulate building and tried to flee in a car. As Israel Channel 2‘s Arab Affairs Correspondent Ehud Yaari noted this evening, you don’t often see well trained terrorists participating in protests of movies. Then there is the attack in Cairo. They were led by Mohammad Zawahiri – Ayman Zawahiri’s brother. According the Thomas Josclyn in the Weekly Standard, the US media has been idiotically presenting him as some sort of moderate despite the fact that in an interview with Al Jazeerah he said said, “We in al Qaeda…”

Egypt’s US supported Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi recently released Zawahiri from Egyptian prison. The same Barack Obama who has no time in his schedule to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu next week in New York, is scheduled to meet Morsi. The Egyptian government has not condemned the attack on the US Embassy in Cairo. But Morsi is demanding that the US government prosecute the film’s creator.

You may be wondering how some movie no one’s heard of has caused such a hullabaloo. Well, as it turns out, the film was screened on an Egyptian Salafist television channel. Obviously the Salafists — many of whom, like Zawahiri, were released from prison by Morsi, wanted to stir up anti-US violence on the eve of 9/11. So if the film is responsible for the violence, a finger needs to be pointed to its chief distributor — Al Qaida’s Egyptian friends and members.

With these facts in hand, it is clear that the attempts to present these acts of war against the US as the consequence of some stupid, nothing movie are obscene attempts to deflect the blame for these unwarranted attacks onto their victims and away from their perpetrators.

Shira’s note: Okay, since this all began, it’s been confusing. We need to get the facts straight before anything, because without the truths involved here, nobody can place judgment or render an absolute opinion on these matters. For me, the only politically correct, or is it incorrect, is to say that the main issue is freedom of speech. Obviously, the perpetrators and governments of Libya and Egypt abhor the idea and want to suppress what we hold sacred to our freedoms.  They hate enough to kill. I do not want the victims to have died in vain. These wonderful people died doing what they felt was right. We want that righteousness to have been planted to see it grow with the same care these wonderful people gave to it. We need to unite.  Whether in prayer or deed do not succumb to stupidities the media would have given to us through their apathy and greed as in their mediums and by all means research the facts out and then render an opinion. It takes time, but if you believe in your principles, then do what you must.  It’s about not being ignorant and adding to the pool of ignorance which births hate and intolerance.  Shira

God, Jerusalem and American foreign policy.  Here’s a must read from Ms. Glick. I am trying to be neutral in this, the Obama administration’s policy towards Israel.  Everywhere I read though, it’s just not looking good.

Shira’s note: This post, thankfully, is a reminder of the plight Israel is chronically dealing with. There is so much info to be gained about this. Once again, the truth is something most people refuse to confront, and why I ask? Is it so much easier to be blind to other parts of the world that need our help and compassion. With truth, one can move forward and say their specific peace. Ignorance is what we are fighting. Hate is another and we are up against a wall. But who we are as humans, those of us who seek justice, mercy, truth and love will not forsake Israel. To me, to be a part of speaking up for justice in this instance and any other instance you feel strongly about, will bring a change to our world. We might not see it now, but it does make a difference. Believe and it will be….S. (please pass this along!)

By GIULIO MEOTTI – The Jerusalem Post – August 19, 2012

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=281832

America’s interest in Israel’s strategic value has always been the primary motivation for US support… Can we forget the US treatment of Jonathan Pollard, the only American to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally? The Israel-Iran countdown has begun, and with regard to Teheran’s nuclear race we are witnessing a great crisis in US-Israel relations. Will America help the tiny Jewish state? Can Israel trust the word of a US administration which treated Jerusalem like a banana republic? A few days ago, Israeli officials told Yediot Aharonot newspaper that “the US’ stance is pushing the Iranians to become a country at the brink of nuclear capability.” Very few people in Israel believe that the US will ever launch another preemptive war against the ayatollahs. The US, especially if Barack Obama is re-elected, will be tempted to reach a compromise with the Iranians.

Israel is dependent on the US for economic, military and diplomatic support. American taxpayers fund 20%-25% of Israel’s defense budget, with the Jewish state being the largest recipient by far of American aid since World War II. Israel is required to use a portion of US aid to buy from the US defense establishment, but no other country – certainly not any European one – provides the weapons needed to protect Israeli lives. Moreover, the United States has cast 40 vetoes to protect Israel in the UN Security Council. There is a quid pro quo for such support, but also a limit to what even that degree of dependence can buy. The current Iranian nuclear race made this very clear, just as it made clear that the US has, again, forsaken the Israelis. Washington doesn’t support Israel because of the Jewish state’s democracy, because of the Holocaust or out of respect for human rights. America’s interest in Israel’s strategic value has always been the primary motivation for US support. But that could change tomorrow, especially if Israel’s survival becomes a burden for Washington (France was Israel’s most important ally after the war, but Paris suddenly abandoned the Jews for the Arab world). Israel must remember that she is America’s ally and client, not its “friend.”

The first US presidents after Israel was established – Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson – gave nothing to the Jewish state. And we were in a time when the ashes of Auschwitz were still warm, while today the memory of the Holocaust is fading. Truman maintained a US embargo against arms sales to the Israeli and Arabs, which was effective only against Israel. In 1948, it was US pressure which forced Israel to withdraw from Sinai where Israeli forces were pursuing the defeated Egyptians. In 1960 the Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann was apprehended by Israeli agents in Argentina and flown to Jerusalem for trial. Argentina turned to the UN Security Council, asking it to condemn Israel and order Eichmann’s return. Washington intended to support the Argentinean complaint and only the furious reaction of Israel’s foreign minister Golda Meir dissuaded Washington. Prior to the Six Day War, Abba Eban approached Lyndon Johnson and all he got was an arms embargo on the Middle East. In 1970, at the height of the War of Attrition, the US turned down an urgent Israeli request for security assistance. In 1992 the Bush-Baker administration humiliated the Israelis with an ultimatum: “Settlements or loan guarantees.” (The later Israeli general and minister Rehavam Ze’evi dismissed Bush senior as “anti-Semitic”). The US post-Gulf War settlement included American efforts to dislodge Israel from the territories by endangering Israel’s security. The former editor of The New York Times, A.M. Rosenthal, wrote that “the Bush administration has a spiritual affinity for Arab rulers and oilmen, but bares its teeth when Jerusalem shows independence.” Bill Clinton’s appeasement has been a tragedy for the Jewish people, since he pushed the Oslo process along and encouraged its implementation, bearing a historic responsibility for the intifada’s bloodshed, in which 2,000 Israelis paid with their lives. In 1981 the Jewish state bombed the Iraqi Osirak reactor. Recent files released by the UK National Archives show that Britain’s ambassador to Washington, Sir Nicholas Henderson, was with US defense secretary Caspar Weinberger as the news came in. “Weinberger says that he thinks Begin must have taken leave of his senses. He is much disturbed by the Israeli reaction and possible consequences,” Nicholas cabled London. Alexander Haig was secretary of state then. “I argued,” he recalled, “that while some action must be taken to show American disapproval, our strategic interests would not be served by policies that humiliated and weakened Israel.” Those who remember Ronald Reagan as friendly to Israel may be startled to recall the vehemence of his reaction against Israel. His administration’s immediate response was to impose sanctions on the Jewish state, and he suspended the delivery of F-16 fighter jets, doing something even Jimmy Carter refused to do: use arms supplies as leverage against Israel. Washington has also armed Israel’s western neighbor to the teeth. The Egyptian army today is infinitely more modern and lethal then when the Egyptians carried out their successful attack against Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

And can we forget the US treatment of Jonathan Pollard, the only American to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally? Despite the fact that nobody has given a single specific example of how Pollard’s actions harmed the US, Pollard is still being held in solitary confinement in an underground cell. Pollard has been in prison longer than anyone ever sentenced in the US for passing classified materials to a friendly foreign power (the median sentence for someone spying for a non-Soviet power has been less than three years). For his contribution to Israel’s security and for his long suffering in prison, Pollard is an Israeli hero. He is the source of the Israeli preparedness for the Iraqi missile attacks during the Gulf War, when Saddam’s rockets began to rain down on Tel Aviv, and Israelis wore gas masks. Pollard warned Israel of Iraq’s bellicose intentions, and that Syria’s Assad was amassing quantities of chemical weapons. By its own agreement with Israel, the US should have given this information to Jerusalem. But it was deliberately blocked by Weinberger.

Today Israel can stand tall in the face of its important ally because it never asked American soldiers to spill their blood in its defense. It’s Washington that must beg for Israel’s alliance and protect the Jews, as it cannot afford disengagement from the only democracy in a region dominated by Islam. But will the US eventually be compelled to sacrifice Israel on the altar of “realism” and oil price, at which time Iran’s knife will descend on the Jews? And will the Jewish state’s leadership dutifully bind Israel on the altar? As Charles Krauthammer put it: “for Israel the stakes are somewhat higher: the very existence of a vibrant nation and its 6 million Jews.” If Israel is unable to change the US’ red line on Iran and Jerusalem capitulates to Washington’s appeasement, Iran will be soon armed with atomic bombs. And the Jews? They will be psychologically weaker and totally dependent on others’ help. Like it was during the Holocaust. Does someone need to be reminded how Washington refused to help the Jews while they were entering into the gas chambers?

The writer is an Italian author.

 

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.

Shira’s note:  This is a lesson in making sure you do your news homework in that always get as much info as you can so as to make yourself aware of all of the facts before you make an opinion or judgment.  This is a prime example of how news can be twisted to the bias.  Please share…

 

Today’s speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, about the sanctions on his country and its determination to persist in its quest for nuclear capability was a significant news event. Khamenei served notice on the United States that he would not be bluffed into giving up his nuclear plans. Though he conceded the economic […]/p

via Iran Threatens Israel With Destruction, But the Times Doesn’t Hear It.

Shira’s note: I saved this editorial from February and it is just now coming to light what is really happening in Egypt. Mr. Borchgrave had it right. Make sure to make note the facts of the Brotherhood’s own words and goals. This is not going to go away. Please share… S.

Gullible amnesia

Published: Feb. 22, 2011 at 6:35 AM: By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE, UPI Editor at Large http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/02/22/Commentary-Gullible-amnesia/UPI-47511298374510/#ixzz1EjRvmENI

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Groupthink that portrays “dangerous” as “innocuous” has led to censorship by omission. The Muslim Brotherhood, according to the conventional wisdom on the left, is now a responsible Egyptian political organization that will compete in the first free elections Egypt has known since the late 1940s.

Until now, the Muslim Brotherhood has done well under a different name and still managed to pull 20 percent in elections rigged to favor the deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s party. Now the Muslim Brotherhood plans to enter candidates under its own name — and straw polls indicate it may muster up to 40 percent of the vote. Not to worry, say their liberal admirers in the United States and other Western countries. They have reformed; they are no longer religious extremists. The fact that they burned or trashed some 300 buildings in Cairo on Jan. 26, 1952, was then and this is now.

Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Muslim Brotherhood has camouflaged its strategic objectives in charitable social work, sports clubs and prayer meetings. Its messages are also tailored to disarm its critics. The Muslim Brotherhood’s disinformation arsenal contains the political equivalent of dental laughing gas, designed to elicit lightheadedness as well as warm and fuzzy feelings.

Conveniently overlooked, in what was described as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Western-style demand for freedom, are these inconvenient facts:

— Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 84, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief theoretician, banned in the United States and Britain, advocate of violence against Israel as well as U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned to Egypt after a 50-year absence to address a million-plus crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. State TV said it was 2 million. He also reaches tens of millions worldwide on al-Jazeera, the Doha-based Arab network.

— The Muslim Brotherhood’s motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, said upon his elevation last September, that the group’s objectives could only be attained “by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”

— In 1989, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front won 23 out of 80 seats in Jordan’s Parliament. King Hussein tried to check its influence by changing election laws. But in 1993, they became the largest group in Parliament — and strongly opposed the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1994.

— Despite a rigged vote that gave Mubarak’s followers almost 80 percent of the seats in the Egyptian Parliament dissolved by the new supreme military authority in mid-February, the Muslim Brotherhood still garnered 20 percent.

— the Muslim Brotherhood’s official Web site says Jihad is Islam’s most important tool in a gradual takeover, beginning with the Muslim nations, moving on to restoring the caliphate over three continents for a conquest of the West, with a global Islamic state as the ultimate objective.

— For the immediate future, the Muslim Brotherhood remains closely linked to Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Muslim Brotherhood’s second in command, Rashad al-Bayumi, said in a recent interview that the Muslim Brotherhood’s would join a transitional Egyptian government with one objective: Canceling the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

— The Muslim Brotherhood’s platform says that government rule in Egypt “must be republican, parliamentary, constitutional and democratic in accordance with Islamic Shariah law that ensures liberty for all.”

— The Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide — it has more than one — Mohammed Mahdi Akef said the Muslim Brotherhood opposes American democracy because “it is corrupt, serves the American agenda and wants to destroy the Islamic nation, its faith and tradition.”

— Akef says the United States spends billions of dollars “and endlessly plots to change the Muslim way of life (by waging) war on Muslim leaders, the traditions of its faith and its ideas. They even wage war against female circumcision, a practice current in 36 countries, which has been prevalent since the time of the pharaohs.”

— Jihad has a global strategy beyond self-defense — attack every “infidel rule” to widen the global caliphate until all mankind lives under the Islamic flag.

For Egypt’s new government, whatever it turns out to be, accommodation with the Muslim Brotherhood is bound to be the line of least resistance. Whether 1 million or 2 million were on Cairo’s Tahrir Square to listen to Qaradawi in his first public appearance in Egypt in 50 years is irrelevant. Countless millions the world over listen to his politico-religious sermons.

More important, the hero of Egypt’s latest revolution, Wael Ghonim, the Doha-based head of Google marketing in the Middle East whose Tweets and Facebook postings were credited with laying the groundwork for the popular uprising, was barred from the stage in Tahrir Square. Qaradawi’s bodyguards elbowed the cyber-activist to the exit ladder.

“The Yuppie Revolution in Egypt is Over, the Islamist Revolution Has Begun,” captured the essence of Egypt’s 18-day upheaval. It was what Cornell Law School’s William A. Jacobson’s blog called a “Legal Insurrection.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s greatest asset: Gullible Westerners on both sides of the Atlantic.

It was the same syndrome that enabled the same segment of Western opinion to applaud Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini‘s moderation as he gave daily news conferences near Paris in 1978 while waiting for his religious revolutionaries and their yuppie helpers to overthrow the shah.

For those with a little more memory, there is also the case of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, described for years as moderate agrarian reformers. No sooner in power than they established the “killing fields.” By their own reckoning, they slaughtered 2 million of their own people.