Tag Archive: Middle East


Shira’s note: I am going to try something different here. With the profundity of this essay and the means to understand and grasp the implications of the messages, I will give you my impression and/or perspectives to the most valuable message being said by Ms. Glick, and that will be through definitions with extrapolation throughout the article. The italics in parenthesis are definitions to keep on track as her essays are regularly lengthy. The bold in parenthesis and italics will be my perspectives.  As always, please comment on how you feel or what you think…S.Posted: 04 Oct 2012 07:27 PM PDT

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s legal term in office expired nearly four years ago. But his supporters don’t care. In Israel, Washington and throughout the world, Abbas’s supporters extol (to praise highly: glorify) the authoritarian leader as a great moderate. In 2002, desperately searching for a face for the Palestinians that wasn’t Yasser Arafat’s face, the Left pushed Abbas out from behind Arafat’s shadow. Abbas, who served as Arafat’s deputy for 39 years (in point, remember the policies of Arafat’s crazy thinking to always destroy Israel), was upheld as a great moderate and placed in the invented position of Palestinian prime minister. The fact that Abbas was an inveterate Jew-hater who spent four decades in the senior leadership of a terrorist organization and whose doctoral dissertation was a long denial of the Holocaust, was brushed aside. His leftist supporters don’t care that he says Israel has no right to exist. They are untroubled by his 2008 rejection of then-prime minister Ehud Olmert’s unprecedentedly generous offer of peace and Palestinian statehood (“they” not recognizing through ignorance or just not keeping up to date with the latest). They don’t mind that Abbas has refused to negotiate peace with Israel for the past four years (ibid). They don’t care that he has signed two unity government deals with Hamas or that he seeks to gain sovereignty for a Palestinian state through the UN and so establish a Palestinian state in a formal state of war with Israel.

They don’t care. But most Israelis do. Due to their recognition of his hatred for Israel and due to the terrorism Abbas has condoned and financed for decades, the vast majority of Israelis do not consider him a potential partner for peace. They do not believe that either Abbas or the Palestinians as a whole are remotely interested in being appeased by Israel. As a consequence, most Israelis greeted Abbas’s speech at the UN General Assembly last week with indifference. In that speech, Abbas made clear – yet again – that he remains Arafat’s loyal deputy. The majority of Abbas’s speech involved a litany of libels against Israel, which he accused of everything from terrorism to apartheid, colonialism, racism, murder, theft, etc., etc., etc. (which to me is yelling out projection). Then he moved on to his demands. In addition to reinstating his demand that Israel agree to every Palestinian demand as a precondition for negotiations, Abbas demanded that Israel release all Palestinian terrorists from its prisons. No, none of Abbas’s attacks had an iota of truth to them.

But who cares? Abbas certainly doesn’t. And neither do his supporters. Their support for Abbas has nothing to do with what he says or does. It has to do with who they are and what they want. Abbas is their prop, not their partner. Abbas’s Israeli supporters are the core of far-leftists who brought us the phony peace process with the PLO. Two thousand dead Israelis later (that’s two thousand lives!), and with no peace in sight, their camp is much smaller today than it was in 1993. But it is still dedicated. And it is overpopulated by members of the media. TIPPING HIS hat to this group, this week Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced in a media interview that he thinks that Israel should unilaterally withdraw from much of Judea and Samaria. For most Israelis, Barak’s plan is self-evidently insane. We left Gaza and see the consequences of that unilateral withdrawal every day as southern Israel is bombarded with missiles and rockets (not to mention, the destruction of precious, fertile land which produced food that would’ve given them the means for food). We left and Gaza was transformed into a hub for global jihad, increasingly indistinguishable from Sinai. The very notion that our defense chief could suggest adopting an identical strategy for Judea and Samaria is both obscene and frightening. What can he be thinking? Barak is thinking about elections, which are apparently about to be called (which is sick…how can anyone think this way? His decisions will kill people). Barak thinks his best bet politically is to try to win the support of Abbas’s ever shrinking support base.

Barak lost his political base when he left the Labor Party and formed his own Independence faction with other breakaway Labor politicians at the beginning of 2011. He needs Abbas’s Israeli supporters to vote for him if he is to get elected to the next Knesset. Even more crucially, Barak needs Abbas’s supporters in the Israeli media. So to win their support, he opted to run on a platform of expelling Jews from their homes. Barak’s move doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know about him. He remains the political opportunist he has always been. His move is interesting because of what it reveals about the nature of Israel’s Left.

There is no rational way to argue that Israel can gain any advantage by surrendering Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians. If Israel departs, either Abbas will gobble up the territory and demand more, or he will swallow the concession and get swallowed by Hamas, which will demand more – as happened in Gaza. Either way, Israel loses. But that doesn’t matter for the Left. The Left continues to support Israeli withdrawals because its members know that the biggest loser of such an action won’t be Israel as a whole. It will be the Israeli Right. And that is all the Left cares about. The only enemy they are interested in fighting, the only adversary they wish to defeat, is their fellow Israelis. And in a bid to win their support at the ballot box – and on the evening news – Barak has decided to embrace their cause. He will fight their fight against their Israeli enemies for them (I’m appalled by the notion that politics are more important than even one life lost through decisions like these. It does not make sense and how can one man’s ego trump one, just one Israeli?).

The Israeli Left is not alone in its belief that its number one priority is to destroy its domestic political opposition (Not working in unity will topple Israel. I don’t understand why this party wants to ‘destroy’ their own people, or for that matter, any party, being left or right). Throughout the Western world, the political Left is increasingly rallying around positions that are in fundamental conflict with their nation’s interests as well as with the specific ideological commitments of the Left, for the sole purpose of gaining and maintaining power (Again, power will destroy us as a people). In recent weeks, the Left in the US has exposed its motivations and purpose in profoundly troubling ways. If Jewish settlement of the Land of Israel is the core of the Zionist revolution, freedom of speech is the foundation of America. Without Jewish settlement, there is no Israel. Without freedom of speech, there is no America. IN RECENT weeks, US President Barack Obama and all of his senior aides and supporters have launched an assault on freedom of speech. They have attacked previously unknown figures because they dared to exercise their freedom of speech to produce an anti-Islamic film and broadcast it on YouTube. The White House pressured Google (which owns YouTube) to take the movie down. Obama’s media supporters have gone along with this shocking assault on bedrock American principles. The Left’s support for Obama’s bid to repress freedom of speech in relation to the movie was not an isolated incident. Today the enlightened leftists of New York and Washington are apoplectic (meaning, enraged, furious, irate, etc.) because a federal judge required New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to post paid advertisements by the Stop the Islamization of America human rights group calling for Americans to support Israel against jihad. The content of the ads is self-evidently reasonable. They read, “In any war between the savage and the civilized man, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” SIOA’s founder Pamela Geller submitted the ads to the MTA last year in response to a rash of anti-Israel ads calling for the US to end its support for the Jewish state. Those ads were published on New York buses and subways and on public transportation around the US. The MTA rejected SIOA’s ad but the group sued. Citing the US Constitution, the court required the MTA to post them. When after a year’s delay the ads were finally posted last week, the US Left in the media and beyond had a collective fit. From The New York Times to radical rabbis to pro-Islamic Christian pastors to The Washington Post, everyone is wringing their hands. In a televised debate with Geller, the anti-Israel evangelical pastor Rev. Jim Wallis condemned the ads, told Geller she was going to get Christians killed, (by what or whom, he never said), and demanded that Geller silence herself. As he put it, “Stop talking.”It is important to be clear. The American Left doesn’t have a problem with free speech, per se. And they aren’t concerned – as Wallis would have you believe – that calling jihad savagery is going to get people killed, (by not-at-all savage jihadists). The problem with messages like Geller’s is that talk about jihad distracts people from what the Left wants them to be thinking about (this is where we need to inform ourselves and use the resources available to stem our ignorance. If not, we become part of some principles that we don’t want to be a part of. These people cannot think for us. They actually would prefer our ignorance, as most media outlets would have it. It is their strength and our demise). Like the Israeli Left, the American Left doesn’t want Americans to think about the actual threats to the US emanating from the Islamic world. They want the public to think about what for them is the only real threat to their values and their ability to win and wield power. That threat doesn’t emanate from the Islamic world where women are treated worse than farm animals, homosexuals are hanged in public squares, Christians are forcibly converted and assaulted, churches are burned to the ground, the annihilation of the Jewish people throughout the world is an ardent desire, and “Death to America” is a political program. For the American Left, the primary threat to their way of life comes from people who oppose abortions and gay marriage and gun control. It comes from people who oppose unionization of government workers and nationalization of healthcare. And it comes from people like Geller who state the obvious about jihad.

The reason that Islam is supposed to be immune from criticism is that for American leftists as for Israeli leftists, the only important battle is the one against domestic foes (seriously, it’s about power and ego’s and where are our voices to make a difference. Complacency is evil working its way into good). And just as the abysmal results of leftist policies have left the Israeli Left with no choice but to shoot the messengers, so too the American Left must deal with policy failure by silencing the opposition. In Israel, leftist appeasement of Palestinian terrorists has led to a horrific death toll and the obvious absence of peace. So the Left must silence those who have the temerity (boldness: reckless confidence that might be offensive) to oppose that failed policy. The Right’s most visible members are the religious Zionists, who are disproportionately situated beyond the 1949 armistice lines, and so the Left must destroy them through expulsions, no matter what the cost to Israel.

In America, the Left’s most conspicuous failure is its claim to promote women’s rights, equality and civil liberties in the culture war, even as it defends the Islamic world’s addiction to female genital mutilation, forced marriages, honor killings and executions of homosexuals for the “crime” of being gay. So the Left must silence critics of jihad and Islamism, and hope no one will notice its hypocrisy (To me, a very sad state of affairs. How long will this go on?). The upshot of all of this is that the Left must be denied its ability to dominate national discourses. Because Abbas and the pathologically Jew-hating society he leads is a threat to the Jewish state, while religious Zionists are not. And the assaults on American embassies throughout the Islamic world are not due to Internet movies, but to the savagery inherent in jihadist Islam. In these perilous times we cannot permit ourselves to be led astray by those who insist we are our worst enemies (and with that means being educated in government policies and educating our children, older of course, to recognize that education will defeat ignorance whatever its form it takes and uphold our truths and liberties).

Originally published   in the Jerusalem Post. 

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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:  I’m always relieved when the politicians of Israel offer some sparks of hope in this chaotic place.  I become stronger, I pray harder, I feel a veil has been lifted so we can see clearer through the screen.  I know wherever one stands in their views of the Arab/Israeli conflict, nobody wants death or another, G-d forbid, holocaust.   If we stay silent, there will be many lives lost.  It’s time to get the facts straight, time for reading, researching, time to shed the mask of ignorance and change the way things are, not only for  this area, but within ourselves. Speak up, challenge, let our voices prevail.  May Israel live forever.. May we find peace on both sides…

Independence Day address by FM Liberman to the diplomatic corps Liberman: Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, now it becomes clear that we are also an island of stability in a chaotic region.

10 May 2011  MFA Website

His Excellency the President of the State of Israel Mr. Shimon Peres, Heads of Missions and International Organizations, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies and gentlemen: Excellencies, welcome and thank you for being here on this, Israel’s 63rd Independence Day.

This year I stand before you with mixed emotions. There are those who have always felt that Israel was the ‘black sheep’ of the Middle East and international politics. They suggested that Israel was the source for all the wars and challenges in the Middle East. Recent events have certainly ended this fantasy once and for all. We were always proud to state that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, now it becomes clear that we are also an island of stability in a chaotic region. In fact, Israel’s stable democracy can serve as a model for the region. Some suggest that democracy can not flourish in the Middle East, Israel has proven that as a fallacy. Our country and its institutions, 63 years young, created by people from over 130 different countries, few with any experience of democracy and freedom, created one of the most successful and free democracies anywhere. Our institutions have stood the test of time, especially in this dangerous neighborhood. The bloody reaction to those who seek change in our region has not surprised us. The repression that has met the demonstrations in Syria, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere in the region can not possibly be justified. However, it remains confusing why the international community intervenes in Libya, but not in Syria or Iran. What conclusions are we to draw from this seeming inconsistency? These inconsistencies send a damaging message to the people of the Middle East and further erode the path to peace, security and democracy for our region. The recent reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas brings up many questions.

First of all, it is clear who are the leaders of Hamas and what are their goals. Also, we heard in the last few days that they are not willing to change the Hamas Charter and to accept the conditions of the Quartet. That an organization with a charter that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel through violent Jihad and aspires to a world without Jews, not just Zionists and Israelis, but Jews, should be thought of as partners to Fatah tells us more about Fatah than it does about Hamas. The fact that Hamas mourned Bin Laden’s death, as much as they celebrated 9/11, condemned America and called him “a Muslim and Arabic warrior” and prays that bin Laden’s “soul rests in peace” further demonstrates the kind of people Fatah is now calling its partners and equals in government. In addition, in recent years over 12,000 rockets were fired at Sderot and southern Israel. Ask yourselves how would your countries have reacted to such attacks? Fatah itself continues to glorify terrorists, including the naming of the Palestinian presidential offices in Ramallah after arch-terrorist Yahya Ayyash, a square in the government compound after Dalal Mughrabi, who participated in the Coastal Road massacre and rewarded the family of the mastermind of the terrorist attack which resulted in the death of dozens of Israelis enjoying a Passover Seder in Netanya.

The day before yesterday we heard Mahmoud Abbas say during a meeting that if Israel will freeze construction in the settlements for two or three months then the Palestinians will be ready to resume talks. This is very interesting and very strange. When the Israeli government decided on a moratorium as a unilateral gesture a year ago Abbas and the Palestinians rejected it completely. However, now they are exerting pressure for a moratorium that they previously rejected. The Palestinians wasted nine months and only during the final month entered into negotiations, not with a genuine intention to reach an agreement but rather because the U.S. imposed the process on them. At least for me, it is clear that they are only looking for excuses to avoid meaningful talks that will lead to a comprehensive solution. The Palestinians are overly confident and are assuming that they have the complete support of the international community. This allows them to think that they will gain more directly from the international community than through negotiations with Israel. As a result, we have the right to wonder about the real intentions of Fatah. We are ready for immediate talks without preconditions. However, there will be no new moratorium in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria. Not for three months, not for three days and not even for three hours. The international community needs to understand that there is only one country in our region that respects international norms while standing against waves of unceasing daily terror attacks and incitement.

The recent killing of Osama Bin Laden should send a message to our enemies, that regardless of time, there is no statute of limitations to bringing justice for those massacred by terror. Our enemies on our northern and southern border who have shed innocent blood should pay attention to this message very clearly. The State of Israel has always said and I repeat, we are willing to come to the negotiating table immediately to start direct talks with all of our neighbors. We are willing to make a great effort to achieve peace but we will not compromise our vital security interests. I call on all of our neighbors to look at Israel’s achievements in finance, hi-tech, science and industry. We are willing to share this knowledge with you. You have more to gain from cooperating with us than engaging in conflicts. The ball is in your hands.

Every morning I read the news. At this time in our lives, it is unbelievable the accelerated hate and greed, and abuses of human life, not to mention mass murders, natural disasters, etc., occurring right now.  There is just not enough time to list the many horrible things that are happening to us.  It is frightening, and yet here I am safe at home free to do as I please. In point, make no mistake, our lives could change for the worse at any moment if they haven’t already.  I think a part of us as the whole of humanity, the macrocosm of the soul, is suffering with those who are so far away in another land, another place; that is, for those of us that are filled with love and not hate.  The more we stay silent on these issues, the more hate and evil will win.  Our earth is in pain, as a whole, and we need more strength to help her help us.

When I’m reading about the Israeli/Palestinian struggle, I read everyday of the strife the Muslims go through.  I understand their plight and how they wish for freedom, and sometimes I think they need freedom from their own hate, and the only they see it, is getting rid of Israel.  When I look at pictures from the media, I see anger and hate in a way I’ve never seen before. The crowds of men, so many men, yelling and shooting guns, and with the vitriol and disgust they see in the world, it is truly and profoundly sad.  What makes it worse, is that even we as Americans that want to be tolerant and understanding to their plight, they could care less.  It is just another way for them to blame Israel for sympathizing with them and for them.

The lack of balance and understanding between the conflict is overwhelmingly seen in our ignorance on both issues.  That being said, the only thing that I could do is read for justice, find the truth, have faith and somehow educate myself better so that I can make a difference.  So, the real reason I am writing this today is that in sitting safely in my little office, drinking tea, reading, working, living freely, I found the only thing I could to right now is to shift the balance and move it in a way so that we can make changes.

How? Let’s do this: Ask yourself ‘why are so many men in the Middle East full of hate, waging war, live in squalor, do not have enough food, etc., etc.?’ Because they are not educated.  They don’t have education systems to be able to enhance their environment, to grow their own food, to start a business, to become a judge, and on and on.  What they have, and this is not pleasant, is that they raise their children to be able to make war, hate more and yes, through beheading their livestock, they inculcate the beheading of westerners.  The second question: ‘Where are the women?’ Educated persons know that answer already.  In this short (at least I think it’s short) blog, I can only share with you what I visualize for these souls in all parties involved, and that is seeing them educated.  Yep, that’s all I can do from behind this desk of mine, but I also have faith in being able to shift polarities, to make change, so yes, I do believe in the butterfly theory.  I know that is naive, but it’s sometimes the simple, innocent faith and love that will make it happen.  That’s not my ego speaking, it’s just a another way to manifest my point in my heart to reach out to others.  Visualize schools, agricultural communities where it’s all green, an Arab society where they are truly living a life without hate, where the women are not afraid to have their voice heard, and the children are not holding rifles.  This will and can happen.

With that, I move on in my day, ever thankful for my freedoms and thankful for my faith and being able to express myself and love for life through this medium.  Anybody out there have any other suggestions?

Shira’s note:  This basically speaks for itself. If there is a debate regarding this information, please share.  I want to know all the facts.


JERUSALEM
– In 2009, Sarah Leah Whitson, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), visited Libya, claiming to have discovered a “Tripoli spring.” In particular, Whitson praised Muammar Qaddafi’s son Seif Islam as a leading reformer. In two articles promoting this façade of reform, she repeatedly praised him for creating an “expanded space for discussion and debate.”  In reality, Whitson was advancing a fiction; Libya remained a closed totalitarian regime that kept its population under tight control. Seif Islam continued to be an integral part of the repression, even appearing on state television to warn the protesters that the regime wouldfight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet.”

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed (February 24, 2011), weeks after the rebellion against the regime had intensified and Qaddafi began murdering his own citizens, she belatedly reversed course, acknowledging the absence of human rights “reforms” in Libya.  Whitson admitted that:

“With no progress on any institutional or legal reforms… Seif Islam last year announced his withdrawal from political life and said that his foundation would no longer focus on human rights and political affairs… For sure, most Libyans we spoke with never had much faith that Moammar Qaddafi would learn new tricks, or that the announced reforms were anything more than an endless loop of promises made and broken.”

This condemnation reflects the chronic failure of HRW as a human rights watchdog, particularly in the Middle East.

Whitson’s “Tripoli Spring” Myth

In the wildly misnamed “Tripoli Spring,” (Foreign Policy, May 27, 2009), Whitson called Seif Islam “the real impetus for transformation” via his Qaddafi Foundation for International Charities and Development and two semi-private newspapers. Her embrace of Qaddafi’s heir-apparent continued during a visit to Libya in February 2010, referring to him as one of the “forces of reform” in danger of being silenced, and favorably comparing the Qaddafi Foundation to HRW (“Postcard from . . . Tripoli,” Foreign Policy in Focus, February 11, 2010). Although HRW’s Libyan press conference was cut short by government agents and ended in “pandemonium,” ominously presaging the violence of 2011, Whitson spun her trip and the event in an entirely positive light. As Nick Cohen reported in The Guardian (Our absurd obsession with Israel is laid bare, February 27, 2011), “Human Rights Watch, once a reliable opponent of tyranny…described a foundation Saif ran in Libya as a force for freedom, willing to take on the interior ministry in the fight for civil liberties.”

In the article, Whitson also praised her experience of “open dissent” in the country. Yet, she failed to disclose that in January 2010, the regime had actually imposed censorship controls on the internet and had blocked access to YouTube. By this time, the government had also shut down the two semi-private newspapers lauded by Whitson in “Tripoli Spring” and had established a new regulatory body to monitor journalists.

Fathi Eljahmi – HRW Silent Consent in Torture

HRW’s willful blindness was further reflected in the case of Fathi Eljahmi, Libya’s most prominent dissident, who was imprisoned in 2004, tortured, held in solitary confinement, and who died as a result in 2009. As his brother wrote,

“both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch hesitated to advocate publicly for Fathi’s case…. Perhaps because they still fear antagonizing Gaddafi, in their May 21 statement Human Rights Watch didn’t call for an independent investigation and stopped short of holding the Libyan regime responsible for Fathi’s death…. Sarah Leah Whitson is one of the Human Rights Watch researchers who last saw Fathi before he was rushed to Jordan. She wrote an article for Foreign Policy upon her return from Libya, where she described efforts by the Gaddafi Foundation for International Charities and Development, which is headed by the Libyan leader’s son, Saif al-Islam, as a ‘spring.’ The organization is actively menacing my brother’s family. Some family members continue to endure interrogation, denial of citizenship papers and passports, round the clock surveillance and threats of rape and physical liquidation.”

Not everyone followed HRW and Whitson in promoting the Qaddafi façade. US-based Freedom House remarked that the “regime hardened its monopoly on media outlets in mid-2009 with the nationalization of Al-Ghad media group, which was established in 2007 by al-Qadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam.” Journalist Michael Totten, who also visited Libya and compared the country to North Korea and Turkmenistan, noted that Saif Islam “is ideologically committed to preserving his father’s prison state system, and that he wants to export that system to as many countries as possible. Gullible diplomats and journalists may sincerely believe he’s a reformer, but a close look at his own statements proves that he’s lying when he passes himself off as moderate” (emphasis added).

HRW’s Embrace of Arab Dictatorships: A Behavioral Pattern

As NGO Monitor documented in its detailed report Experts or Ideologues: Systematic Analysis of Human Rights Watch, Whitson’s pursued similar policies regarding other repressive regimes in the Middle East. In May 2009, Whitson led a fundraising trip to Saudi Arabia, where she used HRW’s testimony “about Israeli abuses to the US Congress” and accusations of “systematic destructive attacks on civilian targets,” and the specter of the pro-Israel lobby to solicit funds from “prominent members of Saudi society.”

In November 2010, HRW staff and international committee members, including Whitson, traveled to Lebanon to discuss human rights reform in the country. Whitson praised “the Lebanese sophistication for human rights.” In contrast, HRW Lebanon Director Nadim Houry condemned the lack of effectual and accountable state institutions, the absence of political will to implement change, and the problems created by the country’s political confessionalism. In January 2011, Hezbollah orchestrated a bloodless coup, seizing control from the Saad Hariri government in order to block cooperation with the UN Tribunal empanelled to investigate the murder of Rafik Hariri in 2006.

Similarly, Whitson met with Hamas Minister of Justice Faraj Alghoul in May 2010. At the meeting, Whitson assured Alghoul that she was visiting Gaza “to listen to all parties directly so she will prepare more objective and impartial reports,” and appeased Hamas by promising that HRW’s next report would tackle Israeli settlements and allege Israeli violations of international law.

As noted by HRW founder Robert Bernstein, under Whitson’s direction, HRW’s Middle East and North Africa division has “lost critical perspective” by writing “far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region” while

“Arab and Iranian regimes rule over some 350 million people, and most remain brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent. The plight of their citizens who would most benefit from the kind of attention a large and well-financed international human rights organization can provide is being ignored as Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division prepares report after report on Israel.”




Shira’s note:  Here I must say, as far as J Street is concerned, I am not for or against.  It is the basic facts underlying the many faces we all portray that I aspire to share.

Press Release —

“J Street is involved in a purimshpiel, hiding its real anti-Israel face behind a ‘pro-Israel’ mask,” Lenny Ben-David testified before a Knesset committee today.

www.lennybendavid.com ;

The following is the English translation of Knesset testimony presented on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 by Lenny Ben-David

My name is Lenny Ben-David, a former diplomat in the Israeli embassy in Washington, a Hasbara activist, and director of the AIPAC office in Israel until 1997. Two weeks ago I held a Capitol Hill seminar for members of Congress on Israel-related issues.  I want to thank the chairman and the committee for the opportunity to appear today to discuss this important issue.  Some 40 years ago, an Arab diplomat named Mohammed Mehdi declared, “The road to the liberation of Palestine leads through Washington.”  Today, this quote is more correct than ever. I see the current de-legitimization campaign against Israel as part of the ongoing war against Israel, and Washington is one of the fronts.  I want to emphasize that in the Zionist world, there is plenty of room for organizations from the left and the right, secular and religious organizations, Jewish and Christian organizations.  But I have never seen an organization like J Street that hides behind the cover of a pro-Israel organization and works with such furtiveness in the United States, in general, and in Washington in particular, to undermine and hurt the State of Israel.

• Here is one case that happened this week which exemplifies J Street’s actions: After J Street shed its crocodile tears after the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar, J Street attempted to block a congressional letter which attacked Palestinian incitement, one of the factors in the attack. “J Street opposes the letter currently being circulated by Representatives Rothman and Austria on incitement and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” J Street wrote. “It is entirely appropriate for Members of Congress to speak out — as J Street consistently does — against instances of incitement by Palestinians against the State of Israel and its citizens. In our view, it is preferable for Congressional statements on the conflict to address the actions and words of both parties [emphasis added] that hamper the chances to achieve peace.”

• J Street’s leaders Ben-Ami and David Gilo have stated here in Israel that J Street “represents 170,000” supporters. In fact, J Street reaches that number by counting all entries to its website as “supporters.” Thus, I admit, I am counted as a J Street supporter. The organization does not maintain a dues-paying members list.

• J Street supported the UN condemnation of Israel last month and opposed the U.S. veto of the resolution. Gilo explained on Israeli Channel 2 TV that J Street was simply following policies of eight American presidents. But by taking that position, they were opposing the policy of the current Obama administration that saw a UN condemnation of Israel at this sensitive time as a dangerous and inappropriate act. On the issue of the veto, U.S. Representative Gary Ackerman stated, “J Street is so open-minded about what constitutes support for Israel that its brains have fallen out.”

• Gilo claimed on Israeli TV that J Street opposes the boycott of Israel. Yet, J Street provided a platform for one of the foremost Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) organizations, the Jewish Voices for Peace, at its Washington Conference. JVP’s director proclaimed at J Street, “BDS is an opportunity for each of us, personally, to act on our values. To express, directly, our support for freedom, democracy and dignity.”

• J Street also cosponsored a congressional mission to Israel with the Churches for Middle East Peace, an organization consisting of pro-BDS organizations.

• J Street opposed sanctions against Iran. Today, J Street states that it always supported sanctions against Iran, but that’s not true. J Street joined with the pro-Iranian lobby, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), to oppose congressional efforts to impose sanctions on Iran. Ben-Ami and NIAC director Trita Parsi co-authored an anti-sanctions article titled “How Diplomacy Can Work with Iran” in Huffington Post in June 2009. J Street receives large contributions from one of NIAC’s directors, Genevieve Lynch of New York. She serves on J Street’s Finance Committee.

• J Street supports the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity group opposed to Jews living in former Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. This is the organization that demonstrates in Jerusalem every week, and before you is a picture of Jeremy Ben-Ami leading one of the demonstrations. J Street hosted the SJS at its most recent conference in Washington. The SJS’ manifesto calls for the “liquidation or fundamental change of organizations that contribute to the dispossession of Arabs, including the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, and the Israel Lands Authority.”

• Official American documents from the Federal Election Commission show that J Street’s political action committee receives contributions from sources in the pro-Saudi lobby, the Arab-American lobby, and even the pro-Iranian lobby.

• In J Street’s first two years, director Jeremy Ben-Ami repeatedly stated that the organization received no funds from George Soros, the anti-Israel billionaire. But U.S. Internal Revenue Service documents revealed that his statements were untrue. Mr. Gilo said in a TV interview that Soros’ contributions were supposed to have been kept secret, but he claimed that Soros’ half-million dollar contributions were relatively small.  Indeed they were in comparison to the $811,697 contribution from a mysterious Hong Kong woman, Consolacion Esdicul, which constituted one-half of J Street 2009 budget. There are few details about this woman, and suspicion is raised about possible money laundering.

• J Street supports Richard Goldstone the author of the Goldstone Report.  J Street staff members assisted in setting up meetings for Goldstone on Capitol Hill. A Goldstone letter to members of Congress was drafted on the computer of one of J Street’s five corporate directors, Morton Halperin, a Soros advisor.

• J Street sponsored UNRWA leader and Israel critic John Ging on American speaking tours.  Are these the actions of a “pro-Israel” organization?  J Street’s intensive public relations activities here in Israel are carried out by Ben-Or Communications which presents J Street’s narrative in the Israeli media without any response.  Ben-Or communications is co-owned by Oriella Ben-Tzvi and J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami. Besides working on J Street’s behalf, Ben-Or also represents some of Israel’s worst detractors such as Jimmy Carter, the “Elders,” Yesh Din, Amnesty International, and National Public Radio in the U.S.  Unfortunately, J Street will use the opportunity to extend its purimspiel past the Purim holiday, to hide its real, anti-Israel face behind its “pro-Israel” mask. Its agenda, its supporters, and its record all show that J Street’s intentions are the weakening of Israel’s deterrent abilities, the promotion of Israel’s detractors, and the undermining of Israel’s democratically elected government.

For more information: J Street at it again: Attacking efforts to defend Israel By Jennifer Rubin http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/j-street-at-it-again-attacking-efforts-to-defend-israel/2011/03/04/AB6Jq07_blog.html

Twenty-Six Reasons J Street’s Demise Shouldn’t Be Mourned By Lenny Ben-David http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/twenty-six-reasons-j-street%E2%80%99s-demise-shouldn%E2%80%99t-be-mourned/

The J Street Files www.jikileaks.com

What Israel Learned by Taking Risks for Peace – Jeremy Sharon (The Australian)

  • Two years ago this week, Israel launched a military incursion into Gaza in an operation that marked the breaking point of its patience after having absorbed more than 6,000 rocket and mortar attacks on its towns and cities since withdrawing from Gaza in August 2005.
  • More importantly, the conflict marked for many Israelis the point at which they lost faith in the notion of land for peace. For them, ceding land had led not to peace but simply to more war. At a time when the international community is trying to revive the moribund peace process, primarily by pressuring Israel, it is important this sentiment is taken into account.
  • When considering the manner in which Hizbullah filled the power-vacuum left by Israel in the wake of its withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, the calculation for Israelis became clear. Two territorial withdrawals in five years had significantly and irrevocably damaged their security, and another pull-back, this time from the West Bank, might well be suicidal.
  • The current Israeli insistence on the deployment of Israeli troops on both the western and eastern borders of any future Palestinian state is regarded as of critical importance to Israel’s long-term security. This is seen as one of the inviolable lessons of the Gaza withdrawal and the 2008 Gaza conflict.
  • The other lesson Israel learned from the Gaza operation is that the country can in no way rely on the international community to support its right to self-defense. The torrent of condemnations, denunciations, diplomatic attacks and media outrage that was directed at Israel for having the temerity to defend its own citizens culminated with the publication of the Goldstone report that, were it to be enforced, would essentially prevent the Israeli armed forces from protecting its citizens in the future.
  • World leaders such as French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel talked of the necessity of stopping Hamas from smuggling arms into Gaza. But these and other international actors have failed to prevent Hamas from comprehensively rearming and today this guerilla proxy of Iran possesses more advanced weapons and rockets than it did before the Gaza operation.
  • The lesson for Israel is obvious; it can rely on no one to protect its citizens and stand up for its right to self-defense other than itself. Those who wish to see a Palestinian state established must contend with this accumulated sentiment, because Israelis cannot be expected to trust external forces with their security.

Shira’s note: I feel the need to share this information with you, as for much of the media that most people watch do not have this information. It is through these blogs that my intention is to inform and bring more of a balance to this Middle East conflict. Please feel free to leave a comment on this issue in the hopes of a dialogue to bring an awareness between each other on the facts and figures of this conflict.

Iranian Parliamentarians to Accompany Asian Aid Caravan to Gaza
News number: 8909240305 15:36 | 2010-12-15
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8909240305

TEHRAN (FNA)- A number of Iranian legislators announced their preparedness
to join the Asian Aid Caravan to Gaza to display solidarity with the
oppressed Palestinian people.

The Iranian delegation, comprised of seven lawmakers, will travel with the
group to Syria and from there will head to Gaza via the Rafah crossing in
Egypt to display their solidarity with the Palestinian people in their
resistance against the Israeli regime.

Mahmoud Ahmadi Biqash, Avaz Heidarpour, Parvi Sarvari, Ali Motahhari, Ali
Asqar Zare’i, Hassan Qafourifard and Shabib Jooyjari are the seven Iranian
MPs that intend to join the Asian Gaza Convoy.

A number of 200 members of the Iranian parliament had earlier in a statement
voiced support and solidarity with the Asian continent’s first humanitarian
aid convoy to Gaza which arrived in Iran last Wednesday.

“We have not witnessed many humanitarian aid convoys from Asia and the news
of Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine (APSP) convoy heading to Gaza
indicates the revival of such activities on this continent”, the statement
read.

“This movement has been organized by the non-governmental organizations and
we hope that the continuation of such moves will lead to the formation of a
popular pro-rights movement independent of states and governments”, the
statement said.

Iranian lawmakers also donated part of their salary toward aiding the
Palestinian people.

A number of 55 activists accompany the Asian Gaza Solidarity Caravan,
organized by the Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine, a coalition of
social movements, trade unions and civil society institutions of the region.

The current members of the caravan are from India, Pakistan, Japan, Nepal,
Malaysia and Singapore and it is expected that they will be accompanied by
their counterparts from Iran, Bahrain, Turkey, Australia and Azerbaijan.

Thirty-two Indians and eight others from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh,
Malaysia and Japan were not allowed by the Indian Border Security Force to
cross over to Pakistan on foot for want of an NoC from New Delhi and they
took a flight to Iran.

The convoy will carry medical aid and donate two ambulances to the
authorities in Palestine.

The Asian peace activists hope that the move would provide a good
opportunity for breaking the siege of Gaza.

The move came nearly seven months after Israeli forces raided the Gaza
Freedom Flotilla on May 31. Over 100 Israeli soldiers supported by military
choppers boarded a Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, leading the six-ship convoy
in international waters.

The Israeli commandoes killed 20 international human rights activists and
wounded 80 more. Nine of the victims were Turkish nationals. Some members of
the European parliaments, former western diplomats, reporters and human
rights activists were among the victims of Israel’s brutal act.

The siege of Gaza started in June 2007 when Israel imposed a blockade on the
Gaza Strip. This was supported by the governments of Egypt and the US.

The blockade consists of a land blockade along Gaza’s borders with Egypt and
Israel and a sea blockade. It immediately followed the 2006-2007 economic
sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority following the election
of Hamas to the Palestinian government.

The blockade has attracted criticism from many Human Rights organizations.
September 2009 UN fact-finding mission found that the blockade of Gaza
“amounted to collective punishment”, was likely a war crime and a crime
against humanity and recommended that the matter be referred to the
International Criminal Court (ICC).

Shira’s Note:  This is part of the reason why I started the blog.  The majority of people all around the world must know of things before Israel gets bombarded for defending it’s existence to those who wish for her demise.  To wit, Israel lets millions of goods to Gaza on a daily basis.  Gaza is not hurting for humanitarian aid.  Gaza is oppressed by Hamas and their other Arab leagues to make sure Israel will get the blame for their so called ‘suffering.’  And remember, Hamas is a terrorist entity who wish death for all who oppose Islam, including you, and the countries who are participating in the so called ‘flotilla’ are in fact, helping terrorism flourish.

Hey Obama Fans!

I bet you would’ve never thought that the President would do this…!

“Recent U.S. sales of weapons to the Middle East have eroded Israel’s military edge, Oren said. In October, the Obama administration told Congress of plans to sell Saudi Arabia arms valued at $60 billion, the largest weapons sale in U.S. history.”  (Bloomberg)

P.s.  What!?  The largest weapons sale in U.S. History. Could it be that the President justifies doing this to  pay some kind of amount to decrease the  13 trillion U.S. dollar debt that we owe before China owns us?  The money is blood money, and who buys the gas they make billions on?  I really don’t have to answer that one, do I?