The Polish hierarchy perished in that plane crash in Smolensk, Russia. The conspiratorial mind in me noted that virtually immediately Vladimir Putin said he would be in charge of the investigation.
That may not be important, but to me it screamed a couple of things: Russians took down the plane and cover-up. I remind you that he is the former head of the KGB, now renamed FSS so we won’t know that they only changed the sign on the door!
Why would Russia want the President, top military chiefs, etc. taken out? No reason except that they all wanted the missile defense system up and running that the US was going to establish under W, which O has dropped. Little good it did him, and great harm it did our allies.
4/15/2010 - Our Muslim Heritage?! I Don't Think So!
But then, the record is straight. Slap your allies in the face and bow deeply to tyrants, Muslims and socialists. Our illustrious President did it again this week.
Of course, he should bow to our landlord, the Chinese President, what with all the debt Obama wants him to cover. More than all the previous presidents in the history of our nation. One can only hope and pray that when the libs and leftists are tossed out those who take their place will diligently undo what has been voted in.
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2010
Israel again had Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day this week. I remember the first year we were living in Jerusalem. I was going somewhere on Golomb St. which is a very busy thoroughfare. My taxi driver was an Arab man. Suddenly I saw all the cars pulling over. Then I remembered what day it was. I ordered my driver to pull to the curb, and stood silently beside the taxi, as virtually all the drivers and passengers of the other cars were doing. I could hear a distant siren wailing. It was a very moving moment, and one I’ve experienced each year since then. A moment to remember.
Please let me remind you that there are millions of people in this world who would dance in the streets if another Jewish Holocaust were to occur.
And to my Jewish friends, let me remind you that there were Christians, Gypsies and a host of others in those death camps alongside the Jews. It was horrible beyond imagination, and the same fate awaits those who seem doomed to fail to stop the Iranians and others who want to destroy Israel, and by association, free people everywhere.
And not only Iranians. The Chavezes and others who befriend them. We think of the Russians and the Chinese nations, the Taliban and lots of others.
OUR MUSLIMI HERITAGE?
I get hundreds of emails every week. This particular one really stuck in my eye! See what you think.
Barack OBAMA, during his Cairo speech,said: "I know, too, that Islam has always been a part ofAmerica 's story."
AN AMERICAN CITIZEN'S RESPONSE:
Dear Mr. Obama:
Were those Muslims that were in America when the Pilgrims first landed?Funny, I thought they were Native American Indians.
Were those Muslims that celebrated the first Thanksgiving day?Sorry again, those were Pilgrims and Native American Indians.
Can you show me one Muslim signature on the United States Constitution?
Declaration of Independence ?
Bill of Rights?
Didn't think so.
Did Muslims fight for this country's freedom from England ?No.
Did Muslims fight during the Civil War to free the slaves in America ?No, they did not.In fact, Muslims to this day are still the largest traffickers in human slavery.
Your own half brother, a devout Muslim, still advocates slavery himself, even though Muslims of Arabic descent refer to black Muslims as "pug nosed slaves."Says a lot of what the Muslim world really thinks of your family's "rich Islamic heritage," doesn't it Mr. Obama?
Where were Muslims during the Civil Rights era of this country?AWOL.
There are no pictures or media accounts of Muslims walking side by side with Martin Luther King, Jr. or helping to advance the cause of Civil Rights.
Where were Muslims during this country's Woman's Suffrage era?Again, not present.In fact, devout Muslims demand that women are subservient to men in the Islamic culture.So much so, that often they are beaten for not wearing the 'hajib' or for talking to a man who is not a direct family member or their husband.Yep, the Muslims are all for women's rights, aren't they?
Oh, and what about so-called “honor killings” where family members slaughter daughters for slights, insults or dishonoring their family?
Where were Muslims during World War II?They were aligned with Adolf Hitler.The Muslim grand mufti himself met with Adolf Hitler, reviewed the troops and accepted support from the Nazi's in killing Jews.
Finally, Mr. Obama, where were Muslims on Sept. 11th, 2001?If they weren't flying planes into the World Trade Center , the Pentagon or a field in Pennsylvania killing nearly 3,000 people on our own soil, they were rejoicing in the Middle East.
No one can dispute the pictures from all parts of the Muslim world showing their celebrating on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and other cable news networks that day.Strangely, the very "moderate" Muslims who you worked so hard to please in Cairo , Egypt on June 4th were stone cold silent post 9-11.To many Americans, their silence meant approval for the acts of that day.
And THAT, Mr. Obama, is the "rich heritage" Muslims have here in America.
Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to mention the Barbary Pirates.They were Muslim.
And now we can add November 5, 2009 - the slaughter of American soldiers at Fort Hood by a Muslim major who is a doctor and a psychiatrist who was supposed to be counseling soldiers returning from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan .
That, Mr. Obama is the "Muslim heritage" in America .
YOU CAN BERATE ME IF YOU LIKE FOR THE ABOVE…
But you cannot deny the mentality of a President who stood in Ft. Hood without saluting the flag of our nation, and has done so on many occasions. And the bowing to Saudi Arabia’s king, then insulting Israel’s Prime Minister speak volumes to this commentator.
This week the PA security forces turned over 17 explosive devices which they discovered in Tul Karem (the West Bank Arab city which lies just to the east of the Green line and about due east of Netanya).
Israel and the PA are to be applauded for their cooperation. I don’t make light of this. It is a difficult situation for both organizations, in light of previous challenges.
The devices were discovered in a Hamas mosque and exploded by the IDF.
Tul Karem (Ernie Moore)
ONCE MORE, PRESIDENT OBAMA SLAPS ISRAEL
April 08, 2010
US Refuses Visas to all Israeli Nuclear Scientists
In a new and ridiculous policy, the US is denying Israeli scientists who work at the Dimona reactor site an opportunity to refresh their knowledge, Joshua Pundit reports:
Ma'ariv reported today that the Israeli government was stunned when every nuclear technician at Israel's Dimona reactor who had submitted visa requests to visit the United States for ongoing university education in Physics, Chemistry and Nuclear Engineering had their visa applications summarily rejected, specifically because of their association with the Dimona reactor.
This is a new policy decision of the Obama administration. Up until now, it was routine for Israeli nuclear scientists and technicians to receive such visas and to study at US universities. Reportedly the US has an unofficial embargo on sellinganythingto be used at the site.
Professor Zeev Alfasi, the head of Nuclear Engineering at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev stated that "the United States doesn't sell anything nuclear-related to the Dimona reactor, and that means absolutely nothing.Radiation detectors, for example have to be purchased now in France because the USA refuses to sell these to Israel."
DON’T YOU LIKE BEING RIGHT?!
We do to. Even the Apostle Paul had his moments of saying “I told you so,” if you will. And so we offer you a few insights into some moments this week where we can smile.
KRAUTHAMMER CALLED IT!
Perhaps you recall that last month we told you about Charles Krauthammer’s prediction that the Obama regime would roll out a VAT tax. Not to replace the income tax, but to pile it on top of your income taxes. Now, two weeks later, Paul Volcker has come out with it.
Volcker: Taxes likely to rise eventually to tame deficit
Tue, Apr 6 2010
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States should consider raising taxes to help bring deficits under control and may need to consider a European-style value-added tax, White House adviser Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.
Volcker, answering a question from the audience at a New York Historical Society event, said the value-added tax "was not as toxic an idea" as it has been in the past and also said a carbon or other energy-related tax may become necessary.
Though he acknowledged that both were still unpopular ideas, he said getting entitlement costs and the U.S. budget deficit under control may require such moves. "If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes," he said.
MORE FROM THE PAST.
Not only did we discuss the VAT, but last week we chided the looney left for calling conservatives racists because they oppose the socialist transformation of America by the Obama gang.
Then, almost like they are reading out column, came the report on black Tea Party people.
And not a moment too late.
Do these leftists need to get out more and meet people beside the ones who adore Obama and his ilk? Not really. This is a propaganda war. They know that many people of color are conservative, convinced of the merits of the free enterprise system and the benefits of getting the government off the back of people and letting them produce.
Sure, you get it, regardless of the color of your skin. But why doesn’t the Obama regime? Because they are hoping to rip the money away from individuals and give the government control over most aspects of life in America. They of course see themselves as the newest dictators.
SADLY MICHAEL STEELE, head of the Republican National Committee, also played the race card this week too.
Black conservative tea party backers take heat
Apr 6 06:07 PM US/Eastern
By VALERIE BAUMAN
Associated Press Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - They've been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values. Now black conservatives are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white tea party movement—and for having the audacity to oppose the policies of the nation's first black president.
"I've been told I hate myself. I've been called an Uncle Tom. I've been told I'm a spook at the door," said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a group of black conservatives who support free market principles and limited government.
"Black Republicans find themselves always having to prove who they are. Because the assumption is the Republican Party is for whites and the Democratic Party is for blacks," he said.
Johnson and other black conservatives say they were drawn to the tea party movement because of what they consider its commonsense fiscal values of controlled spending, less taxes and smaller government. The fact that they're black—or that most tea partyers are white—should have nothing to do with it, they say.
"You have to be honest and true to yourself. What am I supposed to do, vote Democratic just to be popular? Just to fit in?" asked Clifton Bazar, a 45-year-old New Jersey freelance photographer and conservative blogger.
Opponents have branded the tea party as a group of racists hiding behind economic concerns—and reports that some tea partyers were lobbing racist slurs at black congressmen during last month's heated health care vote give them ammunition.
But these black conservatives don't consider racism representative of the movement as a whole—or race a reason to support it.
Angela McGlowan, a black congressional candidate from Mississippi, said her tea party involvement is "not about a black or white issue."
"It's not even about Republican or Democrat, from my standpoint," she told The Associated Press. "All of us are taxed too much."
Still, she's in the minority. As a nascent grassroots movement with no registration or formal structure, there are no racial demographics available for the tea party movement; it's believed to include only a small number of blacks and Hispanics.
Some black conservatives credit President Barack Obama's election—and their distaste for his policies—with inspiring them and motivating dozens of black Republicans to plan political runs in November.
For black candidates like McGlowan, tea party events are a way to reach out to voters of all races with her conservative message.
"I'm so proud to be a part of this movement! I want to tell you that a lot of people underestimate you guys," the former national political commentator for Fox News told the cheering crowd at a tea party rally in Nashville, Tenn., in February.
Tea party voters represent a new model for these black conservatives—away from the black, liberal Democratic base located primarily in cities, and toward a black and white conservative base that extends into the suburbs.
Black voters have overwhelmingly backed Democratic candidates, support that has only grown in recent years. In 2004, presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry won 88 percent of the black vote; four years later, 95 percent of black voters cast ballots for Obama.
Black conservatives don't want to have to apologize for their divergent views.
"I've gotten the statement, 'How can you not support the brother?'" said David Webb, an organizer of New York City's Tea Party 365, Inc. movement and a conservative radio personality.
Since Obama's election, Webb said some black conservatives have even resorted to hiding their political views.
"I know of people who would play the (liberal) role publicly, but have their private opinions," he said. "They don't agree with the policy but they have to work, live and exist in the community ... Why can't we speak openly and honestly if we disagree?"
Among the 37 black Republicans running for U.S. House and Senate seats in November is Charles Lollar of Maryland's 5th District.
A tea party supporter running against House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Lollar says he's finding support in unexpected places.
The 38-year-old U.S. Marine Corps reservist recently walked into a bar in southern Maryland decorated with a Confederate flag. It gave his wife Rosha pause.
"I said, 'You know what, honey? Many, many of our Southern citizens came together under that flag for the purpose of keeping their family and their state together,'" Lollar recalled. "The flag is not what you're to fear. It's the stupidity behind the flag that is a problem. I don't think we'll find that in here. Let's go ahead in."
Once inside, they were treated to a pig roast, a motorcycle rally—and presented with $5,000 in contributions for his campaign.
McGlowan, one of three GOP candidates in north Mississippi's 1st District primary, seeks a seat held since 2008 by Democrat Travis Childers. The National Republican Congressional Committee has supported Alan Nunnelee, chairman of the state Senate Appropriations Committee, who is also pursuing tea party voters.
McGlowan believes the tea party movement has been unfairly portrayed as monolithically white, male and middle-aged, though she acknowledged blacks and Hispanics are a minority at most events.
Racist protest signs at some tea party rallies and recent reports by U.S. Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Barney Frank, D-Mass., that tea partyers shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at them have raised allegations of racism in the tea party movement.
Black members of the movement say it is not inherently racist, and some question the reported slurs. "You would think—something that offensive—you would think someone got video of it," Bazar, the conservative blogger, said.
"Just because you have one nut case, it doesn't automatically equate that you've got an organization that espouses (racism) as a sane belief," Johnson said.
Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, suggested a bit of caution.
"I'm sure the reason that (black conservatives) are involved is that from an ideological perspective, they agree," said Shelton. "But when those kinds of things happen, it is very important to be careful of the company that you keep."
ONE MORE HIT…
And one more hit for TWI. Last week we talked about General Gabi Ashkenazi. Now this week Haaretz reports that Defense Minister Ehud Barak will not keep him at the IDF’s Chief post. He inherited Ashkenazi, and most likely wants to put one of his followers in the job.
BARAK DECIDES NOT TO EXTEND CHIEF-OF-STAFF ASHKENAZI'S TERM.
Ashkenazi to retire in ten months. Leading candidates for Chief-of-Staff: Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz.
WELL, JUST ONE MORE…
In the sad continuing soap opera of Mahmoud Abbas’ bureau chief, we come to this week. “Husseini, You’re Fired!”
But… here’s how it works. Abbas fires them publicly, (and without their losing their salaries and perks?) then when the furor cools down, he brings him back all spruced up and again in power.
We offer one Ahmed Qurea as proof. One of the poster boys of corruption. First he’s off, and then he’s disappeared, and then he’s back as Abbas’ chief negotiator. It’s how they do it.
Abbas fires Husseini over sex scandal
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
'Fatahgate' bureau chief considered one of W. Bank's most influential figures.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday fired the director of his bureau, Rafik Husseini, who was involved in a sex scandal that rocked the Palestinian territories earlier this year.
Abbas’s decision to sack Husseini, one of the most influential officials in the Palestinian Authority, was taken in accordance with the findings of a special commission of inquiry that was established to look into the scandal, which has become known as “Fatahgate.”
The scandal erupted when a former PA intelligence official, Fahmi Shabaneh, revealed in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post two months ago a videotape showing Husseini naked in the bedroom of a Palestinian woman.
Husseini was also heard in the videotape bad-mouthing Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.
In one clip he’s seen sitting in the woman’s living room and saying that Abbas lacks charisma. He’s also heard calling one of Abbas’s wealthy sons, Yasser, a “crook.”
In another clip, Husseini denounces Arafat as “one of the biggest swindlers.”
Shabaneh, who was in charge of the anti-corruption unit in the PA’s General Intelligence Service, said that the woman had complained to him that Husseini was trying to exploit her sexually.
Based on the recommendations of the commission of inquiry, Abbas instructed the PA security services to destroy all material implicating Palestinians in sexual and moral offenses, including videotapes and audio recordings.
The PA president also instructed his security forces to refrain from “violating or intruding into the privacy” of Palestinians.
Husseini and senior Abbas aides initially claimed that the videotape had been “fabricated” and that Shabaneh was a “collaborator” with Israel.
However, the commission of inquiry, which Abbas established after the sex tape was broadcast on Channel 10, did not find any evidence of Israeli involvement in the scandal.
In fact, the three-man commission held Shabaneh’s former boss, Tawfik Tirawi, responsible and recommended that he be kept out of any official position in the PA.
The commission found that Tirawi, then commander of the General Intelligence Service, had authorized the secret filming of Husseini.
Tirawi, who today is head of the Palestinian “Military Academy,” claimed in recent weeks that he knew nothing about the sex scandal, accusing Shabaneh of “collaboration” with Israel.
The commission’s findings are seen as a victory for Shabaneh, who has insisted all along that the videotape was authentic and that he had acted on instructions from Tirawi.
The commission heard testimonies from scores of Palestinians who were involved, directly and indirectly, in the scandal. The only person who did not appear before the commission was the man who exploded the scandal: Shabaneh.
Shabaneh told the Post that the commission summoned him a few weeks ago to Abbas’s presidential Mukata compound in Ramallah to hear his version.
“I told them that Israel has banned me from entering the West Bank and that I’m prepared to meet the commission members anywhere else, but they didn’t come back to me,” he said.
Shabaneh lives in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of northeast Jerusalem, which is not under the jurisdiction of the PA.
“Besides, I found it strange that I’m being invited to show up at the Mukata when the Palestinian Authority has already condemned me as a traitor and issued an arrest warrant against me. They could not provide me with guarantees for my personal security,” he said.
Shabaneh said he also found it strange that the commission of inquiry did not look into allegations he made against other senior officials in the PA regarding financial and administrative corruption.
OKAY, ONE MORE….
I have to admit that Caroline has sort of poked me in the nose for not developing my own presentation of facts to include exactly what she has give you here. But, then, I’ve always said she is one of the sharpest minds (and tongues) in the media world. Kudos, Caroline!
Read the book she mentions and I think you will find lots to ponder as well.
Column One: Israel the strong horse
By CAROLINE GLICK
To survive and thrive, Israel needs to rebuild the faith of the likes of Jordan’s Abdullah that it is the strong horse in the region.
What does Jordan’s King Abdullah want from Israel?
This week, Abdullah gave a long and much cited interview to The Wall Street Journal. There he appeared to be begging US President Barack Obama to turn up the heat still further on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. As he has on a number of occasions, Abdullah argued that the Palestinian conflict with Israel is the cause or the justification of all the violence and emerging threats in the region.
By his telling, all of these threats, including Iran’s nuclear threat, will all but disappear if Israel accepts all of the Palestinian, (and Syrian), demands for land.
Abdullah’s criticism of Netanyahu dominated the news in Israel for much of the week. Commentators and reporters piled on, attacking Netanyahu for destroying whatever remains of Israel’s good name.
In their rush to attack the premier, none of them stopped to consider that perhaps they were missing something fundamental about Abdullah’s interview.
But they were missing something. For there is another way to interpret Abdullah’s complaints. To understand it, however, it is necessary to consider the strategic constraints under which Abdullah operates. And the Israeli media, like the Western media as a whole, are incapable of recognizing that Abdullah has constraints that make it impossible for him to say what he means directly.
Abdullah is a Hashemite who leads a predominantly Palestinian country. His country was carved out by the British as a consolation prize for his great-grandfather after the Hashemites lost Syria to the French. As a demographic minority and ethnic transplant, the Hashemites have never been in a position to defend themselves or their kingdom against either their domestic or foreign foes. Consequently they have always been dependent out outside powers – first Britain, and then Israel, and to a lesser degree the US – for their survival.
When Abdullah’s strategic predicament is borne in mind, his statements to the Journal begin to sound less like a diatribe against Israel and more like a plea to Israel to be strong. For instance, his statement, “In a way, I think North Korea has better international relations than Israel,” can be interpreted as a lament.
Abdullah fears war and he recognizes that the Iranian axis – which includes Syria, Lebanon, elements of the Palestinian Authority and elements of Iraq – is the biggest threat to his regime. Syria, which dispatched the al-Qaida bombers who blew up the hotels in Amman in 2005, threatens Jordan today almost as menacingly as it did in 1970, when it supported the PLO in its bid to overthrow Abdullah’s father. Back then, Israel stepped in and saved the Hashemites.
Abdullah’s preoccupation with Iran was clear throughout the interview. Indeed, much of his criticism of Israel needs to be viewed through the prism of his obvious fear that Teheran’s race to regional dominance will not be thwarted.
The reason that Israel’s media – like the American and European media – failed to consider what was motivating Abdullah to speak as he did is because both Israelis and Westerners suffer from an acute narcissism that prevents them from noticing anything but themselves. So rather than view events from Abdullah’s perspective and consider what might be motivating him to speak, they interpret his statements to serve their own ideological purposes. In the case of the leftist-dominated media, Abdullah’s statements were pounced upon as further proof that Israel, and particularly Netanyahu, are to blame for all the pathologies of the Arabs and all the threats in the Middle East. If Israel could only be coerced into giving up land, everything would be fine.
MUCH OF what the West misses about the Arab world is spelled out for us in a new and masterful book. The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations, by Lee Smith, is a unique and vital addition to the
current debate on the Middle East because rather than interpret the Arabs through the ideological lenses of the West, Smith describes them, their cultural and political motivations as the Arabs – in all their ethnic, religious, ideological, national and tribal variations – themselves perceive these things.
Smith, a native New Yorker, was the literary editor of The Village Voice when Arab hijackers brought down the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Propelled by the attacks, he headed to the Middle East to try to understand what had just hit his city. Smith moved to Cairo, where he studied Arabic and drank in the cultural and political forces surrounding him. After a year, he moved to Beirut, where he remained for another three years.
The Strong Horse speaks to two Western audiences, the Left, or the self-proclaimed “realists,” who ascribe to the belief that the Arabs have no particular interests but are rather all motivated to act by external forces and specifically by the US and Israel; and the neo-conservatives, who believe that at heart, the Arabs all yearn for Western-style liberal democracy.
Smith rejects both these notions out of hand. Instead, by recounting the stories of men and women he met during his sojourn in the region, and weaving them into the tales of Arab cultural, religious and political leaders who have risen and fallen since the dawn of Islam 1,400 years ago, Smith presents a few basic understandings of the Arab world that place the actions of everyone from Osama bin Laden to Jordan’s King Abdullah in regional and local contexts. The localization of these understandings in turn opens up a whole new set of options for Westerners and particularly for Israelis in seeking ways to contend with the region’s pathologies that involve policies less sweeping than grand, yet futile designs of peace-making, or fundamental restructuring of the social compacts of Arab societies.
Smith develops six central insights in his book.
- Arab political history is a history of the powerful ruling the weak through violence.
- Islamic terror and governmental tyranny are the two sides of the coin of Arab political pathology.
- Liberal democratic principles are unattractive to the vast majority of Arabs, who believe that politics is and by rights ought to remain a violent enterprise and prefer the narrative of resistance to the narrative of liberty.
- Liberal Arab reformers are unwilling to fight for their principles.
- The 1,400-year period of Sunni dominance over non-Sunni minorities is now threatened seriously for the first time by the Iranian-controlled Shi’ite alliance which includes Syria, Lebanon, and Hamas.
- And finally, that it is intra-Arab rivalries and the desire to rule and be recognized as the strong horse that motivates jihadists to wage continuous wars against Israel and the West and against regimes in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia alike.
As Smith explains, today Arab leaders view Israel as a possible strong horse that could defeat the rising Shi’ite axis that threatens them. And now, as the US under Obama abdicates its leadership role in world affairs by turning on its allies and attempting to appease its foes while scaling back America’s own military strength, Israel is the Sunnis’ only hope for beating back the Shi’ite alliance. If Israel does not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, then the likes of Kings Abdullah of Jordan and Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak are going to be forced to accept Iran as the regional hegemon.
WHEN SEEN against the backdrop of Smith’s analysis, it is clear that as his father did when he supported Saddam Hussein against Saudi Arabia in the lead-up to the 1991 Gulf War, Abdullah was hedging his bets in his interview with the Journal. If Israel fails to act, he wants to be on record expressing his animosity towards the Jewish state and blaming it for all the region’s problems. On the other hand, he used the interview as an opportunity to again send a message to anyone willing to listen that he wants Israel to assert itself and continue to protect his kingdom.
The recognition that a strong Israel is the most stabilizing force in the region is perhaps the main casualty of the Left’s land-for-peace narrative and the two-state solution paradigm which wrongly promote the weakness of Israel as the foremost potential contributor to stability in the region. Because Israel is everyone’s convenient bogeyman, it cannot form permanent alliances with any of its neighbors and as a consequence, it cannot gang up against another state. Because it will always be the first target of the most radical actors in the region, Israel has a permanent interest in defeating them or, at a minimum denying those actors the means to cause catastrophic harm.
Finally, although no one will admit it, everyone knows that Israel has neither the ability nor the desire to acquire and rule over Arab lands, and therefore there is no reason for anyone to fear its strength. For the past 62 years, Israel has only used force to protect itself when it was convinced it had no other option, and it holds only territories designated for the Jewish homeland by the League of Nations 90 years ago and lands vital to its self-defense.
Smith was living in Beirut when Hizbullah launched its war against Israel in July 2006. As he tells the story, “When the government of Ehud Olmert decided to make war against Hizbullah in the summer of 2006, all of Washington’s Arab allies... were overjoyed. With the Americans having taken down a Sunni security pillar – Saddam – and then getting tied down in Iraq, Riyadh, Cairo and the rest sensed the Iranians were gaining ground and that they were vulnerable. Even though they were incapable of doing anything about it themselves, the Sunni powers... wanted to see the [Iranian] bloc rolled back.”
Unfortunately for them, Olmert and his government were incompetent to lead Israel in war and within weeks showed that they had no idea how to accomplish their stated aim of crushing Hizbullah. When this reality sunk in, and the Arab masses rallied behind Iran, Hizbullah and Syria against their own governments, “the Sunni regimes could abide no longer and demanded the United States move to a cease-fire immediately.”
No doubt, in part as a consequence of their disappointment with Israel’s military performance in Lebanon and subsequently in Gaza, today leaders like Abdullah of Jordan are pessimistic about the future. But there is also no doubt who they are rooting for. And this has profound significance for Israel, not only as it prepares its plans to contend with Iran but also as it considers it national priorities.
For too long, Israel’s leaders have believed that to thrive regionally, it needs to convince the West to support it politically. But the fact is that Israel is in Asia, not in Europe or North America. To survive and thrive, Israel needs to rebuild the faith of the likes of Jordan’s Abdullah that it is the strong horse in the region. And once it does that, with or without formal peace treaties, and with or without democracies flourishing region-wide, Israel will facilitate regional peace and stability for the benefit of all.
OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN, HAVE FALLEN
And so it goes with former Jerusalem Mayor and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Out of the country right now, the investigations have continued into his perfidy in his absence.
Now there have been arrests of some of his henchmen, including attorney Uri Messer. The issue this time is the Holyland construction project.
In 2002 I lived at the Bayit Vagan neighborhood in West Jerusalem. It sits atop a hill above the Malcha Mall and Teddy Kolek Stadium. Behind the neighborhood is the Holy Land Hotel. Formerly the location of the awesome miniature Jerusalem model, which drew many more tourists than the hotel, it was having tough times due to the second Intifada. I would walk back to sit in their garden and have a quiet lunch at times.
And to observe the construction not far away. A tall construction crane (jokingly said to be Israel’s national bird) worked on and on, as a new project was underway.
By 2006 that project boasted towering apartment buildings where each apartment was a multimillion dollar home. Today it is magnificent or malignant, depending on your perspective on how it has changed the landscape.
Actually I like the buildings. Here are a couple of shots from their website:
Holy Land Towers
There is a sixth tower now going up. To the left of the above photo lies the stadium. Where the bus is located in the foreground of the photo is the termination of “Begin South” highway which goes north through the edge of the city and then connects to Route 443. That highway runs toward Ramallah and on through the West Bank and then back across the Green Line into Israel and to the city of Modi’in. From there it goes on to routes 6 and Highway 1 to Tel Aviv.
Holy Land towers
Here is an aerial shot from the opposite direction of the one above. The curving street in the background, for those of you who have read One Time Messengers, is the one that Jake and Larry looked down on from their balcony. It is Golomb Street, but in Israel the street names change so often that it is mind boggling. If one were to continue through the curve away from the Holyland, you would go to the neighborhood of Rehavia, then to King George Street. Crossing King George it becomes Agron St. where the US Consulate is located (there is another in East Jerusalem). That street intersects with King David, where the David Citadel and the new Mamilla Hotels reside. Continuing on, one sees the new Mamilla Mall on the left and David’s Village neighborhood on the right. Directly in front of you is the incline to the Jaffe Gate of the Old City.
TROUBLE, BRIBERY, AND MORE
One report had a lot of quotes about people on various committees that had oversight and approval of permits, etc. They spoke of surveillance, implied threats and some people who objected to the buildings but who then were the proud owners of million dollar apartments in the project.
I will tell you that in Israel there are many major building projects that take upwards of ten years, before a shovel full of dirt is ever moved! It wasn’t so with this one.
BUT BACK TO OLMERT’S TROUBLES.
With so many Olmert pals in custody, somebody will no doubt begin to squeal like a pig. That’s not good news. The first squealer gets the deal, the rest get made into bacon.
Actually, as rich as these guys are they will more than likely get a slap, a fine and life goes on.
For his part, there must have been some question if Olmert would return to Israel at all, because Ha’aretz reported that he had delayed his return, and then soon after, his attorney said he would be back to face the music. We’ll see.
You have to remember that politics in Israel is a bare knuckle affair. I don’t know how much of this whole deal is real and what is smoke and mirrors. I do know that it will take time to unravel.
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK!
Thursday, April 08, 2010 Israel Today Staff
Palestinians name prominent street after top terrorist
The Palestinian Authority this week renamed a prominent street in Ramallah after deceased terrorist mastermind Yihyeh Ayyash, a Hamas engineer responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis.
A new sign placed on the street provides background on Ayyash:
"Yihyeh Ayyash, 1966-1996, born in Nablus, studied electrical engineering in Bir Zeit University. Was a member of the Iz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and was linked by Israel to a number of bombings. Was assassinated by Israel in his Beit Lahia (Gaza Strip) home in 5.1.1996."
Further adding insult to injury, the renamed street is the location of a new Palestinian Authority presidential compound currently under construction.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office blasted the move as an "outrageous glorification of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority."
Netanyahu insisted that the international community that is so eager to condemn Israel over every perceived peace violation clearly and unequivocally condemn this latest Palestinian incitement.
According to the terms of signed peace agreements, the Palestinian Authority is obligated to discourage Palestinians from following in the footsteps of those who have engaged in terrorist violence against Israel. (Israel Today)
Word comes this week that Iran and Syria have conspired to provide Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist proxies with scud missiles.
That means that they can now reach every part of Israel – if the reports are true. It also means that Israel will be sending more over-flights and more scouts into Lebanon so they can place “X”s on the spots to bomb first when the next war breaks out.
You might notice I said “when” not “if” the next war begins. As Yair Lapid said, (paraphrased) “Wars are Israel’s hurricanes. We know they are coming just not when or from where.”
GUNMEN IN ISRAEL
We wrote in our novel The El Agha Conspiracy” about Hezbollah gunmen infiltrating Israel. Now word is out that Israeli-Arabs are trying to get guns to be able to go on shooting sprees; this time in the ancient northern Israel city of Acre.
Acre suspects 'influenced by Nasrallah'
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Police say two men planned to purchase firearms to shoot at Jews.
Galilee Police arrested two Acre men in recent weeks on suspicion of attempting to illegally buy firearms to use in disturbances between Jews and Arabs in the city.
Police learned of alleged attempts by the suspects, Hassan Falah Hassan Eid, 31, and Khaled Durgas Mustafa Kurdi, 26, to procure the arms from two Haifa men arrested in March on suspicion of selling guns on the black market.
Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested the suspected arms dealers as part of an ongoing initiative to crack down on illegal firearms possession in the Arab community.
“The two suspects from Acre planned to buy the guns to shoot at Jews in the event of further riots between Jews and Arabs,” police said. “When one of the two Haifa suspects understood the motive for the purchase, he chose to refrain from selling them the guns,” police said.
During questioning, Hassan Eid told police he was “greatly influenced by televised speeches by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Khaled Kurdi said he was influenced by recent violent events in Jerusalem that upset him as a religious Muslim,” Galilee police said….
A police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that approximately 1,200 illegal firearms have been seized by police in the Galilee in recent months…
NOT ALL ISRAELIS ARE PRO-ISRAEL
That is obviously the case with former IDF soldier Anat Kam. She is accused of stealing thousands of secret documents and turning them over to, in particular, a Ha’aretz journalist. He is in Britain, and no one knows if he’s coming back or not.
For her part, apparently she is the product of a very bad educational background.
Sunday, April 11, 2010 Israel Today Staff
Israeli soldier accused of espionage studied under anti-Zionists
Anat Kam, the young female journalist recently arrested on charges of leaking classified IDF information, spent years studying under some of the most virulent anti-Zionists professors in Israel following her release from the army.
Kam has been under house arrest since December after prosecutors discovered the extent of her treasonous behavior. Kam left the army in 2007, and either shortly before or shortly after shared classified information she had been privy to with members of the press, in particular a reporter for the leftist newspaper Ha'aretz.
After leaving the army, Kam herself became a journalist and began studying at Tel Aviv University, where she was a passionate student of Professor Shlomo Sand, author of the "The Invention of the Jewish People" and an outspoken apologist for Muslim terrorism against Israel.
During that time, Kam is believed to have leaked additional information stolen from documents in the IDF Central Command office where she worked during her army service. Ha'aretz and the rest of Israel's left-wing media had a field day with the information, some of which allegedly proved that IDF soldiers were carrying out extra-judicial executions of wanted terrorists. Some Israeli reservists have complained in the past that they put their lives at risk to capture these terrorists, only to have them released as part of a future "goodwill gesture" to the Palestinian Authority.
News of Kam's case broke in the international media months ago, though in Israel it was simply referred to as "the security case" since a gag order prevented publication of any details.
Kam is expected to receive a life sentence if convicted.
IDF Chief of Staff, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi will not be seeing his tenure lengthened. Part of that is because Defense Minister Ehud Barak apparently wants a favorite in the post. But part of the job, it saddens me to say, is to be laid at the door of Ashkenazi himself.
While the general is a good leader, a strict believer in mastery of the fundamentals for soldiers, and an authoritarian, he is lacking in the area of security.
First was a report that his own credit card had been lifted by an Arab. Then came the story that he was being surveiled by an Arab at the gym he attends. Now breaking is the story of Anat Kam, the leftist spy. All these seem to indict Ashkenazi regarding his toughness on security. I’m not one of those but I do see where there could be grounds for it.
Regardless of who is at fault and who is not, the leader gets the ax. Ask pro football coaches who have a couple of losing seasons back to back. It is the way things work.
As Ariel Sharon’s autobio, Warrior, explains most of Israel’s military leadership has traditionally been part of the liberal left politically. He was a breakaway and of course it cost him a lot to align himself with Begin and help found the Likud Party.
Who will be the next IDF Chief of Staff? We have not a clue. Whoever he is, I pray he is a warrior first, and a politician after that.
This week we did our radio broadcast on the Temple Mount tempests lately. In particular was a piece in Arutz Sheva about Dr. Max Singer. Here is the complete article:
'Jewish Ties to Temple Mount Will Bring Peace'
Nisan 29, 5770, 13 April 10 02:44
by Hillel Fendel
(Israelnationalnews.com) Dr. Max Singer, a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, writes this week that the only chance for peace in the Middle East is if the West disabuses the Arabs of two fallacies.
Afounder and senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, Singer writesthat within the Palestinian Authority, a debate rages between those who favor retaining the goal of eliminating Israel, and those who favor giving up that goal to gain peace and prosperity. In addition, many within the PA draw hope from the growing anti-Israel international movement that Israel can eventually be destroyed – either from within, or because it will be forced to make more concessions than it can safely live with.
If peace is to have a chance, Singer writes, Western leaders need to convince the PA side that both notions are wrong.
Jewish Links to Land - Important Part of Peace
An important component of the latter notion is the continued denial by the PA leadership of the Jewish People’s ancient connection to the Land of Israel and Jerusalem. This denial precludes the possibility that Arabs will agree to the notion of an honorable peace with Israel.
For instance, Moslem leaders in the PA repeatedly claim that the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism, where Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac, where the two Holy Temples stood, and where the third is to be rebuilt – has no Jewish history or background. In the words of the chief Moslem cleric of the Palestinian Authority, Mufti Ikrama Sabri, "The claim of the Jews to the right over [Jerusalem] is false, and we recognize nothing but an entirely Islamic Jerusalem under Islamic supervision..."
Similarly, Islamic Movement chief Raed Salah has said, "We reiterate for the 1,000th time that the entire Al-Aqsa mosque [on the Temple Mount], including all of its area and alleys above the ground and under it, is exclusive and absolute Moslem property, and no one else has any rights to even one grain of earth in it."
Jordan, too, has not waived its demands for sovereignty and responsibility over the Temple Mount. Jordanian government minister Abdel Salam Abbadi said last week that Jordan’s 1988 decision to disconnect from Judea and Samaria did not mean that it detached itself from Jerusalem and the holy sites.
Groups Work for Jewish Temple Mount
To counter this approach – and thereby to help achieve the goal of which Singer wrote – various Jewish groups in Israel seek to cement the Jewish bonds to the Temple Mount. They visit the Mount whenever possible, attempt to secure rights for Jews to visit and pray there, arrange marches outside the Temple Mount gates, and raise Temple Mount awareness with events, classes, pamphlets, exhibits and more.
Among them are The Temple Institute, the Organization for the Renewal of the Temple, the Sanhedrin, the Organization for Human Rights on the Temple Mount, and others.
Petition to Netanyahu
The Organization for the Renewal of the Templehas initiated a petition/letterto Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, urging him to add the Temple Mount to his new list of sites preserved as National Heritage sites. The letter states that though “the Temple Mount is the holiest site in the world for the Jewish people, yet the Muslim authorities, aided by Israel Police, systematically deny the right of religious expression on the Mount to all non-Moslems. On numerous occasions the High Court of Justice has upheld the Jewish people’s right to pray at the site, yet the police continue to prevent this. Furthermore, Jewish visitors are harassed and degraded… Please, end this travesty and allow Jewish freedom of expression at the Temple Mount. I urge you include the Temple Mount in your “Heritage Plan” of sites significant to the Jewish people.”
The Temple Institute, engaged in education, research, and development towards the Holy Temple in accordance with Biblical law, recently held its 29th annual Temple Institute Passover Symposium, under the banner of "Integrating Modern Technology into the Holy Temple." Issues discussed included questions such as, “Will massive digital screens allow worshippers to observe the work of the High Priest from a great distance? Will computers be used to keep track of the sacrifices, public and private? Will special impurity-proof buses be used to transport Passover pilgrims and their Paschal offerings?”
Last week we provided some interesting details about the Temple Mount, and in particular Rabbi Yehuda Glick. I don’t have any further information about whether he has gone to see a shrink or not. Our guess is that he has not. I can’t wait until I see him again to ask him about this whole affair.
Mugrabi Gate and Israel Security taskforce (2007 photo by Ernie Moore)
We thought you might like to see the entrance on the southwest corner of the Temple Mount where most tours enter. This photo shows a force of security men preparing to enter in 2007 when there was also some unrest.
These often come about because the Arabs want to stir up their followers to keep them anti-Israel. It lets the youth blow off steam, gives their leaders some news camera time and generally directs donors to them.
There are also many Arabs in Jerusalem and the West Bank who want peace. They understand that if there was a two state solution to the current situation and peace, they could find jobs, have a higher standard of living like the Jews do, and generally be better off in every way.
Many Arab leaders hate the whole idea because they cannot build anything. They are great at creating trouble, fighting and grandstanding, but building a nation is not in their resume. If you doubt that, then ask yourself this – why have they not done it since 1993 when they came to power with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the influx of multiplied billions of dollars and assistance from both Arab nations, Europe and the US?
Well, enough of this. We do appreciate your prayers, support and loyalty to our efforts.
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ONE MORE THING: WANT TO TRAVEL ISRAEL WITH US?
If you would like to join a tour of Israel that we are hosting or co-hosting, then I encourage you to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide me your contact details. I promise to get back to you in a timely fashion so we can discuss your travel needs. It is not just a vacation – it is a Bible and political education. Past, Present and Prophecy all in one.
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
Psalm 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
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