NORTH KOREA MAKES A HUGE NUCLEAR ADVANCE

NORTH KOREA MAKES A HUGE NUCLEAR ADVANCE

President Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” doesn’t really seem to have much effect.  While he was waiting for North Korea to go bankrupt, or for the government to collapse, North Korea was improving its nuclear capability and now claims that they have exploded a “Hydrogen Bomb.” Continue reading “NORTH KOREA MAKES A HUGE NUCLEAR ADVANCE”

THE SOLUTION TO THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE ISSUE

THE SOLUTION TO THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE ISSUE

Mordechai Kedar, writing in IsraBlog, has come up with what I consider to be a brilliant solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab issue.  His suggestion, which takes into consideration security for Israel and real on-the-ground realities of Palestinian population centers, has come up with a suggestion for several Palestinian city-states in Samaria and Judea (West Bank).

THE EIGHT STATE SOLUTION
by Mordechai Kedar

Palestinian territorial contiguity is dangerous for Israeli national security. For security and demographic reason, Israel must retain as much land as possible in the West Bank. Evacuation of these areas will create a dangerous situation for Israeli security and eventually will necessitate reconquering extensive parts of the West Bank. There is no reason to dismantle and destroy the existing settlements, rather we propose the creation of seven independent and separate city-states within the West Bank, in addition to Gaza.
Continue reading “THE SOLUTION TO THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE ISSUE”

Israel Never Looked So Good

By David Suissa, Jewish Journal

They all warned us. The geniuses at Peace Now. The brilliant diplomats. The think tanks. Even the Arab dictators warned us. For decades now, they have been warning us that if you want “peace in the Middle East,” just fix the Palestinian problem. A recent variation on this theme has been: Just get the Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to “freeze” their construction, and then, finally, Palestinian leaders might come to the table and peace might break out.

And what would happen if peace would break out between Jews and Palestinians? Would all those furious Arabs now demonstrating on the streets of Cairo and across the Middle East feel any better? Would they feel less oppressed?  What bloody nonsense.

Has there ever been a greater abuse of the English language in international diplomacy than calling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the “Middle East peace process?” As if there were only two countries in the Middle East.

Even if you absolutely believe in the imperative of creating a Palestinian state, you can’t tell me that the single-minded and global obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of the enormous ills in the rest of the Middle East hasn’t been idiotic, if not criminally negligent.

While tens of millions of Arabs have been suffering for decades from brutal oppression, while gays have been tortured and writers jailed and women humiliated and dissidents killed, the world — yes, the world — has obsessed with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As if Palestinians — the same coddled victims on whom the world has spent billions and who have rejected one peace offer after another — were the only victims in the Middle East.

As if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has anything to do with the 1,000-year-old bloody conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, or the desire of brutal Arab dictators to stay in power, or the desire of Islamist radicals to bring back the Caliphate, or the economic despair of millions, or simply the absence of free speech or basic human rights throughout the Arab world.

While self-righteous Israel bashers have scrutinized every flaw in Israel’s democracy — some waxing hysterical that the Jewish democratic experiment in the world’s nastiest neighborhood has turned into an embarrassment — they kept their big mouths shut about the oppression of millions of Arabs throughout the Middle East.

They cried foul if Israeli Arabs — who have infinitely more rights and freedoms than any Arabs in the Middle East — had their rights compromised in any way. But if a poet was jailed in Jordan or a gay man was tortured in Egypt or a woman was stoned in Syria, all we heard was screaming silence.

Think of the ridiculous amount of media ink and diplomatic attention that has been poured onto the Israel-Palestinian conflict over the years, while much of the Arab world was suffering and smoldering, and tell me this is not criminal negligence. Do you ever recall seeing a U.N. resolution or an international conference in support of Middle Eastern Arabs not named Palestinians?

Of course, now that the Arab volcano has finally erupted, all those chronic Israel bashers have suddenly discovered a new cause: Freedom for the poor oppressed Arabs of the Middle East!

Imagine if those Israel-bashers, during all the years they put Israel under their critical and hypocritical microscope, had taken Israel’s imperfect democratic experiment and said to the Arab world:Why don’t you try to emulate the Jews?  Why don’t you give equal rights to your women and gays, just like Israel does?  Why don’t you give your people the same freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to vote that Israel gives its people? And offer them the economic opportunities they would get in Israel? Why don’t you treat your Jewish citizens the same way Israel treats its Arab citizens?

Why don’t you study how Israel has struggled to balance religion with democracy — a very difficult but not insurmountable task?

Why don’t you teach your people that Jews are not the sons of dogs, but a noble, ancient people with a 3,000-year connection to the land of Israel?

Yes, imagine if Israel bashers had spent a fraction of their energy fighting the lies of Arab dictators and defending the rights of millions of oppressed Arabs. Imagine if President Obama had taken 1 percent of the time he has harped on Jewish settlements to defend the democratic rights of Egyptian Arabs — which he is suddenly doing now that the volcano has erupted.

Maybe it’s just easier to beat up on a free and open society like Israel.  Well, now that the cesspool of human oppression in the Arab world has been opened for all to see, how bad is Israel’s democracy looking? Don’t you wish the Arab world had a modicum of Israel’s civil society? And that it was as stable and reliable and free and open as Israel?

You can preach to me all you want about the great Jewish tradition of self-criticism — which I believe in — but right now, when I see poor Arab souls being killed for protesting on the street, and the looming threat that one Egyptian Pharaoh may be replaced by an even more oppressive one, I’ve never felt more proud of being a supporter of the Jewish state.

David Suissa is the founder of OLAM magazine and OLAM.org. You can read his daily blog at suissablog.com and e-mail him at suissa@olam.org.

Theater of the Absurd

By Martin Sherman

Published in YNet News.com

Obama, after the “pragmatic” Palestinians have repudiated any idea of “historic compromise,” any recognition of Jewish national sovereignty: “…so far the talks are moving forward in a constructive way…”

You couldn’t make this stuff up!

In a different universe the recent events regarding the rekindling of the “peace process” could well be the stuff of a macabre comedy, couched and conveyed in deliberately overstated caricature.

But sadly in this universe they portend tragedy.

It has been an almost inconceivable spectacle, beginning with the Israeli prime minister traveling to Washington to express his resolve and commitment to implement a policy that he has repeatedly repudiated – and ridiculed – for over a decade and a half.

Macabre Comedy

Even more astonishing is the fact that he did so not because his earlier criticism was proven unfounded in any way, but despite the fact that it was proven well founded in every way; not because his previous warnings that the policy would herald disaster were proven wrong but despite the fact that they were proven right.

Yet the absurdity does not end here. In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of Middle East politics things get “curiouser and curiouser.”

No less astounding than Netanyahu’s acquiescence to discuss the implementation of the very policy he correctly predicted would fail, is the identity of the “partner” with whom he assented to do so. The Palestinian negotiation team is led by Mahmoud Abbas, someone who has neither the formal legality (since his terms of office has expired) nor the political legitimacy (since his authority in not recognized by a sizeable segment of the electorate) to do so.

And then enter Hamas. With an impeccable sense of timing, Abbas’ radical adversaries carried out two brutal terror attacks on Israelis, dramatically demonstrating that the man Netanyahu has incongruously deemed “my-partner-in-peace” cannot control events in the areas he purports to administer- underscoring both the impotence of the Palestinian “partner” and pointlessness of negotiating with him.

For what would be the value of an agreements reached if there is no guarantee that the Palestinian signatories will be any position to honor or enforce them, even assuming they desire to do so?

Abbas wants to shape Israel 

And just to drive home the absurdity and futility of the entire exercise, after explicitly rejecting Netanyahu’s call for a “historic compromise,” Abbas pronounced categorically that “we won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” as to do so would “block any chance of Palestinian refugees from returning to their original homes inside Israel.”

This was reiterated the very next day by senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, who declared that “The Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” since this “would…prevent Palestinian refugees, who left their homes and villages a number of decades ago, from being granted the right to return to them.”

So not only do the Palestinian leaders openly admit that they will never recognize the Jews’ right to political sovereignty in the Israel, but by obdurately insisting on the “right of return,” they make it quite clear that the only agreement acceptable to them is one that would make the maintenance of such political sovereignty untenable.

Now one might well ask: If Netanyahu is not recognized by his Palestinian interlocutors as representing the Jewish nation-state, precisely in what capacity is he participating in the “process”? But an even more troubling conundrum arises: In what capacity is Abbas doing so? For it seems that he has adopted a trans-national – or at least a trans-frontier – posture, speaking not only for the people he foresees living under the sovereignty of the envisioned Palestinian state, but also for those who he foresees will not!

Indeed, Abbas’ demands are not restricted to shaping the future state of Palestine, its character, the extent of its boundaries and the composition of its population (i.e. Judenrein with all the Jewish “settlements” evacuated and all the Jewish settlers expelled.) His demands extend to shaping the character of the State of Israel and to what the composition of its population should be (which à la Abbas is to include millions of non-Jewish Palestinian “refugees.”)

In short, the “president” of a yet-to-be-established state – whose term of office has expired and whose legitimacy is contested by a significant portion of those he purports to represent – lays down, as a categorical demand, that for any agreement to be reached literally millions of people from third-party countries must be admitted as citizens – not into the sovereign territory of putative state over which he supposedly will have authority but into the sovereign territory of another state.

Like I said: You couldn’t make this stuff up!

Why help faltering, anti-Israel president? 

But perhaps the most macabre aspect of this preposterous tragic-comic spectacle is that it the only conceivable reason for Israel to participate in it at all, is to mollify a floundering US Administration desperate for some indication – any indication – of success to boost its flagging popularity

Now had this been an Administration that had wide spread support across the US, there might have been some justification in reluctantly acquiescing to its behest. Alternatively, had this been an Administration which was favorably disposed towards Israel there might have been some argument for lending it support in a time of distress. But neither of these is true.

On the one hand, the approval rates for the Obama Administration have been dropping like a lead balloon with public support evaporating with each passing week. On the other hand, the Obama Administration been described as arguably “the most anti-Israel Administration in the modern history of the state of Israel.”

So what conceivable political rationale is there in Netanyahu embracing a policy that rewards the White House’s hostility and hubris and accommodates Israel’s humiliation? What is possible political wisdom is there in providing the deeply unpopular incumbent Administration anything that might make it “look good”; anything that could give it any electoral advantage over the far more Israel-friendly Republican Party – especially as the crucial mid-term elections approach?

And if anyone thought that matter could not get any more farcical, they would be wrong. For just recently, Obama issued his latest exhortation for Netanyahu to make another gesture and extend the soon-to-expire building freeze. His reasoning: After the “pragmatic” Palestinians have repudiated any idea of making an “historic compromise” and any recognition of Jewish national sovereignty 60 years after Israel’s establishment, was:

“…so far the talks are moving forward in a constructive way, it makes sense to extend that moratorium so long as the talks are moving in a constructive way.”

You couldn’t make this stuff up! Or have I said that before?

9-11 The Day the Sky Fell

This Saturday will mark the ninth anniversary of the day when many of us woke up to the fact that we had been attacked, and that thousands of innocent people had been killed in Manhattan at the World Trade Center by Islamist jihadists.  This was not the first time that terrorists, in the name of Islam, had attempted to destroy the World Trade Center, and the people in it.  This was the time they succeeded.
The Day the Sky Fell

World Trade Center ManhattanMy friend, Daniel Greenfield, has written an excellent essay about September 11th, titled “The Day the Sky Fell”  I encourage you to go to his site and read it.

Some excerpts:

“That Tuesday we faced a new world. A world in which the sky fell. And some of us rose to face the challenges. And some of us fled into the comforts of the Monday that had come before, and all the days and years before it. Escaping history. Fleeing destiny. Forgetting that the world had changed, and no amount of politics as usual could make it stay the same.”   

[…]

“9/11 changed that. It tore down the sky and opened a gaping hole in the self-centered arrogance that had been the legacy of the 90’s, best exemplified by its champion, the morally ambiguous William Jefferson Clinton. It reminded us that we cannot just be satisfied with bread and circuses. That the world does not exist for our amusement. And that all views and beliefs are not created equal. That despite the ironic detachment of pop culture, there was a right and a wrong. And that despite the retreat from faith in a higher being, to a faith in our own technocratic castles in the sky, there was such a thing as good and evil. And not that we had forgotten that we were meant to be the good– evil had come to pay a call on us.”

His article is an excellent piece about 9/11 and I recommend highly that you take a couple of minutes to read it.

We ask that you will join us in remembering and celebrating the brave citizens and first responders who gave their lives on that fateful morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends who lost someone during that craven attack on America.
Sincerely,

Gary Aminoff
President
San Fernando Valley Republican Club

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What Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza?

There has been an attempt by many organizations around the world over the past year to establish the appearance of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Even US based organizations, like JStreet, have convinced members of Congress that this is true.

It is not true.
The bottom line is that there is no lack of goods going into Gaza. Each week the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes the amount of aid transferred into Gaza.  See a comprehensive report here  and a weekly update here.
Israel agrees that there is a humanitarian crisis, but it is not due to lack of goods entering Gaza, its the fact that Gaza is ruled by a terrorist organization.

Look back to 2005, Israel withdrew completely allowing the Palestinians to decide on their own how to govern.

In 2007 Hamas expelled Fatah moderates in a bloody battle (good reference here.) and began attacking Israeli towns with rocket barrages.
From 2007 to 2009 literally thousands of rockets rained down on civilian territories (see detailed stats here). In response, Israel along with Egypt, imposed a naval blockade. For an interesting perspective from Egypt go here.

The other nations in the area are wary of radicals like Hamas infiltrating and gaining a political foothold in their country and destabilizing the state so in practice they agree with Israel – yet the public rhetoric is always anti-Israel. Though Egypt has since left its border with Gaza open (though I’m not sure what “open” really means) I believe that soon they will resume their own blockade once public attention drifts. 
The bottom line is that Israel, along with Egypt, wants to ensure that Hamas cannot arm itself. Why? Because if Hamas resumes its attacks against Israel, then Israel will retaliate and the Gazans will seek refuge in Egypt – and Egypt does not want to support that population. To see an Arab blogger’s political analysis re: Egypt 2009, go here.  Go here to see where Egypt opens fire against Gazans in 2009.  Go here and here to see how Egypt deals with the Gazans in 2010.  I am curious why the international community makes no criticism of Egypt, only of Israel?  (Not really!)

With the above information and analysis Israel is clearly justified and is acting morally both in defense of its own citizens and in providing aid to the Gazans. But it does beg the question – where is the Arab support of Palestinians? 
They pledge millions but never deliver.

Meanwhile in the West Bank conditions are very different: The West Bank is experiencing a 7% economic growth rate, declining unemployment, growing tourism and a wage increase of 24% this year.  Read Bloomberg’s analysis of the West Bank economy here.  One wonders why the West Bank is prospering and Gaza is not?  The answer lies in who governs Gaza.  There is no Hamas in the West Bank, and the West Bank isn’t firing rockets into Israel or threatening Israel.  See Ambassador Oren’s article about the West Bank here.  For a comprehensive report on both the West Bank and Gaza go here.  The same prosperity could occur in Gaza as well if Hamas agreed to cease hostilities and work with Israel like Fatah is doing.  That is not likely.

The bottom line is that the residents of Gaza do not suffer from a lack of essential goods or medical supplies.  The press has been complicit with Hamas in attempting to present a picture of humanitarian need in Gaza when none, in reality, exists.

Aid to Hamas??

Investors Business Daily writes in an editorial today:

Diplomacy: President Obama sat for a White House photo op with the Palestinian Authority’s leader and then announced a $400 million aid package for the West Bank and Gaza. What’s wrong with this picture?

The president seemed to go out of his way this week to please his latest guest, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, in a way he didn’t when Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, came calling last month.

Why is the White house providing $400 Million in aid to a terrorist regime?

Why the U.S. should be supporting a regime that so far this year has fired 370 lethal rockets into Israel, that still refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist and that has made a cottage industry of teaching children to hate is beyond us.

Extra cash for the same people who danced in the streets on 9/11 will just free up more resources for new terror and mayhem against the Jewish state. Some $10 billion has been spent globally in the last decade on Palestine, and places like Gaza remain as miserably pro-terrorist as ever.

This gift to a terrorist regime that kills its people for singing and dancing at a wedding because it is against sharia law does not deserve aid from the United States.

The editorial concludes:

If the plan is to buy off Gazans so they’ll vote for non-terrorists, it’s hard to see how this would work. Hamas could refuse to let the U.S. build the schools, just as the group refused aid from Israel-inspected ships that ran the Gaza blockade. These aren’t people who help themselves.

Nor can such aid ever help them as long as they remain committed to Israel’s destruction. President Obama’s aid offer was both expensive and naive.

Read the whole article.