Israel Security Agency head Yoram Cohen tells lawmakers that Gaza has turned into a weapons depot since Israeli forces withdrew • Some of Hamas' operational abilities have surpassed those of Hezbollah, he says.
FP: Now, where else did we experience this before? Yet another example that Israel constantly fails to learn from its blunders. It keeps exacerbating its dangerous circumstances to a suicidal point. No wonder that top military and security officials promote surrender—they know the consequences of their failures:
Israel Matazv: Barak has been through everything and learned nothing
Barak - along with Shimon Peres - is a politician about whom it can be said that he has been through everything and learned nothing. It was Barak who fled a training accident at Tzehilim, leaving IDF soldiers to die as he left in his helicopter. It was Barak that tried unsuccessfully to reach a deal with Yasser Arafat at Camp David twelve summers ago and got a violent intifada in return for his flexibility. It was Barak who left an IDF soldier to die while he sought 'permission' from Yasser Arafat to rescue the soldier on Rosh HaShanna twelve years ago. It was Barak who continued to try to give away the store to Arafat, while that intifada raged, in a bid to save his seat as Prime Minister. And it was Barak who, as Defense Minister, passed on the opportunity to finish off Hamas during Operation Cast Lead.
I suppose we should not be surprised that Ehud Barak now wants to 'unilaterally withdraw' from Judea and Samaria.
Israel should consider a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank if negotiations with the Palestinians fail, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday.But here's where it gets rich: The 'Palestinians' are unwilling to 'accept' a unilateral withdrawal (also here).
Barak received support for his position from Amos Yadlin, the former head of Military Intelligence who now serves as director of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv.
Yadlin presented a report at a conference at the think tank claiming that the chance for a peaceful negotiated resolution with the Palestinian Authority was not attainable in the near future and therefore needed to consider a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank.
Yadlin said that INSS decided to recommend unilateral action due to an understanding that the PA leadership was not willing to compromise on the right of return for refugees and was also unlikely to recognize Israel's identity as a Jewish state.
"If it turns out that it is not possible to reach an agreement, we need to consider an interim arrangement or alternatively a unilateral step," Barak said at the conference. "Israel cannot permit this to remain in deadlock."
Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh Wednesday told WAFA that any Israeli unilateral measure leading to the establishment of a state with temporary borders is unacceptable.In 2009, we were told that Prime Minister Netanyahu 'needed' Ehud Barak to show that his was not 'just' a rightist government. But Barak now controls only five Knesset seats, and is the leader of a party that is unlikely to pass the threshold in the next Knesset election. And so, unless he is taken into the Likud, he will not even be an MK after November 2013. In light of Barak's continued argument for Leftist positions that most of the current government opposes, and in light of the presence in Netanyahu's own party of Moshe 'Boogie' Yaalon, who is also a former IDF chief of staff, one has to wonder why Barak remains Defense Minister.
Abu Rudeineh’s statements came in response to earlier statements by the Israeli Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak, that Israel should consider unilateral moves and withdrawal from the West Bank if negotiations with the Palestinians failed.
This Israeli policy leads to the continuation of the conflict; it does not lead to a solution, rather it ends the concept of the two-state solution, added Abu Rudeineh.
He emphasized that the Palestinians are “committed to a just and comprehensive solution of a state within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and without Jerusalem nothing will be accepted.”
Unless, of course, Netanyahu really is a closet Leftist.
FP: As I’ve often written here, Barak is the most decorated utter failure in Israel’s history, and he has learned from experience as much as Obama learned from his. The top existential danger for Israel is not the Arabs or the West, but its own failed elite.
As to Netanyahu, expect him to follow in the steps of Olmert and Sharon. Barak would have not made such a statement without Netanyahu’s knowledge and agreement. I already stated my suspicion that the main purpose of the broader coalition is some “grand gesture” to the Arabs.
Clinton rejects Barak's unilateral withdrawal
"The United States believes there is no substitute for direct talks between the parties," said the US secretary of state.
Since both the Palestinians and Clinton reject a withdrawal, one cannot help but wondering if that’s not per se a good reason to do it. The West and Palestinians probably realize that if the blessed occupation ends, the Palestinians won’t be able to scapegoat it for their own failures and their real goal will be exposed. It is much more advantageous to use it as an excuse for everything, particularly have the West pressure Israel for suicidal concessions.
But such temptation for withdrawal should be resisted, because without the IDF restraining them, the Arabs won’t be able to resist their own temptation to attack Israel from a much more dangerous position. The world does no longer much care for Israel’s existence and in such circumstances it will, at best, wash its hands of its destruction.
Daniel Greenfield: The Patriotism of Palestinianism (MUST READ)
Each century brings forth its own patriots. Once upon a time we had Patrick Henry, today we have Senator Patrick Leahy, who declared in the Senate that his opposition to an amendment that would distinguish how much of the UNRWA's funding goes to actual refugees versus fake refugees was a patriotic act.
"I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests,” Senator Leahy stated firmly. It is of course difficult to find as compelling a national interest as the UNRWA, a refugee agency created exclusively for the benefit of five million Arabs, approximately 30,000 of whom are actual refugees, but all of whom hate the United States.
As a city which will soon celebrate its 50 year anniversary, Baqa'a is older than many modern Israeli cities and is as much a refugee camp as any of them. The only difference between Baqa'a and Ariel, is that no one in Baqa'a does anything for themselves because they are all eternal refugees with an entire UN agency dedicated to wiping their bottoms for them. A unique and singular honor in a world full of authentic refugees who have been driven out by rape squads and genocide, without getting their own minders in blue.
FP: Since the core of the Arab Israeli conflict is not land, but the right of return, the most effective way to resolve it would have been to count the genuine refugees and treat them just the rest of the refugees in the world. The UNRWA strategy has made the problem unsolvable except by returning them to Israel, which was exactly the intention of the Arabs. The reaction by Leahy and the Department of State before him validates my prediction that counting will happen when pigs fly, now that a frightened West in decline has decided that Israel’s existence is not a priority. The source of US decline—just like that of Israel’s existential danger (see previous)—is its elite.
Bill Katz: ARE YOU BELIEVING THIS?
This is a serious news story:
The Commerce Department is considering naming Arab Americans a socially and economically disadvantaged minority group that is eligible for special business assistance.I certainly don't favor blind discrimination against anyone, but there are reasons why the actions taken are carried out. Just as there are reasons why the NYPD has more manpower in certain areas.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) petitioned Commerce earlier this year to ask that Arab Americans be made eligible for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), which helps minority entrepreneurs gain access to capital, contracts and trade opportunities.
In making the case for minority status, ADC highlighted the National Security Entry Exit Registration System, "which required non-immigrants to register at ports of entry and targeted males from Arab nations; stricter travel guidelines; and ‘no-fly lists’ that predominantly contained the names of Arab-Americans," according to MBDA’s summary of the petition.
I heard informed comments just a few days ago that when Arab investors and bankers have meetings in New York, American bankers attend in huge numbers, to try to do business. It is hardly a secret that the Saudi lobby spends vastly more in the United States each year than the Israeli lobby could even dream of.
This petition sounds to me more political than economic. Individual cases could certainly be heard, but special group rights? I don't think so.
FP: Europe started to dhimmify itself only after Muslims reached a certain mass and they committed some level of violence to scare the natives. In the US apparently there is no need for those conditions to take for self-dhimmification.
Scott Johnson: The friends of Barack Obama
Haaretz gives us the text, which appears to have been altered slightly since it was originally posted:
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Obama and White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew met about 20 Conservative Jewish community leaders. …Bill Kristol makes three points in his midrash, as Obama would call it:
“I not going to tell you again how I even feel about Israel, but why [are] we still talking about it,” Obama said, reminding his guests that all his friends in Chicago were Jewish – and at the beginning of his political career he was accused of being a puppet of the Israel lobby. …
Obama also stressed he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it – and wondered how come no one asks Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner or Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel [sic] about their support to Israel.”
1. The reason no one asks John Boehner or Mitch McConnell about their support for Israel is … because they really do support Israel. The reason people ask Barack Obama about his support for Israel is because his support for Israel has been equivocal.JoshuaPundit’s Obama 'Some Of My Best Friends Are Jews' expands on this:
2. It’s truly pathetic that Obama has to reach for the tired (to say the least) trope that some of his best friends were Jewish. Actually, one wishes more of his best friends were pro-Israel Christians. They might have had more luck convincing him, a fellow Christian, that he should be pro-Israel.
3. And the claim that Obama knows more about Judaism than any president? His vanity boggles the mind. One could begin by citing Adams and Madison, who knew Hebrew, or Harry Truman, who knew Jewish history … but it’s silly to dignify this claim with a rebuttal. In thinking about the presidents since Truman, though, I’d guess the president who knew the most about Judaism was Jimmy Carter, who taught Sunday school and had a deep interest in religion. So let’s stipulate that of the modern presidents, Carter and Obama “know” the most about Judaism. But what is it they know? In Obama’s case, one could ask whether what he “knows” is what he learned from Rashid Khalidi and Jeremiah Wright.
President Obama certainly does know about Judaism. He knows so much that he threw a Passover seder in the White House featuring non-Kosher food, and made a point of insisting that Israel has no right to Jewish religious sites. He's so immersed in respect for Judaism that he rounded up a horde of sympathetic left wing rabbis for a conference call and insisted that they insert selected talking points supporting ObamaCare into their high Holiday sermons, an almost unbelievable act of sacrilege on the holiest days of the Jewish religion, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
He has so much respect for Jews and Judaism that he proudly attended Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam sponsored Million Man March, one of the worst public displays of outright and overt Jew hatred in American history.
Oh, and his friends? Let's look at President Obama's best friends - people like Reverend Jeremiah Wright ( another buddy of Louis Farrakhan's from way back) , Rashid Khalidi, Khalid al-Mansour, Bill Ayers, Al Sharpton, Edward Said and a host of others who could not be said to be friendly to Jews by any stretch of the imagination.
FP: I concur with Yid wit a Lid "Rabbi Obama" And The Shame Brought By Leaders of Conservative Judaism who can only say about Obama’s blatant lies חרא של פרות! (translated as Cow Sh*t! in English)
I reiterate my earlier comment that Obama expressed how he really feels about Israel at the Chicago party thrown to him by his Arab friends. That’s why the LA Times refuses to release the tape of it to the public. If an American newspaper feels it necessary to go as far as to withhold it, rest assured that there’s something horrible on it.
Incidentally, Israel government has just decided to recognize and pay Conservative and Reform rabbis in Israel.
Dr. Gabi Avital: Reform or regression?
Why do Reform rabbis want to join a system they despise?
Israelis know why: most religious parties in Israel feed at the public trough.
If the Israeli version of Reform/Conservative Judaism is anything like its American counterpart, that was a very big mistake—more leftism publicly funded. No wonder the left is pleased:
Uzi Baram: The Reform movement saves Judaism
This country is not supposed to represent Orthodoxy alone.
Is it an acceptable price to pay for releasing the chokehold of Orthodoxy on the country? Possibly, but it is a heavy one.
Jake Tapper: President Obama Causes Outrage with Reference to ‘Polish Death Camp’
Poles and Polish-Americans expressed outrage today at President Obama’s reference earlier to “a Polish death camp” — as opposed to a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland.
“The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”
The president had been trying to honor a famous Pole, awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter who sneaked behind enemy lines to bear witness to the atrocities being committed against Jews. President Obama referred to him being smuggled “into the Warsaw ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”
Sikorski also tonight tweeted a link to an Economist story noting that “few things annoy Poles more than being blamed for the crimes committed by the Nazi occupiers of their homeland. For many years, Polish media, diplomats and politicians have tried to persuade outsiders to stop using the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ as a shorthand description of Auschwitz and other exemplars of Nazi brutality and mass murder. Unfortunately this seems to have escaped BaracK Obama’s staff seem not to have noticed this.”
It seems likely that a more formal apology will need to be issued.
FP: If I were Polish I would not insist on an apology for the following reason:
Debbie Schlussel: Poles Were Complicit in Holocaust: Outrage Over Obama “Gaffe” is Fraudulent, Ignorant
Barack Obama has done enough legitimately bad things that we don’t need to manufacture phony outrage over things he does that really aren’t so bad. Such is the case with the feigned shock and fake moralizing over his comments, yesterday, about German Nazi death camps in Poland being a Polish death camp. Here’s a tip for Poland and ignoramuses in the lumpenconservatariat who now engage in revisionist history: Poles murdered millions of Jews, they maintained several death camps, and they wiped out almost all of both sides of my family, as well as those in hundreds of thousands of other Jewish families. This wasn’t just the Nazis. It was tens of thousands of eager Poles and more. Obama made no gaffe here. Poland’s willing executioners took their significant place among Hitler’s willing executioners.
There is a reason why Poland was so easily occupied by the Germans. Yeah, I know–they were “just taking orders.” Just taking orders when they helped round up Jews and helped man gas chambers. As if Nazis from Germany did this alone! Polish police all too happily worked with the SS to round up Jews. Polish police all too easily took their place in helping run and operate the death camps. Facts are stubborn things. But, sadly, not as stubborn as morons and blind partisans.
Are you kidding? Someone needs to remind Mr. Tusk that his people were the ones doing the hurting and the turning over to the Nazis and the mass murder of at least half of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, some of them from my family. You are “hurt” by calling Nazi death camps, “Polish”???? Um, where were they? Who helped operate them and round up and turn in the camps’ Jewish occupants, soon to be turned into ash and fumes?
There is a reason that President Obama, yesterday, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to Jan Karski, the former Polish underground officer who provided early eyewitness accounts of Nazi Germany’s genocide of European Jews. And that’s because Karski was unlike most of his fellow Poles, who hated Jews just as the Nazis did and proudly turned them over to the Nazis and/or participated in the mass murderous Judenrein. Even in the Polish underground, hatred of Jews was legion. My great-uncle was in the Polish underground, until they slit his throat while he was sleeping because, one day, the head of the Polish underground demanded a cleansing of its Jews, too.
No Jew should offer the Poles an apology in the name of America, like JoshuaPundit did.
UPDATE: I expressed my disagreement with Rob's apology in a comment on his blog thread in which he offered it and he responded with his disagreement with me. Here is the link for those interested:
Unfortunately, that’s not the reason that Obama refuses to apologize, or why he used that expression:
Barry Rubin: If Obama Doesn’t Understand European History He Can’t Get the America’s Future History right
President Barack Obama’s mistaken reference to Nazi German death camps as “Polish death camps” is being ridiculed by critics as an example of incompetence. That misses the point. The defense is that it was on his teleprompter. That misses the point, too.
After all, you don’t need to be a historical genius to have caught that error even if it was on the teleprompter. I am not suggesting that Obama doesn't know that the Nazi Germans operated the death camps. Nevertheless, what this is really about is that Obama does not see himself as emerging from European history and, truth be told and despite his university degrees, doesn't know much about it.
On one level, that is rather obvious. His father was Kenyan. But, of course, his mother was an American of European descent. Still, Obama has not chosen to focus on his simultaneously half-African/half-European parentage. He has identified himself as an African-American, and the word African here has to be taken literally, not just as a matter of ancestry from three centuries ago. The only exception to this stance, I believe, was a reference to Irish ancestry during a visit to that country and a feeble, rather insultingly stereotyped, attempt at an Irish accent.
Forget about this as a matter of race or skin color. Think of it as a matter of geographical choice. Obama draws heavily from Third World standpoints, something quite evident in his choice of church, for example. I cannot recall his ever quoting a European political philosopher. He has never to my knowledge made any reference publicly to Communism. In his books, the emphasis is on feelings, personal experiences, and ideas that come out of his head.
It’s fine to have a president who doesn’t come from a European background personally or physically but not so good to have a president who doesn’t grasp the meaning of modern European history. That’s why they used to have those Western Civilization courses required of every college student, a standard whose loss has been devastating in the production of credentialed ignoramuses.
That’s why neither was Karski honored for his uniqueness or courage. As per a previous post, many of the honorees were selected for electoral purposes.
Looks like Western Civilization without education will not exist for long.
Israel: Iran supporting mass murder in Syria
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says Western military intervention in Syria would harm Israel as well • Israeli official responds: "One can only imagine what would happen if Iran possessed nuclear weapons."
FP: If the world does not care about massacred Arabs, can you imagine how much it would care if Jews were massacred?
White House: Iran engages in 'malignant behavior' in Syria
Spokesman accuses Iran of "malignant behavior" for propping up Assad; Iran continues to expand "nefarious influence" in region"; Washington tries to convince China, Russia of "horrific" risks of escalation.
If you were Iran, wouldn’t you hold the West in contempt?
Azerbaijan security services foil attack at Eurovision Song Contest
Forty suspects arrested over planned attacks on contest venue and hotels in Baku • Targets included Israeli band Izabo • Band members shocked by the report.
FP: Why exactly are they shocked? Apparently neither Israelis nor the West have internalized the reality of global Jihad.
Israel hands over remains of Palestinian terrorists
Palestinian Authority receives remains of 91 terrorists buried in Israel • All were killed in suicide bombings or other attacks on Israeli targets • Israel hopes the gesture will open the door to resuming peace talks.
FP: My suggestion is to stop filling Israeli jails with murderers who invite the kidnapping of Israelis, play to Western gullibility via hunger strikes while they plan more murders. Produce more bodies with which to make gestures.
Journalists to protest against Blau indictment
Jerusalem Journalists Association plans protest outside Justice Ministry over A-G’s decision to indict Haaretz reporter Uri Blau.
FP: Oh, how prompt they are with Israel, relative to their almost complete silence about what Islamic states do to their journalists.