Poll finds vast majority of Israelis against unilateral military strike on Iran, Israeli Jews prefer Obama over all republican rivals.
FP: Sounds like check and mate for Israel and Jews.
KHALED ABU TOAMEH: Abbas condemns IDF raid of Ramallah TV stations
IDF says raid was prompted by the stations' use of unauthorized frequencies, which endanger flight routes over Ben Gurion Airport.
FP: When Israel released the hunger striking Hamas terrorist to avoid Palestinian violence I predicted more hunger strikes, which materialized like clockwork. Don’t be surprised if terrorists will use this method to cause trouble at the airport.
Bill Katz: NEW IRAN POLICY COMING?
It may be election-year politics, but there is talk, reported by the Wall Street Journal, that President Obama may revise his Iran policy, which clearly is not having the intended effect...stopping Tehran's nuclear program…
However, in this case I think [Netanyahu] has a point, and that listening to him would advance the American interest as well as the Israeli interest. You don't get anywhere with a regime like Iran's by showing weakness, or undercutting the argument for a military strike against Iran's nuclear program. You want Iran to fear us, not love us. And yet, administration figures have, on virtually every available occasion, played down the possibility of a military strike. They run constantly to Israel to beg the Israelis not to hit the Iranian program.
Why do they do this? Apparently, they think it makes Washington look even-tempered and rational, and they want to show a contrast with George W. Bush.
But it's getting us nowhere. Instead of disparaging the idea of an Israeli strike, we should be dangling it out there, almost sending the message that, "Gee, we can't control these crazy Israelis. You know, they may just have to do it."
There is a theory in strategic studies called "the rationality of irrationality." It holds that if you act somewhat irrationally, you increase your perceived power over an enemy. The enemy becomes frightened by your "irrational" behavior, and is more likely to come to terms.
During the Vietnam War, one of my mentors, the strategist Herman Kahn, suggested, only partially tongue-in-cheek, that we drop ping-pong balls on Hanoi. He reasoned that the Communists would say, "These people are crazy. Do we want to risk everything by fighting crazy, irrational people?" The point he was making was that "irrationality," pursued rationally, is an effective tool.
A tougher, more Bushian policy, might just convince the Iranian leaders that they themselves may die if they continue on their current course. If they get the bomb in the face of American efforts to stop them through sanctions alone, it will mark a terrible setback for American foreign policy.
FP: This is the “crazy state” theory that I have been advocating for Israel. It looks, though, that it’s the Iranians that are playing this game, deterring the US and the West. The problem is that once you signal weakness for an extended period in the face of provocations and disregard, it is very difficult is not impossible to shift gears and play crazy. It’s not that hard for the Iranians to know that if you want to avoid war at all costs you’re vulnerable. It’s the Blackmailer’s Paradox game that the Palestinians are playing with Israel quite effectively.
By the way, undermining the motivation of a voluntary military does not exactly help overcome weakness, nor does convince enemies you’re serious:
President Obama is trying to cut the health care for American troops and military retirees. This is completely outrageous, and Congress must stop it…
The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.
Washington and Jerusalem work on joint statement to be issued after next week’s meeting between Netanyahu and Obama • Wall Street Journal reports the White House is considering “more forcefully outlining potential military actions” against Iran.
FP: Not an iota of credibility. And whatever Obama agrees to say for electoral purposes, Israel should not for a moment believe it either.
Knesset Law Committee Chairman David Rotem has called for the removal of 'Israeli Arab' Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran after Joubran refused to participate in singing Israel's National Anthem at the conclusion of the installation ceremony for new Supreme Court Chief Justice Asher Grunis. Joubran's silence was shown on live television by Israel's Channel 2 (I have not found the video yet) according to Israel Radio.
FP: More evidence that the surveys that show Israeli Arabs’ preference for Israel to a Palestinian state obscure reality. The illusion that equality brings loyalty to the country should end.
Haim Shine: Menachem Begin’s legacy
During these times of deficient leadership, it is important to remember that another model exists – one of commitment to the public good that surpasses personal benefit, one guided by vision and not public opinion polls.
FP: Indeed, and Israel is in its current predicament not in small part due to its crisis of leadership. With Begin ended a generation of leaders that gave way to a generation of politicians. Crises without leadership are lethal and often fatal. I mean, just consider the West.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be forced to choose between the religious and secular parties in his coalition as the former claim they will oppose any law forcing ultra-Orthodox youth to serve in the IDF.
FP: This problem should have been eliminated early, not allowed to develop into a potential for civil war at the least desirable time for Israel. Just another strategic blunder. Unfortunately, there is no leader with sufficient balls to take on the religious camp today.
PowerLine: Stimulating Lawyers’ Incomes
As a lawyer, I am generally happy to see my fellow lawyers make money. But do they really need help from the government to do it, in the form of “stimulus” payments? I didn’t think my opinion of Obama’s “stimulus” program could fall any lower until I saw this:
An international law firm, which gave substantial political donations to President Obama and fellow Democrats over the last three campaign cycles, received its own significant stimulus award to advise on a controversial Department of Energy loan transaction with a struggling electric vehicle manufacturer.
The firm, Debevoise & Plimpton LLC, received $1,842,180 in Recovery Act funds to provide legal advice, conduct due diligence, and review documents for two loans from DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.
Did you have any idea that stimulus money was going to Wall Street law firms? I didn’t. This appears to be another example of the Obama administration’s corrupt cronyism in action:
According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, employees of the law firm gave $199,944 to Sen. Barack Obama for his 2008 presidential campaign, compared to $9,650 for Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Over the last three congressional election cycles (two cycles for the presidency, including this year), Debevoise staff members have donated $746,535 to Democrat candidates and political committees, including $284,420 to the Obama campaign. In contrast, Republican candidates and their support groups received $57,451 from employees of the law firm. Debevoise’s media relations manager, Suzanne Elio, is a former Democratic National Committee fundraiser, and top lawyer David Rivkin reportedly served on President Obama’s National Finance Committee, even hosting a fundraiser for presidential candidate Obama in his home in 2007.
As of 2010, the average Debevoise partner earned $2.06 million. I don’t begrudge them a penny of it, but in a sane world does the federal government pay them $1.8 million to facilitate an unbelievably stupid and corrupt waste of taxpayer money? And then call it a “stimulus?” I don’t think so.
FP: The kleptocracy of the corporate welfare state and crony capitalism at work. For an example of a source of funds to sustain the system, see next.
The IPAB is to be composed of 15 appointed officials who will have the authority to make cuts in Medicare payments if per capita spending exceeds defined targeted rates. The U.S. Constitution gives the power of the purse to Congress so that elected representatives can be accountable to the voters for their decisions. The IPAB would turn this principle upside down.
In creating the IPAB, the president and Democrats in Congress wanted to take difficult decisions about cutting spending on Medicare out of the legislative process. In so doing, they gave unprecedented authority to unelected experts to make Medicare payment policy involving hundreds of billions of dollars and impacting tens of millions of seniors.
The power is unprecedented because there is to be no judicial, administrative, or realistically, congressional review over its decisions. IPAB is supposed to take decisions outside the political arena so they are made by people less likely to feel the tug of popular opinion.
Debbie Schlussel: Oy Frickin’ Vey: Israeli Prez Shimon Peres on Yenta Hag-Fest, “The View”
I’d like to know which teepshee [Hebrew for dummy] at Israel’s Ministry of Public Affairs agreed to book 89-year-old left-wing Israeli President Shimon Peres on ABC’s pro-Muslim yenta hag-fest, “The View,” this morning.
There’s another Hebrew word I have in mind that the Israelis apparently did not: hasbarah. It has several meanings, primarily public relations or public diplomacy. But it can also mean propaganda. Peres’ appearance on “The View,” this morning did neither.
Baba Wawa thankfully spared us her fellow co-airheads on the show and chose to question Peres–the architect of every failed, murderous “peace” deal Israel has ever had, including the disastrous Oslo Accords–by herself. Peres, as he always does, spoke with a thick accent and wasn’t too sharp. He’s no Binyamin Netanyahu in the speech department. But Netanyahu (whose party is in power, NOT Peres’ Labor Party) is smart enough never to go on this show watched mostly by ditzes, welfare queens, and gay stay-at-home dads. He knows in advance that Wawa will be tougher on him than she is on terrorist host and human rights abuser Bashar Assad. It’s truly a new low for Israel, and I thank G-d that HRHSBotU [Her Royal Highness Supreme Being of the Universe] Oprah’s daytime show is now off the air.
Attention, Israel: stay away from moronic ABC personalities who brag about their Fourth of July vacations with the leader of Syria. It might be a hint.
FP: A collapsed US media and an an Israel with a suicidal wish—a partnership made in heaven.
According to Lonely Planet’s new Chile edition, Israelis are listed among the hazards visitors can expect to encounter in the South American country, alongside volcano eruptions, earthquakes, high crime rates in some cities and sandflies.
FP: Sons of apes and pigs, no doubt.