Monthly Archives: March 2010

Whee, what a ride! Or, from Blunder to Blunderbuss!

I am aware that I haven’t made my presence known here for a few days. But it’s not like I’ve been sleeping or something. On the contrary, there has been so much going on, who could possibly get any rest, metaphorically speaking? Someone yesterday said it’s as though world events have been speeded up. And I’m still trying to keep the focus of this blog relatively narrow, not delving into things like the sudden increase in frequency and intensity of earthquakes all over the planet, or the Iraqi elections, or the sinking of a South Korean Naval vessel near the  border with North Korea. Which, by the way, may have been by enemy action, or maybe not;  as of this writing nobody seems to know yet, or at least they’re not saying. But that could change very quickly.

John_Holdren_Wikiped Neither have I had much to say about the biggest item lately in domestic news: the passage of “Obamacare” (misleadingly called health care reform by the Obama administration and by mass media). I still don’t have much to say about that, other than mentioning that this event brings renewed importance to earlier concerns about rationing of care, “end of life services” (a.k.a. death panels), and even the specter of forced abortions and other means of enforced population control in this country. These are pretty wild things to be saying, I know, but just go back and take a look at my earlier posts on White House “Doctor Death” Zeke Emanuel, and “Science Czar” John Holdren, and please do follow the links I’ve inserted in those posts for further information and corroboration.

No, I haven’t been addressing those matters here, and still don’t intend to so very much. There has been more than plenty happening, and very rapidly, in the area of world and U.S. opposition to Israel, and particularly with reference to the misinformation and disinformation spewing out from the world media and from the White House. As I said when I first created this blog, I still intend to specialize in this area, but even with that there have been so many new developments that it’s getting harder and harder to keep up.

biden_bibi_together At the leading edge of that, as most of you know, is the amazing transformation of what had been presented two weeks ago as a minor diplomatic blunder, into a crisis of immense proportions. U.S. VP Joe Biden openly accepted PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s public apology for the faux pas in question, so why then did Hillary Clinton call back a few days later to ream the Prime Minister out for 43 minutes straight?  I will note here that PM Netanyahu as the leader of a sovereign nation – a leader among nations at that — was not by any stretch of diplomatic courtesy obligated to accept or tolerate such aberrant behavior from someone of lesser rank in another government, let alone anyone of any rank. But, unlike Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Netanyahu is a class act, and chose not to answer in kind. And if the whole incident was precipitated, as the U.S. claims, by a diplomatic discourtesy, how can we explain or justify such extreme, unacceptably  discourteous treatment by Mrs. Clinton?

The simple answer is – we can’t. And that also calls into focus the (as I just named it)  amazing transformation part of the entire affair. It’s not about a diplomatic blunder. Neither is it, as further claimed by the U.S., about an impediment created thereby to the hope of further peace negotiations. It’s about the U.S. seizing on the opportunity to ratchet up pressure on Israel to give up fighting for its survival and give in to the demands of its enemies.

Jerusalem-Apartments3 The specific issue initially cited was the poor timing of an announcement of building permits for construction of more housing units in Jerusalem. That issue itself is a complete non-starter. Construction of housing in Jerusalem has been going on for decades. Or millennia, depending on how you look at it. Israel was building homes in Jerusalem when Hillary Clinton was a starry-eyed college hippie. And more importantly, the U.S., including the Obama administration, has been aware of this process. As proof that this has been no surprise to the U.S., take a look at other very public recent attempts by Mr. Obama to put a stop to it, or to at least hinder it by any means available.

And, if it was the announcement itself which was a monkey wrench thrown into the peace process by offending the sensibilities of the Palestinian hierarchy as potential negotiating partners, then why didn’t Joe Biden simply side-step it, not calling attention to it at all?

And why also has the U.S. administration simply ignored blatant provocations on the part of the Arabs which can only serve to dash any hope of peace? Everything from near-declarations of renewed “holy war,” to the very in-your-face honors accorded to a mass-murderer terrorist by the  Palestinian Authority, publicly ballyhooed at the same time as Israel’s so-very-offensive announcement of building permits. Was Hillary deliberately twisting the facts when she called the dedication of a public square to terrorist heroine Dalal Mughrabi an insult to decency on the part Hamas, the natural enemy of “peace partner” Fatah, covering up the fact that the offense was committed (and gloated over) by Fatah itself, not by Hamas? Or maybe she was just a little confused as to the facts of the case. If so, why was she confused when the rest of us knew quite well what was going on. What did you say her job was? Secretary of what? For whom?

Obama-Pointing Again, a short answer: it’s not at all about building permits, announcements of building permits, or even the horrifying prospect of Jews having more homes in Jewish neighborhoods of the Capital of the Jewish Nation of Israel. It’s about the continued drive to exterminate the Jewish Nation by whatever means comes to hand. The housing issue is just the latest one to handily present itself to the twisted minds of Mahmoud Abbas, Hillary Clinton, Ismail Haniyeh, and Barack Hussein Obama.

I had intended as I began this post to make it a catch-up on my “140s” category, citing smaller items like  US softens sanctions on Iran (while at the same time hardening opposition to Israel). Or, “Arab summit angry over ‘Judaizing’ of Jerusalem.” (To which again, the Obama administration does not have any apparent objection – so I suppose we should similarly oppose the ‘Americanizing’ of Washington D.C., or the ‘Anglicizing’ of London, or – oh, never mind.). And as I look over my various news feeds and friends’ tweets, there is more than enough fodder for several pages of such comments.

But I have an overriding concern which I’ve stated before as an American that my country is headed for an awful cliff in its opposition to the “apple of God’s eye.” Someone said the other day that they were concerned that the next step on our part might be to send in troops to bring our ‘wayward friend’ back in line. That would be a very, very bad move indeed, but not something that I see as imminent, if for no other reasons than not only is the American public still solidly behind Israel, regardless of what our President or his inner circle say, but 75% percent of the U.S. House of Representatives just yesterday issued a letter to the Secretary of State saying, in effect, and in necessarily polite terms, back off, lady!

So it isn’t over by a long shot, nor do I even think it’s reached a peak. It’s still in crescendo mode, and “the fat lady,” as Yogi would say, is not even on stage yet. So keep watching with me, if you will, and if you want to join me on the line, that would be just fine as well.

lineman

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140s for 20 March 2010 (and another personal note).

I left off yesterday rattling around in the Israeli Foreign Ministry. FM Lieberman has come up with a good one I wish I’d thought of: the Palestinians’ stubbornness in refusing to come to the table hurts them more in the long run than it does Israel. Give that some thought for a while, Mahmoud. But you’d better not let your own people find out about it.

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A couple of astute articles appeared yesterday in my Unity Coalition for Israel newsletter. 

In one, William Katz of Political Mavens points out that, even if President Obama is not Muslim by religion, his behavior certainly identifies him with the Muslim culture, and is thereby personally at odds with American interests, goals, and ideals:

Obama-in-Rhiyad2GETTY-WEB The Obama administration is distancing itself from American allies for reasons of culture. This president barely tolerates his own country. He has little use for its allies, many of which share Western values and ideals. The president, despite his denials, is a man of the Third World. He sees countries like Britain as colonialists, even though the colonial era ended many decades ago. While he is not a Muslim by religion, Obama is a man with a Muslim cultural background, giving him an affinity for nations that have traditionally been hostile to the United States. His speech last year in Cairo contained more groveling than Neville Chamberlain’s remarks at Munich.

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In another item from UCI, The Spectator’s Melanie Phillips takes it a step further by asking if we might actually be seeing the beginning of an “Obama intifada.” Discussing what I think I’ll just call ‘Bidengate’ (if I may be forgiven for coining a term), she points out that,

Obama’s deliberate decision to escalate what was at most a tactless but minor diplomatic blunder by Israel makes America an accessory to the violence that is now taking place and may get worse.

And that’s putting it mildly. Ms. Phillips has a good deal more to say on the subject, and says it well. Go read her here.

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UCI also passed on a warning from Jihad Watch that, in what an unnamed U.S. official is quoted as calling “a political decision,” President Obama has ordered a shipment of “bunker-buster” smart bombs diverted from slated delivery to positions in Israel. The writer of this bit of information also mentions a forthcoming book called The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War On America. Don’t I wish that were far-fetched!

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And, with a hat tip to alert Tweeter SaveIsraelNow, here’s another one of those it’s-about-time-somebody-said-this things. A Jerusalem Post column yesterday by Caroline Glick pointed out that Obama’s recent ultimatums to Israel make one thing perfectly clear: mediating peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not a goal he is interested in achieving.

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dayton_PFlag The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs also reported yesterday on The Folly of America Training the Palestinian Army. I mentioned the Dayton Force on my “About” page, and it now appears that military control of  the Fatah forces is even now being slowly removed from what little US oversight exists under Lt. Gen. Dayton. As if we couldn’t see that coming. JINSA did see it, and said something about it at the time; we should pay more attention to these people.

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In this column, Charles Krauthammer asked why President Obama chose to turn a gaffe into a crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations. After briefly going over the history of Israel’s repeated overtures in behalf of peace and the Arabs’ repeated rejections, he questions…

…is it because Obama fancies himself the historic redeemer whose irresistible charisma will heal the breach between Christianity and Islam or, if you will, between the post-imperial West and the Muslim world — and has little patience for this pesky Jewish state that brazenly insists on its right to exist, and even more brazenly on permitting Jews to live in its ancient, historical and now present capital

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Getting back to my UCI mailbag, Judith Nusbaum of Rishon Lezion, Israel published this short but sweet – or not so sweet – letter to the Jerusalem Post earlier last week:

Sir,

I am furious at US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their unjustified, disgusting and way-over-the-top reaction to our announcement that we are planning to build housing units in our capital, Jerusalem (“Clinton terms Ramat Shlomo project ‘insulting,’” March 14). What nerve! What chutzpa!

Prime Minister Netanyahu, I implore you to disregard their threats. They are out of line. If Israel is to be a sovereign state, then let it be one and act in its

I came on aliya over 30 years ago with my children because I was and am a Zionist. I believe that we, Jews, have a destiny, and it is not to be the whipping boy of the US.

We must stop saying West, East, North, South Jerusalem.

It is one Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish State of Israel.

Period.

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I’ve often said to friends that Israel now is like the U.S. used to be: one of the smallest but gutsiest nations on the planet. I don’t know when we started to lose our guts; political historians may say one thing or another, but our current administration is sadly making us the gutless-wonder laughing stock of the world. William Katz may really be on to something when he suggests that Obama’s personal makeup is simply not that of an American.

But America is not done for. I really do not believe that a majority of Americans agree with or truly support the current occupant of the White House. To me it’s not whether the polls say so or not; it’s the people I know and speak with daily. I’d even hazard to guess that most of you who are reading this now feel the same way. Unless and until Obama succeeds in his quest to abolish the U.S Constitution, we still have the ability to stand up and speak, and to retake the direction of this country within legal means.

So will we? I’m not a good enough historian to tell you how many crises we’ve weathered as a nation that were worse than this one. But we can all certainly think of one, and as much as we may want to complain about the current situation, it really doesn’t compare to what we went through 150 years ago. Not yet, anyway.

But every day brings a fresh challenge, if I may risk the cliché. We can’t go around being afraid that tomorrow the world will end just because of whatever may have happened today. Neither can we go to bed tonight in some misguided serene confidence that everything will be all right tomorrow just because we wish it so. I have a personal sense that we are fortunate to be living in such an historic time, but I don’t usually see the integral part I have to play in this as being all that historic. But I can still write, and speak, and vote. I’m still an American.

And sometimes the best thing I can do is to just hold the line.

lineman

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140s for 19 March 2010

I haven’t posted for a couple of days, watching the swirling storm go on & on regarding the latest no-you-can’t-build-in-your-own-capital brouhaha that Joe started last week. Has the dust settled yet? No? Why not? Both Israel and US are officially saying everything will be OK, just you wait and see.  Or maybe not. It’s still too hard to tell.  No – I know – they’re all politicians. On with the show, but I still can’t help wondering what the US reaction would be if Israel were to “condemn” the issuance of a building permit for homes in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

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Meanwhile, the “Quartet” (or we could call them “Gang of Four”) of self appointed Mideast conflict supervisors, consisting of U.S., Russia, European Union, and the U.N. have taken a newly aggressive stance by endorsing a two-year time frame for Palestinian statehood demands, plus promising it may take "additional steps" to curb Israel’s construction goals while promoting direct peace talks, according to the NY Times as reported in World Jewish Daily. If they wish to be the least bit fair and honorable, then they ought also to consider an independent Chechen state in Russia, or perhaps a Basque state in Spain. Of course, that would be “if.” Not a chance, Charlie!

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And while we’re roaming the world, isn’t it interesting that the Saudis and other Arab states are as rightly fearful of a nuclear Iran as is Israel, yet the Arabs are also more confident in Israel’s willingness and ability to deal with the problem than they are in anything the U.S. may do? Not that any of them will say so publically, of course, but a report in German news magazine Der Spiegel relayed by Israel National News indicates they may even be willing work together with Israel in a military strike. Expect all parties to deny this, obviously. And Iran also wants us to know that Der Spiegel is a propaganda outlet for Israel. Right.

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After a terrorist rocket from Gaza killed a Thai national yesterday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon correctly laid some of the blame at the feet of those who promote the libelous Goldstone Report. INN has this nifty quote:

I call on those who voted for the Goldstone Report to come and see the consequences.

It’s not likely that they will, though.

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Just when I thought I might wrap this up & post before sundown, some great comments started coming in from two of my favorite sources, World Jewish Daily and Unity Coalition for Israel. I suggest you go take a look at both of these sites while waiting for me to come up with my two cents’ worth (or two dollars, with inflation). Hopefully I’ll have some more for you soon – good Lord willin’ an’ the crick don’t rise, as always. But I’ll keep my waders nearby, just in case.

Ever see a lineman in waders?

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There is a “silent majority” of peace-loving Muslims, but they’re deemed irrelevant by the jihadists.

This cogent observation came in my email today. You may have noticed that I don’t repost items based on their supposed source, but only when I think the content speaks for itself. I checked out this piece before posting it here, and it does appear to legitimately come from a professor of psychiatry at Wayne State University Ann Arbor, Michigan. But that is not vital; what is said here deserves our attention regardless of who said it.

A German’s View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts–the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and send it on – before it’s too late.

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Quick 140ish for 16 March 2010, before moving on.

Bibi_on_the_offense_INN_03162010 I missed my 140s posting yesterday. Not that there wasn’t anything going on; on the contrary, the fan was busier than ever with the sh stuff that was hitting it over the US-condemns-Jerusalem-future-construction flap. What ostensibly began as a diplomatic faux pas has become the biggest US-Israel crisis in decades.  There are some that say this was all a deliberate ploy on the part of Israel to ‘entrap’ poor, unsuspecting Joe Biden (never mind that at least one advocate of that theory also refers to Jerusalem as a “settlement:” hardly a fitting label for a several thousand year old city), and on the other side there is a reasonable suspicion that Hillary & Co. have taken Machiavellian advantage of the situation to try to pummel Israel.

Whatever the design, if any, the effect has been to firm up the response of Benjamin Netanyahu, and re-solidify backing within his own party. Not to mention galvanizing the widespread support of pro-Israel Americans.

Attention has also rightly been called to the current propensity of the US to  snuggle up to terror regimes while condemning one of our best friends in the world. As one commenter points out,

The verb “condemn” is customarily reserved by U.S. officials for acts of murder and terrorism — not acts of housing.

And there was more today, but that will have to wait. Meanwhile, I want to share something from my mailbox.

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140s for 13 March 2010, and a personal note.

Picture credit: takeastandagainstliberals.blogspot.com Just when I thought I could leave all thoughts of Joe behind, my daily email newsletter from Unity Coalition for Israel contained several well spoken commentaries on his most recent escapade. You know, the one where he proclaimed his undying love for Israel while applying the knife forcefully between the shoulder blades.

The first of those was from Daniel Greenfield, titled The Middle East Peace Scam. You really ought to go read the entire thing, and then proceed on to a comment by Joel Katzman, wherein the question is raised whether the next phase for the Jews, if they can be forced out of Jerusalem by Obama, Abbas, & Co., might be another nice train ride and shower.

Next, Leo Rennert of American Thinker writes about how The Biden Trip Reveals the Ominous Side of Obama’s Treatment of Israel. More well placed American thoughts on the betray-me-with-a-kiss-why-don’t-you theme.

A third piece by Gerald A. Honigman is an open letter to Joe, being “a short guide to the Middle East—and the hypocritical world.” Don’t miss it!

There is also a post by Barry Rubin called “Look Out!” The first line goes, “Watching the Obama administration handle Syria and Iran is like watching a horror movie where a monster is creeping up behind someone.” You may think you can figure out the rest, but go read it anyway.

And to tie it all up with a not-so-pretty ribbon is Ambassador John Bolton with a dire warning taken from a radio interview with Aaron Klein of World Net Daily.

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You know, sometimes I wonder if the things I write here may give people the impression I’m truly frightened with regard to Israel’s future. I certainly am very disturbed by what I see happening, but I should note that fear is not what I’m experiencing.

That’s not to say I’d feel the same way if I were living in Israel, having the constant threat of mayhem at my doorstep. My life and the lives of my family are not presently being physically threatened, as are the lives of those who have taken the bold step to take back what was stolen from them so long ago.

And what if I had the opportunity to join them? Right now, if I had that opportunity, that is what I’d want to do. Whether it would be the right thing at the right time would be a matter of details, but there is a drawing to the land that even we Gentiles can sometimes feel. It has been suggested that I may have some Jewish DNA, and that may be why I feel that way, but for now that is not my focus. Nor do I have any inclination to convert. And even if I did, I understand there’s a Rabbi somewhere in the wings waiting to talk me out of it.

I say all this to put into some perspective what I do feel about the land and the people, and why the matters I write about here are so important to me. I tried to say something about this on my “About” page, but today I found this in some materials I’ve had tucked away for some thirty-odd years:

Dominion_of_David_and_Solomon The people of Israel have had the most unusual and dramatic history of any people in the world. No other ethnic group has risen to such highs and fallen to such lows so repeatedly—coming to the verge of extinction many times but never being entirely destroyed. No other ethnic group has been politically and religiously persecuted as intensely and survived thousands of years without a native tongue, without a homeland and without a means of unity within the group, only to be restored to full nationhood. No other nation was able to endure such long periods of dispossession and yet maintain and preserve its own identity, character and culture. And, most important, no other people have been singled out by God so early in mankind’s history to represent God’s name, to be called the people of the Lord, to maintain the faith in the one true God and to be a light to the nations, a sign to the rest of humanity.

No other people, no other nation, indeed. About 100 years ago, the “sun never set” on the British Empire. But then not long after that, Britain began to renege on a promise she had made to Israel, the modern state not having even been reinstituted yet. Now Britain is a mess, if you’ll pardon my saying so. The United States of America has for some time been, and still is, if only barely, the greatest nation on the planet. But one thing I do fear is that my country is heading down the path of destruction solely by turning from being a friend to Israel – sometimes, it has seemed, Israel’s only friend – to an enemy.

Israel will, by the favor of the Almighty, prevail. All his enemies will fail; you can count on that. I do not wish to be found an enemy of Israel, and I want to warn as many of my fellow Americans as I can of the danger into which we are beginning to place ourselves. So I continue to hold my place on the line.

Oh, by the way – I’ve read the Book all the way through, and I know who wins in the end. Just so you know.

lineman

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140s for 11 March 2010

No, no, no, I’m really not trying to beat up on Joe, but…

SmileyJoe_INN_35719 He keeps saying the darndest things! Today United States VP Joe Biden is quoted in Israel National News as having told the Israeli people, in praise of Palestinian Authority President and terrorist organization Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen):

easter_bunny_stmarys President Obama believes in Abu Mazen.

find-santa-claus-10 All right, I know that’s a little out of context, but not much. The context of the statement was that the Prez has every confidence in Abbas as a stable national leader who is fully capable of entering into state negotiations with Israel. I’m not going to take the time to go into all the details here, but very little could be further from the truth. In all fairness to Joe and the Big O, though, I must confess that I also at one time did believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. But I’m quite sure I’ve never believed in Abu Mazen.

abbas

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No, no, no, I’m really not trying to beat up on Joe – but he keeps getting in the way, dangit!

Ramat-Shlomo-WEB So, after his harsh condemnation yesterday of what is actually normal routine construction in a city over which he has no jurisdiction, he not only passes the buck today (saying, in effect, “I was only following orders”), but he performs further verbal gyrations by retroactively labeling his unwarranted meddling as somehow stating some sort of needed truth. Gosh, don’t you see that I’m your best friend, Israel, because “quite frankly, folks, only a friend can deliver the hardest truth,” he says. Well, Joe, there are those who beg to differ that what you’d said yesterday was at all true, let alone the least bit well intentioned.

Joe Biden under image of Arafat And didn’t you just say yesterday that you support a contiguous Palestinian state at the expense of Israel’s contiguity? That’s not something a friend would say, Joe.

If I live in a rough neighborhood, and gang members want to set up shop in my front yard and also have a clear path through my house, and you say you think they should be able to do just that, and I should just stuff a sock in it – well, Joe, I’m pretty sure that means you’re not really my friend. Not in the least.

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Well, what do you know – I’m finally able to get away from Joe! He’s off to Jordan next – hopefully he can stay out of trouble there.

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If you’ve been following the story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas co-founder Sheik Hassan Yousef, you may know that what led to his coming over to the Israeli side was witnessing the incredible cruelty and torture handed out by other jailed Hamas leaders against other Arabs whom they even remotely suspected of collaboration. That this sort of thing is not at all rare is confirmed in a BBC interview reported today in Ynet news. As the article relates,

Two former Palestinian prisoners, one from Fatah and one from Hamas, gave accounts of their experiences in Palestinian jail. The two unfurled testimonies of a web of serious abuse at the hands of Palestinian investigators, both from Hamas and the Fatah-affiliated Palestinian security services.

Read the details here if you’d like; I’d rather move on.

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Finally for today, this is not really new news, but it bears refreshing. While a certain emissary from the White House (whose name I’d rather not mention, but his initials are JRB, Jr.) has been running loose casting doubt on Israel’s sincerity with regard to negotiating for peace, this piece by Efraim Inbar in Jerusalem Post points out that the reality is quite the opposite. As he puts it,

BLAMING NETANYAHU for the current impasse assumes that the insatiable Palestinians must be placated at the expense of vital security interests, such as demilitarization of the West Bank and maintaining control over the Jordan Valley and Greater Jerusalem. Ascribing responsibility to Netanyahu for the impasse also wrongly assumes that the Palestinians have displayed flexibility in their approach to Israel. Yet it is they who insist on preconditions for resuming the talks. Even Netanyahu’s decision for the 10-month freeze on building in the settlements was rejected by the PLO.

As a matter of fact, it is the Palestinians who are dragging their feet in the peace negotiations. Abbas in his May 2009 Washington Post interview emphasized that he is in no hurry to negotiate and that he expects the Americans to force Israel to accept the Palestinian conditions. His prime minister, Salam Fayyad, announced a plan to unilaterally establish a Palestinian state in two years instead of a state emerging from negotiations.

Both “moderate” leaders honor suicide bombers as martyrs and provide their families with state pensions. They allow the PA-controlled media, education system and mosques to continue to promote rabid anti-Semitism. Both reject recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Unfortunately, Palestinian society in Gaza and in the West Bank is under the spell of Hamas, which has not accepted Israel’s right to exist. Consequently, the Palestinians are not moving in the direction of compromise and reconciliation.

Netanyahu’s government probably has no illusions about the ability of the Palestinians to reach an agreement and implement it in the near future, but Netanyahu keeps the option of negotiations open. In contrast, the Palestinians’ goal is to extract concessions without negotiations, hoping that Washington and/or the international community will pressure Israel into accepting Palestinian demands.

So, Joe, why don’t you bring this up with your buddy Abu some time, eh?

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