Monthly Archives: July 2010

One-forties, one-shmorties…

When I first came up with the idea for this “140s” blog post category, I had intended for it to be more or less daily. They say sometimes that less is more, but sometimes I think that’s just a dodge.

shofar_1967_RS Not that I’m trying to dodge the issue here, but it occurred to me recently that in some ways the whole “nakba” (catastrophe) complaint is not much more than a way for the Arab inhabitants of Israel’s territories to dodge the fact that they lost, fair and square, in 1948 and again in 1967. Well, not fair or square at all, actually. Each time, they attacked Israel with what they thought was – and truly should have been, all things being equal – overwhelming military advantage. But all things were not equal – the Arab legions were willfully ignorant of the possibility that there was indeed a God in Israel, Who would fight for His own. And the Arabs today undoubtedly prefer to remain ignorant of this prominent aspect of their existence. To acknowledge the actual situation would be, in their eyes, a true nakba.

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New_Gaza_Mall_Opens_July_2010 An ongoing theme in attempts to de-legitimize Israel has been the falsehood that Israel is supposedly keeping Gaza in a state of poverty by means of the military blockade. The funny thing is, we keep seeing more reports of the burgeoning economic prosperity of the enclave. The latest tidbit concerns the opening of a new luxury shopping mall in Gaza City. Poor things. Not.

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It’s gotten so bad, even, that I’ve read comments suggesting that Egypt or other Arab nations might do well to request their own blockade. Hmm, I wonder what Israel should charge?

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Obama Netanyahu I was speculating earlier on whether the latest Obama-Netanyahu summit was going to yield any tangible results. The reports are still coming in from various angles, but there seems to be a building consensus that Obama is in fact realizing how badly he’s been getting his fingers burnt in the Middle East. The latest report I’ve seen is here, from World Jewish Daily.

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On a similarly positive note, alert Tweeter (& Israel Deputy Foreign Minister) Danny Ayalon reports on a recent agreement reached with organizations from  around the world to fight anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Read the report here. Any way you look at it, this development is welcome news.

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Less welcome, and not really news at all, is this reminder that while the Arab world goes on happily bashing Israel for what they imagine is poor treatment of “Palestinians,” they turn a blind eye toward (or at least keep their mouth shut about) the way they treat them on their own turf:

The demolition of an Arab-owned illegal building in Jerusalem is, for most correspondents, much more important than the fact that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in Lebanon are denied the right to own property, do not qualify for health care, and are banned by law from working in a large number of jobs.

And so on.

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And just to round things out, this report would be hilarious if it weren’t deadly serious. It seems a small health food store in the State of Washington has burst upon the world scene as a major player in global politics. Or it thinks it is. The sad but true tale is that anyone who starts frothing at the mouth over how wicked and evil they think Israel is will get the attention the world so badly longs to give them. Vultures of a feather flock together, I suppose.

Talk to y’all later.

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A smattering of 140s

Rahm_und_Bibi_Ynet Last week I wrote that so far there didn’t appear to be much substance coming out of Israeli PM Netanyahu’s latest visit to the White House.  Of course, since then there has been ample opportunity for the greatest and the least of pundits and prognosticators to weigh in on the matter. The upshot still seems to be that it was all a jolly good show, but that’s about all.  I’ve seen a few glass-half-empty analyses, and some glass-half-full ones, but the overall consensus appears to be that the whole meeting was about Obama trying to look a little more supportive of America’s only real democratic ally in the Middle East than he has been up to now. A sensible move on his part, realizing both what a miserable failure his policy has been up to this point, and how little domestic support he has in it. Of all the comments I’ve read on the subject this week, I find Barry Rubin’s to have been the most insightful.

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Meanwhile Obama thought he’d try to increase his PR leverage a little by giving an interview on Israel TV. A good idea I suppose, but I can hardly believe a couple of the racist, ill-informed statements he made. I’m still shaking my head.

He seems to think that if there is any “suspicion” of his motives on the part of Israel or American Jews,

some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein.

Nothing to do with anything he’s said. Or with anything he’s done. No, of course not. Just his middle name. Never mind that, as the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs points out, 

More than 76 percent of the Jewish electorate VOTED for him.

And — they should all know he loves Jews because some of his best friends are Jewish; he even has some on staff.

obama-emperor1 There was a very brief time during the sixties when that type of statement wasn’t immediately perceived as the racist sentiment it is (albeit perhaps subconsciously). Oh, but this is the “post racial” presidency… I’m beginning to wonder if he’s really stupid enough to believe that, or just thinks we’re that stupid.

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On a lighter note (depending on how you view it), The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs relates an interview with another Gaza merchant who has become quite wealthy trading in household goods regularly smuggled in through those ubiquitous tunnels. That in itself is not surprising. (In case you weren’t aware of the high level of prosperity ‘suffered’ by the Gazans under the Israeli blockade, check this out.) What I found amusing is that this is yet another complaint of an illicit business being cut into by the abundance of cheaper, better quality goods coming in directly from Israel these past few weeks. Maybe we’re just killing them with kindness?

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Another world-is-upside-down reading coming out last week was that, since Israel is allowing more Palestinian newspapers into Gaza, Hamas feels the need to set up their own blockade of sorts, keeping their own countrymen’s information out.

‘Cutting off their nose to spite their face,’ as the saying goes, seems to be business as usual for these folks. Kind of like when they rejected all that so badly needed “humanitarian aid” Israel allowed in from the blockade runners after they’d been brought into port and offloaded. Maybe the Israelis have cooties or something.

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QDaffy_Flag_Banner_via_AP_JPost Speaking of the flotillas, as of this writing the latest grandstanding effort is a Libyan ship due to be intercepted some time tonight or early tomorrow, having (of course) refused instructions to divert to an Egyptian port. A peaceful, humanitarian ship, doubtless, just like all the others, in spite of at least one of its crew members “having said Muslims ‘love martyrdom,’ and highlighting Libya’s long ties to terrorism,” according to Jerusalem Post.

We’ll likely know by tomorrow.

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Bibi & Obama, round 5 – just for show?

Obama defers to Netanyahu at White House 6 July 2010 Israeli PM Netanyahu met with US President Obama yesterday for what somebody said was the fifth time (I haven’t been counting), and by the accounts I’ve seen so far, there was a lot of publicity, but little, if any, substance, except perhaps a tentatively conciliatory attitude expressed by Obama toward Israel. Which is as it should be. There’s really nothing of substance that Israel needs from the US at the moment, but the US (or more correctly, the Obama administration) is on the ropes with respect to our treatment of Israel, and (oy, vey!) even our standing with the Arab world. Not that I, for one, am looking for any of the latter, but The Pres certainly has been. I almost feel sorry for the guy.

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Abu_Mazen_FistsUp_INN One of the points on which Obama is beginning to concede to Netanyahu is on the issue of direct talks with Abbas & his bunch. Bibi came up with the proposal, Obama began to agree, but—surprise!  (not)—Mahmoud refused (again). If you haven’t noticed the pattern so far, it’s like this: Israel reaches out, the PA rejects; Israel reaches out, the PA rejects; Israel reaches out…

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Iran_Missile_Launch-DU-WEB Something which I’ve pointed out a few times is that the “moderate” Arab states (think Egypt, the Saudis, maybe even Jordan) are as bothered by Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and friends as is Israel or anyone else. I caught a short article yesterday that Egypt itself is afraid of the Palestinians on its border. Not that this is terribly surprising, either, but you just don’t hear all that much about it.

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And speaking of things we sometimes forget, regardless of Arab propaganda, the Arab-Israel dispute is not about who is occupying whose land. If this is somehow news to you, American Thinker has an in depth explanation here. (Thanks again, Unity Coalition for Israel!)

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Another piece of information radical Arab states would rather we didn’t know: even as committed a regime as Syria is itself at some risk of jihadist overthrow. If you take a quick look at hundreds of years of Arab history, they’ve always been at each others’ throats, and we can expect this to continue as far into the future was we can imagine. Even if they could take Israel out of the picture, this would not bring peace to the Middle East. Just sayin’.

Talk to y’all later.

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A sigh of relief – and a moment of sanity.

yousef_son_of_hamas_1 “Son of Hamas” Mosab Hassan Yousef had his deportation hearing yesterday—and our government had an epiphany. Somehow DHS came to its senses and realized that he is not a terrorist threat, but, as everyone from Israeli Security to the US Congress has been pointing out, an asset in the war on terror. I wish I could say I believe the minions of Napolitano came to realize they’d made an honest mistake, but it’s hard to escape the more likely prospect that they finally knew they couldn’t get away with it—that what perhaps they’d hoped to do in secret was now being shouted from the rooftops. According to the report in The Weekly Standard,

[US] Attorney Kerri Calcador gave no explanation for the government’s change of heart.

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Justice Yaakov Turkel There were a couple of other hints over the past few days that there is still a little sanity in the wide wonderful world of geopolitics. Both an analysis by The Washington Institute and a similar one by JINSA suggest that the Great Gaza Flotilla Affair has been somewhat more of a fiasco than a benefit to Hamas (and thereby to Iran). Maybe that has something to do with why Iran keeps backpedaling on its threats to dispatch more vessels, with or without an armed escort. Last I heard, the deal was off. Then again, with crazy people like ol’ Mahmoud, you just never can tell.

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gazaglut04 Meanwhile, since Israel did go ahead and increase the flow of goods into Gaza via the legitimate crossings, the merchants making a killing (no pun intended) on the sale of goods smuggled in through tunnels have been complaining about the competition. Yes, I know that’s a little hard to believe; maybe the world’s craziness quotient is still at a respectable level.

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And maybe we ourselves are just a little crazy–or at least non-discerning–to swallow whole all the disinformation and downright distortion being fed to us by the more prominent (though less honest) media. Do you remember the thing about Reuters cropping photos from the flotilla confrontation? Well now we find the Daily Telegraph passing off photos from a year and a half ago as current information.

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Palestinian Hamas officers stand guard Wednesday at the deserted port on the second day of a general strike in Gaza City. And speaking of uncovering deception, it turns out that the Free Gaza movement’s own documents, seized in the flotilla raid, make it clear that they had planned from the beginning to deceive the public by shouting one thing through their megaphones while doing something completely different behind the scenes.

Ah well, you knew that, and I knew that, but I keep hoping there are honest people out there who didn’t know that and would like to. So I’ll just keep doing my job here, and I continue to invite others to join in.

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