Category Archives: Forward motion

Love links to check out.

RS_Truth and Love Although this may not be what you think. (And I can only wonder what sort of hits this title will get on the search engines!)

In my stated purpose of blocking lies, I have several times reposted a fellow blogger’s lists of links to hate sites to take action against (and look for yet another list in my next post).

But the antithesis of hate is love, and that of lies is truth, and we are told in the Prophets to love the truth. I have a good many links in my sidebar to sites that are committed to a love of the truth and to propagating it, but it’s all too easy to just scan past blog roll links.

So here is a little more information on a few of them:

Act for Israel is (in its own words):

the leading digital platform for pro-Israel activism. We rely on the latest Internet-based technology to win the war on ideas. We believe that Israel has the right to live in peace and security, and that all people deserve the right to live in dignity. Our goal is to share this centrist position with a wide audience to correct misinformation, end demonization, stop delegitimization, and to give Israel a well-needed voice.

You can also follow their tweets here.

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Professor Barry Rubin on Pajamas Media

Prof. Rubin’s long expertise in Middle Eastern affairs mixes well with an engaging writing style. You should follows his comments regularly. See his tweets also here.

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Caroline Glick never disappoints. She drills down to the essence of things and doesn’t pull her punches. You may know her from the viral We Con the World video that parodied the phoniness of last year’s anti-Israel flotilla.

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The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America may not immediately seem as feisty as Glick, but they make up for it with breadth and with a multiplicity of resources for defending the truth on numerous fronts. See CAMERA on Twitter.

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Fresno? You’ve heard of Fresno, haven’t you? Not everybody has, but it’s a city on the West Coast that harbors an outspoken Zionist or two. Go take a look at FresnoZionism and check their tweets here.

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I’ll wrap things up for the time being by sending you to Challah Hu Akbar – “Fresh Baked Middle East Nonsense” (though anything but nonsensical). Tweet them here, and enjoy!

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Filed under Forward motion, Perspectives

While Bin Laden spins on the Great BBQ Spit below…

There’s been plenty of media spin revolving around last Sunday’s elimination of terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden. (Just in case you hadn’t heard, US intelligence had finally pinpointed Bin Laden’s location at a secure compound in Pakistan, and US Navy Seals were compelled to implement the “kill” part of a “capture or kill” mission when he reached for a weapon—naturally.)

There has been praise and there has been condemnation from different ends of the geopolitical spectrum (notably, severe condemnation from the West’s so-called “peace partners” in the cold war against Israel); there have been ‘expert’ analyses, and there have even been the beginnings of a Bin Laden memorabilia industry.

BHO looking POd making OBL kill announcement 1 May 2011 One of my favorite entries in the Bin Laden coverage sweepstakes is this picture from the New York Post of President Obama announcing the successful operation after the news media (and the White House) were pre-empted by that upstart medium Twitter. He looks rather displeased with the whole thing, doesn’t he? It was noted in one news blog today (though I can’t say I know one way or another), that Obama had been carefully avoiding giving the go-ahead until he was “overruled” by the intelligence and military establishment. There may yet be hope for this country at the highest levels.

But the most bizarre take I’ve seen yet comes from Iran, saying that Bin Laden was in actuality a Zionist agent, in the dual employ of the US and Israel. Go figure.

My personal viewpoint is best expressed in this quote from an ancient Israeli author:

…you shall go down to hell, to the sides of the pit.  They that see you shall stare and closely watch you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble, shaking kingdoms, making the world like a wilderness, and who tore down its cities; he did not open a house for his prisoners? All kings of nations, all of them lie in glory, each man in his house. But you are thrown from your grave like a despised branch, like the covering of the slain, those pierced by the sword, those who go down into the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled under foot. You shall not be united with them in burial, because you ruined your land; you have slain your people; the seed of evildoers shall never be named.

It is my understanding that, since no Islamic nation would accept their hero’s body for burial, the US Navy did the best they could under the circumstances, and fed what was left of him to the sharks.

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Ileana-Ros-Lehtinen-150x150 On another positive note, although my own congressmen has still not responded to my letters, there is at last a move in Congress to quit spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to finance the terrorists who condemn us for killing their leader. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is quoted as saying the Fatah-Hamas “unity government” agreement creates a situation in which US law requires a halt to support for the Palestinian Authority. US Senator Mark Kirk is also reported to be making moves in the right direction on this. It would be great if they’d move a little faster, but—hey—it’s a start.

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gaza_streetfights And one more comment on the prospects of a united, independent “Palestine” comes in the form of an analysis published in Defense Update. Read it for yourself and tell me if it does not become apparent that the whole concept is, as analyst  David Eshel calls it, a non-starter. Maybe the sky is falling, and maybe it isn’t. We need to keep our heads on straight, and we need to stay alert and watch.

Talk to y’all later,

lineman

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Filed under Forward motion, News snippets

Maybe the world is not such an awful place after all, at least to some extent…

As I watched the breaking news yesterday on the forest fires in northern Israel, I immediately wondered whether the world—which has been bent lately on trying to establish a falsehood denying the very existence of the State of Israel—would respond to the human need created by such a disaster as it has done recently for Haiti and Chile.

Will Israel’s detractors, in a sort of twist on ‘putting their money where their mouth is,’ back up their hateful rhetoric with inaction, looking the other way while thousands of acres burn and innocent casualties mount?

Thankfully, within 24 hours the answer came: an encouraging “no, we’re here to help!” So far responses have come from Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Britain and about a dozen other nations. Even Turkey, which has recently ratcheted up its opposition to Israel along with ever more closely aligning itself with Iran and other Islamist states, has laid aside its hostility and come to Israel’s aid.

It’s heartening to see that humanity can still override enmity.

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The other big news this past week has of course been the Wikileaks disclosure of volumes of classified exchanges between world governmental, military, and foreign affairs leaders.

It has been more my practice here to pontificate comment on news rather than report on it as it breaks. Along those lines perhaps the most concise evaluation of the leaked information that I’ve yet seen is by The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. I like the way they put it in the opening paragraph of their first report:

…the first headlines from Wikileaks mainly confirm what we think we already knew…

The one other point I’ll make for now is that the only nation which appears to be maintaining a policy of honesty and integrity in its relationships with others (Israel, of course) has so far come out smelling like a rose, as they say.

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I haven’t had much to say lately on the Iran nuclear situation. The alarm over Stuxnet appears to be settling out (though it’s still not really known who did what), but troubles are surfacing in other relevant areas. Somebody blew up a couple of Iranian nuclear scientists the other day. Iran blames Israel, US, and Britain, of course.

Not that anyone getting killed is a light matter, but it’s interesting to note that there is ongoing pressure on the nukes program coming from different—and not necessarily foreseeable—directions.

Meanwhile, back on this side of the Atlantic, John Bolton is adding his thoughts on the matter again. He’s still saying that sooner or later we’re going to realize a limited military strike is really our only option. Maybe if we hide our heads in the sand, this will all go away…

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Filed under Forward motion, News snippets

Gross darkness in Rome; a hopeful light in New York

Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news? OK, here’s the bad news first.

Koenig_Pope_RS_1023 The Roman Catholic Church this weekend set the clock back about a hundred years on reconciliation efforts with the Jewish people by declaring that there is no Biblical basis for the idea of a “promised land.” That is, unless you mean something other than a promised “land,” but even then it’s not for the Jews, but for the Church. I won’t begin to fully explain all that here, but it  has to do with an aberration in Christian theology that thankfully has been in rapid decline over the past century. So why does the largest Christian denomination pick this line up now? For quite some time (centuries, in fact) the Roman Church has been not so much a church as a political entity on the world scene, and in that view we shouldn’t be all that surprised that with its latest policy statement it realigns itself with the prevailing lefterly (if I may coin a term) winds of geopolitics. We may be terribly disappointed indeed, but not so terribly surprised.

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Speaking of setting the clock back, here is Iran’s latest entry in that game, according to a report on Israel Daily Alert:

Iran has imposed new restrictions on 12 university social sciences deemed to be based on Western schools of thought and therefore incompatible with Islamic teachings, state radio reported Sunday.   The list includes law, philosophy, management, psychology, political science, women’s studies and human rights. 

So the Islamic revolution and the Roman church are in agreement on at least two things: impede social and religious progress whenever possible, and oppose Israel at all costs. God help us; certainly no one else will.

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Oh, the good news? Yes, there is a ray of hope coming from the 15th Congressional District race in Manhattan, NYC. Former New York Jets lineman, unabashed Christian, and courageous defender of Israel Michael Faulkner is taking on the corrupt Democrat Charlie Rangel, and is swiftly gathering support from those who want to see something done right this time, including an endorsement in the New York Post (that’s the other major NY paper, not the leftist one).

Now there’s a lineman you can root for!

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Filed under Forward motion, World against Israel

“Dead end” for a political solution to the Palestinian problem? Is there an alternative?

I’VE BEEN READING an intriguing proposal by an Israeli MK for a solution to the biggest little problem in the world.

It still astounds me that the attention of the world is riveted on the conflict between the ancient people of Israel and a relatively small number of Arabs who mistakenly think that somehow the Jews ‘stole’ their land. How we got to such a gross misunderstanding has been clearly laid out in many places. Here is one I find helpful, but there are many others. To me, why we find such a tiny part of the world so very important to us so far away is another question. I presented some of my thoughts on this matter here in an earlier post.

But whether or not it makes any sense that the “Palestinian problem” exists, there is undeniably a problem, and the best political, diplomatic, and military minds of this century are looking for an answer.

So along comes Member of Knesset Benny Elon, National Union Party, with the suggestion that attempts to find a political solution have come to a dead end, and perhaps we should try an humanitarian solution instead. In a succinctly laid out proposal which he calls The Israeli Initiative, he sets forth a plan which could turn the entire conflict on its head, if we could make it work. It is not my intention here to truly present the plan, but I do suggest you go check it out, if only to see for yourself that there are alternatives .

I don’t pretend to have sufficient background in Middle Eastern affairs or international diplomacy to give a thorough evaluation of the plan, but we all owe it to ourselves to take a look at anything that has a fighting chance of succeeding. We’ve seen too much of the other.

Having thus said that I don’t feel qualified to thoroughly present the initiative, there are nonetheless a few points that caught my attention.

Here is MK Elon’s brief statement of what’s so different about his plan:

The attempt to solve "the Palestinian problem" by means of a political solution, or in other words, by the establishment of a Palestinian national entity, has lead to a dead end. Such a solution is not feasible, since realization of Palestinian nationalism plainly means the elimination of the State of Israel.

The problem of the Palestinian refugees is not a political, but a humanitarian one. The establishment of the State of Israel did not take away their state from the Palestinians, since such a state had never existed. However, in many cases it did take away their homes and their dignity. There is a way to give the refugees back their dignity, provide them with a home and a starting point for a new life. It is possible to replace their status as poverty-stricken refugees with a reality of welfare, prosperity and hope.

He further points out that the “peace process” has had years to work, but in spite of all efforts to reconcile opposing parties in the West Bank and Gaza, so far

…thousands of Israelis have been murdered, tens of thousands injured, and life in Israel returned to normal only with the adoption of strict security measures, the construction of fences, and the return of the IDF to intensive activities in Shechem, Jenin, and Tul Karem.

Palestinians have likewise received no benefits from the peace process. No refugee has been rehabilitated, the standard of living has dropped, and tens of thousands have fled from the territories under Palestine Authority control. Instead of allocating the tremendous sums of money contributed by the international community for the construction of an advanced economy for the welfare of Palestinian residents, the Palestine Authority has allocated massive sums for the personal benefit of its leadership, as well as for terrorist activities against Israeli citizens.

And I don’t know why the world has had to wait for someone to point out that:

The choice of the leaders of Palestinian terrorism as "partners" for peace was a mistake. Peace must be made with entities that desire stability and peace, not with the leaders of terrorist organizations.

Or why do we see the Mideast situation as primarily a battle of Arab against Jew? I have to admit that from my comfy seat in the USA it has looked that way, but Mr. Elon also points out that:

The Iranian threat, the rise of Al Qaeda, the strengthening of Hezbollah and the victory of Hamas in Gaza are causes of anxiety today in both the Western and Arab worlds. Dangerous Islamic extremism has become a major force in the world.

Most Arab countries, which regard themselves as secular but have a significant Sunni population, are liable to collapse like dominos in the face of the Islamic offensive that will create an empire starting in the Teheran of Ahmadinejad, in Baghdad that is slipping away from the Americans and in pro-Iranian Damascus.  The next step may well be total control over Amman, Beirut, Ankara, Cairo, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. The appearance of this threat is a dramatic development that changes all the rules of the game in the region.

He wrote the following before the recent tirades of the European Union against Israel:

In order to guarantee the stability of the region in the presence of this threat, an alliance of countries that will halt Islamic hegemony must be set up with American and European backing.

I wonder if Europe would be willing to shoot itself in the foot – make that blow its own legs off – by clinging to a hatred of Israel even it means its own demise at the hands of an empire-seeking regime such as Iran?

And why haven’t we ever before discussed what a serious threat a radicalized “Palestinian” (read that, Hamas) regime would pose to Jordan’s west flank ?

The current regime in Jordan is friendly to Israel and basically pro-Western, but its stability is endangered, and it is threatened by the chaos existing in Iraq to the East, and by Palestinian nationalism from the West. If a Palestinian State were to be established in the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, it would threaten Jordan. Such a state is liable to form a starting point for "Greater Palestine" that would swallow up Jordan, overthrow the royal house, and turn the whole of Eretz Israel into a single Palestinian-Islamic state, free of Jews and heretics.

According to Mr. Elon’s plan, there would actually be the possibility of a normal, prosperous life for the millions of Palestinians now held – not by Israel, but by the Palestinian political leadership with the full cooperation of the UN –  in enforced refugee status:

The 1948 Israeli War of Independence created hundreds of thousands of refugees throughout the Middle East. Sixty years have gone by, and now their number has been increased by the second and third generations to millions. Since 1948 tens of other "refugee problems" have been created, and millions have become refugees in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Although their problem began later than that of the Palestinians, these people are no longer considered refugees. They have been aided by the UN in host countries or through their own personal initiative and have become regular citizens. Over the same period, not a single Palestinian refugee has been removed from the tally of refugees and become a citizen of one of the countries of the world. On the contrary, the number of refugees has only increased from year to year, while introducing fresh generations into the circle of poverty, despair, and hate.

The major reason for the failure to rehabilitate the refugees over this entire period is that their wretched status serves the purposes of Palestinian terrorist organizations. The PLO and the Palestinian Authority feed on this problem and as a result, the entire Arab world has regarded the preservation of the status of the Palestinians as refugees as a means of attacking the legitimacy of the State of Israel. Fearing that mention of the problem would raise once again the question of "the right of return," Israel has also preferred to ignore the problem rather than attempt to solve it.

The treatment of refugees in the world is divided between two UN agencies: a general agency, UNHCR, whose mandate is to deal with all the refugees in the world, and UNRWA, a special agency designated to assist Palestinian refugees from 1948. The difference between these two agencies is very simple: the first, "regular" agency strives towards the rehabilitation of the refugees it is handling, and to facilitate their integration as citizens in the countries in which they are staying or that are prepared to accept them. In contrast, UNRWA is forbidden to rehabilitate the refugees in its care and turn them into citizens having equal rights in any country. Its role is confined to "maintenance" of the refugees from 1948, while preserving their status.

UNRWA is also mainly responsible for the maintenance of the refugee camps. The very existence of these camps, sixty years after the war that generated them, is both a source of shame to humanity and a grave threat to security and peace in the Middle East. These camps constitute a breeding ground for terrorism, where the motivation for terrorism originates, units are formed, and terrorists find refuge.

There’s more – for instance, the Israeli Initiative lays out means by which the millions of refugees can achieve the elusive dream of national citizenship, not to mention normal productive lives – but the key element cited by MK Elon is cooperation. Ah – there’s the rub, isn’t it? This plan has been out there for a while now, and we’re not hearing much about it, are we? There may indeed be components that just won’t work – again, I don’t pretend to be the expert here – but what’s wrong with at least giving it an honest look? And, OK, if we give it an honest look & decide it just won’t fly, then at least we’ve pulled our heads out of the desert sands, haven’t we?

Y’all let me know what you think – OK?

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Filed under Forward motion, Israel Politics and Internal Affairs, Perspectives

Please step away from the edge of the cliff…

I WROTE IN in my last post about the serious danger posed if the US and European leader nations were to get sucked into the Palestinian plan for a unilateral declaration of statehood. I am somewhat relieved at this point to observe that the world has so far responded with an admirable measure of sanity in this matter.

Rather than offer a lot of comments here (especially considering that these things are still in a major state of flux), I’ll just make a few remarks on some of the more recent news items in this regard.

First, I applaud the government of Israel for publicly stating a warning that  an attempt to circumvent commitments made by all sides since 1967 will jeopardize what little stability currently exists in the region.  Several responsible media have reported this; here is a link to the Jerusalem Post: PM warns PA against unilateral moves.

Following that statement up with some particulars (they may only be a beginning, but they do give you some idea that Israel is not just blowing smoke), Jerusalem has indicated a willingness to annex some areas if need be, and to proceed with building in others.

Members of the US Congress and even the Obama administration have also wisely begun to speak out against this insanity.  Here are two of several articles reporting this: Palestinians under world pressure not to declare state unilaterally (Haartez); US senator: Palestinian declaration will lead to chaos (Ynet).

And, most recently, even the European Union appears to be coming to its senses.

At least for now.  The whole scene is constantly changing, and Abu Mazen has already tried to make a comeback statement (as indeed he must), but at least it looks for the moment that the world at large is not quite ready to hitch a ride in the hand basket to hell. Literally.

Maybe we can breathe a little, but that doesn’t mean we can quit watching. And, not to spoil the fun, but we still need to keep a keen eye on Iran.

As Scarlett said – tomorrow is another day.

 

lineman

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Filed under Forward motion, Perspectives, World against Israel

Will he, won’t he, or when will he?

Headline Monday: Peres confirms Obama to mediate Netanyahu-Abbas talks.

US President Barack Obama is expected to moderate a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, President Shimon Peres said in an interview with Fox News on Monday.

But, come to find out WednesdayNo meeting agenda between Abbas, Netanyahu

A senior Palestinian official said on Monday that no meeting was decided to be held soon between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu… The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and president Abbas ruled out holding any meeting with Netanyahu or any renewal of the peace talks unless Israeli authorities announce a total freeze of settlement activities in the West Bank.

When the news came out Monday that Benjamin Netanyahu was supposed to meet with Mahmoud Abbas under Barack Obama’s auspices next month, it made a few people unhappy.

Not that these people don’t want peace, nor especially that Mr. Netanyahu isn’t continually reaching out to both the US and the PA.  But consistent with those efforts, he has been doing a good job of maintaining a position of strength, while Mr. Abbas rejects each new overture from Israel, always demanding just a little more than what is being offered to him, and all the while Mr. Obama is trying less and less successfully to keep his balance in all this.  Besides being much too busy at home.  And then there’s poor Mr. Mitchell; he is actually a skilled diplomat and negotiator, but he can’t fire his own boss.

If you’ve been following these things, you may realize that ‘Bama wants so badly to pull a Carter or maybe at least a Clinton.   Not that I’m an admirer of either of those two.  God forbid!  But like it or not, they were achievers to whatever extent, and poor Barry would like to be, but just isn’t.  (As an aside at this point, Clarice Feldman over at American Thinker has done a wonderful job of analyzing just how smart Barack Obama is. Seriously.)

Enter  Shimon Peres.  Now I’m not really as knowledgeable about Israeli politics as y’all think I am, but it has been my understanding that the office of the President of Israel is more ceremonial than substantial, and that he is actually prohibited from  political intervention or even expressing potentially divisive personal views on major issues.  So how come he gets to make a major news announcement that Obama is going to supervise a get together for Netanyahu and Abbas next month?  Well, simply put, he doesn’t.  Not to mention that Mr. Peres’ politics have been somewhat to the left of the present government, and of a few others.

And so I told someone last night that, not to worry, Bibi is not betraying anybody or jumping into bed with the baddies any time soon.  He is making forward progress; he’s just smart enough to do it at a pace of his own choosing.  Israel could do worse.

Addendum:  since these two items were published, there has been a late development.  It was disclosed today that, yes indeed, talks have begun at a higher level than they have been up until now.  And I also noticed two important points. For one thing, the discussion today was along the lines which have been proposed by Netanyahu all along, of first focusing on bringing increased economic benefits to the PA ruled areas.  Secondly, and not to be downplayed, is the report that the PA is at the moment having enough sense to back down from its refusal to talk until Israel has met all of its demands.

Or, in the words of the Israeli representative, Minister for Regional Development Silvan Shalom,

“I’m glad that the Palestinians understand that boycotting talks with the Israeli government was harmful primarily to them,” he said. “As I’ve said, our goal is economic peace, and that does not impede political dialogue, but rather helps it along.”

Hardly anything is ever a done deal in life, and all the less so in the Middle East.  But I have a better feeling about today’s meeting than I have had about some others.  We’ll see.  Sometimes it’s much easier just being a lineman.

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Filed under Forward motion