Tag Archives: Islam

“No Love Boat:” PM Netanyahu’s Statement on Flotilla Incident

In my earlier post today I pointed out that a crucial aspect of this week’s attempt by Islamist forces to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza coast (and Egypt’s blockade also, by the way – another oft neglected component) is the critical interest which Iran has invested in the continued presence of Hamas in that area.

Here is the official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the incident. Notice his references to Iran.

Statement by PM Netanyahu

“No Love Boat”

Once again, Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment. I’m afraid this isn’t the first time.

Last year, Israel acted to stop Hamas from firing thousands of rockets into Israel’s towns and cities. Hamas was firing on our civilians while hiding behind civilians. And Israel went to unprecedented lengths to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties. Yet it was Israel, and not Hamas, that was accused by the UN of war crimes.

Now regrettably, the same thing appears to be happening now.

But here are the facts. Hamas is smuggling thousands of Iranian rockets, missiles and other weaponry – smuggling it into Gaza in order to fire on Israel’s cities. These missiles can reach Ashdod and Beer Sheva – these are major Israeli cities. And I regret to say that some of them can reach now Tel Aviv, and very soon, the outskirts of Jerusalem. From the information we have, the planned shipments include weapons that can reach farther, even farther and deeper into Israel.

Under international law, and under common sense and common decency, Israel has every right to interdict this weaponry and to inspect the ships that might be transporting them.

This is not a theoretical challenge or a theoretical threat. We have already interdicted vessels bound for Hezbollah, and for Hamas from Iran, containing hundreds of tons of weapons. In one ship, the Francop, we found hundreds of tons of war materiel and weapons destined for Hezbollah. In another celebrated case, the Karine A, dozens of tons of weapons were destined for Hamas by Iran via a shipment to Gaza. Israel simply cannot permit the free flow of weapons and war materials to Hamas from the sea.

I will go further than that. Israel cannot permit Iran to establish a Mediterranean port a few dozen kilometers from Tel Aviv and from Jerusalem. And I would go beyond that too. I say to the responsible leaders of all the nations: The international community cannot afford an Iranian port in the Mediterranean. Fifteen years ago I cautioned about an Iranian development that has come to pass – people now recognize that danger. Today I warn of this impending willingness to enable Iran to establish a naval port right next to Israel, right next to Europe. The same countries that are criticizing us today should know that they will be targeted tomorrow.

For this and for many other reasons, we have a right to inspect cargo heading into Gaza.

And here’s our policy. It’s very simple: Humanitarian and other goods can go in and weapons and war materiel cannot.

And we do let civilian goods into Gaza. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Each week, an average of ten thousand tons of goods enter Gaza. There’s no shortage of food. There’s no shortage of medicine. There’s no shortage of other goods.

On this occasion too, we made several offers – offers to deliver the goods on board the flotilla to Gaza after a security inspection. Egypt made similar offers. And these offers were rejected time and again.

So our naval personnel had no choice but to board these vessels. Now, on five of the vessels, our seamen were not met by any serious violence and as a result, there were no serious injuries aboard those ships. But on the largest ship, something very different happened.

Our naval personnel, just as they landed on the ship – you can see this in the videos – the first soldier – they were met with a vicious mob. They were stabbed, they were clubbed, they were fired upon. I talked to some of these soldiers. One was shot in the stomach, one was shot in the knee. They were going to be killed and they had to act in self-defense.

It is very clear to us that the attackers had prepared their violent action in advance. They were members of an extremist group that has supported international terrorist organizations and today support the terrorist organization called Hamas. They brought with them in advance knives, steel rods, other weapons. They chanted battle cries against the Jews. You can hear this on the tapes that have been released.

This was not a love boat. This was a hate boat. These weren’t pacifists. These weren’t peace activists. These were violent supporters of terrorism.

I think that the evidence that the lives of the Israeli seamen were in danger is crystal clear. If you’re a fair-minded observer and you look at those videos, you know this simple truth. But I regret to say that for many in the international community, no evidence is needed. Israel is guilty until proven guilty.

Once again, Israel is told that it has a right to defend itself but is condemned every time it exercises that right. Now you know that a right that you cannot exercise is meaningless. And you know that the way we exercise it – under these conditions of duress, under the rocketing of our cities, under the impending killing of our soldiers – you know that we exercise it in a way that is commensurate with any international standard. I have spoken to leading leaders of the world, and I say the same thing today to the international community: What would you do? How would you stop thousands of rockets that are destined to attack your cities, your civilians, your children? How would your soldiers behave under similar circumstances? I think in your hearts, you all know the truth.

Israel regrets the loss of life. But we will never apologize for defending ourselves. Israel has every right to prevent deadly weapons from entering into hostile territory. And Israeli soldiers have every right to defend their lives and their country.

This may sound like an impossible plea, or an impossible request, or an impossible demand, but I make it anyway: Israel should not be held to a double standard. The Jewish state has a right to defend itself just like any other state.

Thank you.

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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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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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Filed under From my mailbox, Perspectives

Yes, we had no 140s…

…yesterday, that is. And just a few today. All three items that I have for you this evening come by way of Unity Coalition for Israel, an excellent source for news having to do with Israel and the Middle East from a perspective I unabashedly share.

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Some information I have not seen elsewhere concerns Washington, D.C. based Saudi reformer and director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ali Alyami. He is quoted as saying

ali-Aliyami "Democratizing Saudi Arabia is the key to democratizing all Arabs and Muslims. The best, easiest, cheapest and quickest way to achieve this formidable undertaking is to empower Saudi women who are already in the forefront in challenging their ferocious political, religious, economic, social and educational environment. Due to Saudi Arabia’s centrality to Islam and its possession of the largest known oil reserves, Saudi Arabia plays a major religious and economic role in the lives of both Muslims and non-Muslims. Empowering Saudi women will resonate throughout Arab and Muslim societies."

Kind of radical, isn’t it? But not in the usual way we think of when we put “Muslim” and “radical” in the same sentence. We need to remind ourselves now and then that, while Islamism in the radical sense is indeed an enemy of civilization, that does not mean that we ought to pre-judge all – or even the majority of – Muslims. Turn here for the rest of the commentary by Phyllis Chesler of PajamasMedia.

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By the same token, we need not swing the opposite direction and say, ‘Oh, poor misjudged Muslims.’ We must, if only for the sake of our own survival, be observant and ready to speak when we see a danger that others may not see. One dangerous situation I had not known of involves the takeover of the British underworld by Muslim gangs since 9-11, at least according to this article from The Sun via UCI. The key phrase that jumped out at me here was the quote, "The reality is that Asian gangs don’t give much of toss about religion, but with Islam comes fear, and with fear comes power.”

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One more thing, which I touched on earlier, is with regard to the national enemies of Israel (Muslim or otherwise) having a problem with Israel defending itself without waiting for an invasion from the outside. (In particular with reference to the assassination in Dubai last month of self-confessed murderer Mahmoud Mabhouh, which we are still not saying was done by Mossad – but we don’t know that it wasn’t.)  UCI passes along this comment from Guy Bechor of Ynet:

“We are currently facing an odd situation the likes of which we have not seen for many years: Israel’s enemies are in panic, or is it paranoia, for fear that Israel will be attacking them.” Hezbollah is convinced that it will suffer a blow at any moment, Hamas is still licking its wounds, Syria is concerned, and Iran’s foreign minister already declared that Israel is a "nation of crazy people" with "mad leaders" who may launch a strike.

Meanwhile, the frightened Lebanese turned to the UN, to UNIFIL, and to French President Sarkozy and asked for France’s protection against the "terrible" Israel. However, the French announced that as long as Hezbollah is armed, they will only ask Israel to refrain from destroying Lebanon’s civilian infrastructures and no more than that. All this was published by the Arab media.

On the other hand, our borders are quieter than they have been in many years.

So how do we explain this bizarre Middle Eastern paranoia? The IDF is training today as it has not done in dozens of years. Every day, from morning till night: Tanks, airplanes, helicopters, live-fire drills and soldiers running around. The Lebanese watch this from across the border, as do the Syrians, and they are becoming anxious: What are the Israelis plotting over there? Is there something we don’t know?

The Israeli restlessness prompts anxiety among our enemies, and this is good, of course. It’s called deterrence

You don’t say?

See y’all in a day or few.

lineman

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