Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Khaled abu Toameh - the best and the bravest

Palestinian sheds light on who's right in Middle East






Khaled Abu Toameh gives the lie to all the incendiary rhetoric about Israel that is heard in Canada --the call to boycott Israeli products, the rants about Israeli apartheid, the campus protests against Israel's supposed oppression of the Palestinians. You know how the protesters insist that it's about Israel, and not about hating Jews? After you've heard Abu Toameh talk, the only conclusion to draw is that it has to be about hating Jews.

"I see more sympathy for Hamas on campuses than I do in Ramallah, more hatred for Jews on North American campuses than in Palestinian areas,"Abu Toameh said during a visit with the Herald editorial board Monday. "The people I've met on campuses are not Arabs and not Palestinians. They haven't been (to the Middle East) and they don't know what they're talking about. I saw signs saying 'Death to Israel' on campuses here. I can't remember the last time I heard this in Ramallah."

Abu Toameh, 46, is a Muslim, an Israeli citizen and a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, specializing in Palestinian affairs. Yes, he works for a Jewish-owned newspaper. No, he is not told by the newspaper's owners to say the things he does.

He says them because, as an Arab-Palestinian citizen of Israel, he sees the truth --and as a journalist, he has an innate obligation to tell that truth.

"People say, 'You work for a Jewish paper, why should we believe you?' If I worked for a Hamas paper, you'd believe me more?" he says, adding, "I said all the same things when I worked for a PLO newspaper."

Here are snippets of what he has to say. On being an Arab living in Israel: "Israel can be a Jewish state for all its citizens . . . I would choose to be a third-class citizen in Israel than a first class citizen in Cairo or Amman."On the security barrier Israel built to keep out suicide bombers, a fence which has stirred ugly cries of "apartheid" among Canadian protesters: "I don't believe in walls. I wish it weren't there. But if I were Israel, I'd go write on it, 'Made By Hamas and Yasser Arafat.' Jews didn't wake up one morning and say, 'We're bored. Let's spend billions of dollars and build a wall' . . . For three years I was scared to take my children to the mall, afraid to stop at a red light next to an Israeli bus. More than 50 Arabs have died in suicide bombings in Israel. They (the suicide bombers) don't care (who they kill)."

He says that before the wall went up, if someone had asked to meet him in downtown Jerusalem, he would have replied, "Are you crazy?"

There's more. On Hamas and Fatah: "Hamas is in a power struggle with Fatah, which makes it impossible to talk about Palestinian stability . . . 2,000 Palestinians have died in this power struggle between Hamas and (Fatah)."On Hamas's hatred for Israel: "If anyone thinks Hamas is going to wake up in the morning and sing Hatikvah, that's not going to happen . . . . Why are we begging Hamas to change? Change should come from within the Palestinians. We Arabs and Muslims allow ourselves to be intimidated by a minority of thugs who call the shots . . . Fatah and Hamas are both suppressing (the emergence of) third-way parties."

Abu Toameh sees himself as a proud Israeli who is pro-Palestinian. That's not a contradiction. It's a recognition of who the Palestinians' real oppressors are. Pro-Palestinian does not equate to anti-Israel; it means being in favour of the Palestinians tossing out their corrupt, thuggish leaders and putting in place a government that will help them to become more like Israel.

"I meet many Palestinians in Ramallah who say they wish the occupation would come back; it was better under the Jews. Some want the Jordanians back," he says.

Palestinians have "always admired the freedom of expression in Israel" and they say "we hope we'll have a free media like the Jews have."

This yearning for democracy is a theme that runs through Abu Toameh's revelations about what ordinary Palestinians want. They envy Israel and they "want to build something like what the Jews have." Under the occupation, the Palestinians got a taste of "democracy, prosperity and stability. We were exposed under Israel to all these things."He adds: "We Arabs are trying to become like the Jews. We see how much they've achieved. The Jews are moving forward and we're moving backward." Moreover, the ordinary Palestinians know who's responsible for their miseries: "They know the Jews did not prevent Arafat from establishing good government."

Listening to this soft-spoken man, you can't help thinking of Sid Ryan, Naomi Klein and the rest of the Canadian crowd who loudly condemn Israel.

Abu Toameh's quiet words, drawn from the well of lived experience, show them up for the fools they are. If only they'd shut up for two minutes and listen to him, their eyes would be opened. Or maybe they prefer to keep them closed to truth. 

Palestine 2.0 - another failure in the making


Daniel Greenfield

Everyone, and by "everyone" I mean the denizens of Washington D.C.'s and Brussels’ government buildings, agrees that we need a Palestinian state. Chiming in with their "Yes" votes are the dictators of a dozen Arab states who agree that the only thing that will fix the region is adding another Arab dictatorship and subtracting the region's one democracy. 

But who actually needs a Palestinian state? Or rather a second Palestinian state. The first Palestinian state, commonly called Jordan, was carved out of the Palestine Mandate and equipped with a refugee ruler from the Hashemite royal family in what is now Saudi Arabia. Today Jordan exists mainly under the protection of the U.S. and Israel, and its population of Palestinian Arabs is a seething mass of Muslim extremists currently enjoying a 30 percent unemployment rate, where the majority of the population supports Osama Bin Laden at a higher rate than even Pakistan. 

But Jordan is heaven on earth compared to the Second Palestinian State that the Obama Administration is determined to inflict on Israel. Ruled by mutually hostile armed gangs loyal to either the Fatah or Hamas terrorist groups, Palestine 2.0 has been a failed state for over a decade. Every attempt at foreign investment has failed. The ruins of industrial zones, greenhouses and even a casino dot the landscape. Palestinian Arab Christians from overseas who returned to build up the economy fled quickly in the face of relentless shakedowns, kidnappings and militia gangs masquerading as law enforcement. 

The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs work for two employers, UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority, which in turn is funded by foreign donors. Work for the Palestinian Authority usually means belonging to a militia gang which is loyal to a particular figure in the PA leadership, who in turn passes that loyalty on to the current "government." With little to do, the gangs spend their free time dealing drugs, carrying out terrorist attacks and collecting protection money from their town's remaining stores. 

For 17 years, Israel, America and just about every interested party has tried to build a Palestinian state. They provided weapons and training to build a modern Palestinian police force. They sent advisers and fortunes in economic aid, thousands per Palestinian Arab. Billions in funds from the EU, America and various do-gooders were swallowed up to fund the lavish lifestyles of Arafat and his henchmen. 

Year after year, the proposed Palestinian state has become a worse place. Given its own military, political, legal and economic system, "Palestine" has made the region more unstable than ever. Proposing that more of this will stabilize the region is akin to a man setting fire to one piece of furniture after another in his living room, and claiming that when the entire room is on fire, it will be a safe place to live. 

So I ask again, who needs a Palestinian state? If the Palestinian Arabs really wanted a state (a second state) in Gaza, the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem, they could have had it before 1967, when those territories were in Arab hands. [why is it that NONE of those who advocate creating an Arab Palestinian state know this?  Next time someone whines about how the ArabPals must have their own state, point out that neither Egypt (which held the ArabPals in Gaza under military rule and refused them citizenship), nor Jordan (which eventually threw them out for bad behavior, but only after killing thousands) offered them a state of their own. LLM]  Instead the PLO back then called for no Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel. As Clinton discovered to his chagrin at the end of his term, Arafat did not want a state and was not interested in an Israeli offer that gave him 99 percent of what he said he wanted. Is it any surprise that Hamas today follows the same party line? 

And really why would they want a Palestinian state? If a state was actually created, the UNRWA would have to close up shop. A Palestinian state could no longer rely on foreign donors to fund the hundred thousand or so armed gangsters who form its "government" and its only real form of employment. And the same Muslim states who pass along "charity" to help fund the "martyr operations" that are behind much of the local terrorism would turn elsewhere. 

Instead for 17 years the same tired opera has been playing in the region's one theater. First the world's statesmen and diplomats descend on Israel, crying that the only hope for regional stability is a Palestinian state. Israeli diplomats arrive with a generous territorial offer, counterbalanced by a second clause that asks for an end to terrorism.. That second clause is immediately ignored by everyone in the room. 

Next the Palestinian Authority diplomats arrive demanding twice as much land, no more border security preventing terrorists from entering Israel, half of Israel's capital, contiguous borders that would cut Israel in half, the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from territories claimed by them—and finally the return of the "refugees," which is code for unlimited immigration from their proposed Palestinian State into Israel. 

The Israelis make a counteroffer. The statesmen and diplomats accuse Israel of rejecting peace. The Palestinian Arabs begin carrying out terrorist attacks again (assuming they even bothered to stop during the negotiations). Israel bombs the terrorists. The statesmen and diplomats accuse Israel of perpetuating the cycle of violence, and urge everyone to go back to the negotiating table and the whole "Cycle of Peacemaking" repeats itself all over again. 

The Palestinian ruling powers derive their authority from two forces: 

1. The Muslim desire to destroy Israel as an infidel state whose existence contradicts Islam. This keeps the money and arms flowing in to the different factions, as well as provides popular support by Arabs. 

2. Western and Israel diplomats who keep trying to create a Palestinian state out of the bizarre notion that such a state would bring the terrorism to an end. Like all Dhimmi behaviors in regard to Islam, they ignore the fact that the short term goal of terrorism is terrorism. [Love this, gotta remember to use that line. LLM] The long term goal of terrorism is to conquer and hold the territory of the terrorized. Palestinian nationalism has always been a crock, a transparently phony justification for terrorism that has always come before nationalism. Palestine was never a country or a state. It was the name given by the Roman occupation forces to a region they were administering, a region far larger than modern day Israel. There was never an Arab Palestinian king or ruler until Arafat.

Nearly two decades of terrorism have turned the endless rounds of peace negotiations into a joke. Half the Palestinian Authority is now ruled by the Iranian backed Hamas terrorist group, which insists it will never recognize or accept permanent peace with Israel—a state of affairs that never would have come into being had Israel not completely withdrawn from Gaza in the first place. 

So once again, who wants or needs a Palestinian state? 

Israel did not come into being out of pity for the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust. Nor did it come into being thanks to U.S. aid or support. Both of these are common myths. 

The State of Israel was in place well before the Holocaust, in the form of an embryonic country of farmers who drained the swamps, businessmen who set up shops, journalists who printed newspapers, and soldiers who trained to protect and defend their homeland. When the UN recognized Israel, it simply accepted the fait accompli that Israel existed and was capable of taking care of itself, which it proved by fighting the armies of the surrounding Arab nations to a standstill. It did it without U.S. military aid, which only came into the picture much later with the Kennedy administration. It did it, because the people of Israel genuinely wanted their own state and worked to make it happen. 

By 1942, 17 years after the Palestine Mandate, the Jews of Israel had built a thriving country, from power generators to vast stretches of farmland, from a revived language to the Technion, created in 1924 and considered one of the leading electrical engineering and computer science schools in the world. 

Seventeen years after Oslo, the Palestinian Arabs have built nothing but death and destruction. Worse yet they've taken everything that was given to them and turned it into either a weapon or a bribe. Not even the most liberally minded thinker can point to anything in the Palestinian Authority leadership that suggests that they're capable of running a functional state. Which is why that same species will naturally duck the question and begin blaming Israel instead. 

The two state solution is not a formula for any kind of stability or end to the violence. It's meant to take the violence to a whole new level. It is a formula for the destruction of Israel. Seventeen years of peacemaking by Israelis has produced 17 years of terrorism by the Palestinian Arabs. Everything sowed on the Palestinian Authority, from money to guns, from autonomy to infrastructure, have come up as dragon's teeth. 

Palestine is not a state. Palestine is a gun aimed at the head of Israel with one goal, its destruction. Palestine is a gun aimed at the head of every Jew in the world, legitimizing the worst and ugliest kinds of bigotry. Palestine is an imaginary place given form as a vicious myth, brainwashing generation after generation of Jordanian and Egyptian Arabs to call themselves Palestinians and kill and die in the name of perpetuating a second Holocaust, all for the glory of Allah, Mohammed, Marx, not to mention Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad, the House of Saud, and every cause and ruler with an interest in toppling Israel into the dust. 

Palestine is death. It exists as a form of living death by people taught to see themselves as willing martyrs to the bomb belt from birth. It breathes death, celebrates death, teaches death and preaches death. It is the final ugly end of the hatred and cruelty bottled up in the Arab and Islamic dictatorships of the region. It is the true face of Islam and its shining reflection in the mirror of the Western press and diplomats is the true measure of their Dhimmitude. 

The cult of death in Palestine and the war against Israel is only a preview for the West of things to come. Palestine is not a place; it is hate and homicide boiled down into myth. Palestine is not only in Israel. It is in Paris and London. It is in Madrid and Detroit. It is in Sydney and Moscow. It is everywhere that the toxic brew of Muslim fanaticism and Arab nationalism flows. Its flag is the flag of death. Its constitution is a death warrant for every free nation. Its legislature is a smug coven of obese terrorist chieftains sending their followers off to death with the promise of virgin demons fornicating with them in Paradise. 

Palestine 2.0 is a monster with only one purpose, to create Holocaust 2.0. That is who needs a Palestinian state. That is why the far left and the far right are both hell-bent on bringing one into being. Accepting the two state solution means accepting death. Rejecting it means embracing life.

Daniel Greenfield blogs under the name of Sultan Knish. This appeared on his blog in May 2009.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Most fact-filled, persuasive piece I've seen in a long time

If the Terrorists Misinterpret Islam …

Posted By David Steinberg On May 25, 2009 @ 12:40 am 

Liberalism withholds judgment until finding an answer bulletproofed by logic and reason, and this practice is nothing less than the bedrock of the first world.

I am of course referring to classical liberalism, now tragically mistitled conservatism. The half-philosophy known as the Left co-opted that most precious word, liberty, then stopped reading at “withholds judgment.” And this anti-intellectual betrayal of humanity’s best idea has once again resulted in an unfathomably dangerous historical anomaly: an existential threat is flourishing, liberty and life are at stake, yet the ones we now call liberals refuse to pass judgment on the illiberal. They have access to enough logic and reason for a bombproof conclusion, yet they refuse to pass judgment.

Forbes’ 2009 survey of the [1] world’s most dangerous countries is out, and the list is comprised almost entirely of Islamic-dominated lands. A second list, of the world’s [2] active conflicts, is essentially a checklist of current Islamic aggression (and describes an entirely related point — the few non-Islamic conflicts have communist/socialist or other totalitarian participants). Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Pakistan, West Bank/Gaza Strip, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Haiti, Algeria, Nigeria, Georgia — that’s Forbes‘ top 15.

The world’s current conflicts: an Islamic revolt in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq; an Islamic butchery in Sudan; an Islamic civil war in Somalia; an Islamist civil war in Sri Lanka; an Islamic invasion into Chad (perpetrated by the Sudanese butchers); an Islamic insurgency in Thailand; an Islamist insurgency across all of Northeast Africa (the Maghreb); an Islamic separatist movement in Kashmir; an Islamist insurgency in the Philippines; and a sustained Islamic belligerency against Israel involving Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.

Besides those, the Earth is pained with a few conflicts involving Islamic, Communist, and other totalitarian movements, most of which are among the long-simmering variety and primarily feature constant human rights abuses rather than open war.

And that’s it. That’s all of the fighting.

[3] Human rights? [4] Women’s rights? Islamic states — including the supposed moderates such as Jordan — take up virtually the entire list of worst offenders, along with a few other Communist/totalitarian regimes.

Rationalism, fairness, the death of tribalist fears, the emergence from tyranny and the plumb line from there to intellectual accomplishment — it all seeds from the invention and military defense of the liberal. Presented with this evidence, the classical liberal is required to withhold judgment until finding an answer bulletproofed by logic and reason. This behavior is undeniably what the classical liberals among us have done — admirably — since 9/11.

First, we withheld judgment on the religion of the attackers. President Bush stood on rubble and promised “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” But he also stated, again and again, that we are not at war with Islam, simply with a perverted form of the great religion. It was a subjective, anti-intellectual conclusion. It was not based on reason, and the correct response regarding liberalism’s stance toward Islam should have been: “We have not reached an answer yet.”

The left took a similar stance, if only initially — they withheld judgment on the religion of the attackers but then chose to blame Western policy towards Islamic lands for motivating the terrorists. Subjective is not a descriptive enough word for this.  Essentially, that was the end of the Left’s investigation — which, stunningly, is exactly what Leftism required.

Technically, the Left preaches that the most enlightened human behavior is to withhold judgment in favor of first concluding a thorough self-examination. But that self-examination process — the perfecting of America and the West prior to judging another culture — can never conclude. There will always be a poor decision, a misguided decision, or a failed policy enacted by democratically elected officials. A Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam.

Our country is run by a marketplace of ideas. Some will win support and be proven right and some will win support and be proven wrong. Representatives will be voted in and out, the future will always remain unknown, and our leaders will continually take risks with our direction. So withholding judgment in favor of a thorough self-examination becomes a fraud, a half-measure. It becomes a permanently withheld judgment, which is no approach at all. Just a worthless, subjective, illogical philosophy of government, a perennial invocation of “this sentence is false,” to the point that a definable Leftist international policy does not, in fact, exist.

The non-Left liberals? Those with any connection to the beliefs of the classical liberal have spent the past decade asking the questions they are required to ask:

  • Do societies ever turn to terroristic, totalitarian behavior solely because of outside oppression, or do the movements arise from within?
  • Is Islam as it is practiced by terrorists and aggressive Islamic countries a new phenomenon? Or does it predate contact with the West?
  • Is it possible for one religion/culture to be more worthwhile to humanity as a whole than another?
  • Is it racist to think Islam is inherently violent?

These questions researched, the next step was to thoroughly examine the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sira, and the accepted interpretations of such by Islamic scholars and leaders.

  • Quite simply, what was Mohammad’s life like? How does it compare, objectively, to other prominent religious figures? How did subsequent Islamic leaders interpret Mohammad’s teachings, and — most importantly — how did they act in response? If Islam as interpreted by the terrorists is not true Islam, what is the strain of moderate Islam called? Who are its leaders and its followers? What is their literature? Where is it practiced?

Almost eight years following 9/11, eight years to address these questions, and I am hard-pressed to find any sort of sizable leftist group of voters who know a bloody thing about the contents of the Koran.

The classical liberals? We’ve done what was required of us in the name of defending liberty. Feel free to challenge our bulletproofed conclusion, but we promise your failure:

If the terrorists misinterpret Islam, then so does Mohammad.

The evidence concerning Islam is as much logic and reason as any government can ever hope to get regarding an international crisis. As an Islamic leader chases the bomb, we do not intend to wait for the illiberal, unreasoned, irrational half-thinkers of the left to simply ask a proper question.

Because they never will.

Article printed from Pajamas Media:

URL to article:

Gee, where are Human Rights activists when it comes to Gilad Shalit?

Lament in Oslo

May. 24, 2009

In his invitation to this conference, the president of the forum, Thor Halvorssen, asked me to talk about my life, the suffering I have endured and how I was able to bear it all. But today all that seems to me quite unnecessary.

So I will say only a few words about myself.

At the age of 14, I was left without my parents. My father was executed, my mother spent 18 years in prison and exile. My grandmother raised me and my younger brother. The poet Vladimir Kornilov, who suffered the same fate, wrote: "And it felt that in those years we had no mothers. We had grandmothers." There were hundreds of thousands of such children. Ilya Ehrenburg called us "the strange orphans of 1937."

Then came the war. My generation was cut off nearly at the roots by the war, but I was lucky. I came back from the war. I came back to an empty house. My grandmother had died of starvation in the siege of Leningrad. Then came a communal apartment, six half-hungry years of medical school, falling in love, two children and the poverty of a Soviet doctor. But I was not alone in this. Everyone lived this way. Then there was my dissident period followed by exile. But Andrei [Sakharov] and I were together! And that was true happiness.

Today, summing up my life (at age 86, I try to sum up my life every day I am still alive), I can do so in three words. My life was typical, tragic and beautiful. Whoever needs the details - read my two books, Alone Together and Mothers and Daughters. They have been translated into many languages. Read Sakharov's Memoirs. It's a pity his diaries haven't been translated; they were published in Russia in 2006. Apparently, the West isn't interested now in Sakharov.

THE WEST isn't very interested in Russia either, a country that no longer has real elections, independent courts or freedom of the press. Russia is a country where journalists, human rights activists and migrants are killed regularly, almost daily. And extreme corruption flourishes of a kind and extent that never existed earlier in Russia or anywhere else. So what do the Western mass media discuss mainly? Gas and oil - of which Russia has a lot. Energy is its only political trump card, and Russia uses it as an instrument of pressure and blackmail. And there's another topic that never disappears from the newspapers - who rules Russia? [Vladimir] Putin or [Dimitry] Medvedev? But what difference does it make, if Russia has completely lost the impulse for democratic development that we thought we saw in the early 1990s. Russia will remain the way it is now for decades, unless there is some violent upheaval.

During the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world has experienced incredible changes in an exceptionally short period. But has the world become better, or more prosperous for the 6 billion 800 million people who live on our small planet? No one can answer that question unambiguously, despite all the achievements of science and technology and that process which we customarily call "progress." It seems to me that the world has become more alarming, more unpredictable and more fragile. This alarm, unpredictability and fragility are felt to some extent by all countries and all individuals. And civic and political life becomes more and more virtual, like a picture on a computer screen.

Even so, the picture of life, formed by television, newspaper or radio remains the same - there is no end to the conferences, summits, forums and competitions from beauty contests to sandwich-eating ones. They say people are coming together - but in reality, they are growing apart.

And that isn't because an economic depression suddenly burst forth, and swine flu to boot. This began on September 11, 2001. At first, anger and horror was provoked by the terrorists who knocked down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and by their accomplices in London, Madrid and other cities, and by the shahids, suicide bombers who blew themselves up at public spaces like discotheques and wedding parties whose families were rewarded $25,000 each by Saddam Hussein. Later, [George W.] Bush was blamed for everything, and as always, the Jews - that is, Israel. An example was the first Durban Conference, and the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe, noted several years ago in a speech by Romano Prodi. Then there was Durban-2; the main speaker was [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad proposing to annihilate Israel.

SO IT IS about Israel and the Jews that I will speak. And not only because I am Jewish, but above all because the Middle Eastern conflict since the end of World War II has been a platform for political games and gambling by the great powers, the Arab countries and individual politicians, striving, through the so-called "peace process," to make a name for themselves, and perhaps win a Nobel Peace Prize. At one time, the Nobel Peace Prize was the highest moral award of our civilization. But after December 1994, when Yasser Arafat became one of the three new laureates, its ethical value was undermined. I haven't always greeted each selection of the Nobel Committee of the Storting [Norwegian parliament] with joy, but that one shocked me. And to this day, I cannot understand and accept the fact that Andrei Sakharov and Yasser Arafat, now posthumously, share membership in the club of Nobel laureates.

In many of Sakharov's publications (in his books Progress, Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom and My Country and the World, in his articles and in his interviews), Andrei Dmitrievich wrote and spoke about Israel. I have a collection of citations of his writing on this topic. If it were published in Norway, then many Norwegians would be surprised at how sharply their contemporary view of Israel differs from the view of Sakharov.

Here are several citations from Sakharov: "Israel has an indisputable right to exist"; "Israel has a right to existence within safe borders"; "All wars that Israel has waged have been just, forced upon it by the irresponsibility of Arab leaders"; "With all the money that has been invested in the problem of Palestinians, it would have been possible long ago to resettle them and provide them with good lives in Arab countries."

THROUGHOUT THE YEARS of Israel's existence there has been war. Victorious wars, and also wars which Israel was not allowed to win. Each and every day - literally every day - there is the expectation of a terrorist act or a new war. We have seen the Oslo peace initiatives and the Camp David handshake and the road map and land for peace (there is not much land - from one side of Israel on a clear day you can see the other side with your naked eye).

Now, a new motif is fashionable (in fact it's an old one): "Two states for two peoples." It sounds good. And there is no controversy in the peacemaking Quartet, made up of the US, the UN, the EU and Russia (some great peacemaker, with its Chechen war and its Abkhazian-Ossetian provocation). The Quartet, and the Arab countries, and the Palestinian leaders (both Hamas and Fatah) put additional demands to Israel. I will speak only of one demand: that Israel accept back the Palestinian refugees. And here a little history and demography are needed.

According to the UN's official definition, refugees are considered those who fled from violence and wars, but not their descendants who are born in another land. At one time the Palestinian refugees and the Jewish refugees from Arab countries were about equal in number - about 700,000-800,000. The newly-created state Israel took in Jews (about 600,000). They were officially recognized as refugees by UN Resolution 242, but not provided with any UN assistance. Palestinians, however, are considered refugees not only in the first generation, but in the second, third and now even in the fourth generation. According to the UN Works and Relief Agency's report, the number of registered Palestinian refugees has grown from 914,000 in 1950 to more than 4.6 million in 2008, and continues to rise due to natural population growth. All these people have the rights of Palestinian refugees and are eligible to receive humanitarian aid.

The entire population of Israel is about 7.5 million, of which there are about 2.5 million ethnic Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Imagine Israel then, if another 5 million Arabs flood into it; Arabs would substantially outnumber the Jewish population. Thus created next to Israel will be a Palestinian state cleansed of Jews, because in addition to the demand that Palestinian refugees return to Israel, there is also the demand that Judea and Samaria are cleansed of Jews and turned over to Palestinians - while in Gaza today there is not a single Jew already.

The result is both strange and terrifying, because Israel will essentially be destroyed. It is terrifying to see the short memory of the august peacemaking Quartet, their leaders and their citizens if they let this happen. Because the plan "two states for two peoples" is the creation of one state, ethnically cleansed of Jews, and a second one with the potential to do the same. A Judenfrei Holy Land - the dream of Adolph Hitler come true at last. So think again, those who are still able, who has a fascist inside him today?

AND ANOTHER question that has been a thorn for me for a long time. It's a question for my human rights colleagues. Why doesn't the fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit trouble you in the same way as does the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners?

You fought for and won the opportunity for the International Committee of the Red Cross, journalists and lawyers to visit Guantanamo. You know prison conditions, the prisoners' everyday routine, their food. You have met with prisoners subjected to torture. The result of your efforts has been a ban on torture and a law to close this prison. President Obama signed it in the first days of his coming to the White House. And although he, just like president Bush before him, does not know what to do with the Guantanamo prisoners, there is hope that the new administration will think up something.

But during the two years Schalit has been held by terrorists, the world human rights community has done nothing for his release. Why? He is a wounded soldier, and fully falls under the protection of the Geneva Conventions. The conventions say clearly that hostage-taking is prohibited, that representatives of the Red Cross must be allowed to see prisoners of war, especially wounded prisoners, and there is much else written in the Geneva Conventions about Schalit's rights. The fact that representatives of the Quartet conduct negotiations with the people who are holding Schalit in an unknown location, in unknown conditions, vividly demonstrates their scorn of international rights documents and their total legal nihilism. Do human rights activists also fail to recall the fundamental international rights documents?

And yet I still think (and some will find this naïve) that the first tiny, but real step toward peace must become the release of Schalit. Release, and not his exchange for 1,000 or 1,500 prisoners who are in Israeli prisons serving court sentences for real crimes.

Returning to my question of why human rights activists are silent, I can find no answer except that Schalit is an Israeli soldier, Schalit is a Jew. So again, it is conscious or unconscious anti-Semitism. Again, it is fascism.

THIRTY-FOUR YEARS have passed since the day when I came to this city to represent my husband, Andrei Sakharov, at the 1975 Nobel Prize ceremony. I was in love with Norway then. The reception I received filled me with joy. Today, I feel Alarm and Hope (the title Sakharov used for his 1977 essay written at the request of the Nobel Committee).

Alarm because of the anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment growing throughout Europe and even further afield. And yet, I hope that countries, their leaders and people everywhere will recall and adopt Sakharov's ethical credo: "In the end, the moral choice turns out to be also the most pragmatic choice."

From a speech to the Freedom Forum in Oslo on May 19.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Late Great State of Israel

American Thinker

May 17, 2009

The Late Great State of Israel

By Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Aaron Klein's The Late Great State of Israel: How enemies within and without threaten the Jewish nation's survival
WND Books (April 28, 2009)
249 pp. $25.95
Aaron Klein, the intrepid Middle East bureau reporter for World Net Daily, hopes that his new book, The Late Great State of Israel, will blast open the tightly shut eyelids of most of the Western world in time to prevent the demise of the Jewish State.  The most striking way he does that is by revealing that all of us -- the Bush and the Obama administrations and the rest of the world -- have been hoodwinked into actively participating in the Final Solution proudly and publicly trumpeted by the, at least thus far, "organizationa non grata" Islamic terrorist group Hamas.

For the past four years Aaron Klein has been reporting from Israel, covering every major event in the news vortex of the Middle East.  There are many differences between Klein and nearly all the other Middle East journalists: he actually interviews the Arab Palestinian terrorist leaders and asks them about their plans to annihilate Israel, the extent of their military build-up, and the degree to which weaponry provided by the West to support Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party has been acquired by Hamas.  The terrorists answer Klein honestly and unequivocally.  Read this book and find out what they say.

Klein knows that merely exposing the unabashed genocidal agendas of the Muslim world's terrorist leadership will not, because thus far it has not, motivate any organized efforts to thwart them.  He knows that because, despite the reports he files directly quoting those terrorist leaders' statements of their intention to annihilate the Jews, no outcry has been heard to permanently deprogram the terrorists, let alone any efforts to actually eliminate them.  That is, unless you consider the modern version of torture known as dialoguing terrorists to death. 

So what information does Klein provide to start the revolution? 

Klein spells out in elaborate, substantiated detail the extent to which Hamas has infiltrated Fatah.  In those situations most relevant to US and world aid to and support of Fatah, Fatah is Hamas.  Trying to hold hands with one but not the other is impossible.

But wait!  Aren't Fatah and Hamas locked in a death struggle, the winner of which gets to be the official terrorist group of the Arab Palestinians?  How could they be the same?  There are two answers to that, an obvious one nicely wrapped in a maxim, and one that Klein has mined from his exhaustive investigative reporting.

Both Fatah and Hamas define themselves almost exclusively as genocide-seeking enemies of Israel; they are aligned in hatred against their common enemy - the Jewish State.  So, as the saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  That's the obvious one. 

Now let's turn to the more significant factor.  This one completely spins the aforementioned maxim on its head: sometimes the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy -- especially when those enemies are not just similar in principle, but are actually the same. 

Here's an example which Klein documents in detail: Just before Hamas routed Fatah in Gaza, Israeli security officials "warned that all major intelligence and security organizations associated with Fatah were in a state of ‘deep infiltration" by Hamas."  In fact, in one of the interviews that makes this account so valuable, Klein learns from a Fatah intelligence official that after the Hamas Gaza takeover, "Fatah officials found Hamas had penetrated their security organizations at the very highest levels."

But we do not have to rely on anonymous quotes from Fatah officials, as Klein further explains: On July 27, 2007, Abbas released a 200 page report of an investigation into the conduct of Fatah fighters in Gaza.  The goal of the report was to uncover the reasons why Fatah's control of Gaza crumbled so quickly and completely to Hamas.  Nabil Amr, a senior Abbas aide who served on the investigative committee, stated on the record that it was because "Fatah security forces were in a state of infiltration by Hamas."

And here's the biggest jaw-dropper: while intending to support and bolster Fatah to defeat Hamas, the United States may actually have been helping Hamas defeat Fatah.

Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, the American security coordinator in the region, birthed the eponymous US strategy.  The Dayton Plan was for the US to strengthen Fatah's security forces so that Fatah would defeat Hamas, a scourge both to Fatah and the US.  Yet Klein shows that, by coordinating strategy with a Hamas spy, it appears that the US actually helped Hamas bring down Fatah.  Klein outs the Hamas mole and explains how the evidence, including admissions by Fatah leaders, fits together.   

Dayton has a lead role in another, painful episode in Klein's book.  Klein reveals how the US-trained Palestinian troops turned tail and scattered every time they were charged with confronting Hamas terrorists, even on their own turf.  In a repeated Twilight-Zone like scenario, the Israeli Defense Forces had to step in and defend its sworn enemy, Fatah, from its other sworn enemy, Hamas.  In April, Lt. Gen. Dayton addressed a US newly-trained Palestinian battalion: "As I look at you, I couldn't be more proud of the fact that you stepped up to be the founders of a Palestinian state."  The greatest irony, of course, is that in order to support the charade of a finely-trained Fatah militia, the Israeli military seems well on its way to being pretzel-twisted into stepping up as the actual "founders of a Palestinian state." 

The Late Great State of Israel is a lament from a very well-informed insider who fears it will be too late before the world awakens to the endgame taking place in the Middle East.  He provides example after well-researched, documented example of the almost total inversion of reality to reportage on the Arab-Israeli conflict.  If just one of his other chapters, each of which is devoted to another inverted reality, shakes up readers, Klein's gloom may lift.  But if even the chapter about the Hamas-Fatah convergence doesn't cause an avalanche of reality-realignments, Klein's despair will be entirely justified.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus writes about the Middle East for various media outlets.

Page Printed from: at May 17, 2009 - 11:27:02 AM EDT

Pro-Israel stalwarts tell N and O their message

Facts Trump Rhetoric at DC Israel Rally Vigil
by Lori Lowenthal Marcus, , May 20, 2009

Washington, DC Israel Vigil

As Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu entered the White House lion’s den with US President Barack Obama on Monday, more than 100 pro-Israel supporters showed up outside with two messages: (1) No Nuclear Iran; and (2) No Terrorist Palestinian State on Israel’s borders.

For more than three hours sign-clad Israel-supporters sang and chanted and talked about the existential threats posed by both a nuclear Iran and a Palestinian State. The crowd was unabashed in its support, and the vigil continued for several hours.

Based on the current emanations from Washington, many Israel supporters have begun to fear that the present US government no longer shares Israel’s view of what is the best strategy for stabilizing the Middle East. The concern is that the new US compulsion to make friends with the Arab leadership in the region may now trump its previous stalwart allegiance to what has always been its closest ally in the Middle East - Israel.

Although few in the crowd actually believed that their presence was likely to have an impact on the geopolitical wrestling going on in the White House, they still felt compelled to be there.

“About a week before Netanyahu’s visit, committed Zionists began circulating emails asking who was going to be in Washington representing our viewpoint,” said New Yorker Hillary Markowitz of AMCHA, a grassroots organization started by Rabbi Avi Weiss, “and I realized I had to do it because no one else had yet committed.”

Markowitz obtained a permit for a pro-Israel vigil in Lafayette Park across from the White House, organized buses to take New York area supporters to and from Washington, and began an email blitz publicizing the vigil.

In just a few days people rearranged their lives to converge on Washington. In addition to more than two bus loads from New York, others came from up and down the east coast. There were Christian Zionist supporters who made the trip all the way from Orlando in order to inform the two statesmen of the importance of Israel’s safety and sanctity. The largest organizational contingent was from Chabad, which brought large signs and even larger voices.

Elliot Holtz, a Philadelphian who had never before traveled outside of his hometown to attend a political demonstration explained why he made this trip: “The critical importance of President Obama hearing the message of ‘no pressure on Israel for the sake of dialogging with Iran’ was worth my day.”

While the pro-Israel crowd numbered fewer than a thousand, “those present were actually better than if thousands had arrived because they were so highly motivated,” Laban Seyoum, an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian who was present, later told pro-Israel activist Jerry Gordon of Florida.

Unlike many other demonstrations about the Middle East, the supporters of Israel far outnumbered those who showed up to demonize Israel. Of course, a few Code Pink (gay rights extremists - think the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s analog to the civil rights movement) members came, hoping to attract attention with their street theater antics.

They were dressed as Israeli police officers — in pink, of course — with cardboard cutout machine guns and large displays representing the Israeli checkpoints. When told that in the Muslim Middle East homosexuality is strictly prohibited, the practice of which is punishable by death, the young woman blowing on her police whistle was incredulous. Her fall back position was to insist that Israelis kill gays. Confronted with the news that gay Arab Palestinians actually go to Tel Aviv in order to be openly gay without fear of murder, she simply walked away. They don’t let facts interfere with their rhetoric.

But it wasn’t only the ladies in pink who repeatedly demonstrated their ignorance of facts, and who refused to allow that to stand in the way of their gleeful demonization of Israel.

The shirt of one anti-Israel protester (left) read: “Got Human Rights? Palestinians don’t.” He refused to believe that Arab Palestinians have greater freedom of the press in Israel than in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories. This was surprising, given the man was wearing a press pass, showing him to be a member of the National Press Association.

One of the handful of other anti-Israel protesters proudly held a sign condemning “Israeli Apartheid.” When she was asked to give an example of Israeli apartheid, she shot back, “Palestinians aren’t allowed to vote in Israel.” When told that Arab Israelis serve on the Israeli Supreme Court and in the Israeli government, including the cabinet, she continued to insist that Israel is an apartheid state.

The vigil was a symbolic push for the US superpower to assist Israel in protecting itself from a nuclear Iran and from a terrorist state being carved out from within its own borders. Those who showed up to represent that view were satisfied that, even if Israel no longer has the kind of friend it needs in the White House, they showed that despite the glee on the Arab street, Israel still has its supporters on the American street.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus writes about the Middle East

The nerve of our government trying to protect us!!

Stop Protecting the Jihadists
Confidential informants like the one who brought down the would-be Bronx synagogue attackers have saved countless lives. So why are American Islamic organizations working to sabotage them?

by Steven Emerson 
May 22, 2009

Just when threats of terrorism had seemingly disappeared from the radar screen, Americans woke up Thursday morning to hear the news about four radical Muslims who plotted to bomb two synagogues in New York and shoot down a military plane using a Stinger missile. Fortunately, the FBI had infiltrated the plotters from the very beginning with a confidential informant who learned of the plan from an Afghan-born Muslim.

Prosecutors say the suspects obtained what they believed was a live Stinger missile and three improvised explosive devices with C-4 explosive. "While the weapons provided to the defendants by the cooperating witness were fake, the defendants thought they were absolutely real," said acting United States attorney Lev Dassin in a prepared statement.

Their intention was to punish America for killing Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The plotters identified two Jewish institutions in the Bronx to blow up using the C-4 plastic explosives and then planned on shooting down a military plane at a nearby military air base.

The virulent hatred for Jews was manifested in a statement made by the accused ringleader, James Cromitie. After lamenting that the "best target"—the World Trade Center—was no longer available, Cromitie spoke of killing Jews: "I hate those motherfuckers, those fucking Jewish bastards…I would like to [destroy] a synagogue."

As the plot developed and the would-be jihadists carried out surveillance, photographing synagogues and Jewish centers, the official FBI complaint released last night stated that "Cromitie pointed to people walking on the street in the vicinity of a Jewish Community Center and said if he had a gun, he would shoot each one in the head."

But Jews were not the only target. The complaint says the accused terrorists wanted to destroy American aircraft at a military base using missiles. According to the FBI document, would-be terrorist Onta Williams said the U.S. military "are killing brothers and sisters in Muslim countries so if we kill them here with IEDs and Stingers, it is equal."

There are several lessons that the U.S. government and public should finally learn from this plot.

The first is that the threat of home-grown terrorism is very real. The arrests come on the heels of convictions in a plot that targeted Fort Dix in New Jersey and one that sought to establish a jihadi training camp in Oregon.

All three cases ended without anyone being hurt—with the assistance of FBI informants. In Fort Dix, the defendants were arrested as they met with the informant to buy M-16 and AK-47 rifles to use in their planned attack.

As acting United States Attorney Ralph J. Marra Jr. said after the verdict: "The word should go out to any other would-be terrorists of the homegrown variety that the United States will find you, infiltrate your group, prosecute you and send you to a federal prison for a very long time."

In the training-camp case, the Seattle Times reported that "the government has relied significantly on information provided by James Ujaama, a Seattle man who lived in London for several years and became a confidant of radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, considered one of al Qaeda's leading supporters in western Europe.

And now, in the latest plot, the initial lead was developed by the confidential informant in a mosque in upstate New York. That's where the first conspirator confessed his desire last June to become a martyr against the United States.

Despite this record of success, protests and press conferences have been held by "mainstream" Islamic groups in California, Detroit, Chicago, and elsewhere during the past few months bitterly protesting the FBI's use of an informant in a California mosque. In that case, an FBI agent testified under oath thatAhmadullah Niazi had been trying to recruit jihadists and had disseminated al Qaeda and virulent and violent anti-American recordings. He allegedly exhorted the informant to carry out jihad, praised Osama bin Laden as an angel, and even promised to send the informant overseas to get terrorist training to carry out attacks here in the United States.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council have jumped on the informant's role, accusing the FBI of sending him out on a directionless fishing expedition. In interviews and press conferences, they promoted the lie that the FBI has been infiltrating mosques across the United States and actually radicalized the members and exhorted them to carry out jihad. Niazi, however, clearly was identified as the promoter of jihad and bin Laden by the FBI. He allegedly lied about his communication with his brother-in-law, who provided security to bin Laden.

After news of the Fort Dix arrests became public in 2007, with references to an informant's role, Niazi sought a restraining order against the informant monitoring him. The FBI agent, Thomas Ropel, testified that Niazi repeatedly lied to him about the informant's statements and actions. The approach to law enforcement was facilitated by CAIR officials, who have accepted all of Niazi's claims and passed them along to the media.

Well, I have news for these Islamist groups and the gullible mainstream media that is in their pockets: Scores of mosques have been linked to terrorist investigations, indictments, convictions, and deportations. In most of these cases, it was not the mosque leadership that pointed out the existence of potential terrorists among them. In return, confidential informants have been vilified as "snitches" by the mosque leadership. In one celebrated case, an informant helped bring down a Lodi, Calif., man who attended a jihad training camp, lied about it to the FBI, and plotted to "carry out acts of terrorism in the United States."

After this prosecution, MPAC chief Salam Al Marayati warned the FBI not to come through the "back door" and "spy" on mosque congregants, asserting that the FBI had to go through the front door; i.e., get formal permission before the FBI could ask questions. We can only wonder how far the Lodi plot would have advanced had law enforcement acquiesced.

Instead of being forthcoming about the radical presence in their mosques, Islamist activists urge mosque congregants to keep their mouths shut.

We should not be surprised to find new examples of radical ideology that continue to fester in the Islamist leadership—controlled largely by the Muslim Brotherhood or the Wahhabis in this country—and to instigate groups like the Fort Dix and other homegrown Islamic terrorists into carrying out planned violent attacks. What is surprising is that we have consistently refused to learn from experience that these jihadists need to be fully identified and condemned as radicals. And we have to recognize that the leadership of national Islamist organizations—the same ones who project their responsibility on us by falsely claiming we are carrying out a war against Islam—have consistently protected the jihadists.

How many examples does it take to show the threat is far more virulent than the self-anointed spokesmen at CAIR and MPAC claim?

Steve Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and author of five books on terrorism. His most recent book is Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S.