Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jerusalem Post: NGOs Demonize Israel for Hezbollah

Gerald Steinberg writes:
IN THIS battlefield of political warfare, a group of powerful NGOs play a central role, introducing and amplifying the demonization of Israeli self-defense.

New York-based Human Rights Watch issued eight statements on the Lebanon conflict between July 13 and July 24, of which only one focuses on criticism of Hizbullah.

HRW, which has been producing anti-Israel propaganda for many years (often providing a single exception as a fig leaf to mention in responses to critics), included a detailed "Q and A" report purporting to analyze violations of international law, primarily by Israel.

In a detailed article written by Dr. Avi Bell and published by NGO Monitor, HRW's analysis was shown to be based on "distorted views of the underlying facts, selective omission of crucial legal issues... [that] mislead readers and betray the bias of the piece."

HRW's campaign was joined by similar statements - some more balanced and honest than others - issued by Amnesty International, B'Tselem, Christian Aid, the International Commission of Jurists (based in Geneva), the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (based in Paris), Oxfam, Norwegian People's Aid, MIFTAH (run by Hanan Ashrawi), and others.

THESE NGO superpowers have immediate access to the media and politicians. HRW and Amnesty have annual budgets of tens of millions of dollars, of which more seems to be used for promotion than for actual research.

Enjoying what is know as the "halo effect," few if any journalists or diplomats bother to check the details, biases or credibility of NGO claims. When the details were examined by NGO Monitor's research staff, or Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University, the claims have often been shown to be false or unverifiable.

Bull Moose on the Israel-Hezbollah War

From The Bull Moose:
We have now arrived at the point in Israel's war of self defense against Hezbollah when world opinion is turning against the Jewish state. As the Moose expected, it was inevitable. It happens every time.

The bottom line is that world opinion will not be satisfied until Israel stops defending herself. This war is as just as Israel's fight for existence in '48 or '67 or '73. It is not about occupation. It is a fight against evil. It is as clear cut as WWII.

It truly boggles the mind that the world carps and complains that Israel is "disproportionate" in its war to defend itself. Israel was a nation at peace that was attacked by a terrorist organization that was given refuge in Lebanon and is part of the government. Israel has every right to eliminate that threat. Israel has the power to level Lebanon - and that would have been the fate of that suffering country during any other time in human history. Instead, Israel is risking the lives of her troops to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible.

Israel should be celebrated and applauded by the world for her actions. Instead, the world denounces the Jewish state.

The problem is that liberal civilization lacks the moral clarity that existed in the '40s. Now, all is relative. And the world is weary of this fight. But, once again, Jews have no choice.

Victor Davis Hanson: A Dictionary of the Israel-Hezbollah Conflict

VDH channels Ambrose Bierce in National Review Online:
“Civilians” in Lebanon have munitions in their basements and deliberately wish to draw fire; in Israel they are in bunkers to avoid it. Israel uses precision weapons to avoid hitting them; Hezbollah sends random missiles into Israel to ensure they are struck.

“Collateral damage” refers mostly to casualties among Hezbollah’s human shields; it can never be used to describe civilian deaths inside Israel, because everything there is by intent a target.

“Cycle of Violence” is used to denigrate those who are attacked, but are not supposed to win.

“Deliberate” reflects the accuracy of Israeli bombs hitting their targets; it never refers to Hezbollah rockets that are meant to destroy anything they can.

“Deplore” is usually evoked against Israel by those who themselves have slaughtered noncombatants or allowed them to perish — such as the Russians in Grozny, the Syrians in Hama, or the U.N. in Rwanda and Dafur.

“Disproportionate” means that the Hezbollah aggressors whose primitive rockets can’t kill very many Israeli civilians are losing, while the Israelis’ sophisticated response is deadly against the combatants themselves. See “excessive.”

Anytime you hear the adjective “excessive,” Hezbollah is losing. Anytime you don’t, it isn’t.

“Eyewitnesses” usually aren’t, and their testimony is cited only against Israel.

“Grave concern” is used by Europeans and Arabs who privately concede there is no future for Lebanon unless Hezbollah is destroyed — and it should preferably be done by the “Zionists” who can then be easily blamed for doing it.

“Innocent” often refers to Lebanese who aid the stockpiling of rockets or live next to those who do. It rarely refers to Israelis under attack.

The “militants” of Hezbollah don’t wear uniforms, and their prime targets are not those Israelis who do.

“Multinational,” as in “multinational force,” usually means “third-world mercenaries who sympathize with Hezbollah.” See “peacekeepers.”

Seattle Gunman Reportedly Won US Institute of Peace Essay Contest

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Those who knew Naveed Haq said Saturday that to them he was an enigma, a puzzle that they wish they could have solved before his deadly rampage in a Seattle Jewish center.

Stunned and saddened by the news, some of Haq's acquaintances recounted many of what they saw as the contradictions of his life.

He held a degree in electrical engineering and was the son of a successful engineer, yet he couldn't keep a regular job. He was smart, creative and skilled as a writer. He recently won an essay contest for a U.S. Institute of Peace scholarship.
I wonder what the US Institute for Peace has to say about this report?

Civilian Deaths in Perspective

After following the incredible atrocity propaganda campaign (it reminded me of British "Germans Raped Belgian Nuns" stories during World War I) waged by Hezbollah and its allies in the non-Fox media, I googled statistics on other wars, and found this study by Marc Herold analyzing significant civilian casualties in
America's Afghanistan campaign, NATO's Serbia campaign, and in Cambodia. Russia's Grozny campaign not included in study, but probably no better: ...And this site claims there have been over 39,000 civilian casualties so far in Iraq.

Ann Althouse on Woody Allen's Scoop

This is the most interesting review of the film that I've read, anywhere:
So I think this is Woody's elaborate meditation about sex, specifically about an old man's exclusion from sex. The scoop, which Splendini can't get, is the woman's vagina. (Dictionary definition of "scoop": "7. A hollow area; a cavity.") There are many more things I could talk about here, but I don't want to spoil the ending and I've gone on too long already.

Yoel Marcus: Israel Must Fight Harder, Faster

Yoel Marcus writes in Ha'aretz:
Until 1967, the State of Israel fought against neighbors who refused to recognize its existence. Since then, all the Islamic countries (with the exception of Iran) have stopped talking about the destruction of Israel. We have peace treaties with some of them, and some of the more sane ones even appreciate having us around.

The current war is being waged by fanatic Islamic organizations - President George Bush's axis of evil - whose declared aim is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. They are fighting us in the name of Allah, attacking civilian targets in Israel and Jewish targets overseas. In the same way that we have no answer to long-range ballistic missiles, we have no answer to the ideology that promotes Israel's destruction.

The trouble is that we are fighting with yesterday's weapons. Israel should have switched over long ago to another form of deterrence and retaliation. When Hezbollah kidnapped two soldiers on our border, using rocket fire as a diversion, Israel should have responded with a very powerful pinpointed strike. Instead, the chief of staff recommended a war best described as half tea, half coffee - bombing and besieging Lebanon in the hope that the world would intervene and create a demilitarized zone between us and Hezbollah. So far, the air raids and massive destruction that were meant to restore our power of deterrence have only done the opposite. No minister in the security cabinet, apart from Shimon Peres, has asked what Israel is planning to do in the last stage of the game.

A recent scenario has Israel agreeing to a cease-fire and a multinational force deployed between the Litani River and the international border. But Israel cannot go about its business and ignore the intolerable ease with which Hezbollah lobs missiles at innocent civilians - something that no Arab country at war with Israel has ever dared to do in all the years of its existence. It is unthinkable to walk away from the battlefield with the depressing sense that out of all the wars Israel has ever fought, only Hezbollah, a mere band of terrorists, was able to bombard the Israeli home front with thousands of missiles and get off scot-free.

Before any international agreement, Israel must sound the last chord, launching a massive air and ground offensive that will end this mortifying war, not with a whimper but with a thunderous roar.

Debka Analysis: International Community Hands Victory to Hezbollah

DEBKAfile notes: France has a highly-developed relationship with Hizballah. French diplomats in Beirut have maintained contacts with Hizballah leaders close to Hassan Nasrallah in the last two week of fighting. In 2004, President Jacques Chirac invited Nasrallah to a conference of Francophone Arab leaders. They shook hands and the Hizballah leader was seated beside the French president at the top table. France may well have obtained prior Hizballah consent to its draft.
In Jerusalem, Rice was assigned with clinching Israeli concessions, which reportedly include:
1. Release of Lebanese prisoner in return for Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. The argument is still ahead on the exact definition of “Lebanese prisoners.” defined.
2. Withdrawal of Israeli positions from the Shebaa Farms and the Mt. Hermon and Mt. Dov slopes and passes for the handover of these strategic points to the multinational force. This would give Nasrallah, who has been fighting to achieve this end for six years, his greatest triumph and give Syria and the Palestinians an object lesson on the application of brute force to obtain results.
3. Israel no longer presses for the disarming of Hizballah. That too is left to the “international community.”
In other words, just as Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert handed over the Gaza-Egyptian border terminals to a European unit in 2005 to expedite the pull-out from the Gaza Strip, so too is Olmert again entrusting to a foreign force the Israel-Lebanese border and the security of northern Israel - with the Shebaa Farms thrown in as an extra. This result lets Nasrallah come out on top after provoking a full-scale war and provides a boost for all the forces of fundamentalist Islamic terror waging war on the West. It is also the outcome of the Israeli army’s unfortunate failure to break the back of Hizballah in 18 days of combat.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Andrew McCarthy: Seattle Attack is Terrorism

Read it here. (ht lgf)

Debbie Schlussel: Inside Hezbollah's American Support Group

Debbi Schlussel reports on Hezbollah's American supporters
in Dearborn, Michigan:
Sunday was a busy day.

First, I watched Michigan FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel Roberts chase after Hezbollah terrorists on the elliptical machine at a swanky suburban Detroit gym.

Then, I did the work he and his agents should be doing. But aren't. (Don't believe claims by Roberts and paunchy FBI sidekick, William Kowalski, that they are "monitoring" Hezbollah.) I headed to the Bint Jebail Cultural Center in the heart of Islamic America--Dearborn, Michigan. More on that club--a hangout for thousands of Hezbollah supporters on our shores--later.

Tony Blair Explains Worldwide Struggle Against Islamist Extremism

At the White House, with George W. Bush, yesterday:
PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: I don't think, actually, it's anything to do with a loss of American influence at all. I think -- we've got to go back and ask what changed policy, because policy has changed in the past few years. And what changed policy was September the 11th. That changed policy, but actually, before September the 11th this global movement with a global ideology was already in being. September the 11th was the culmination of what they wanted to do. But, actually -- and this is probably where the policymakers, such as myself, were truly in error -- is that even before September the 11th, this was happening in all sorts of different ways in different countries.

I mean, in Algeria, for example, tens and tens of thousands of people lost their lives. This movement has grown, it is there, it will latch on to any cause that it possibly can and give it a dimension of terrorism and hatred. You can see this. You can see it in Kashmir, for example. You can see it in Chechnya. You can see it in Palestine.

Now, what is its purpose? Its purpose is to promote its ideology based upon the perversion of Islam, and to use any methods at all, but particularly terrorism, to do that, because they know that the value of terrorism to them is -- as I was saying a moment or two ago, it's not simply the act of terror, it's the chain reaction that terror brings with it. Terrorism brings the reprisal; the reprisal brings the additional hatred; the additional hatred breeds the additional terrorism, and so on. But in a small way, we lived through that in Northern Ireland over many, many decades.

Now, what happened after September the 11th -- and this explains, I think, the President's policy, but also the reason why I have taken the view, and still take the view that Britain and America should remain strong allies, shoulder-to-shoulder in fighting this battle, is that we are never going to succeed unless we understand they are going to fight hard. The reason why they are doing what they're doing in Iraq at the moment -- and, yes, it's really tough as a result of it -- is because they know that if, right in the center of the Middle East, in an Arab, Muslim country, you've got a non-sectarian democracy, in other words people weren't governed either by religious fanatics or secular dictators, you've got a genuine democracy of the people, how does their ideology flourish in such circumstances?

So they have imported the terrorism into that country, preyed on whatever reactionary elements there are to boost it. And that's why we have the issue there; that's why the Taliban are trying to come back in Afghanistan. That is why, the moment it looked as if you could get progress in Israel and Palestine, it had to be stopped. That's the moment when, as they saw there was a problem in Gaza, so they realized, well, there's a possibility now we can set Lebanon against Israel.

Now, it's a global movement, it's a global ideology. And if there's any mistake that's ever made in these circumstances, it's if people are surprised that it's tough to fight, because you're up against an ideology that's prepared to use any means at all, including killing any number of wholly innocent people.

And I don't dispute part of the implication of your question at all, in the sense that you look at what is happening in the Middle East and what is happening in Iraq and Lebanon and Palestine, and, of course, there's a sense of shock and frustration and anger at what is happening, and grief at the loss of innocent lives. But it is not a reason for walking away. It's a reason for staying the course, and staying it no matter how tough it is, because the alternative is actually letting this ideology grip a larger and larger number of people.

And it is going to be difficult. Look, we've got a problem even in our own Muslim communities in Europe, who will half-buy into some of the propaganda that's pushed at it -- the purpose of America is to suppress Islam, Britain has joined with America in the suppression of Islam. And one of the things we've got to stop doing is stop apologizing for our own positions. Muslims in America, as far as I'm aware of, are free to worship; Muslims in Britain are free to worship. We are plural societies.

It's nonsense, the propaganda is nonsense. And we're not going to defeat this ideology until we in the West go out with sufficient confidence in our own position and say, this is wrong. It's not just wrong in its methods, it's wrong in its ideas, it's wrong in its ideology, it's wrong in every single wretched reactionary thing about it. And it will be a long struggle, I'm afraid. But there's no alternative but to stay the course with it. And we will.

Naveed Afzal Haq Arrested in Seattle Jewish Federation Attack

From the Seattle Times
A Muslim man angry with Israel barged into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle Friday afternoon and opened fire with a handgun, killing one woman and wounding five others before surrendering to police.

Three of the women were in critical condition late Friday.

A law-enforcement source identified the arrested suspect as Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, who until recently had lived in Everett, and said Haq apparently has a history of mental illness.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Dr. Harvey Sicherman Explains Israel's Lebanon War

Listen in to an mp3 podcast of a telephone conference call seminar, in which the former aide to 3 US Secretaries of State (Haig, Schulz, Baker), who heads the Foreign Policy Research Institute of Philadelphia, explains the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in the context of confrontation with Iran.

Dick Morris on Anti-Israel Democrats

Here's an interesting Dick Morris column on the domestic political fallout from Israel's Lebanon War (ht Belmont Club via Roger L Simon):
Clinton’s willingness to use American power to force a cease-fire on Israel before it had fully eradicated Hezbollah stands in stark and sharp contrast to George Bush’s insistence on letting Israel proceed with its attacks until the terrorist group is neutralized.

In a nutshell, this illustrates the difference between the Democratic and Republican approaches to Israeli security.

Bush and his administration clearly see the Israeli attack as an opportunity to clean out terrorist cells that have come to be pivotal in Lebanon. With Hezbollah’s power extending into the cabinet in Beirut, it is clear that Israeli military action is necessary to forestall the creation of a terrorist state on its northern border.

While Clinton said he embraced the need for Israeli security, when the going got rough, he bowed to world opinion and called for a cease-fire. When the United States asks Israel to stop fighting, it is like a boxer’s manager throwing in the towel. The bottom line is that true friends of Israel cannot afford to let the Democrats take power in Washington.

What Arabs are Watching on TV

Calling Karen Hughes...(btw, anyone seen her lately?)

Thanks to a tip from Andrew Sullivan, we can all see this typical Egyptian music video, containing the widespread black propaganda message that the US & Israel are two sides of the same coin--who blew up the World Trade Center...

Protester Confirms John Bolton

Just watched the video of the protester being taken out from the John Bolton Senate confirmation hearing, here.

After that embarrassing outburst, no message from the protester at all other than she doesn't like him, I'd say the Senate has to confirm him. But, I've been wrong before...

An Interesting Photo from the Archives

This picture of the Hezbollah leader in Lebanon meeting with the UN Secretary General is from Michelle Malkin)

Mark Steyn Reviews Londonistan

Mark Steyn likes this book:
One final thought: Miss Phillips is one of Britain's best-known newspaper columnists. She appears constantly on national TV and radio. No publisher has lost money on her. Yet Londonistan wound up being published first in New York, and its subsequent appearance in Britain is thanks not to Little, Brown (who published her last big book) but to a small independent imprint called Gibson Square. I don't know Miss Phillips's agent, but it's hard not to suspect that glamorous literary London decided it would prefer to keep a safe distance from this incendiary subject.

That's how nations die -- not by war or conquest, but by a thousand trivial concessions, until one day you wake up and you don't need to sign a formal instrument of surrender because you did it piecemeal.

Israeli War Blogs


Raymond Lloyd: An Atlantic Rim Partnership

I recently received this interesting proposal from Raymond Lloyd, of Britain's Council for Parity Democracy for an "Atlantic Rim Partnership":
An Atlantic Rim Partnership
first circulated at NATO Summit Madrid 1997 updated 10 July 2006 @ Raymond Lloyd

The end of the Cold War, and its hot war proxies, has loosened up such trading and security blocs as the OECD and NATO, but without always creating the new alliances necessary to meet the challenges of the new century. One particular challenge is that of finding a partnership with the new democracies of Africa, independent of the Lome and other European aid conventions, which grouped together all former colonies, however repressive their regimes. A new beginning might be made with an Atlantic Rim Partnership, drawing from the trading experience of the Pacific Rim and Indian Ocean Rim alliances, but now based also on shared democratic, and even religious and cultural, ideals. Indeed, with the coming bicentenary in March 2007 of Britain’s abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, there is also a moral challenge to assist those countries whose human resources were pillaged by the Western democracies, and whose descendants in both hemispheres were too often left in economic, social and political stagnation.

For over three centuries, from the early 1500s to the mid 1800s, the Atlantic Rim constituted the world's most important trading bloc, with metals and textiles going to Atlantic Africa, human cargoes being transported to the plantations of the Atlantic Americas - 15 million slaves alive, 3 million dead - and sugar, rice, coffee, tobacco and cotton coming to Atlantic Europe. For a critical period in the mid twentieth century the Atlantic also formed the oceanic lifeline of European democracy, with many troops coming also from Brazil and South Africa, the West Indies and the African colonies, to fight for Europe's freedom.

Thus, while the NATO focus is on Central and Eastern Europe, to make up for our standing by during the repressions in 1956 of Hungary, 1968 of Czechoslovakia, and 1981 of Poland, our duty should not be forgotten toward those who, between 1939 and 1945, volunteered to fight for freedom, despite their having a much poorer educational base on which to reconstruct their postwar, postcolonial world. In 1816, 1823 and 1831 it had been the British who savagely repressed their fellow Christians seeking freedom in Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica. And, with all the current concern for child labour, it was the British who put slave girls to work at age six.

The whole rich North Atlantic should now develop a free trade area with the new democracies of Africa, and with the black and aboriginal peoples of the Americas, and offer security arrangements, such as partnership-for-peace programs, to help protect their freedoms. In the last few years we have seen how fragile have been would-be democracies in the Congo and Gambia, in Haiti and Venezuela. Too often our reaction, where not one of indifference, has been of an adhoc curative nature, rather than a longterm constructive approach. The situation has been particularly tragic in Sierra Leone, created as a slave rehabilitation state, along with Liberia, whose 150th anniversary as an independent republic we remembered in 1997.

The first country to abolish the Atlantic slave trade was Denmark, by decree on 16 May 1792 and fully effective by 16 May 1802. Britain, after transporting 2.8 million blacks, abolished the slave trade on 25 March 1807, and slavery itself throughout the Empire in 1838. The movement continued for at least another fifty years, till Brazil, the recipient of 4.2 million Africans, abolished slavery in 1888. But the involvement of most of the great European powers is evidenced by the fact that Dutch, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese (though no longer Danish and Swedish) are all official languages on the Atlantic coasts of both Africa and the Americas. Slaves were also traded from non-Atlantic East Africa, by Arabs and Persians, but in nothing like the same numbers. And, while no reparations can be expected from the Middle East before it becomes democratic, it is also true that Islam absorbed the blacks more fraternally than most Christians, or Protestants, as the faces of many current Gulf rulers show.

Several Atlantic cities, from Nantes to Liverpool to Charleston, have held exhibitions or created museums dedicated to an erstwhile prosperity based on the slave trade, and there is a growing movement for black reparations. In June 1997 the US President pondered publicly on making an apology for slavery, but offered no restitution comparable to the $20 000 per person paid to all Japanese Americans sent to concentration camps during World War II, or the $60 billion paid by Germany to compensate for the nazi holocaust.

- 2 -

In the 30 June 1997 issue of Time magazine, it was calculated by Jack E White, the grandson of a slave, that the 244 years of unpaid labour between 1619 and 1863 by ten million slaves, at 25 cents a day, doubled for pain and suffering, would come to $444 billion which, compounded at 3% interest over the 134 years since emancipation, would amount to some $24 000 000 000 000 ! In the 1830s, of course, it was the slave-owners who received £20 million compensation from the British Parliament, not the slaves.

In recent years, as long as African dictators bought golden bedsteads or crowned themselves emperor, and as long as an apartheid South Africa tracked the soviet navy, we could postpone our moral debt to the African people. But just as, in the nineteenth century, abolition went hand in hand with the extension of the franchise within a country, so now, with the beginnings of democracy in Atlantic Africa, we will realize that political rights and civil liberties are interdependent with the prosperity and security of all free peoples. Also, Africans are now articulating their own responsibility for the slave trade as in the 2000 epic film Andanggaman, by Ivory Coast director Roger Gnoan M’Bala. Here I have drawn up a list of some 84 states and territories which, when democracies, would be eligible to become members or associate members of an Atlantic Rim Democratic & Economic Partnership:

Possible Members of an Atlantic Rim Partnership
as rated for Political Rights (PR) and Civil Liberties (CL) in 2005-2006 by Freedom House of New York
Where 1 represents the highest degree of freedom and 7 the lowest
* inland countries dependent on Atlantic outlets

NATO Democracies PR CL African Democracies PR CL Caricom Democracies PR CL

Belgium 1 1 Benin 2 2 Antigua & Barbuda 2 2
Canada 1 1 *Botswana 2 2 Bahamas 1 1
Denmark 1 1 Cape Verde 1 1 Barbados 1 1
France 1 1 *Central African Rep 5 4 Belize 1 2
Germany 1 1 Ghana 1 2 Dominica 1 1
Iceland 1 1 Guinea Bissau 3 4 Grenada 1 2
Italy 1 1 Madagascar 3 3 Guyana 2 2
Luxembourg 1 1 *Mali 2 2 Jamaica 2 3
Netherlands 1 1 Mozambique 3 4 St Kitts Nevis 1 1
Aruba 1 2 Namibia 2 2 Saint Lucia 1 1
Neths Antilles 2 1 *Niger 3 3 St Vincent 2 1
Norway 1 1 Nigeria 4 4 Suriname 2 2
Portugal 1 1 Sao Tome & Principe 2 2 Trinidad & Tobago 3 2
Spain 1 1 Senegal 2 3
United Kingdom 1 1 South Africa 1 2 OAS Atlantic Democracies
Anguilla 2 1
Bermuda 1 1 Other AU Atlantic Members Argentina 2 2
Br Virgin Islands 1 1 Brazil 2 2
Caymans 2 1 Angola 6 5 Colombia 3 3
Falklands 2 1 *Burkina Faso 5 3 Costa Rica 1 1
Montserrat 1 1 Cameroon 6 6 Dominican Republic 2 2
St Helena 2 1 Congo Brazzaville 5 5 Guatemala 4 4
Turks & Caicos 1 1 Congo Dem Rep 6 6 Haiti 7 6
United States 1 1 Cote d'Ivoire 6 6 Honduras 3 3
Puerto Rico 1 2 Equatorial Guinea 7 6 Mexico 2 2
Gabon 6 4 Nicaragua 3 3
Other EU Atlantic Gambia 5 4 Panama 1 2
Guinea 6 5 *Paraguay 3 3
Ireland 1 1 Liberia 4 4 Uruguay 1 1
Sweden 1 1 Mauritania 6 4 Venezuela 4 4
Morocco 5 4
Sierra Leone 4 3 Other Slave Recipients
Togo 6 5 Cuba 7 7

Because of its potential size, the Partnership could have as its nucleus a new Group of Five, comprising the most populous Atlantic democracies or democratic groupings, namely Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States and the European Union, supported by a rotating council of two or three members from each of the Partnership's four quarters: Africa, Caribbean, Europe and Latin America.

More immediately, we now need statespersons who will take up the challenge of a new Atlantic Rim Partnership, just as sixty years ago the challenge of the European Recovery Program was recognized by President Truman and Secretary of State George Marshall. Good opportunities to launch such a Partnership will , as stated above, occur on 25 March 2007, the 200th anniversary of the British parliament abolishing the transatlantic slave trade, and for which the UK Treasury has already announced a £2 (200 pence) coin; and 12 February 2009, the bicentenary of the birth of the Emancipator-President Abraham Lincoln.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Andrew McCarthy: Israel's War Is Our War...

Writing in National Review, McCarthy takes Tony Snow to task, for saying this is not America's war:
Jihadists of both Shiite and Sunni stripes executed acts of war. The acts were unambiguous, but just in case we hadn’t gotten the point, they told us, again and again: This was a war, America was the principal enemy, and the jihadists were playing for keeps. Then, as now, we refused to listen.

By 1990, Hezbollah was already the vanguard of the jihad that united competing Muslim sects against America. Railing back then at a Danish rally, Omar Abdel Rahman, an infamous Sunni Egyptian cleric better known as the “Blind Sheikh,” invoked Shiite Hezbollah’s 1983 suicide bombing that killed 241 U.S. Marines: “If there are Muslim battalions to do five or six operations to the Americans in surprise attacks like the one that was done against them in Lebanon, the Americans would have exited [the Persian Gulf] and gathered their armies and gone back by air and sea … to their country.” Abdel Rahman later instructed his American acolytes that the Koran had “ordered” them to be “terrorists,” and that “every conspiracy against Islam and scheming against Islam and the Muslims — its source is America.” They responded by bombing the World Trade Center and failing in an even more ambitious plan to attack various New York City landmarks.

Equally devoid of nuance was Abdel Rahman’s confederate, Osama bin Laden. As is well-known, he is the Saudi leader of al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has been schooled for years by Hezbollah, pursuant to an understanding bin Laden struck with Iran in the 1990s — a fact that is not very well-known and certainly not much spoken of by the Bush administration these days. In 1996 — the same year his al Qaeda appears to have combined with Hezbollah and Iran to murder 19 members of the American air force in the Khobar Towers bombing — bin Laden issued his “Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques,” urging Muslims to pool their resources, the better to kill Americans.

Abdel Rahman, serving a life sentence by then, was still issuing fatwas against the United States, decreeing that “Muslims everywhere [should] dismember their nation, tear them apart, ruin their economy, provoke their corporations, destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, . . . shoot down their planes, [and] kill them on land, at sea, and in the air. Kill them wherever you find them.” Bin Laden plainly agreed, proclaiming in 1998 that Muslims were obliged to kill Americans — soldiers or civilians — wherever in the world they could be found.

We’re Not Listening
But we didn’t listen to them. In the comfort of our over-confidence, we blinkered reality. We deluded ourselves into believing that clever words and feints at action could massage a fierce, incorrigible enemy into something less than it was — a nuisance, a crime, or a lamentably unavoidable cost of doing diplomatic business-as-usual.

The litany of failure writ by this approach, much of which well predated the Clinton administration, is grimly familiar: Iran’s storming of the American embassy and sneering seizure of the hostages; the Marine barracks bombing; Hezbollah’s bombings of the U.S. embassy in Lebanon; Hezbollah’s kidnap/torture murders of government officials; Somalia and “Black Hawk Down”; the World Trade Center bombing; the “Bojenka” scheme to blow U.S. airliners out of the sky; Iran and Hezbollah’s pact with al Qaeda; the Khobar bombing; the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; the Millennium plot against Los Angeles International Airport; the Cole bombing; 9/11; Iran’s determined nuclear-weapons program; Iran’s harboring of al Qaeda fighters fleeing from U.S. forces in Afghanistan; Iran’s arming of anti-American insurgents in southern Iraq; Iran and Hezbollah’s cultivation of Moqtada al-Sadr, the thug whose Mahdi Army continues to fight American forces even as the Democracy Project transforms him into a political power broker. (Under the Bush Doctrine, he’d have been a casualty).

And now we can add Sadr’s determination to send fighters to Lebanon to join with Hezbollah against America’s ally, Israel. Sadr is doing that because he knows there’s a war on. Not a skirmish between Hezbollah and Israel, but a war pitting Islamic militants against America and our allies. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, desperate to support the new Lebanese “democracy” (in which hallucination Hezbollah appears as a political party, not an implacable terrorist organization), suggests that a “buffer” of NATO troops might be the peaceful solution — a first step toward Hezbollah’s disarming and eventual conversion to civilized politics.

… Except that no one in NATO — including the United States — wants to contribute its troops to the buffer because each knows that would inevitably mean fighting Hezbollah. (Indeed, Germany, the most receptive to the buffer idea, will join only if Hezbollah agrees to the arrangement!) As NATO well knows, Hezbollah has no intention of disarming. It has no interest in either democracy as a system or Lebanon as a country independent from the so-called “Muslim umma.” Hezbollah is fighting for what it sees as the single, worldwide Muslim nation. If it put down its weapons it would no longer be Hezbollah. It would no longer be of any use to its masters in Iran. Hezbollah looks out at Israel and sees America. The enemy. In a war.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s how Hezbollah’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, put it with admirable bluntness in early 2005: “We consider [the United States] to be an enemy because it wants to humiliate our governments, our regimes, and our peoples. Because it is the greatest plunderer of our treasures, our oil, and our resources.... This American administration is our enemy. Our motto, which we are not afraid to repeat year after year, is: ‘Death to America!’”

We’re not listening. Not our war.

The critics roll their eyes at the “hawks.” They point toward the disintegration in Iraq and snicker, “So, now you want another war?” But it’s not “another” war; it’s the same war. And it’s not, for most of us, about testing the syncretic limits of democratic acculturation. It’s about defeating the enemy who started this, who can’t be reasoned with, and who will be content with nothing less than our demise. His war is here. We can hide from it, but it has an ugly way of finding us.

Melanie Phillips: America Must Act Stronger

Israpundit tipped us off to this article by British journalist Melanie Phillips:
It is far from certain that Israel will get the better of Hezbollah in Lebanon – at least, not before the fickle world stops it on the basis that it is not performing a miracle by eradicating an army which has deliberately dug in within a civilian population without harming that population. Israel may well have to send ground troops into Lebanon, where it will surely be met with savagery, including the weapon of the human bomb.

Even if it were to destroy Hezbollah, however, this is not the head of the snake. That lies in Syria and Iran. Only if those regimes are toppled will the fight-back against evil have any chance of success. The fear that worse may follow is a recipe for pre-emptive surrender — not just by Israel, but by the free world on whose behalf Israel is currently fighting. And it is this attitude which is why we are currently losing the war against Islamic fascism — as David Selbourne writes in a fine piece in the Spectator. The real problem is America. Far from being too gung-ho, it has flinched from what needs to be done. Its failure to hold Iran and Syria to account explains in large measure why it is in such a mess in Iraq — precisely where Iran wants it to be. These terrible events now unfolding in the Middle East have been caused by Iran and Syria —but it is America’s lack of steadfastness, courage and strategic vision over many years which have allowed this crisis to unfold.
BTW, Israpunding highlighted this post from Phillips' blog about the UN and Hezbollah:
Retired Canadian General Lew MacKenzie — who is speaking in Toronto tonight at a Stand with Israel rally — was interviewed on CBC Toronto radio this a.m.

He told the show’s anchor that he had received an e-mail only days before from the dead Canadian observor who was a member of his former battalion. MacKenzie says that the message indicated in effect that the UN position was being used as cover by Hezbollah, who, MacKenzie explained, can do so quite freely as they are not members of the UN and not subject, therefore, to official condemnation. MacKenzie further took issue with the misleading reportage (citing CNN in particular) that suggests that Beirut is being bombarded by the IDF and that the city is in ruins. He said that the bombing is no where near the saturation levels that constitute a bombardment and the IAF have specifically targetted a twelve-block area that is, more-or-less, Hezbollah City, and only after dropping leaflets warning civilians to vacate well in advance of the planned airstrikes.

Konstantin's Russian Blog on a Pro-Terrorist Boston Globe

Konstantin explains why the Boston Globe, in its coverage of Chechnya warlord-terrorist Shamil Basayev's death, has been objectively pro-terrorist:
During this “tragically brief era of moderation” Chechnya was run by cave-age Sharia laws, there were at least two open slave markets, trading hostages became the biggest Chechnya industry, the country was ruled by warlords and Islamists. In fact the “moderation” was so high that every human rights organization or NGO left Chechnya for security reasons. They all came back in 1999 when the second war started. Under protection of Russian arms human rights defenders started doing what? Right – documenting Russian soldiers’ crimes that protected them from freedom-loving Chechnya gunmen. Not a single Western NGO in Chechnya did publish a single report on slave trading or hostage taking.

By 1999, when Basayev led a disastrous raid into neighboring Dagestan -- which Russia seized upon as the rationale for its second invasion of Chechnya -- Basayev had grown a long beard, come under the influence of the rabid Arab Islamist known as Ibn al-Khattab, and plunged into the terrorist maelstrom of beheadings, kidnappings, and hostage-taking.

The Boston Globe editor lies here – Basayev invaded Dagestan already with Khattab, already with a long beard and “the maelstrom of beheadings, kidnappings, and hostage-taking” started long before the invasion. When we cannot tell what is the cause and what is the effect, we would hardly understand the bin Laden syndrome.

Daniel Pipes: An Anti-Hezbollah Coalition

From (ht IsraPundit):
The current round of hostilities between Israel and its enemies differs from prior ones in that it's not an Arab-Israeli war, but one that pits Iran and its Islamist proxies, Hamas and Hizbullah, against Israel.

This points, first, to the increasing power of radical Islam. When Israeli forces last confronted, on this scale, a terrorist group in Lebanon in 1982, they fought the Palestine Liberation Organization, a nationalist-leftist organization backed by the Soviet Union and the Arab states. Now, Hizbullah seeks to apply Islamic law and to eliminate Israel through jihad, with the Islamic Republic of Iran looming in the background, feverishly building nuclear weapons.

Non-Islamist Arabs and Muslims find themselves sidelined. Fear of Islamist advances – whether subversion in their own countries or aggression from Tehran – finds them facing roughly the same demons as does Israel. As a result, their reflexive anti-Zionist response has been held in check. However fleetingly, what The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh calls "an anti-Hizbullah coalition," one implicitly favorable to Israel, has come into existence.

Kasparov v. Cohen on the Future of Russia

Last night's Charlie Rose Show provided a welcome relief from the Lebanon war, the diverting topic of "The Future of Russia." Gary Kasparov faced off against Professor Stephen Cohen, who I believe is married to Katrina vanden Heuvel, millionaire oligarch of The Nation magazine. Charlie Rose, as usual, was completely out of his depth and didn't appear to know what anyone was talking about. But the Kasparov-Cohen faceoff was instructive. I actually came to like Kasparov, when he got sick and tired of Cohen's condescending attitude and snapped at him not to tell him what to do. Real Russian pride--just like the Russians I met in Moxcow, Kasparov didn't want to be bossed around, especially by an American. Good for Kasparov!

Let Russia be Russia...

I've printed some criticism of Kasparov on this page, but his backbone versus Cohen makes me think that he might actually be able to pull something off. And if not, he's still very good on TV. Next time, I hope Charlie Rose lets him appear solo.

You can watch the video here.

JTA Video News From Israel

Here's a link to the website of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

IsraPundit: 1948 Redux

From a Letter from a European Friend:
Israel is back where it started in 1948. Peace is impossible and negotiations lead to nowhere. What is left is only the use of force. But this is not without problems either. Israel is expected to fight without killing and this is clearly not possible. Muslim fundamentalists are simply not impressed by blowing up empty buildings. Neither do they care if their activities ruin the country from which they operate. Anyway they get their money from Iran. Basically Israel will need to kill a lot of Hezbollah terrorists in order to win this conflict, but the West will not allow this. Doing nothing would surely have been fatal, but this counter offensive in Lebanon could be very risky indeed. If Israel cannot, or is not allowed to, break Hezbollah then the North of Israel, including Haifa, might suffer missile attacks for a long time to come. I am sure that terrorists in the West-Bank are taking notice as well. Israel might very soon be confronted with a situation where missiles strike anywhere in the country at anytime.

Rabbi Aron Moss on Proportionality in War

From Arutz Sheva:
Q: Isn't Israel's response a bit disproportionate?

A: If Israel were merely taking revenge, then it would need to be proportionate. But Israel is waging a defensive war. Since when is war proportionate? In war, you don't measure your response to the enemy by what they have done to you in the past, but rather by what needs to be done to stop them attacking in the future. Israel's actions are proportionate to the threat, not to the damage done.

Q: Doesn't Israel understand that they are just creating more terrorists? The anger and fury at Israel as a result of bombing Lebanon will only make more people want to join Hizbullah.

A: Feelings of frustration, anger, fear and rage do not make you into a terrorist. A culture of death and an education of hate does. Israel doesn't need to do anything to create terrorists - Islamic extremism does that - but Israel must act to destroy those who threaten its people.

Q: Hizbullah indeed has a militant wing, but it also does a lot of good. They are responsible for social programs, educational projects and humanitarian work in South Lebanon. By destroying Hizbullah, Israel also destroys all the good they do. Isn't that demonising a group that is not all bad?

A: If a serial killer also happens to volunteer for his local hospital, has donated money to an orphanage, and looks after his ailing grandmother, he is still a serial killer, and should be treated as such. The danger he poses far outweighs the concern for any good he may do.

Q: By using violence, how is Israel any better than its terrorist enemies?

A: That is as ridiculous as saying that a woman who fights off an attacker is no better than her attacker. Israel would not touch Hizbullah if it did not attack. Israel seeks to live in peace with its neighbours; Hizbullah and its allies seek to destroy Israel, no matter what Israel does.

Look at the Hizbullah flag. It depicts a rifle lifted in the air. Violence is a part of its very identity. On the other hand, the very name of the Israeli army defines its purpose: the Israel Defense Forces. Its flag depicts an olive branch and a sword: peace is a priority; war is a last resort.

For Hizbullah, war is holy. For Israel, war can never be holy. War may be necessary, like when your citizens are being attacked unprovoked. War may be moral, like when innocent lives are being threatened; but even then, war is never holy.

There is a world of difference between a moral war and a holy war. A moral soldier fights reluctantly, while holy warriors glory in the fight. A moral soldier is burdened by the obligation, while holy warriors delight in the pain inflicted on the enemy. A moral soldier fights when there is no other option; a holy warrior seeks violence as a way of life. A moral soldier takes measures to limit innocent casualties; a holy warrior seeks to maximise them.

A holy warrior fears times of peace, because then he has no purpose. A moral soldier dreams of a time when peace will reign. Then, the Israel Defense Forces will be made joyously redundant, as "one nation will not lift a sword against another nation, and they will no longer learn to wage war."

Israel's Actions are Legal

In today's Washington Post--a paper whose news coverage of the war has quickly deteriorated from bad to worse--there is a quite reasonable defense brief for Israel's actions under international law, written by attorneys David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey:
Israel's conduct has been fully compliant with the applicable norms of international law.

The primary claim by Israel's critics is that it used force disproportionately in response to Hezbollah's initial attack against Israeli soldiers, eight of whom were killed and two captured. The underlying assumption appears to be that Israel should have treated these provocations as terrorist acts and limited its response accordingly, rather than as justifications for a full-scale attack on Lebanese territory.

But in determining the existence of a legitimate casus belli , a state is entitled to consider the entire context of the threat it faces. Hezbollah is not simply a terrorist gang, like Germany's Baader-Meinhof or Italy's Red Brigades. It is a substantial political and military organization that has more than 12,000 short- and medium-range rockets and that has operated freely on Lebanese territory for many years, periodically launching attacks against Israel. Its stated goal is Israel's destruction, and it is the client of a major regional power -- Iran -- whose government appears dedicated to the same goal.

Moreover, although international law requires a state to have a lawful reason to use force -- such as self-defense -- it does not mandate that a state limit its military response to "tit for tat" actions. Once a country has suffered an armed attack, it is entitled to identify the source of that attack and to eliminate its adversary's ability to attack again. Its actions must be consistent with otherwise applicable international norms, but it is not required to accept a limited conflict that fails to meet and resolve the danger it faces.

That Lebanon has suffered from Israel's actions does not change the legal rules involved. No state has the right to permit a foreign military force to use its territory to launch attacks against another country. Indeed, every country has an obligation to control its own territory. Lebanon's failure (or refusal) to expel Hezbollah would in and of itself have been a legitimate cause for Israeli military action. It was the Taliban's sheltering of al-Qaeda that was the basis of the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in 2001. And, although the current Lebanese government is certainly more democratic than the feudalistic Taliban, democratic credentials cannot insulate a state from responsibility for controlling its territory.

The specific aspects of Israel's military operations in Lebanon and Gaza have also been condemned as being disproportionate and as thereby violating the laws of war. Although there is some grim humor in the spectacle of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose troops have ravaged Chechnya, criticizing Israel for a "disproportionate" use of force, the claims -- including dark warnings from Louise Arbour, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, about "war crimes" liability for Israel's leaders -- are without merit.
If the authors are right, and I believe they are, then it certainly is time for Louise Arbour to go...

NATO's "Disproportionate" Bombing of Serbia

Among others at the time, the World Socialist Website condmned NATO for "disproportionate" attacks on Serbia in 2000:
Human rights advocates accuse NATO of deliberately bombing Serbia's civil infrastructure. The executive director of the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kenneth Roth, said the targets chosen by NATO were "disproportionate and should be found violations of international humanitarian law".

HRW is drawing up a detailed report that will be submitted to the war crimes tribunal at The Hague. Among the examples of targeting violations it will cite are electricity grids, oil refineries and radio and television stations.

The report is also expected to attack the use of cluster bombs by US and British aircraft. At least 5 percent of these bombs failed to explode on impact, and many lie unexploded in Kosovo, where HRW say they are still killing or maiming two civilians a day.

HRW place the number of civilian Serbs killed by NATO bombing at around 600, and Belgrade claims the figure is as high as 2,000. The charges being brought forward against NATO by HRW and others serve to unravel the tissue of lies assembled in Washington, London and Brussels to justify the bombardment of an innocent population.

Russia's "Disproportionate" Chechnya Campaign

From the BBC's December, 1999 report:
NATO has condemned Russia's military campaign in Chechnya, saying that disproportionate and indiscriminate force was being used against civilians.

The RAF's "Disproportionate" Bombing of Iraq

Anti-war websites also called Western military action in Iraq "disproportionate." For example, this Common Dreams post condemns Britian's Royal Air Force bombing of Iraq :
Ministers were last night asked to explain the circumstances in which the RAF participated in a spectacular increase in bombing raids on Iraq in apparent defiance of Foreign Office legal advice.

"It did not take very much to work out that the increase in bombing bore no relation to the protection of Iraqi citizens in the north or the south of the country," Sir Menzies Campbell, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said referring to the ostensible reason for the "no-fly" zones. He told the Guardian: "The obvious explanation was that air defenses were being degraded deliberately and that any provocation by the Iraqi military would be met with a disproportionate response".

America's "Disproportionate" Bombing of Afghanistan

The condemnation of Israel reminded me that I had heard similar complaints about "disproportionate" use of force and civilian casualties before--from critics of America after the US bombed Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11.

Professor Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire has a website still dedicated to attacking the 2001-2002 Afghan campaign. Here's a sample of his criticism:
The American Afghan War -- historically the Fourth Afghan War -- is anything but a 'just war' as James Carroll has adroitly pointed out.26First, the disproportionate U.S. response of making an entire other nation and people 'pay' for the crimes of a few is obvious to anyone who seeks out the real 'costs' perpetrated upon the people of Afghanistan. Action should be based upon some measure of proportionality, which here clearly is not the case. Secondly, this war does little to impede the cycle of violence of which the WTC attacks are merely one manifestation. The massive firepower unleashed by the Americans will no doubt invite similar indiscriminate carnage. Injustices will flower. Thirdly, by defining these events as a war rather than a police action without providing any argument for the necessity of the former, the American Afghan War is un-necessary and, hence, not 'just.' As Carroll writes, "the criminals, not an impoverished nation, should be on the receiving end of punishment."

It is simply unacceptable for civilians to be slaughtered as a side-effect of an intentional strike against a specified target. There is no difference between the attacks upon the WTC whose primary goal was the destruction of a symbol, and the U.S-U.K. revenge coalition bombing of military targets located in populated urban areas. Both are criminal. Slaughter is slaughter. Killing civilians even if unintentional is criminal.
Sound familiar?

An Israel-Hezbollah War Blog


Here's an interesting graph from the blog, showing a pattern of recent Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel:

What Next for Israel & Lebanon?

Writing in Haaretz, Amos Harel says Israel's next steps will be tough. (ht War and Piece)
Where do we take it from here? The general staff admits that Nasrallah can go on firing at Israel for many days. Some of the officers are talking of the necessity for a diplomatic move, at the same time as the ground action, that will speed up the conclusion of the battles without the IDF's going into too many more villages and suffering heavy losses. But Israel still has two basic problems: Only a massive blow to Hezbollah can lessen its stranglehold over the Lebanese government, something which has not yet been achieved. Secondly, even if this is achieved, it will be necessary to have a very strong political arrangement to prevent Iran from rearming Hezbollah and waiting to open another round next summer.

Israeli TV News in English

You can watch here.

Francisco Gil-White:Why Hezbollah is Responsible for Civilian Casualties

Francisco Gil-White makes a logical case with this analogy:
The argument that the Israeli response is ‘too harsh’ says that some Lebanese civilians are dying as a result of Israeli firepower, and this means that Israel is guilty for their deaths and hence ‘too harsh’ in its response.

To see whether this is a valid argument, let us conduct another thought experiment.

Suppose that a criminal is shooting at you and your family. You shoot back in self-defense, to protect your spouse and children -- your life. Accidentally, you shoot dead a bystander. Question: Who is morally responsible for the death of the bystander? Morally responsible. You were not aiming for the bystander, and you would not have used your gun if this criminal had not been shooting at your family in the first place. And you do have an obligation to defend your family; you cannot simply turn your family over to anybody who is prepared to use violence. Therefore, the moral responsibility for the death of that bystander belongs to the man who decided to shoot at your family and in so doing forced you to perform your moral duty and defend it. If the bullet that killed the bystander came out of the barrel of your gun, that does not absolve the man who attacked your family, and neither does it convict you.

Now, consider the situation of Israel.

Hezbollah means to kill every last living Jew. Hezbollah is growing fast inside the Lebanese state across the border. And Hezbollah attacked Israeli civilians. When the Israeli government retaliated against Hezbollah, this was its moral obligation, because the Israeli government must protect Israeli citizens. Hezbollah must be destroyed because the purpose of Hezbollah is to kill all the Jews. No such organization can be allowed to exist, and recruit, and arm itself to the teeth. If we tolerate such organizations, we tolerate genocide. Therefore, Hezbollah must be destroyed. This is the morally correct thing to do.

In the effort to reduce Hezbollah, the Israeli government has not been able to keep casualties of Lebanese civilians to zero, this is true. It is a terrible thing when anybody dies, but we are not discussing whether this is good or bad -- we agree that the deaths of civilians are a terrible thing, and the same goes for the deaths of soldiers. What we are trying to do is decide whose fault this is.

Hezbollah’s core doctrine is to seek the total destruction of the civilian Jewish population, and it deliberately targets Jewish civilians. The Israeli government, by contrast, is not trying to kill Lebanese civilians: it is dropping leaflets to warn civilians before it strikes a place. And the Israeli government would not be shooting at all if Hezbollah had not attacked Israeli civilians in the first place. In attacking Hezbollah, the Israeli government is discharging its moral obligation to Israeli citizens, precisely in the manner that you protected your family in the above thought experiment. Israel is not guilty for the deaths of the bystanders. It is to Hezbollah that you should account these deaths, because Hezbollah forced the Israeli government to attack Hezbollah, and the Hezbollah ‘soldiers,’ like the cowards they are, hide among Lebanese civilians, thus endangering them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

David Horowitz v The Nation

Do readers of The Nation care about this David Horowitz blast?
The Nation’s current apologetics for the terrorist bloc continue a nearly 100-year tradition of its editor's support for the totalitarian enemies of America and the West. For nearly 100 years, the editors of the Nation explained and justified every Communist tyrant from Stalin to Castro; when terrorists slaughtered the innocent on 9/11, the Nation's editors decried American jingoism and America’s “empire;” they opposed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein; and they continue to attack the liberation of Iraq as an imperialist “occupation” and democratic America as a “terrorist state.”

But even in the context of this sordid record, the Nation’s present support for the agents of the second Holocaust marks for it a new moral low. Its role in this war, as in the war in Iraq, is too transparent to be defended. Its editors may not openly embrace the goal of eliminating the Jewish presence in the Middle East, and possibly can’t even admit to themselves that this is the radicals’ goal. But the Nation editors are nonetheless dedicated to justifying the jihadists who are pursuing this goal, and for that they cannot be forgiven.

Michelle Malkin on Hezbollah's American Victims

NGOs Repat Hezbollah Party Line

From NGO Monitor:
Following NGO Monitor's July 18 report, "NGOs quick to exploit Lebanon Crisis to attack Israel," a number of NGOs have issued further statements, many of which focus disproportionately on condemnations of Israel.

Common themes among the NGO statements include:

* Accusations of "disproportionate force" by Israel, with no explanation of what would comprise a proportionate response to Hezbollah terror attacks.

* Criticism of Israel's targeting of bridges, major roads and the Beirut Airport as "collective punishment," despite the clear military rationale of sealing off air and sea ports, roads and other such targets to prevent the re-supply of arms from Syria and Iran.

* No mention that Hezbollah's concrete reinforced military headquarters are located under buildings in southern Beirut, and that the positioning of military/guerrilla installations in residential areas is considered a war crime, as defined by Protocol I (1977) to the Geneva Convention, article 51(7), relating to human shields. Hezbollah also stores and launches missiles from civilian villages in southern Lebanon, but no NGO explores the human rights implications of Hezbollah's use of human shields.

* Few NGOs call for the release of the two abducted Israeli soldiers.

Pierre Rehov's Middle East Documentaries

Thanks to a mention by Phyllis Chesler, I found filmmaker Pierre Rehov's website, a welcome alternative to the mainstream media, which reveals how enemies of Israel deliberately use women and children as part of their war and propaganda machine--then blame Israel for any deaths or injuries...:
"Palestinian mythology is based on an absurd "martyrdom
philosophy" that every reporter working in the "territories" is forced to buy, in order to work safely.

There is no freedom of press under the Palestinian Authority, and no journalist can report honestly without risking is life.

Palestinians deserve a country and self determination, but that will not happen as long as Israelis are described the way they are by most TV networks.

That leads to a situation where Palestinians are not considered grown-ups, while Jews are demonized in the same way they have been during the worst periods of their tragic history.

If a Palestinian child is found in the streets, throwing stones at a soldier, you have to ask yourself: "Who sent him there? Where are the parents ? Who is hiding with a gun behind him?"

I saw that happen many times, and I am asking you:

If you want to protect Palestinian children, don't let them be used as human shields by Muslim extremists! Don't keep silent! Do something, now!"

Who is an Israeli? (cont'd.) by Joseph Agassi

From Joseph Agassi's eulogy for Hillel Kook:
Hillel Kook said repeatedly that Israel’s leadership stole form
the Israeli people their nationality. The French Jew is both French and
Jewish. The American Jew is both American and Jewish. Only Israeli
Jews are not Israelis. OF course, Israel is a Jewish state the way Franc
is a Catholic state. And why can an Israeli not declare, as Hillel Kook
did repeatedly, I am 100% a Jew and 100% an Israeli? Why not?
Because if this were admitted, than it would also be admitted that
Israel has also nationals who are 100% Israeli but not Jewish at all,
but Muslim or Christian or Druse, or whatever else they may be.
Israeli Jews find this unacceptable. And on the ground that Israel must
be the state of all Jews no matter where they live. And this on the
ground that we must avoid the repetition of the shameful abandonment
of the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. And so Israelis find the
right to religious discrimination in the Holocaust and in the
irresponsibility of their leadership then.

Religious discrimination has made Israel bi-national de facto.
As long as she maintains a national minority, said Hillel Kook, she
will not be viable. Most regrettably, recent events prove him right.
The national minority in Israel ahs the peculiar status. Its members
have the right to elect and to be elected, but not to bear arms. This
amounts to the idea that weapons speak louder than laws, that soldiers
are mightier than legislators. This is an intolerable insult to the laws,
and it introduces violence into all areas of life here. In Israel there is a
clear preference for contempt for the law, since the settlers violate the
law of the land. They imitate the heroic settlers in the period of the
British Mandate. In that period the British government had betrayed
its Mandate. Today the Israeli premiere praises the lawbreakers and
thus belittles the law and the government that rules by the law and
himself as its head.

Hillel Kook demanded all his life that we establish an Israeli
Republic that will be a normal nation-state in the western liberal
democratic pattern so that its government could initiate practical
political solutions to the difficult problems of the day that no Israeli
leader claims to have a plan for its solutions. Hillel Kook changed his
positions repeatedly in the light of changing circumstances and in
accord with the principle that a responsible government should display
one-sided political initiative. He was amazingly free of dogma. The
fact that he stuck to the idea of nationalism has no basis in any dogma.
It rests on two facts. First the sense of duty that he had towards the
people who dwell in Zion. The second is the absence, to date, of any
form of government that is preferable to the western-style liberal
democratic nation-state. This form is far from perfect. He was
convince that a day will come and nations will disappear, so he wrote,
and the unity of all humanity will prevail. But he added to this that if
we will not fulfill our national purposes, then we will have no
descendents to witness that great day. It is a matter of life and death.
We take leave of Hillel Kook with the promise not to forget his
message. It is a matter of life and death.

Art Kills 2, Injures 13

In England, according to the Guardian:
Two women were killed and a three-year-old girl seriously injured yesterday when wind flipped an inflatable art installation 30 feet into the air, tipping out as many as 30 visitors.

The accident at the Riverside Park, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, left another 12 people needing hospital treatment. They included an elderly man and woman who suffered heart attacks.

It happened at around 3.30pm when the Dreamspace inflatable, five metres high and the size of half a football pitch, broke its moorings, rose up and moved about 60 feet. The Arts Council-funded PVC installation crashed to the ground after colliding with a CCTV camera post.

Saudi Arabia to Join Moscow's Lebanon Push?

Middle East diplomacy could be getting interesting, according to Russia's RIA Novosti:
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and national security chief will arrive in Moscow Tuesday to discuss ways to curb violence in the Middle East, the Saudi foreign ministry said.

UN Official Blames Hezbollah for Civilian Deaths

Let's see if this statement by UN representative Jan Egeland gets the Western media coverage that it deserves:
On Monday, he had strong words for Hezbollah, which crossed into Israel, captured two soldiers and killed eight others on July 12, triggering fierce fighting.

"Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending ... among women and children," he said. "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men."
(ht lgf)

An Animated Map of Hezbollah Rocket Attacks

In case your local newspaper or television news didn't mention this, here's a link to a flash animation map of Hezbollah's rocket launches:
Names of Israeli villages and towns hit by missiles:
Ein Keniye, HaGoshrim, Beit Hillel, Amir, Ne’ot Mordekhai, Ma’ayan Baruch, Misgav Am, Rajar, Kfar HaNasi, Tuba, Amiad, Korazim, Kfar Zeitim, Kfar Hittim, Kfar Yuval, Or HeGanuz, Safsufa, Peki’in, Yechiam, Tzuriel, Alkush, Matat, Shumrah, Ben-Ami, Evron, Abu-Snan, Mitzpe Shlagim, Har Hermon, Tel Dan, Hulata, Mishmar HaYarden, Machana’im, Gush Chalav, Dishon, Yiftach, Malkieh, Bar’am, Sasa, Dovev, Biranit, Majad El-Krum, Even Menahem, Kabri, Gesher HaZiv, Achziv, Chorfesh, Hanita, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Haim, Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Tivon, Kfar Szold, Sde Eliezer, Dalton, Ma’alot, Hosen, Bustan HaGalil, Julis, Tel El, Lochamei HaGhettaot, Nazareth, Haifa, Tiberius, Acre, Kiryat Shmona, Manara, Avivim, Hazor HaGlilit, Ramot, Rosh Pina, Yesud HaMa’ala, Shetula, Meron, Safed, Nahariah, Nesher, Migdal Ha”Emek, Afula.
(ht Michelle Malkin)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Am Israel Chai...I'll be back"

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Governator spoke at a pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles:
Schwarzenegger told the crowd, "It is great to be here during this difficult time Israel is facing. We are all here to support the State of Israel.

"While we all regret the loss of innocent life, there is no doubt that Israel has the right to take all appropriate steps to keep its people safe.

"I have been to Israel many times," he said. "I started in the '70s as a body-building champion. I went back in the '80s as the Terminator. I went back in the '90s to open my Planet Hollywood restaurant, and Israel was the first country that I visited after I became governor of the great state of California."

"There is nothing Israel wants more than to live in peace. That is why I am happy to be here to be supportive of that here today ...Am Israel Chai...I'll be back," said the governor.

Benjamin Netanyahu: No Cease Fire in Lebanon

From the Wall Street Journal:
At stake in the current operation is not only Israel's security, Lebanon's democratic future, and stability in the region, but a central principle in the war on terror. Soon after Sept. 11, President Bush made clear that America would no longer make a distinction between the terrorists and the regimes that harbor them. This policy is essential because international terrorism cannot survive without the support of sovereign states.

In order for the global terror network to be dismantled, its support by sovereign states must end--whether that supports comes in the form of actively perpetrating terror attacks (as in the case of Iran and the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority), providing safe havens for terror groups (as in the case of Syria) or not acting against terror groups within their borders (as is the case in Lebanon). A world in which the international community does not hold states accountable for the terrorism that emanates from within their borders is a world in which the war on terror cannot be won.

That is why any cease-fire or diplomatic effort that does not have as its objective the disarming of Hezbollah will only strengthen the forces of terror. And that is also why the world should fully support Israel in disarming Hezbollah--for Israel's sake, for Lebanon's sake and for the sake of our common future.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Russia Enters Lebanon Crisis

When we lived in Moscow last year, it seemed to be full of Syrians. We even ran into them in a cafe at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, where they were doing "business" over espresso and croissants. Now, it appears that Russia may be using Syrian connections to broker a peace deal in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel--and if they can pull it off, show up the USA--according to The Moscow Times:
Russian and German intelligence services are trying to help secure the release of three Israeli solders captured by Palestinian and Lebanese militants, Germany's DPA news agency reported Friday.

Both countries' spies have a history of dealing with Hezbollah and Hamas, and Germany's Federal Intelligence Agency has brokered prisoner swaps between Israel and Hezbollah in the past.

A spokesman for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service declined to comment about the DPA report on Friday.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

International Federation of Journalists Sides with Hezbollah

And, according to Haaretz, Israeli members have resigned in protest:
A group of Israeli journalists renounced their membership in the International Federation of Journalists yesterday, after the organization's general secretary refused to retract his condemnation of the Israel's bombing of Hezbollah's Al-Manar television station in Beirut.

IFJ General Secretary Aiden White proposed coming to Israel to settle the dispute, but Israeli journalist and IFJ member Yaron Anosh told him that as long as the censure remained in effect, White would be unwelcome in Israel.

The Israel Air Force attacked Hezbollah's television station shortly after it began its offensive in Lebanon last week. The IFJ said in a statement last weekend that the strike is "a clear demonstration that Israel has a policy of using violence to silence media it does not agree with."

IFJ members in Israel demanded that this statement be retracted immediately and asked why the IFJ did not condemn Hezbollah for firing rockets at Israeli journalists. After the IFJ refused to retract its condemnation, six Israeli members announced their immediate resignation.

"I have no intention of being a card-carrying member of an organization that would give a similar card to a Hezbollah member, whether he is firing a Katyusha or serving as the group's propaganda officer at its TV station," Anosh said. "A terrorist is not a journalist, and if an international organization prefers to have terrorists as members - then count us out."

Fouad Ajami on the Lebanon War

From the Wall Street Journal:
The Mediterranean vocation of Lebanon as a land of enlightenment and commerce may have had its exaggerations and pretense. But set it against the future offered Lebanon by Syria, and by Tehran's theocrats seeking a diplomatic reprieve for themselves by setting Lebanon on fire, and Lebanon's choice should be easy to see.

The Lebanese, though, are not masters of their own domain. They will need protection and political support; they will need to see the will and the designs of the radical axis contested by resolute American power, and by an Arab constellation of states that can convince the Shiites of Lebanon that there is a place for them in the Arab scheme of things. For a long time, the Arab states have worked through and favored the Sunni middle classes of Beirut, Sidon and Tripoli. This has made it easy for Iran--overcoming barriers of language and distance--to make its inroads into a large Shiite community awakening to a sense of power and violation. To truly turn Iran back from the Mediterranean, to check its reach into Beirut, the Arab world needs to rethink the basic compact of its communities, and those Shiite stepchildren of the Arab world will have to be brought into the fold.

Lebanon's strength lies in its weakness, went an old maxim. And the Arab states themselves were for decades egregious in the way they treated Lebanon, shifting onto it the burden of the Palestinian fight with Israel, acquiescing in the encroachments on its sovereignty by the Palestinians and the Syrians--encroachments often subsidized with Arab money. Iran then picked up where the Arab states left off. Now that weakness of the Lebanese state has become a source of great menace to the Lebanese, and to their neighbors as well.

No one can say with confidence how this crisis will play out. There are limits on what Israel can do in Lebanon. The Israelis will not be pulled deeper into Lebanon and its villages and urban alleyways, and Israel can't be expected to disarm Hezbollah or to find its missiles in Lebanon's crannies. Finding the political way out, and working out a decent security arrangement on the border, will require a serious international effort and active American diplomacy. International peacekeeping forces have had a bad name, and they often deserve it. But they may be inevitable on Lebanon's border with Israel; they may be needed to buy time for the Lebanese government to come into full sovereignty over its soil.

The Europeans claim a special affinity for Lebanon, a country of the eastern Mediterranean. This is their chance to help redeem that land, and to come to its rescue by strengthening its national army and its bureaucratic institutions. We have already seen order's enemies play their hand. We now await the forces of order and rescue, and by all appearances a long, big struggle is playing out in Lebanon. This is from the Book of Habakkuk: "The violence done to Lebanon shall overwhelm you" (2:17). The struggles of the mighty forces of the region yet again converge on a small country that has seen more than its share of history's heartbreak and history's follies.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ze'ev Schiff: 2006 is not 1982

Haaretz's veteran defense correspondent explains why this Lebanon war is different from the other one:
The two wars are even different in terms of modus operandi. In 1982, IDF divisions launched a ground offensive from the south, and Israeli forces were also brought in by naval craft so that they could reach Beirut and proceed northward to join up with the Phalangists. Today, the Israel Air Force and Military Intelligence are leading the offensive. The IAF can launch quicker, more precise strikes thanks to its guided weapons; furthermore, aerial attacks mean fewer casualties.

Yet the IAF alone obviously cannot solve all the problems, including the presence of thousands of rockets in Lebanon. Many people, including citizens of Arab states, understand that this time, Israel is facing not one Palestinian organization fighting for its nation's independence, but two radical Islamic terrorist organizations plus a state like Iran, which seek Israel's annihilation, and Syria besides.

Israel circa 2006 is trying to avoid repeating the mistakes it made in the 1982 war. Little wonder that many people today support Israel, in contrast to the past, when international public opinion was hostile to Israel. If Israel makes no substantive changes in its objectives, takes greater care to avoid harming the Lebanese people and keeps its operations to the proper proportions, the support it enjoys in the present war will continue unabated.

Louise Arbour Should Resign

Israel's ambassador to Canada has complained about UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour's call for war crimes charges against Israel:
"I completely reject Louise Arbour's warning. Israel doesn't target civilian concentrations, and I think that by merely giving such a warning she's jumping to conclusions and as a judge she should know better," he says.
I'll go further than that. She should resign at once. If not, John Bolton, our man in Turtle Bay, should demand that she be fired.

It is outragous and immoral to prejudge any case about war crimes against anyone. Tellingly, Ms. Arbour didn't call for war crimes charges to be brought against Hezbollah or its Iranian and Syrian backers. Which means she's taken sides--with people who deliberately target civilians, threaten to destroy an entire nation (fyi, Ms. Arbour, that's called "genocide"), and commit acts of agression that are obvious "causus belli."

For America to regain some prestige, and the UN begin to be cleansed of its anti-Jewish cabal, Ms. Arbour must go NOW.

"Be Polite--Or Else!"

Reader's Digest ranked New York City number one in the world for politeness and good manners in the June issue. How come? They cite a number of factors, even interviewed Ed Koch who cites 9/11, but don't mention the factor I remember best (I'm a native New Yorker)--Mayor Rudy Giuliani's "Be Polite--Or Else!" campaign. It was part of his quality of life initiative, where he eliminated "squeegee men", cleared homeless off the streets, cracked down on crime, and enforced anti-nuisance laws. Guess what? It worked like a charm--long before September 11th. So, when the Reader's Digest testers examined over 30 cities worldwide, New York came out on top. If Giuliani could turn NY city around, he can turn the country around, IMHO. (London and Paris tied for 17th place, btw).

Letter from Italy

Last night we watched Marcello Mastroianni with hypnotic fascination--as well as lots of laughs--in Divorce Italian Style, via Netflix. Five stars.

Which reminds us that our friend at This 'n That is blogging from Italy:
Currently it is extremely hot and humid here in Orvieto, Italy where this writer has been since early Sunday morning. Sweltering is a better word. I was here for the same reason last year, and found the weather more tolerant with many more cool breezes and lower temperatures. But it was the first of July rather than mid to late July then. The tourist season seems to be at its peak, too. Sunday morning of my arrival, as I sat on the steps of the Cattolica Universita, I observed bus after bus come and go, each one so full that several passengers had their faces pressed against the window glass. Contorted as these strange faces were, it did not prevent them from bounding out of each bus, cameras at the ready, to begin recording every step they took towards the famous Duomo...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Israel & the Arabs v. Iran

Michael Rubin writes in the Wall Street Journal:
An old Arab proverb goes, "Me against my brother; me and my brother against our cousin; and me, my brother and my cousin against the stranger." Forced to make a choice, Sunni Arabs are deciding: The Jews are cousins; the Shiites, strangers. U.S. diplomats may applaud the new pragmatism, but the reason behind it is nothing to celebrate.

Who Is An Israeli? by Eliyho Matz

From a recent speech about the Lebanon war by Ehud Olmert, it looks like the Israeli Prime Minister may secretly agree with Eliyaho Matz that the moment has come for Israel to recognize it is more than just a Jewish state:
In the life of a nation there are moments of transcendence, of purification, when political and sectarian disputes which separate us are replaced by a sense of mutual responsibility.

I highly value and appreciate the way the Opposition has been conducting itself in the Knesset these days. The human competition and personal rivalries are dissolved and instead our feeling of mutual responsibility arises, our sense of partnership, and primarily, our eternal love for our people and our land.

This is such a moment! All of us - Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and Circassians - now stand as one person, as one nation, subject together to the same hatred and malice, and fighting against it in consensus and partnership.

When missiles are launched at our residents and cities, our answer will be war with all the strength, determination, valor, sacrifice and dedication which characterize this nation.
In this context--and Hezbollah's kidnapping Arab Bedouin Druze Israeli soldiers to start a major war--this essay building on ideas first expressed by Hillel Kook and Samuel Merlin, two founders of the Irgun who served in the the first Israeli Knesset, seems particularly timely:
Who Is An Israeli?
by Eliyho Matz

Throughout the centuries, Jews have lived dispersed over many lands. They have always considered themselves a Religion-Nation, and the world has likewise recognized them as such. This concept originated over a period when Jews lived without sovereignty over a specific, identified territory of their own.

But since then, times and political conditions have drastically changed. In 1948, Palestinian Jews achieved what for many generations had been an impossible and imaginary dream, for in that year, they won both self-determination and sovereignty over a parcel of the land which in ancient times had been inhabited by their ancestors. With the ruling Palestinian Jewish leadership’s declaration proclaiming Israel to be an independent nation, the political status of this branch of the world’s Jews consequently changed from that of a non-sovereign people to a new, sovereign political entity. The process was very traumatic; nonetheless, a change was in fact achieved, although in practice its political ramifications still go unrealized many years after the event.

Regrettably, a majority of people outside and inside of Israel seem to view the State of Israel as an oversized, social community of Jews rather than as a political entity. The cost of this thinking has been the loss of a political identity for the nation’s Jewish and non-Jewish citizens alike. Consequently, the most important decision concerning the survival of the Israeli nation is rooted in an unnamed and almost undiscussed subject, which I will name the Israeli Political Identity (IPI). This is not to say that the State of Israel is without many other problems, nor to imply that the IPI issue alone, once resolved, will automatically eliminate all internal and external difficulties for Israel. But it is essential that this matter of IPI be recognized and addressed before a safe and better future with a vision of lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors can be secured.

Israel’s current political confusion is an offshoot of the identity problem and can serve as an aid in understanding the IPI. Political issues in Israel fall, for one reason or another, into two arenas: the first is Israel’s political relationship with world Jewry; the second is Israel’s attitude toward the so-called Israeli Arabs and Palestinian People. In this short essay, I will attempt to examine and suggest solutions to these two concerns.

Israel’s Political Relations with World Jewry
Until the creation of the State of Israel, Zionism was a confused political, social and religious movement among a minority of world Jewry. In 1948, when Israel was declared an independent nation, a home for those Jews who desired it, Zionism as a political movement achieved its final political goal. In the years since Israel’s independence, a myth has evolved which suggests that there exists a uniformity of interests between Israel and world Jewry, a claim which is now especially associated with American Jewry. However, Israelis must come to the realization that American Jews cannot be expected to conduct themselves as though they are living in Tel Aviv, and this concept must be clear to all parties involved. The fact is, I find it dubious to assume that similar interests do exist between Israelis and American Jews. It stands to reason that the political, economical and social differences between the two societies and nations would make divergences inevitable. By the same token, many American Jews seem to think that Israel exists as a protector of American interests in the Middle East; this clearly is likewise a very dubious notion. As of yet, divergent priorities have caused no serious breach in the US-Israeli relationship. But the situation is not static. It is clear that Israeli national interests cannot be expected always to coincide with American or American-Jewish interests, and vice-versa, and the same holds true vis-à-vis Israel’s relationship with Jewish communities worldwide. This basic reality must be recognized before a meaningful relationship can be built between Israeli Jews and Jews of other nations.

This notion that there exists a common interest among all Jews is a fundamental misconception nurtured by the fact that Israel is a State which is not founded upon modern political precepts. It is the only state in the world that belongs, supposedly, not to a defined population of citizens, but rather to an ill-defined international body of people, at the cost of denying definition to its actual population. The fact is that a large sector of Israeli leadership, both on the Right and on the Left, are prepared to wait, as long as necessary, for the “Jewish People” to come “Home,” a concept which is of course politically absurd, and which in practice, produces an astonishing measure of political confusion for all Israelis who must ask themselves how they fit into this scenario.

Israel can be defined as a theocracy which was established by a secular majority. As it is politically organized now, the State does not officially concern itself with, or for that matter, acknowledge, its own people, the “Israelis,” as a political or social entity that is significant and worthwhile in itself with its own essence as a nation. To date, Israeli political leaders still do not grasp the fact that in 1948, when Israel was recognized by the United Nations community to be a sovereign state, an opportunity was given to Palestinian Jews to determine their own political identity, or in political terms, to achieve self-determination and sovereignty. It seems as though Israeli politicians do not wish to deal with this fact at all. But this is the crux of Israel’s existence: i.e., how to deal with its own self-determination, sovereignty and political identity.

Certain errors have been made by Israeli political leaders since the establishment of the Israeli nation. One fundamental failing that has led to this deep confusion concerning identity is the circumstance whereby the Constituent Assembly was abolished on the same day that it was assembled, and no constitution was ever drawn, either on that date or at any later date. Consequently in Israel a body of laws has taken the place of a desired constitution. And although these laws legally serve as a substitute for a constitution, they avoid dealing with many of the State’s most vital questions. For example, they fail to set forth a clear definition of such national concerns as civil liberties, the relationship between Nationality and Religion, and just who constitutes its citizenry. Since each of Israel’s political parties maintains its own national goals, no consensus has ever been reached on the manner in which the State should treat both its neighbors and its own non-Jewish, yet Israeli inhabitants. Israel’s isolation in the region is first of all a problem stemming from its lack of political definition vis-à-vis the question “Who is an Israeli?”, which is not to be mistaken for the legitimate theological question” Who is a Jew?” There was no need to establish a State in order to define this latter question. Hence, if no Israeli national identity exists, then the term “citizenship” is not serious, as it does not include non-Jewish Israelis, and to possess “citizenship” means nothing more than to hold a bureaucratic paper. It would thus follow that if there exists no Israeli Nation, then Israelis are just wasting their time in their desire to pursue self-determination. However, an Israeli Nation does exist, but it is a Nation that does not acknowledge its own existence.

Why as Jew and as an Israeli who lives in Israel must one also have to define himself as a Zionist? It is a paradox today that Zionism, a confused, politically and religiously undefined ideology, does not in essence recognize the State of Israel. For according to the Zionists, Israel does not belong to Israelis, but rather to a whole mixed spread of Jewish people. There is an attempt among Zionists to make the uniqueness of Jews, and Jewish life, a norm in Israel. As an example of the Zionist stand, one must only look at the phenomenon whereby Zionist Congresses continued to be held even following the proclamation of Israel’s statehood, just as they had been held before this event. One can only wonder whether it would thus follow that the State of Israel were suddenly to vanish, then too the Zionist Congresses would likewise continue to convene as if nothing had ever happened.

It is not possible, practical or desirable to force Israeli national allegiance upon the Jews of the world. One must become accustomed to the idea that there are well-meaning Jews who prefer not to live in Israel; also, that there are Jews living outside of Israel who are politically different from Israelis. This in no sense should imply that Israeli Jews and other Jews cannot develop a meaningful cultural or any other type of positive relationship, if they should so desire. But it does draw a line to the fact that not all Jews belong to the same political entity, and consequently no unfaltering political connection or destiny does or can exist between Jews of Israel and Jews of other nations. Certain steps must be taken immediately in order to effect a drastic change in this state of political confusion in Israel. This then leads us to the second part of this paper.

Israel’s Attitude Toward Israeli Arabs & the Palestinian People
The solution to the question concerning Israeli Arabs and Palestinian People constitutes part of the confusion of the IPI. In political terms, the solution is very simple: the government of Israel must give Israeli Arabs a political option to become part of the Israeli Nation. This would include military service or other similar options on their part, and full citizenship in return. If, on the other hand, an Israeli Arab should choose not to become a citizen, then he would be able to become a resident, such as the US offers, in which case he would be required to obey the laws of the land and would be able to work, but he would be unable to vote or voice otherwise justifiable complaints that he is a second-class citizen. Should this political goal be realized, it would, I believe, effect a giant change and debate among Israelis, as well as a change towards Israel’s chances for survival in the region. However, the mentality in Israel today is such that everyone speaks of the Palestinian people in the West Bank as a problem, while ignoring the core issue of a million Israeli Arabs who carry Israeli identity cards, yet do not see themselves as part of the Israeli nation.

Political recognition must also be given to the Palestinian people. Their political identity has developed throughout the years and has been shaped without question and with Israel’s help.

The Palestinian problem has to be faced squarely and realistically. There is a Palestinian people! I see no reason to continue claiming that there is no such people In the long run, the Palestinians and the Israelis will have to develop the best of relations and cooperation because of the geopolitics of the area. This will lead to the promise of a better future for both nations and to the potential prosperity of the region.

The material presented here as a suggestion for a different Israel must be initiated by the Israeli Government. Before this can happen, however, some major political changes will have to occur in the State of Israel. Among them are the following:
- A separation between Religion and Nationality. This distinction would, on one side, strengthen respect for religion and religious people and enable religion to be a moral driving force behind Israeli society. On the other side, a constitution separated from religious biases would set the foundation for a workable solution to the question of Israeli nationals, a group to include anyone, Jew or non-Jew, who desires to swear loyalty to Israel.

- The abolition of the Law of Return. This act would serve to diminish further Yerida, as it would finally amend Israel’s discriminatory attitude toward its own citizens. The rescinding of the Law of Return does not mean that Israel would turn its back upon persecuted Jews. But is would mean recognition of the idea that fifty years is a long enough period of time for Jews so desiring to have returned to Israel. All laws of immigration must be reexamined and modernized in their approach. Clearly, however, in any case where Jews are in physical danger, the State of Israel would as policy do anything possible to extend aid, bringing outside victims to Israel only if they should so desire. To promote Aliyah and condemn Yerida would no longer be a matter of the State. Jews of all nations and Israelis would be free to choose where they want to reside.

- A change in the role of the Zionist movement, which would hence come to recognize the State of Israel as a political and sovereign entity. The Zionist movement might then be replaced by a new body, if such is desired, which might be called, for example, “Friends of Israel.” This organization would not be involved in Israeli politics and could perhaps carry out a more constructive role by undertaking various sorts of social work or cultural projects in Israel. It might also serve as a friendly ambassador for the State of Israel among Jews and non-Jews living outside the State.