Israel Archives

No Flotilla For You!

Remember those flotilla that went to Gaza that were ostensibly to deliver humanitarian aid because the mean Israelis wouldn’t let any in? Never mind that Israel ships in humanitarian aid there all the time, tons of it. No, the real reason for the flotillas was to break the blockade; one that even the UN has admitted is understandable.

If the reasons were really humanitarian, there’s another place, very close by, that could use it. But all those alleged "humanitarians" seem to be blind to it. Ron Prosor, writing in the Wall Street Journal, takes them to task.

The conflict in Syria has also claimed roughly four times as many victims in the past 20 months as were killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past 20 years. The residents of Gaza continue to enjoy more international assistance than virtually any other population on the planet, but almost no aid is reaching the two million people displaced within Syria—roughly 10% of the country’s population.

The flotilla crowd has different priorities. They prefer to work around the clock to protest Israel’s legitimate defense against the terrorists who target its citizens and fire thousands of rockets into its cities. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised: It’s much easier to face news cameras in Tel Aviv than bullets in Damascus.

Indeed, Israel is the luxury destination of choice for this type of "human-rights activist." In Israel, these weekend revolutionaries are free from the dangers of arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and execution that abound in the totalitarian states that make up the rest of the region. Instead of trying to dig into the dark abyss of abuses in neighboring states, they prefer to lounge in the comfort of Israel’s democratic institutions, civil society and independent media, which offer a wealth of easily accessible information that they use to attack Israel.

Remember this the next time they try this stunt on Israel. And remember which US political party has been Israel’s most stalwart defender. (Hint: Not the one that excised it from their platform.)

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    A "Triple Standard"?

    Israel’s Prime Minister lays out the case.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it accurately recently in an American TV interview. He said that the world holds Israel to a "triple standard." Not a double standard, but a triple standard. He explained that there is one standard for the world’s dictatorships, a second standard for the world’s democracies, and a third standard for Israel.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu added that the "triple standard" for Israel has meant that Israel does not have the right to defend itself from all the terrorists and rocket attacks hurled against them over the years by their Arab Muslim neighbors.  Netanyahu went on to say that the world would never expect any dictatorship or democracy to “show restraint” had they been the victims of more than 12,000 explosive rockets and missile attacks having been continually hurled across their borders by terrorists killing and maiming thousands of innocent civilians.

    "What would the democracies do if 12,000 rockets were fired into their land?" he asked. "They would undoubtedly defend themselves and retaliate if more than one rocket hit them. But when Israel wants to defend itself, we are accused of being the villains, rather then the victims." He added, "No other nation would tolerate that."

    Honestly, what other country gets held to the Israeli standard when it comes to defending themselves?

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      Friday Link Wrap-up

      Yeah, haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been working on another side project that may or may not pan out. We’ll see. In the meantime, it’s time to play some catch-up on the wrap-up.

      No, I don’t believe Obama was born in Kenya, but he certainly let that image get out years ago, and only recently stopped that. As late as 2004, even the Associated Press was referring to "Kenyan-born" Barack Obama. Laugh all you want at the birthers, but they at least had this sort of thing to back them up (for a while).

      The Family Research Council has a count of the number of states that have legislated against same-sex marriage. Depending on how you choose what kind of legislation (law, constitutional amendment, etc.), the number changes, but here’s the biggie. "Number of states which currently (May 2012) grant marriage licenses only for unions of one man and one woman:   44" Remember that when you see polls about what people supposedly think about it.

      And don’t try to press Martin Luther King into service to that particular cause. He followed his religion in this regard.

      “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel.” Their words.

      Civility Watch: "Union Leader Takes Bat to Pinata Depicting Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.)"

      Michael J. Fox realizes that stem cells, as good as they are, were never some magic cure-all.

      Advances in the war:

      A record-low 41 percent now identify themselves as “pro-choice,” down from 47 percent last July and 1 percentage point down from the previous record low of 42 percent, set in May 2009. As recently as 2006, 51 percent of Americans described themselves as “pro-choice.”

      And speaking of the war, the actual, physical war on women by Planned Parenthood gets exposed by hidden camera videos. Predictably, the media yawns.

      Further, "Congressional Black Caucus Upset By Pro-Life Black Americans". Those tolerant folks.

      The Washington Post took 20 years to realize that Dan Quayle’s argument against the TV show Murphy Brown was right. It took Candace Bergen 10 years herself. And of course some of us knew that from the beginning.

      And finally, oh, that liberal media.

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        Friday Link Wrap-up

        If celibacy is to blame for the sexual abuse in the Catholic church, how does that explain the continuing abuses in the public schools? (Hint: it doesn’t.)

        Here are 4 hard truths of health care reform. (Hint: if they promised something, it’s generally not going to happen.)

        "[I]f you come down hard on Limbaugh because he has crossed a line, you must come down hard on Schultz and Maher because they have crossed the same line…." (Hint: Schultz and Maher supporters haven’t.)

        New York City Mayor Bloomberg, not content with nannying the well-off on what they can and can’t eat at restaurants, now is denying food to the homeless because it might be too salty. (Hint: That’s not compassion.)

        If they had been Republicans, this would have been racist. (Hint: They’re Democrats.)

        Is Zionism humanitarianism? (Hint: Yes.)

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          Friday Link Wrap-Up

          If Samuel L. Jackson voted for Obama because he’s black –  using as his reasoning, "’Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them … That’s American politics, pure and simple." — then is it OK for white folks to vote for white guys just because they’re white? Could those white folks expect the non-reaction to their reasoning as Jackson got for his?

          Albert Mohler takes Nicholas Kristof to civics class.  The Constitution protect freedom of religion as a basic right, not only when it’s convenient.

          "Actor Sean Penn criticized Republican presidential candidates during a visit to Venezuela on Thursday, saying that right-wing policies in the United States aim to benefit the wealthy." No, we want to make as many people as possible wealthy, as opposed to Venezuela’s socialism, which is making as many people as possible poor.

          Stoning Christians on the Temple Mount. No, not Jews. One more guess.

          Germans are discovering that, when they need their solar energy most, during December and January, it doesn’t help that they don’t get much sunshine then.

          Sign of the Times: "For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage" Perhaps Rick Santorum isn’t as kooky as some are making him out to be.

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            Leaving Iraq

            The last American troops left Iraq yesterday. (Well, likely, the last combat troops. I’m sure there are still advisors there.) The Fox news article described it thusly:

            The last U.S. soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border into neighboring Kuwait at daybreak Sunday, whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief. Their convoy’s exit marked the end of a bitterly divisive war that raged for nearly nine years and left Iraq shattered, with troubling questions lingering over whether the Arab nation will remain a steadfast U.S. ally.

            The mission cost nearly 4,500 American and well more than 100,000 Iraqi lives and $800 billion from the U.S. Treasury. The question of whether it was worth it all is yet unanswered.

            I think the US ought to get a cut of oil profits for some predetermined amount of time to help repay us for liberating the country from a brutal dictator. But beyond the dollars-and-cents view of "worth it", recall we were instrumental from saving Germany (and most of Europe) from a brutal dictator 70 years ago at the cost of lives orders of magnitude greater than this. Hussein had invaded neighboring countries, used chemical weapons on his own people, and oppressed the Kurds, to name just a very few of his atrocities. Are Iraqis better off without him? You betcha’.

            Should we go in and invade every country with a brutal dictator? I don’t think so, but the Middle East is a particularly important area to the global economy (i.e. oil) and is also one of the most volatile. What goes on there can make or break countries far and wide. Add to that Hussein’s view of our ally Israel (i.e. supporting terrorism there), and this combination was enough, I believe, to seriously consider dealing with it militarily. The US Congress thought so as well when they authorized the use of force (notwithstanding those mealy-mouthed Democrats who voted for it and later complained that they never thought they’d be taken seriously by Bush).

            For those who lost family and friends in the war, indeed the cost for them is so different and felt stronger than for the rest of us pontificating from the sidelines. But at the same time, the "worth-it-ness" of the war in total has to come from a big picture view. I believe it was worth it, and I think most Iraqis, who’s opinion has to count for more than ours, would agree.

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              A Century of Conflict in the Middle East

              How far back does the Israel/Palestinian conflict go? Would you believe about 100 years?

              Hat tip to PowerLine.

              I noted this on my Facebook page, and had one friend comment that he’s through worrying about this because of the fighting by both sides. I replied that the two sides version of "fighting" are quite different; Israel defending itself vs. Arab’s attempted genocide. Given how many opportunities the Palestinians have had to get there own homeland (as noted in the video) and how often they have rejected the option and instead chose to try to exterminate the state of Israel, do you really think this would end once they got official statehood?

              Given the history, I don’t, and a clear understanding of history is needed to come to a proper conclusion. Watch the video and see what I mean.

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                Well, this was just a matter of time. "New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts. About two decades later, Social Security’s much larger retirement fund is projected to run dry, too, leaving it unable to pay full benefits as well."

                A Jewish friend of mine give a report on Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Courage" rally in Caesarea, Israel.

                "A pregnant woman, her husband and their three-year-old son were killed in a house fire early yesterday as police who arrived before the fire brigade prevented neighbours from trying to save them." Yes, you read that right. Read the rest of it.

                Good news on the abortion front. Defenders of human life are advancing in the war of ideas.

                If unions can get their gravy train, they’ll just take their ball and go home.

                The long obsolete Fairness Doctrine finally, officially, dies.

                When Bush’s approval ratings were low, hardly a day went by when the media made note of it. Now that Obama is in the same territory, all of a sudden approval ratings don’t seem to be news. (Just like involvement in foreign wars and casualties from the same.)

                The media will ask conservatives "Yes or no, do you believe in evolution?", but they’ll never ask a liberal "Yes or no, do you believe in the Bible?"

                Could you escape a terrorist attack in 15 seconds? In southern Israel, where rockets from Gaza are a nearly-daily occurrence, they have to.

                The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) (no, really, "CERN") published a report in the magazine "Nature" that shows the Sun really does have more influence over our weather, clouds specifically, and thus current climate models will need to be (and I quote) "substantially revised".

                Sorry, no cartoon this week. Nothing really stuck out.

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                  The Truth About the West Bank

                  Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon explains the historical facts relating to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The video explains where the terms "West Bank", "occupied territories" and "67 Borders" originated and how they are incorrectly used and applied. Before you can have a reasonable discussion about the Middle East and the Israel/Palestinian issue, you need to know your history. This is a good summary in 6 minutes.

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                    Friday Link Wrap-up

                    Medical

                    UK cancer survival rates are the worst in the Western world. And yet another example of Sarah Palin’s death panels, "And the elderly are routinely denied surgery or drugs to remove tumours because doctors think it is not worthwhile."

                    Politics

                    President Obama brings bi-partisanship to Washington. "Crossing party lines to deliver a stunning rebuke to the commander in chief, the vast majority of the House voted Friday for resolutions telling President Obama he has broken the constitutional chain of authority by committing U.S. troops to the international military mission in Libya.

                    Obama wouldn’t defend federal law in court (DOMA), wouldn’t abide by the War Powers Act, and is now ignoring a law intended to protect Medicare.

                    Medical & Politics

                    You can keep your current insurance under ObamaCare…unless your employer is one of the 30% that say they’d drop it.

                    Under a Republican administration, this would be considered a church/state entanglement. For a Democrat, free pass.

                    U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asked black pastors and clergy members to help the administration fight what she called “mistruths” about the health care reform law President Barack Obama signed into law last year

                    Middle East

                    When 90% of folks in the Middle East hold an unfavorable opinion of Jews (Jordan 97%, Palestinians 97%, Egypt 95%, Lebanon 98%), you gotta’ wonder how possible peace is between them. You also gotta’ wonder how much is prejudice. Once you get to know those Jews, attitudes turn around. "By contrast, only 35% of Israeli Arabs expressed a negative opinion of Jews, while 56% voiced a favorable opinion."

                    Iran suggests that the day after their first nuclear test would be no big deal. They are floating the trial balloon. Will the world notice?

                     

                    And finally, some sacrifice is shared rather unequally. (Click for a larger version.)

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                      America and Israel

                      Walter Russell Mead has a fascinating essay on what went wrong last week for President Obama in his latest attempts to move the Middle East peace process forward. The whole thing is worth reading. But the most striking passage comes at the end when Mead turns his focus onto what makes the relationship between America and Israel so special:

                      As the stunning and overwhelming response to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Congress showed, Israel matters in American politics like almost no other country on earth.  Well beyond the American Jewish and the Protestant fundamentalist communities, the people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul.  The idea of Jewish and Israeli exceptionalism is profoundly tied to the idea of American exceptionalism.  The belief that God favors and protects Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects America.

                      It means more.  The existence of Israel means that the God of the Bible is still watching out for the well-being of the human race.  For many American Christians who are nothing like fundamentalists, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and their creation of a successful, democratic state after two thousand years of oppression and exile is a clear sign that the religion of the Bible can be trusted.

                      Being pro-Israel matters in American mass politics because the public mind believes at a deep level that to be pro-Israel is to be pro-America and pro-faith.  Substantial numbers of voters believe that politicians who don’t ‘get’ Israel also don’t ‘get’ America and don’t ‘get’ God.

                      Hat tip: James Taranto

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                        What Leadership Looks Like

                        In a speech that has been referred to as Churchillian, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a powerful address to Congress and provided a clear example of what true leadership looks like.

                        There’s no doubt that this is the kind of leadership that Americans are craving. As Hugh Hewitt notes, ” No teleprompter is necessary when you believe what you say and have history, law and morality on your side.”

                        As Republicans consider who to nominate to run against President Barack Obama next year they should look closely at the field and ask “Who is our Netanyahu?”

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                          This is 4 minute of PM Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress today. If the Palestinians will acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, that would put so much on the table.

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                            Prospects for Peace

                            From "Stand for Israel", the blog of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (where our contributor Jim now works):

                            Palestinians rioted in East Jerusalem Monday after hearing news of Osama bin Laden’s death. The rioters threw stones at police and attempted to block roads in the Silwan neighborhood, right outside the Old City of Jerusalem.

                            Hamas, which has recently announced that it is finalizing a reconciliation agreement with the Palestinian Authority, denounced the assassination of bin Laden, hailing him as an ”Arab holy warrior.” Hams leader Ismail Haniyeh condemned the U.S. for killing bin Laden and claimed that this is an example of “American policy based on the oppression and bloodshed in the Muslim and Arab world.”

                            So then, what do you think are the prospect for peace with a group that simultaneously hails the late bin Laden as a holy warrior, will not recognize Israel’s right to exist, and has been welcomed into a pact with Fatah? Hmm?

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                              Closure

                              Some thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden.

                              OBL’s death was a targeted killing. Cheers are going up all over the world for the targeted killing of a terrorist. Now can we stop condemning Israel for doing the same thing?

                              Hamas condemned the killing of bin Laden, whom they called a "holy warrior". This is the same Hamas that has just  signed a reconciliation agreement with the Palestinian Authority and that was hailed by Jimmy Carter. Great timing, Fatah. Do we really think honest negotiation will come out of this?

                              This all happened within a stones throw (well, a really good throw) of Pakistan’s military academy. Lots of questions should be asked about this.

                              OBL has been at that location since 2005. Thanks to George W. Bush for finding that out, and thanks to Barack Obama for making the gutsy call to go in with Navy Seals and confirming the kill rather than bombing the place and not being sure. This is not the end of the war on terror, but it is a huge psychological blow.

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