Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Arlene Kushner on Demand Israel Relinquish The Jordan Valley

December 28, 2010

The Jordan Valley

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)
From multiple sources I am picking up considerable concern regarding the broad implications -- diplomatic and security -- with regard to any relinquishment by Israel of full control of the Jordan Valley.

Credit: theWe.biz
Apologies that this map says "West Bank" and not, properly, Judea and Samaria.  It is the best I could find in order to clearly illustrate the location of the Jordan Valley -- the lowland that abuts the bank of the Jordan River. 
I wrote the other day about the expectation ("demand") voiced by Kerry that Israel remove all Jewish communities in the Valley.  There might be some IDF forces stationed for a period of time in the Valley, but they would subsequently be replaced by international (US?) forces. An unmitigated disaster.

Daniel Pipes: Islam and Bebop Jazz

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Islam and Bebop Jazz

by Daniel Pipes
December 27, 2013
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

The passing of Al-Hajj Dr. Yusef Abdul Lateef, 93, on Dec. 23 in Massachusetts brings to mind the exotic, semi-forgotten influence of Islam on the American music scene in the 1950s, when Islam, and specifically Ahmadiyya Islam, was cool.
Lateef was born William Emanuel Huddleston on Oct. 9, 1920, in Chattanooga and grew up in Detroit, where his father changed the family name to Evans. He began as a saxophonist in 1946, then went on to play the flute, oboe, bassoon, and many other instruments. In a very long and important career, he made music with such renowned figures as Cannonball Adderley, Donald Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charles Mingus, as well as being a band leader in his own right.
Yusef Abdul Lateef
Yusef Abdul Lateef died at 93 on Dec. 23, 2013.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Arlene Kushner on The Dangers of Kerry's Interim Framework Plan for Israel

From Arlene Kushner:
December 25, 2013

The Only Game in Town

Let me qualify this: The only viable game.  I'm speaking of the Levy Report Campaign. 
I'm not promoting this because I'm working on it. Quite the contrary, I am working on it because I believe it merits enormous promotion.
Why do I call it the only viable game?  Because I see it as the best option for advancing Israel's rights.  It's the hook that provides rationale for Israel's legal grounds, and offers a basis for moving ahead so that the paradigm of thinking can be changed.  No more "occupation."
And so I will continue to talk about this, especially during these terrible times.  As we progress I will ask that you inform yourselves about the Report, share information with others, and otherwise assist us.
For today, a reminder: The Levy Report on Facebook. Like it, share it, promote it. And a small word of caution: Facebook has a page called "About Levy Report" that has nothing to do with us.  Be careful when accessing the page.
And now, a look at these terrible times.

Phyllis Chesler: Israel vs. Islamists: Setting the Record Straight

The following by Phyllis Chesler is reposted with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Senate Democrats Double Down on Bipartisan Iranian Sanctions

Yesterday, The Israel Project noted that Senate Democrats are doubling down on bipartisan sanctions on Iran -- if Iran cheats or avoids efforts to verify it is upholding its end of the agreement:
The Hill reported mid-Sunday that leading Senate Democrats are doubling down on a bipartisan push to impose sanctions on Iran should the Islamic republic either cheat on the terms of the Joint Plan of Action during an upcoming six-month negotiating period or, at the end of that period, refuse to verifiably put its nuclear program beyond use for weaponization.

Monday, December 23, 2013

NGO Monitor: NGOs Exploit Holidays for Political Warfare Against Israel


For Immediate Release
December 23, 2013 
Contact: Emily Ziedman
NGO Monitor

NGOs Exploit Holidays for Political Warfare Against Israel

An NGO Monitor "BDS in the Pews" Report

Jerusalem - A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) claiming a moral human rights agenda are exploiting the holiday season and religious messages to advance prejudicial anti-Israel campaigns including in some cases blatant antisemitism, reports Jerusalem based research institute NGO Monitor.
As in previous years, groups such as Christian Aid (UK), Kairos PalestineSabeelWar on Want (UK), Amos Trust, and Adalah-NY  abuse holiday and religious symbols, using offensive and inflammatory rhetoric in Christmas carols, holiday messages and cards, and nativity scenes. Some use their holiday appeals to encourage boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns, adding fuel to recent discriminatory boycotts against academic institutions in Israel.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Does The US Have The Guts To Call Iran's "Poorly Played Bluff"?

Iran successfully avoided the terms of the last agreement with the West designed to limit its nuclear program -- and has boasted openly this time around that it has retained the right to enrich its Uranium and continue its program virtually unimpeded.

But this times things are different.

It's just that the Obama administration appears reluctant to take advantage of that fact.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Daniel Pipes: Yes, Support the Syrian Rebels

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Yes, Support the Syrian Rebels

by Daniel Pipes
December 19, 2013
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

In April 2013, I published an article with the slightly inaccurate title, "Support Assad." Better would have been "Support Whichever Side Is Losing in the Syrian Civil War." Back then, it seemed that the regime of Bashar al-Assad was doomed; but already a month later, that was no longer the case and eight months on, a consensus has emerged that Assad is slowly winning.

Mideast Media Sampler 12/18/13: Sloppy Media Ignores Fact Israeli "Occupation" Is Over

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Why Israel’s Democracy is not Endangered by the Lack of Peace

Eugene Kontorovich
Eugene Kontorovich, professor of international law.
Credit: Legal Insurrection, Photo: mos225 / YouTube

Eugene Kontorovich wrote an important essay for Commentary, Israel, Palestine, and Democracy. Here are three critical paragraphs from the middle of the essay:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Arlene Kushner: Proposed Bedouin Law Not Dead; The Saudi-Israeli Handshake

From Arlene Kushner:
December 18, 2013

A Bit of a Mess

More than a bit, actually, as Israel is digging out from the snowstorm of the century.  It is the story that has taken headlines in the news for days: 
Remote communities totally snowed in.  Roads blocked by trees that came down (because the snow is very heavy).  Black ice. Power outages.  Babies delivered in cars that didn't reach the hospital in time.  Schools closed in some areas.  Meetings cancelled.

Credit: JPost
We're on the way back to normal. But the progress has been slow because this is such an unusual phenomenon here.  People don't own snow shovels (I wouldn't know where to buy one!) and so many sidewalks remain covered in half-melted snow that is still freezing at night.  What is more, there is insufficient municipal equipment for the clearing of every side street.  This is a function, in part, of the rarity with which the equipment would be used, and, as well, a function of the diverse and more pressing demands made on a limited budget.
But if the equipment for good snow clearing is not the norm in this area, politicizing the situation sure is.  Here's a chance to blame Netanyahu for not being more prepared, in light of the forecast.  Could the government have been better prepared?  I'm not going to go there.  Perhaps. But I also know that the damages caused by a natural event cannot all be anticipated or prevented, and it's foolish to pretend otherwise.
And what do you say about those people (few in number) who were foolish enough to have ventured out - towards Jerusalem, which is uphill - in the height of the storm the other day, with children in the car?  The IDF had to rescue them.  And rescue them, they did.
Even as we dig out, the world does go on - although, I confess, much of what's happening rather makes news of the snow appealing.
But let's start with good news:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

David P. Goldman on Israeli Settlements -- Ireland's Lesson and A Message To Liberal Jews

The following by David P. Goldman is resposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

The Palestinian Red Line

The following by Efraim Inbar is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Palestinian Red Line

by Efraim Inbar
Israel Hayom
December 16, 2013

Efraim Inbar
Efraim Inbar
The media reported that Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), rejected the peace proposals submitted by US Secretary of State John Kerry. The Palestinians leaked that Abbas sent a letter to Kerry reiterating his complete opposition to the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This was declared a "red line" that the Palestinians will not cross.

This "red line" is not just about semantics, but rather the essence of the conflict. The Palestinian position amounts to denying the Jews the right to establish their state in their homeland. It also indicates without any doubt that the Palestinians, despite the conventional wisdom, are not ready to reach a historic compromise with Zionism, the Jewish national revival movement. Therefore, a stable peace based on mutual recognition and ending all demands is not in the cards. The weak PA seems to accept partition of Mandatory Palestine into two states – perhaps in accordance with the PLO's stages approach – but it still refrains from accepting the legitimacy of the Zionist enterprise.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mideast Media Sampler 12/16/13: Despite Geneva, Sanctions on Iran Ain't Over Till They're Over

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Iran’s deputy nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi.
Credit: Legal Insurrection, PressTV Videos / YouTube

I was right.

I wrote that the previous agreement between the West and Iran should be used as a model for predicting how the ongoing P5 + 1 negotiations will go.
Specifically, I wrote:
In the coming months when Iran and the West have a dispute over the meaning of terms of the Geneva deal or the discovery of something suspicious in Iran, Iran knows that it can bluff its way out of suffering any consequences for its bad faith.
Last week the Treasury Department designated a number of companies and individuals for their illegal trade with Iran.
“The Joint Plan of Action reached in Geneva does not, and will not, interfere with our continued efforts to expose and disrupt those supporting Iran’s nuclear program or seeking to evade our sanctions. These sanctions have isolated Iran from the international financial system, imposed enormous pressure on the Iranian economy, and motivated the Iranian leadership to make the first meaningful concessions on its nuclear program in over a decade,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “Today’s actions should be a stark reminder to businesses, banks, and brokers everywhere that we will continue relentlessly to enforce our sanctions, even as we explore the possibility of a long-term, comprehensive resolution of our concerns with Iran’s nuclear program.”
The Iranian reaction was predictable.

American Studies Association Discriminatory Boycott of Israel Faces Legal Challenges

Last month, Jewish Press reported US Academic Group May Boycott Israeli Universities. At issue is the American Studies Association (ASA), which at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. entertained a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

The reason?
A primary reason offered in the body of the petition in support of the boycott resolution is that the Israeli “Occupation” has a severely deleterious effect on the academic freedom rights of Palestinian Arabs. To wit:
Palestinian universities and schools have been periodically forced to close as a result of actions related to the Occupations, or have been destroyed by Israeli military strikes and Palestinian students and scholars face restrictions on movement and travel that limit their ability to attend and work at universities, travel to conferences and to study abroad, and thereby obstruct their right to education.
The petition goes on a bit in that vein, and includes the fact that foreign academics face interference when trying to reach “Palestinian” academic institutions.
As Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the irony -- or ignorance -- displayed by the ASA is that none of the 19 degree-granting institutions serving the Arab Muslim population of the "West Bank" or Gaza existed before 1967.

Logo of the American Studies Association:
encouraging the exchanging of ideas through discrimination

But beyond the challenge of logic, the American Studies Association will be facing legal challenges as well.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mideast Media Sampler 12/12/13: Dear Obama: Al Qaeda Is Alive and Well

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

The Al Qaeda Surge

Al Qaeda Rally  Credit: Legal Insurrection, Truth Syria / YouTube

One of President Obama’s pitches for re-election was “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”

Dore Gold: Conflicting Expectations from the Geneva Document between the P5+1 and Iran

Dore Gold writes about the Conflicting Expectations from the Geneva Document between the P5+1 and Iran. Here is the executive summary of Dore's article:
  • Many questions have arisen about whether the P5+1 (U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) and the Islamic Republic of Iran interpret the interim understanding reached in Geneva on November 24, 2013, in the same way. Indeed, at times it appears that they are not talking about the same piece of paper.

  • Iranian and Western representatives at the table in Geneva
    Iranian and Western representatives at the table in Geneva --
    at least there was no confusion about where to sit.
    Credit: JCPA

Video: Eugene Kontorovich: Why Israel Should Not Fear A One State Solution -- And The Palestinians Should

Here is Eugene Kontorovich's first public lecture since making Aliyah, exposing the hoax behind the threat of a one state solution.

Eugene Kontorovich is a professor of international law at Northwestern University School of Law and a visiting professor at the Hebrew University.

Here is the video:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Arlene Kushner on Misrepresenting Israeli Bedouins, Also: Obama at the Saban Forum

From Arlene Kushner:
December 10, 2013

Obama on His Face

Before we get to Obama, who makes me (as most of you) terribly tired, I would like to address other topics.

I have been wanting for some time to write about the issue of Bedouin settlement in the Negev, which has sparked enormous controversy and been used as a weapon against Israel. (So what else is new?)

The core question here is whether Bedouin families will be permitted to remain on land that they have usurped illegally.  Will they be allowed to continue to function as squatters, or must they be required to resettle in towns - complete with full services, please understand - provided for them by the Israeli government according to a plan advanced by Benny Begin, who was a (Likud) Minister in the government at the time the law was drafted.

What a field day people have had - painting Israel as villainous, heartless in her treatment of Bedouin citizens of Israel.  All the buzz words, such as "apartheid" and "displacement" are invoked. The fact that the truth lies elsewhere is frequently ignored.

CAMERA Video: New York Times Anti-Israel Bias: Editorializing

Anti-Israel bias at The New York Times increased in late 2013, with news reporters shunning impartiality and, by expressing hostile opinions, making the supposedly objective news pages increasingly resemble the newspaper's opinion pages.
See more at New York Times Increasingly Resembles Glenn Greenwald's Advocacy Journalism

Here is the video:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

When Did The Quaker AFSC Become So Friendly With Ahmadinejad and Palestinian Terrorists?

The following by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

When Did the Quakers Stop Being Friends?

by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe
The Tower
December 2013

In the summer of 2013 an unusual gathering of students took place in an undisclosed location in upstate New York. Sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) along with Jewish Voice for Peace, the "We Divest Campaign Student Leadership Team Summer Training Institute" offered a five-day program to trains campus activists and organizers in the "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" (BDS) movement, a loose coalition of anti-Israel groups seeking to cripple the Israeli economy. Promising "fun in a summer-camp like environment" for only a $100 registration fee—the rest is subsidized by the sponsors—AFSC's program included "extensive campaign development coaching," "grassroots organizing skill building," "media and messaging trainings," "anti-oppression analysis workshops," "relationship building with activists on campuses nationwide," "strategy sessions with BDS movement leaders," and more. Participants represented some of America's best-known elite universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Brandeis, Loyola, Oberlin and Georgetown.

Ideology and Media Coverage Drive Amnesty and Human Rights Watch Failure of Women in Middle East

For Immediate Release
December 10, 2013 
Contact: Emily Ziedman
NGO Monitor

New Report: Powerful NGOs Fail Women in the Middle East
Ideology and Media Coverage Drive Amnesty and Human Rights Watch

Photo credit: AP; for illustrative purposes only 

Jerusalem - Marking International Human Rights Day (December 10), NGO Monitor is publishingSecond Class Rights: How Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Fail Women in the Middle East. This four-part report evaluates Amnesty International's and Human Rights Watch's coverage of women's rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from 1995-2012.
The absence of freedom for women in the Middle East is one of the most acute human rights problems in the world today and one of the most significant challenges for the region. NGO Monitor's qualitative and quantitative study shows that while Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) project a strong image of prioritizing women's freedom, in reality their advocacy on behalf of women's rights in the MENA region is weak.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Media Still Doesn't Get What Jihadist Murder of Lee Rigby Is All About

The following by Dawn Perlmutter is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mideast Media Sampler 12/6/13: Why Does Kerry Handle Palestinians as Gingerly as Iran?

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Kerry Tries to Sell Security Plan

Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: JewishNewsOne / YouTube

A few months ago, Secretary of State John Kerry allowed as to how he was worried about Israel’s future if it did not reach a peace deal with the Palestinians. Israel’s Prime Minister has played along sending his emissaries to negotiate with Palestinian partners who don’t want to make a deal.

So this week, out of his deep seated concern for the Jewish State, the New York Times reported Wednesday that U.S., Stepping Up Role, Will Present West Bank Security Proposal to Israel:

MEQ Winter 2014: The Iraqi Shiite Challenge to Tehran's Mullahs

The following by Nathaniel Rabkin is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

The Iraqi Shiite Challenge to Tehran's Mullahs

by Nathaniel Rabkin
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2014

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Arlene Kushner on Unfinished Geneva Agreement With Iran And Their Expectations

From Arlene Kushner:
December 2, 2013

Strength for the Hard Times

A Hanukkah menorah.
Credit: Amit Erez
I give thanks for this Chanukah season, which is buoying me - and I hope many of you! - during a difficult time.
Before moving to the difficult stuff, I begin with links to material that I would like to share:

MEQ Winter 2014: Bandar bin Sultan's Botched Syrian Intervention

The following by Hilal Khashan is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Bandar bin Sultan's Botched Syrian Intervention

by Hilal Khashan
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2014

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Obama's Sloppy Geneva Agreement With Iran Has Negative Impact on Israeli - Palestinian Peace Talks

With the regression of the American role, there is a need for Russia, China and European permanent members of the UN Security Council to restore the reins from the American hand, which has had a monopoly over the peace process for the past two decades.
Adel Abdel Rahman, Palestinian commentator, affiliated with the PA, quoted by Toameh

As Khaled Abu Toameh reports, Palestinians: We Want a Geneva Accord against Israel
The Geneva agreement between Iran and the six big powers appears to have had a negative impact on the current US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Daniel Pipes: Saudis Bristle at Obama's Outreach to Iran

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Saudis Bristle at Obama's Outreach to Iran

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
December 3, 2013

The "Joint Plan of Action" signed with Iran by the so-called P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S.) on Nov. 24 in Geneva caused Shiite Arabs to celebrate, Sunni Arabs to worry, and Saudis to panic. The Saudi response will have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences.
Iranian crowds
Jubilant crowds welcomed the Iranian negotiator home from Geneva.
As Iran's chief negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif, brought home a deal worth about US$23 billion to Iran,Arab Shiites fell into step with Tehran. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq expressed his "full support for this step." President Bashar al-Assad of Syria welcomed the agreement as "the best path for securing peace and stability." Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri of Lebanon called it the "deal of the century." And Hezbollah considered the agreement a "great victory for Iran."

Islamic Watch: FBI Stats Further Debunk 'Islamophobia' Myth

The following by David J. Rusin is reposted with permission of Islamist Watch

FBI Stats Further Debunk 'Islamophobia' Myth

by David J. Rusin  •  Nov 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm

The FBI's newly released hate crime statistics covering 2012 have once again thrown cold water on the tirednarrative that American Muslims find themselves under siege from increasingly violent "Islamophobes." The 2012 numbers reinforce the conclusion drawn by Islamist Watch's previous analysis of post-9/11 (2002–11) FBI data: Muslims endure fewer hate crimes per capita than other prominent minorities. A closer look at the details:

Monday, December 02, 2013

Terror Victims Awarded Iranian Funds

In February 1997, Hamas carried out a double suicide bombing on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in downtown Jerusalem, resulting in 5 deaths and many injured. In 2001, attornies Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and David Strachman brought a suit against the Iranian government on behalf of 5 American families of those injured in the Hamas terror attack, based on the material support and resources Iran supplied to the terrorists. In 2003, a DC court awarded the families more than $70 million in damages.

Khamenei and Haniyeh
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei greets Hamas Prime Minister
Ismail Haniyeh. /AFP in World Tribune
Photo not from original Shurat HaDin email

In an email from Shurat HaDin, Darshan-Leitner continues the story:

Jonathan Spyer: Is the US Changing Sides in the Regional Conflict Between Iran and Its Enemies?

The following by Jonathan Spyer is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum: