Friday, October 16, 2015

Does NBC Have An Ayman Mohyeldin Problem?

Fox News addresses the issue of media bias in its reporting of the Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israelis.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Kerry Claims He Knows What Israel-Palestinian Peace Agreement Looks Like -- Anything Like His Iran Deal?

So John Kerry sat down and had a conversation Professor Graham Allison
And I think you know what always perplexes me is, I mean, we’ve been through Oslo, Wye Plantation, Madrid, countless negotiations. Most people I talk to have a pretty damn good sense of exactly what has to be done and where it goes. It’s a question of making the judgments and having courage to go there. And so we’re not finished. We have another 16 months in this Administration, and I can assure you we’re going to stay engaged and continue to try to work through these issues, because there are options and there’s a better other side of the current conflict that we’re witnessing.
But while Kerry informs us that he is one of those who know exactly what has to be done, and what peace should look like, one really has to wonder.

Keep in mind that Kerry is coming off an "understanding" with Iran that is based on a variety of unilateral concessions that the US and the West have made to Iran.

Friday, September 11, 2015

How Dangerous Is ISIS to Israel?

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

How Dangerous is ISIS to Israel?

by Efraim Inbar
BESA Center Perspectives
September 7, 2015

Many Arabs are concerned less by the nature of ISIS atrocities than by the fact that they aren't committed primarily against Israelis.
ISIS, a radical Islamist group, has killed thousands of people since it declared an Islamic caliphate in June 2014, with the city of Raqqa as its de facto capital. It captured tremendous international attention by swiftly conquering large swaths of land and by releasing gruesome pictures of beheadings and other means of executions. In Israel, concern is increasing as ISIS nears Israeli borders.

Yet, several analyses of the threat ISIS poses to Israel seem to be unnecessarily alarmist. ISIS is primarily successful where there is a political void. Although the offensives in Syria and Iraq showed the Islamic State's tactical capabilities, they were directed against failed states with weakened militaries. When and where ISIS has met well organized opposition by non-state entities, such as that posed by Kurdish militias, the group's performance has been less convincing.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Video: Kerry's 3 Demonstrably False Statements During Congressional Hearing Into Iran Agreement Last Week

Note: I posted this last week with the embed from Fox News -- it didn't work, so I am posting it again with the embed from You Tube.

If this is an illustration of Kerry's grasp of the facts, it is no wonder we came out on the short end of the stick.

The debunking of Kerry's "rhetorical flourishes" comes at the 1:10 of this video:

Friday, July 03, 2015

Arlene Kushner on Reason For Hope -- While Reasons for Concern During "Ramadan Rage"

From Arlene Kushner:
July 2, 2015

Facing Down Violence

As has become my practice of late, I’m going to start with a good news item, saving the somber stuff for later.  Here we have a brief video that should put a smile on your face and a touch of hope in your heart:

הרפורמציה הפרוטסטנטית החלה במאה ה-16 ונמשכה גם למאה ה-17.היא החלה כמחאה ואי קבלה של הכנסיה הקתולית ומרותה שכן רבים הרגישו כי האליטה השלטת אופיינה בשחיתות וריקבון. המנהיג הבולט ביותר של הרפורמה הזו היה הכומר מרטין לותר שיזכר לדורות כפורץ דרך אמיץ. בתקופה ההיא, היו המון נוצרים שהאמינו באדיקות בדתם, אך לא הסכימו לשחיתות ולטרור שהושלט ע״י הכנסייה הקתולית (מסעות הצלב והאינקוויזיציה בין היתר). כך החל תהליך של שינוי שגרר גם תגובת נגד מצד הזרם הקתולי. הזרם הקתולי הבין שאם לא תהיה רפורמה גם שם, הם יאבדו את כל המאמינים שלהם לטובת הפרוטסטנטיים.ככה התמתנה הדת הנוצרית והפכה סובלנית יותר כפי שאנחנו מכירים אותה היום.בדיוק את אותו התהליך גם האסלאם צריך לעבור.כשנתקלים במישהי מדהימה כמו שרה זועבי, זה מחזק את האמונה שהתהליך הזה בוודאות יקרה.השינוי יכול להגיע רק בזכות אנשים אמיצים כמוה, כמו הבן שלה וכמו רבים שאוהבים את דתם אבל סולדים מהשחיתות והטרור שהשתלטה עלייה.מי שסובל בעיקר היום מהטרור המוסלמי, הם המוסלמים עצמם. במזרח התיכון הם סובלים ממשטרים טוטאליטריים שמענים את עמם ואף מוציאים להורג ללא משפטבמדינות ערב מתחילה להתעורר איסלאמופוביה שפוגעת גם במוסלמים שלווים.המוסלמים הם הראשונים שאמורים לצאת נגד האיסלאם הקיצוני.לגבי המציאות הישראלית,הגאולה לא תבוא מארגונים קיצוניים שרצים לפרלמנטים אירופאיים בשביל להציג מצגי שווא ולהתחנף ע״י הלשנה מסולפת על מנת להכריח את עמם לפעולות לא הגיוניות על פי דעת הרוב. הגאולה גם לא תבוא מגזענים חשוכים שחושבים שהפתרון הוא סילוק כל מי שלא חושב כמוהם או נמנה ביו בני דתם המונעים משנאה בוערת. הגאולה תבוא אך ורק מאנשים אמיצים ופורצי דרך כאלו שהדבר המהותי שמניע אותם היא גאווה ואהבה לכל הזהויות שלהם.הדו קיום היפה הזה ששרה זועבי מציגה בצורה מושלמת, לא אומר לוותר על הזהות שלך. יש פה עיקרון של שפע. שרה זועבי מצליחה להעביר מסר חד וברור של אהבה וגאווה ללאום שלה עם היכולת לקבל את האחר, להכיל אותו ולמזג בין התרבויות בלי לגרוע מאף אחת מהן.היא ערבייה מוסלמית בהוויתה ויחד עם זאת ישראלית ציונית גאה. אין פה שום סתירה בין הזהויות. יש פה מיזוג מרהיב של שתי תרבויות יפות והבסיס הוא אהבה לשתיהן.העולם המערבי בכלל והחברה הישראלית בפרט צריכה ללמוד לאזן בין חמלה לכוח.אנחנו חייבים מצד אחד לאמץ לחיקינו את האנשים המדהימים האלו ולעזור להם להתמודד עם הקשיים הנוראיים שהם עוברים בשל היותם פורצי דרךומהצד השני אנחנו חייבים להראות אפס סובלנות לטרור ותומכיו.חלק מהעיקרון של אפס סובלנות לטרור בין היתר כולל לא למסור שטחים לטרור ולא לאפשר לו להשליט את המשטרים האפלים והמדכאים שלהם שם. ישראל חייבת לשמור על גבולותיה הרמטיים ולחנך את האזרחים בגבולות האלו מהי אהבת חינם. אין לי ספק שהשינוי הזה יקרה. אי אפשר לדעת כמה זמן זה יקח, אבל זה בוודאות יקרה וזה יקרה הודות לאנשים כאלו.Sara ZoabiMuhammad Zoabi
Posted by Miri Lavi on Wednesday, June 24, 2015


We had better hold fast to that hope, because there’s a whole lot that is very ugly facing us at the same time.  In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of attacks in Judea and Samaria, and Jerusalem:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Raymond Ibrahim: Where Is the Pope's Encyclical on Christian Persecution?

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with the permission of the Middle East Forum:

Where Is the Pope's Encyclical on Christian Persecution?

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine
June 25, 2015

Pope Francis recently released a new encyclical. Portions of it deal with environmentalism, global warming, and climate change. Naturally, this has prompted controversy.

It's noteworthy that Francis didn't merely make a passing comment on global warming during this or that sermon, but that he issued a papal encyclical on the matter. Encyclicals are much more formal and significant than remarks made during mass. They are letters written by a pope and sent to bishops all around the world. In turn, the bishops are meant to disseminate the encyclical's ideas to all the priests and churches in their jurisdiction, so that the pope's teaching reaches every church-attending Catholic.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Arlene Kushner on Flotilla -- And The Palestinian Perspective on Boycotting Israel

From Arlene Kushner:
June 29, 2015

Never do I relinquish hope, my friends.  Not even in the midst of growing horrors.  And so I begin here with something we did right: the way we handled the “threat” of the “Freedom Flotilla.”

The flotilla, carrying a total of 47 passengers, was comprised of four boats, lead by the largest – the Swedish-registered “Marianne of Gothenburg,” with some 20 passengers aboard.  When all diplomatic efforts to re-route the flotilla failed, a political decision was made to stop it at sea.  During the night last night, three Israeli navy boats approached the “Marianne” in international waters – some 100 nautical miles from shore - and in accordance with international law, repeatedly advised the lead boat to change course.  When there was no compliance, the “Marianne” was surrounded; Navy commandos from Shayetet 13, the special forces unit of the Israeli Navy, boarded, seizing control of the boat without violence or incident. 

The other three boats in the flotilla turned back.  The “Marianne” will be brought to the port in Ashdod. After its crew and passengers are questioned, they will likely be deported via Ben Gurion Airport.

Today: Experts Provide Alternative Voice to UN Gaza Report: Events and Interviews


Press Release 
June 29, 2015  
Contact: Lena Bakman
NGO Monitor

Jerusalem - As the UN report on the 2014 Gaza War is submitted to the Human Rights Council today, a group of military, legal, and Middle East experts will present an alternative voice in Geneva. Through statements to the Council and in side events, NGO Monitor and UN Watch, along with Colonel Richard Kemp, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, Jonathan Schanzer, Anne Herzberg, Uzi Rubin and Hillel Neuer, will critique the UNHRC report and identify key issues that the UN failed to properly investigate.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Human Rights Voices: UN Report Denies Israel's Right of Self-Defense, Advocates Arrest of Israelis Instead

For Immediate Release:
June 23, 2015
Follow us on Twitter

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on Fox News.

Arrest Benjamin Netanyahu and any other “suspected” Israeli war criminals wherever and whenever you can get your hands on them. That is the shocking bottom line of a scandalous report released today from the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva,

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Raymond Ibrahim on the Truth About The Islamic Jizya Tax on Infidels

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Islamic Jizya: Fact and Fiction

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine
May 28, 2015

The Islamic State demands that Christian "infidels" pay jizya, a per capita tax on non-Muslims sanctified by Islamic law, or forfeit their lives.
Muslim demands for non-Muslim "infidels" to pay jizya on pain of death are growing, even as the West fluctuates between having no clue what jizya is and thinking that jizya is an example of "tolerance" in Islam.

In the video where the Islamic State slaughters some 30 Christian Ethiopians in Libya last April, the spokesman repeatedly pointed out that payment of jizya (which the impoverished Ethiopian migrant workers could not render, nor the 21 Copts before them) is the only way for Christians around the world to safeguard their lives:
But whoever refuses [to pay jizya] will see nothing from us but the edge of a spear. The men will be killed and the children will be enslaved, and their wealth will be taken as booty. This is the judgment of Allah and His Messenger.
When the Islamic State invaded ancient Christian regions around the Ninevah Plain last June, it againdeclared: "We offer them [Assyrian Christians] three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract—involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword."

Palestinian preacher 'Issam Amira recently urged his followers to wage jihad against non-Muslims "when they refuse to convert to Islam or refuse to pay jizya."
The Islamic State—which most Western politicians ludicrously insist "has nothing to do with Islam"—is not alone in calling for jizya from Christian "infidels." In 2002, Saudi Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman, discussing the Muslim prophet's prediction that Islam will eventually conquer Rome, said, "We will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it. Yes, the Christians . . . will yet pay us the jizya, in humiliation, or they will convert to Islam."

And in a video recently posted, Sheikh 'Issam Amira appears giving a sermon in Al Aqsa Mosque where he laments that too many Muslims think jihad is only for defense against aggressors, when in fact Muslims are also obligated to wage offensive jihad against non-Muslims:
When you face your pagan enemy, call them—either to Islam, jizya, or seek Allah's help and fight them. Even if they do not fight [or initiate hostilities], fight them!... Fight them! When? When they fight you? No, when they refuse to convert to Islam or refuse to pay jizya.... Whether they like it or not, we will subjugate them to Allah's authority.
In short, if the Islamic State is enforcing jizya on "infidels," demands for its return are on the increase all around the Muslim world. Put differently, if Abu Shadi, an Egyptian Salafi leader, once declared that Egypt's Christians "must either convert to Islam, pay jizya, or prepare for war," Dr. Amani Tawfiq, a female professor at Egypt's Mansoura University, once said that "If Egypt wants to slowly but surely get out of its economic situation and address poverty in the country, the jizya has to be imposed on the Copts."

The Doctrine and History of Jizya

So what exactly is jizya? The word jizya appears in Koran 9:29, in an injunction that should be familiar by now:
Fight those among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and his Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued(emphasis added).
In the hadith, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, regularly calls on Muslims to demand jizya of non-Muslims:
If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay jizya, seek Allah's help and fight them.
The second "righteous caliph," Omar al-Khattab, reportedly said that any conquered "infidel" who refuses to convert to Islam "must pay the jizya out of humiliation and lowliness. If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency."

This theme of non-Muslim degradation appears regularly in the commentaries of Islam's authorities. According to the Medieval Islamic Civilization Encyclopedia,
[Muslim] jurists came to view certain repressive and humiliating aspects of dhimma as de rigueur. Dhimmis [subjugated non-Muslim Christians and Jews] were required to pay the jizya publicly, in broad daylight, with hands turned palm upward, and to receive a smart smack on the forehead or the nape of the neck from the collection officer.
Some of Islam's jurists mandated a number of other humiliating rituals at the time of jizya payment, including that the presiding Muslim official slap, choke, and in some cases pull the beard of the paying dhimmi, who might even be required to approach the official on all fours, in bestial fashion.

Conquered non-Muslims were required to purchase their lives, which were otherwise forfeit to their Muslim conquerors.
The root meaning of the Arabic word "jizya" is simply to "repay" or "recompense," basically to "compensate" for something. According to the Hans Wehr Dictionary, the standard Arabic-English dictionary, jizya is something that "takes the place" of something else, or "serves instead."

Simply put, conquered non-Muslims were to purchase their lives, which were otherwise forfeit to their Muslim conquerors, with money. Instead of taking their lives, they took their money. As one medieval jurist succinctly put it, "their lives and their possessions are only protected by reason of payment of jizya."

Past and increasingly present, Muslims profited immensely by exacting jizya from conquered peoples.

For instance, Amr bin al-As, the companion of Muhammad who conquered Christian Egypt in the early 640s, tortured and killed any Christian Copt who tried to conceal his wealth. When a Copt inquired of him, "How much jizya are we to pay?" the Islamic hero replied,
If you give me all that you own—from the ground to the ceiling—I will not tell you how much you owe. Instead, you [the Christian Copts] are our treasure chest, so that, if we are in need, you will be in need, and if things are easy for us, they will be easy for you.
Yet even that was not enough. Caliph Uthman later chided Amr bin al-As because another governor of Egypt had managed to increase the caliphate's treasury double what Amr had. In the words of Uthman, the "milk camels [Egypt's Christians, that is] . . . yielded more milk." Years later, yet another caliph, Suleiman ibn Abdul Malik, wrote to the governor of Egypt advising him "to milk the camel until it gives no more milk, and until it milks blood."

Caliph Suleiman ibn Abdul Malik described his Christian subjects as a beast to be milked "until it gives no more milk."
Little wonder Egypt went from being almost entirely Christian in the seventh century to today having a mere 10%—and steadily dwindling, thanks to ongoing persecution—Christian minority.

Related to the idea of institutionalized jizya is the notion that non-Muslims are fair game to plunder whenever possible. The jizya entry in theEncyclopaedia of Islam states that "with or without doctrinal justification, arbitrary demands [for money] appeared at times." Even that medieval traveler, Marco Polo, whose chronicles appear impartial, made aninteresting observation concerning the Muslims in Tauris (modern day Iraq) in the thirteenth century:
According to their doctrine [Islam], whatever is stolen or plundered from others of a different faith, is properly taken, and the theft is no crime; whilst those who suffer death or injury by the hands of Christians [during the course of a plunder-driven raid], are considered as martyrs.... These principles are common to all Saracens [Muslims].
All this is echoed in recent times by the words of Sheikh Abu Ishaq al-Huwaini, spoken a few years ago, concerning what the Muslim world should do to overcome its economic problems:
If only we can conduct a jihadist invasion at least once a year or if possible twice or three times, then many people on earth would become Muslims. And if anyone prevents our dawa [invitation to conversion] or stands in our way, then we must kill or take them as hostage and confiscate their wealth, women and children. Such battles will fill the pockets of the Mujahid [holy warrior] who can return home with 3 or 4 slaves, 3 or 4 women and 3 or 4 children. This can be a profitable business if you multiply each head by 300 or 400 dirham. This can be like financial shelter whereby a jihadist, in time of financial need, can always sell one of these heads.
So it was for well over a millennium: Muslim rulers and mobs extorted money from "infidels" under their sway as a legitimate way to profit.

Much of this financial fleecing came to an end thanks to direct European intervention. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, one Muslim region after another abolished the jizya and gave non-Muslims unprecedented rights—originally to appease Western powers, later in emulation of Western governance. The Ottoman Empire's Hatt-i Humayun decree of 1856 abolished the jizya in many Ottoman-ruled territories. Elsewhere in the Muslim world, the jizya was gradually abolished wherever Western powers were present.

British Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary describes his government welfare payments as jizya taken "from the kafir (infidel)."
Today, however, as Muslims reclaim their Islamic heritage—often to the approval and encouragement of a West, now under the spell of "multiculturalism"—jizya, whether institutionalized as under the Islamic State, or as a rationale to plunder infidels, is back.

Even in the West, in 2013, a UK Muslim preacher who was receiving more than 25,000 pounds annually in welfare benefits referred to British taxpayers as "slaves," and explained: 

"We take the jizya, which is our haq [Arabic for "right"], anyway. The normal situation by the way is to take money from the kafir[infidel], isn't it? So this is the normal situation. They give us the money—you work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar ["Allah is Great"]. We take the money."

Academic Lies about Jizya

Yet if Muslims—from Islamic State jihadis to Egyptian university professors—know the truth about jizya, the West is today oblivious, thanks to its leading authorities on Islam: Western academics and other "experts" and talking heads.

Consider the following excerpt from John Esposito, director of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and a widely acknowledged go-to source for anything Islamic:
In many ways, local populations [Christians, Jews, and others] found Muslim rule more flexible and tolerant than that of Byzantium and Persia. Religious communities were free to practice their faith to worship and be governed by their religious leaders and laws in such areas as marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In exchange, they were required to pay tribute, a poll tax (jizya) that entitled them to Muslim protection from outside aggression and exempted them from military service. Thus, they were called the "protected ones" (dhimmi). In effect, this often meant lower taxes, greater local autonomy ... (emphasis added)
Despite the almost gushing tone related to Muslim rule, the idea that jizya was extracted in order to buy "Muslim protection from outside aggression" is an outright lie. Equally false is Esposito's assertion that jizya was paid to "exempt them [non-Muslims] from military service"—as if conquering Muslims would even want or allow their conquered "infidel" subjects to fight alongside them in the name of jihad (holy war against infidels) without first converting to Islam.

John Esposito argues that paying jizya was a blessing for non-Muslims that "entitled them to Muslim protection from outside aggression."
Yet these two myths—that jizya was for "Muslim protection from outside aggression" and exemption from military service—are now widely accepted. In "Nothing 'Islamic' About ISIS, Part Two: What the 'Jizya' Really Means," one Hesham A. Hassaballa recycles these fabrications on BeliefNet by quotingSohaib Sultan, Princeton University's Muslim chaplain, who concludes: "Thus, jizyah is no more and no less than an exemption tax in lieu of military service and in compensation for the 'covenant of protection' (dhimmah) accorded to such citizens by the Islamic state."

In reality and as demonstrated above via the words of a variety of authoritative Muslims, past and present, jizya was, and is indeed, protection money—though protection, not from outsiders, as Esposito and others claim, but from surrounding Muslims themselves. Whether it is the first caliphate from over a millennium ago or whether it is the newest caliphate, the Islamic State, Muslim overlords continue to deem the lives of their "infidel" subjects forfeit unless they purchase it, ransom it with money. Put differently, the subjugated infidel is a beast to be milked "until it gives no more milk and until it milks blood," to quote the memorable words of an early caliph.

There is nothing humane, reasonable, or admirable about demands for jizya from conquered non-Muslim minorities, as the academics claim. Jizya is simply extortion money. Its purpose has always been to provide non-Muslims with protection from Muslims: pay up, or else convert to Islam, or else die.

And it is commanded in both the Koran and Hadith, the twin pillars of Islam. In short, jizya is yet another ugly fact of Islam—add to offensive jihad, imperialism, misogyny, slavery, etc.—one that, distort as they may, the academics cannot whitewash away, even as the world stands idly by watching its resumption in the twenty-first century.

Note: Most quotations not hyperlinked are sourced from Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians. Full references can be found there.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of 
Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007).

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Arlene Kushner Addresses The Confusion in Israel's Netanyahu Government

From Arlene Kushner:
May 25, 2015

Confusion on the Government Front

With regard to the establishment of a government, I do not remember the situation ever being quite as unclear and in flux as it is now.

Part of the problem is that ministry responsibilities have not been precisely delineated – that is, there is overlap among various ministries.  Makes it tougher to understand who is accountable for what, and tends to generate tensions between those heading those ministries.

In addition, there are ministries in which responsibilities are shared internally or even farmed out to persons outside the ministry in question.  This is the case, for example, with Silvan Shalom, who is not in the Foreign Ministry and yet has been given responsibilities that might be expected to be within the jurisdiction of that ministry, such as strategic dialogue with the US.

And, to top it all off, there are MKs who have been given more than one ministry, although we are seeing shifts in that situation.


What I want to do here is provide an update on the situation since my last posting. But be forewarned: none of this is carved in stone and there may yet be other “adjustments.”

Monday, May 11, 2015

Arlene Kushner on Making Sense Out of Netanyahu's Coalition

From Arlene Kushner
May 7, 2015

Could Be Worse

Before I begin to discuss how it could be worse, a couple of housekeeping matters.

First, dear readers, please know that I am working overtime on the Legal Grounds Campaign.  That’s a good thing, because it means we are developing a solid campaign to coincide with the formation of the new government.  But it also means that there is less time for me to write. And so, please understand if sometimes intervals of several days go by in which I do not post.  Nothing is wrong.

I’ll pick up again on my regular posting schedule as soon as possible.

Thank you.

As to the Legal Grounds Campaign, if you have not done so, please do take a look at our website: .  Please! join the campaign (no cost), and take the time to learn about the campaign and Israel’s legal rights by reading the material on the site.
Legal Grounds
Thank you again.


And then...
Credit: CagleCartoons
This lovely man is Yaakov Kirschen, originator of the Dry Bones cartoons. When you visit our website you will see the cartoon he did to address our issues.

When I wrote about him recently, I referred to him as Yaakov Kirschner.  And I do not excuse myself for this silly mistake.  I sentence myself to 100 lashes with a wet noodle.


Now let’s talk about how it could be worse. What I have in mind is the new coalition that was formed, literally, at the very last minute, by Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Credit: presidentconference

Monday, May 04, 2015

Arlene Kushner on a Conference on Redefining The Laws of War

From Arlene Kushner:
May 4, 2015

Towards a New Law of War

This is the subject of a conference currently being held by Shurat Hadin, the Israeli Law Center, founded and run by the amazing Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. 
Credit: Wikimedia

Current laws of warfare are outdated, she explained in her introductory remarks.  The Geneva Conventions never envisioned the asymmetrical warfare that is waged today.  We must redefine the laws of warfare, so that democratic states can adequately fight back. Today, terror groups attack civilians, and when democracies fight back, their defense is referred to as a war crime.  Terrorists should not be able to apply to international courts as if they were victims when they are the perpetrators.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Arlene Kushner on Israel and Yom Haatzmaut

From Arlene Kushner:
April 23, 2015

See the Miracle!

Credit: Jpupdates
Today is Yom Ha’azma’ut – Israel Independence Day.  It is 67 years since Ben Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel, on the Hebrew date of Iyyar 5, which that first year corresponded to May 14.  (Today is only the 4th of Iyyar – celebrations were moved up to avoid Shabbat desecration).
See here the full reading by David Ben Gurion of the Declaration of Independence:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NGO-Monitor: Statement on Amnesty International-UK's Rejection of a Resolution to Campaign against Antisemitism


Press Release 
April 21, 2015  
Contact: Yakira Heller
NGO Monitor
Statement on Amnesty International-UK's Rejection of a Resolution to Campaign against Antisemitism

Jerusalem - Amnesty International-UK's (AIUK) decision to reject a campaign against antisemitism in the UK highlights the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of what was once a leader in human rights advocacy.

On April 19, AIUK held its 2015 Annual General Meeting, and adopted 16 of 17 motions. The only proposed resolution that was rejected called on AIUK to "Campaign against anti-Semitism in the UK," as well as "Lobby the UK Government to tackle the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain" and "monitor anti-semitism closely." According to the motion, "neither AIUK nor the [Amnesty] International Secretariat have undertaken research or campaigning work specifically on anti-Semitism in the UK."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Arlene Kushner on How Congress Managed To Put Onus For Iran Deal on Critics Instead of on Obama

From Arlene Kushner:
April 19, 2015

The Bottom Line

...on the unanimous vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to advance the bill, sponsored by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), which would give Congress the right to review the deal currently being worked out with Iran.

Yes, as I wrote last week, it is a step in the right direction, as Senators are beginning to insist upon their right to be involved in this critical deal.  But it falls short in a very critical respect.

Jonathan Tobin, editor of Commentary, effectively explains this in “The Reverse Iran Deal Ratification Process” (emphasis added):
“...By treating it as a normal act of legislation, the president will be able to veto the measure. That sets up a veto override effort that will force Iran deal critics to get to 67 votes, a veto-proof majority. If that sounds reasonable to you, remember that in doing so the bill creates what is, in effect, a reverse treaty ratification mechanism. Instead of the president needing a two-thirds majority to enact the most significant foreign treaty the United States has signed in more than a generation, he will need only one-third of the Senate plus one to get his way.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NGO Monitor Statement on BDS Law Decision in the High Court

Press Release
April 16, 2015
Contact: Yakira Heller
NGO Monitor

Jerusalem - The decision of Israel's High Court of Justice (April 15) to uphold the central provisions of the "Anti-Boycott Law" marks an important milestone in the response to political warfare. This complex and carefully reasoned decision highlights and places limitations on activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that pursue boycott campaigns in Europe and America, using false and distorted legal and factual claims. These discriminatory economic attacks are central to the "Durban Strategy" (adopted in the NGO Forum of 2001 UN Durban Conference) of demonizing and isolating Israel through BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), lawfare (legal attacks), and other strategies.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Is Watered Down Corker-Menendez Bill A Concession To Obama Or Victory For Congress? Media Claims Latter

The Israel Project sent out an email today on the messaging battle that is going on between the White House and the Senate over the Obama administration dropping its threat to veto the Corker-Menendez bill, legislation that would boost Congressional oversight over any Iran deal.
Spokesman Josh Earnest made the announcement at yesterday's press briefing, just as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was convening for what would be a 19-0 vote in favor of the bill. The declaration reversed months of explicit administration threats to veto legislation that would give Congress an expanded voice in Iran negotiations.

The White House spin was that Corker-Menendez had been substantively hollowed out by a morning compromise between Sens. Corker and Cardin, so that had become acceptable. The bills' supporters countered that the core oversight requirements remained intact, and that the administration caved because it knew a veto would be overridden. Corker on Twitter: "The simple fact is that the White House dropped its veto threat because they weren’t going to have the votes to sustain a veto" [1].


The subsequent news cycle did not reflect the White House's messaging:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

David Goldman on: Why Don't Americans Trust Republicans on Foreign Policy?

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

Why Don't Americans Trust Republicans on Foreign Policy?

by David P. Goldman
PJ Media
April 11, 2015

Riddle me this, fellow Republicans. An NBC survey April 9 reports that a huge majority (70%) of Americans doubt that Iran will abide by any agreement to limit its nuclear arms–but a majority (54%) still think Obama will do a better job than the Republicans in dealing with Iran!
A majority of Americans – 54 percent – trust Barack Obama to do a better job handling an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, compared to 42 percent who say they trust the Republicans in Congress. But nearly 7 in 10 Americans say that Iran is not likely to abide by the agreement that has been reached.
Fifty-three percent think Iranian nukes are a "major threat," and only 37% think they are a "minor threat." Most Americans, in short, think Iran is a major threat to American security and think that Obama's nuclear deal is a joke–but they still want Obama in charge of the negotiations, not us.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

After Lausanne, Where Does the Agreement/Framework/Understanding With Iran Stand Now?

The New York Times, in reporting an "agreement" implies that whatever is announced will fall short of the original goals going into Lausanne. Instead of having a framework agreement, they'll announce some kind of diplomatic understanding. It will lack the commitments necessary to make it a framework, and the Iranians have refused to allow the parties to call it an agreement.

The Israel Report notes some key things to be on the lookout for as the agreement/framework/understanding is discussed:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Obama Middle East Legacy Suffers Three Setbacks In Six Days of Iran Negotiations

While many in the media will generously report about 'an agreement to keep trying to agree,' -- let's face it: this is where the West and Iran were a year ago.

The past 7 days particularly have not been kind to Obama's attempt at a Middle East legacy, as we have been bombarded with 3 major setbacks to an effective deal with Iran:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Iran Won't Allow Verification Of Its Nuclear Sites -- Will Obama Backtrack on Yet Another Condition For A Nuclear Deal?

The Wall Street Journal reports on how Iran may prevent verification of any nuclear deal with the West
Talks over Iran’s nuclear program have hit a stumbling block a week before a key deadline because Tehran has failed to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past, say people close to the negotiations.
The Israel Project has been following this and other developments very closely. In a series of emails it sent out, TIP explained the huge significance of Iran's refusal.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

United Nations Claims Israel Is #1 Violator of Women's Rights


For Immediate Release:
March 19, 2015
Follow us on Twitter

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on FoxNews.

Guess who is the number one violator of women's rights in the world today? Israel. Violating the rights of Palestinian women.

At least that is the view of the UN's top women's rights body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW ends its annual meeting on Friday, March 20 by condemning only one of the 193 UN member states for violating women's rights – Israel.

Not Syria. Where government forces routinely employ rape and other sexual violence and torture against women as a tactic of war. Where in 2014 the Assad regime starved, tortured and killed at least 24,000 civilians, and three million people – mostly women and children – are refugees.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

MEQ Summer 2015: Daniel Pipes on Why Americans Can Be More Anti-Israel Than Arabs / More Zionist Than Israelis

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission of the Middle East Forum:

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Summary of Key Points of Netanyahu Iran Speech to Congress -- With Video and Transcript

The substance of Netanyahu's speech:
  • Two major concessions have gutted the Iran deal, making it into bad deal: a concession allowing Iran sufficient infrastructure during the deal to permit a breakout (i.e. none or limited dismantlement) and a concession allowing Iran to become a legitimate nuclear power on the brink of breakout after the deal (the sunset clause).

  • Iran should have to meet three conditions, in addition to Iran giving up its nuclear infrastructure, before sanctions are lifted. Iran should be forced to end: aggression against its Arab neighbors, its export of terrorism, its pledge to annihilate Israel. Crucial line: "if Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country."

  • Key line overall: "If the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them."
Two key points Netanyahu made:

Monday, February 09, 2015

Arlene Kushner on Illegal Palestinian Building by EU -- And Netanyahu's Order To Have Them Torn Down

From Arlene Kushner:
February 8, 2015

Hypocrisy Writ Large

Hypocrisy is all around us, but I will focus today on the very significant information that the Israeli NGO Regavim has uncovered regarding the EU:

The Europeans protest long and loud about “illegal Israeli building” in Judea and Samaria. But what it turns out is that they have been supporting illegal Arab building in Area C.  The Oslo Accords assigned full control (civil and military) of Area C to Israel.  This is apparently irrelevant to the EU, in spite of the fact that the EU was a witness to (and according to international lawyer Alan Baker) a guarantor of the Oslo Accords.