Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who Stands With Israel?

The Democratic Party base has changed demographically and with it, the way it views the U.S. relationship with Israel. Democratic voters now have very contrasting views on these matters with those of Republicans, and this gives Obama a potential mandate to change course in U.S. policy.

The latest Zogby Interactive survey conducted from April 1 to April 4, 2009 underlines the increasing difference between the Republican and Democrat views towards Israel. Here are a few of the questions in the survey that found significant differences between self-identified voters for Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain:

U.S. interests and Israel's interests are identical: McCain voters, 78% say YES; Obama voters, 72% say NO.
--Do you believe U.S. support for Israel strengthens or weakens U.S. security? McCain voters: 72% strengthens, Obama voters: 50% weakens.
--If Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank, the U.S. should get tough on Israel McCain voters, 26% YES; Obama voters, 71% YES.
--The US Administration should lean toward Israel: McCain voters, 60%; Obama voters, 9%.

Support for Israel is extremely high among evangelical Christians, who are the bedrock of the Republican base. That, coupled with broad acceptance of neo-conservative foreign policy among Republicans, accounts for the survey results. Support for Israel among Republicans now ranks as one of the party's defining issues, along with anti-abortion and gun rights.
By comparison, more American Jews believe in "talks" and appeasement as strategies that would benefit Israel and most back Obama's liberal policies on the economy, pro-abortion and gay rights.

So who really stands with Israel? Apart from conservative Jews, the evangelical Christians are Israel's most ardent supporters, not the majority of the American Jews. Those are sadly more concerned with their hypocritical Liberal self-image than with the security and well being of Israel (or the US, for that matter).

How will this emerging political reality affect the Obama administration's policies regarding Israel? Obama will emphasize dialogue and appeasement to the detriment of the basic security interests of the State of Israel.

Pursuing that course, Obama will face opposition from Republicans and U.S. supporters of Netanyahu's hard-line policies toward the Palestinians. However, these are not the voters who elected him. Those that did, want a new, less friendlier U.S. policy towards Israel, and they will demand Obama to implement it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama - A Mistake the Israelis Cannot Afford to Make

In baseball terms, it's called "taking one for the team". In other words, Obama would like to demand that Israel sacrifices its security to test Iran's willingness to make peace.

Neither Obama nor his minions will put it in those terms but they allude to the "linkage" between the urgent need for Israel to make peace with the Palestinians and Iran's willingness to give up their quest for nuclear weapons.

The "linkage" idea was thrown around by Rahm Emanuel, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton and it is a foolish idea, real only in the minds of those who refuse to see three fundamental realities of the Mideast.

The first is that Palestinian culture is dominated by a culture of death and bloody "martyrdom", with children programs, music videos and mosque sermons all glorifying death and war against the Jews.

The second reality is that Iran has repeatedly demonstrated that it will not give up its nuclear aspirations voluntarily. Even its so-called "moderate" leaders see the bomb as a ticket to regional dominance and the final victory over Israel. One such "moderate" called Israel "a one bomb country," meaning one would be enough.

The third reality is that there is simply no linkage between the creation of a Palestinian state and Iran's ambition for nukes. To believe otherwise is to believe Iran embarked on the nuclear quest because the Palestinians lacked a state. Nobody in their right mind believes that.

Yet Obama is charging full speed ahead with its vision of a deal, conforming to the liberal Democrats' view that Netanyahu and Israeli conservatives are the problem.

If Israel were to agree to Obama's demand, it likely would get the worst of both worlds: more violence from the Palestinians while Iran merrily moves toward the bomb.

It would be suicidal for Israel to entertain the idea of a nuclear Iran. Even if they assume Iran would not 'nuke' Israel (out of fear that a counterstrike), the Iranian possession of a nuke would wreak havoc do to the morale of its society. The Israelis would be living under threat of a Holocaust every day.

Just because the American people has been fooled into trusting Obama does not mean that the Israelis should make the same mistake.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Pope Pleases Muslims but Disappoints Christians and Jews

Pope Benedict XVI wrapped up his week-long “Bridge for Peace” Middle East tour leaving behind disappointed Christians and Jews but satisfied Muslims and Palestinian leaders.

Benedict XVI was not in a great hurry to visit Israel and
wanted to make his trip contingent on Israel’s agreeing to turn over valuable property to the Vatican.

Israeli Christians were astonished that the pope did not visit Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), which is a center of Christian tradition. This may have been because of security concerns: police revealed Friday morning that they had specific information of attempts to interrupt the papal entourage. The 3,000 faithful who attended an open-air mass in Jerusalem were outnumbered by security forces.

Media Bias

Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum Director Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former Chief Rabbi of Israel and one of the most widely respected and popular rabbis ever to serve in that position, was openly critical of Benedict XVI. The German-born patriarch’s speech at Yad VaShem was charged with emotion but omitted specific references to Germany or the Nazi movement, of which he was a member in his youth.

The Vatican immediately defended the Pope, saying that he was an involuntary member of a Nazi squad that he left in order to enter the priesthood and the foreign media was quick in replaying this angle over and over.

However, the media, and the pope himself, played down or ignored a tirade by a Muslim cleric in the Pope’s presence, when Sheikh Tayseer al-Tamimi, a senior religious leader in the Palestinian Authority, accused Israel of "murdering women and children and destroying mosques and Palestinian cities."

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, a popular American journalist and author commented in the Washington Post, “Without debating either the accuracy of his claims or the sincerity with which al-Tami spoke, the Sheikh's behavior points to his lack of desire for peace or even reconciliation. His behavior points only to his desire to enlist the Pope in his own version of events.(...) But more disturbing than the Sheikh's boorish behavior is that this is the man the Palestinian Authority would send to this important meeting. Is this the best that they can do? Is this really the message that they want to send?”

The Pope‘s Pro-Palestinian Speech

The pope rallied behind Palestinian demands for a new Arab state in Judea and Samaria - on the land that Jordan occupied from 1948 to 1967. During that time, Jordan prohibited Christians and Jews from entering holy sites.

He implicitly backed the demand that millions of foreign Arabs be allowed to immigrate to Israel based on their being descendants of approximately 700,000 Arabs who fled the Jewish state while the Arab world fought to annihilate it in 1948.

Pope Benedict also held 'interfaith' talks with Muslims, in a sharp reversal from Vatican statements last year that ruled out theological discussions between Muslims and Christians. He took off his shoes and entered the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount the morning after Sheikh Tamimi’s harangue.

The pope stated, “One God is the infinite source of justice and mercy.” This was a reference to the Common Word appeal by Muslim scholars for a Christian-Muslim dialogue.

After noticing the echo of the Common Word appeal in Benedict’s address, journalists checked to see whether his Muslim hosts were signatories of the document. It turns out that they weren’t. In fact, the only Palestinian signed is Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi (!!!), the head of the Islamic courts in the Palestinian territories and the same cleric who railed out against Israel in the Pope's presence.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Obama's Anti-Zionist Jew

Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff to Barack Hussein Obama, told a large group of AIPAC supporters on Sunday that American efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program depend on progress in Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

MK Yaakov Katz, chairman of the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party, says the veiled threat by Emanuel should be rebuffed and exposed for what it is: “He is basically telling Israel to commit suicide in exchange for American consent to consider dealing with the Iranian threat to the world.”

What Emanuel is saying is that in order for the U.S. to agree to act against the nuclear program that threatens not only Israel, but the entire civilized world, the price is that Israel should agree to a two-state solution that will see Hamas threatening its population centers with its missiles not only from Gaza, but from the very heart of Israel as well, in Judea and Samaria.

“In other words,” Katz is saying, “we have to bring ourselves to the brink of extinction by allowing Hamastan into Judea and Samaria. And this is the idea of a Jew, Rahm Emanuel – a Jew whose father fought in the Etzel (Irgun) against the British for the future of the State of Israel, but whose son, born in America, identifies with the most left-wing opinions, whose significance is the destruction of the State of Israel.”

Unfortunately, Jews like Rahm Emmanuel express the believes of a majority among the US Jewry. Blinded by their far left ideological allegiance, most do not realize the implications of their political actions on the security and the very existence of Israel. An extremist minority subscribe to the credo of the anarchist, universal radical left, which seeks the destruction of the State of Israel.

Katz noted that what is happening in Pakistan right now is proof that Israel cannot even consider “doing business” with its Muslim enemies.

There is a lesson to be learnt from the “Pakistani experiment": the government made many concessions to the Taliban/Al Qaeda, giving them Islamic courts and allowing them control over certain areas, hoping to thus curry favor with them. But the result was that the Taliban is now threatening the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, and the fear is that the terrorists will gain access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. The government there finally realized that it has no choice but to fight them.

"We do not want to find ourselves with Tel Aviv and all of Israel’s cities under the same threat," Katz said, "and therefore we cannot entertain the type of solution that Emanuel wishes to force upon us – against the will of the people as democratically expressed in our recent elections.”

European Hypocrisy or Just Plain Spanish Anti-Semitism ?

The Israel terror victim's association, Almagor, is preparing to petition for a war crimes trial of NATO leaders and nations over the bombing of Serbia in the 1990s. The suit is meant as a counterweight to a Spanish court's investigation targeting Israel.

A Spanish judge decided to proceed with the investigation of Israel over the 2002 assassination of Chief Hamas terrorist Saleh Shehadeh. Sixteen other people were also killed in the IDF airstrike.

Earlier this year, the same court had agreed to hear the case for prosecution of former Israeli Air Force Commander Dan Halutz, former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, and five other senior Israeli officials for "war crimes" over their decision to assassinate the terrorist leader while he was in a building in Gaza City. Spanish law gives their domestic courts universal jurisdiction for serious crimes, regardless of the location and identity of the alleged victims.

"This case against Israel is based on an ancient hatred of the Jewish people" Almagor Chairman Meir Indor told the press.

In response to the Spanish case, Almagor is currently preparing a petition to the Spanish court system demanding that it investigate NATO countries and leaders for war crimes during the air campaign against Serbia in the late 1990s. Over 2,000 civilians were killed in the attacks. Almagor is specifically looking into a NATO bombing that destroyed a passenger train on a bridge, killing over 100 people, and airstrikes on Serbian hospitals and two Serbian TV stations.

The suit would force the court to look into wartime actions by several former and current Spanish leaders, as well as those of other NATO member states. Chief among the potential targets of the suit is EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who was NATO's Secretary-General during the Serbia bombing campaign and Bill Clinton, the then US President.

The suit is a way to open what Indor called a "Pandora's Box", which is a way to show how ridiculous the Spanish court case is and thus, to close both cases. A similar scenario took place in 2001, when Almagor filed suit against Yasser Arafat after a case was opened against Ariel Sharon in Belgium. The cases were ultimately dropped by the court.

While there is a clear Israeli interest in pursuing the Serbian case in Spain, Indor insisted, "we are a human rights group for all intents and purposes, through which Serbian victims can sue NATO."

The idea of a suit designed to expose Spanish hypocrisy in that government's decision to investigate Israel over the Shehadeh assassination was first floated in February of this year, when Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad called for Israel to put former Spanish officials on trial for their role in the NATO bombings. Eldad petitioned Israel's Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to charge the former Spanish Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Army Chief of Staff in Israeli courts for war crimes against the people of Belgrade and other Serbian areas.

"In those bombings," Eldad's petition said, "hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent civilians were killed because NATO pilots dropped their bombs from extremely high altitudes in order not to endanger themselves. They thus caused mass civilian casualties. It is fitting that the State of Israel try the Spanish political and military leaders for war crimes if Spain does not immediately revoke the charges against the Israeli Defense Minister and Chief of Staff."

MK Eldad wrote to the Attorney General that "in the event that Israeli law does not allow charging and trying someone for war crimes not committed within the national jurisdiction, I would appreciate it if you would instruct the State Prosecutor to turn to the International Court in The Hague so that the Spanish leaders will be tried for war crimes by the international court."

Failing to see the hypocrisy in the charges against Israel while NATO carried out worse actions against Serbia, Eldad concluded, "is testimony to hatred for Israel - Israel the people and Israel the state equally - and the State of Israel must fight back against this wave of anti-Semitism."