Friday, December 25, 2009


Not the greatest of orators but one of the finest essays of all time in my humble opinion. This was a defining essay for me as a adolescent.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Eli Hertz: Most Israelis Demonstrate Extraordinary Self-Restraint

December 21, 2009 | Eli E. Hertz

Calls for a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria - while Arab construction, which far exceeds Jewish development, continues unfettered - are clearly biased and by itself a violation of international law.

Israel, as a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966) is obligated to use "all appropriate means" to promote and protect the right to housing, including the prohibition on forced evictions.

Arabs claim that Jewish settlements "change the status" of the Territories and represent a distortion of the Oslo Accords. This phrase applies to acts that change the political status of the disputed territory - such as outright Israeli annexation or a Palestinian declaration of statehood. Since Jewish settlements are legal, they should be promoted and supported in accordance of the "Mandate for Palestine" - The historical League of Nations document, that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Oslo Accords do not forbid Israeli or Arab settlement activity. Charges that further Jewish settlement activity preempts final negotiations by establishing realities requires reciprocity. If the West Bank and Gaza were de jure part of the British Mandate, and if the Mandate borders [article 25] are the last legal document concerning this territory; and if Jews were forcibly expelled from the West Bank and Gaza in 1948 during a war of aggression aimed at them - then these Territories must be considered disputed Territories, at the least.

The Israeli-Palestinian border dispute is like every other major and minor boundary dispute around the globe. Since the West Bank and Gaza were redeemed in 1967 in a defensive war and are not "Occupied Territories" gained illegally by a bellicose power; and since this fact is recognized in the wording of UN Resolutions 242 and 338 that call for a settlement to institute "secure and recognized borders," calling for a construction freeze on Jewish settlements should, logically, be paralleled by a freeze on Arab construction in the West Bank.

The Oslo II Agreement recognizes de facto the special status and security needs of Jewish communities in the West Bank.

Rather than negotiate a settlement, as agreed to in September 1993, Palestinians elected to break their commitment and to intensify the use of terrorism as a political vehicle in a low-tech war of aggression.

The status issue has been co-opted and warped by the Palestinians in an attempt to curtail Jewish settlement. Neither the 1993 "Oslo I" (the Declaration of Principles) nor the 1995 Oslo II (Interim Agreement) stipulate that the construction of settlements, neighborhoods, houses, roads or other building projects cease.

According to a former policy planning official, the pace of Arab construction is "more than 10 times the number of buildings under construction [in the Territories] than those approved [by the Israeli government] for the [Jewish] settlers." Calls for a freeze on Jewish construction in the Territories - while Arab construction continues unfettered, are discriminatory- all the more so, in light of the fact that Jews were forcibly expelled in 1948.

Most Israelis living in the Territories demonstrated extraordinary self-restraint in recent years.

Palestinian Arabs create the impression that they are at risk from violent Israelis. A close analysis of realities reveals who is really endangered. All Jewish Israeli schools, both in sensitive areas inside Israel and settlements in the Territories, are surrounded by perimeter fences and alarm systems. Public places from restaurants and banks to wedding halls and hospitals, have armed guards at the entrance. This is not the case in Israeli Arab communities or among Palestinian Arabs in the Territories, who are not exposed to terrorist attacks on civilians.

Settlers as a community attempt systematically to avoid conflict.

Settlers travel on bypass roads built by Israel that detour around Arab villages. They ride in bulletproof buses or wear flak jackets on their commute in their cars. More recently, some settlers have surrounded their villages with security fences. Except in rare instances, Jewish settlers, have not taken wholesale retaliation against Palestinian Arab villages, or attempted to establish a balance of terror.

The late Professor Ehud Sprinzak, a fellow at the Counter-Terrorism Institute in Herzliya, an expert on right-wing extremism, published a study entitled Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination. Professor Sprinzak not only stated that in his estimation, Israelis, including settlers, would not resort to armed resistance if ordered by their government to abandon their homes; he said that had other Western nations faced Israel’s external and internal challenges, their streets would have been flooded with blood." This was said before the quantum leap in levels of violence since September 2000. There were 18,787 (!) incidents where Jews were targeted by Palestinian Arab terrorists between September 2000 and May 2003 alone (with and without casualties) on both sides of the Green Line.

Legalities aside, before 1967 there were no Jewish settlements in the West Bank and for the first ten years of so-called occupation there were almost no Jewish settlers in the West Bank. And still there was no peace with the Palestinian Arabs. The notion that Jewish communities pose an obstacle to peace is a red herring designed to blame Israel for lack of progress in the Peace Process and enable Palestinian leadership to continue to reject any form of compromise and reconciliation.

from Myths and Facts.

I hadn't thought of it quite that way!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Petition to: declare the UK’s opposition to the Goldstone Report and to ensure its rejection when a vote is taken in the UN Human Rights Council in March 2010. We believe that the Report was biased against Israel from the announcement of the UN mission’s mandate. This was compounded by its composition, by the selectivity of the incidents it investigated, by the witnesses it interviewed and by its almost complete failure to refer to terrorism and to the defensive context of Israel’s operation in Gaza in January 2009. |

Must be a British citizen to sign.

Rights groups: Hamas disinters Christians in Gaza | Middle East

Every three minutes a Christian is being tortured in the Muslim world, and in 2009 more than 165,000 Christians will have been killed because of their faith, most of them in Muslim countries, according to a human rights organization that is visiting Israel starting Sunday.
Majed El Shafie, who will...

Majed El Shafie, who will head a delegation of human rights activists, members of parliament from Canada and religious personalities at the Van Leer Institute inJerusalem.
SLIDESHOW: Israel & Region | World

"Hamas digs up the bodies of Christians from Christian burial sites in the Gaza Strip claiming that they pollute the earth," said Reverend Majed El Shafie, President of One Free World International (OFWI), who will head a delegation of human rights activists, members of parliament from Canada and religious personalities.

During their visit to Israel the delegation will hold a conference on human rights and persecuted minorities at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. The conference will provide new statistics on the persecution of minorities in Muslim countries.

read on:
Rights groups: Hamas disinters Christians in Gaza | Middle East

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Climategate: the scandal spreads, the plot thickens, the shame deepens… – Telegraph Blogs

Climategate: the scandal spreads, the plot thickens, the shame deepens… – Telegraph Blogs

Wow! The scandal just gets juicier and juicier. Now it seems that the Kiwis may have been at it too – tinkering with raw data to make “Global Warming” look scarier than it really is. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That; Ian Wishart)

The alleged villains this time are the climate scientists at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NiWA) – New Zealand’s answer to Britain’s Climate Research Unit. And to judge by this news alert by the Climate Science Coalition of NZ, both institutions share a similarly laissez-faire attitude to scientific accuracy.

Must Read: Here

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Part 2 of 2 - Statist Islam: A continuing challenge to civilization - The Métropolitain

Part 2 of 2 - Statist Islam: A continuing challenge to civilization - The Métropolitain

By Thomas O. Hecht on December 3, 2009

History has a tendency to repeat itself. In the days of expansionist communist Russia, the country was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet Russian communist leadership was responsible for the murder of at least 20 million of their own people. The peaceful majority was irrelevant.

Prior to that, 80 million Germans were not all confirmed Nazis, but they were irrelevant when Hitler and his murderous minions caused the death of one-third of the Jewish population in the world and brought about WWII.

The so-called German majority was too uninvolved to care. And we are learning today how the ordinary citizens of Germany, Poland and the Ukraine stood silently by while trains and trucks transported Jews to be murdered.

China's huge population was peaceful, but Chinese communists under Mao Tse-tung managed to kill 30 million people in China.

History's lessons, when analyzed, are simple and blunt. Peace loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence, just as the majority of Germans, Russians and Chinese. It is the extremists like Ahmadinejad, the Wahabists in Saudi-Arabia, who dictate policies, set the agenda, and cause the majority to remain silent and to progressively even lose their naturally endowed rights to human freedom and dignity.

Like Nazism, like cruel communism, Islamo-fascism – the extremists – must be defeated not only for the sake of the silent majority in the Islamic world, but also for the sake of our own survival in World War IV, which we are waging today.

President Obama has inherited massive policy challenges, but one of the most challenging will be the existential struggle between societies of freedom and societies of fear – our way of life against those who advocate the Sharia and limit human development.

Hecht goes on to discuss Sharia law, the menace of Iran, the weakness of the West, and the Lessons of History, quoting Churchill.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Op Ed on The NY Times by Friedman

Are some in the left finally catching on? Well maybe some...

Published: November 28, 2009

What should we make of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who apparently killed 13 innocent people at Fort Hood?

Here’s my take: Major Hasan may have been mentally unbalanced — I assume anyone who shoots up innocent people is. But the more you read about his support for Muslim suicide bombers, about how he showed up at a public-health seminar with a PowerPoint presentation titled “Why the War on Terror Is a War on Islam,” and about his contacts with Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni cleric famous for using the Web to support jihadist violence against America — the more it seems that Major Hasan was just another angry jihadist spurred to action by “The Narrative.”

What is scary is that even though he was born, raised and educated in America, The Narrative still got to him.

The Narrative is the cocktail of half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about America that have taken hold in the Arab-Muslim world since 9/11. Propagated by jihadist Web sites, mosque preachers, Arab intellectuals, satellite news stations and books — and tacitly endorsed by some Arab regimes — this narrative posits that America has declared war on Islam, as part of a grand “American-Crusader-Zionist conspiracy” to keep Muslims down.

Yes, after two decades in which U.S. foreign policy has been largely dedicated to rescuing Muslims or trying to help free them from tyranny — in Bosnia, Darfur, Kuwait, Somalia, Lebanon, Kurdistan, post-earthquake Pakistan, post-tsunami Indonesia, Iraq and Afghanistan — a narrative that says America is dedicated to keeping Muslims down is thriving.

read more:
Op-Ed Columnist - America vs. The Narrative -

and interesting companion piece at which speaks to the question of the NARRATIVE
By Alan Caruba |

When President Obama delivers a speech on why he is going to send more thousands of U.S. troops and spend more billions on the eight-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, it would be a good idea to better understand why so much of what is reported from the Middle East suffers a great disconnect from the truth.

In 1998, Joris Luyendijk, a Dutch student who studied Arabic at Cairo University for a year, was offered a job as a Middle East correspondent for a Dutch news agency despite having no experience as a reporter. What followed was his real education about the Middle East and the way it is presented to the West by the news media.

His book about that experience, People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East was initially published in the Netherlands in 2006 and has since then been translated and published in Hungary, Italy, Denmark and Germany. In October, an English edition was published by Soft Scull Press, an imprint of Counterpoint, a Berkeley, California publisher.

read more: