Friday, March 31, 2017

Today's Friday cartoon

How fickle is life. A month ago, everyone thought that new US president Donald Trump had killed off the so-called ‘two-state solution’ (Avi Shlaim, “Donald Trump and the death of the two-state solution”, aljazeera, February 24, 2017). Now, everyone’s talking about nothing but the two-state solution:

-Adam Rasgon, “Arab leaders at Summit endorse two-state solution”, jerusalempost, March 29, 2017

-Tal Polon, “Dershowitz: Trump was clearly talking about a two-state solution”, arutzsheva, March 30, 2017

-“Jordan’s King Abdullah says two-state solution only path to peace”, reuters, March 29, 2017

-Tyler Durden, “Chinese president throws weight behind Israel/Palestine peace, two-state solution”, zerohedge, March 23, 2017

-Henry Siegman, The ultimate deal [the two-state solution]”, londonreviewofbooks, vol. 39, number 7, March 30, 2017, p. 12).

-“Merkel affirms German backing for two-state solution”, associatedpress, March 24, 2017.

At the same time these headlines tell us how alive the two-state solution is, Caroline Glick comes along to affirm that it’s actually quite dead. She argues there’s no such thing as a ‘deal’ for two-states because the Palestinians clearly don’t want that—and the Israeli public knows it (“Column One: Israel’s silenced majority", jerusalempost, March 30, 2017).

We’ll talk about Ms Glick in a moment. Right now, here’s a new Friday cartoon. It comes from arutzsheva. I have no date for it. I can’t make out the cartoonist’s name.

This cartoon illustrates what Ms Glick declares the Israeli public understands. Take a look:

from: arutzsheva, no date

This cartoon shows a man who tells us that a two-state solution is possible if only Israel would abide by the Hamas Charter and the UN.

The man wears the red-black-white-green Palestinian flag as a shirt. Superimposed onto the flag-shirt is a map.  The map stretches from his neckline down to his breastbone. That map shows two-states sitting side-by-side, along with Jordan at the bottom-right and Egypt at the bottom-left. Can you see that?

The two states that begin at the neckline run north-south, from neckline to breastbone. To your left (as you look at the map on his chest), you see the state of ‘hamasistan’ (the light beige area). To your right is the state of ‘fatahistan’ (the light green area). 

Notice there is no Israel at all. The two state solution replaces Israel with states formed by Hamas (hamasistan) and by Abbas’ Fatah Party (fatahistan).

As Glick (ibid) points out, a new poll has revealed that, for Israelis, the two-state solution is dead. She argues that Israelis understand that ‘two states’ means the destruction of Israel, just as this map illustrates. Referring to the new poll, she says, “Trump’s desire to mediate a deal between Israel and the PLO places him in conflict with anywhere between 60 and 85% of the Israeli public”, depending upon how that deal is actually described. Glick calls this anti-two-states Israeli public, the “silenced majority”, because it’s been silenced. No one listens to them.

The G-d of Israel has said the land of Israel, including Judea-Samaria, belongs to the Jews. Despite the fact that most Israeli Jews are not ‘religious’, between 60-85% of them understand that their survival is not tied to two states. It’s tied to Judea-Samaria—the heart of G-d’s country which, you might remember, contains the Temple Mount, the holiest site on earth for Jews.

Regarding the ‘two-states’ question, who is more correct? Are the diplomats and politicians who work for ‘two states’ (for the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea) correct? Or, are the G-d of Israel and the Jewish people of Israel, who choose one state only for Jews in that area, correct?
I stand with G-d and Jewish Israelis. Where do you stand?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Today's really fake news from Israel that tells a truth

The essay you are about to read is fake news. It's about a Middle East where reality has been turned on its head. Put another way, the essay below is nothing more than political satire, otherwise known as fake news that, if you get the satire, is funny. If you don't get the satire, you might think it's a real story.

That's how crazy the Middle East is: you need an encyclopedia to understand the scorecard.

The essay below comes from the website, preoccupiedterritory. Today's example spoofs US State Department's Middle East experts who call for 'democracy' in the Middle East--and then attack Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. 

How can one satirize such hypocrisy? Here's how (I've done some editing to fit my format): 

State Dept. Had Been Hoping For *DEMOCRATIC* Genocidal Mideast States

Diplomats had hoped the region could transition from iron-fisted rule by hereditary dictatorships to iron-fisted rule by democratically-elected governments.

Washington, March 29 – With the release of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from prison today, staffers as the US Department of State voiced disappointment at the denouement of the vaunted Arab Spring, and confessed they had been looking forward to ridding the Middle East of despotic, genocidal regimes and facilitating their replacement with democratic, genocidal regimes.
Mubarak was ousted in early 2011 and subsequently put on trial for presiding over brutal military suppression of the protests that eventually led to his resignation. Elections brought a Muslim Brotherhood candidate to the helm, but continued social unrest led to another coup that brought a military general to power in 2013. 

During the early days of the Arab Spring, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and Morocco, to varying degrees, saw popular protests that led to outright uprisings. These bloody revolts sparked hope among locals and foreign diplomats that the region could transition from iron-fisted rule by hereditary dictatorships to iron-fisted rule by democratically-elected governments.

Many had a vision that, at last, dictator-inspired genocide would be replaced by democracy-inspired genocide.
That vision, however, failed to pan out. Mostly, the existing regimes simply crushed the uprisings or continue to wage civil wars that have transitioned not to democracy but to bloody proxy fights among Islamists, Iran, and the Sunni states of the Persia Gulf. The death toll in Syria alone has reached into the hundreds of thousands, leading policymakers at the State Department to lament the lost potential of a regional sociopolitical movement that could have brought to power democratic leaders to perpetrate all those atrocities and mass murders instead.
“It’s nothing short of a shame,” grieved Aidan Anabetten of the Middle East and North Africa Section. “Syrian dictator Basher Assad bears ultimate responsibility for close to half-a-million deaths and the displacement of millions, in the process committing every kind of crime against humanity and violations of the laws of armed conflict. The Saudi-Houthi-Irani conflict over Yemen has also cost tens of thousands of lives, not to mention the ongoing horrors of the Islamic State, Al- Qaeda, and myriad other tyrannical entities all over the region. Imagine what it could have been like to have those policies and crimes committed by democratic countries instead – can’t you just sense that things would be different?”
Anabetten and his colleagues took some measure of comfort, however, in noting that there was still one democratic nation in the midst of the chaos that could be counted on to face accusations of tyranny, apartheid, and overall evil. “Thank goodness we still have Israel to blame – I don’t know how we would form a coherent world view otherwise.”
Somehow, the US State Department would be a lot more honest if it had actually written these words--because, some might argue, this satire is exactly how State thinks about both the Arab Middle East and Israel. As it is, we've got to rely on satirists to show us what the US State Department really means when it speaks about democracy in the Middle East.
Maybe the road to truth-in-the-Middle-East is through satire, not diplomacy. Is that possible? We'll stay on top of this thought, to see where it leads.

More next week.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

War against the West: only Jewish Israel won't retreat

Conventional wisdom says World War Two began September 1, 1939, the day Germany invaded Poland. But some might disagree. Some might argue World War Two actually began two day later, on September 3, 1939. They say September 1st wasn’t the real ‘start date’ (Victor Davis Hanson, "World War Two leadership", lecture, youtube, May 6, 2012). 

Yes, Germany had certainly invaded Poland on September 1st. But that invasion didn’t mean a World War. That didn’t happen until September 3rd, 1939, when Britain and France formally declared war on Hitler's Germany.

In hindsight, both views might be wrong. By September, 1939, the world had already been in flames for years. For example, in 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria. In 1935, Italy attacked Ethiopia. In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began. In 1937, Japan invaded China. 

Is it possible that World War Two dates from 1931, not September, 1939? Most people say, no, it doesn't. Certainly, Western leaders back then didn’t believe that.

Instead of a world war in the early thirties, there was only a Manchurian war. There was only a China war. There was only an Ethiopian war. There was no world war (ibid).

During the years leading up to the September, 1939 German invasion of Poland, Japan and Italy weren't the only war aggressors. Germany was also busy. It took over the Rhineland (1936). It invaded Austria (1938). It invaded Czechoslovakia (1939). But there was no world war.

How did the relatively new League of Nations react to these multiple acts of aggression? Mostly, with passivity (Alan Taylor, "World War Two: before the war", theatlantic, June 19, 2011).

How did the US react to the aggression? It passed several Neutrality Acts (ibid). That is, it stuck its head into the ground.

In a sense, it doesn't matter when that terrible war began. What concerns us here is that World War Two, essentially, touched more  than 100 million people, probably double that if you include those 'back home' who weren't directly involved in the war, but were rather affected indirectly in any number of ways.

Today, the winds of a world war begin once again to sear the world. This war also touch millions, both directly and indirectly. Once again, the West is in denial. Once again, the US leads that pack.

Today, Islamic extremists attack populations across the Middle East, Africa. Islam enters Europe and opposes the very foundations of Western justice and democracy.  It threatens the defense of the free world (Raoul Wootliff, "Melanie Phillips charts her journey from 'Miss Guardianista' to neoconservative Jeremiah", timesofisrael, March 27, 2017).

How does everyone react? Lots of blather, a lot of Islamophilia, little substantive resistance.

In Europe, Muslim migrants begin to change Europe with what some see as an Islamic, anti-West cultural and religious invasion (Giulio Meotti, "Islam, not Christianity, is saturating Europe", gatestoneinstitute, March 26, 2017). Islam aggressively challenges the West. It's a challenge the West isn't winning (ibid).

According to a controversial US Presidential adviser, Steve Bannon, the Judeo-Christian West is collapsing; it's imploding (Paul Blumenthal, JM Rieger, "Steve bannon believes the Apocalypse is coming and war is inevitable", huffingtonpost, updated February 18, 2017). That sounds strong, indeed. But Bannon doesn't back down. He says, an arrogant expansionist Islam is on the march (ibid). The West, he argues, is in retreat (ibid).

For others, radical, violent Islam threatens civilization itself (Hussein Aboubakr, "How radical Islam could be an actual threat to Western civilization after all", timesofisrael, May 7, 2015). It threatens to bring a world-wide clash of civilizations to every modern, western city on the globe. 

How does the Western world respond? With passivity.

Only the Jewish Israel does not retreat. Only the Jewish Israel resists the call to yield to a process of Islamization. Only the Jewish Israel remains steadfast in its stand against Islam.

How do you think all that is going to work out?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

US defends Israel. UN fights back

(This is part three of three related essays)

On January 24, 2017, US South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was confirmed by the US Senate to be US Ambassador to the United Nations (Joy Bernard, "Nikki Haley secures Senate confirmation, officially becomes US Ambassador to the UN", jerusalempost, January 25, 2017). At her confirmation hearing, she stated she supported Israel (ibid).

Two weeks later, on February 10th, the world got to see what Haley meant by that declaration. She nixed the appointment of a Palestinian to a very high UN post (Somini Sengupta, "USA blocks Palestinian ex-Premier from senior UN post", nytimes, February 109, 2017). That move was seen as a definite “signal" that the US intended to support Israel (ibid). [Haley has more recently elaborated on what she had meant to convey with that ‘block’. At an AIPAC Convention held March 27, 2017, she explained that she had blocked the UN attempt to install a Palestinian Authority (PA) official to represent the UN because, she stated, there will be ‘no freebies’ to the PA until it sits down with Israel and begins ‘serious negotiations’ for peace (David Gerstman, “Haley puts UN on notice: ‘the days of Israel-bashing are over’”, legalinsurrection, March 27, 2017)].

Six days after blocking the PA official from assuming an important UN post, Haley went further. On February 16, 2017, immediately after her first experience sitting in on a UN Security Council meeting, she stood before the press and said:

The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East [today], the discussion was not about Hizballah's illlegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Asaad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East.

I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated, month after month, for decades.

I’m here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore...I'm here to emphasize the united states (sic) is determined to stand up to the UN's anti-Israel bias (Nikki Haley, "Press conference after attending first UN Security Council Consultations meeting on the Middle East", americanrhetoric, February 16, 2017).

Well, it appears that the Muslim-driven UN was offended by such talk. Apparently, it’s decided it will not back away from its Israel-bashing. Instead, it's done the opposite: it's taken Israel-bashing to a new level.

As a result, more people at the UN are now offended. But this time, it’s not a bunch of tin-pot dictators who rule non-free countries who’ve been offended. Now, it’s the US and UK who are offended.

Look at what’s happened at the UN since the end of February, 2017. First, the Muslim-driven UN offended the US by publishing a Report that labelled Israel as Apartheid, something no UN body has ever done ("US condemns UN report accusing Israel of establishing 'Apartheid regime'", dw, March 16, 2017). The US condemned that outrage with 'harshest terms'.

Then the Muslim-driven UN Security Council (UNSC) offended the US. It used precious time during a closed-door session March 24th to bash Israel yet again (Paul Mirengofrf, " Trump administration strongly backs Israel at UN", powerline, March 27, 2017). The US spoke out against that, too (ibid).

Finally, the UN offended both the US and the UK. At a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on March 24th,  the UNHRC used its agenda to condemn Israel more times than anyone else at the UN ("After UNHRC adopts 5 anti-Israel resolutions, UK vows to oppose all future such moves", timesofisrael, March 27, 2017). The UK objected. It took exception to such a one-sided attack against a democracy when, in fact, there were so many dictators at the UN who abuse their own citizens' human rights with, often, unspeakable violence.

Will the Muslim-driven UN bashing of the Jewish Israel end because powerful Western democracies object to the bashing of the Middle East’s only democracy? Don't bet on it.

This diplomat back-and-forth at the UN is no simple dust-up. It's a clash of civilizations. It's part of an existential world war against an aggressive Islamization offensive that has the Jewish Israel right in the middle. 

Stay tuned. There's more to come. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Muslim-driven UN--and Jihad against Israel

(This is part two of three related essays)

Some two weeks ago, a Muslim-only anti-Israel UN body, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), published an anti-Israel Report under the UN logo that labelled Israel an Apartheid state ("Israel imposes apartheid regime on Palestinians: UN report", reuters, March 15, 2017). That report has created multiple diplomatic ripples. 

The first ripple came from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. On the day the Report was published, Guterres announced his immediate objection to it. At first, his spokesman suggested that the Secretary-General wasn't objecting to the content of the report. Guterres only objected to the process used to bring it out: no one had informed the Secretary-General's office that the report was being prepared. 

The second ripple came from that very same spokesman. He said the Secretary-General felt the report 'didn't reflect the position of the UN' (ibid). That suggested the Report was a 'foul play'--not a legitimate UN effort.

The third ripple came from US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who spelled out what Guterres wouldn't. She said, "The United States is outraged by the report...The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether” (Kerry Picket, "Haley Slams UN Report As Anti-Israel Propaganda", dailycaller, March 15, 2017).

The fourth ripple came from Guterres himself--after Haley's criticism. Prompted, we hope, by Ambassador Haley's harsh condemnation, Guterres called for the Report to be withdrawn--and removed immediately from the UN website which had published it ("UN chief orders report accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’ pulled from web", timesofisrael, March 17, 2017). 

It was removed.

The fifth ripple came from Rima Khalaf, the leader of the ESCWA committee that wrote the Report. She objected to the Report's demise. She would take, she declared, a principled stand: she would resign in protest from the ESCWA because, she said, she had been pressured to withdraw the Report simply because it had been critical of Israel ("UN official resigns over Israel apartheid report", aljazeera, March 17, 2017).

The sixth ripple came from Mahmoud Abbas, of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Instead of condemning the Report, as Guterres and the US had, Abbas praised it--and Khalaf.  He hailed Khalaf for her 'courage' (Elad Benari, "Abbas honors official who authored 'apartheid' report", arutzsheva, March 20, 2017). Abbas would not allow 'his friend' to be humiliated. He announced he would give to Khalaf the PA's highest honor, called the PA "Medal of the Highest Honor" (ibid).

The ripples didn't stop there. The latest ripple rolled out from the UN last week, at the regularly-scheduled meeting of the UN Human Rights Council. There, Muslim UNHRC delegates took time to defend the Report. They did it by making a series of mini-speeches, where they declared 'Israel is Apartheid) no less than nine times 
(Patrick Goodenough, "Israel accused of Apartheid at UN Human Rights Council", cnsnews, March 21, 2017).  

Then, they voted to condemn Israel more than any other nation on earth. 

This UNHRC vote, the anti-Israel actions of the ESCWA-- along with so many other anti-Israel actions--are the tip of a violent 'iceberg'. That iceberg is a Muslim-driven Jihad. 

It's a Jihad that drives the UN to destroy Israel. 


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Who's Apartheid, Israel or the Palestinian Authority?

(This is part one of three related essays)

Twelve days ago, some Israel-haters at the UN wrote a report that labelled Israel an 'Apartheid' state ("UN agency labels Israel 'apartheid regime'", awdnews, March 17, 2017). That anti-Israel tactic didn't work out very well. The report was so bad it had to be pulled from its website. The UN Secretary-General ordered it removed ("UN chief orders report accusing Israel of apartheid pulled from web", timesofisrael, March 17, 2017).
If you're wondering why the UN Secretary-General would want to stop a report that labelled Israel as Apartheid, here are some facts from Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They were published last year. They're not secret. Yes, they are from the Israeli side of things. But then, these facts can be verified. They're on the internet ("Behind the facts and figures--Islam in Israel",, June 9, 2016). I have edited and added to the numbers reported below:

•    Israel is home to 1,454,000 Muslim citizens who enjoy full civil liberty and political freedom (as of 2014). 

•    Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of the State of Israel.
•    Islam is the second biggest religion in Israel after Judaism.

•    The Muslim population of Israel is not under Apartheid-like pressure that shrinks or restrains the Arab population. In fact, the Arab population in Israel has increased about ten-fold since the State was established--from some 156,000 in 1949 to over 1,454,000 today.
Muslim Population Growth
 •    There are over 400 mosques in Israel. Israel does not pressure Muslims in Israel to curtail the number of its mosques. Instead, the number of mosques in Israel has increased about five-fold since 1988 alone. 
•    Approximately 300 imams and muezzins receive salaries from the Israeli government. 

-    Israel provides the Korans used in mosques and funds Arab schools and many Islamic schools and colleges. 

-    Islamic schools in Israel teach Islamic studies and Arabic.
•    In 2015, the Israeli government approved a 10-15 billion NIS budget (about 2.6-4 billion USD) for a five-year plan to develop the Arab sector in Israel.
•    The Muslim community regulates its own unique court system and handles marriage and divorce under Islamic law. 
•    Muslims are highly involved in Israeli academia. 26,000 Muslim students are enrolled in Israeli academic institutions. In 2014, about 21 percent of the undergraduate students at the prestigious Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa were Arabs, up from 11 percent in 2001. This is roughly the same proportion of Arabs as in Israel's overall population of 8.3 million.
•    Some Muslims also serve in the Israel Defense Forces; approximately 1,700 Muslims served in 2015, mostly from Bedouin tribes.

•    Each year the Jerusalem municipality decorates the streets of the city in celebration of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, and hosts dozens of festivities and events for the public.
•    The municipality also marks the holiday with a traditional ceremony in which a shot is fired from a historical cannon in East Jerusalem each day at sunrise and sunset to mark the beginning and end of the daily fast.
•    Muslim employees can take days off work during Ramadan, and working conditions are tailored to their needs while fasting during the month. The Israel Defense Forces also adjust Muslim soldiers' training regimes during the month of Ramadan.

Now, contrast these facts about Muslims in Israel with how Jews are treated in the Palestinian Authority (PA). Actually, you can't do such a comparison because the PA is, essentially, Judenrein, Jew-free. The PA's hatred of Jews is so great, it does nothing to promote the growth of any kind of Jewish presence in its midst. Compared to how Israel supports its Arab presence, the PA's support for all things Jewish is invisible. It does not exist.

The numbers below are only guesstimates. But those guesstimates tell the story of PA Apartheid against the Jews. The PA doesn't welcome Jews. It doesn't support Jewish life. It doesn't respect Jews as much as Israel respects Muslims:

-How many Jews live in the Palestinian Authority?  Less than 1,000 (if that many);

-Is Hebrew an official language in the PA? No.

-How many actively-used synagogues are there in the PA? None.

-How many Rabbis receive their salaries from the PA? None.

-How many Jewish religious schools are there in the PA? None.

-How many Jewish Bibles (Tanach) does the PA provide to Jews in the PA? None.

-How many colleges and schools teach Jewish-taught Jewish studies courses? None.

-How much money has the PA dedicated to support Jewish life in the PA?  Nothing.

-How many Jewish-run Jewish religious courts are there in the PA? None.

-How many Jews are enrolled in PA colleges? Practically none.

-How many Jews serve in the PA security force?  None.

-How many Jewish holidays are officially marked in Ramallah? None.

Dear reader, a rogue UN body has recently attempted to get Israel labelled 'Apartheid'. It claimed that 'all its evidence' pointed to Israel being Apartheid. But these numbers regarding the PA tell very different story. It's a story of Palestinian anti-Jew Apartheid policies.

For example, between Israel and the PA, who supports religious freedom? Only Israel.

Who supports the lifestyle of the other religion? Only Israel.

Who allows free access to education for people of the other religion? Only Israel.

Who allows equal access to medical care to the other religion? Only Israel.

Who allows the people of the other religion to vote in elections? Only Israel.

Who makes it illegal (punishable by death) to sell land to people of the other religion? Only the PA.

Israel is not Apartheid. The Palestinian Authority, however, is Apartheid. So is every other Arab community in the Middle East.

The UN lies when it calls Israel Apartheid. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Today's Friday cartoon

This week saw another attack of Israel at the UN. Last week, it was the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) publishing a Report that labeled Israel as an Apartheid State. Within hours, the UN forced the Commission to remove the Report from its website, effectively cancelling the Report.

This week, Israel took another hit from the UN, this time from the UN's Human Rights Council (UNHRC). At this week's scheduled meeting, the UNHRC has 41 resolutions to discuss. Of these 41, 12 deal with human rights in individual countries (Tovah Lazaroff, "UNHRC debates boycotting Israeli settlements", jerusalempost, March 20,2017). 

Eight countries will be criticized at this meeting--Israel, plus 7 others: Syria, Iran, Libya, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan. Each of the 7 just listed has one resolution against it. In all probability, each will be criticized--once. 

Israel is the target of five resolutions. It is therefore scheduled to be criticized five times--more than any other country. No one will be criticized more than once--except Israel which, we infer, must therefore be a five times worse human rights violator than the other 7. 

Today's cartoon refers to the ESCWA Report noted above. It highlights UN hypocrisy. It  notes that the ESCWA committee's 18 Apartheid-run Arab-Muslim nations have decided (by an 18-0 vote) that Israel is Apartheid.

The cartoon may need an explanation. Take a look at it. Then. I'll offer my explanation:

from: arutzsheva, by d'rooj

In this cartoon, you see on the left perimeter the ESCWA name. That identifies the ESCWA as the topic of the cartoon.

In the middle of the cartoon, you have a face on a globe. You also have some blue which, I would say, represents the geography of the Muslim world. It's extensive. 

In that blue area you see a sign: No Jews allowed.

In the  middle of it all, you see a second sign sticking, I would guess, into the map where Israel sits. That sign accuses Israel--which allows Arabs to live freely--of being the Apartheid regime in their midst.

Of course, I do recognize that if a cartoon has to be explained, it might not be such a good cartoon. But I think this one, flaws and all, still tells a story: those who commit an evil blame Jews of being that evil.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why did Israel publicize last Friday’s missile attack?

For years, Israel has been concerned about Syrian weapons getting into the hands of the terrorist group, Hezbollah (“Israel Steps up Shadow War with Hezbollah”, middle-east-online, January 16, 2017). Hezbollah is based in Lebanon. It is virulently anti-Israel. 

Israel’s Air Force (IAF) has been flying sorties into Syria to keep those weapons from reaching Lebanon. Typically, Israel doesn’t publicize these IAF missions. But Syria’s efforts to trans-ship weapons to Hezbollah has changed. So has Israel’s response (Ed Blanche, “Israel steps up shadow war with Hezbollah“, upi, January 17, 2017). Now, there’s been yet another change.

Early morning, Friday, March 17, 2017, three things happened to highlight these changes.  First, the IAF attacked a truck convoy in Syria (David Israel, “IAF Overnight Mission in Syria, ‘Arrow’ Used in Real Battle Conditions”, jewishpress, March 17, 2017). The attack was some 200+ km north of the Israel-Syria border. It was in Syria, East of Baalbek, Lebanon and north of Damascus (ibid)—possibly near Palmyra, Syria. According to a map-check, the attack took place some 350+ kilometers north-northeast from my home—and the missiles could have been fired at IAF planes at 200-300 kilometers from my home (as the Israeli planes approached their target).

Israel media sources said the target was a shipment of Syrian weapons being sent by Syria westward into Lebanon, for Hezbollah (ibid).  But Arab sources claimed this shipment was ‘special’. It contained advanced North Korean missiles (“PM Netanyahu Explains Reason for the Airstrike on Syria”, jewishpress, March 18, 2017).

For Israel, that’s a serious change. Hezbollah has more than 100,000 rockets already aimed at Israel (Avi Issacharoff, “Israel raises Hezbollah rocket estimate to 150,000”, timesofisrael, November 12, 2015). The introduction of ‘advanced’ missiles, if true, would represent a qualitative strengthening of Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal.

While we don’t know if this convoy was carrying ordinary weapons for Hezbollah or advanced weapons, we do know this: whatever that convoy was carrying, there’s no source anywhere reporting how the Israeli government found out about the convoy’s existence, its travel schedule and its location. Thankfully for us, no one’s talking about that.

The second thing that happened was that the IAF actually made this attack public. That’s a change  (“IAF overnight mission…”, ibid). Why did it publicize this particular attack? 

One possible explanation has to do with that ‘Arrow’ missile Israel used against the Syria anti-aircraft missile (Ahronheim, ibid). This was the first time the ‘Arrow’ system was used in combat. Did Israel want the world to know it had upgraded its missile defense system? We don’t know.

The third thing that happened affected my family. While this last item has no direct bearing on the Israel-Syria conflict, it does lead to a reason why the IDF publicized the attack.

When this attack occurred (between 0240-0250 hours), my family was awakened by two loud BOOMs east of our home.  Everyone in our area who heard the two BOOMs understood immediately they were explosions.  They were loud enough to be rocket attacks from Gaza. Were they? No one knew.

After daybreak Friday morning, news stories revealed that the explosions were impact BOOMs from the two Syrian missiles which had missed the IAF jets. One rocket fell in Jordan (BOOM). The second fell just a few miles from us (BOOM). Neither missile caused damage.

The attack had been 300+ kilometres away. From reading about the 2014 Gaza war, I knew Gazan rockets had a range of up to 160-170 kilometers. Were we now being informed that Syria had missiles that could travel 300+ kilometres? No one knew.

Later in the day, a picture appeared from Jordan, due-east of our home. It showed a missile resting against a low wall in what looks like a residential area. The tip of the missile had been crushed, presumably from impact with the ground. The caption identified the missile as one shot at Israeli planes by Syrians earlier that morning.

The missile was quickly identified as a Russian S-200 surface-to-air missile (“Report: Syrian Army Fired S-200 Missiles at Israeli Jets”, russiainsider, March 17, 2017). The S-200 carries a warhead of up-to-217 kilograms (“SA-5 Gammon [Russian name:] S-200 Angara Vega Dubna Ground-to-air missile system”, armyrecognition, 2017).  Its published range is up to 300 km (ibid).

One inference from that picture is that those two Syrian missiles, failing to hit a plane, had continued to fly upward, pointing southward from their point-of-origin. When the missiles flamed out, they turned downward, heading south until impact. Both fell in “civilian areas”--one in Jordan, one in Israel close enough to my home to rattle windows.

Perhaps the picture from Jordan explains why the IAF went public: to tell Jordanian civilians—and Jordan’s ruler--that the missile they’d ‘received’ hadn’t come from Israel, but from Syrians.  

Is this why the IAF publicized the attack—to calm Jordanian nerves? No one knows. But then, this is Israel—where little is known and much is understood.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Feminists won’t protect Zionists--or Palestinians

Feminists are supposed to fight for gender equality. They’re supposed to fight for women’s rights (Landon Montgomery, “The true definition of feminism”, theodysseyonline, March 8, 2016). They’re supposed to fight to end “the sexual, physical and economic exploitation of women” (Emily Shire, “Does Feminism Have Room for Zionists?” newyorktimes, March 7, 2017).

They’re supposed to be for all women everywhere. But they’re not.

They ignore Palestinian women. They reject Jewish women in Israel.

Unfortunately, Feminism is no longer led by women who fight for women. It’s led by radicals who fight against Israel (Jon Levine, “Today in Stupid: Feminism is Intersectional Enough to Include Convicted Terrorists but Not Zionists?”, mediaite, March 14, 2015).

This Feminist fight against Israel creates a dilemma. To remain pure in their war against Israel, radical Feminists won’t accuse the Palestinian Authority of oppressing women. That would make Palestinians look bad.  It could undercut the Palestinian Cause.

The dilemma is, Palestinian women need help. They lack basic protection (see below).

The radical Feminist solution to this dilemna is, fighting Israel is more important than Palestinian women (Dr Manfred  Gerstenfeld, “Anti-racists and feminists demonize only Israel”, arutzsheva, May 14, 2016). 

Feminist Phyllis Chesler found out about this solution in 2003. After giving a lecture to an African-American feminist audience, she was asked, completely off-topic, where she stood on the issue of the women of ‘Palestine’ (ibid). She responded: ‘I think you are asking me where I stand on the issue of apartheid and I oppose it. Islam is the largest practitioner of gender and religious apartheid in the world.’ To explain what she meant, she referenced forced veiling, arranged marriage, polygamy, honor-based violence and honor killing. A near-riot broke out (ibid). Apparently, that feminist audience didn’t care about protecting ‘Palestinian’ women. They cared about demonizing Israel.

That was 2003. 2017 is worse.

When Feminist Emily Shire asked if Feminism had room for Zionists (above, ibid), the answer she got was, no, there isn’t. 
As Radical Feminist Linda Sarsour (who is Palestinian) put it:
“I would say that anyone who wants to call themselves an activist cannot be selective…You can’t be a feminist in the United States and stand up for the rights of the American woman and then say that you don’t want to stand up for the rights of Palestinian women in Palestine. It’s all connected” (Levine, ibid).

According to one observer, some of the most prominent US Feminists today are Palestinian (ibid).  They’ve hijacked US Feminism to empower their personal war against Israel; but by doing that, they absolutely “do not stand up for the rights of Palestinian women”.

You don’t have look far to see this betrayal in action. Here’s just a glimpse of how that betrayal works:

-Lena Odgaard, “Upsurge in Palestinian 'honour killings'”, aljazeera, March 26, 2014. In 2014, Palestinian rights groups (and no one else) demanded new laws to protect women from family violence.

-Khaled Abu Toameh, “What the Palestinian Authority Did Not Tell the UN Security Council”, gatestoneinstitute, December 29, 2014…This essay begins with, “Palestinian women have become the latest victims of the Palestinian Authority's assault on freedom of expression in the West Bank. In the male-dominated Arab culture, an insult from a woman is considered far more offensive than one that comes from a man. That is the main reason why the Palestinian Authority [PA] has been quick to take action against women who dare to speak out or make critical remarks”.

-Robert Fulford, “Robert Fulford: The plight of Palestinian women”, nationalpost, April 10, 2015. This essay includes, “Their many admirers in the West like to depict Palestinians as innocent victims of imperialism, anxious to live free under their own state but tragically locked within boundaries imposed by Israel. The myth of the virtuous Palestinian flourishes especially on North American campuses…But that sentimental notion collapses under scrutiny…About half of Palestinian women have been exposed to domestic violence…In 2014, a senior official in the PA Ministry of Women’s Affairs reported a 100 percent recent increase in “family honour” killings… this is a product of the entire society’s culture”.

-Catherine Anderson, “Palestinian women's rights overlooked in favour of national liberation”, middleeasteye, November 3, 2015. Yes, fighting Israel is more important than protecting Palestinian women ('national liberation' is a code phrase for, 'fight Israel').

-Khaled Abu Toameh, “Palestinians: "Women are Witches"”, gatestoneinstitute, September 8, 2016: This essay includes, “offensive references to women, who are depicted as witches and demons in Palestinian school textbooks, should not come as a surprise…This [offensive stuff] is fed to Palestinian schoolchildren:  lies about history, lies about geography, and now lies about Palestinian women…Palestinian schoolchildren who returned to their schools last week are being taught that women are witches and Tel Aviv is an Arab city”.

Israel does not label Arab women ‘witches’. Israelis don’t commit honor-killings. Palestinians do both. Yet it is Israel Feminists attack.

Gender equality is a fundamental human right (“Goal 5: achieve gender equality…”, United Nations: Gender equality and women's empowerment, no date). But radical Feminists ignore the human rights needs of Palestinian women. They also reject human rights for women who are Zionists.

Such radicals are vicious. They are vile. They have no right to say they represent women because, in fact, they don’t.