Saturday, September 30, 2017

Long Before Hamas, Roosevelt Was Calling For Jihad Using Stones And Knives

Over the years, we've seen a number of different presidents, each with his own approach to the Middle East. For example:
  • Carter favored the Arabs, and even today shows a clear bias against Israel.
  • George W. Bush tried to be more even-handed, and during his 8-year term never invited Arafat to the White House -- unlike his predecessor, Bill Clinton.
  • Obama showed a clear bias towards the Arabs. His first trip was to address the Arab world from Cairo.
But nothing Obama said to the Arab world compares to this appeal, ostensibly by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the Arabs of West Africa:
Praise be unto the only God. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. O ye Moslems. O ye beloved sons of the Maghreb. May the blessing of God be upon you.

This is a great day for you and us, for all the sons of Adam who love freedom. Our numbers are as the leaves on the forest tress and as the grains of sand in the sea.

Behold. We the American Holy Warriors have arrived. We have come here to fight the great Jihad of Freedom.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Hate and incitement, Palestinian and American

The other day, the following tweet got me thinking:



Here is one of those favorites


Here is another:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

No One Would Call Anyone "Palestinian" Today Without Balfour

We know that historically, there has never been a sovereign, Palestinian state.

But if there has never been a state, a country, called Palestine -- then what did the Arabs call themselves when that territory was under Muslim rule?

In his book, From Babel to Dragomans, Bernard Lewis includes a talk he gave in 2001, under the title "The British Mandate for Palestine in Historical Perspective." In just a few understated paragraphs, Lewis hints at the importance of The British Mandate for the Palestinian Arabs:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hypocrisy: Media Goes From Blaming Trump for Antisemtism to Whitewashing Antisemtism of 2 US Imams

Remember after Trump won the election, how the media suddenly became so concerned about antisemitism? We were bombarded with editorials and op-eds about a sharp rise in Jew-hatred, insisting that Trump bore the brunt of responsibility.

You might have forgotten.

After it saw the potential in attacking Trump for alleged ties to Russia, the media apparently dropped the "Trump encourages antisemitism!" meme and decided to pursue a more promising line of attack.

But over the course of one week, from February 15 through 21, the media claimed antisemitism was on the rise because of Trump, and The Washington Post featured pieces such as these:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Why Did AP Censor Letter from Father Whose Son Was Murdered by Jordanian?

Just last week, the ordeal of the parents of 3 Green Berets who were murdered last year by a Jordanian soldier came to an end. M'aarek Abu Tayeh was convicted of murder by a Jordanian court and sentenced to life in prison.

photo
Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty.
 Photo Credit: US Army


But the parents are not finished.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

When Arafat First Started Terrorist Stipends, It Wasn't About Inciting Hatred of Israel

Now that the smoke has cleared, we can see that Secretary of State Tillerson was wrong. His announcement that Abbas agreed to end stipends to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists was greeted with scepticism from the start. While on Tuesday Tillerson claimed the Palestinian Authority "changed their policy" about terrorist salaries, just a day later he had changed his tune and said instead there were "active discussions" and made reference to vague "assurances" given to Trump during his visit in Israel.

photo
Official portrait of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson
Credit: US State Department

Similarly, on June 5 it seemed that Abbas had cut off salaries to Hamas. It could be that Abbas was referring to those cuts when he spoke to Trump, but there too, Hamas ended up getting their salaries.

In any case, the payment terrorist salaries -- and the anti-Israel incitement caused by rewarding attacks on Jews -- continues.

But just how long have Palestinian terrorists been receiving these stipends?

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Jordan Agrees to Prosecute Their Soldier For Murdering 3 Americans -- And That Is Just The Beginning Of A Long Process

On November 4, 2016, 3 US soldiers - Staff Sgt. Matthew Lewellen, Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe and Staff Sgt. James Moriarty died after coming under fire from a Jordanian soldier as they were entering a Jordanian military base.

On November 17, Eric Barbee, spokesman for US Embassy in Jordan, issued a short statement, reflecting the possibility of a terrorist motive on the one hand, and the rumors being spread that the soldiers themselves had accidentally brought the incident upon themselves.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Someone Should Tell Hamas -- And The UN -- That There Is No Legal Right To Destroy Israel "By All Means Necessary"

In its new General Principles and Policies, Hamas proclaims:
Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws. At the heart of these lies armed resistance, which is regarded as the strategic choice for protecting the principles and the rights of the Palestinian people.
This is actually something new for Hamas that is not found in the actual Hamas Covenant.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Jordan's Record When Killers of Americans Flee There: 1 Pardon, 1 Extradition -- And Giving Ahlam Tamimi a TV Show

Jordan has a very mixed record when it comes to extraditing murderers of Americans who flee to their country to avoid punishment for their crimes

Jordan Pardons An Honor Killer 


As has been pointed out before, in 1994 when Mohammad Abequa and his wife were going through a divorce, Abequa committed an "honor killing" and fled to Jordan.

Once he was there, Jordan
  • refused to extradite Abequa to the US
  • he was tried in Jordan instead and was sentenced to 15 years, instead of hanging, because it was an honor killing -- which under Jordanian law is grounds for leniency.
  • after 5 years, in 2000, one year after Abdullah became king, Abequa was pardoned and set free

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jordan Has Extradited A Terrorist to the US Once Before -- Why Won't It Extradite Tamimi Now?

According to the Jordanian government, the terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, who masterminded the Sbarro massacre in 2001, cannot be extradited to the US, because there is no treaty. According to the Jordanian High Court an extradition treaty was signed with the US in 1995, but that it is null:
The Court of Cassation approved a decision taken by the Amman Court of Appeal not to extradite Jordanian citizen Ahlam Tamimi, to the US authorities.

A judicial source told Jordan News Agency, Petra that Kingdom and the United States singed [sic] an extradition treaty on March 28, 1995, but was not approved by the Jordanian parliament.

Monday, March 20, 2017

No, This Is Not Your Father’s UNRWA

[T]he reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement, is essential in preparation for the time when international assistance is no longer available, and for the realization of conditions of peace and stability in the area
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 393 (V), December 2, 1950

The goal and purpose of UNRWA is simple and straightforward -- if not immensely challenging: to either repatriate Palestine refugees into what is now Israel or to resettle them elsewhere, while recognizing the obvious reality that there will come a time "when international assistance is no longer available."

Yet here we are, 67 years later.

Those Palestine refugees have not been either repatriated nor resettled.
And that international assistance?
Lo and behold: its being offered and provided.

So what happened to the whole purpose of UNRWA?
It changed.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Are The Arab Gulf States Really Ready for a Regional Alliance With Israel?

“[Besides Egypt and Jordan,] many other states in the region recognize that Israel is not their enemy. They recognize that Israel is their ally. Our common enemies are ISIS and Iran. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead we will work together to achieve these goals.”
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, in speech to UN General Assembly, September 22, 2016

Is The Enemy of My Enemy -- My Friend, or My Ally?


At a time when there are still some who insist that Israel is isolated in the international community, it is becoming increasingly clear that Israel is in fact building new friendships and alliances. In his speech at the end of December last year, criticizing Israel, Kerry described Israel's friends as United Kingdom, France and Russia. But Netanyahu's recent trip to Singapore and Australia extends Israel's circle beyond that. Meanwhile closer to home, Netanyahu has visited Africa, visiting Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

And then, even closer to home, are the Arab countries.

Israel has diplomatic relations with Egypt and Jordan.
It has no relations with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Israel has unofficial relations with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

For A While Gaza Actually Was Another Singapore -- Before They Blew It In the 1970's

A couple of weeks ago, Israeli Defense Minister Liberman offered to provide Gaza with a huge level of assistance in return for Hamas shutting down their rocket attacks and closing their attack tunnels. In return, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar turned down the offer, claiming that if Gaza wanted to be like Singapore, it would have already done so.

The truth is that for a while, in the 1970's, Gaza rivalled -- and even surpassed -- Singapore.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How UNRWA Keeps Remaking Itself: Defining, Re-Defining and Re-Re-Defining Who Is a Palestinian Refugee

The Report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA in 2007 indicates that
...The mission of UNRWA is to contribute to the human development of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic until a durable and just solution is found to the refugee issue. The Agency fulfills this purpose by providing a variety of essential services within the framework of international standards...

The Agency’s vision is for every Palestine refugee to enjoy the best possible standards of human development, including attaining his or her full potential individually and as a family and community member; being an active and productive participant in socio-economic and cultural life; and feeling assured that his or her rights are being defended, protected and preserved.

UNRWA is a global advocate for the protection and care of Palestine refugees. In humanitarian crisis and armed conflict, the Agency’s emergency interventions, and its presence, serve as tangible symbols of the international community’s concern and ultimately contribute to a stable environment.
This is UNRWA?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

On The Palestinian "Option" -- Not The Right -- Of Return

There are many aspects to the issue of Palestinian Arab refugees, a problem that persists nearly 70 years after the 1948 War that created the current situation. One question is whether Israel is actually obligated to allow those Arabs back in.

In other words, do the Palestinian Arabs have a legal "Right of Return"?

That is the argument made by pro-Arab advocate Hussein Ibish and Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah in The Palestinian Right of Return, an article they wrote together in 2001, using many of the basic arguments still being used to make the case.

They start with establishing a right according to international law -- and immediately run into a problem.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem Has Never Been An Easy Issue -- For Israel



It is 1967. What would become known as the Six Day War has begun and Menachem Begin, invited by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to join an expanded emergency cabinet, has an idea.

There is a meeting in the basement shelter of the Knesset and the news is announced that Jordan has decided to join Egypt and Syria in battle. Begin and Labor Minister Yigal Allon suggest that the reaction to Jordan's shelling of Israel should be the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem, lost in the 1948 War following a UN ceasefire. Begin urges quick action before a similar ceasefire again leave the city divided.

Moshe Dayan opposes the idea based on the human cost of expected house-to-house fighting in addition to the potential damage to Christian and Muslim holy places -- leading to a world-wide outcry against Israel and opposition to Israeli control over Christian and Muslim holy places. Instead, Dayan suggests it would be enough to just surround the Old City and wait for it to fall.

Friday, February 03, 2017

What Is It About "Israeli Settlements Are Not An Impedimet To Peace" That The Media Can't Understand?

It did seem like a straightforward statement by Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Israeli settlements:
“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

As Trump Takes Office, A Last Look At Obama and Bush

As of Friday, January 20, we have a new president -- President Donald Trump.

Comparisons have been made between Trump and Obama, and we can expect many more comparisons to be made over the next four years. One of those comparisons is in connection with Israel.

Obama allowed passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, calling the settlements illegal and putting renewed pressure on Israel. Now along comes Trump, who has promised -- and has reiterated his intention to keep that promise -- to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Yet both claim to be friends of Israel.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

If Israel Has Not Been Building Settlements, Why Are the White House and Media Claiming It Is?


"[T]housands of new settlements are being constructed...you saw tens of thousands of settlements being constructed"
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, December 23, 2016


On December 23rd, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2344 was passed 14-0 with one abstension --  the United States. One of the key points of that resolution was the clear declaration that Israeli settlements are illegal. Not "illegitimate", as per US policy in the past, but "illegal". The settlements were described as an impediment to peace that must be removed.

Are There Tens of Thousands of Israeli Settlements... Or 228?


That same day, Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy security advisor, gave an interview to Judy Woodruff.

Recall that Rhodes is noted for having bragged about his manipulation of the media in creating the narrative that made the Iran deal possible, despite both popular and congressional opposition. He boasted at the time about the media's lack of knowledge of world events:
Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing...We created an echo chamber...They [the seemingly independent experts] were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.